Thursday, 13 August 2009

New Delhi's Finest and a Psychiatric Hospital among the high rises

Phone calls, texts, hidden messages. It all costs one hell of a lot. Hate to think what my mobile bill is going to be like at the end of the month. Calls from London. Now calls from Delhi. Hot. 40 centigrade and counting and it's muggy and dirty and full of traffic and road works and building. Any they're fed up and tired and exhausted and on edge and Rickey almost biffed Zach yesterday. Don't know who stopped him. Quite understand him. Have been there. Have every item of clothing that matches.

The story so far: hour upon hour upon hour in a car with a driver from Leh to Srinagar. Zach completely deluded. They managed (more later) to get to the lake and from there to rent an absolutely splendid houseboat in a bucolic setting among other houseboats from a delightful man who told Sam he could use his cell phone at 'any time.' Zach drove them all crazy. He wanted to go and party in town. Rickey took time out to be on his own and Sam had duty. Worse than at any time, he told me. Worse than Greece (although he wasn't there - but, of course, Zach had already been in jail and hospital there by the time I had arrived); worse than Chaing Mai. There, too, he had been in hospital for a month, at least. And I remember the time that I met him at Heathrow with the scowling nurse the first time that he was repatriated from Thailand. Mad as a hatter then, too.

Srinagar, Sam tells me, is the most wonderful place. We have to go back. I'd love to. Sans Zach, bien sur. Zach shouted and screamed obscentities and broke china and glass and, somehow, managed to get more drugs. How, surrounded as he was by others and by Sam and Rickey, is beyond my imagination. But they get drugs in jail, on psychiatric wards... No doubt there was always someone ready to supply but he didn't have any money. How did he pay them?

Just two days and then another journey to Srinagar airport where, Sam told me quite astoundingly, the security made Israel appear totally lacking (although you never actually feel the security there...) As had been the case in Athens, Zach behaved like a totally revolting toddler. No concept of other people. No concept of his behaviour. No concept of the consequences of his behaviour. He lit a cigarette. They confiscated his boarding card. Sam flung the letter from the High Commissioner under their noses. Somehow they allowed him to board the plane.

On board the saga continued. Notwithstanding having fed Zach barbiturates to make him sleep, he drove them all mad. I'm surprised that they simply didn't open a hatch and push him out. God knows I've felt like it...

Sam made the decision that there was no way that they could get Zach to hospital in Delhi themselves. He called his guy there and an ambulance was waiting, practically on the tarmac. A doctor, two nurses and a strong guy who drove. This was plus Sam and Rickey. In his state, Zach thought it was the airport bus. Even though there was a huge red cross on the outside, he somehow couldn't put two and two together. His behaviour, however, within the confines of the ambulance (probably aided and abetted by two very pissed off compadres) was disgusting. There was no doubt that he was, to put it mildly, 'insane.'

So, at the time of writing, Sam and Rickey are sitting down to dinner (and strong drinks, too, I hope). Zach has been 'sedated.' A meeting is scheduled for tomorrow morning and a plan is being conceived of. Is there such a thing as a room where no drugs can be smuggled through? A doctor who can reach him? A light to shine into his befuddled brain? I mean, Ketamin two days into his holiday. I ask you...


Wendy said...

At least they are all safe and able to call on support. Thinking of you all

Ros Morris said...

Ithink that they all need support! Thanks Wendy.