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A Rough Start

WARNING: this entry contains graphic content and is not to be read by all who are following this blog (mom—this includes you).

Today was one of those days where you find yourself saying things like, “I didn’t see myself being here.” And “Seriously, did that just happen?” A situation you play over and over again in your head hoping it didn't end as bad as you remember. Rest assured, it did. I was up before the sun again to catch the train at Agra Cantt. Upon arriving, I learned my train had been delayed for an hour and I didn’t even have a guaranteed seat on it. I was pacing up and down the platform to avoid any temptation to sit down anywhere when suddenly something falls in the corner of my eye. It was a man. A very old Indian man, the kind that you would think had lived on the mountain top for the last 350 years, and he weighed no more than a whopping 80 pounds—my left thigh, essentially.

For a moment I thought of the situation as I do when homeless men in San Francisco start making scenes. I ignored it, tried not to look at it, and desperately grabbed for my stomach to ensure that I still had my money belt in its entirety. I did. But in my ill attempt at self-control, I looked back to find that he was moving in violent convulsions with blood spewing from his mouth and falling down his cheeks while he lay on his back.

A young boy ran past me and placed his shoe over the man’s mouth. I couldn’t for the life of me, figure out why. It was at this moment that I approached, with hardly thinking about it (obviously) I asked the boy what he was doing and why. He stares blankly. The language barrier is my fault being in a foreign land and not knowing any Hindi other than “Namaste” and “shukriya.” (I have since learned that it is Indian superstition that doing this is supposed to stop the seizure). The man’s eyes were rolled into the back of his head, he was seizing… violently. I immediately tried to recall everything I knew about epilepsy (which is embarrassingly limited) and tried to gesture to boy to roll the man onto his side to prevent him from choking on his tongue and place something in his mouth to prevent him from biting it. Another person who had heard me and understood some English approached with something to place in the man’s mouth as the boy was rolling him over. As they bent down to position it, (discontinue reading now) his tongue fell out… of his mouth… unattached.

No one else in the entire station even seemed to notice that something was wrong. I guess that’s what happens in a country with over a billion people, none of which I am convinced have ever had a solid bowel movement. I was furious, and nauseated, and completely out of ideas. The blood was rapidly covering the ground and I had to move away for several reasons, most importantly so as not to touch it. I felt extremely dizzy as though I might lose consciousness or at least lose the mango juice I had had for breakfast. I had to leave. I ran through the station and told an attendant about what had happened, since no one else had! He seemed rather calm, as if he would get around to it when he had some time, although it’s likely he did not understand English. I can only assume the man died there today. I really wish I could have helped. I didn't feel right staying or leaving, but I knew one of those would help more than the other. Needless to say, tomorrow shall be a better day.

Posted by WorldbyRen 23:22 Archived in India

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