I saw my
friend lying on a bed that looked like it had been thrown
out of a proper hospital. The cabin had two beds, (one of
them was empty), a filthy fan that probably hadn't been cleaned
in years, the bed cover of the extra bed had blood stains
all over it and I felt horrified to sit on it. My friend looked
up at me with all her strength, smiled, and just said "thank
you". The saline attached to her hand was bugging her
a lot. I removed her hair from beneath her neck and just ran
my hands through it. She started tossing and turning in such
pain, that I couldn't bear to see her like that. As I looked
closely, I realised her skirt was soaked with blood. I mean
blood in amounts that I have never seen in my life--if it
was paint, it would be enough to dye a shirt over and over
again. An oil-cloth (the ones babies sleep on) was placed
beneath her. She just grabbed her stomach and cried in pain.
Just then she said like a little kid, "pipi korbo".
Her boyfriend lifted her up, and to my utter disgust a small
bucket was pulled out, maybe five inches in radius and 10
inches high. The bucket was a part time garbage can where
injections and medicine covers were thrown and a bed pan too!
time passed, an 'apa' showed up and ordered a bua
to take her to the bathroom. The bathroom was probably one
of the dirtiest bathrooms I had ever seen. A 25 WATT light
bulb, the smallest possible water basin, red mosaic and a
'bangla komod'. It was probably 20 years old. My
dosto went in there bare feet, for a moment she was
about to fall into the toilet, but the bua caught
her just in time. She was taken to the OT. A Bua
was taking a tray of medical instruments into the OT. I inquired
if they were sterilised or not. She just looked at me blankly.
I told her that I wasn't going to let them use these instruments
unless she put them in boiling water, in front of my own eyes.
So we went to the kitchen and she just poured them into some
boiling water that was already on the stove. It was in and
out of the 'dekchi' and in a few minutes and back
on the tray. The boyfriend and I were about to get into the
OT, when a lady screamed at us: "beshi cinama dekhe,
koto boro shahosh OT te chole ashe!".
So we came
back to our gloomy cabin with nothing to do but wait. We heard
her scream and became petrified. The boyfriend started talking
to me. "I'm partly responsible! I should have insisted
on protection, she felt that she wasn't mature enough and
so will not conceive." This statement caught me by surprise,
how little can she possibly know? He continued: " and
when she didn't have her period for months, she didn't even
know that there might be a possibility that she was pregnant."
For the first time in my life I didn't feel all that weird
talking about this topic but I was still horrified to find
out that an eighteen year old A level student didn't even
know the basics about female health. I found myself thinking
that O Level Biology should be made compulsory for every single
girl! The awareness level was so incredibly low!
minutes literally seemed like hours. I called up another one
of our friends to let her know what was going on. She was
at home worrying so much that she came up with a fever. All
she said was "OT, risky, dirty…" I just asked
her to stop rubbing it in. But she said that her chances of
becoming pregnant later in life will be close to zero. I don't
know about the authenticity of this statement but it got me
thinking. I suddenly became angry at the government for imposing
such pathetic unreasonable laws. If the law wasn't in place
we would be at a proper hospital with actual doctors. I started
hating society for making everything so black and white. I
started questioning God for placing me in such a tight spot.
minutes in the OT, we were called. We went into a room, where
the smell was so horrible that I felt like vomiting. On a
huge tin plate was a small five-month foetus. It was maybe
a bit bigger than my hands in length and had its own little
hands with tiny fingers. It was pinkish-black in colour. 'It'
was a boy. A small cute head the size of an egg. Little feet
and toes. The wannabe doctor probably made a slight miscalculation
while cutting him out, because one of his hands was ripped
off from the elbow and placed separate from him on the plate,
on top of his head. At that moment I felt like an accessory
to murder. She was looking away, but her boyfriend and I simultaneously
burst out crying. We stormed out of the room. A bunch of conflicting
emotions swept through me. I wasn't exactly 'anti-abortion'
but I couldn't help but feel that eighteen years down the
line the baby would have been in school, like us, enjoying
life if we didn't 'kill' him or take him away from this world
so prematurely. We didn't even give him a chance to live!
He just said "that was my boy". I asked what would
happen to the foetus, and I was told that they are 'destroyed'
because it is illegal. I don't exactly know what the word
'destroy' meant but my imagination was along the lines of,
burnt in fire or cut in pieces. Both of which made me feel
sick. I still feel sad that I hadn't made an effort to bury
it. We went into the OT to keep her company. She was given
no anesthesia when the procedure was carried out and she could
feel everything. The table of the 'OT' was made of wood, cheap
wood I might add, and it had a small crescent shaped hole
where the legs were. She was dozing in and out of sleep because
of some major 'painkiller' she was given. Thirty minutes after
he was so gruesomely 'pulled' out, she had to walk back to
her cabin where she lay for some time.
one hour after the 'operation' we woke her up, it was time
to go home, if she was late, uncle and aunty will suspect
something. She could barely stand up, but she went to the
bathroom, washed her face and feet and came back to the cabin.
I helped her get dressed and brushed her hair. She asked,
"So, how do I look?" I said "horrible".
She smiled. We packed up everything. She didn't bring any
extra clothes, but had a bag filled with books. We were on
a yellow cab, taking her home. I wondered how any of us, especially
her, would get past this traumatic experience without any
psychological counseling. All we had was each other and we
were all pretty worn out. We couldn't deal with our own pain
let alone someone else's!
finally there, I helped her open the gate. The electricity
was out, so we couldn't take the elevator. I wish I could
have carried her up the stairs but I couldn't, so we walked
all the way to the third floor. I wondered if this incident
made me weaker or stronger-maybe a bit of both. Her parents
didn't know that their daughter had been in a life-threatening
situation, and probably still is. As we entered the apartment,
uncle looked up at us, removed his glasses and asked in an
excited tone "So girls how was your slumber party?"
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