There was a wallpaper in the hall. It had a small picture of Amitabh Bachhan in one corner. And almost the rest of the wallpaper had a picture of a man with the words scrolled over, “Amitabh Bachhan is alive today because of me.” Apparently the blood given to AB during his recent stomach infection was his. Guess they could not find the person who gave blood to AB when he was hurt during Coolie. Then there would have been a picture of that man and the caption, “Abhishek Bachhan is alive today because of me.” I began wondering where my blood will go. A poster in front of me said that my blood might save the life of 4 different people. Below that something was written in Greek. Actually it was English only, but medical science (allopathy) which had its origin in Greece , is still so infatuated with the language of its mother place, that anything related to it sounds like Greek , even if it is English. So I went to the first person who could understand Greek i.e. the doctor and she told me that my blood will go to a man, a woman, a child and a dog. DOG??? She shrugged and said that the dog can be excluded if he does not belong to the family. But if otherwise, be prepared for the dog kind’s ultimate reply to Dharam Paaji , “ Look who is drinking whose blood now?????” Okkk , I made up that last bit, Dharam Paaji . You can rest peacefully - Gabbar is long dead and dogs do not reply.
There were reasons I did not want to write this post. One, I had decided that I would henceforth not write any personal post, as my personal life is as boring as watching dry paint get wet and peel off during rains, and therefore so will be my blog. Secondly this post has the ability to make my only reader -my friend Nivesh baulk off of the idea of visiting my blog anytime soon. But this is for “The Bigger Cause”. Just like blogging about tigers will somehow help to increase their numbers, blogging about blood donation will also help the cause. How?? I don’t know. And I doubt anybody knows either. But still.....
So, I went to donate my blood. It was under a campaign titled in a very cheesy manner called, “Hum tumhein khoon denge,Tum humein DCE do.” DCE happens to be our college which has been converted into a university in an even more cheesy fashion. So , a lot of things have been going around. Politics, playing with politics –both inside and outside, playing politics-both inside and outside, trying to get oneself made PC, trying to get a friend made PC, trying to get an enemy stopped from being made PC and shedding blood , tears and swaet, obviously among other things. For the uninitiated, PC stands for placement coordinator. Strangely, it also stands for Political coordinator. Politics and blood always go hand in hand. But the good thing has been that this time blood has been ours and not others , and it has not been wasted even if the movement comes to a standstill.
So, where will my blood go? I sincerely wish and pray that my blood is never needed by anybody. Not that I am infected by HIV AIDS or the likes. It will be nice if I get a picture with Sachin with myself being projected as the star. But that will mean that I will have to wish that Sachin gets through a tragedy grave enough to require blood. That cannot happen. Wouldn’t it be nice if my blood comes back to me when I need that? Like a bank, where you deposit money when you do not need that and take it away when you are in need. But in a bank, you lend money to the bank, whereas in a blood bank, you donate blood. Guess, therein lies the difference.
Inside there was another poster which said that only 5%of all eligible Indians donate blood. Sordid fact , for sure. But what is the eligibility? Any person who weighs more than 45 Kg and has not suffered from diseases like typhoid or jaundice in the last 3 months can donate. That makes around 70-75% of Indians eligible to donate. But only 5% do so. Another chart inside told me of the things I ought to do after having donated. I should not carry heavy weights for the next 24 hours. Now, that makes around 40% of Indians who sustain their families through daily labour-intensive jobs ineligible to donate. That chart also advised me to take a lot of liquid food within the next 24 hours. Now around 55-60% of Indians cannot afford any sort of liquid food other than water. And about 65%of Indians do not have access to clean drinking water. Wonder how much does the eligibility of such people count. One of my friend there collapsed after giving blood because he had not had any solid food since morning. So, I guess that must be criteria as well. Now, I assume that around 40% of Indians are not quite acquainted with the idea of “Breakfast” and they have their first meal of the day as lunch at noon at around 12-1 pm. And the blood bank opens till 4 in evening. Now, I do not remember set theory, terms like union and intersection etc. I also am not trying to prove anything, nor am I trying to make a statement. I am just trying to look at things a little differently. Now each one of those people- one who is a labourer, one who does not have access to clean drinking water and cannot have the luxury having breakfast , might need blood in their life at one stage or other, without being eligible per se. That is why blood bank is not strictly a bank, more a trust , with each one of Indian who has got the luxury in monetary terms, has the luxury in terms of time, has the luxury in terms of health, has the luxury to be strictly eligible , as one of it trustee. And that is why everyone should donate. Also they give you a pack of Tropicana juice of your choice. Guess, that should be reason enough.
Also, I will have to break the news to my mother. Donating blood is still a taboo in majority of middle-class households. She will create a scene at home and send me its commentary on phone. Some of my friends also face the same problem. But, mothers are like that only. She will understand.