Posts Tagged ‘idlis’

SUGGESTION: Please peruse the previous post in order for this one to make any sense.

KN and I were soon at S’s place and all was calm except for his yelling. His sister saw us as we entered and came running to us. Her eyes were blood-shot from all the crying and her voice sounded feeble. S’s screaming only got louder. His mother was helplessly watching from another corner as he wouldn’t let anyone go near him.

Akka sobbed as she said, “He’s hurt and won’t even let us go near him let alone help him. He’s been raving for the last one hour. He’s not making any sense. He won’t tell us what happened or how he got home. He’s been asking for my dad and you the whole time, so we called you. He’s been repeatedly asking for today’s date. He’s forgotten everything, he won’t recognize me or my mom. I’m scared K. I don’t know what to do. We called my dad and he’s on his way.”

I tried comforting her as my head spun – Hurt? Forgot everything? Asked for me? – What in God’s name is happening here?

I ran in and I must say, I was NOT prepared for what I saw in S’s room! There he was, sitting up, the left side of his face covered in blood, a black eye, deep gashes and bruises on his left cheek, with a bleeding elbow. He was raving, as his sister said, constantly asking for the date and if he got the job at TCS (He had already secured a job at TCS the previous August through campus placements and was waiting for the offer letter at that time!).

As I approached him cautiously, I informed him that it was me and that the date was March 9th. I tried to calm him down when he suddenly turned to me and said, “I know you. You live in KPHB and your birthday is on ____, _. Right?”

Shocked as I was, I mumbled an affirmative and sat next to him, to which, he didn’t seem to mind (my best friend wouldn’t recognize me! I was partially devastated!). I reminded him that he had called me earlier, but he didn’t seem to recall anything. He was just stuck on the date and his job offer. When asked how he got hurt or how he came home without anyone’s assistance, he wouldn’t remember. He didn’t even seem to realise he was hurt. He would occasionally ask for his dad, who was on his way. He would not recognise KN but would reveal his birthday and his residence. It all seemed so depressingly bizarre!

One of S’s classmates and a common friend, SC, lived nearby. So, I called him over immediately. S’s dad and SC showed up around the same time. While I was panicking, his dad was as calm and unruffled as ever (I was always so in awe of him!). He took a look at S and asked if we had given him any medication. We replied in the negative and told him he wouldn’t take any and that he wouldn’t even let us give him first aid. He asked me and Akka to stay with him and S while KN and SC were sent to hire an auto to the hospital. He called S’s other sister, who was at work, and a relative and asked them to come home at once. We had difficulty getting S into the auto, as he would resist saying he was fine and that he wants to walk to wherever we all were going! Talk about acting out of one’s mind!!

We took him to the local Apollo, where, upon initial inspection the doctors couldn’t diagnose what the problem with his memory was. The injuries were attended to and they didn’t seem as serious. The doctors surmised that, he must have tried to get off a running bus or someone must have accidentally pushed him out and his head must have hit something hard as he fell. They suspected post-traumatic shock which, they said, sometimes causes short-term loss of memory lasting about an hour. They said they had to perform a CAT scan, just in case, for which, he must be transferred to the main Apollo branch in Jubilee Hills. S had to be administered a tranquilizer as his raving got worse, to the point of being uncontrollable. It was around 10.30 pm then.

Before we left for AJH (Apollo, Jubilee Hills), I called home and told my parents everything. They understood when I said I was going to stay with S for the night, particularly my sweet mother who knew S pretty well, was shocked and she sympathised saying, “Ayyo, paapam raa. Vaadu tvaraga kolukovaalani repu gudikelli abhishekam cheyistanu. Gotram, poorti peru cheppu.” (“Ayyo, poor guy. I will have an ‘Abhishekam’ performed at the temple tomorrow for his quick recovery. Give me his ‘Gotram’ and full name.”) 

The ride in the ambulance to AJH was peaceful as S was out cold for while. S’s dad and I were with him. The others – KN, SC, Akka, S’s other sister and the relative – drove to the hospital. At the hospital, S was taken to the emergency ward. A couple of doctors had been briefed on S’s case. By then S was beginning to regain consciousness. They performed a CAT scan and an ultrasound diagnosis and the results turned out to be normal. There was no visible damage to the brain. Thank God! But the fact that S still hadn’t regained his memory was baffling them. The cause remained elusive. I dont know what caused them to suspect this, but the doctors asked me (as his best friend) if S was on drugs! My jaw dropped! I thought the doctors had themselves gone crazy!! DRUGS? S? Was this some kind of joke? Because if it was, then their ill-timed sense of humour was indescribably despicable. But apparently, they weren’t joking, they were actually suspecting it. Sigh! It was like asking if a cow ever feasted on meat!!

“Impossible!” I exclaimed. I told the doctors that S cannot be on drugs and that I knew him well enough to assure them that. The doctors then suggested shifting him to the ICU for 24 hrs in order to monitor his condition.

Meanwhile, S was wide awake and had begun raving again. N and SB also made it to the hospital between 11.30 pm and midnight (How they came to know is another long story beginning with a series of misinterpreted phone calls from misinformed friends and culminating in the revelation of the truth!). S wouldn’t recognize anyone except his dad, but would remember everyone’s birthdays and residences. He would pester his dad to bring him a couple of books to keep him engaged because he was ‘bored’ there! The date and job offer came up again. He didn’t believe us when we told him that he was in AJH as he sceptically remarked, “O come on! Are you kiddin’ me? Tell me where I am.” His condition aside, it is a less acknowledged fact that he was getting onto everybody’s nerves!

In a while, he was transferred to the ICU and the doctors informed us that his condition would be monitored every hour for 24 hrs. They assured us that there was nothing to worry about and that they just wanted to conduct a routine examination, just in case.

So, by around thirty minutes past midnight, S was in the ICU. S’s dad volunteered to stay back at the hospital. We convinced him to go home and rest while we stayed back. The relative drove S’s dad and his other sister home while N, KN, SB, SC, Akka and I decided to keep vigil. And vigil we did keep! It was a long night of senseless but hilarious banter, late night walks and indiscriminate nurse-ogling. We were on a roll that night. I recall very few instances through out my life when I had laughed so hard. We talked and joked all night and leered at every female nurse on the night shift (only activity Akka couldn’t indulge in!). We were in the lounge on the ground-floor where relatives of other patients were sleeping their apprehensions off while there we were laughing it off. From our final semester projects to our rotten love lives, from the current state of politcs to our college professors’ pronounced linguistic ineptitude – all provided for the corpus of our absurd R-rated jokes! We walked around the sprawling precincts of the hospital, inlcuding the hostel for nurses opposite the main hospital building. Perverted as we men are, and cheap as it might sound, we couldn’t curb our hopes of getting to watch something at the nurses hostel! (I know, I should have avoided that sentence, but what the hell!!). We checked on S every hour. He was doing fine. Also, all of us were famished, since we hadn’t eaten anything since our last meal. We couldn’t go anywhere at that time, so we feasted on a pack of ‘nutritious biscuits’ and one loaf of bread, the only edibles the hospital’s 24 hr pharmacy had left. The night was thus spent. At around 7 am the following morning, there was a spectacle awaiting us at the hospital – the ‘well endowed’ nurses from the hostel swarmed the precincts, ready to start a new day – both for us and themselves! Aaah! The sight of more than a hundred uniformed nurses is always pleasant, especially with the wind blowing! (I know, it couldn’t get sleazier! But hey, I did enjoy the white parade!)

Anyway, after the early morning darshan, things slowly started to fall into place. At about 8 am, the doctors informed us that S’s condition was stable and that they were shifting him from the ICU. But they suggested he remain admitted for another day before being discharged. He was shifted to the general ward at 8.30 am. He was now wide awake and was acting normal. He recognized all of us and pretty much remembered everything until the previous afternoon except how he came to hurt himself like that or how he got home. He complained of a sharp recurring pain in his head. In any case, he was doing better than he did the previous night, which was quite relieving.

S’s dad and S’s other sister came to the hospital at around 9 and brought steaming hot idlis with sambar and chutney for us! (Akka had called him earlier and told him that all of us were starving!) We washed up a bit and brushed our teeth with our fingers and pounced on the food. We gorged on the idlis like there was no tomorrow. It was quite gratifying, to say the least, after almost a whole day on a burger, one loaf of bread and biscuits shared among six of us. So, after an agreeable breakfast, we spent some time with S pulling his leg over his ravings the previous night. At around 10 am some of S’s classmates showed up. After exchanging pleasantries, the six of us decided to head home and possibly come back in the evening (which never happened).

All of us went our separate ways. I reached home at around 11 am and I crashed on my bed. I slept, slept and slept even more. I got up at around 7.30 pm, dragged myself to the phone and called S’s dad to check on him, ate and then slept again.

So, there! One whole day which ended at 11 am on 10th March on my bed. Pheww!!! Some log huh!!

Well, S was discharged on the 11th and I went to see him. He basked in all the attention he was receiving from friends and family. I also found out my mom did go to the temple, as promised, the next day! (I love you even more Amma!) Anyway, one question still lingered – what exactly happened that evening? He just wouldn’t remember! Would you believe me if I told you that, to this day, he doesn’t know what exactly caused his injuries or how he got home. All he remembers is that he got into a bus that afternoon to go somewhere and that is all. So, we concluded he fell off the bus, but how? Nobody knows!

For all our fears of his mental incapacitation, he recovered completely to take up his coveted job at TCS where he worked for three years. He is currently pursuing the FPM program at IIM-Lucknow. WAY TO GO S!!

P. S. : This post is dedicated to S and my friends N, KN, SB, SC and Akka all of whom were part of one of the best night-outs I’ve ever had! I love you guys!!

Also, for those who were looking forward to the ‘well endowed nurses’ , this must have been a disappointment, considering all the hype I created and the insignificant role they played. I just needed a bait and this was it! Sorry if it was misleading and Thanks for reading!

Cheers!