Home > Reality bites > The Sounds of Silence

The Sounds of Silence

A strange aura- foreign, unknown- permeates through the corridors of Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow. It hesitates at first, for this is a virgin territory. Then, it firmly establishes itself in the labyrinths of an organisation which never sleeps and the air becomes heavy with the realisation, that, time has stood still.

Last week, I entered the lab only to learn that there was going to be a strike because of some political hotch-potch regarding the governance of the institute. The next day, I found that all the staff members had congregated in front of the Administrative building and were giving speeches etc. Work was slow. Later on, the patients were shifted to other hospitals. When we returned from lunch, the mass exodus was complete. I felt like I was in some military research facility and not a medical institute.

PGI has not witnessed a strike of this proportion in its entire life. The place that was always alive- punctuated with death and despair, hope and happiness- is now deserted. Devoid of bustling human forms rushing with multivariate urgency, barren except for us research people who are unaffected by almost everything that disrupts a normal human life. Desolation and silence prowl the corridors. Footsteps and heartbeats resound in haunting synchrony.

Day Two of the strike, even the roads are empty. Normally one has to snake one’s way around bewildered patients, their worried relatives and lots of monkeys waiting to snatch fruits from the visitors. I almost miss the intruders as I saunter on this strange, uninhabited planet. Thoughts of the inconvenience caused to patients are enveloped by a need to reflect upon this new mantle that my surroundings have donned. Things have become slow, lackadaisical.

As I return to my room, I hope for the sake of everyone involved that the strike is called off soon. Somewhere down the line, there is the crazy idea that I may get used to the quietness that currently lingers. Let me savour this novel experience and stash it away in the annals of memory. We shall talk about it often, when life retreats behind the façade of normality. It might even be missed.

And now, a compromise has been reached, the protestors stand triumphant, patients are flocking to the hospital, doctors and nurses have returned to their work stations and of course, the PhD students still remain blissfully ensconced in their special life which is immune to those happenings which mar the peaceful existence of others. The flurry is back. The quietude surreptitiously goes back into hibernation- an invisible leviathan waiting for its next wake-up call. So long, Silence!

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Categories: Reality bites
  1. mom
    June 5, 2009 at 8:31 am

    This is very well written.Words and expresions are enviably superb!! Are you a science bug or a literateaur? Proud of you all the same.

  2. June 7, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Incidents such as these reverberate with the fact that only change is constant – what was once will not be tomorrow – hustle-bustle will transit to stoned silence and silence will give way to cacophony! As beings destined to charter individual courses, the change will inflict injury or bestow pleasure, and after we have soared on the wings of change to destinations predestined, we will realize we were only steadfast numbers in the cosmic clock – the hands were moved by forces unseen, unknown, unhindered, and unsympathetic …

    Nice blog, subtle and lyrical in its quality – keep writing!

  3. Arpita Myles
    June 8, 2009 at 9:36 am

    wow…that’s some vocabulary and flow u exhibited in just a comment! its genetic, i guess.

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