This had to be done... There aren't enough cynics around

The Incident

“It's not that common, it doesn't happen to every guy and it is a big deal.”- Rachel

“I knew it”-Chandler.

I was still wondering why it happened. Here I was, at the cinemas, hoping to enjoy director SJ Suryah’s ‘Isai’. It wasn’t my first late night movie outing and yet I couldn’t stay focused. Whether it was the meandering screenplay or perhaps it was because my mind refused to focus on anything apart from the heroine’s quivering navel or maybe it was ‘the incident’ still disturbing me, I had no clue. Now, this was a bummer, mainly because I was supposed to appear for step one of a reasonably lucrative job. Hours before the incident, my body had reacted violently to Tofu and as a Surgery Resident, you strongly believe that if not for you, the hospital would collapse and the sun would refuse to rise. I did too. Sadly, a random drunk dude didn’t and had driven into a wall, drunk and had shattered most of his solid viscera.

I soldiered on, assisting my boss as we sewed the drunk dude right, but he noticed I wasn’t ‘alright alright alright’. He asked me what was up and I explained that the duration of my joy of having performed my first bowel anastomosis was shorter than Hardik Pandya’s length thanks to Tofu that was part of the treat. He smiled and gave me an advice and an offer. His words still remain etched in my mind. He made it very clear that the hospital functioned before even he was born and would last even after we were gone. At that time UPSC was recruiting folks for service in my hospital. The pay was good. The job was permanent and I was disinterested. He offered me leave for a week if I promised to study for the exam, sincerely. As a resident, if someone offered you days off, you would jump from the 17th floor if that was what they asked. This wasn’t half bad. So here I was, preparing mentally for my exams in the theater. Perhaps him pointing out the insignificant role I played in the scheme of things played in my mind and lead to the incident?

Basically, the incident took place right after a rather bloody surgery where I was drenched in the patient’s blood and he, in my sweat as we attempted to remove a torn spleen. That went fine. Sadly, what followed didn’t. It was a seven year kid with pus collected in his thigh. All I had to do was make a nick. It was something my Intern could have done. But this kid was a VVVVIP. His father was the seventh cousin twice removed to a guy that was the neighbor of the driver who was friends with the guy that walked the CM’s dog in the beach. While getting things set up, I accidentally had the scalpel go through my hand. The pain made my eyes instinctively make contact with the injured site. The very sight of the drops of my blood made me go dizzy and I fainted.

To say it was embarrassing is an understatement and that was the incident eating my brain. Here I was, trying to make my way to the exam center as my mind was still trying to come to terms with that awful movie climax and my ‘episode’. The cozy atmosphere of the room, the low rumbling noise of the AC and the vision of the navel made me drift into dreamland.  I was now a year one MBBS student. It was a physiology practical session. The scary PG lady was breathing fire down our neck. We had to prick ourselves with a lancet and find our Red and white blood cell counts. It was during one such episode that I found out that I wasn’t anemic, only possibly colour blind.

Finally the truth dawned upon me! I was not weak minded… I wasn’t un-awesome… I was just scarred by the childhood trauma. That was the reason. But that revelation did little to cheer me up as that dream took a good hour of my exam time and that wasn’t a good feeling. However, I did get that week off-5 of those were after the exam. My boss kept his word and I returned back a happy guy who realized that even after years that traumatic practical session meant that even after having bathed in other folks’ blood, the very sight of a drop of mine would make me go <thud>. 

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