Joined: 02 November 2005
They say that a relationship between a patient and a doctor should never go beyond diagnoses and prescriptions. If you took anything away from four years of medical college, then it was that very thought. It had been beaten into my being so much so that it was impossible to differentiate me from that thought process. It's ironic; we doctors are revered to be such 'great' beings, almost to the extent that we start believing we can beat life itself. Almost to the extent that we start playing God. We do not value they very thing we try to save: Life. Patients come, and they go. Some walk out, some are carried out; none of them leave an impact. Rather, none of them should leave an impact.
I, Angad Khanna, mind you; DR. Angad Khanna lived by one rule and one rule only: treat patients like defected machines—fix the ones you can, discard the ones you cannot. It was a simple rule, and I lived a simple life, until one complication came my way: Kripa Sharma.
My eyes start getting misty at the very thought of her, even after so many years, and as I shoddily try to bare my heart to this blank piece of paper, I cannot help but to travel back in time. A time when my life when from routine to paradise. And then, it abandoned me.
I was at my prime, one of the youngest oncologists the medical center had ever seen. I don't mean to brag, but one could say that I was doing well for myself. All my life, I knew exactly what I wanted, exactly how I wanted it, and exactly how to get it. It's not like I never took risks, I did, they were just calculated to the point where the stopped being risks.
It was seven years ago, on this very day, that my life went from calculated to unpredictable. December 8th, 1999, a week before my 27th birthday.
I see it clearly now, the sickly grey-blue walls of the hospital, the smell of sanitizer trying to cover up the smell of illness. I walked down the hallway I walked down everyday, going from room to room, checking up on patients. It was so routine, that I even knew exactly what I was going to say to the patients even before I'd checked their condition. Nothing ever changed here, even the occasional death had become routine for the staff.
I stepped into my office after the morning rounds, and was reaching over to grab my coffee mug, when a cheery voice startled me. It's amusing to think back now, but I was so used to the melancholy atmosphere, that any sign of perkiness brought about a sense of discomfort.
Annoyed, I stepped out of my office to give the cheery intruder a piece of my mind. I had only assumed it was one of the nurses from another floor—perhaps the children's floor. To my surprise, a young, and dare I say it attractive woman of about 23 stood at the information desk. Though the blue patient gown washed her complexion out, her eyes twinkled with a spark that I had never seen. Her face looked tired, and her hair was starting to thin (presumably from the chemotherapy); she had every sign of a sick cancer patient. Yet she looked so full of life, her eyes almost lit up as she spoke animatedly to the receptionist, who was as appalled as I with this woman's behavior.
The girl must have felt her eyes on me, because she turned around and looked me straight in the eye. That surprised me even more. Hardly anyone looked me square in the eye, especially no one at the hospital. I felt naked and incompetent under her gaze, so much so that I averted my gaze to look at the floor. I could not believe what just happened. A patient just made me lower my eyes? A patient just made me surrender my authority? The thought angered me and I looked up only to find her back to me.
Once again, she turned back around, this time led by the receptionist to her room. The receptionist did not even glance at me, but the woman stopped when she passed me, looked at me and smiled, and kept on walking. Her friendly gesture would have made anyone else return the favor, but it irritated me. I would soon teach her that this was my floor, and it was run by my rules. Or so I thought.
I attended a few meetings that day, and went home. Loosening my tie, I sat down on the sofa, resting my head on the backboard. It had been a long day. My mind wandered to that morning. The girl, her voice, her eyes…how they looked at my with a certain luminosity, I was annoyed and awed by this lady at the same time.
Early next morning, I headed to the hospital, like usually, paying no heed to anything around me, yet knowing exactly what was happening. Before I reached her, her voice reached me. It was husky, yet perky, and it made me cringe. I walked by the receptionist, and saw a bouquet of yellow roses on the counter, and a smiling receptionist talking away jovially on the phone. Now that is a sight I had never seen. As soon as she realized I was looking at her, she put the phone down and straightened up.
"These flowers.." I asked
"T-they're from K-kripa" she answered meekly
"The new patient"
I should have known. "Miss. Bell, I believe you are quite aware of our policies? None of the staff is allowed to accept gifts, especially from patients. Whatever would make you think that you're exempt from this rule?"
Miss Bell tried to defend herself, as I reached for the bouquet. Before I could grab it, however, another pair of hands snatched it. I looked up and my heart just about stopped. It was her. It was Kripa. I couldn't pin point what it was about her that made me so uncomfortable. I felt like a 14 year old guy, trying to make small talk to a girl for the first time.
Kripa, however, was not in any sort of distress. Unphased, and rather angry, she looked at me with accusing eyes.
I put on my calm-doctor tone, trying to explain to her our hospital policies. "Miss, as per policy, we don't allow…"
"Nuh uh" she held her hand up to my face. I was flabbergasted, even Miss Bell could not hide her surprise and she sat there with her mouth open. "I don't need hospital policies explained to me…" Kripa paused to look at my tag. "DR. Khanna. I've been in and out of the place to know them pretty well now. Nowhere does it say that the patient cannot gift flowers to the hospital"
I tried to counter her point, only to realize that she was right. This made me livid. "Miss Kripa, I believe it's resting time for patients right now. I would not be wise to create a ruckus right now"
Kripa snickered. "Dr. Khanna, for people like us, all time is resting time" I was taken aback at the sudden change in her attitude. As if I hadn't had enough surprises that day, Kripa gave me the shock of a lifetime. She grabbed my hand a pulled me towards a patient room. After knocking on it once, she slowly opened the door and peered in. A man in his 70s, who made fleeted my memory, lay staring at the ceiling.
"Mr. Smiiiiith" Kripa said in her usually cheeky tone. I was half expecting the man to yell at her, but to my surprise, he looked over and smiled. "Mr. Smith, have I been a nuisance to you today?"
The man shook his head. Kripa turned back to look at me. "See? If HE doesn't have a problem, why do you?"
I had no answer. Clenching my jaw, I made my way back to my office and sat at my desk. "Why DID I have a problem" I asked myself. I could come up with several rational solutions, but they all seemed hollow at this point.
For the first time in my career, I felt misplaced. This Kripa needed to be dealt with, and she needed to be dealt with quickly.
Well, this is an idea that came to me a while back, and I decided to finally pen it down. It's a short fan-fic, and the basic idea is how it only takes one moment to change life: love can happen in one moment, a life can be lost in one moment, sometimes, even realization that we need to change happens in one moment. hope you guys like it....do leave your feed back
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