The entrance to the inner hall, as I have mentioned before, was at the farthest end of the first hall. When I first looked around from this doorless entrance, I saw the rows and rows of recliner chairs on my right, facing the wall on my left. But right in front of me was one recliner facing the others. Like the teacher's chair in front of a class. Beyond this differently-placed seat, where two walls met, was a mattress on the floor and next to it were a few duffle bags of different sizes.
This set-up on the floor, I later got to know, belonged to a family from Gwalior. A guy in his late 30s and his mother. The mother, an overweight lady, was always in a sari - day and night.
The guy was usually found sitting on the 'special' recliner placed at the front of the room. In all probability, he had been the one to place it there.
I think it was on my second day there. Some time in the afternoon. None of the recliners in the first few rows were vacant and so, I sat on the one in front. This guy came a few minutes later and asked me to vacate it. I asked him the reason that the seat belonged to him exclusively. He gave me a blank stare lasting a few seconds and went to sit with his mother on the mattress.
I got up, maybe an hour later for hardly five minutes. When I came back, he was back sitting on his 'favourite' seat.
His father was admitted in the ICU. His mother was the one who started the conversation with me the next day and soon he joined in.
The father had first been taken to a hospital in Gwalior (their hometown and a city about 5 hours drive from Delhi) for some tests because he had been feeling lethargic and occasionally dizzy since the last few months. The doctor there recommended getting admitted for a couple of days. Two months later, now in the third hospital, he had now not woken up in almost 15 days.
The guy was clearly a pretty warm person. However, he was a seasoned ICU attendant, and usually had a rather exhausted, no-nonsense attitude towards most people there.
They had decided to take the patient back to Gwalior to spend his last days at a hospital there.
Well, I left a couple of days before they were to leave. We had exchanged numbers. He messaged me once. His father had passed away about a month after going back to Gwalior, without having opened his eyes again.