You are being trained to do your hardest…

There was panic in Dharavi, “the largest slum in Asia”….A series of rapes of children had taken place…Two of the children were fighting for their lives in our trauma ward..”Guru, can you come to the trauma ward ASAP? I need  help”…It was Deepak, my registrar….I threw on some clothes and rushed to the hospital…

There was a large crowd outside the trauma ward…The mood of the crowd was ugly….

I went in..”You remember the Dharavi rapes?” asked Deepak…”The cops have brought in the culprit…” What was the problem? I wondered…It turns out that the “accused” was caught red-handed by people of the area when they saw  this man was trying to offer a lollypop to a young girl…They roughed him up badly, almost killing him in the process…The police had rescued him from the mob that was baying for his blood and realizing that he was badly injured, brought him to the hospital…

Deepak and I examined him….He was in his mid twenties and worked as a delivery boy..There was a look of mute incomprehension combined with resignation…He was in severe shock with a pale sweaty ashen face….It was evident that he was bleeding quite briskly in his abdomen….He needed immediate exploration if we had to salvage him…

“Why do you want to resuscitate him Doctor?” asked the senior nurse…”He has been delivered his just desserts. Why should we fight to save him?” She had a point…She lived in Dharavi in the Municipal Quarters and had two young girls…”I used to worry sick about my daughters when I used to be in the hospital.” I was undecided….Should we let divine justice overtake the rapist? All we needed to do was to delay his operation….

The trauma ward doors opened with a crash….My Professor, the “old pete” walked in….”Shirahatti, give me a report of what’s happening here” When he called me by my surname, I knew I was in trouble..I quickly updated him about the patient…”It has been an hour since he has been brought in. You make a diagnosis of hemoperitoneum 45 minutes back. Why isn’t he in the OR?”… His eyes bored into mine…” Shift him right now to the OR…do you want me to take over? I think not…I will wait here till you finish”

We shifted the fellow into the OR….He had a ruptured spleen that needed removal…His vital stabilized…We closed him up….It was  piece of cake…I went out…I could hear our Professor roaring at the senior police inspector asking him if he had to clear out the mob outside the trauma ward himself…The policeman’s voice was subdued and apologetic…

“I trust, gentlemen, that you will look after this man as well as if he were your relative….I hope I have made myself clear”…Prof’s voice was low but menacing….You bet we looked after him well, however reluctantly….

Three days later, the peon from the Prof’s office came to me to tell me that I was wanted….I went up to the Prof’s office in great trepidation…The patient was doing well….Surprisingly, the cops had removed his fetters and were nowhere to be seen….

“Ah Guru, come in” said the Prof between puffs on his charminar….”Tell me why are you training to be a surgeon?” he continued…To save patients’ lives, I replied….”Don’t give me this sentimental bullshit. You are training because there is immense satisfaction in mending broken bodies. Don’t you ever arrogate your position to that of God. You have no right to be judgemental. You just damn well buckle down and use your skills to the optimum whoever be the patient.  Take a day off and think about it” He dismissed me…

I turned to the door when his voice stopped me. “Do you know that the real culprit has been arrested and has confessed?” His voice was very soft……

Author: drshirahatti

I am a surgeon, specializing in Gastrointestinal Surgery...I have headed the Departments of GI surgery, General Surgery and Medical Education.....I also was the Dean of two large government hospitals in Mumbai.....I like reading about cultures and like to travel....