An Expired Life - Poem by Ajit Das
The ambulance driving with its bleeping siren
draws up below the portico of the hospital.
Its doors are thrown open; the patient is taken out
on a stretcher, rushed to the emergency ward.
Waiting doctors and nurses conduct urgent tests,
administer injections, drugs, shift him to the ICU,
maintain constant vigil to ensure that he is stable.
A commotion all around: he is a VIP!
Another patient who is poor, critically ill waits
in a rickshaw near the gate, while his relatives
stand in the queue before the registration counter.
When the turn comes, he is lifted to the outdoor,
then sent to the general ward, laid on the floor,
as no bed is vacant; his condition deteriorates;
an injection is pushed, but its date has expired.
The inevitable end comes to an ordinary mortal.
There is a hue and cry, sparking furious protests.
But the in-charge says: so what, if he has died?
People do die at the hospital, what’s the big deal?
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