By Saif Ur Rehman, TGT FG Public School Boys
Kharian Cantt, Pakistan,
Suddenly, while watching TV in the TV lounge, my mother switched it off; went to the room; sat in the sofa chair and began to weep. Seeing her weeping made me curious about the reason to know. Mother heaved a deep sigh and told; ‘It was fifteen years ago when we lived in a rented house in a village. It was mid-December; the cold was pinching and piercing every living being. Your aunt was in a family way. She felt an extreme surge of pain when the time for childbirth came near. We took her to the nearby village hospital in a car, but they refused to admit her saying that there was no equipment or any doctor except for a few midwives; and that the case was not under their capacity to handle.
She needed urgent and intense medical care. So, we set off to the city hospital which was thirty kilometres away from the village.
We had hardly covered the distance of twenty kilometres when we found the road blocked. There was a procession led by a politician who was addressing the participants. Many policemen were on security. We waited half an hour for the rush to reduce but it continued increasing. I requested the policemen to let us go ahead as her condition was becoming worse, but they did not pay heed to our request. Sooner, trails of hundreds of cars, motorbikes, vans and trucks were behind us. Everywhere was thronging with vehicles. The honking of an ambulance blocked somewhere in the traffic jam was also announcing some pending demise. On the other side, pangs of childbirth were at their extreme. The position of the child was not physically right as to be given birth normally. The pangs of childbirth not only killed the mother but also killed the child inside the mother’s womb.’ She took a deep sigh and went to say, ‘Two kind persons helped us take the lifeless mother out of the car to an open field near the road, and I covered the dead body with my chaadar*
At a distance, we saw smoke rising from a house. I ran to the house and told the owners of the house the whole situation. God bless them! Such kind men were they! Four men came with a cot, put the dead body on the cot and carried it to their house. The network was disconnected because of the procession; therefore, we could not even call and inform others about the catastrophe; and the whole night we spent there, weeping and mourning. Late in the dawn, the procession came to an end; and fourteen hours after the death we were able to come back to our rented house and perform the obsequies.’
She began to sob and resumed, ‘Today, when I watched the news about the same politician who was imprisoned by the government a few months ago has been released from the jail just because his health is not good; and also he will be taken by air to a foreign country for his treatment, reminded me how my dear sister and would- be- born nephew received the imposed death. A man of influence is being comforted and well cared though he is already on punishment; whereas the innocent lost their life, asking for help; and no one took pity on them or did they pay any heed to them, and left them to die among the crowd of monster-like men. I could not bear the more pangs of memories being revived, and switched off the TV.’
It has been ten years now when my mother told me all of this. I have never forgotten this incident. Whenever I am sitting in front of the TV and listen to the news about the death of any patient in a roadblock or because of doctors on strike, my heart becomes heavy with painful feelings and my mind is stormed with questions: ‘When will come the time, when every human being will be considered human? When will the entire human race have equal care and cure? Why there is such a contrast in the world of human? Why that innocent woman was left uncared to die? Why that angel was killed before he was born?’ Then somewhere from a distance, an innocent voice resounds in my ears as if saying ‘Are we all human?’
*(a big piece of cloth worn on by the Asian women as a part of their dress to cover their head and upper part of the body).