Catch 22

via Daily Prompt: Moody

Dr. Shirshendu Das and Nachiketa Mitra were neighbors who gradually became good friends. Within a couple of years of private practice in Bakultala, Shirshendu had built up a reputation of being a good physician. Whereas Nachiketa was a Manager in a nationalized bank. Every Sunday evening they would assemble near a famous tea stall in their neighborhood to engage in an enthralling session of ‘adda’ over cups of tea and locally made biscuits. In one of these sessions, Shrishendu was not his usual self. He was moody and gloomily exclaimed,

“We doctors are just consoles and it is beyond our capabilities to foretell whether our patients will survive or not. Those who are destined to die will do so and those otherwise will live.”

“Why are you being so fatalistic?” enquired Nachiketa “The public views you with great regard and worship you as their saviors.”

“Well, three days back I had gone to attend a sixty year old lady who lay sick with a minor case of flue. Her pulse rate and blood pressure was normal and there wasn’t any symptom to be unduly worried about. I have been studying her for the last six to seven years and am well aware of her medical history. I prescribed her the usual medicines and advised certain tests to be carried out. And yesterday her son came to show me her report and informed me that she was much better now and roaming about the house as hale and hearty as ever. Most strangely there was nothing wrong in her report too. Today, early in the morning at around 5 am he came to inform me that his mother was found unconscious in bed. I went and found that she had already passed away.” Then taking a deep breathe, he continued,

“Whereas about a week back I had gone to examine an eighty-four year old man .His condition was very grave. He was listless, in spasms and was put on oxygen. I told his family members to be prepared for the inevitable and leave the rest to God as he seemed not to last even a week. Today at around 11 am, to my utter surprise, I found him visiting my chamber aided by his walking stick. With immense gratitude he blessed me for saving his life and requested me to accept a jar full of coconut sweetmeat balls that his wife had especially made for me.”



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