Sunday, March 26, 2006
I drove fast. I was late. My gut burned. There had been no time for breakfast. My PMS didn’t help.
It was Sunday. And I was on duty.. For the next twenty four hours.
I had got up late. The aftermath of a late Saturday night watching the idiot box..
My maid takes off on Sundays.
Some damn pipe had broken in the city. There had been water shortage. The milk had curdled on boiling. My boys had hated the breakfast I had fixed in a jiffy. . The house was in a mess...
I knew it would be worse when I came back.. With only three members of the male species left alone for twenty four hours in the house it was bound to be..
Peeps sat and sulked.. He always does when I am on Sunday duty..
The railway gate was shut… I waited impatiently. My hands drummed on the steering wheel. I noticed that my nail polish was chipped.. My irritation mounted. I hate going around with chipped nail polish.. looks so unprofessional..
I watched the people returning home from the Sunday mass and Sunday shopping.. There was a lazy air about them.. I felt envious..
‘Damn.!.’ I was twenty minutes late..Dr Laksmi whom I am supposed to relieve would be furious by now..’
‘Hmm.. The gate was being opened..'
My irritation mounted further as I waited for the confusion to be over.. Auto rickshaws and two wheelers ran crisscross e trying to poke in.. Engines roared.. Horns blared..
I drove faster.. Past the hospital gates.. Towards my parking slot that I guarded jealously..
That was when that the boy ran in front of my car.
My feet jammed on the brakes.. Fast. My heart hammered.. I was sweating.. Adrenalin through my body already burning with PMS.
The young child was running towards a well dressed young woman who was standing by the window of a car.. Chatting to the people in it.. And she had not noticed anything..!
I parked the car and got out. I felt furious. But other than staring at the group maleovalantly there was no time to give them the tongue lashing they deserved..
And my doc act in the hospital is always calm.. and controlled..
Dr Laksmi was waiting.. Impatiently.. I murmured my apologies without giving her any eye contact..
Op patients would be waiting .. I proffered to attend to them before taking ward rounds.. Being a lazy Sunday, I was the only doc in the block.
‘Yes. One RTA case.. Head injury is suspected.. General condition is bad.. CT scan report is expected any time now.’
I decided to see that patient first.
He was in a bad shape.. Drowsy.. In shock..Multiple injuries.. .. Broken ribs..
I checked his vital signs.. Hmmmm... Ok..
The CT report was brought to me..
OMG..! Extra dual bleed...!
I needed to talk to the relatives.. He should be shifted to a higher center with facility for neuro surgery.. Blood had to be arranged..
I noticed her as I walked out of the ICU…. The young well dressed woman I had noticed in the drive way.. My lips tightened.. I had no time for that irresponsible woman..
She was coming to me.
Close up, the lovely face looked tired.. Her eyes were swollen.. The face flushed. The smartly cut hair needed a wash..
‘Doc how is my husband..?’
‘ Your husband..?’ I was confused .. I had thought that she had come to thank me.. And apologize for her carelessness..
‘Hmm.. Mr. Sharma..’
‘Mr. Sharma..? ‘I was confused..
Then it dawned to me .. OMG..! The RTA case..!
‘Yes doc.. We are from Mumbai.. Came here for a holiday.. Was on the way to Kovalam when the accident occurred..’I don’t know anybody here.. '
She looked bewildered and tired..
‘Oh..! The poor poor girl..’
‘But to whom was u talking in the drive way..?’
‘ The local rotary club members.. My father is a senior member.. He told me to contact the local club..’
‘Blood has to be arranged fast .. He has to be shifted .. I don’t know any hospital here..’
No wonder she had not noticed her toddler dash in front of my car..
Remorse coursed through my body.. I had been so quick to judge her.. Condemn here for being careless..’
Absent maid…. Curdled milk…. Chipped nail polish…. Messy house…. Loss of a lazy Sunday.. None of it was an excuse for being late.. And driving so fast especially in the hospital compound where I am not supposed to honk the horn..
I badly wanted to help..
“Don’t worry, we will help you.. First tell me what your husband’s blood group is”
‘O negative..’ ‘I know that it is a rare group.. ‘
My blood curdled..!
Holy Mary Mother of God..!!
‘O negative ..?’ I stammered.
I remembered my son as I had left him today morning.. Sprawled on the ground.. Reading the Sunday newspapers scattered around him..
Gautam’s blood group is O negative..
O negative.. Universal donor..
But can receive blood only from another O negative person..
And searching for his rare group.. In an emergency.. In a strange place is my deepest dread..
As it is for my mom.
Cos mine is B negative.. Another rare one..
But I would be able to help her.. My close friend owns a blood bank .. I smiled at her.. Calmly..