Monday, December 03, 2007

And God smokes Marlboro....

Inspite of the centralized air-conditioning, Dr. Vishnu Prasad had beads of sweat on his face. They originated from his slightly bald head, ran through the sides of his nose and died on the mask covering his mouth. The surgery lights could not pore inside his eyes behind the glasses and show that he was afraid.

"Lalitha, get me the defribbilator" he ordered his nurse.
She handed him the solution and equipment. Even she could feel the tension in the air. He was tense but didn’t show it around. It was a trait that could only come with years of experience. There seemed to be no reaction from the patient.

‘Doctor. I think he is dead’. The team of nurses and junior doctors knew the obvious and still were hesitant to tell it to the top chief surgeon in the hospital. They knew that the man did not know to give up.

He thumped his chest again. No reaction. Dr. Vishnu picked the pulse of the patient and confirmed his worst fear. The patient was no more. He wanted to throw the machine to one corner of the room and thump on his chest with his bare fist and try to bring him back alive...but that was childish and that was not what a top doctor does. He walked out of the surgery room with the possibly saddest face ever seen. It was a coincidence that Dr. Vishnu had been wearing spectacles since his school days, but they had been useful more in these trying times.

Call it cliché of cinema, but the instant a doctor removes his spectacles while addressing the kith and kin of the deceased, they know the result before hand. He went to the college -going son of the deceased and just said "I am sorry" and walked away. He could hear the wails and cries of the wife, daughter, son and scores of some relatives who had gathered outside the theatre expecting a miracle to happen. He wanted to run away from that spot as soon as he could.

Miracle. That was what had drawn Vishnu to this profession. He could have become anything with his state top marks in school, but he chose to be a doctor. The sheer amount of adulation and respect that a doctor earns in society is only next to god. He had always dreamt to be a top surgeon and had worked very hard for it. Today his name was synonymous with quality, perfection, skill...and miracle.

He threw his hand gloves in the dust bin and washed his hands twice with the hand cleansing liquid. Slowly he walked to the near by car parking area where his Honda CRV was parked and sat on the hood. He drew a Marlboro from his pocket and gave life to it with his lighter. He realized the irony of a doctor being a smoker and still advising his patients to give up smoking to live life longer and healthier. The smoke from the cigarette seemed to draw away all his frustrations of today's operation into thin air.

Every time an operation succeeded, he felt second happy to the relatives. He realized that he had enabled someone to live few more happy or sad days with his family, witness some good functions of his or her wards, maybe make some more money, most of all...he would have saved them from being non-existent. To him the operation theatre was a battle ground and his surgical instruments, his experience and skill were his weapons he used to fight the lord of death.

The trouble was when the operation would have failed. He felt like some pile of shit when it would happen. Inspite of doing everything he could, he would have failed in his battle with death. He wished he could become a child and cry on his mom's lap. Sometimes he feared that he may need counseling for taking away their sorrows as his own. How many of them knew what a doctor goes through outside the operation theatre. He had to keep reminding himself that he was a doctor and not their near and dear.

Just then his mobile buzzed." Doctor. We have an emergency. A patient is seriously injured in an accident. Could you please check him?"

He crushed the Marlboro under the skin of his shoe and drew a long breath. It was time to fight death.

It was time to save someone and their family.

It was time to play god.


Aravind said...

hmm good one macha..
And is there any reason behind the brandh choice..;)

Anu said...

wow that was so realistic...

sometimes we do forget that doctors are human beings too and they try their utmost best to help another human being... we expect miracles!!! thanks for making us look at doctors with a different perception...

thanks for giving us the feel of whats goin on in a doctors head...

and keep writing!

Heidi Kris said...

Wonderfully portrayed emotions of a doctor! Kudos!!

Priya Iyer said...

loved the portrayal!its beautiful! :) my parents wanted me to become a doc, but i knew i would never be able to take this. dealing with death and sickness on an everyday basis can be frustrating!:( i m glad i didnt become one. i m not capable enuf for that... :(

Swee said...

First comment!! :)

That was rather heartrending. A doctor's got to be tough ... mentally. They really are avatars of God. Ahem. There are quite a few exceptions, though.

At first, I thought you were going to say something unexpected... like the patient being a pup or something along those lines (the sort of surprises you spring upon us), well here - it became more unexpected. :)

Nivi said...

"It was time to play god."
Awesome line :)
I guess its phenominal that they have that kind of control over other's lives and they do it on a day to day basis.

Yup they play god , and maybe this just reiterates that the all mighty slips and falls too, nobody escapes the rules of his creation!!!!

Anonymous said...

Being a doctor is really a stressful and painful job. I realise it only now after seeing my brother who cannot afford time to be with us. When our family needs him he cannot be with us. Thank God I didnt study M.B.B.S.

Dreamzz said...

hmmm! nice post.. tells how tough it is being a doc i mean a doc as a doc should be.. not a cash guzzler.

reminds me why i dint take medicine and went to engg :D

ambi said...

U rock as usual :)

i decided, the docter role should be Girish karnad if it is captured in screen. wat say..?

so marlboro is your fvte brandaa? :p

Ponnarasi Kothandaraman said...

Super'o super! :)
Ninga dr'a? :P

Laksha said...

Very nice... We place our utmost trust and faith in the doctor, but we sometimes forget that the doctor too has his limitations..

Padma said...

I'm wondering.. at how u can write such stories.. terrific stories.. keep it up buddy..
Reg treat chumma tharen tharen nu solluvingo aana thara mattengo;)....eppadi deepika :P.. edhellam ungalukke konjam overa ella?

Arti Honrao said...

I agree with what Anu said here ...

Very well written


Harish said...

Hi Maamu. Adu sari....namakku daan ellame ore brand illa :P

I am glad that this has struck a chord with you all. I will try my best :-)

Thanks yaar :-)

hee hee....I had another problem. I cant draw :-)

Harish said...

hee hee...Thats Y I try to throw surprises very rarely. Just trying to maintain the effect you see :-)

After I read your story on almost the same lines, I wondered if I would be able to do justice to the same. Glad you loved it :-)

Admitted that it does take its toll in personal life. But the results are too phenomenal on everybody's lives :-)

Yeah. Tru service minded doctors are indeed a rare breed :(

Harish said...

maybe sometime we both should sit down and plan a short movie Boss. Yeah...Karnad or Naasar. They are damn apt :-). hee hee....nama eppavume malabar beedi daan :-)

hee this instance I turned one :-)

yeah....unfortuntely its rarely realized :(

Trust me. I am a man of my word. Ask the ones who did get treat :P

Thanks yaar :-)