Friday, March 11, 2011


Dilatation and curettage

She walks inside the gloomy corridor of a dilapidated building in the secluded corner of the street. She goes to the counter and addresses a stocky dark man sitting there with muck in his nails and moles on his face. He speaks very little and works only by gestures. He gives her a slip and indicates her to sit in the place provided by raising his right eyebrow. She crumples the polythene bag which she is carrying along between her thighs and crushes the piece of paper in her left hand. She walks in a direction opposite to the counter, moving hardly 10 steps and grabs a seat on the left. She settles herself and wipes the sweat on her forehead with one end of her yellow sari. She attempts to open the crushed piece of paper in her left hand and looks for the number written on it. Its 127. She looks all around and finds almost 200 women with bloated bellies with a similar piece of paper in their hands, waiting for their turn. The man on the counter shouts a number after every five minutes and every time a lady gets up from the end, goes inside the room next to the counter and another lady with a bloated belly comes out from inside the room. Sometimes it’s a happy lady. Sometimes it’s a sad lady. And sometimes a lady goes inside and doesn’t come out for hours. The man shouts 120. She starts getting up. Then a lady sitting by her side tells her that it’s not her turn. She feels thirsty and asks for a glass of water from the man on the counter. He raises his eyebrow to indicate the water cooler installed in the end of the corridor. She walks towards it, quenches her thirst and returns to her place. She sits down, closes her eyes and goes to sleep. Then the man shouts 127. He doesn’t see anybody getting up and going inside. He shouts again. She gets up in surprise, hesitatingly and almost stumbling on her way to the counter. The man looks at her with disgust while she crosses him and gets inside the room.

She keeps her polythene bag in the corner of the floor. A middle-aged bulky woman dressed in a white sari grabs her arm, almost crushing her fingers inside her flesh, takes her to the bed, gives her a white towel and tells her to lie on the bed. She lies on the stinking white bed sheet with stains of blood and mucus all over. The woman in white sari holds her legs, raises them, takes them apart and places them on either side of the bed, almost touching her abdomen. On her right side she sees a big machine with a small screen, a probe with a long handle and a panel with numerous buttons of various shapes and sizes. A tall man wearing a white coat and spectacles with a rectangular frame appears from behind the machine, grabs the handle of probe in the right, clutches a bottle of gel in his left hand, places it upside down, squeezes out the gel on the round of the probe, smears it all over and drops the bottle on the table. He then orders her to take a deep breath and inserts the probe inside her vagina without any prior notice. She closes her eyes and cries in pain. He rotates the probe inside for five minutes, slowly and carefully while watching the images on the screen. Then he takes out the probe, clicks a button on the panel and begins writing on a paper. He gives her the paper, lowers himself to the level of the bed and whispers in her ears. Then both of them converse quietly for few minutes. She gives a final nod and gets up from the bed. The woman in white sari grabs her right arm and takes her to another room behind the machine.

The woman in white sari hands her over to another similar woman in white sari. She is told to remove all her clothes including the undergarments. She undresses herself. Then the woman in white gives her a torn green gown and a mask to wear. She wears the gown and follows the woman. She walks down a long cold corridor with doors and doors on either side and sees lot of people wearing similar gowns and masks on their face. She is taken inside one of the rooms. The room is cold, made up of four bare cemented walls with a naked steel bed placed in the center. It stinks of flesh, blood and dead rats. The woman in white tells her to lie down similarly as she lied before on the scanning table. As soon as she lies down, a group of five people, men and women, dressed in green gowns with masks on their face rush inside. She is then asked to turn to one side with thighs touching her chest. A syringe is loaded and injected in her backbone. She cries in pain. She is switched in her previous position after five minutes and her arms are strapped on the side rests of the bed tightly with a Velcro tape. The people surround her from all sides. Two of them stand on either side of her breasts. Other two stand holding her both the legs. And the fifth one stands between her legs. He looks at the trolley on his right. He examines it carefully to make sure. He then takes some gel on first two fingers of his right hand and inserts them inside the vagina. He takes them out and mutters something to his assistant on the left. He then starts inserting metal dilators of increasing diameters inside her cervical canal, pushes them inside one by one until he is able to dilate it sufficiently enough for the rest of the procedure and finally places them back on the trolley. He then takes a curette and inserts it inside her vagina. He scrapes it all around against the walls of her uterus and continues doing it for five minutes. He finally takes it out and places it in a kidney tray. He inserts his fingers again for the last time and gives it a wash with warm saline. He reassures her and advises her to take the prescribed medicines for few days. She is then transferred to a stretcher and taken to the adjoining room. She rests there for some time. Then the woman in white sari comes to her with a kidney tray in her right hand and shows it to her. She raises her head, takes a look at it and turns her face to other side. A tear rolls down her eye and she sobs in the silence of the room.

Some pieces of dead, blood stained flesh, worth few grams, removed from inside her body were lying inside the kidney tray. They were dead. And they had been removed from her body. Forever and for good.

They say it was a girl. And it weighed 300 grams.

मौत - भाग २

कई बार सोचता हूँ,
फिर सोच के मुस्कुराता हूँ,
और मुस्कुराते हुए कहता हूँ
कि नहीं हो सकता,
ऐसा कभी नहीं हो सकता,
भला ऐसा भी हुआ है कभी,
मैं भी कितना पागल हूँ,
फिर लगता है सोचने में
क्या हर्ज़ है,
कौन सा सोच पे कोई क़र्ज़
लगता है,
सोच भी अपनी है,
वक़्त भी अपना है,
और ज़िन्दगी भी अपनी ही
तो है,
सपना ही मान लेते हैं
चलो इसे,
सपने तो होते ही ऐसे हैं,
हकीकत और ज़िन्दगी से
कोसों दूर,
अपनी ही दुनिया में मस्त,
फिर भी उन्हें देखने का अपना
ही मज़ा है,
सच न हुए तो क्या,
एक उम्मीद तो रहती है न,
कि काश कभी ऐसा हो जाये,
ज़िन्दगी नई सी लगती है,
धुली हुई,
साफ़ सुथरी,
शहर के धुंए से दूर,
कहीं किसी गाँव में बसी हुई…
ऐसा ही कुछ सोचा है मैंने,
कहना चाहो तो कह सकते
हो एक सपना,
कि मौत अगर ज़िन्दगी से पहले
आ जाए तो कैसा होगा,
ज़िन्दगी ही ज़िन्दगी होगी,
बिना किसी ख्वाहिश के,
बिना किसी खौफ के,
और बिना किसी सरहद के,
सच में,
मौत अगर ज़िन्दगी से पहले
आ जाये तो कैसा होगा,
ज़िन्दगी सिर्फ ज़िन्दगी होगी,
बिना किसी अंत के,
बिना किसी लक्ष्य के,
और बिना किसी सहारे के,
सिर्फ ज़िन्दगी…
सच में,
मौत अगर ज़िन्दगी से पहले
आ जाये तो कैसा होगा...