Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Out of the noise, chaos and poverty, comes beauty, perfection and innocence

We wake up on Tuesday morning to numerous texts and missed calls. Karthik's wife is in labour and they are at the hospital or that's what we work out from his texts "Sir, I think I"ll be seeing my baby in a few hours"

So born 6 weeks early is a healthy little girl. However, this being Karthik, there is drama!!!

It seems he has no money to pay for the delivery (it is after all approaching the end of the month and the baby was early). Simon decided that we would pay for the delivery, but only if I pay direct to the hospital.

So my next adventure unfolds. As taxis seemed in short supply at that time,  it seemed a rick was in order. The hospital is on the far side of town so Sweetie decides she should come with me. So, for over an hour we bump along the streets of Bangalore, in the heat of the day, maximum pollution levels, dust flying everywhere and eventually arrive at our destination.

Outside this old and run down looking building there are people trying to do the laundry of their sick relatives which is then hung on the rails to dry, no laundry or food provided in these wards. Karthik, looking happy, relieved and exhausted comes out to meet me. "Mam, you're not going to like it in here". "Its fine" I said, "Mam you're REALLY not going to like it in here" he repeats and this goes on until we reach the ward. The beds are about 18 inches apart and the room is packed, maybe 40 beds each occupied. People in all sorts of medical states, mostly with a variety of relatives in attendance from Grandparents to kids. There's a lot of noise. It looks like a ward you'd see in a war zone.

Kathik points to a bed at the end of the room and there sitting cross legged on the bed, against the wall, a vision of peace and calm, his gorgeous (even 6 hours after giving birth) wife and next to her this perfect, peaceful, sleeping daughter.

The night was full of trauma - due to his lack of funds Karthik had had to sign a form saying that, as the baby was so early, if there had been a problem he acknowledged that they wouldn't save her.  He'd then had to wait outside the delivery room not knowing........until he heard his baby cry.

People at the hospital who had very little, seeing him in a worse plight than they themselves were in, had lent him money - bits and pieces from lots of people, he didn't now, united by their poverty at this hospital, had clubbed together and his baby was born.

It was so wonderful to see the new born and to hear how these strangers with so little were big enough to help someone in more need than themselves, so much we can learn here, I didnt really notice the rest of the hospital or the long bumpy ride home!


  1. Great blog Helen (and experience). I look forward to ready more of your bumpy adventures! Nancy

  2. The poor have so much to teach us about generosity.

  3. Joan - so true, Helen

  4. Its amazing how so many billions of people live hand to mouth and have nothing set aside even for something important such as a birth. On the other hand, if you have people around to help out in tough times, that may be as good as a savings account.