Sakhi's Laghukatha

Archive for the ‘Life as a medico’ Category


It was one of those busy days at ER – Two MIs, one stroke and innumerable other patients. Peach was extremely tired and was looking at the clock for her shift to end and praying that there will not be any more cases. But as luck would have it, another case came in just as she was about to leave. She rolled her eyes and rushed to see her new patient.

There sat a very handsome man, with disheveled hair and visibly in pain. “Tall, dark and handsome”, Peach mentally noted and smiled to herself. It looked like he had fracture of the great toe with history of his heavy camera equipment falling on his foot. As she prepared his papers to be transferred to the relevant department and gave him some pain killers for immediate pain relief, she kept talking to him softly, explaining him the procedure and the next steps. As the drug effect started doing its magic, Joel started to take his surroundings in. He felt grateful to Peach and thanked her profusely as he was wheeled away to get his X-ray done. He was disappointed when he learned that he would next be consulted by an orthopedician and not by Peach.

Once home, Peach had hot dinner that her house help had prepared and flopped on the bed. She went into deep, dreamless sleep immediately. Next few days were as good or as bad as always. ER can be a maddening place. Peach was thinking of asking the hospital superintendent to shift her to some other ward. She mentally created a check list to be referred to later. As she cerebrally checked her list, she thought she saw Joel again, this time holding his tummy. She had to look again to check if she was dreaming. He came in a wheel chair as his foot still hurt and now, he was complaining of severe abdominal pain with diarrhea. He gave all the details of his medical condition and gave Peach a wide grin. Peach smile back, with a little confusion on her face. If he was so much in pain, why was he smiling as if he was a child in a candy store! Routine procedure followed, forms filled up and Joel sent for further work up out of ER. Next week, this happened again. This time Joel came up with sleeplessness and severe headache. Peach almost rolled her eyes at her patient but was cordial enough to do the needful.

Peach’s shift ended and she was dying to tell her best friend about this cute guy who kept coming to ER. She knew from his reports that Joel did not have any medical problem, except for the fracture for which he came for the first time! Peach and her friend giggled over dinner and Peach was teased endlessly. They felt that this was not the end of it and their feminine instincts came true. Joel appeared again, this time with complains of “heart ache” and Peach could not help but laugh at his dramatic presentation.

“You are getting creative”, said Peach to Joel in a teasing voice.

“Can’t help it. This is the only way to see you.”

“You mean you were faking all this while?” asked peach in mock horror.

He grinned sheepishly.

“Will you see me for coffee sometime?”

“Are you asking me out for a date?” she smile cutely

“Well, if you have an objection to that, let’s say I want to know you better, be friends. So, coffee?”

“Hmn… okay.”

“Saturday, 4 pm, Starbucks?”

“I work on Saturdays. Sunday?”

He thought for just a split second, mentally calculating something and said, “Done”.

“Do you still have heart ache? Shall I get the nurse to prepare for ECG?” winked Peach

With a loud laughter he excused himself out of ER. “Not very subtle,” thought Peach with a smile and rolling eyes at the same time. The nurse raised her eyebrows and asked her with a gesture, what was that about. Peach just shook her head and went about her work for the remaining of the evening. ER did not seem as busy after all.

One coffee meet led to another. Joel got to know Dr. Prachi was known by Peach among her friends and he loved the name. She was cute and chubby and super soft at heart, hence the name. He totally agreed! Both were busy professionals but took time out for each other. Joel traveled a lot for his photo shoots and Peach has weird working hours at the hospital. Peach made him laugh with her quirky medical stories and he loved listening to her. She brought the humane angle in his life that he felt lacked in his kind of work. He would not share too many details about his work with her but will not forget to video call her even if he had only a few minutes to spare or to ask for her picture just to see her or simply send a hello. When they met, which was not so often, it was magical.

It was almost a year that Joel had fractured his big toe. It was amazing how Peach had filled his life with colours and laughter and happiness. He wanted to take this relationship to the next level. Though they had pecked each other or held hands sometimes, Joel wanted more, and he had seen in Peach’s eyes that she wanted it too. Joel surprised her with flight tickets for a short get away with him during his shoot at Sri Lanka in a month’s time. He hoped that he had not read her emotions wrongly. She smiled, blushing profusely and letting him know that she will check if she can get her leaves cleared. Joel breathed with relief, he did not even realize that he was holding his breath.

As the time of going to Sri Lanka neared, their chats got spicier. All these talks made Peach to think about her body. She stood in front of the mirror and found innumerable faults with herself. She was always on the chubbier side, not so sexy with the current definition of the body sizes and right now those love-handles did not look flattering at all. She was used to looking at imperfections in her daily work and knew that there is nothing called as a perfect body, but she also knew that in Joel’s line of work he met the most beautiful, chiseled, lithe ladies every day. Even if there was so much as an extra blemish, he would remove it in post-production of the shoot and here she was having ugly stretch marks. She tried to reason with herself – he loved her and that’s what matters the most, but at the back of her mind there was this growing storm that wanted to seize her sanity. She thought about Joel and he came across as “tall, dark and handsome” just as she remembered him from when she first saw him. Suddenly, she started feeling that she was not a match for him at all, not the way they looked together. They might be great as friends and even something more but definitely not as physical partners, she cannot match his league.

Just a couple of days before they were supposed to leave for their first holidays together, Peach broke off with Joel.

Joel did not know what hit him. Well, neither did Peach!

Name has been changed to protect privacy! I was sweating heavily with my heart thumping madly! I was literally scared of the prof. taking gynaec viva. She was a terror! 😦

And the person who was going to be next for the bombardment of the questions was a chronic (he was appearing for the exams for so long that he had forgotten the count!!). Such calmness I have seen only on Lord Buddha’s face!

My viva was suppose to be just after him, so I was very keen to know the questions, just to get lead and feel of examiner’s mood!

Prof: So, you are back again, hun!

chronic: *gives silly smile*

Prof: How many times have I seen you here?

Chronic: *gives silly smile*

Prof: Ok, Ok tell me the stages of labour.

Chronic: *blank look*

Prof: Stages of labour?

she hands over a dummy pelvis and a doll for him to show the stages of labour.

Chronic: *mumbles something under his breath and shows the passage of the doll through the pelvic cage!*

Prof. probably couldn’t hear anything and the passage was so fast that she had to ask him to do it again.

Prof: Can you please repeat that?

Chronic (With the straigthest face ever made in the history!): Once the baby comes out, never goes in!

Siddhartha was busy listening to radio when he heard the news of serial blasts in his city. He jumped and ran to get his apron and within no time he was at the trauma center. He was not on-call today but he was compelled by his conscious to help the blast victims in these trying times. After all, he was a doctor!


Injured were pouring in and there was a scene of chaos in the ward with so many patients and so less resources. Siddhartha was busy attending the patients in the corridor when he saw something blue flashed from his side vision. And before he could make out anything, the “blue light” erupted in a fire ball. Yet another bomb blasted in the ward of the trauma ward.


This was the last thing Siddhartha remembered of that fateful evening. As he opened his eyes he could see familiar faces of his mother, father and Snigdha. He looked around and came to know that he was in a hospital. He tried to smile and speak but words failed him. His parents were trying to be brave for him. Snigdha was holding his hand in hers. There were no tears in her eyes but they were full of love for him. She smiled at him. The very smile which used to make Siddhartha’s legs go weak.


Later he came to know that he was unconscious for about a month now after the bomb had exploded in the trauma center. And Snigdha was always with him. In spite of her parents cajoling her to go home and take rest, she would not take heed. She had not slept a wink in these 30 days! She got a bouquet of flowers everyday for Siddhartha thinking he might open his eyes!


It was a week now since Siddhartha had opened his eyes. He was tired of lying in the bed the whole day. He wanted to get up and move around. See the sky, hear the birds chirp and he wanted to hold Snigdha in his arms and give her a tight hug. He wanted to do much more but that could wait till they got married. He smiled to himself at the thought. Snigdha caught him smiling and he winked at her. He could see colour rising in her cheeks. When he told her his thoughts Snigdha didn’t answer and said,


“What’s the hurry? First you get better.”


“What better? I am fine now. I am not out of this hospital is because of these doctors who would not let me get up! I don’t understand why? I know I have a fracture but I can walk with the help of the stick, can’t I?”


Snigdha just looked away. She didn’t know how to tell him that he had lost the control of the lower portion of his body.


Siddhartha sensed that something was wrong. He wanted to know. First time after the blast Snigdha lost control. Tears started streaming down her cheeks.


Siddhartha didn’t know what to do, how to react. He was totally numb. Snigdha wanted to hug him, wanted to take away all his pain. She wished that this could have happened to her instead of her beloved Siddhartha!


Siddhartha was discharged after a fortnight. He was lost. He didn’t know what to do with his life!


With no legs to stand on, Siddhartha had a thousand questions.


“How will I complete my MS? What life will I be giving to Snigdha?”, and many more.



Today when he saw the news of serial blasts in his city once again after 5 years, the memories resurfaced. He called out for Snigdha, now his wife and partner in his multi-speciality hospital.


Their duty was calling them…

Name has been changed to protect privacy!It was tea time and the time for the team to meet in boss’ chamber. The discusions usually vary from medical news to the new therapies to family issues to just about anything.

This time the name of Mika came up. Boss had never heard of him. So we all chipped in the information and reminded him of Rakhi Sawant’s incidence. Tothis one of my colleagues added that he is the famous singer Daler Mahendi’s brother. He wanted to emphasise his point.

So, he added,

“bachpan se!” (Since childhood)

And we rolled over with laughter! 😀 😀 😀

It was the first term examinations and the last subject (biochemistry) was left. I had worked very hard but was still worried. [This was my usual before any exam! 🙂 ]

It was the practical exam and viva-voce was on. At last my turn came! A lot of questions were asked and I did pretty well (I guess!). My professor was very happy with my answers, but wanted to check my knowledge further. (ab uski kya zarurat thi?)

“If you answer this one last question, I will give you extra marks over what I have already decided,” he said.

“Okay” I replied. (As if I had a choice!)

“What is the colour of the urine in Alcaptonuria?”

“Urine is of normal colour, but turns brown on standing,” I answered confidently. (The answer was right!)

But he was not satisfied, so he went on…

(Do you realize, initially, he had said he would ask only one more question?)

“Whom do you want to stand, urine or patient?”

“Patient,” the answer came automatically. (I swear, I didn’t think and answer!)

And your guess is correct, the answer was wrong… hopelessly wrong as it had nothing to do with my medical knowledge. It was a simple English language goof up!

My professor just smiled, patted me and asked me to read and understand the subject and not just mug up!

I was beet root red from embarrassment… but the damage was done! 😦

P.S. I did my schooling from a local language till 12th standard so was very bad at English then. Later, I cleared not only MBBS but also did MD with flying colours. Recently, I have cleared Cambridge University English examination with Grade A.

When I was an intern doctor, I was posted in a rural region (rural internship is a must if you want an internship completion certificate!!!). I was posted under a Medical officer there. He was quite reputed in this village and was serving for quite some years. Since I had joined in the morning only, he was asking questions (relevant as well as irrelevant!) and talking and checking patients simultaneously.

“So, you cleared with first attempt?” Asking me, he gestured to the compounder to send another patient.

“Yes, sir.” I answered meekly, wondering “did I look like a chronic to him?”

“Hun… what are your parents doing?” Now, what has that to do with my internship? But that’s the way conversation progress in India, I guess!

At that particular time a very thin lady entered with a child of say, 1-1 ½ years entered the cabin. The doctor gestured her to sit. His bombardment of questions was still on and directed towards me.

In between he asked the lady what the problem was and she murmured something, which I perceived as fever.

“Bhar re…” he shouted in the direction of the compounder, asking him to fill up the syringe with the usual medicine.

As the compounder handed over the syringe, doctor gave the shot. The lady screamed with pain.

“Why are you screaming?” he asked

“Dacter sa’ab, bukhar humka naahi hai, bachua ka hai,” she complained.
(Sir, the boy has got the fever, not me!)

(The dumb doctor had given the medicine to the mother instead of the child! Shit!)

But the doctor was unflinched. Without batting an eyelid he asked her sternly,

“Doctor kaun hai, mein ya tum?”
(Who is the doctor here, me or you?)

“Aap, Sa’ab”
(You sir!)

“To davaai kaun dega?”
(Then who will decide the treatment)

“Aap, Sa’ab”
(You sir!)

“Yeh tera dudh pita hai ki nahi?”
(Is this child on your milk?)

“Pita hai Sa’ab”
(Yes sir!)

“To davaai tujhe hi pehle deni padegi na!’
(Then, of course, you will be treated first, isn’t it?)

“Bhar re….” he shouted at compounder to fill another syringe of the medicine, which he then gave to the child.


A professor of mine had such sharp memory that he used to call each of us by our first name whenever the need arose (and we were 140 in the class!). And he was very good at his subject but not so good at his English.

Once he got angry at some point of one of my classmates and he started with “You, Sameer,….”
He was not getting the right words now… so he continued… “follow me!”
Once they were out of the class boundry, sir said, “Now don’t follow me!”

He wanted to say – “GET OUT”


Once a professor of chemistry was teaching the students to form a ring in the testtube between the layers of two different liquids. The second liquid had to be poured slowly so that it will not get mixed with the first one.

So he started, ” Don’t pour, pour, pour, pour. Pour……..Pour………Pour……Pour……!”


There was a lot of humidity in the class and the professor wanted some fresh air.

He asked a student to open the window by saying, “Open the window and LET THE AIR FORCE COME IN!”


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Sakhi's Laghukatha by Sakhi (aka Dr. Dhara Shah) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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