I want to be admitted to a hospital. No, not a mental hospital, visiting hours there is horrible. I want to be admitted for something physical like a broken bone, appendicitis or some other surgery because we’re not equipped to deal with the injuries to mental health.
After the surgery I’d be placed in an semiprivate ward, where there would be another patient and his family, with whom we’d make a single serving friendship. We’d share meals, gossip, dark secretes (not that dark also) and phone numbers that we’d never use.
After the surgery I’d have all my relatives, family and friends (if I have managed to not piss them off) waiting to see me. I’d be passed out and under observation in the ICU or if it’s nothing that major I’d bed in a ward bed couple of hours later. Once I regain consciousness I’ll be flocked by a lot of family members, aunts, uncles, both my great aunts, my mother’s oldest brother (for as long as he lived), my brothers (when they were still alive), and sister. My grand mother didn’t ever show up, and nobody ever complained.
The many white polythene bags will be filled with fruits, bread and rusk. Sometimes smaller paper bags carrying sapota or grapes fills the room up with it’s aroma. There would be another big jute bag from Anugraha / Anuyogya (clothes stores my family shopped frequently from) or some clothing store with two steel plates, spoons, a bowl, blanket, towels, steel water glasses, knife, Thermos, clothes, and anything else they felt would be required for someone who’d be staying the night.
I have watched my mother or aunt (Dad’s older brother’s wife) pack such bag on multiple occasions for the night because someone met with an accident, tried to kill themselves (has happened often), is having a surgery, or giving birth. My aunt with the hardened facial expressions, moving around the house and packing things or my mom is panic or grief stricken and deals with the moment by distracting herself with the packing and making calls regularly.
It wasn’t scary or worry some as a kid because I was very confident the adults would fix it, because adults and they could fix everything, right?
My fear for hospitals only arrived with an awareness towards death, simply that people who die don’t come back and if I miss someone who’s dead I can’t just call them up, listen to their voice and feel okay, because…
This fear gained more strength when my brother died, I sat with his lifeless body in the ambulance while everybody else was crying, shrieking, and getting things in place for the funeral. I cried too, to my hearts content and this is probably the only reason I’ve been able to accept he’s dead and not try to reason that his death is a conspiracy theory.
I wish as kids we weren’t inculcated with this awkwardness for touch, because I’ve never hugged my brother but once on my birthday he held me awkwardly and that’s the only thing I have to hug.
The fear of hospitals only got worse when my Uncle (mum’s oldest brother) suffering from liver cirrhosis was in the hospital. Looking at him as anything less than his grand and majestic self seemed was too painful, so I never visited him at the hospital.
Hospitals and I shared a very awkward relationship, I’d go to one only if I was too sick to go ahead with daily routine. Then I visited a friend at a hospital and it was so hard to keep myself together and not fall apart.
But days later I constantly put myself in a hospital and realised how much I miss some of aunt’s or uncle’s who won’t come under the same roof without bickering unless someone died, is dying or hospitalised.