Author – Manoj Kumar Sharma
03rd May 2020, Sunday
Bharat Nagar, INDIA
Historically before the year 2020, first Sunday of May month, was being celebrated grandiosely as World Laughter Day.
But, this year the scenario across the globe was unfortunately contradictory. Instead of any sign of laughters, the beginning of the day for human continued amid cries & sobs as dooming in unfortunate untimely deaths every here & there every now & then, deadly fear, inconsolable mourning, endless tears, mental trauma, deadly fear amid breathlessness and many more negativities.
The culpriting devil reasoning the death dance was insanely common across the world.
Covid-19, the latest mutant of Corona virus was madly torturing the human world beyond their wild imaginations. Never ever anybody was having any guesses for such devastations. Though world authorities, scientists and learned leaders were gesturing having clues about the originator of the deadly virus. But, as struggling suffering all-round losses of lives, trade, revenues, nobody was in position to confront by wedging a punishing war against the cannibalistic country China.
Universally, the only and only priority was to manage staying healthy, safe and to keep alive…to forget or postpone settling the grievances…
And there, in Bharat Nagar, India, at dawn, a milk vendor, Nandu Bhaiya riding his tricycle cart was roaming around while distributing milk to his customers…
Like anybody else, he was also fearful. But, as essential services were allowed while the ongoing strictest lockdown period, he was committed to discharge his business responsibilities.
To overcome his shivering fears while roaming in deserted roads, he was murmuring as enchanting ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ all the way.
Nandu was surprised when saw the delivery bag hung at door bolt of Pandya’s house was already having two pouches from previous days.
Surprised Nandu guessed, it means that the pouches delivered on yesterday and day before yesterday were not being collected, and, even he also missed to check. He got suspicion, whether Jasoda Madam was not well or she has gone somewhere outside and by mistake hanged the bag at the door.
Curious Nandu then tried to peep into the window, and, found that Jasoda Madam was lying on the floor in unusual posture, and the TV was on. He smelled something wrong, that’s why the old pouches not being collected….
Tensed Nandu, then knocked the doorbell and yelled, “Madamji….Madamji……” Repeated, calling for couple of times. But there was no response. Then called up Jasoda but, got the message that phone is switched off….
Desperate Nandu tried to take help of neighbors, but, faced negative uncooperative responses.
Then he remembered something and called up Jasoda’s daughter Asha.
“Hello,” A male voice with low energy responded.
Nandu whispered, “Hello! Babyji, I, Nandu Bhaiya speaking, from Jasoda Madam’s house”.
“Ah, sorry. Not Babyji…I am her husband, Paresh Bhai speaking. What’s the matter?” Paresh asked.
“Hello Sir, need to speak to Babyji…its urgent,” Nandu reciprocated.
“Oh, but, sorry Nandu bhaiya, due to Corona Babyji passed away two days back,” Paresh responded in sad voice.
Nandu was not aware, he got shocked at that news. But, continued with grief, “Sir, sorry to hear. But, here also, it seemed that something is wrong.”
He briefed Paresh bhai about the scenario at Pandya’s house.
“Oh my God! In such situation, please take help of neighbors. Fast…,” Paresh expressed.
“I tried talking to few neighbors, but, nobody seemed as willing to help. All of them said that in Pandya’s house there was death due to Corona, so nobody can come over there. And asked me to contact Municipal Corporation. Then I thought, better anyone of you come here to handle the situation here,” Desperate Nandu pleaded.
“I know Papaji passed away three days back, neither me nor Mummyji were allowed to do anything for the last rituals……Nandu bhaiya, extremely sorry to say that I can’t come over there, even if I wish. Its strict lockdown all over, I will not get any taxi or auto-rickshaw. Even own vehicles are not allowed…..
Situation is so worst that relatives are not being allowed for handing over of dead bodies, government authorities are doing the cremation process and relatives are not being allowed to be there….
Do one thing, please contact their family doctor Dr Maan as early as possible, who lives in nearby area only….He will surely help us in this situation. I am texting his contact no. to you,” Paresh responded.
“Oh yes….I know Dr Maan. Please get me his no. I will call him right now, I will update you later,” Nandu hurried
Pandyas were old loyal customers, and, it’s the golden hearted Nandu, who couldn’t leave anybody of that family suffering unattended in such dire situation.
He immediately called up Dr Maan as soon as got his no.
“Namaste! Dr Sir, I Nandu Bhaiya, milk man calling,” Nandu in soft voice.
“Namaste! Tell me how I can help you,” Dr Maan responded.
“Sir, I am calling from Jasoda Madam’s house….,” He narrated the whole story quickly.
Dr Maan shocked, “Oh my God! Do one thing, you stay back there. I am coming in five minutes”
Dr Maan changed his clothes, wore his PPE Cap and Hand Gloves, masked his face, took his stethoscope, first aid kit and hurriedly left towards Pandya’s house riding his bicycle.
Dr Maan reaches Jasoda’s house, Nandu was waiting for him sitting at ground outside. His tricycle cart was parked in front of Jasoda’s house.
They exchanged looks, then heading towards the front window, Nandu followed him.
After watching Jasoda in night gown lying as in deep sleep on floor, he uttered sadly, “Oh….”
Then Nandu couldn’t stop repeating his earlier version, “Not responding for door bell, and mobile is switched off”
Dr Maan (little bit tensed), “Hmmm…..there is only one exit door. It has to be broken….Nandu! Push hard, break the door…quick….”
Nandu started pushing the door with his all might, after 5-6 trials the door bolt got dislodged and the door got opened.
Dr Maan, without losing any time, started checkup…..SPO2, BP, pulse rate, breathing pattern. He sensed slight ray of hope…
Meanwhile while looking around, he found Jasoda’s 3 day’s old RTPCR negative Report, lot of exhausted boxes and strips of various medicines, he got shocked when watched carefully.
His expressions went weird and couldn’t sense when started self-talking, “It seems that Covid has taken sever toll over Jasoda, she might suffered attack of depression because of serial deaths in family since last few days.
Three days ago, her husband Sudheer Pandya passed away.
Then within hours got News from USA that their son and daughter-in-law also passed away out of severe Covid infection.
Next day their pregnant daughter Asha lost her life while waiting in Ambulance outside a well-known hospital, as she couldn’t get admission in any hospital, she succumbed to premature miscarriage. The News of untimely deaths of family members in a row led to emotional breakdown caused such severe breach of pregnancy.
Being the family doctor, I was getting informations from Asha or her husband, and, I also tried my level best to support them in such dire situations. But, since last two days I was not being contacted and as I was busy with my own online practice, I couldn’t find time to speak to them.
And it seems that such deepened sadness might led to acute depression, then Jasoda followed my earlier prescriptions and attempted bulk consumption of chronicle insomnia tablets and other antibiotics also, most probably for committing suicide…..”
“What happened Dr Saab?” Nandu’s voice interrupted his array of self-talking.
“Ahh….just checking her condition. She is unconscious, with very low breathing. Pulse rate and oxygen levels are very low. BP is also very low. Good part is that still she is alive, but, its emergency case, needs to be admitted in hospital at the earliest. Wait! Let me check with nearby hospitals…” Dr Maan expressed in a serious note.
Nandu responded in hope, “Ok Sir”
Dr Maan spoke to one well known hospital with whom he had very good relations. But, was told about unavailability of beds, even all the lobbies also full of Covid patients. More than that yesterday only the hospital was converted as dedicated Covid Hospital, so, no chance of admission for any non-covid patients.
But, Dr Maan didn’t lose hope, and, kept on trying exploring possibility of admitting Jasoda, even in any farthest hospital.
Unfortunately, even being a senior practicing doctor as GP, having good professional relations with many hospitals and fellow doctors, he didn’t get any positive response.
Couple of close doctor friends suggested him that as this case being the attempted suicide case by bulk consumption of prescribed sleeping pills, the patient and the doctor will have to face police investigations and which could be further detrimental amid ongoing panic-stricken pandemic period. So, better keep silent and try treating at own level.
After several attempts he started feeling annoyed with uncontrollable irritations….
Frustrated Dr Maan stared at Nandu and whispered in desperation, “There is tremendous pressure because of covid. Not getting admission in any hospital. Even Ambulances are not available.
And we don’t have time, she is sinking slowly…It could be fatal if it will be late further…Let’s take Madam to my clinic…
“But without Ambulance how we can take her to your clinic?” Nandu asked curiously.
Staring outside of the window, Dr Maan asked, “By your tricycle cart…first remove all the materials from the cart. After shifting Madam to my clinic, come back here and take back your whole stuff….Is it ok with you?”
Nandu nodded his head in agreement and vacated all of his stuff (carets, milk bags etc) and kept inside Pandya’s house.
Then they both used the sofa seat as stretcher and shifted Jasoda in the tricycle cart.
Dr Maan left the main door as hanged in unlocked condition, because the door bolt was broken and they couldn’t find the keys.
Tensed Dr Maan then left towards his clinic-cum-house, Nandu followed him…..
As soon as they reached the clinic, Dr Maan called the nurse, “Swapna….Swapna….”
Swapna peeped out from the first floor balcony, surprised to see the outside scene and hurriedly got down through staircase and asked in surprise, “Yes Doctor!”
“Sister! Bring the stretcher, shift the patient in clinic. Do everything fast, saline, oxygen. Call pathology lab guy and send for blood and swab testing….do fast…,” Dr Maan instructed in single breath.
“Yes doctor,” Sister responded quickly and turned back to bring the stretcher.
“Stop….one second….one more thing, she had consumed lot of sleeping pills and antibiotics…so after getting stable, we need to remove the intoxications. If can’t vomit, then, we will have to drain out everything….and then send samples for testing…..,” Dr Maan insisted further.
“Ok! Doctor…,” Sister responded and left to bring the stretcher.
Nandu helped the Sister to shift Jasoda into the clinic and then returned back. Dr thanked him for his helping gesture and timely action.
Sister Swapna did everything required and as instructed by Dr Maan.
After few hours, when the basic parameters SPO2, pulse, temperature, BP got normal, and, slight movements observed in her eyes, legs and hands, they tried to speak to her. But, there was no response.
So, then they injected medicines for flushing out the whole toxic stuff of pills…
After few hours, after flushing out the intoxicating stuff, somehow Jasoda gestured as stable.
Then, Dr Maan instructed for feeding light liquid diet and few more necessary medicines…
Finally, Dr Maan was quite comfortable after watching improvements in Jasoda’s health, even though she was getting unconscious intermittently.
At the end of the day he instructed the nurse to stay back with Jasoda in the ground floor clinic, and, himself stayed with his bedridden ailing mother at first floor. However he may call the nurse during night hours, if any emergency situation arises for his mother.
Next two days, Jasoda was observed as lying in the stretcher, mostly unconscious. Dr Maan and nurse took utmost care and continued best clinical treatment as per standard practice coupled with oral feeding. Dr Maan and the nurse Swapna preferred adult diaper instead of catheter.
Fourth day, early morning, Jasoda was found as wakeup, staring into blank with dim eyes. Nurse helped her with daily morning courses, empty stomach tests, breakfast, post breakfast medication and testing for various parameters.
Few minutes later, when gone through today’s reports, Dr Maan with mixed expressions gazed at Jasoda, who was in half-sitting posture, smiled and greeted her, “Good morning Jasodaji! How are you feeling now?”
Jasoda looked at him with slight irritation and fumbled, “Hhmmmm…..”
Dr Maan advanced further, “Good to see you awake…after many days….”
His too formal words further irritated Jasoda, remembering unfortunate happenings in past few days, self-talking started instead of responding, “How I remained alive? Why I survived? I don’t want to live anymore, without my husband and children….Who told the doctor about me?”
Despite her silence Doctor Maan kept on trying connecting with her, “How are you feeling now?”
Without gazing at him Jasoda whispered passively, “Let me go to my home….”
Quickly thought something smilingly Dr Maan responded, “Ya….sure…but, first let your health get recovered….”
Jasoda with mild annoyance grunted, “I am ok now…”
Dr Maan trying convincing her, “Good….but, these reports are telling that still many parameters are not normal. So, we need to wait for few more days….”
“But, I am feeling better now…I will manage everything at home….Please get me discharge from here…,” Intervened with folded hands Jasoda pleaded wearing expressions as suffocatingly irritated patient in that clinic.
Smelling odd at repetitive requests from Jasoda, and, considering her failed suicide attempt, not in opinion to take any risk by discharging her in such sensitive health conditions. So, cautiously trying to convince her, “Ok…don’t worry. It seems that you might not feeling comfortable lying on stretcher in clinic here, so, we will shift you in one bed room upstairs. There you will feel better…..ok….,”
Immediately asked the nurse to shift Jasoda in one bedroom at first floor and do sanitize the room before shifting. Swapna left for sanitizing that bedroom and other arrangements. In another bed room his 95 years old ailing mother was kept, who was in bedridden condition since past many months.
Then he turned towards Jasoda, looking deeply into her eyes and with caring smile uttered softly, “Jasodaji! I do understand. (Repeated) Lying in the stretcher here for long time might be making uncomforting, but, now in a proper bed you will feel comfortable….”
He restrained himself for talking about the trauma she was facing after serial deaths in her family.
In the flow of convincing Jasoda, he put his hands over her shoulders to comfort her. But, Jasoda felt uncomfortable and without making any eye contact shook her shoulders in aggrieved reaction to get rid of his unnecessary touching gesture….Dr Maan understood her unworded response and kept on convincing, “Trust me, you will be fine very soon…”
Jasoda, deeply drawn into depression and on top of that upset at failure of her suicide attempt, was in self-talking mode amid volatile mood swings and not willing to stay back here in Dr Maan’s clinic. She smelled that Dr Maan will not discharge her soon, so, bursted out without keeping any eye contact, “I don’t stay here….I will go” and forcibly tried to get up at her own to walk off, but, couldn’t succeed, slipped from the stretcher, tumbled and fell down over the floor. She tried to get up at her own, but, couldn’t succeed…
Dr Maan shocked at such unexpected volatile behavior, stretched his hands to lift her. But, she didn’t extend her hands for his help. Then Dr Maan bow down, hold Jasoda by her shoulders and then somehow managed to lift her back and then lay her down over the stretcher…..
In that whole chaos, Dr Maan and Jasoda had very close unavoidable bodily contacts, which further irritated her to limitless annoyance, led her bursting out with sudden loads of tears, “Don’t touch me, go away….leave me alone…”
(Actually a bad experience from past, many years ago, surfaced out of subconscious memory of Jasoda. In that incident, Jasoda somehow felt bad touch from their family doctor Dr Maan while bodily checkup, specifically while checkup with stethoscope. Later on she complained to her husband, but, Paresh Bhai had great regards for Dr Maan and he couldn’t believe what Jasoda felt. He rubbed out the allegations of Jasoda labelling as utter confusion, and, consolidating Dr Maan’s position by stating that he is a thorough gentleman and good human being. But, Jasoda couldn’t forget that incident and later on always being reluctant to see Dr Maan in any medical situations, even though all other family members continued with Dr Maan. The irony of the whole affair was that Dr Maan was not aware of such development.)
As a well experienced doctor, he sensed the essence of the case. Collated all of his vim & vigor, without letting her annoyed further he pleaded, “Jasodaji! Please try to understand. I am your family doctor since so many years. It’s my responsibility to take care of your health and safety. Please trust me…As soon as your health improves, we will get you discharge very soon.
Without making any eye contact Jasoda responded regretfully by turning her head in opposite direction, as she was upset with his extra cautious approach.
By that time the nurse returned back there.
Understanding the psyche of his patient, Dr Maan tactfully let the tensed moments to ease out and handled the situation comically, with half smile he drolled, “Sister! Madam is not in good mood…make her mood fine…and shift her to upstairs bedroom, and, continue the same treatment…”
The nurse understood, smiled and immediately started all the arrangements.
Next two days nurse helped Jasoda in walking and light physical exercises, and, gave her exhaustive body massage twice a day. Jasoda had small conversations intermittently with the nurse, which it seemed made her mood quite stable.
Sixth day evening, nurse left the Mom’s room after furnishing the last dose of medication, and, headed towards Jasoda’s room for today’s last dose…Dr Maan was watching TV News in ground floor.
“Dr…. Dr….come here…come fast,” nurse’s scream pulled his attention, and, he ran away towards Jasoda’s bedroom upstairs.
While he was climbing the staircase, the nurse continued screaming, “Jasoda Mam has locked door from inside, I knocked 2-3 times, but she is not opening the door.”
Shocked Dr Maan himself started knocking the door again and again and yelling, “Jasodaji! Open the door….. Jasodaji! Open the door…..”
When didn’t get any response, signaled to break the door. He and nurse pushed hard repetitively. Finally within couple of minutes the door got knocked off, and, the scene inside shocked them red and blue…
….Jasoda standing over the patient stool, wrapped up bed sheet as a rope into the fan shaft disc, entangled around her neck, seemed that just pushed off the stool (when they were trying to break the door) and her body was shaking off badly struggling against breath chocking…
“Oh…no…no…no….no…,” screamed the shocked Dr Maan.
He and nurse rushed towards her, holding her legs Dr Maan yelled, “Sister, hold her legs tightly, keeping her uplifted to avoid the breath choking”.
Then he immediately brought another stool lying in that room, stood up over it, untied the bedsheet rope. Then they both jointly laid down Jasoda over the bed.
Nurse immediately checked up her various vital parameters and then put on oxygen and saline.
Tensed Dr Maan asked the nurse to be there only, shouldn’t go anywhere, don’t do anything else, and only keep watch over her.
Desperate Dr Maan moved out to living room, dumped into sofa and called up his associate neurosurgeon Dr Bhave.
After hearing all the details Dr Bhave said, “Really, very sad…This was her second attempt within a week’s time. And, due to ongoing covid19 loads on medical infrastructure and lockdown we can’t do the required comprehensive testing, investigation…
….Even face to face counselling by me couldn’t be possible, and, virtual counselling won’t be delivering any results. So, let’s do whatever could be possible right now in current grim scenario…
…The need of the moment is to let her sleep as much as possible to reduce the stress levels and depression…
…I am messaging some prescriptions. Arrange at the earliest either online or offline, and, inform me back, if any problems in getting the same. And keep me updated…Need to handle the case diligently from patient’s and legal or ‘Police Case’ perspectives…
Dr. Maan nodded his head in agreement, “Hmmm”.
Next couple of days passed like years…
Jasoda was seen as silent statue throughout the days. Not making any eye contacts, always gazing into somewhere in voids. Passively consuming food, that also very less amount. Passively consuming medicines.
Her body language and gestures clearly signaling that she was annoyed by the failure of her suicide attempts and let nobody make her feel embarrassed out of her failed suicide attempts. No desire to live such devoid life without her husband and children, who untimely lost their lives in a row, just in couple of days’ time span. The shocks were beyond tolerances.
Though nurse was indulging her in walking exercise and massages twice a day, but, Jasoda was passive all the times.
Postures and activities of Dr Maan and nurse were as engaged in taking care of Jasoda through various clinical procedures.
Overall ambient was heavily tensed under the shadows of Jasoda’s failed suicide attempts and passive non-cooperation.
Dr Maan had clear instructions for the nurse to keep close watch over Jasoda.
On other hand Dr Maan himself was tensed with the turbulent thoughts, if anything could had gone wrong at the recent suicide attempt, then he might had also faced the legalities.
So, extremely cautious Dr Maan actioned few precautionary measures as best vigil to have better control over any suicidal eventuality further –
- Removed the door bolts of main door and toilet door
- Stools and chairs were removed from the room
- Ceiling fan was removed, now only AC was there for air circulation and conditioning as well
- The fan hook was covered
- All sharp objects like knife, etc were removed from the room and the kitchen
- The external valve of gas line was locked, to be operated either by him or the nurse, as and when required
- The balcony door was locked from inside
- All the medicines, other medical items and equipments were kept hiding from Jasoda
As Jasoda remained silent with emotionless frozen face, not responding to them positively, Dr Maan smelled something might be cooking up weirder than earlier. Being a doctor, he was well aware that a person desiring suicide is more dangerous than any killer. So, he was managing to stick closely around Jasoda, either him or nurse.
Then that night, as the routine, nurse finished the last medication of Mom and came into Jasoda’s room. Jasoda was not in bed, Dr Maan wearing earphone was watching something in his mobile, while sitting near Jasoda’s bed.
Guessing that Jasoda might be in washroom, nurse moved towards washroom (thanks to the odd decision of removing the inside door bolt)…
“Oh…no…no…Dr….Dr…,” The screams of nurse distracted Dr Maan’s attention from the mobile, and he ran towards the washroom…
“Oh my God…what the hell…,” He also groaned in despair, after seeing the unfortunate scene inside the washroom…
…Jasoda was unconsciously lying down on the floor amid dripping traces of blood, rinsing through her both the wrists, and broken pieces of bangles scattered over there…
Using experience, Dr and nurse controlled their emotions arose out of sudden shock, shifted Jasoda quickly on the bed. Did bandage immediately around the wrist cuts, to stop the bleeding. But, the blood pressure dropped down very low, because of bleeding.
Dr asked the nurse to check for the blood stock in own clinic and in nearby blood banks and to make arrangements for blood transfusion ASAP. Meanwhile he checked her blood group in the previous records available with him.
He felt comfortable when found that his own blood group ‘B+’ was matching with her.
Meanwhile nurse informed that there is no blood available in their clinic’s stock and also not available in any nearby blood banks
Dr Maan took decision quickly. Then they shifted the stretcher lying in ground floor to first floor, and kept near Jasoda’s bed, who was still unconscious. He asked the nurse to start the process of blood transfusion.
The situation compelled him to remain lying idle there, as the process was very slow.
As Jasoda was still unconscious, he thought to use idle time to consult Dr Bhave, but, it seemed that the call was picked up by somebody else…
Unknown Person, “Yes”
(Little bit surprised to hear different voice)
Dr Maan, “Hello! I am Dr Maan speaking, need to talk to Dr Bhave”
Unknown person, “Hello Dr Maan, I am Dr Deshmukh this side…Actually Dr Bhave got infected with Covid and been admitted here, his condition is little bit serious. By the way, please tell me, what I can do?”
Though shocked at that News, but, still tried his level best to get needed help. To convince him, firstly Dr Maan briefed about the Jasoda depression case, he was handling right now…Then requested him to allow few words with Dr Bhave.
Considering the seriousness of Jasoda case, Dr Deshmukh allowed him to have few words with Dr Bhave.
“Dr Bhave, extremely sorry to hear about you…,” Dr Maan whispered and then briefed him very quickly and asked what best can be done to get better control over the severe depression attack and serial suicide intents of Jasoda.
Dr Bhave (coughing intermittently, whispered in low voice), “Hhmmmm…See, when proven treatments and medicines are not working, the patient behavior is worsening…and when thorough checkup & investigations not being feasible in current stringent lockdown period…then in these dire situations, use alternate therapy to cure the patient asap…else it would be late, it seems in this case…
“Alternate….ok…any suggestions…,” Dr Maan pleaded.
Dr Bhave (coughing intermittently in weak voice), “Hmmm….try to find out her intrinsic emotional traits, likings and dislikings, hobbies…do things more and more what she likes…don’t do anything which she dislikes…start behaving with human touch, not as a doctor…that will start bringing her back from hyper-depression to normal state of emotions…that will boost her dead emotional quotient…use Nature and its gifts around us for healing…use human-to-human relationship….(coughing)…ok…”
Dr Maan (shying to continue), “Ok, thanks really….please take care” and closed the call.
Almost the whole night passed in the process of blood transfusion, but, the intermittent tests indicating need of some more amount of blood, which could be taking few more minutes…As Jasoda was kept under anesthesia, the effect of which was also about to be over in few minutes time…
Nurse spent almost whole night sitting near them, intermittently facing blinks of sleepiness, somehow managing making rounds to see Mom also.
To be continued…
Dedolor Part 2 is coming 31 March 2023.
About Manoj Kumar Sharma:
Born & brought up in Bhilai and graduated from Raipur, Chattisgarh and worked as a professional engineer in various MNC’s & Corporates in Mumbai.
Reading & writing were the crazy passions since school days, and, finally MIЯЯЯO alighted. MIRRRO @ THE WEIRD WAYWARD is a Social Fiction / Urban Fiction…where India’s perennial social problems are targeted from absolute cleansing perspectives in unimaginable, unthoughtful weird ways….which never ever happened in any part of the world.