Clamps and Syringes

The hospital smell is something of disinfectants, medicines, sick-person food and human fear jumbled together. Expectant mothers scurry around calculating number of days left for their delivery, as frail veterans await cataract reports in waiting lounges, and young men bicker over appointments with reception ladies, and wardmen in green pajamas deliver fresh syringes. Doctors with slinged spectacles and short hair and blood-pressure chart-folders walking around imperiously. Nurses and attendants gossiping in circles and straightening out as the docs walk past them.

I feel a sense of powerlessness, that I don't feel on Delhi roads at night, or in dingy alleys in afternoons, or have ever felt in an oppressive classroom, or in the company of sniggering peers, or intrusive aunts- when machinations are clamped on to my body. This idea of the inner self- that my body has been doing things, saying things, living a life of its own, creating and destroying, loving and hating- that I have no way of knowing about. Other than through clamps and switches and syringes.

Its our collective inner gurgling noise, that creates the feel of a hospital. When a number of bodies decide to speak out to the outer persons and assert their views, create panic amidst the world of clothes-n-civilisedness. Its probably the only space in modern society, that brings together the iffiness of clothing/concealing civilisation, and the inescapable naked worlds within. And the smell of distrust between the two. And the clamps and syringes become modern investigators in this conflict.


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