The Numbers we hate the most: Dhruvi Joshi


4.5 years and 19 subjects. What do we hate the most? Numbers. Ischemic heart disease causes sixteen percent of total deaths. Alzheimer’s is the 7th leading cause of mortality.We mostly skip these lines from our textbooks,They are almost never in the list of most important points to remember. They are almost never key points to write in our long answers. 
When I asked my doctor friend,What do you hate the most? He said,Numbers.One-sixty-nine thousand people died from Covid 19 in India.The answer didn’t change,Just the reasons did.Those numbers that he hated as a student,They somehow come alive And haunts him in his sleep They float like tiny ghosts over his head Making it difficult to hope.Numbers that newspapers scream That Refuse to leave him even during his morning tea.Numbers that talk of nightmares Of stories of similar patients And Of how they couldn’t make it.Numbers of ambulances lined up outside hospitals .Numbers of patients dying without ventilators,Queues of corpses waiting for last rites at crematories.
Numbers,That remain mere numbers,Until someone you know,or someone you have met, or someone you love dies.
I asked my father,What place scares you the most?He said,Corridors.Corridors that lead to the ICUs. Corridors, filled with a scaring calm interrupted by whispers of anxious families that didn’t talk about the whirlwinds of chaos going on in their heads.Corridors, filled with gut-wrenching feeling of not being able to sit next to your loved ones when they were fighting for life. 
Whenever you would ask a doctor,What is the most difficult thing in your career?They`ll always say,It`s those two minutes.They spend day in and day out coming out of Icus and operating theaters. They spend months saving patients And watching them die on the hospital bed,They spend years seeing hope, medical miracles and prayers working like some magic,They spend years pulling out plugs, seeing heart breaking trauma and consoling crying families.Even after years,It’s the most difficult thing.Those two minutes, when the come out of the room and tell the family that their loved ones may not make it. Those two minutes when the beeping noise of a cardiac monitor turns into a single haunting note and they have to put that into words and sentences.Those two minutes where all the prayers fail, all the magic stops, and families break apart.
Those two minutes,That they`ll never be accustomed to. 
What will this pandemic be to future generations?A boring chapter in history textbook? Or a 3-mark short note, that they`ll always skip in exams?Or a war?May be they will never call this a war The battle of 2020 or something like that.There is no Arjun or Karna with celestial weapons, Our soldiers don’t have charioteer with magical powers There are no big armies on the two sides of Kurukshetra This is a war against a tiny assembly of RNA and proteins.No golden kavach or kundals but stethoscopes,No pashupatastra but IVs and oxygen masks,No swords and mace but ventilators and crash carts,A war where their knowledge of several years is their Gita.
Every single man is a soldier here. Fighting for a better future They don’t have to step in the battleground But fight from their homes.A fight with a weapon as harmless as a mask And staying at homes, a simple task.Because we won`t be able to win this war With efforts of a single man Or just with some government`s plan We won’t win this war by attacking on our saviours But by thanking them in our prayers. There`s just one Bramhastra we need for this war,Kindness. 
Because the human race won`t perish because of some pandemic or disaster But mere lack of humanity. 


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