by Sanjay Kataria
I’m delighted that our classmate Sunam Thapa is now fine after erratic asthmatic attacks a few days ago. She had been under the aegis of Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, for around four days. Compelled to take rest, she felt bizarre but overcame that by clicking our pictures and making up her mind for creating a photo-album on Facebook. (I hope I figure in that!)
In the backdrop of these few days, I would like to share with you instances that changed my thinking for better. I’m slightly paranoid especially when things involve me to consult a medical specialist. The first day she was in the hospital, I trailed her to Vasant Vihar where she was getting diagnosed. Collecting huge amount of courage I opened the door of the emergency room to get inside. ‘You please stay outside,’ said a middle-aged man with huge forehead in a loud voice that instantly embarrassed me. Even before he could finish his dialogue, I was out. I went back home and thought about the things happened to me. I realized that it was the first time that I had ever gone to meet my friend in a hospital. It isn’t that my friends are the healthiest human-beings on Earth but the thought of me going to the hospital is so unlike-me. I have always avoided going to places like these for reasons that I couldn’t find an answer to. The next day she was transferred to another hospital on her own risk. (She’s courageous enough to take one!) I don’t know what compelled me, but I made up my mind that I had to go to see her. Last attempt was quite unsuccessful. I couldn’t let this go off. Why, why? I don’t know. Finally four of our classmates went there to see her. It was already five pm. I thought to call my mother who was obviously worried about me (for reasons that are simply unconditional). I told her that one of our classmates had an attack and we were there to see her and take her to the hospital. She shot at me just one question: Why are you there? Since I prefer not to argue with my parents, I sometimes don’t mind telling a lie. I lied that all the teachers were there and it’s the university’s responsibility and she must me cared. Second question: are you sure ‘all’ are there? I reaffirmed that ‘all our teachers were there’ implying that ‘I’ won’t get myself into any trouble. Before she could ask another question, I said, ‘I will be back in less than an hour.’ When I hung up the phone, I realized that she didn’t ask how my friend was but asked me how I was. Sometimes this unconditional bond of love makes one forget everything that is going around. A few months ago I had been admitted at the hospital and I saw my mother in the worst pain of her life. What if I had an attack and my friends’ parents hold them up not to be so helpful to me because there are diversity of people coming from different countries and they shouldn’t ‘engage’ with people like me. Why should she feel disgusted? Just because it involves ‘me’? Why am I so valuable to her and not my thoughts and friends? Would ‘me’ without my thought process be actually ‘me’?
Being grown in a very conservative family I have tons of irrefutable suggestions from my parents that don’t fit my thoughts. What they have is ‘me’ without ‘me’. I don’t know whether I would be able to convince them or not or at least make them aware of my thoughts, but one thing is sure: if lies like these help me live my life according to my thought process I don’t mind telling one.
(South Asian University has given me a chance to ‘rediscover’ myself: what had been lost deep down inside me. I have no qualms with it.)