New Delhi, 1978 summer. Annual exams over and our vacation was planned. Mom, Dipi and I traveling in KK Express to Dharwad, a 48 hour journey in those days. Half-way through the journey I got fever. Within hours it was bad and was getting worse. I could not remember much about the journey… it seems that I was talking a lot which made no sense. Looks like I was hallucinating… the train we were traveling entered a skull cave just like the one in Phantom comics. Actually, railway tracks passed through few tunnels. …somewhere the train crashed into another train coming in the opposite direction and our bogie brushed against a bogie of the other train and few British soldiers were tangled and crushed between the bogies and I was screaming “serves them right”. I never liked British people for what they had done to the people of India. I do not remember rest of the journey. Mom told me that I talked more and more and she was scared.
I woke up in German Hospital at Dharwad. When they brought me here, it seems, I was in real bad shape and had put me on drips immediately. Typhoid! Mom had to spend a fortnight at the hospital with me. Mom recalls how she cried till I was admitted to the hospital… Mom’s Love.
One of my cousins was there, right next door, down with jaundice.
I visited the hospital sometime 2006 or 2007 to see my grandfather. Guess what? It was the same ward where I was almost 30 years back. Even now, German Hospital is one of the best hospitals in Dharwad. No frills, no glamor. Simple, neat and clean.