Four days had passed by after my tennis court misadventure. The bandage on my chin gave me Amitabh Bachchan’s white beard look in Kaun Banega Crorepati. Still the gully cricketer inside me did not die and I played in the Combos Cricket match with my bandage on.
Next day. I had to get my stitches removed. Everybody was surprised to hear this, since they thought that nowadays doctors use dissolvable stitches. I had no clue about the medical advancement in this area. Maybe this stemmed from my dislike of blood and the resultant indifference to the medical profession.
My parents had wanted me to become a doctor. But, once when some nail had gone into my thigh, the doctor had to use some acid to remove the nail and the resultant lesion. I vomited and then passed out, just by seeing blood ooze out from my thigh. There ended my parents’ dreams. ‘Ivan urupadavey maattan’
I asked Khetan to accompany me to the hospital. He was just learning to ride a bike. So, he wanted to take me to the hospital on a bike. But seeing my face, he decided against experimenting with a weakling and took me in an auto instead.
On reaching the OPD, I saw a crowd had gathered outside the room. The doctor seemed to be in a hurry and asked me to lie down on the bed in one corner of the room. There was a team of doctors around the other bed in the room. The guy on the bed was bleeding from all over his torso. From the murmurs around me, I came to know that he was stabbed 17 times by his business rival and his condition was very serious.
The scene looked straight out of a Bollywood climax, where the hero gets injured and the doctors and nurses run around here and there. Finally, the doctor removes his glasses and says ‘Inhe dawa ki nahi, dua ki jaroorat hai.’
But this is real life. I could feel the tension amongst the doctors. Only one doctor was free and hence, he was removing my stitches. I was all the time trying to peek at the other guy. Once, I actually pushed the doctor aside as if he was a hindrance. He got annoyed and then pushed the curtain and blocked the view.
The job was over and I could leave now. I hurriedly, pushed the curtain back as I left and glanced at the other bed. There was some activity amongst the doctors. As I went out, I could hear the doctor telling the people who had gathered there, that they could not save the guy since there was too much internal bleeding.
Amidst some loud crying by the relatives, me and Khetan went to the first floor to pay our bills. We walked slowly with a heavy heart silently mourning for the person whose name we did not know, but what we definitely knew was that he was very young and should have lived longer.
The first floor was also filled with tension. There was a group of people sitting on a bench and we could see tension in their faces. As we moved to the billing counter, a nurse walked out of a room and said to the people on the bench,
“Congratulations! It’s a male child. Both mother and child are safe.”
Life goes on.