… Read these first:
I walked out to be met by mummy and my cousin’s wife Prashanti. I avoided eye contact with mom. Avoided any conversation. She wanted to go into the ICU. Prashanti volunteered to take her inside. The security guard protested saying two people cannot go at the same time. But Prashanti somehow managed to convince him and they both went in.
Outside, there was chaos. Family members of other patients all wanting to go in, two security guards at two separate doors trying to maintain order. There was a family that had about 25 people wanting to go in and see the patient. Ridiculous as it may seem, at the time I only felt sympathy for the family. For the hospital it’s a logistical and medical nightmare. Any one of the 25 could carry an infection that can affect any of the patients. But this is India. There will be crowds every where.
Things seemed to settle down around 9pm. Mummy was coerced into going to her brother’s house nearby. Prashanti and my aunt convinced her she needed some rest and home food. She left around 9:15. Kiran bava had left around 7:30 saying he’ll be back around 11. Chacha and Shravya were still lingering around. Around 10:15 I told them to go home, get some dinner. The discussion hinged on who will stay the night. I volunteered myself and Kiran bava. After some deliberations, they left in an auto rickshaw.
The waiting area was quiet. Only a handful of attendants remained. Some spread out their bedsheets and started lying down. Others just wandered around talking on their cell phones. I opened my backpack, pulled out the laptop, attached the USB wi-fi stick in and started reading my email. It was quite dark in the lounge area.
It was 10:30pm. I know because I just looked at the top right corner of my MacBook Pro.
I saw the security guard walk slowly into the waiting area, his eyes probing for someone. I looked up and met his gaze.
To be continued…