27 Jan 2013

My Little Talk To A Stranger

You meet a random person and start talking… what happens next?  Anything could happen, right…? Perhaps it could be a life changing one to you.. That person could have become your best friend for life or your better half… or could have made you happy or otherwise in that small moment… Or you could have learnt a value for life from that random person… or at least with the amount of talk and interests, you could have added them in your facebook friends list… Or just a passerby with no effect at all...

One sunny afternoon, I was sitting in the reception of this hospital for special illness. All alone and bored, as my friend went in to meet her relative who has been admitted there in its hostel. While I was fiddling with my phone, a lady came out of the office room and sat jus opposite to me. A nice woman must be in her late 30s, with a nicely draped saree and with jasmine flowers on her neatly braided hair. We smiled at each other. Then I continued with my angry birds… She was sitting there waiting for someone and guess as bored as I am in that post lunch time.

She initiated the talks with me…  ‘Hi are you here to visit someone..?’
I said.. ‘Yeah… I am with my friend here… she has gone in to meet her uncle. What about you?’

‘I work here…’ She came and sat beside me.

She continued to complaint about the hot weather…

Then suddenly she grabbed my hands…  ‘Please can you do me a favor?

I was perplexed and in my own thoughts… Whats she doing…??? Before I could utter anything out, she started weeping…

‘I live with my parents after my girl is born. Now they sent me here cos they feel I am a burden to them as my mother in law is trying to separate me from my husband... Here they are not letting me to make calls. My 6 month old girl is with my husband now. No one comes to visit me and no calls either. I wanna talk to my husband. Please can you help me…?’

Her grip got tighten. I was bit scared. I dint know what I should do then… I wanted to release her hands off me…

‘Can you lend me your phone so I can talk to my husband…?’ she literally begged me with her pitiful eyes…

I started getting doubts that she might be an in-patient…

Tears rolled down her eyes… I was confused and stared at her… then I gave her my phone not knowing if I was doing the right thing. And she tried calling a number but that was not in reach. She gave me back wiping her tears off, ‘It’s not working…’

After that she sat silent for sometime… and went inside without a word… But in a few minutes she came back again and sat next to me and handed me a slip and whispered.

‘Please call this number and ask him to take me back… I believe you’ll help me get back to my family’  While she was thrusting that slip in my hand, a woman who looked like a warden came there and took her inside the room gently… she went with her without any fuss, talking to her something in low voice, hoping I would help her, I guess.

Later through another nurse working in the desk, I got to know the hospital rules that they do not let family members to call or visit the patients often so that it helps the patients act independent and to manage their illness, Schizophrenia. I was in a state of… I really didn't know… what to feel for her… sympathy or empathy?? Poor soul…

Then my friend came and soon we left the place. We started discussing something else and I almost forgot that woman and continued my day… later at night when I was emptying my bag, I found that slip… That number in the slip and the number she dialed are one n the same…

Suddenly her schizophrenic illness came to my mind, I didn't know what to assume or what to conclude… I was in a dilemma whether to make that call or not… ‘Ok’ I said to myself ‘let me dial one time. If it works, ok fine. Let me talk. Else no need to worry about it…’

I was about to dial the number but then a thought came in… Doctor knows better. If she was not letting her making calls then it’s for her own good only… so I made up my mind not to make the call. That crumbled slip is still in my cupboard… It’s been almost 6 months now and that woman’s pale face is still fresh in my memory.  I feel bad at times for I couldn't be of any help to her if she really needed it then… I didn't know her name. And I didn't even know what she said was true or merely a hallucination, out of her illness…

I was least aware that day… those few minutes talk to a stranger could make me feel guilty this long…

But one thing I realized then... Whatever their illness is, the patients should be treated in a friendly way and utmost care by the family, even though we are supposed to let them act independently without our help…

Do you think what I did was a right thing?? Or should I have called that number??

Almost everyday, I pray for her to get better and reunited with her family. That’s the only thing I can do to her as of now… to this woman who is still a puzzling stranger to me… the woman who still haunts me with her pitiful eyes…

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda


  1. awesome narration:) i could picture that easily :):)

  2. I know about this, having hands-on experience in dealing with someone close suffering from it :( They need comfort & most of all love.Had it been me,I might have called that number...

  3. Hmmm, well a part of me that's emotional and feels pain, says that you should have made the call. Maybe the other person might have known about this condition and may have just dropped in to spend some time with her. Maybe they left her there because of her condition and now she was finding it difficult to cope up with the situation inside the hospital.

    However, there's also a part which says that sometimes for a person's own well-being, one must have a heavy heart and take the tough path.

    Lovely take on the prompt. Good going.
    Wish you luck for the contest :)


    My Newest Blog Post | My Entry to Indiblogger Get Published

  4. Nice read.Most of us have such a piquant situations in life. I think what you have done is right.

  5. Tough call!
    Lovely narration!
    Best wishes for the contest!

  6. Wonderfully written!
    All the best Meera:)

  7. Just call :) I'm a sucker for helping people, even if it doesn't end up helping them

  8. Tough Call but I guess you should have called, may be just to listen that she is patient and is under hallucination. It might have bought you piece of mind. More than that there is hardly you could have done for her. So relax!

  9. I don't know but I am someone who lives on the edge, so I would have called and made up some story. That's what I think but you never know what you do when you have to face it. Don't feel guilty about it, it happens with almost everyone of us. Stuck in a situation and don't know how to act and regretting it later.

  10. What a story! Great narration. I'd go through everything you are going through. For closure I'd probably go to the hospital and talk to the docs there about the incident and let them advice..

  11. Was she delusional, or was she telling the truth? Maybe she was admitted by a concerned family, maybe she was confined to the hospital as she said? It could have been nothing, or everything.

    In fact, I'm not sure if this was a true incident or fiction. Just goes to prove how well-written this is, that it makes one question reality!

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. really thought provoking...felt a pain for the lady.

  14. Beautiful narration Rat. You feeling guilty about not helping a stranger, means that you are a good human being who cares for others. May be I would have done the same thing if I were in your situation.

  15. If I were you, I would have called that number or better ask the hospital staff about more details. Well!!! Paranoid needs more of family affection than hospital treatment.

    Surbhi Bafna
    Silly smiles.. Take you miles

  16. superb narration..
    "I pray for her to get better and reunited with her family" - this shows your humanity.

  17. tanx for post and share
    چگونه باسنی بزرگ داشته باشیم


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