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From Rosanna To Austin

I had the sweetest request today. Lolo wants me to blog about my visits to the famous Austin Hospital. The thought did cross my mind but I was in no frame of mind to open my computer these past ten days. My blog, I realise, will now be kept open, for Lolo to read the ramblings of someone, for whom the word hospital has become synomous to home. For a short while, I hope. I pray.

Austin is 20 mins walk from home. It is a huge, big hospital, almost the size of AIIMS. One could easily get lost and it takes a few visits to familiarise oneself with one part of the building. I am especially enamoured by the big cafe and mini shops on level 1. I grab a coffee each time and have learnt to stress on 'very hot' after the first time I was served a lukewarm latte. I grab a newspaper too and take the lift to level 9, my destination.

Why I am at the hospital is a long story but to cut a long story short, let's just say - in the journey of life, there are detours and the hospital is just one of them. It is all a part of life, where mental strength, is sometimes what one has to rely on, when things go beyond medical logic.

My friend Natasha, who had her baby here in Melbourne, after just having immigrated from India, once told me, "I forgot my mom as the nurses took such great care of me." I understand fully now what she meant. I have never seen or experienced such hospitality, courteousness and warmth in a hospital as here. The nurses play a great role in making patients feel good. And it is not that they dote on you but they come and have normal chats, take extra care in doing the things for you and even if it is just jabbing a needle for a blood test, they have a sense of humour! "Here I come to do the dreadful deed," says nurse Heather and we laugh it off!

Also, for visitors, volunteers go around with drink, alchohol too! They offer anything from gin and lime tonic to fruit juices to cheer up faces. You wonder and then you analyse. Perhaps, in this land of plenty, people know how to toe the line of indulgence.

Another four more hours to go, I am in Room No 12. My feelings are bordering on apprehension, love, a bit of anger and frustration. But the dominant feeling is one of hope. I see a silver lining in the dark clouds. Time to debug the hands. More postings tomorrow, my sweet Lolo.

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