Finally received Indian passport

I finally got my passport and believe me it took more than eleven months. I had applied for it last year in February and got it this year in January. I went through all the crazy bureaucracy and corruption. The whole process starting from buying the application to getting the passport in hand was full of giving bribing and craziness. Police was supposed to verify my documents by coming to my home and meeting me in person but I went to the police station and they asked me for Rs.600 and never came to my place.

LIU (Local Intelligence Unit which is very intelligent in asking for bribe and is crazy when it comes to do something real) was also supposed to verify me by coming to place and check my documents but I meet the officer in a hospital room where his wife was admitted. It was so funny that I got a call from one LIU officer saying that he had my documents for passport and he wanted to meet me. I asked him what time would he come to my place but he said that his wife was sick and was admitted in a hospital so he gave me address of this hospital and asked me to meet him there.

I went to the hospital and this crazy officer took me to the room where his wife was admitted. His wife was a really fat sick lady laying down on a bed. She had an ideal look of an Indian government corrupt officer’s wife whose husband gets a lot of bribe. This officer just looked at my documents and asked for Rs. 600 as bribe. My friends had suggested me to give him only Rs. 300 so I tried to bargain but he said that my Rs. 600 would be divided in equal parts to all the officers at LIU office and finally I gave him Rs. 600.

After taking money from me this crazy officer asked me to teach him English. It was so funny. I started laughing, I just did not know what to say him. I suggested him a few schools and just left the hospital. He told me something really interesting while I was talking with him in the hospital. I asked him why didn’t he come to my place to verify my address and documents and he said that they are mostly concerned about people with beard. He meant to say that they are mostly concerned about Muslims.

I was wondering if Hindus or other religion people could not be a terrorist. How can he think like that? There is no such country in the world where terrorism is not there and it is hard for me to believe that terrorism spreads without local help. All kinds of people, community and religion is involved in it. What if I was also a terrorist? It was sad to see the way LIU is working. We are so much affected by terrorism now and these institutions seem more responsible for it to me.

Banaras Hindu University Hospital cancer treatment for Prabhu

My friend, Prabhu, got sick a few days ago. He was in extreme pain from a stomachache. He was taken to the BHU (Benares Hindu University) emergency ward immediately. Doctors checked him and said that he had some serious problem. Prabhu wanted to be admitted to the hospital but doctors there did not want to admit him. They said that there was no empty bed in the emergency ward. They told Prabhu’s parents to go upstairs and see if there was any bed available in the general ward. Prabhu’s family went to the general ward and found that the general ward also did not have any empty bed.

Prabhu was in extreme pain and he was crying but doctors did not want to see him. Finally Prabhu’s family decided to take him to some other hospital. They took him to a hospital called Mata Anandmayi Hospital, Bhadaini but same thing was there also- no bed. Prabhu was still crying and now he almost fainted. They took him again to BHU but the doctors were showing strange behavior. Now they did not want to talk to Prabhu’s family. Prabhu’s father even touched the feet of the doctors requesting them to treat Prabhu but these crazy doctors were telling the same thing again and again that there was no seat available in the hospital.

They asked the doctors to at least start the medication but they did not want to do this either. It seemed like they just did not want to see Prabhu. They again took him to Mata Anandmayi Hospital but again the same thing- this hospital still did not have a seat. They did not want to go to some other hospital because these two hospitals were government hospitals and were cheap. They were more looking for BHU because it was big and it had lots of advanced facilities. They again went to BHU and this time the doctor just threw Prabhu’s papers and told them to get out of hospital and do not come again.

Prabhu’s pain had started in the early morning and it was evening time now but still he could not get any medication. Prabhu’s parents were so angry that they started yelling at the doctors and other employees of the hospital. Finally the doctors called the security guards and asked them to kick Prabhu’s family out of the hospital. Now Prabhu’s family did not know what to do. One of Prabhu’s friends knew the ex-president of the students union of BHU. He thought to call him and ask for help.

They called him and told him everything. The ex-president called the doctor and said that Prabhu was his relative and then this doctor said that Prabhu should have told them before about his relationship. Doctors said that they will arrange a bed for Prabhu. After the call of this president, the doctors arranged a bed for Prabhu. I don’t know where they brought this bed from. I think they already had a bed but they just did not want to admit Prabhu for whatever reason. Well, finally Prabhu was admitted to the hospital at 11 o’clock night time. �

They did all the testing and started medication. Prabhu was getting better now but then doctors said that they would operate on Prabhu. They said it would be better if this operation was done at PGI, Lucknow. Prabhu’s family brought Prabhu to PGI, Lucknow and again they had to face the same situation. PGI doctors also said that they did not have a bed. Prabhu’s brother knew some very famous Baba in Lucknow. He called this Baba and the Baba called to the hospital and after this call they said that they could arrange a bed for Prabhu.

He was admitted to the hospital for a few hours and then doctors came and checked him for a minute, looked at the old reports and said that he had colon cancer. They also said that they will have to operate on him but still they can not guarantee that he will be alive even for next ten days. They asked Prabhu’s family to immediately deposit Rs. 1,25,000 ($2,500). As Prabhu heard that doctors wanted to operate on him and they said said that they did know if Prabhu would be alive after the operation, Prabhu asked his parents to bring him back to Benares. He said that if he has to die then he would prefer dying in Benares.

This news spread in my neighborhood like a fire in the jungle. Everybody was so sad that Prabhu had cancer. We could not believe that he was going to die. Everybody was so sad. Prabhu came to Benares and I wanted to see him but I did not find myself brave enough to see him. There is a very famous cancer research center in Mumbai called TATA Memorial Center. I suggested Prabhu’s family to take him to TATA Memorial. I called my friend Alok in Mumbai and told him about the situation. I asked him to take an appointment with the TATA Memorial to talk about Prabhu.

I emailed him all Prabhu’s medical reports. Alok took the appointment for the same day and talked to the doctors and showed them all the reports, and TATA’s doctors said after looking at those reports nobody could say that the patient had cancer. They said that if the doctors at PGI had said that the patient had cancer after looking at those reports, then they were wrong. Alok called me and gave this beautiful news. I was so happy to hear that Prabhu did not have cancer. Prabhu was admitted at some private hospital now. I immediately went to see Prabhu and gave them this news.

Prabhu and his family, everyone started crying from happiness. Everybody was so happy. Doctors operated on him at that private hospital and now Prabhu is a lot better. He is back home now and feels normal. Doctors have connected a plastic tube to his intestine to discharge stool but doctors say that he will be alright and they will remove this plastic tube within the next six months. �Prabhu is now scared of BHU and never wants to go there again for any reason. Even though it is cheaper for him to get medication at BHU, he just doesn’t want to think about it.

My baby fell down from a chair and broke his head a few days ago. He was bleeding hard. We took him immediately to the BHU emergency ward. BHU has two registration counters. One opens during day time and other one, which is in the emergency ward, opens after the first one closes. The emergency ward registration counter is supposed to close at 8 o’clock. I had reached there around 7.15 and the counter was already closed which means at this time there was no registration going on anywhere in BHU, crazy. The doctor asked me to get a registration paper. I went to the registration counter and found it closed.�

I asked a few security guards sitting there about how to get a registration paper and they told me enter the room from the back-door. I got inside the room from back-door and saw two people counting the money. I asked him to make a registration paper for my baby but he seemed more busy with counting the money. At the same time another person who wanted to register his patient, opened the window and asked for a registration. The person sitting at the counter became angry at him and asked him very loudly how dare he to open the window. The person at the window said that it was emergency case and doctors had asked him to bring the registration paper and since the window was closed, where could he get it if he had not opened the window.

This made the clerk more angry and he hit his hand with the shutter of the window. Now his hand was stuck in the window and this crazy clerk was hitting his hand again and again. That person was in pain for sure. Finally the clerk closed the window and I don’t know what happened with the patient. Maybe they waited for the general registration counter to open or went to some other hospital. Then the clerk looked at me and asked why did I come inside his room. I was already angry after seeing his behavior so I was also speaking very loudly in Benares language, to make him aware that I was local, that doctor had sent me to get a registration paper.�

The clerk told the other person sitting there to make a registration paper for me. I went with the registration paper to the doctor and then the doctor made me write that I was the guardian of the baby, that baby had fallen down from the chair and that I would not go to the police in the future for this case. After this they started looking at my baby and asked me to buy nylon thread for stitching and some other medicines because they did not have anything. It was crazy that the emergency ward of BHU did not have nylon thread. I have heard that BHU employees sell the stuff that they get to use for patients.

I left the baby with my brother at the hospital and went out to get the medicines. After I came back with the thread and other medicines, the doctors asked me to wait because there was no doctor who could do stitching. It was 7.45 now and they asked me to wait for 15 more minutes. I waited for 15 minutes and then I again asked them if the doctor had come and they again told me to wait for few more minutes. My baby was still bleeding and crying but there was no doctor to do stitching in an emergency service center of a big hospital. After an hour few junior doctors (students) came. I asked them to look after the baby and they told me that they could not do it without permission of a senior doctor. They also asked me to wait for a little more time.

I did not know what to do. I was in a hospital but there was no doctor available. Finally after an hour and a half those junior doctors decided to start stitching. My baby’s medication was started after an hour and a half of reaching to the hospital. And this all happened in BHU which is one of the biggest hospitals of Uttar Pradesh. I am also so scared of BHU like Prabhu is and I have decided that I will never ever go back to BHU for any case. I got my baby’s stitches removed at some other hospital.

All the government hospitals are in the same condition- they do not care about the people. Their employees just care about the money. BHU makes a huge amount of money. They host international conferences. People from all over the world come to BHU to do research but the reality is something different. I often hear people talking about the bad services of BHU hospital because they always make the same mistakes again and again. Most of the patients who come to BHU are poor people from out of Varanasi. It is really bad for us because health insurance is still not popular in India and most of the people do not have it. We can not go to any private hospitals because they are so expensive and these government services are awful. After this crazy experience anyone would be compelled to wonder if the hospitals are made to save the life or kill?

Pending

I think it has become our compulsion to use the word “Pending” again and again. Maybe we use this word most in the whole world. We have most number of legal cases pending before courts in the whole world. People file a case and spend their lives but never get any result. Now people feel better settling the case on their own. I never want to go either to the police or to the court for any reason.

If I go to the police then I have to bribe them and if I go to court then I have to bribe and wait both until the judgement is given. And sometimes judges are also bribed and their judgement is not judgement. Once I filed a case against a computer shop from where I had bought a computer about eight years ago. I filed this case because he had given me wrong price. The same computer I had bought from him was worth Rs. 23,000 but he wanted to charge me 43,000.

I told him to either give my money back or take the computer back. He took the computer back and gave me two post dated bank cheques. When I went to the bank to get my money from his account, the bank clerk said that there was no money in his account. I informed the computer seller about it and he told me to go to the bank again after few days. I did it several times but never got any money.

Finally I decided to go to the court for it and filed a case. It took more than seven years and a lot of my personal time and lawyer’s fee and finally judgement was given in computer’s seller guy. I had made the computer guy write on stamp paper that he took my computer and had given post dated cheques, I had receipt of the computer, I had everything to prove that I was cheated but still judge gave judgement in favor of computer guy because he was bribed. So it took eight years and no judgement.

I had applied for a tour guide license two years ago but have not got it yet. The whole process is stuck in the several courts of India. First of all it took almost one year for government to see the paper and organize exam and then later old guys sued government because they don’t want new blood to come in this sector. Even though I have qualified the exam but Government has been giving temporary license which nobody likes at all, we need training and a permanent license. I don’t know when I will have the training and permanent license, but doesn’t seem like I will get it within next one year.

I applied for one other tour guide license which is issued by state government about two and a half years ago and same thing with this program as well. Government was sued by old guides and the case is still pending in the court. To be honest I had forgotten about it and I believe it must be same with everyone. We had to pay Rs. 500 with application which doesn’t seem to come back to us again. Maybe this exam will never ever be organized because we have not heard of any hearing of this case.

I applied for a registration for paying guest house before one and a half year but have not got it yet. They call me after ever fifteen-twenty days and tell the same thing that they are doing survey and will start issuing the license soon. Once they told me to apply again because they had lost my papers. It was not expensive to apply, but it again took at least few hours. I have been hosting guests at my place without having license. I just inform to the local intelligence unit but I will feel better if I have a license.