Fears and Prayers

Hospitals scare me,
For someone who,
Has spent a lot of time,
In hospitals being a patient,
And being patient and attending others,
Hospitals scare me!

There is a deep sense,
Of dread within me,
I cannot put a name,
Or an emotion,
To this morbid fear,
That haunts me.

I am in awe of doctors,
Learned women and men,
With their white coats,
Stethoscopes dangling down,
Nurses attired prim and proper,
Walking up and down!

I am not scared of injections,
Bitter medicines or surgeries,
It is just the realization,
That one by one,
All those who mattered to me,
Bid me goodbye in hospitals!

As Mum and I battle,
Ghosts from the past,
And the demons of the present,
I wake up in the middle,
Of the night, a cold sweat breaking out!
I walk up to the bed!

And look at Mum,
Lost in the drug-induced sleep,
And I see her rhythmic breathing,
And catch my breath,
Pinching myself to make sure,
Everything is fine.

I say a small prayer,
And lie down on the mattress,
On the floor, chanting an incantation,
Forcing myself to go to sleep again.
This continues every night.
At times, sleep evades me.

I just sit cross-legged,
Staring into space,
Looking at the night-lamp.
The inevitable is the truth,
Life is but a gift,
And death a chance for redemption.

As visions and dreams haunt me,
I just cannot seem to come to terms,
To the brutal truth,
That I will have to bid – “Good Bye”
I am scared that it will be yet another painful
Heart-wrenching visit to the hospital!

Dear God! My only prayer to you!
If such an event,
Is pre-destined and in my destiny,
Please be kind my Creator,
Let the end be painless and peaceful!
Prayers, prayers, prayers – My Lord!!



  1. I could relate to some portions of your post.Though the doctors and the hospital are doing tremendous service in alleviating pain and curing ailments,the ambiance in hospitals is one of suffering,sorrow and fear. Nicely portrayed


    1. For my Amma, for everyone who is in pain, within and without, visions of the irrefutable future scare me 😦


  2. I was busy the day you had posted and bookmarked this to come back to it later to read it slowly. First, I really hope everybody’s fine at your side…everything you wrote touched a raw nerve in me. Poetry at its best. It made me scared, worried, sad but I still wanted to read it again.. deep. Beautiful.


    1. Hi Padhma,

      This poem is for everyone who has felt pain at the loss of a loved one through illness. As old age takes its toll on family members, this is a gentle prayer for the inevitable.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your comment 🙂


  3. hospitals scare everyone, even the doctors. coincidence then that I as a doctor am reading this post as part of our nano wrimo group 🙂 I think it’s the fear of painful death that haunts a lot of us, for me it’s having a lonely death. my body not found for days, either dying alone at home, or in a road side accident, that scares me. hospital deaths draw out the inevitable and that has it’s own kind of dread. i always wisj that hospitals had grief counsellers, those who helped relatives understand and accept the end, also guide about organ donations and ways of making a persons life as well as death more meaningful.


    1. Dear Dr. Kuheli ji,

      Thank you for dropping by and sharing a valuable insight. Grief counselling and awareness about organ donation are valid points.



  4. Yes, i could relate with your feelings about hospital visits. it was all brought out so honestly and spontaneously. If this is really about your mother, I wish and pray that she gets well soon and you go back home happily.
    As for the last stanza, I wish to gently take you back to what Anand has quoted right at the top for Babu Moshai!
    I loved it.


    1. Dear Rajamani Sir,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, my Amma is not all that well, we battle depression, diabetes and chronic pain, but we manage to pull through. The fear of inevitable truth keeps ticking like a time-piece. I guess I am conditioned that way.

      Thank you sir,


  5. I know where this is coming from and I can feel it since I lost both my parents, at different stages in life, after a prolonged bout in hospitals. My dad was a heart patient, had an open heart surgery when I was in my 10th and eventually died in a hospital when I was in my final year of Engineering. About my mom, you know.

    A big part of life IS the ability to deal with loss. In the nature of things, the average person will lose, one after the other, people from the previous generation. The ONLY way is to not lose them totally. If all you remember is that you have lost them OR the pain of their last days, then you have indeed lost them – for you have buried if not cremated the best part of them. Memories of all the great days you had with them IS the ONLY way of not losing them totally AND the way to sanely deal with loss.

    Yes – I echo that prayer. I am coward enough not to want a painful death.


    1. Dear Suresh Sir,
      Thanks for your insightful comment and explaining in a simple way to deal with personal loss.
      Retaining only pleasant memories is a good thought.


  6. That was a heart-touching poem, Mahesh. No wonder they say: Health is Wealth. Wishing you and your loved ones great health such that the miasma of hospitals is erased from your memories and psyche.


    1. Yay 🙂 I have a celebrity blogger and the wizard of WRIMO India commenting on my blog 🙂 Yay 🙂 Thank you Sonia ji for your comment 🙂


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