The whole process took over three hours including the post operation rest. This is about what I witnessed during the time I spent there. I had my camera which has become a necessary appendage. I clicked some snaps which I think are worth writing about.
The first of course was about a placard fixed to the hospital bed with the title ‘Starvation’. Why on earth would people come to a hospital and starve? My curiosity was so overwhelming that I chose to ask the nurse for an explanation for the title. What she told me was amazing. The bed was for patients who had to undergo tests for sugar in their blood and urine for which ‘fasting before the tests’ was essential. By Jeeve, I realized ‘starvation’ meant ‘fasting’.
Next was about a stuffed monkey toy with a string attached to a pulley. What is it about, I kept wondering. The nurse came to my rescue and said ‘this was brought by a patient who loved monkeys and till he was discharged he used to play with the toy monkey by pulling the string. Whoever passed that way pulled the string and the toy monkey went up and down which was a great source of amusement to one and all. I thought this was essential to provide succour and relief for patients.
In all that transpired, I keenly observed a gentleman who was supervising the house keeping operations. An ideal supervisor at that. A stickler to cleanliness, and was all the time ensuring that his people put in their day’s worth. Personally, he picked up the broom and demonstrated how work was to be done. He extracted enough and more work from his subordinates and was of the kind who would brook no nonsense. He was everywhere and had the agility of a deer. Such kind are very rare today and I was wonderstruck. I called him over and made enquiries.
He is Gajanan Govind Shetye, on contract with the hospital and with a missionary zeal. He had taken Voluntary Retirement from Mahindra and Mahindra after working as a Machine Operator for twenty years, and came to work at the hospital. He told me the work he did in the hospital was his calling in life and hence vowed that he would put in one hundred per cent. I saw him commanding a unique respect from all those present and his enthusiasm was infectious. He earned around five thousand per month and told me more than half of what he earned was given to the poor and needy who sought his assistance. He added that the Almighty up there was kind to him and he had no complaints in life. I was dumbstruck.
Resting in bed that night I was thinking about the toy monkey, and the supervisor, Gajanan, who in their own ways brought life to the hospital, and created an ever lasting impact on me and the people around.