Today started out with tears, on seeing this devastating photo in my morning paper of a bereaved family here in Delhi.

I shared with you my feeling of utter despair at the reckless behaviour in the country, with massive religious and political gatherings taking place, despite our horrific Covid infection rates.

Contrast this crass, unthinking behaviour on the part of the powers that be, with the gentle care and 100% kindness we received at the hands of the staff of Charak Palika, a government hospital in south Delhi where we went for our 2nd jab.

I had told you here, 6 weeks ago, about our brilliant experience of receiving our first shots at Charak Palika. We had initially decided to go tomorrow, making it 6 weeks to the day, but there is curfew this weekend, and downloading 6 e-passes just seemed a bit of a chore, so we all went a day earlier.

This time round it took 2 hours, so a lot longer than our first time, BUT:

a) there were many more people today

b) the government servers were down, meaning there were delays.

How do we know?

Because one of the charming Delhi Civil Defence personnel on duty told us so. He patiently explained (probably for the nth time) that because the servers were down, they couldn’t access our records nor update them, and that the situation was the same all over the city.

We were all given a little piece of paper with our serial number on it. The digital readout when we arrived showed 66. My number was 130.

Whoops – looked like we were in for the long haul.

We waited in a scruffy little park opposite the hospital entrance (a kind man who was also waiting to be jabbed suggested it, telling us we could sit down and still see the digital readout of which numbers were being processed). He was right.

We were a party of 6.
Here’s half the group.
Himmat, Yem Bahadur & Naresh.

After about 30 minutes, the numbers started clocking over rapidly – clearly the servers were back in action.

We headed inside the hospital proper and into the waiting area where, like last time, we all moved from one seat to the next so quickly it was like playing childhood party games.

In no time at all, clutching another tiny square of paper, I was waiting outside room D2.

“Hello,” said the masked young nurse. “I gave you your first vaccination.” And as she disinfected my arm, the follow up question “Which country are you from?”.

In a nano-second, and feeling absolutely nothing, my 2nd jab was done 🙂

Ritika (I asked her name) told me that this time I only needed to wait 10 minutes, and that I would get my certificate before going. And I was on my way.


Another hand-written entry in a notebook, another polite request to sit down, while simultaneously fishing for my phone which buzzed with this message, not even 2 minutes after I’d left Ritika’s room:


Then a message came in regarding my mother-in-law’s e-certificate, then Himmat’s. Bahadur who was sitting next to me instantly got messages regarding his and Rajkumari’s certificates.

Small wonder that the server being down slowed things down, given the efficiency of the system.

I repeat – unbelievable!

The 5 of us having our 2nd jabs waited with the driver who got his first shot, and so was monitored for 30 minutes.

But in no time at all, we all left, e-certificates in hand, and lots of smiles from the ever-patient, ever-courteous staff and Civil Defence people.

HOW do they do it, day after day after day? People asking the same questions. People trying to beat the queuing system.

And all in this increasing heat.

Hats off to every one of these kind people.

And by the way. The lovely Ritika also recognised my mother-in-law and told her as much.

Such kindness 🙂

Well done & thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone at Charak Palika.

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