an oath gone awry

Shubhum was operated upon for a congenital heart problem on Monday 17th December, the latest inmate of our heartFix hotel He is doing well and should be back home soon.

Shubhum came to us in May 2007 and should have been operated upon in September but for reasons that defy logic and the Hippocratic oath, the backlog of the All India Institute of Medical Science was such that the poor child's operation kept being pushed away. Who cared that his family was poor, that each time he came from his native village his father, a humble tea stall owner, had to shut his tiny business and incur huge expenses.

Hubris had taken over a place of healing and a battle of egos was more important than the lives of poor people. Strange that the people involved in this tussle were bound by that sacred oath.

It was in September 2003 that Raju our first inmate was operated upon. Somehow at that time things were different and we had all been impressed by the quality of care and the spirit of the doctor. Then with each surgery things seemed to deteriorate albeit in an imperceptible manner at first, till the politicians stepped in and revived the reservation issue and all oaths went awry as the streets burned. And then as if one thing was not enough a clash of personalities nailed the coffin. Strikes and more strikes as simple hurting people suffered.

This is endemic insidious rot gnawing at our social fabric as we continue our frenetic race towards development and growth forgetting that no growth can sustain itself unless it reaches every nook and corner of our land.