Hi,welcome to my Hubpages profile. I am Arun Kanti Chatterjee and live in Kolkata. My mission is to share experiences etched on my memory.
Occasional heart problems necessitated my hospitalization recently. After taking admission I struck an acquaintance with my next bed patient, a septuagenarian who had made the hospital almost his home for quite some time as I got to know from his introduction. “I have a peaceful retired life with my wife but my sons would not allow me to undertake domiciliary treatment as I have some Gastroenterological problems now”. He said with a sigh but showing visible signs of glee at the same time boasting about his sons. “Money is no problem for them and they have asked me to remain in the hospital even for months, if need be, for proper diagnosis and follow up treatment. You know they have unlimited property and money and have already taken me around the globe twice” He added. “What do they do”- I enquired being curious to know the source of such huge money needed to be detained for such an uncertain period in the prestigious private hospital. He told me that his sons were established businessmen striking it rich by dealing in property. I came to know that while one son purchased and sold huge chunks of lands the other was a promoter developing and building apartments. Though like many others I was itching for an early escape from the place to return home my unfortunate friend, though homesick, had no other alternative but to remain in the hospital for days together to satisfy his rich sons!
I was soon taken to the Cath lab for angiographic detection of any heart blockages . I found two men just beside me queuing up for the test. Both of them tested positive in coronary angiography and were advised to immediately go for angioplasty or bypass surgery to remove the blockages, which needed huge expenditure. While the younger person had no problem to fork out the needed sum at one go then and there the other person was seen to be immersed in deep anxiety to bring the needed money. He would perhaps have to wait for quite a long time before he could arrange for the requisite sum. While trying to share his profound worries he said “ You know I have no other option but to go back home for the present and come back for the operation when I can make an arrangement. I shall have to take the risk now.” I required no such operation and I only wished that the hapless man had such an affluent son to bear the colossal expenditure burden!
Money to burn
Acting on the doctor’s advice I had to spend the night in the hospital and my neighbouring patient was very happy to find me back again. “I shall be discharged tomorrow since I need no further stay here” I assured him clearly when he was relieved but at the same time found to be again submerged in his own reflections- not money wise but jolting his peace of mind definitely. His initial glee seemed to be much dampened noticing how he would be left alone when others were gradually leaving the place. “ I got a benign person like you but you will also disappear from the scene shortly. So many patients are taking admission in the hospital and they go back in due course but only I have to stay put. You know how much my grandsons love me. I shall miss them so much so long I am here”. He poured out his trouble to me over a cup of tea.” “Then why don’t you leave and see the best Gastroenterologist in the city and follow his advice in your homely comfort”. I asked him advisedly. “You know my sons have no faith in such treatment. They only wish to get me thoroughly examined by the experts here before I am allowed to go home. They have money and their only problem is when I do not have the scope to burn”.
In the evening visitors' hour I could find his sons meeting him to inquire about his health .While they appeared to be concerned about their father they were more careful about showing their opulence which was manifest in their discussing the sleek cars they were using and the gorgeous ornaments their wives were receiving as a gift every month. I could discover a deep dissatisfaction writ large on his face but the old man tried his best to ensure that his face did not betray the disgust lest his sons' sentiments should be hurt.
Pile of money
I was discharged from the hospital the next morning and bade goodbye to him who in turn wished me best of time ahead and went back to the window looking pale and sullen. I was soon back home safely ensconced among my family members but my experience during the short stay at the health center has given me the rare opportunity to learn how a section of the society enjoys frittering away money while another section just languishes for want of the important and useful entity which brings joy, comfort, respite and at times inescapable subservience.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE
ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on October 25, 2020:
Thank you very much for your wise comments which have enriched my story.
Mrinmoy Datta on October 22, 2020:
A nice story written here. Really our country has different sections of people in terms of economic self sufficiency but the most important part in any body' s life particularly during old age period is the company or care or closeness of near and dear ones.zThanks for your writings. Mrinmoy Datta
ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on September 18, 2020:
Thank you very much for the apt comments.
Sandip Kumar Basu Sarbadhikari on September 17, 2020:
Nowadays it is difficult for a poor and ordinary person to get two square meals in a day and also to mitigate the expenses since the prices are gone up. During hospitalisation the richmen did not bother since they have unaccounted money. Most of the tax evaders taking all sorts of facilities in our society. Whenever you require for bed in any hospital Government or Private for admission you will find no bed available.The senior citizens are facing the lot of inconveniences. To eradicate the present situation high and low should raise their voice.
ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on September 15, 2020:
I always look forward to your wise comments. Thank you very much
for your apt observations on the filthy riches.
SanjibTalukder on September 14, 2020:
Beautiful experience gathered during your Hospital period where some section of privileged class people, obviously super richmen, enjoy all the facilities of the society for their unlimited income and others are not.
Beautiful write up.
ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on July 07, 2014:
B. Leekley-Thank you very much for your visit and such wonderful comments which only enrich my hub enabling me to think over and learn lot as well. Have a great week.
Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on July 07, 2014:
Up, Useful, and Interesting. Your insightful article reminds me of the 1899 book THE THEORY OF THE LEISURE CLASS by Thorstein Veblen. PDF copies are available online. I read it long ago and remember it saying that some wealthy people need to flaunt their wealth with conspicuous consumption.
ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on June 06, 2013:
@P N MUKERJEE -Thank you very much for stopping by and comment which is encouraging.
P N MUKERJEE on June 05, 2013:
A very nice story well narrated .Thanks.
ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on May 16, 2013:
Tillsontitan- It is so refreshing to go through your wonderful comments after suffering a bout of illness. Although surgery is not needed I shall have to be on medication. Thank you for your visit and apt note.
Mary Craig from New York on May 16, 2013:
This was so very interesting on many levels Arun. The differences between health care payment here and in your country, the extravagance of wealth and the sadness of those who cannot afford proper care.
I am glad your stay was short and surgery was not necessary. Thank you for sharing.
Voted up and interesting.
ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on May 15, 2013:
Good Morning. I am always blessed by your wise comments which not only enrich my hubs but also give me the impetus to carry on with my literary pursuit. Your wonderful notes make up for an incomplete write-up and sum up the work much to my amazement. Naturally I, for one, look forward eagerly to your valuable observations.
Thank you very much, my friend. Have a good day.
Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on May 15, 2013:
This was an interesting snapshot into the lives of others as well as a valuable object lesson, and the fact that you retained this to write about later while you yourself were in the hospital speaks volumes about your tenacity as a writer. Thank you, my friend, for your willingness to share. In the process, you've challenged us to ponder the priorities we set in our lives. Aloha, my friend!
ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on May 12, 2013:
B Chattopadhyay- Thank you you very much for your excellent summing up which has enriched my hub. Have a good day.
B Chattopadhyay on May 12, 2013:
Money alone is not enough for good treatment & long life ! One has to accept destiny, homely care & safe hands of Doctors.
Rich people cant buy every thing with money !
ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE (author) from KOLKATA on May 12, 2013:
I always appreciate your visit and such wise coments.
Martin Kloess from San Francisco on May 11, 2013:
Thank you for this. It is possible to live beyond money.