Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Doctor, the Patient, the Shaman, his Parents and Everyone Else: Episode One

I went to his room. There was a commotion already in place. "What happened?" I inquired. "He refuses to wake up." I was told. I was surprised. "What do you mean he refuses to wake up?"
He is not getting up, his mother told me. He has been asleep for a week now. Frantic activity all around me. Doctors, nurses, excited whispers, a few guffaws. How can a person not get up? I picked up the glass of water lying there on the table. Hasn't ate or drunk since then. I flung the glass of water on his face. A collective gasp went up, I was a barbarian. But from the guy, not the slightest twitch. "Is he dead?" I asked the important looking doctor. She huffed and puffed. "No he is breathing. All EEG readings point to a REM sleep." REM as in the band, I like their songs. I stupidly inquired. "No," she rolled her eyes. "REM as in Rapid Eye Movement" she said with considerable stress on Movement. He is perfectly normal. "So he is hibernating basically." I smiled a smiled that was not shared by anyone in the room. His mother was already crying. I took a cigarette from my pocket and started to smoke. The doctor wrested it from my lips and stubbed it out, pointing to him. "What?" I was flabbergasted. "A he is not sick B he is a SMOKER. I am sure he misses the smoke."
"Get out," she howled. I ignored that. Please don't act like I am not concerned, I said, I don't know what to do, same as you. Can't think of anything else. "Are you a friend of his?" his mother asked me. I thought for a moment. I believe I am. Who is a friend by the way? I thought. Is he drugged. I know he does coke. I told the doctor. No, this is not a symptom of coke, or any other drug, this is unlike anything that is known. No coma even. "You were hoping that he was in a coma." I asked her. I could probably have cured his coma, she replied, but I don't know what to do now. Healthy males don't suddenly lose control of their motor systems.
I looked at the saline drip that was keeping him alive. The steady whir of the dialysis machine. The silently sobbing mother. The bustling crowd gathered to see a miracle. He has taken a samadhi his father suddenly announced, excitedly. I am proud of him. There were tears in his eyes. I slapped him hard and punched him in the face. It became ugly. People suddenly grabbed me and formed a defensive wall around him. Like it was frigging Troy.
His mother tapped me lightly on the shoulder after the people had let me go. His father was eyeing me warily and continued shedding tears like a defective tap, I thought.

"Please don't mind him. He is trying to cope with the loss of his only son."
" But he is not dead. He is just refusing to be awake. I tried to point out.
She smiled. I hope so it is. "Is that because you don't have enough savings and he had a paying job? Who will support you now?"
I wish it was that simple she said. We are already dead. He should live on. He has a long life ahead. Yeah but he could have had an accident and then he would be really dead. I interjected. She stifled a sob. Yeah that would have been bad, but this is no better now, is it?
The way I look at it, I told his mother, he is just refusing to wake up. There has to be a cure for that. Say if we suddenly put lots of ice-cubes on his stomach and at the same time bring a candle near his feet, the pain will wake him up. It'll be like Pasteurization.
" Are you a monster? You barbarian shaman," the doctor asked me visibly disgusted by my idea. "Well you seem to have a better idea," I told her. She looked at me. Deep in thought. This is not what I got a degree in medicine for. She replied. Hmm... But I believe you got a degree so that you can cure people. I told her. She looked at me surprised. As if I was really a barbarian not capable of sensitive thinking. Okay we'll give it a try, she said with much difficulty. I smiled, "Okay leave it to me."
I got in midst of all the congegration. I clapped my hands to get everyone's attention. Okay everyone, thanks for being here. So long. I have an announcement to make. The patient has been diagnosed with the extremely rare sleeping sickness, which is highly contagious. So will you all please get the fuck out of here. And I mean now. The room was empty before I completed the sentence. Now only remained the Doctor, the parents and the shaman. Which was high praise according to me, only the most intelligent and brutally clever guys became Shamans in their tribes and were like the leaders behind the throne. Ensured of my place in history... I took my position with a lighted candle as the doctor brought a pack of ice-cubes.

4 comments:

'~-)Sandman(-~' said...

fuck....what happened after that???
i'll put ten navy cuts in your mouth and light them all at once if you dont finish the story

basit said...

i'm not getting any time at all...
i'll finish it one of these days...

'~-)Sandman(-~' said...

bho**** likh agla chapter

chachi said...

hmm..usually we use ammonia for this..a much less painful technique, and most doctoes know this (atleast the ones in rural places do) :P