Saturday, March 17, 2007

A new beginning

My appendix has been removed. 
Yes. Actually it all started like this. After a month of consuming anti-biotics, I started experiencing a strange pain in my abdomen.The typical Kashmiris were consulted and their expert opinion had. They diagnosed the pain to be a side effect of the really long treatment of anti-biotics. 

In more familiar language, “Garmee chay gametch”—(You’ve grown hot). Little did I know what lay in store for me and my blog… Read on… 

Slowly but surely the pain began to build up and started becoming unbearable. Fortunately the SKIMS hospital lies very close to our home-just few miles away. After putting a lot of thought into it, my parents finally decided that it was time for me to visit the hospital. The clock had a perfect 08:00 on its display with a ‘pm’ written just below it. Without further delay, we headed towards SKIMS. After a few minutes of dancing on the pot-holes and speed-breakers, our car stopped outside the emergency block of SKIMS. 

 Well, I have been using the word SKIMS a lot of times (without properly defining what it means) so I should inform the user about it. SKIMS or Sheri-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences is a semi-modern hospital having a strange Kashmiri appearance. It is a huge collection of brown solid buildings-deceptive, since it is a good deal bigger than it actually looks. All the better doctors of Kashmir, surely not here, have gone to hospitals offering better pay and work conditions. The people who remain constitute a bunch of senior doctors who were initially not tempted by better opportunities. Supporting them are junior doctors from all corners of Kashmir with all sorts of dialects and accents. 

 After an emergency surgery for the removal of my appendix, I was put into the surgery ward. Actually I wish to discuss the surgery in detail. After a lot of examination, tests and doctors poking fingers into my tummy, the doctors decided that my appendix was to be removed. I was put on a trolley and slowly pushed towards an unknown destination. With every passing light bulb that I saw on the ceiling while lying on my back, I was moving closer and closer to the place where cutting human beings with a knife is not a crime.

 I was led inside the operation theatre and made to lie on a very strange looking bed. Couple of doctors came to examine me, asked my name, the place where I lived, the name of my school and everything that shouldn’t have concerned them one bit. It was not going to help them in surgery anyway. Slowly a hand with a mask in it appeared from the side and started moving towards my face. Yes, I knew that had to come-Anesthesia. I thought I will try to resist sleep or even fool the doctors by closing my eyes then open them again. 

I kept my eyes open as wide as possible and then found myself being pushed in a trolley. Those light bulbs once again whizzing past. Strange as it may seem, my abdomen felt like ice. Oh! I had been operated upon and I couldn’t understand that why I didn’t feel the time passing by? I was told that the surgery took two long hours even though it seemed to me like a second. Really, my mind was switched off and then back on again. 

During the few days that I spent there I learnt many things. The ward was filled with simpleton villagers ( an appropriate Kashmiri word is ‘grees’). Even some of the doctors belonged to that category. Once during a routine check-up a doctor asked, “Hatuw, Tse mahuw chuy yed chakar yewaan” (Is strolling coming to you?). I being raised at a place where refined Kashmiri is being spoken without that typical Kashmiri accent ( which has frequent fluctuations in tone and shrillness) found it hard to understand (After all, how is strolling related to me?). I, quite confused , slowly looked at my mother, who gave me a sympathetic grin. Then she murmured in a language that I could understand better that the doctor was asking about cramps in my tummy. (Thanks to the knowledge of Ma regarding the ‘grees’).

 It also came under my observation that there is no dedication from the side of the doctors to work. The exception is a ward boy who is (unfortunately) a little mentally unfit. He does not do work at his allotted places but works wherever he wishes to. I want to stress upon that he really works. My folks always found him scrubbing the floors, pushing trolleys and what not. 

 SKIMS would have been a wonderful hospital had there not been the element of ‘Grees’. The bathrooms and toilets would have been sparkling clean had there not been the element of ‘Grees’. There would not have been leftover food in the bathroom drain had there not been the ‘Grees’. There would have been soaps and towels in there had there not been the ‘Gress’. There would have been other patients as well had there not been the ‘GRESS”. Basically I am mistaken, Kashmiris are known as grees people, like me, like you, like every stupid guy who walks around!!! Including me :D