FROM "A SCAFFOLDING OF MIRACLES"
India’s COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that people’s communal faith is the miracle holding together India’s health care scaffolding. The schoolroom village clinics and the one-room urban clinics resemble a housing project that continuously runs out of funding and forever looks like a bamboo skeleton. We, the common people of India, put our faith into its unfinished floors, hope that world-class facilities would one day materialize out of thin air. But faith has a bad habit of running out. While we believed in Dr. Singh’s vials, we weren’t blind to the fact that if something really bad happened, his tonics wouldn’t save us. His one-room dispensary didn't have the same resources as the multi-story hospitals where my uncles performed open-heart surgeries. We lived on a prayer that nothing worse than what Dr. Singh could cure happened to us.
Bombay was a bitch. Bombay was an aggressive ex. The traffic moved so slow. It wasn’t her fault. She swayed, scrunched, collapsed, twisted, bent to make way for every fucker in every vehicle while still holding a bag, a funny knife (hidden in her blouse), her sari pleats, and a gesture to stop. This is the way I was born. Not born, no, but grew into. Feel pity or disgust or whatever it is you need to feel and cough up a rupee.