Sunday, August 20, 2017

In the hospital

When we were in High School, we had to memorize English essays and paragraphs that would be later reproduced in the examination. A little capable student would probably be able to add a couple of sentences in the already memorized content or he or she might be able to rewrite the sentences in their own words but mostly it was already cooked recipes that we were supposed to rewrite in the examination to produce grammatically and spelling-ly correct English. I remember that from year 4 or 5 in the school until year 14 in the college / University we kept on memorizing lengthier and more complex sentence structures under almost the same titles. One of those titles was "a visit to the hospital."

I am suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, a mild condition I would say, still I had to visit a Neurologist to get myself diagnosed correctly and to see what could be done medically to prevent the problem in my hands. That means I went to hospital, a private one, in my local city Faisalabad as I am visiting my country for a couple of weeks this year. As I was waiting for the doctor to arrive, I had to wait here and there sit somewhere or stand outside to spend time and to ponder about my English education and essays I memorized to reproduce in dozens of examinations. Naturally "a visit to the hospital" was first title that came to my mind and ironically a few bits and pieces that I remember from those different versions of the same essay, I could still remember the bad condition of the hospitals that we used to describe in our essays: the shortage of sitting places, overcrowded wards and corridors and miserable condition of cleanliness. This private hospital was not that bad like public sector hospitals still it was over crowded.

When you live in a country like Pakistan where the population is more than 200 million people and the services and other facilities scarce or simply not enough to accommodate each and everyone, you find ways to fool the system, to get around or to simply make it easier for yourself to get through and grab the service by the use of money or the reference system (here by reference system I mean asking some acquaintance who is working in the field or in the same industry to call favours from his colleagues, batchmates or seniors / juniors to get a little better or early access to the service). So I was also such a sifarshi (recommended one) who stood nearby waiting for the signal from the officials standing outside to bypass the queue, get himself checked and leave the building as soon as possible, and at the same time thinking about the miserable condition of the hospitals, how it was like that since forever and how nothing was being done to improve it.

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