Song of the Soul

Posted: October 15, 2012 in Stories
Tags: , , , , , ,

 

 

Dr. Anurag was examining a patient’s medical report in his cabin when head nurse Seema dashed in without even knocking. Anurag looked up. Her worried face clearly meant – an emergency case. He rose immediately and waited for her to gasp and speak.

“Doctor, Police case… suicide attempt… ICU 4…” She spoke in broken words, catching up for breath.

Anurag signaled her to follow and both were soon walking down the wide hospital corridor towards the Emergency Wing. Even after eight years of medical practice, emergency cases still managed to shake his heart which was otherwise very strong. The faces of relatives waiting outside… teary and fearful eyes… with all their hopes resting on him… All this always touched his inner being somewhere. It definitely wasn’t a very comfortable feeling.

“How bad is it?” finally he asked.
“Very bad sir… slashed wrist and overdose of sleeping pills.” replied Seema.
“Damn… Flushed the intestines?”
“Yes. Nurse Eva is in-charge… poor little thing.” Old Seema was always full of sympathy for young female victims of physical abuse. She never called any patient “poor little thing” otherwise.
“So, not just suicide attempt. Physical abuse too?” He inquired.
“Physical and sexual” she answered.
“Rape?”
“No… Well Yes… her husband.”
“God!!!” Anurag exclaimed in disgust.

He tried not to look at the faces of the patient’s family members waiting outside the ICU. He went in quickly. The patient lay there with the Oxygen mask on. She was on the ventilator… There were bruise marks above the left eye. There were many old as well as fresh marks on her neck and shoulders.

The Nurse removed the cloth covering the patient’s body… Red and blue scars covered almost every portion of the milky white skin. The body was covered with scratches and teeth mark everywhere… as if a wild animal had tried to tear her apart.

He examined every wound carefully. There were many old scars and few fresh ones, clearly indicating regular physical abuse. He checked her heartbeat and pulse… it was terribly slow… The ECG monitor showed an almost horizontal line… He signaled the nurse to increase the oxygen supply.

After instructing few things to Seema and Eva, Anurag left the ICU.

****************

“Hello Doctor, How is the patient?” A police officer asked as he walked out.

Anurag looked around to see the anxious family members. “Well. I cannot say anything right now Inspector… it’s a 50-50 thing.” he felt there was no point keeping the family in darkness.

“Can we speak doctor? We need to talk.” The inspector asked.

“Sure… At my office?” Anurag suggested.

The Inspector and a constable followed with a bunch of paper in his hand.

Anurag sat on his chair and waited for the police officer to speak. The Inspector sat and stretched himself on the chair. Then he read out “Well doctor, patient Gurpreet Kaur… age thirty three… Where are the other fucking details?” he growled at the constable standing next to him.

“Gurpreet Kaur… thirty three years…” Anurag suddenly grew restless… the name was enough to make his heart skip and beat faster. “Gurpreet… thirty three years old… was it her? No. She might be some other Gurpreet…” he tried to convince himself. He looked at the inspector for rest of the details trying not to appear too desperate.

“Oh, by the way doctor… she is a doctor… MBBS… but never practised… her family got her married to a NRI businessman eleven years back. She told her family about all this many times. She wanted to file a divorce too. But her parents wouldn’t listen… Family honour, you know… divorced daughter is a humiliation in the society. Now see what happened?” The inspector explained…

“Gurpreet… thirty three years old… MBBS… married for eleven years…” Anurag tried connecting the dots inside his head, it is definitely her. He remembered the deep dark mole on her left wrist. Yes it was his Gurpreet. Blood rushed into his head and his heart pounded vigorously. He rose from his chair, excused himself and almost ran towards the emergency wing.

****************

“She’s better now. Stable enough.” Seema pointed at the ECG monitor and left.

He walked towards the bed as the nurse left. Tears welled up in his eyes as he stood beside her. Memories gushed in… Gurpreet… the fiery feminist. The tall, slender and unassuming girl who had thrashed a senior in front of the whole college one day. He had been stalking and harassing her best friend. Anurag was among the mute spectators watching his frail classmate Gurpreet pin down that giant fellow. He had fallen in love with her that very instant.

She was bold and confident… enthusiastic in sports and extracurricular. She was the first one to raise her voice when any injustice or bias happened. She had relentlessly pursued the management to approve publishing a quarterly women centric magazine. Gurpreet was the editor of “WeMan” and it was published regularly for next five years despite constant ridicule by boys and certain girls as well.

Anurag sneaked in the “WeMan” every three months into his hostel room and read the blazing editorial that Gurpreet wrote. She wrote about strong single women, body hair in woman, cosmetic market, portrayal of women in advertisements and a myriad of feminist topics. He used to hide it in his drawer after reading and locked it safely to avoid his roommates finding out. He wasn’t as bold as she was!

He could never collect enough courage to confess his feeling in five years. By the time he had gained enough strength to propose her, she was already engaged to a NRI businessman. She said it was her conservative parent’s final decision and she could not do anything about it. That was the first time he saw her surrendering to typical social norms – that too for something as significant as marriage!

He looked at the fair face with dark curls… she looked beautiful even with the oxygen mask on and tubes all over her body. He moved closer… stretched his hand towards her face… he wanted to touch her… at least for once!!!

Was he misusing her helplessness and unconscious state… he asked himself. He pulled his hand back.

“You love her. It is OK to touch her as long as you do not pity her. She would have hated it if anyone pitied her or her circumstances. Go ahead… she deserves a tender touch of love. Touch her with love, not with pity.” another voice in his head spoke.

Anurag stretched his hand and gently touched her face… with his index finger… He smiled at her although he knew that she could not see it. She was still unconscious. Once she gets well and is completely cured, he decided to propose her again…!

 

 

Kindly comment on the content as well as the style… honest and sincere criticisms and literary suggestions are welcome.
 

 

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Comments
  1. surindernath says:

    As a story teller you are unparalleled -characters give a feeling of ‘people next-door’ full of many ‘home-truths’ and yet never fail to make the dramatic impact & effect . Style – a really gifted one, at least better than mine !

  2. Ow, this is so poignant and moving. Very well written.

  3. Well written story.. Can I reblog this?

  4. Reblogged this on The shooting doctor and commented:
    A very well written story. Enjoy

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