Today, I am reading and writing more than usual. Today, after all, has been declared as a day of collective rest. The declaration has been decreed by the Bandhit Queen of India, Mamata Bandhopadhaya.
In case you are not an Indian, a Bandh is a general strike, and you can have a glimpse of how it is in India, especially in Kolkata, the Bandh Capital of India.
I have around 14 patients in three hospitals, all operated upon in the last forty-eight hours. Three of them had operations bigger than the routine stuff.
I am, naturally, obliged to see these patients and, therefore, had to leave home. I would normally have left early to escape any strife on the roads. However, I got
lazy delayed for some important work, and left later, around 10 AM.
I took some pictures of the roads for you. These pictures hint at the successful marketing of the ‘Strike or Strike’ method.
In other words, if you are seen to disobey the strike, you will be open to attack, and I hear even Insurance companies won’t cover you for it.
I had to drive here and there along serpentine routes to escape gangs of goons. These gentlemen went about battering cars, and deflating tyres. The police were very helpful. They did not actually take the trouble of confronting the vandals, but generously warned drivers which routes not to take!
Somehow, I managed to come back home with half my work done. I will have to wait till the evening to visit the rest of my patients. Fortunately, they are all doing fine.
The cause of calling the bandh is immaterial: there have been countless such strikes in recent times. The only effect has been the deterrent to foreign investors, the mileage extracted by the politicians of the gutter, and the humongous loss in financial and human terms.
I want to cook some Oriental food today, but can’t, because I can’t get spring onions and peppers from the (closed) local market.
However, people have more important concerns: countless surgeries have been postponed, many people have died because they have been unable to reach hospitals on time, and even the dead have to wait till the next day to be cremated.
However, even these vultures of the diseased Indian polity cannot come in the way of true love, as can be seen above!
Nor can it stop the alcoholic from having a binge!
In case you live on another planet, like the White House or the Karolinska Institute, that is a rickshaw!
Officially, the crucial service sectors, including healthcare, are exempt from the strike. On the ground, in real terms, the vandals spare none, unless you are lucky, and have ‘PRESS’ or ‘ON HOSPITAL DUTY’ written all over you. However, there have been occasions when this has not helped. I speak from personal experience.
So, not having much option, I hope to enjoy the rest of the Bandh at home, and I wish you ‘Happy Bandh’. And, you too, Miss Bandhopadhyay, if you can elevate yourself to the level of reading a blog.