She came to my clinic with her three children; two of them were ill and she too. While I was preparing medicine for them, three children made chaos in the clinic. One had opened the lower cabinet under the table and pull out some stationery, second was busy in climbing to the shield glass window, third smallest one was shouting in some slum language. I was getting irritated, against my nature of being calm in such situation. All three seemed real pain in the neck. Mother was feeling embarrassing. She was weak and coughing heavily. I asked her, how she was managing with these kinds of three children at home. She didn’t give answer, instead tried to control the trio, unsuccessfully. And top of these she didn’t have enough money to pay my fees. I became upset and irritatingly told her,
“Do you know what the real problem with you is? You have more then you can handle”, I was referring about her children.
She didn’t answer.
I was thinking of a small lecture on ‘self imposed poverty.’
She was avoiding the eye contact, by looking at the floor.
She paid half of my fees, and promised another half, next day.
Before leaving she paused at the door and told,
“My husband has a good job; he left us for no reason. I am living with my aged parents, working as a house maid to three places. Three pregnancies were never my choice, but imposed on me by my husband, and now he is not taking care of us. My old parents are not capable to look after my children, so they became mischievous.”
She leaved, snatching the hand of smallest one, who was hanging at the doorknob.
She was not the prime responsible person for their poor situation.
Real culprit was her flyaway husband.
I regretted for my comment to her.
The regret, powerless to heal the sour feeling, I had just given to her.