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A few months ago, a close relative of mine fell ill and was admitted to the hospital.
We took turns to be with the sick person at the hospital during the night time. When it was my turn to be with the relative, I reached the hospital in the evening. The patient was progressing well. After meals, the relative fell asleep. I tip-toed out of the ward and made for the waiting room outside.
There were four sofas arranged on four sides so as leave a wide rectangular space within; there was a low glass-topped table in the centre. One of the sofas was pressed against the wall, and the wall had a socket. Great! I needed to charge my mobile. I plugged in the mobile charger to the socket, picked up the newspaper left on the table by some kindly soul, sat on the sofa, and busied myself in solving the crossword puzzle. There was no one else, and all the other sofas were unoccupied.
I was so busy trying to solve the crossword puzzle that I was lost to the world. After some time however I felt someone staring at me with piercing eyes. I lifted my head and found an "ayah" sizing me up with a challenging expression on her face.
I felt uneasy. Had I done something wrong? Was it wrong to charge the mobile phone and consume the hospital's electricity? But I had seen many others doing the same, and no hospital staff had objected. Moreover, this was a waiting room meant for the relatives of patients. There were no hospital appliances plugged anywhere. I felt really uncomfortable.
Meanwhile, the "ayah" continued to glare at me. After a while, I could not take it any longer.
"What's the matter?" I asked her.
"I always use this particular sofa to rest during the night," she revealed.
I great feeling of relief came over me. So, that was it! I had done nothing wrong after all! That was, of course, my point of view; from the ayah's perspective I had committed a grave wrong - I had occupied her sofa! But how was I to know that the hospital staff had their favourite corners; there were three other sofas, which were unoccupied; she could have sat on any one of them. I did not bother her with these questions; I unplugged the charger and moved to another sofa.
After a while I decided to take a stroll outside to get the blood flowing. When I returned I found the "ayah" wrapped up in a blanket; she had put her knees up, her chin was tucked in, and her arms, outlined against the blanket, were held akimbo. A majestic posture indeed! The message was loud and clear: this is my sofa, and no one dare sit on it at this hour!
Some useful links for
- Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
- IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
- Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
- Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
- IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
- Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
- Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
- Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu