Operation Mix-up

What a pity I was out for the count! The general anesthesia had wafted me into a euphoric state, while my mother and husband paced the corridor outside the operation theatre.

They were not along in their anxiety, I gathered later. A huddle of parents and grandparents to be, wrong their hands in nervous tension at the other end of the corridor. A large clock ticked ominously on the wall and as the minutes crawled by, cancer sticks were being puffed at incessantly by the gentlemen in both families. While the other family waited with bated breath for the first wail of their baby, mine waited impatiently for the nasty growth in my anatomy to be removed.

The door of the operation theatre squeaked open suddenly and all eyes were riveted on the 'sanctum sanctorum' . An unrecognizable surgeon emerged in mask, cap, gown and what have you! In her hand she cautiously held a kidney tray.

"What could the outcome be?" the thought was foremost in the minds of both families as they darted forward. The other group pipped mine at the post and surrounded the unsuspecting and engrossed doctor, who with eyes still riveted on the tray, wasted no time in going into the sickening details of the very "difficult" operation.

"We had to inject a dye to see how far to cut", she said, "and then we made the first incision …." While she continued in this vein, the hopeful yet hapless father looked at the tray, more and more bewildered".

Why didn't they hear the infant's cry? Where was the bundle of joy they had waited nine long months for? Was it that lifeless chunk of flesh in the kidney tray? Why was it so motionless? The doctor was saying nothing about the sex of the child …. Of course, it must be a girl …. nowonder, she showed no excitement ….

"But doctor sa'ab", mumbled the young father-to-be "how is my wife … the mother of my baby?"

"Baby? … what baby …?" asked Dr. Chaudhary incredulously. Then looking into the circle of pale, expectant faces, she realised that her patient's she realised that her patient's husband was not amount these …. "where is Veronica's husband?", she asked in amazement.

"Here we are!" yelled my mother as she broke the human cordon, and rushed to the doctor. "How is my daughter, doctor?" she asked.

Poor Dr. Chaudhary thrust the kidney tray with the piece of my dissected anatomy nestling in it, under my mother's nose and nonchanlantly went into a repeat performance, narrating the complications of the fistula operation.

A loud wail rent the air and it was a young nurse now that slipped out of the O.T., bearing a screaming infant … This time, the Gupta family members were rooted to the spot. They were not going to be fooled again.

"Mr. Gupta ! you have a son!" the nurse announced.

While the Guptas shot forward jubilantly to inspect their pride and joy, an exhausted Dr. Chaudhary walked into the O.T. bearing here kidney tray, leaving behind my poor mother still reeling under the effect of the gory details of the operation. She walked away nauseated mumbling to her son-in-law! "one man's meat sure is another man's poison !"

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