Since past few weeks I’ve been escorting my uncle to this hospital in Delhi. We go there to follow-up with the doctor for a neuro-treatment that my uncle underwent last month. Right now the visits are fortnightly, to be reduced to monthly going forward.
On these days, I usually need to wrap-up my office work early and have to drive to the hospital with my uncle. Usually, there’s a long waiting-queue out there and the appointment getting delayed by, at-least, 2 hours, means business-as-usual! By the way, this hospital also caters to those suffering from the so called “mental-disorders” and “rehabilitation” cases. Now, I think, the 2 hours delay stands justified, as these “diseases” (a state in which one is not at “ease”) have become so common in the contemporary culture.
OK so now, let me come to the point – my recipe for “Instant Nirvana”. The best part is that the ingredients involved are available much readily, anywhere and everywhere – free of cost! You just need to STOP and WATCH.
Ok, so now the recipe. For this, we need a MIND and a sequence of thoughts and circumstances like these (I’ll take my example here, how I prepared it this time):
Amidst the usually hectic office-schedules, I wrapped-up the work much earlier than usual, informed the team and the manager and left for my uncle’s place. We then drove to the hospital – got the registrations etc. done – and then WAITed in the long waiting-list– despite reaching 30 minutes prior to the appointment. Well, this wasn’t something that I had not expected, but still, I was ‘irritated’– much out of habit!
Sitting in the air-conditioned “waiting room”, the mind went ‘idle’ for a minute, or probably two, not sure (actually if you could count that – means you were not idle!). And then I suddenly started to THINK. It started with thoughts of some office-emails yet to be answered – then my office desktop – “oh the mouse out there is so pathetic. I’ll ring-up the IT tomorrow.” – and then many more “GDs and seminars” with me speaking on everyone’s behalf, regarding my past failures and successes, plans for the future, both professional as well as personal.
Ok. All said and done (‘thought and planned’, perhaps) – I then suddenly received a promotional SMS on my phone. I deleted it. But, then started a sequence of phone-calls and SMSes to my friends. Not many though – just around 15 minutes. Tired of sitting ‘idle’ (well this is what we normally call ‘idle’) – I got up for a stroll – down the long corridor – to the hospital’s only green-patch, a small and beautiful park. There’s a tree out there in the middle, with a few benches around in its shade. Here’s where the actual ‘cooking’ for ‘Instant Nirvana’ starts – much under this ‘BODHI TREE’! I also fondly call this dish of ours as ‘momentary enlightenment’.
I sat on one of the benches and looked around. It was time for an ‘evening-walk’ as various patients started reaching the place with their ‘attendants’ and visitors too- for some. Here I got some ‘audio visual’ ingredients for our dish. As I sat:
– A mid-aged patient sitting with his much younger ‘personal attendant’ (his nephew it seemed), discussing about the hospital expenses – the high prices of the lunch-platter available to the ‘attendants’. He said, (in Hindi – English translation given after this) “tu meri plate mein se hee kha liya kar, mein to bahut kam khata huun – sab bach jaata hai. Cafeteria se to teri plate 45 rupaye ki hoti hai. Gharwaale daantenge – mujhe alag – tujhe alag. Vaise bhi mujhe yahi bolte rehte hain ke itnaa kharchaa kara raha hai. Ya, bahar koi dhaba naheen hai?”. (“Why don’t you eat from my patients-platter itself. I don’t eat much. Most of it is left-over untouched. Your lunch from the cafeteria costs Rs.45! My family will screw both of us. Already, they always curse me as my ailment has added so much extra expenses to them. Or, isn’t there a cheaper food-joint outside?”)
– A caring mother, helping her young daughter (probably 20-25 years old) with her wheel-chair, for her evening ‘walk’ – as the daughter lay numb in the chair, not even blinking. The mother seemed to be much experienced at ‘handling’ the medical gear – that was in place to support her daughter. She was doing everything so perfectly.
– A much fit-looking patient with his visiting-relatives sitting in a group on the grass-carpet. It looked more like a family picnic as the little one’s ran around, playing and hopping– and asking their dad to fetch them some “juice and chips” from the small food-joint out there.
– A confused-looking guy, with thick glasses on his eyes and a bag in his hand, roaming here and there – asking everyone, “koi aaya to nahee thha mujhe lene?” (“Did someone come to pick me?”). I later realized that he was one of the patients, waiting for an ‘out-pass’ – the psychiatric and rehab in-mates, out there are, allowed a quick trip outside the hospital with their local guardians. I realized that he was one such patient waiting for his guardian since afternoon – when one of his hospital-attendants shouted, “ab poochhega to sar phod doonga tera. Bola na vo jaam mein phasa hua hai. Aa jaega ek ghante mein – tabb se ghume ja raha hai – pareshaan kar raha hai. Chup chaap baith ja udhar.” (“Another time you ask and I’ll smash your head! Didn’t I tell you that he is stuck in a traffic-jam? He’ll be here in an hour or so. This man is just roaming here and there and irritating everyone. Just shut-up and sit there.”). And the poor guy wasn’t even ‘sane’ enough to feel ‘humiliated’!
– Some hospital staff – gardeners, rag-pickers etc doing their daily-jobs with a “business-as-usual” look on their faces.
– Visitors ‘new’ to this place laughing at the ‘antics’ of some of the patients.
– Some ‘stone-faced’ family members/visitors/attendants of some patients, who were not so ‘new’ to the place, probably.
– A well built handsome lad, a patient – much to my surprise, taking a stroll with his much tired hospital-attendant.
– A lean-looking young girl, another patient, ‘marching’ her evening-walk much angrily. Her ‘lady-attendant’ was walking much behind her looking afraid and cautious, as she told her colleague, “zyada poochhne par khub gussa ho jaati hain madamji, kaat bhi leti hain kabhi kabhi!”. (“Madam gets very angry if someone interferes too much, even bites sometime!”)
– Two hospital-attendants chatting over a cup of tea and discussing about a new doctor in the troop, “Vo naye waale sir ko dekha hai, roz nayee shirt hoti hai! Aur phone dekha hain unka, sahi hai naa!”. (“Have you seen the new doctor on-board. Everyday he wears a new shirt. And have you seen his mobile, isn’t it cool!”)
– A patient trying to persuade his attendant to fetch him “sirf ek” (just one) cigarette.
– Flies and ants around this “BODHI TREE’” buzzing around and bugging me again and again. Well, I did put my deo on, but still these flies .. Not sure why !!
– Two attendants having a quick-chat as their ‘patients sat patiently’ on the green grass carpet. One of them looked charged up and said, “mera patient na engineer hai uss company mein, par do maheene se isse ‘ye’ ho gaya hai. Chupchaap rehta hai, jaada tang bhi nahee karta. Isliye aajkal apna hisaab theek hai.” (“My patient is an engineer in that company, but since past 2 months ‘this’ has happened to him. He just stays quiet always, doesn’t trouble much. So it’s good for me nowadays.”). Listening to this, the other ‘attendant’ looked a bit saddened. He said, “mera waala to nashedi hai, poore din ya to ghar waalon ko galiyaan deta rehta hai – ya daaru mangta rehta hai. Ab de to duun usse, paise bhi de dega, par saab ko pataa chal gaya to gayee naukri”. (“Mine is a drunkard, the whole day either he is cursing his kin or asking me to get some liquor. Now, I can fetch him some and he’s ready to pay me too, but I’m afraid if sir gets to know, I’ll be kicked out”).
– A pretty looking ‘dietician’, very pretty to be precise, walking across the park speaking on her phone, probably to her fiancé. Following her was a group of nurses, probably off-duty now, walking across to the gate as all the heads turned (well, most of them did) and the eyes followed the troop till they disappeared.
– A young lad, yet again a patient, talking, probably, to his mother on phone, desperately urging her, “aap log aa jao na milne. Yahaan doosre patients ke rishtedaar subah aate hain aur 7 baje tak rehte hain shaam ko. Ab mein daaru nahee piyungaa, aa jao na”. (“Why don’t you all come and meet me. Please do that. The relatives of other patients out here come to meet them in the morning and stay till 7 in the evening. Now I won’t drink. I promise. Please come.”)
Having gathered all these ‘audio-visual’ ingredients, the MIND went ‘inert’ yet again – as in INERT ..really inert! . Past successes-failures, future-plans, all washed out – Nothing else matters! I knew this was very momentary – but those few ‘idle’ minutes felt like the ‘supreme’ – the one beyond matter – beyond space – beyond mind-body-soul!
It was time to meet the doctor now.
Soon I was at my car’s seat – then the highway and the toll-plaza – and zooooom…. this freshly prepared ‘momentary enlightenment’ – the ‘INSTANT NIRVANA’ started dissolving into the colors of the moribund phenomena called “life”.
But, strange enough, I sometimes feel addicted to this ‘dish’ – a dish with no taste – no color – no shape – no size – but still ‘addictive’!
This happens, sometimes.
I wish this dope stays for sometimes.
Feels like ‘instant Buddha’, sometimes.
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