THE DAY OF THE BANDHIT QUEEN

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.

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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.

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I took some pictures of the roads for you. These pictures hint at the successful marketing of the ‘Strike or Strike’ method.

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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!

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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.
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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!

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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.

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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.

16 responses to “THE DAY OF THE BANDHIT QUEEN

  1. interesting
    if the ltte is the best known for their car and suicide bomb skills , the isi for their control over pakistan, and the israeli matkal for their bravado in commando raids – then kolkatans are known for calling for and enforcing their very loved bandhs !

    ive heard that nt a day goes by when someone doesnt participate or contemplate a bandh in kolkotta..is it true?

    Prax,
    That is a bit of an exaggeration!

  2. Hope you can enjoy the Bandh, such as it is, for working (essentially personal) stuff.. Glad all your patients are doing well. Since you just returned from a terrific holiday in Bali, we don’t have much sympathy right now. BTW, street scenes are wonderful. πŸ™‚

    Jackie,
    Your message had a million typos, so I corrected them, hoping that it was s tuck-up keyboard, or you were using a cellphone.
    Right?

    Hope yoy can enjoy the Badth, such as it is, for working (essential perswnnnel) stiffs.. Glad all your patients are dodig welll. Since you jut returned from a terrrific holiay im Bali, we don’tt have muc sympthaty right now. BTw, Stret scenes are wonderful. πŸ™‚

  3. The bandhs aren’t enforced that violently in the South.

    Doesn’t a sticker saying Doctor on your windshield, if you have one, help?

    Marc,
    I never advertise my being a doctor with a sticker on the car windshield. Now, in the last, people used to put the red plus signs, but no more. Now, it is the Hippocratic serpent thing, and the goon on the street doesn’t care about that.
    In addition, when I had a red sticker on my car, a few years back, they cared two hoots about that, saying anyone could defy the bandh by pasting electrical red tape on the glass.

  4. Kids love bandhs (Me too -Jab hum school me the)
    Wonder when they ” ban-dh-em”.

    Bandhs are enforced violently even in the south Marc..Here are infobits collected from newspapers..

    A petrol outlet was torched at….

    threw stones at vehicles….including 10 belonging to the police.

    Two BMTC buses were set on fire at…

    formed groups and went around in their areas forcing the shopkeepers and businessmen to close shops

    destruction of property by activists during the bandh on…

    Cut copy paste …it’s the same story-vertical and horizontal-east and west….

    Xntric,
    πŸ™‚

  5. Welcome back rambodoc.

    Bandh: when one of your dear ones is in the hospital the idea sends a chill down the spine. I thought the Supreme Court’s stand on the DMK bandh would make an impact on the opposition also.
    It is better in Delhi. Only parts of Delhi are closed.

    Prerna,
    I don’t see the Court having an impact. It’s been a long time since bandhs were declared unconstitutional, isn’t it?

  6. I remember a bandh in Chennai long ago – my dad and I had to rush to my grand-dad’s house to take him to the hospital as he was quite sick, almost at the jaws of death. He did survive that episode, but finding a auto guy to get there (the bandh was called by only one party and so not everyone was into it), getting ambulance etc. – it was quite an ordeal.

    Arun,
    I can well imagine that!

  7. The pictures are nice doc and the roads looks clean. I’ve lived in Cal for some years and well the time of the bandhs are a time when the roads look beautiful and the kids come out to play. I guess this is looking at it from the point of view of someone who is glad to skip work. πŸ˜‰

    Nita,
    Ah! What sin, what pleasure to skip work sometimes, right? Even I sometimes cop out and escape!!

    πŸ™‚

  8. Well, there’s a simple solution to this: build yourself an armored car like the one in The Punisher.

    Bancheese,
    I can only afford a farmered car (a bullock cart), but what will people think?

  9. @ Ram

    //
    In addition, when I had a red sticker on my car,
    //

    They mistook it for a “Target” sign and aimed their missile bottles at it? Lol.

    Voracious Blog Reader

  10. @ Bancheese

    You know what our capable doc is capable of right? He will build a Amorous car.

    Sorry for pulling your leg dokkie.

    Voracious Blog Reader

    VBR,
    All parts of me are for pulling.
    πŸ™‚

  11. How about a red hammer and sickle sticker on your car, and if anyone stops you, give them the red salute as you address them as “comrade”? Maybe they’ll let you pass, and even accompany you to your destination. πŸ™‚

    Amit,
    as you know, the Reds are not the only assholes in town! This bandh was called by the anti-Left goons.

  12. Dear Rambodoc, Thank you for correcting my horrible posting RE: the Bandh. (all the worse because I’m known a bit for writing skills). I too, just returned from a vacation. The workload (no Bandh here!) and responsibilities have resulted in a bit of insomnia. Then I try to “treat” it, which makes it all worse. If I slept like Shefaly, and/or had her masochistic running coach, perhaps I would not suffer such embarrassments.
    As Paul S. recently blogged, the internet has allowed us to “communicate”, –good and badly, in my case…. Instead on posting in a sleep-deprived manner, perhaps I can just call up my friends at o-dark-thirty? After all, what are friends for?
    Thanks….I repeat, I will not post in a sleep-deprived state….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Jackie,
    Great and world-famous doctor that I am in real life, I have nearly completed a trial on 12,004 patients, and have come to the startling conclusion that in 86.7% of people insomnia is the result of too little sex. In 9.99% of patients, it is because they read too many blogs and comment in them, and in 3.31% it is because they are having too much sex.
    Now, go figure that!

    πŸ˜€

  13. Jackie:

    “If I slept like Shefaly, and/or had her masochistic running coach, perhaps I would not suffer such embarrassments.”

    Shall we leave C out of this? 😎

    And thanks to your and Rambodoc’s discussion of my sleep, I was up at 3am, wrote a long, long post like a good blogger should and went back to bed for an hour. And I have to run again… πŸ˜›

  14. Hey nice post and better pictures.
    And that love-walla picture was actually intriguing. good one πŸ˜‰

  15. as you know, the Reds are not the only assholes in town! This bandh was called by the anti-Left goons.

    Have a supply of stickers and signs, one for each section of goons who call the bandh. πŸ˜‰

  16. Sorry, Doc, we are completely off topic here, but we owe Shefaly an apology — insomnia is apparently (virtually) contagious, and the poor woman had to run today –probably into a lamppost –while the evil C goads her.
    But according to your study (my, you sure do many, in your spare time) of the causes of sleep deprivation, insomnia has a sexual (too little or too much) basis.
    Let me guess, being a normal man, your next study will involve flatulence πŸ™‚
    I tease because I love, okay?
    Shefaly, sleep well, sister!
    Jackie

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