“Since I was a 3 month old baby, I would have to get my blood pumped every two weeks… that is the life of a thalassemia major patient. It wasn’t my parent’s fault, but the negligence on the part of a doctor to inform my parents that because they were both thalassemia minors, there was a high possibility that their child would be a thalassemia major. Even though he profusely apologized after I was born, what was done was done.
With a wound that refuses to heal on her shoulder, nine-month-old Ruksana lives with her parents - and hundreds of others patients from across India - on the footpath outside the Metro station of Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). After waiting six months amid the noise, dust and traffic, they finally have an appointment with an AIIMS doctor - a year from now.
The car window winds down and new age author Paolo Coelho asks for directions to the expressway. "Here, have this map," I reply, handing him a folded piece of paper with "Follow Your Dream" on it.
Okay, that hasn't happened yet, but scientists say we live in an infinite multiverse which means that it is statistically guaranteed to happen somewhere at some point.
"We need to talk," my wife says. I sit nervously on the edge of a chair. She continues: "I want to hear your views on the comparative merits of the warp propulsion systems of the Millennium Falcon and the Starship Enterprise in tedious detail." For ten seconds, I am the happiest man who ever lived. And then I wake up.
Clad in denim, white tee shirt and possessed of the self-confidence of a Mumbai collegian, Babban Chavan, 25, looked distinctly out of place in the ragged tarpaulin-and-bamboo migrant camp that houses drought refugees in the teeming central suburb of Ghatkopar.
The attire and confidence belie Chavan's reality.