This weekend I celebrated by birthday with my friends, had my "The Last Supper" with 12 of them, and after that had my second journey (supposedly the last journey) to the dreaded hospital of A B C Roy in this campus commenced on the next day, oh- it was a good friday, i remember! It was a back ache which suddenly grew over me that day, and i could not sleep with that excruaciating pain.
In the Hospital, it was a hellish scene. People were crowding near the ticket counter, with two elderly ladies on the opposite side of the counter, issuing tickets with some code for which doctor to see and some number. It was a rather slow moving system, typical of this race. I guess this "race" should be called as a "stroll" as regarding its pace. So, I gauged that it would take a hell of a time waiting there, and since i could barely walk, so i decided to get admitted as soon as possible, so i decided to bye pass the Ticket Counter.
I was thinking of some way out when i saw my sociology teacher standing there. Though I never liked attending those sociology classes that they never bored into my head and i was the least interested to learn how society functions. And when i saw her today, i felt relieved as if she was my back up! She recognised me and i greeted her, contorting my facial expression to that of misery. Naturally, as she asked me What happened? I replied with gusto, as i was waiting for her to ask this, I'm alright ma'm! Ma'm it's severe back ache, and i am even able to walk a few paces. I dunno but i felt a sort of joy telling her about how much pain i was in, and that i added the sentence I'm alright ma'm! to show how much i was iron willed to have crossed three quarters of a kilometer to get to this hopeless A B C Roy Hospital, which was assumed to be reliable enough between the profs! She too expressed deepest of her empathies and told me to stand, and not sit, and then started her age old saga of how it took her 10 minutes to wear socks, and how she came to the class, and how we never appeared to have appeared...! What followed was a boring lecture which she was proudly delivering in the midst of tens of people, especially a girl, who was a sort of aquaintance, and was now looking bewildered at me, pitying me for whatever physical, physiological and mental i was going through. After delivering her lecture to her heart's content, ma'm advised me to visit some Dr. Sharma who was a very kind and good doctor, and who would admit me immidiately and may expedite the procedure of admission.
I saw the doctor was busy on phone, so i decided to wait for five more minutes, as now i knew it was the shortest path to hospital's beds. To pass the time, i started to talk to the girl and her friend about the cause of their visit to the hospital.
It were 40 minutes and the doctor won't stop talking on the phone. He was a middle aged man. He was too old to have girlfriend at the other end. And i never knew people could talk to their wives for so long on the telephone except when newly married. Lastly he stopped talking on the phone and i raced inside to tell him my story. He was a patient man. He heard me to my heart's content and finally dictated me a long list of rules on how to get admitted. It was like listening to some audio book named "Getting Admitted for Dummies".
After waiting for what looked like ages, i found myself at the counter. The lady told, "Mukherjee". I asked her, "I'm sorry?". She raised her voice "Mukherjee!".
I moved to the cabin of Dr. Mukherjee.
After sitting for 3 hrs outside the cabin, waiting for my turn, i was almost dead with afflicting pain. I removed the curtain, and asked "May i come in sir?". The doctor was filling some form, so he answered in a restrained tone "Yes". I passed my Ticket to him. He glanced the ticket for a while, and said "Thees ees Doctar Mitra, not Mookherjee", and showed me the code for Mitra. I pleaded "Sir, i'm having excruciating back ache, please admit me, as i have been waiting for my turn for three hours now". He asked me my symptoms, and expressed his deepest sympathies "I know you are een deep pain, but listen, you must go to Doctar Mitra, as I have a caartain numbar patients to see daily, and that numbar is obher. Besides, you shood come in the ebhening, The orthopedic comes only then!".
I was seriously disgusted now. And when I'm disgusted, my other personality, The Terminator takes the charge of this hairy body. I dragged myself back to the ticket counter, they had played a dirty joke with me!
At the counter, I Said in a stern and high tone "Excuse me ma'm!", the lady did not understand, perhaps she was not addressed with this courtesy ever in the past. I shouted again "Hello, lady!!". Now she realised i was talking to her, she looked at me, and got shocked with the expression on my face.
"What the HELL is that! U people are just sitting here to crack jokes? Was that a joke which you played on me?? It was not Dr. Mukherjee, it was Dr. Mitra, and i come to know of it after 3 hours of waiting and when it has aggravated my back pain! You people are just crap! Mazaak bana rakha hai aap logon ne!!"
"Hum Mookherjee us ladka ka naam bola!" (I was calling the guy named Mukherjee, i Did not address you!)
"I asked you twice, and you replied the same, did not you?" i retorted. she was listening now silently. The starting of the week- and it was a blunder in which she was badly entangled! Two enthusiastic dada- bhai (bengali for "big brother") came forward as her saviours to save her from this tormentor!
"Ees Thees the way to talk to an elderly lady?"
"Do you see what has she done? It's because of her casualness that i'm suffering!"
"Yays, but you shood be respectphool towards har!"
"Hey Lady, now, don't engage yourself on phone, get back to work- and i want it immidiately!" i shouted at her, turning towards her.
"Are iyou a istudent?" another dada retorted.
"Yes!" i dared him in the eyes. It was after long that i was aggressive enough, that i could dare someone.
"No! iyou are not IITian"
"Don't you tell me who is an IITian- this lady has committed a blunder, sitting there, gossiping, and now see what has she done! You people are apathetic towards students!"
"Listen to me! Don't you speak! She is overworked!! They are the phirst ones to come here and leabhe in the last."
"On Monday Morning, at 9:30 AM? And do you know how many hours i attend classes? 12 hours a day!" i was feeling like diety Durga on her mission for these Mahishasurs of the society. Let this man be the prof, i don't care, today, i'll beat this system of theirs, the system of lethargy, the system of foolishness and the system against the students. Knowing that they don't retort, these people harass them. I was not in a mood to tolerate this any further.
The other dada said in a tone milder than ever "Iyou have no caartesy phor eldars, and iph iyou shout, i bhill make sure iyou are not treated here" he said this retreating back in the crowd, with the crowd looking at me, some of them sympathising with the lady at the counter, and some, of course finding this pleasurable!
"This is MY IIT, and Band, and cholbe na won't go here!" i said in a definite
"And YOU! write it down, don't dare gossip again!" I whacked the lady, again.
She returned my record book to me with the renewed ticket- with Mi (for Mitra) corrected to Mu (For Mukherjee)!
When i entered the doctor's chamber, he still was busy filling the same application form. He saw me enter, and squeaked "Oh! What Dipherence daaz it mayke, Mitra or Mukherjee, it's daa same! Actually... I had saam wark to do, that's why... you want to get admitted, i'll phill the phorm phor you! Pleej seet"
"It's too much pain to sit down." and i told him my symptoms.
In next 30 minutes, i was admitted.
I stayed in ABC Roy hospital for the next 5 days, and i left it with a renewed confidence that i gained in myself that day.
(To be continued...)