Monday, 24 August 2009

Monsoons, slums and the waiting game

The first thing on waking up. The last thing on going to sleep. When you wake up in the middle of the night, it's there, like a shadow, spreading itself over your supine body. It doesn't go away. There's always a tinge of it, whether you are watching a film: yes, I remember him like that too. Reading a book, concentration is lacking. How can you work, you ask yourself. You have to get on and try to push the thoughts to the back, so that they don't take precedence over everything. Then it's a Pyrrhic victory because then the overriding emotion is guilt. Guilt that it ever happened. Guilt that you were a party to it and guilt that it takes so much of you and that those who deserve equal sentiments are denied.

A young Australian intern at the neurological hospital in Delhi emailed us. 'The past few days,' she wrote, 'he's been very manic, aggressive and agitated, as you no doubt know and today he's quite a bit calmer. This is definitely due to his medications. Today was the first day that he's not been delusional.' This morning Ragesh called and Zach tried to speak with Sam. Pointless, as he was so full of these delightful meds that he was unable to articulate a word, save for asking for Sam and Rickey to 'take him out for a meal.' He doesn't, therefore, seem to be in a place yet where he knows what's happening. I doubt that it's the meds doing this, it's where his head is.

There's really nothing that we can do from this end. Phone calls to the hospital are difficult to arrange because the consultant has his own methods of doing things. He has his various hospital consultation hours and then the time that he spends at Zach's hospital is spread out between the number of patients there. We'd like to know what's happening, though. Be brought up to date. Find out whether there's some light at the end of the tunnel, although I know from past experience, that this is just the beginning and it's going to take weeks.

From mixed messages by way of Ragesh last week, Sam got the impression that maybe Ragesh wouldn't last the distance, notwithstanding his sudden increase in wealth; that the time spent with Zach was so fraught, that it wouldn't even be worth his new status. However Rickey spoke with Ragesh and somehow Ragesh's fears have been allayed - for now.

So the monsoon continues its downpours onto the sodden Delhi streets and the malodorous and monstrous slums that abut the hospital and we wait, all the while our waking moments are wondering and imagining how things are there and whether it was all worth it.

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