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SONALI MUKHERJEE

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 4/10/2015 |




UNIQUE INTELLIGENCE
It was a neat and tidy nursing home. With elegant wide marble stairs and smart nursing stuff, all dressed in crisp white dresses and white stockings, it reflected the proprietor's British educational background, and aristocracy.

She was one of the pioneer female gynecologists of Calcutta. One of the very few who came back to India after obtaining a degree from the Royal college to establish her own private practice.

The junior doctors of the institute sipped their afternoon tea in a small but cosy lounge. Best quality Darjeeling tea was served in transparent bonechina crockeries, with assorted biscuits. Everyone relished this refreshing break between hectic Operation Theater schedules of the morning and busy crowds of patients in evening chambers.

This relaxing atmosphere was jerked suddenly as Krishna, the young nurse who attended the evening chambers , came running into the lounge, in obvious distress.
"Oh! Please ,please do something! Soma sister has been bitten so badly! Oh God..."

Every one present in the lounge had sat up with a jolt. From the middle of a chorus of questions a junior doctor wearing pastel colored salwars had already pushed herself on her feet and reached Krishna.

“What exactly happened? Who has bitten the matron? "
A look of admiration flashed across the kohl lined eyes of the young nurse.
"Has courage? Huh? Such a small stature, yet jumped up first to face the situation?"
"Come Didi, she is in the reception of main building. The caesarian patient of today's OT."

A total chaos faced the pair of young girls as they reached the Reception area of the Nursing Home. One skeletal witchlike pale figure wearing a flowing green OT gown was shouting at the top of her voice. She screamed incoherently like a banshee. Her long open hair trailed behind. Two attendant ladies were forcibly holding her back with a lot of difficulty. Senior nursing stuff, Matron Soma, sat at the reception desk holding her own forearm. She was extremely pale. All the females present started complaining as soon as they saw the Junior doctor."Didi, see what a horrible girl, always shouting at us to phone her husband as she is in lot of pain from the stitches."

The patient screamed as if on cue," aadmi ko bulao, bolana...."
Matron showed the teeth marks on her wrist to the small doctor.
“I guarded the telephone, nah? After all, what is the poor guy's fault? He is a busy trader, with a huge shop of clothes in Burrabazar. He will have to pay the bills. Can't sit sympathizing his wife here, for delivering a baby."

The doctor caught the thin shoulder blade of the screaming girl in a pincer grip, and asked Krishna to give Matron a tetanus toxoid injection. She pulled the disheveled figure towards her cabin and threw her on the bed. Screaming furiously the girl tried to scratch the doctor's wrist. The sound of a tight slap echoed on the wooden walls of the cabin as the patient fell on the bed clutching her cheek. The attendants uneasily murmured," didi, OT patient....."

By this time the new born in the baby cot was wailing in hiccups. The doctor picked up the baby and tried to cradle it to her lap. The infant lips puckered in search of food. The doctor thrust the baby on the mother's lap.
"Pilaya ise?  Fed him breast milk yet?"
"Kay se pilae, taka me itna darad? How do I feed with so much pain in the stitches?"

"Sab lok ne bola na, ki pilane se darad kam ho jaega ? Didn't everyone here tell you, feeding will relieve your pain? "
" He does not feed, only screams"
" He screams because he hears your screams. Sit with him on your lap and try to feed him. The attendants will rub your back and help you. But if you try to shout or put him down till he has eaten, I'll come immediately to give you another resounding slap, get that in your brain. "

The doctor whispered to the attendants to watch the girl closely, so that she doesn't get up from the bed.
“call me through the intercom if she tries to get up .I'll give her sedative injections then. And keep the door closed."

As she walked down the stairs towards the lounge, the junior doctor ,felt dismal. What a day! Sheesh! There will be a lot of trouble after the visiting hours that were guaranteed. The administration will definitely ask her to resign, suchba gross violation of human Rights etc. Anyway, she decided to face the patient party alone to take the responsibility of the incident. The nursing home's goodwill should not be tarnished in any way.

She finished her tea quietly .The lounge was empty by then. Then went back to the ward with a heavy heart. As she neared the cabin a lot of happy voices could be heard from the room. She called one of the sisters.
"Where is our patient?"
"Why inside only, the visitors are just pushing off. Wait I'll call her."
A gorgeous young beauty in a sequined salwar suit ,long braid and dupatta answered the nurse's call with a smile, a sleeping infant slept on her arms.
"Wow! You look so beautiful now! And your son?  Fed him?" The doctor felt warmth spread inside her at last.
"Masallah!! Glory be to the God, didi, can you imagine what a prodigy my son is? Within a few hours of birth, he learnt to feed all by himself!! Ye toh pina seekh liya"

The disastrous day ended in a fountain of tinkling laughter. The story circulated along the corridors and cabins. Such a genius child,within hours of birth, ye toh pina sikh liya.

[SONALI MUKHERJEE]


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