For a teaching hospital, Divya Jyoti Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (DJIMSR) in Ghaziabad, UP, was surprisingly devoid of human life on this morning. It had none of the familiar squash of Indian hospitals: sick people, stressed relatives, long and messy queues, the mingled smell of sweat and chemicals. We did have a hint that a ghostly entity awaited us. “Aage sirf jangal hai,” a man we asked for directions had said earlier. Only a jungle ahead. We kept going anyway, along a broad road that started cutting through fields, until we caught our first glimpse of the building. It looked like it had been abandoned mid-construction and has been crumbling since.
Before the guards began shouting at us, we jogged through. Every ward was locked. There was no electricity, no equipment—just a few stretchers inside locked wards, furniture piled on top of them. No ceilings, no glass panes. It was like being inside a big, concrete pipe-organ—the wind whistled through, blowing dust around.