Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Autobiography of a Hospital Bed

Today, I am a hospital bed in one of the best hospitals of Delhi but, my life has not always been so comfortable. I remember those days when I was put to hard labour, was hit hard, was burnt and screws were unkindly fitted into me. In those days life was just a tale of misery for me. It is only after being fixed here in this 5 – star Hospital, the Apollo Hospital, I think that I have got some respite, and now I have forgotten those days of torture and hurt.
I remember the days when my body was being moulded into this shape. My legs were first made, then the body and lastly the back. All the parts to my body were made separately. At that time I just could not understand what was being made of me, and I waited very long to know what would be finally made of me, at that stage, I only knew that all these parts belonged to me as, the blacksmith kept on measuring each part of my body and tried to fit one part were all to be mine. When the blacksmith’s work was over, the work of the welder started. The burns he inflicted on me gave me immense pain. He put burns on different parts of my body to join the parts of my body to join the parts. Oh! What a torture I had to undergo at the hands of blacksmith. I wondered when it would all be over, and behold within a few days this was finaily over.
I was quite a bit amazed and relaxed too as, now I thought the days of punishment were over. But no, I was wrong, and there was still more to it. As I was just enjoying a few moments of relief I noticed a man coming with a hammer and a wrench and so many other tools which I did not recognize. He also had with him long thin looking things, which are perhapse nails. Now it was his turn, and he started having blows at me, and fixing different size nails in my body. I seethed with pain all over again. He worked on my body for some time and to give me some shape. I could not understand what shape he was giving to my body, for, at some places I was becoming stiff and hard, while at others I was being kept flexible. After working on me for a long time now, I heard him telling someone that I was ready. I was now taken to some sort of a storehouse, where I was dumped with others of my type. There were a lot of my colleagues in this place so, at least now I would not get bored, as I would have company of my equals. Now, after a few days stay there in the dark and dingy store, I wondered what would happen to me next. Evidently, we were all made for a purpose and something had to be done to all of us but what – was my worry. Anyway, there would be no point in sulking. I made a few friends there, and started taking life as it was. Just as I had got used to this storehouse, and I realized that all my brethren had also has the same fate as me.
One fine morning, I saw many more of my colleagues being dumped in the same store. Now I was getting absolutely suffocated here and prayed that I would be removed from here. My prayers did not take long in being heard, for within a day or two it might have been, one gentleman who was very well dressed came in with the storehouse keeper. My heart missed a beat, and wondered what would be in store for me. With this gentleman, there were six others who looked like labourers, who came in with him for, obviously picking some of us. Now after a fast scrutiny of all of us, the sahib selected two hundred of us, and instructed a craftsman to paint us all white. I was so happy that I had been selected for a facelift, and now, sure enough I would be taken to some Hi-Fi place I felt. The painter started his work immediately, and behold, I became so beautiful, that I myself could not believe my eyes. Another thing that I felt happy about was, that, this was the only person who had handled me with love, and had not hit me all the time. His touch was so very soothing and cool, that, I really enjoyed being painted.
Now that I and another few of my brethren were painted, I knew that, we would all be transported somewhere, whether we would stay together or not was my next worry. I had by now understood that, I was a hospital bed, and half my body was straight for the patient to lie, and the other half of my body was kept flexible, to allow for the patient to rest his neck and head at an angle that would make him feel comfortable. We were left in the storehouse once again for the night but, we all knew that, this would be our last night together, so we all had a long overnight chat. That night I really enjoyed exchanging interesting experiences with my friends. Such a lovely night passed by as though in a moment, and soon I could see the sun rising from the roof of the storehouse.
It was hardly 9a.m when the door of the store opened and behold the moment had come for us to bid goodbye to each other and wish each other good luck. We were all loaded in number of trucks and were moved to an unknown destination. Soon my truck stopped in front of a hospital and, I with ten of my companions were unloaded from the truck and taken inside the hospital. Now was the moment of real separation, and each one of us was taken to a different room. Oh! how sad it was that, we all knew that we were in the same place but could not converse with each other.
I was finally placed in my room and now I knew that, this would be my home till I lived. I was put in an independent room in the first storey of the hospital. Here only I heard some people talking. I came to know that this is the Apollo Hospital. Their conversation also gave me to understand that, this is Delhi’s best hospital. What I came to know was that, this is a very expensive hospital and that, only the very rich can afford to get treatment here. Hearing this, I was rather puffed up with delight as, now only the rich gentry would be giving me company. How my luck had changed from being in the hands of poor dirty workers to, becoming a necessary companion of the elite of the town. This thought did make me happy but just wait and think that only the sick would be my companions from where would I get happiness, nice talk, cheers and start living in the present. The place did give me some pleasure but, I would be so very lonely, with no friends to discuss daily problems, and worse than all, this would be, that , there would be no laughing jolly human being to make me feel entertained, any way, I had to resign to fate, and lay in waiting to see what was in store for me.
It was just a day long respite for me, and since the long one year I have been here, there has been to ease. I have lost count of all the patients that have come and gone from here in the last year but, I only remember the one thing that was common to all. This was, the discussion all had about the beautiful room, and of course the expenditure in the treatment.
All the patients who came here, gave rest to their nerves for two or three days, got themselves checked and went away. All this has taught me a fact of human life and I am convinced that, there is a lot of affliction among the humans which are worse than me. I have had a lot of torture and pain in the process of my production, but, once those pains come to an felt very comfortable, while man continues to be in pain all through his life. There have been very young patients, and old ones too, which make it clear that, man keeps on an on suffering throughout life. He gets involved in so many kinds of sicknesses that, I so not even remember the names of the diseases I heard of in the last one year.
I have been very lucky that, all the patients who were allotted to rest on me, got alright and went home. However, just day before yesterday, I felt great pain as, the patient who rested on me was a T.B. patient, and he suffered a lot. I felt the pain of his coughing, his breathlessness and the high fever he continued to have. I prayed for his relief but, God had a different plan and just yesterday he died, while groaning on me. Doctors I heard, telling him that he was getting cured then, what happened, I wonder. His family was coming daily and were being told that he was recovering and, how he expired I just could understood. I remember, a week back the doctors has even said that he would be relieved soon, and Oh! his family was so excited and now, the patient just took one, two three hiccups and collapsed. What must have been the condition of his family. Oh God, why do you punish man like this Iwondered. When the collapsed on my back, and it made me feel very sad and depressed. When the family came in, what wailing and shouting started and now, I felt the pangs of the pain of the family. Soon the doctor and the family decided to take the body to their home, and I paid good-bye homage to him, all within my aching heart.
This incident has been my first in the last one year, and Oh! God, I pray to you, never to do this again at least on me bed. This has been a very sad experience for me and it will hospital. I do wonder why God gives so much of pain to a man. Sometimes I even get the awkward feeling that we, inanimate objects are, in some ways, better off than man, the finest species of living beings made by God. This pain of sickness and that torture of death is just unbearable. When I will never forger the incident then what will happen to people who have passed through the tragedy. God, help man, is my only prayer. Saying this I keep my fingers crossed now, whenever a patient comes to sleep on my back, and I keep praying for his health and happiness.
So far, life has shown just one tragedy to me, and I do wonder how many more of such unhappy moments are in store for me. I can only pray to god that I never again experience such a sad day ever again.

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