Sunday, 13 September 2009

It's a Hard Rain Gonna Fall

New Dehli is awash with streams and puddles and it's steaming. The temperature outside is around 35 centigrade and it continues its monsoon. No one is left out of the downward cascade. Around the corner from the hospital is a slum. Sam described the moment they came upon it, trying to find their way back to their hotel. Dozens of women, bottoms up, using the lanes around and about for their personal toilets. He said that the smell was indescribable - as was the sight of such squalor juxtaposed with the skyscrapers of Delhi. I don't think that Zach will want to escape into this - without money or passport.

Things aren't too pretty in the hospital either. Ragesh is fed up with the situation that he's found himself in. The staff at the hospital don't treat him well. Class and caste distinction in India may have eradicated itself on paper but on the ground it exists well into the twenty-first century. Ragesh is a Tibetan Buddist. This is almost on a par, it would appear, with the dalits, or leatherworkers, of the lowest caste. He's called names and treated as Zach's skivvy and Zach, in his mania, isn't too nice to him either. What a gem he is. He's still there. I think that maybe he doesn't want to lose face and leave or that he's totally loyal to Zach or he's frightened to tell us that he wants to go. We ask him each time. 'Ragesh, do you want to go home? You can, you know. Don't feel that you have to stay with Zach...' But Ragesh demurs and he's still there. 'It's been the worst time of my life,' he told Rickey. What to do?

Then there's the other thing. The thing that Zach refuses to eat hospital food. Initially I felt that it was spoilt behaviour but remembering the swill that they served up in the clinic in Greece, I can guess that it's not Le Gavroche or even Wimpey. I've a bet that Wimpey would be gobbled down with alacrity. Indian hospital swill is probably not too inspiring. Being almost 6' and skinny as a broomstick, Zach could do with calories. He's not going to get them by going on hunger strike. I guess that other patients have their families bring in food from home. It's a bit far for us. Ragesh gets pizzas for him but one can't live on pizza alone.

So Zach's angry and he's kicking out and breaking stuff and I presume it's because he's hungry and the meds don't work properly without food and he's not well and it's all very frustrating being so far away and unable to do anything proactive. I thought, for about a minute or two, that I would go and then jumped back. What's the point? Apart from taking in food, within quarter of an hour Zach would be at my throat metaphorically and we would be shouting at one another.

So the rain continues to fall. Ragesh is bemoaning his fate and Zach is starving himself but not into submission. I've asked Chabad to visit him and take him something to eat. I've not heard back. It's a 'good deed' I said in my email. Hopefully someone will plop through the puddles and the downpours and deposit a pot of chicken soup on the hospital cot. Am I dreaming?


Anonymous said...

i read this, and sometimes i just cant believe that it's really going on. the more it goes the sadder it gets. the fact that zach is in no state to even realise what is going on about him. my heart goes out to you.

Shanade said...

I don't know what to say...I just wish it all wasn't happening. I check this blog every day to see how he's doing and keep hoping something good's gonna happen.

God, he seems so distant mind as well as miles.

Anonymous said...

Like the others, I wish and pray for Zach's situation to get better and for you to have peace of mind. Thinking of you all.

Ros Morris said...

Thanks everyone.