Bonds....that keep us..
Beyond the motions of acute medicine,one gets to peep into other worlds respectfully,sometimes in awe.
One was a busy weekend .The clock had ticked well past the midnight hour so to save the trouble and time I decided to get a wink in the duty room.It was a wrong decision.The alarms in the ACU,the people on call with their doubts and the flow of patients allowed me barely fifteen minutes of sleep.Before long,a host of faces were peering in through the window.It was four in the morning.
I walked into the ACU for a quick sweep so that I could go home to catch some sleep when I noticed this sprightly but slightly built lady ,around seventy years enter the ACU with a small lota(Indian pot) of water.She walked towards our flashy deliberate self harm patient Rajesh' bedside.He was fast asleep.She fiddled with the bags and fished out a half finished loaf of bread ,took four slices ,broke it into pieces.Even as I watched fascinated, she nudged Rajesh who opened his eyes ,wordlessly raised his head above the pillow and swallowed what was given to him ,drank the water and went back to sleep.The lady quietly moved out after.Not a word was spoken.
I was deeply touched by the scenario.
I had seen the lady during the eight days of this young man's admission ,quietly sitting outside with her back to the wall and the legs stretched out,dressed as a simple village widow ,barefeet, just waiting .
I asked the youngman in the evening,'Don't you feel guilty?'He said 'Yes Mam ,I will never do it again'.
Virat had drunk 'deltamethrin' after a fight with his mother.
His counselling fell on my plate because it was a sunday.
His mother had reprimended him over his sister's cycle which he had used and mishandled which had brought him to the hospital.His take was that he wanted to study but his mother wanted him to contribute to the family upkeeping.He sounded sensible enough so I called his father in.Things fell into place.
His father was a daily labourer who was breaking his back buiding his family.He was educating all his children.The oldest had a job in Delhi and was supporting Virat's study.he had just completed his first year in Agriculture.His older brother was in his third year and his sister was in school.The boys would do bits and bob ,when they had time, to earn their keeps.Virat found his father's job tough and so used to find jobs during wedding ,serving,cooking,etc.
The immediate bone of contention was a mobile worth ten thousand rupees Virat had bought,a sum which his parents would not have seen in their lifetime.
His father,a gentle soul apologetically said,'His mother said some things to him,after all she is his mother,I would have arranged some money to repair his sister's cycle,he needn't have done it.'