A daunting void

Imagine watching your loved one being tossed between wards like a sick, twisted game that humors all those around them

Sajeer Shaikh June 11, 2016
The writer is a student at Dow International Medical College and dedicated to creative writing and poetry

Imagine, if you can, watching a loved one getting their body pierced by a stream of bullets being emptied heartlessly into their system. Picture their blank, puzzled gaze into a daunting void as they collapse to the ground, bewildered about which gaping hole they should cover with their shaking, blood-soaked hands. Seep into their mind as they drown under a sea of relentless pain and never-ending questions, while all they can physically do is contort in dire discomfort while help arrives.

Imagine, if your mind allows, the journey to the hospital in a worn-out ambulance that refuses to pay heed to the bumps on the road. Your loved one lies passed out for the pain was too much to bear, but you sit there, holding his or her blood-stained hands in yours, seething with rage and overcome by indescribable sorrow and fear. Think about the way your blood would boil when you replay the scene in your head, failing to understand why the incident took place to begin with, or the clutches of fear around your neck as death hovers impatiently over the body of your loved one who has lost a staggering amount of blood already.

Imagine being the one who has to recount the incident — relive it as you explain frantically to one doctor, then another, a nurse and anyone else who asks to satiate their curiosity with blatant disregard for your state. Imagine pacing anxiously up and down the innards of a place that promises to heal, filled with men and women who have taken an oath to help anyone with any sort of ailment, thinking that perhaps, it has not yet been too late. Think about the desperate prayer that would escape your lips in such a time — the way you would wager with God to bestow His mercy on your loved one — promising prayers, charities and any other ways your frazzled mind can think of to thank, beg and appease God during that testing time, to turn the hand of fate in your favour.

Imagine being called upon and told that your loved one must be placed in a ward in which they do not belong, simply because they do not fit the description of masculine or feminine. Imagine watching them being tossed between the two wards like a sick, twisted game that humors all those around them, all while they clutch at ever weakening straws to hold on to life. Think about how, in that one moment, not only would you be overcome by disgust and rage, but would also lose hope and belief in humanity altogether. How would you feel while watching your loved ones life being tossed around as the precious grains of sand slip by, just to fit a definition by all these educated individuals who swore to save every single life?

Imagine, after the whole fiasco, when you finally manage to get a private ward and stand outside its door as the operation commences, only to find out that it is too late. Picture trudging towards the body of your loved one, cold now, much like the hearts of every member of that place, knowing that a lot could have been done, but was not, all because a handful of humans tried to play God by imposing their distorted definitions of right and wrong upon a dying individual.

Would you be able to see past the burning rage inside your soul? Would you be able to stop yourself from wanting to grab every staff member and shouting the fact that they would have saved a person, regardless of their gender, had they not been shrouded by a dense cloud of insensitivity and inhumanity? Would you be able to look another doctor, nurse, or person of authority in the eye ever again, with the same level of awe and respect that you previously held? Would you ever be able to stop replaying the events of that day?

What would you do?

Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2016.

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