Monthly Archives: April 2009

Demo-crazy

The day before Kerala went to polls, Amma and I were at KIMS, Tvm. While the mother’s backbone defied symmetry and created backaches, the daughter developed a fever to spoil her vacation in Kerala. Thus, the two of us sat in the corridor waiting for our turn to be called in for consultation.
Waiting for a doctor’s consultation is definitely a torture. People groaning in pain, some rambling on their mystery illness and the pain they go through, fellow sufferers trying to establish similarities and differences in their symptoms, few people wearing a dejected look while others waited in anticipation for their near and dear ones to come out of the consultation room… the entire situation was quite depressing. The only saving grace was a bunch of toddlers, competing for their share of attention. One of them was giving her dad the much needed physical exercise by running through the length of the corridor while another one was screaming his lungs out, demanding frooti.
Somewhere in between a little more older one was sharing his worldly wisdom on painless needles.”Amma ippo injection edukkumbo vedanikkoola” ( Amma it doesn’t hurt when they give an injection now).

I was seated on the chair placed in front of the VIP lounge, which was exactly opposite to the doctor’s consultation room. Suddenly, I see this young pretty woman carrying a baby entering the VIP lounge along with an elderly lady. A few minutes later, a man walked into the lounge. From his outfit, he seemed to be the typical politician, clad in white Khadi shirt and mundu. As I saw him enter, I said to mom ,” Ho Khadar ittal VIP ayi” ( You become a VIP if you wear Khadi). I glanced sideways and to my utter horror the door hadn’t closed properly and I was audible enough for the politician to hear. He came out a few minutes later and cast me a dirty look. I put on the ‘ It must be some ghost who said that’ look and sat there trying to look disinterested in whatever was happening around me. The kutti(young) politician looked irritated as no one from the PR turned up for his service. He stood there, looking everywhere trying to get hold of someone from the management. The nauseating, imported perfume added to my headache!
So this kutti politician was engrossed in DEMO for about 5 minutes, desperately trying to get a look of recognition from people walking past. Soon he went inside the lounge and a few minutes later, the nurse assisting the doc came out. She called an old lady inside and pointed to an old nun,” Sister you go in next”.
Twenty minutes later the old woman and the kutti politician came out of their respective rooms simultaneously. The nurse was helping the old nun to get up and was leading her to the consultation room while, the kutti politician scurried across the corridor to the doctor’s room. In the process, he managed to shove the nurse who almost lost her balance and the nun would’ve broken a bone or two if not for the chair she caught hold of. The kutti politician oblivious to the consequences of his deeds ( like the rest of them in his clan) firmly held the doorknob, barring anyone else from entering the doc’s room and ordered to the nurse who had steadied herself by then,” My family is inside the lounge. Get them here”. The poor nurse wore a disgusted look and went inside the lounge. She knocked for sometime and it took hours for the VIP family to emerge. Gritting her teeth the nurse led the family into the room. After what seemed ages, the family came out of the doc’s room. The nurse was helping the nun again when the kutti politician commanded again,” Hey, you! go to the lab and get these formalities done and call me when our turn comes”. The nurse trying to control her temper said, “Sir, can you please wait till I take her inside?” . Our kutti politician looked like someone had slapped him on the face by asking him to wait. Maybe the only time he ever waited was for a party ticket. After pushing his family into the lounge he went and shouted at the people in PR. For the sake of not making a scene , they relented and sent someone to answer to his every beck and call. A couple of patients went inside and soon, the kutti politician barged into the doc’s room with another relative of his. This was disrupting the entire process and people waiting were getting restless now. Some smartasses followed suit and started forcing themselves into the doc’s room regardless if it was their turn or not. What ensued was utter chaos.
People who had been waiting for hours together were now intimidated by this VIP’s ruthless action and the unscrupulous elements who followed him. They were engaged in deep-rooted discussions on how these politicians never change. We vote for them, they gain VIP status and leave us in the lurch, end of the day. They are granted privileges with our votes but why do they make use of these privileges at the cost of the common man?
If only one of us could stand up to him and say,” What do you think you’re doing, while the rest of us have been waiting here for hours?”
If only the nurse could prevent him from entering the room just like that
If only the doc could throw him out of the room, when the kutti politician barged in , at the first instance.
But, if any of this had happened, we would be tormented for a lifetime. Most, of us chose to remain mute spectators and idiots like me rant about it in blogs. Couldn’t the kutti politician live the life of a common man for a few hours at least before the elections?
I may sound cynical or even melodramatic but what change can we hope for, when on a day-to-day basis the voice of democracy is silenced by authority? That we get to voice out and vote, once in five years is no big deal while we live with the same torment for the remaining time.