Packages

“Packages” used to mean parcels either boxed or soft packets, neatly wrapped. Remember “brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favourite things…” Today, packages seldom refer to those. Even if you type on Google (whether in singular or plural), you have a whole list of tour packages to pick from. Unless you add “meaning” to packages/package, you would never know on the search engine that it meant “an object or group of objects wrapped in paper or packed in a box”!!
Credits: americanas.com.br
                       

Seems rather lame to write a blog on packages, you would think! Ordinarily, I wouldn’t think of such a mundane topic either. After all, the aim isn’t to shoo people away! Well, something happened yesterday that got me thinking of packages. Package deals are everywhere today- in tourism, in beauty parlours (bridal package), for health check up (Women’s package!), Study packages, career tool packages and so on. So, what’s the big deal?!

                      
My father had to undergo a glaucoma correction surgery which was the third (after two mishaps) and was mighty essential to save whatever remained of his vision in the left eye. He had met with the doctor who was recommended by his retina doctor- an institution in herself. My parents were put at ease after this meeting, as the doctor was a confident one, sure of herself and her work. This does wonders for the patient. It worked for them too. She had said that he was in a bad way and that the surgery ought not to be delayed. The following Thursday was assigned and just as in all big hospitals, the doctor and patient were not to meet again till D-Day. All other clarifications were to be done by her secretary of sorts.

All details and requirements taken, the next week saw a lot of blood tests and report collecting apart from the mental preparation to undergo the procedure, especially since the previous two hadn’t worked. And then, on the day prior, it was fixed that my husband and I would accompany my father on the big day. The grand hospital would demand a lot of running around and my mother would find it very tiring and so, even though both my parents were not happy with this arrangement, we adamantly, stood our ground. Ma would stay at home and attend to my kids who would be back from school, with lots of stories to tell, considering it was their first day after vacations. In retrospect, it was indeed a good decision.

Credits: iapb.org
The D Day arrived and we left ahead of time, to err on the positive side, if at all. The traffic was unforgiving and relentless. We reached dot on time, which was noon. It was a grand hospital; neat, pleasant-smelling, and didn’t make you desperate to get away, like most hospitals do! We made our way from one reception counter to another and soon were on the second floor outside the Glaucoma department. My father met with the Doctor who had operated on him first and they chatted as old friends, while I watched with a half-hearted smile, since the first surgery had gone wrong. My father, of course, continues to believe that he was the best and things do go wrong from time to time. Shortly after, the doctor led us to a receptionist and told her to guide us on all procedures that would finally lead us to the OT.

Thus began our room hunt. It was like those games we see on TV, complete a challenge and get back before you are given the key to the next. Numbers were thrown at us and a finger gave us the general direction and we ran. The first room had the physician who would check the papers and take down all details necessary. To reach her, we had to get past the attendant who was at once, rude and casual. My father, a typical Scorpio, with a short fuse was ready to give it to him and it was my task to calm him down. His BP had to remain stable and he was off the BP pill for the day. This man then asked either my husband or me to leave which irritated my father even more- not because the demand was unreasonable but the manner was shoddy. My father’s body language was changing now and I grew tense even as the man noticed the same. He repeated the same thing, this time looking at me and very politely! The Scorpio was then pacified. I chose to remain with Daddy as he could be bullied (very mildly) by me but my husband, who is a gem, would really not know what to do if my Dad got into one of his difficult moods.

The next half hour carried on, in this manner till we finally got a clean chit to go to the fourth floor for admission into surgery. By this time, tension was building up, though all three of us were pretending that we walked in and out of surgery every other day. Finally, we stood before the Doctor’s secretary and he explained what was to be done and just as we were about to leave, he asked, “Aapka kaunsa package hai?” (What is your package?) The three of us stared at him and then at each other and then we grinned in disbelief and asked in unison, “Kya package?” (What package?) He said, “Deluxe, Elite ya Exclusive” and before we could respond he said “Nahi, Exclusive nahi aata aapke surgery mein” (Exclusive option doesn’t come as a choice for your surgery).

Just imagine the plight of a patient about to enter the OT, when he gets asked such a question. So we asked him what those options meant. He replied in a robotic manner, “Deluxe 61,500/- Elite 40,000”. The margin was huge making us wonder whether an intern does the Elite package and the HOD does the Deluxe package. Not a very happy thought for a patient. So we asked him what the basis of this “package” was. Well, Deluxe used imported medicines while Elite used Indian medicines. For someone who cannot think beyond Military Hospital, this was blasphemy! My father was all geared up to ask him why Indian medicines weren’t considered good enough. At this point, I said we will take Deluxe and dragged my father out of there saying we had already tied up for the “Deluxe” surgery even without knowing such a thing exists.

When we reached the OT, we were told that we were an hour late- apparently we were supposed to reach the OT at noon and not the hospital (which was not briefed to us) and so from being the first on the list to get operated, my father got operated second last. (This we got to know at the end!!) He went in at 1330h and got out at 1830h while we sat and waited anxiously.

Once out, having met the doctor who seemed happy at the surgery (I could only see her eyes as she was all covered as surgeons are-they seemed to show an easy confidence that matched her quiet but firm voice), we got my father a cup of coffee and sandwiches- he had last eaten at 1030h and then made it to the car.

 As the car moved, my father’s first words were “I doubt this was Deluxe, the sheets were used ones and torn from the side (this is what happens when you are used to inspection standards) and so I wonder what medicines they used”. Spoken in the true suspicious Scorpio style, all I could say in return was, “They didn’t expect people going in for eye surgery to notice the sheets but am sure the medicines were alright!” So much for our “Package” commercialization of everything!

                                       


Comments

  1. Omg๐Ÿ˜„! Dad noticing the torn used bedsheets in the deluxe room...๐Ÿ˜‚
    A very good priceless package it is! Your blog!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Poorni :) The room was not "delux" (the spelling they used)- the medicines were :P

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  2. Omg๐Ÿ˜„! Dad noticing the torn used bedsheets in the deluxe room...๐Ÿ˜‚
    A very good priceless package it is! Your blog!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜

    ReplyDelete
  3. Loved reading your blog as usual... very nice.

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  4. Your blogs are complete packages. Hilarious, subtle and thought provoking. Keep writing. BTW you got me at " door bells and sleigh bells tied up with strings..." keep writing girl

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  5. Haha! I really enjoyed this one! I could almost visualize all of it happening in front of my eyes; such wonderful narration. You ought to do more of these. Hope dad is okay now; sending our regards.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Devyani :) Dad is recovering, thank you :)

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  6. Hahaha... After being used to "Aapka service number kya hein"....... Didn't u wonder if u were booking a hotel room������

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  7. Yet another well written piece and couldn't help but send you the WhatsApp message after reading this package ;)

    ReplyDelete

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