Monday, January 10, 2011

The Ladder

As I sit on the corner of the first floor of the Octagonal Atrium of the Polyclinic, the focus of the eye keeps shifting from the number on the display on the dental surgery, my number is 13, it currently shows 6, I recon I will have to wait for another hour or so, to the multitude of visitors down below the pattern change at every shift of the eye.

I look down at the latest issue of TIME, Asian Heroes of the 50 years, the lead article; it is more to keep the boredom of aimless waiting and no of visits to the Dental surgery, I have been snared in a process called ‘Root canal’ where is the root and where is the canal, what it means I don’t know , The Dental surgeon, a man of few words also has not bothered to throw any light all I know that every time I lie-down on the Dental chair, an annoying exercise starts, to say the least, a number of instruments of torture are pocked in the cavity of my tooth one after another, and then I am told to come again after a few days, a process repeated again and again for the last so many days

Coming back once again to the ever changing scene down below, the actors like the pawns of chess moving from one square to another; reception to pickup the token, with the serial no in the queue, to the plastic chair, all the time looking at the number on display, on being called for registration, to the Doctor and then if referred to the specialist and back to the window for further referral to a hospital, each stage referring one, to some one else.

I wonder why so many; are they really sick, some now familiar faces, remembered from earlier visits for the root canal.

They all come to get the aging body machine repaired-some, mostly, with minor scratches and dents others for major overhaul and refurbishing of major assemblies.

The Noida Polyclinic is also a club, a place to come to in the forenoon, the time well-spent meeting old friends and making new ones, also a chance to describe in detail, to the captive audience, sitting next to one, awaiting their turn, with one eye on the display and half a ear to the speaker, listening with disinterest to the litany of woes, along list of ailments also the trouble some in-laws the senile parents or the uncaring children.

A chance to criticze the inefficient system, the government of the day, the political parties, the new generation, corruption, even being a willing or unwilling part of it and of course the past glorious deed in the face of the enemy or the superiors.

The dialogue mostly cut in mid sentence with the no of the speaker or the listener suddenly flashing on the board

I also see with some fascination, the steel contraption, Angled at exactly 45* steeply rising from the floor
of the atrium, to the first floor of the Polyclinic that acts as a prism does to light separating the multitude of the patients visiting in various categories by age, by weight, by size, seriousness of the ailment, by the style of its use, albeit a serious threat to limb and life, an accident waiting to happen, a cardiac arrest, a fatal fall, a slip disc or a broken neck all very much a possibility.

The young, brimming with energy of youth, rushing up and down, totally ignorant of and with the disdain of danger, the recently retired Generals, rushing down : the General self impressed, with his latent energy and deceptive youthful looks, young in mind but aging in the body, ignorant of what damage he could self-inflict in his exuberance, the severely oboes matron puffing her way up and up, one tortured step at a time, breathless and about to collapse in the process, tearing further the already damaged heart muscles.

The contraption was erected, in the early days, a short cut, for the medical staff and not for the patients. It is surprising and beyond comprehension that no one has thought of barring it at least for the patients. Possibly the administration is too busy doing what administrators do to administer.

Observed and written some time back. Things may have change, I have been lucky in not needing to visit the clinic since long God has been Kind.


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