Saturday, 15 September 2007

Man at the ticket counter

Where are people with HIV?


We went as a family to the Planaterium today. All the way down to Worli - an autorickshaw, train to Dadar Stn., train to Mahalaxmi Stn., taxi to the site. It was closed. The attendant said it was always closed on Monday. I pointed out that it was Saturday. He said it was closed because of the Ganesh festival. Anyway. The Nehru Science centre had to do for us Eichers.

But what about people with HIV?

At Thane station I went to buy a booklet of coupons for the trip. I looked into the small ticket window and saw him.

One of our HIV positive patients.

Selling railway tickets to urban communters.

A man who was deeply depressed and under psychiatric treatment at one point.

Selling tickets.

Head down he was dispensing tickets right and left. Every day 500,000 communters pass through Thane railway station.

I asked him whether he knew me.

"No" he said - not looking up.

I repeated the question and asked him to take a look.

A huge smile erupted on his face.

"Please come into my office through the back door", he said. "I have started my ART drugs!"

And then, when I said that I wasn't able to, he actually fished out his bottle of Lazid-N and showed it to me with a big smile.

Who says people are afraid to take their meds.

I was so pleased to see our friend that I promptly forgot to punch the coupons - I had to tell Sehba about it - and had to go back later to punch them to be valid for our train trip.

Where are people with HIV?


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