Monday, October 21, 2013

The news is

In the journalism course, we were taught, what makes news is when man bites a dog. Not the opposite. I say screw you, eggheads. Especially if the man  in question is you and the assailant is your own over-pampered, over-loved sonuvabitch and if the whole ordeal leaves you bawling in pain in an operation theatre at a godforsaken hour, it is nothing short of a national tragedy, it is what you call Stop the press, the proverbial breaking news. Alright, you get it.

So there I am, 1 in the morning in Ganga Ram, crunched on a filthy bed at the emergency ward, trying hard to not pass out. with a gauze on my mouth, and tears in my eyes I was thinking of all these morose poets who called hospitals as morgue, a place where one goes to die, where all delusions of survival wear off, a place where hope feels like a cuss word. How true! With the new casualties of dengue and typhoid brought in every hour, I felt like a prisoner of Concentration camp with excessive hair. I can't possibly begin to describe the feeling in words. even now, 5 days later, recalling that night makes me nauseous but if I don't write this now, I will be haunted by its memories lifelong and if Freud has to be believed, there is nothing more devastating to the human psyche than suppressed trauma. Here take 3 ounces of mine! 

Immediately when I was rushed in the hospital  I was put on a drip for low blood pressure. it's another thing that the sight and stench of that place is what would have likely caused the dip in the pulse. But again, it's not something new for me. As a matter of fact, the cause and effect of my disease and its ramifications on my medical condition will make a great subject of thesis for a paramedical Russian scholar. It's more of a chicken and egg situation. I don't know what makes me more sick- falling ill or going to the hospital.

What followed was a World war between fear and will power. The archetype portly Tamilian nurse came with a tray full of shots. One, two, three. I shrieked till I lost count of it. By the fourth jab, I felt like a lampost in  the night outside a shanty bar. Come take a piss at me, I've grown indifferent to your sadism. I say sadism, because to the nurse I was a number, a stretcher among many others. I understand, being indifferent is one of the occupational hazards of their profession and that she was severely overworked but her steely walk, the way she carried about her business and prevented an eye contact with me made her seem unreal. in a business driven on care and empathy this degree of insensitivity boggled me, it still does. Perhaps, it's something to think about our healthcare system and its loopholes.

In the situation where I was, the fear of jab was quick to be dwarfed by questions of survival. I was bitten in the face, on the lower lip. A lot of blood loss had happened and my face looked like a set for a zombie apocalypse film. the cuts were very deep and the doctor thought it was best to wait for the plastic surgeon to stitch them through fine surgical tools. the surgery was slotted for 6 in the morning. I had five hours to muster the strength to take upon a surgery. The situation was supremely tense. My mind ran all sorts of thoughts. I discovered  confirmed my hypochondria. I was imagining everything that could go wrong in the OT. What if my body is averse to anesthesia and the ECG machine shows a faulty heartbeat and it's too late for CPR to rescue. What if I faint entering the OT room and fall down out of the bed and lose the last hope of fixing my face. I looked around to see my mother's face, through  the cloud of despondent faces around me in slow motion. I am not kidding, for a few minutes I saw my entire life laid out in front of me like a dusty film on a projector. In my head, I stood up, took a bow in a dark theater and pranced towards my grave.

Meanwhile, Ma kept coming in every hour to see if I was asleep. She was instructed to ensure that i get some rest in the abysmal hours before the surgery. After two or three times, I pretended to keep my eyes shut, I did not have the energy to fake strength or wellness. To be honest, I was far from being strong.

Looking around patients more severely affected than me, looking at my own life through a hourglass, changed something. I grew resilient. On further reflection, it is what i suspect the diminishing marginal law of utility in economics. Let me explain it through the example I was taught with. Suppose, you're at the peak of your hunger and you are fed with one pani puri, your satisfaction goes up. with each subsequent pani puri your satisfaction curve will go up until it declines, which means a pani puri  after this will make you de-satisfied with it. It was true for my hyperchondria, after imagining the worse, after visualising my death, the fear curve saw a decline. I was ready for to hike to a volcanic hill, I was ready to be pushed from a cliff. I was ready to embrace pain with eyes wide open. I walked into the OT and stretched myself on the stretcher effortlessly.

the next four hours, as an anti-climax to the story turned out to be the easiest. I snored for a couple of hours straight under the sedation of general anesthesia. I had no memory of pain, injury or resistance. when I woke up the corner of my eyes felt sore from accumulation of tears, and my body was attached to all kinds of beeping machines. Ma came and stroked my forehead. the time for self pity or victimization was gone.

 I am Walter White from breaking Bad

I am Adam from 50/50

I am Tyler from Fight Club

I am up for Kate Hudson from A little bit of Heaven

Ha, I am probably Kate Hudson from this tedious rom com movie but I'm ready to trade that in exchange of a happy ending. Well, nearly

P.s For those secretly wishing me to shut up can come visit me to see their wishes come true. I am stitched up for a good while, deprived of proper food and babble.


  1. Brilliant... Repeating what I said else where. All sufferings are meaningfil and productive. Remember " Vanila Sky "

  2. This is not a post specific comment.
    Eddies - That's how i remember you - Sepulcher this side.

    Stumbled upon my blog lately. And saw u there. Remembered the good old times.