Last night I found myself shouting at the top of my voice to someone. Last time it had happened on 3rd of September in 2014. Why had happened? We had to rush Dad for Dialysis. As he wasn’t able to breathe in the morning, felt dizzy and had to take assistance of the cab driver to get down the stairs to the cab. There was excess of water in the body and hence, when we got to the hospital the first thing they did was the process of ‘suction’ where they take the water out of the body. I remember being on my toes from 6 in the morning till 2 in the afternoon. And even after that I could not sit and relax. Dad’s dialysis got over by 1pm and we decided to admit him to be on the safer side as he still wasn’t feeling too well. We were not able to get the room. And after a lot of ‘to and fro’s one bed was allotted to Dad in the ICU at 4pm. Nurses kept following up to shift my Dad from the dialysis department to the ICU, but the ICU nurses kept telling that the patient in that particular bed is yet to be transferred. We kept waiting patiently. And by the time it the clock on the wall showed 8, I became quite restless. Dad has been waiting since 1 in the afternoon for a bed to be allotted, we got one by 4pm and at 8 in the night we were still in the dialysis department. This time I asked the nurse to dial the number for me to talk. When I spoke to them they told me that the bed was given to someone else and we would get another bed! Each nurse, technician and patient heard me after that. I was shivering at the end of the call. I am not the kind of person anymore for whom this would be the daily stuff. Dad was looking at me from a distance in disbelief and the nurses arranged for some cold water for me. I could have burst into tears at that very moment but I held myself. I just did not talk for next hour at all and the nurses then followed up. It took another hour for us to get the bed and Dad finally was shifted by 10:15 in the night. I took a cab back home and while the cab was rolling through some well known roads in the dark, I let some tears roll down my cheeks to feel better and to get myself ready to my Mom in few minutes.
Last Monday, I had raised a complaint against an auto-driver who accepted my request for the Hospital at 3:30pm through the Ola Cabs app. Dad asked me to book a cab as he wasn’t feeling well again and there were no cabs nearby, so I ended up raising a request for the auto. He accepted, he called in 5minutes asking me to come out on the road. I gave him the directions politely telling him that we would need him to report at the door step. The directions involved ‘taking a right turn from the park’; he again asked to walk down at the park. I was quite stern this time in telling him that if we could do that we could come out on the road too. “Why would we book an auto through an app if we could do that?” A simple and logical question must have hit him below the belt and he hung up on me saying that he is cancelling the booking. This surely sent my temperature soaring. I immediately called up the service centre to report that, and I was told to raise the complaint for an auto through the app. It took me another half an hour to arrange for the cab. The mail was marked and was sent to the ‘concerned department’ for the action to be taken. Till Thursday there was no action, no reply to the email, I mailed again and yet there was no reply. Friday night, I booked a cab again from the hospital. 10:20pm was supposed to be the pickup. Driver called at 9:50pm and confirming that he would be there at the hospital gate by that time. 10:12pm I started calling the driver and there was no answer to my 4 calls. This wasn’t the first time it happened, it was the fourth time. I asked my parents to get back in to the hospital building, find a seat for themselves and sit inside the hospital till the time the next cab doesn’t arrive. I called up the service centre and told them that the driver is not picking up the call. The representative tried it once and told me that he will send another cab. I was fuming by this time and told him that I am not going to pay for this ride. I told him specifically that ‘before you make the booking, let me tell this to you on recorded lines that I am not going to pay for this one as this now has become your routine’. He booked a cab, made me talk to the driver who reached at the hospital in 5min. My parents were picked up at around 10:45pm and I told Mom not to pay. In the meanwhile I asked for the supervisor. The representative kept saying that connecting to a supervisor in not possible. I kept repeating myself that I wanted to talk to someone senior. He kept my call on hold for two minutes came back and told me that there is no manager as mentioned earlier. While my volume of voice had risen by a decibel the call ended abruptly. Not sure if it was disconnected by the executive. I redialled the number and asked the executive to call the supervisor. He asked me about the issue, I told him and he arranged a floor supervisor to talk to me whose name was Ali. I explained my anger regarding the complaint and that there hasn’t been any action. To this I get a reply that the booking wasn’t made through the call centre. “So does that mean you are not responsible for any service that you are providing through your app?” was my next question. The floor supervisor did not even acknowledge the inconvenience for next few minutes. Mom called saying that the driver is asking for the payment. I went downstairs while talking to the floor supervisor. I told him that I am not paying to which he bluntly said “you will have to”. One, no acknowledgement of my inconvenience and complaint; two, no courtesy!
The floor supervisor in fact was trying to explain to me that this particular driver has no fault, would I like the fact that he is not paid, how I could do that to him! And this is the point where he acknowledge by saying “I understand what you mean”, I asked him to explain what did he understand of my situation he had no reply. At 11:15 in the night I was on the road shouting at this man who I think must have thought that we visit hospital for a picnic. I actually asked him if he thinks we go to the hospital for a picnic and if there are any ethics that these drivers follow. No answers again! I did pay the driver at the end as it wasn’t his fault. And how could I go against what I keep saying “One should not punish someone in the present for the actions of someone in the past”. This driver reached at the hospital within 5minute to drop my parents safely at home. This incident did tell me that most of this world is revolving around money. I am determined to take this forward in whatever way I could, so that these people are considerate at least to those who are actually going through some pain. They may not be able to cure it, but they sure can avoid creating further headache. Since morning I have clicked two auto-drivers for asking obnoxious amount for short distances and for not going by meter. I hate doing this, but I am left with no choice.
This was Friday night. I wasn’t completely over with this when I sat down on my bed after coming out of the oven-like-kitchen in the afternoon. While I was confirming a friend of our meeting, I felt that the bed was shaking mildly but strong enough to alert me. I looked at the water in the bottle at the bed side and yes, it was trembling! I knew it was an earthquake which went on for over a minute. I just prayed at that very moment for it to be felt in Delhi only. Bhai called up to check if all was well with us. That’s when I got to know that Chandigarh was affected too. And as they live on the 6th floor, it was scarier there. They were all safe. I messaged a few close ones to ensure all were safe. And that’s when it had hit my mind that I dreaded the thought. I prayed it not to be anything like Ahmadabad in 2001 or Latur of 1993. Soon I read on WhatsApp group chats and Facebook, before switching on to the TV that it was Nepal this time with 7.9 intensity. The news of devastation was still not on air when I had set my foot out of home. I deliberately haven’t seen the pictures of destruction yet. But I happened to witness some of them on Facebook and I happened to see the CCTV footage of a hotel’s swimming pool. This was more than enough for me to push myself to google.
I am grateful for my blog. It lets me be me. I wish it could talk too, one voice that could have made me feel better.