Uma , too shocked, stared at the sparkling diamond ring on Teena’s hand. Looking at her shocked expression Teena laughed and said, “Uma I told you that idiot is just behind you only to get his examinations notes. Just four days’ meeting with me and he had presented me with this ring. A bloody @@@@”. As Uma was still looking at her with a dazed expression, Teena threw the ring in the toilet and flushed it off.
She came back and said, “I have a night shift. You forget about that fellow and have a good night rest” Picking up her stethoscope and white overcoat Teena left the hostel.
Uma still could not believe that Anish could have done this. But she also knew that Teena, her best friend, could not lie to her. It was about four month’s back that she had met Anish, her junior, for the first time. He was doing his post-graduation in Gynaecology, while she had completed the course and was working in the same hospital. She remembered the first day how he approached her with a nervous look asking for some doubts. She being brilliant student immediately sat with him and helped him with the subject. Then the meeting shifted from the library to canteen and they became more frequent as they discussed the lessons over a cup of coffee. Before she realized she was in love with Anish and started actually waiting for him. He seemed to respond with equal warmth and they even started planning about their future.
Uma was not very pretty or attractive by Indian standards and never had any response from any male member in her life so far. She was a brilliant student throughout her academics and always concentrated only on her examinations. Hence this first love, the admiration Anish showed to her, bowled her over and she was in her dream-world.
A week back she disclosed her love for Anish to her roommate Teena. Teena was shocked. She said, “Uma that Anish is a rogue and hangs around with so many girls. He is cheating you” As Uma refused to believe her, she accepted the challenge and said that she would prove the truth about Anish in a week’s time. Teena was a very pretty girl and a head turner wherever she went. But Uma was so sure that the love of Anish will not fail. But, today just after one week Teena brought a sparkling diamond ring which Anish had given her as s present for their love and proved her point.
Uma never worried about the lack of attention from the opposite sex and she knew that she was not attractive. Hence Asish’s praising her knowledge and intelligent all the time instead of her looks, made her believe that he was a different man who respected intelligence than the appearance. This shock was too much for her to swallow. She felt highly ashamed as if she was exposed to the whole world in her skin. She felt totally empty inside.
She put on her white overcoat and walked towards the hospital. It was her night off and she knew that no one will be calling her for any emergency that night.
Reaching the hospital she got into the lift and entered the 5th floor. She started walking the long corridor outside the maternity ward. At the end of the ward, there was a storeroom, which had the medicines and other needed things for the patient. As she entered the room the staff nurse at the desk got up and said, “Good evening Doctor. Do you need any medicine?”
Uma forced a simile and said, “No it is OK, I am looking for some specific combination of a new medicine. I want to find how many combinations are available here with us in the store” She walked inside and the nurse took her position back in her chair. She walked across rows and rows of cupboard till she came to the one cupboard she was looking for. She took a bottle of very strong sleeping pills and quietly slipped it into her coat pocket. In her total dejection her mind was all blank and she never even once thought about the seriousness of her action. She came out of the room and thanking the nurse started walking towards the lift.
She was just about to enter the lift she heard a scream, “Doctor Uma, Doctor, please stop” It was a voice of a known a nurse. As she turned she found nurse Hema Patil, running towards her from the maternity ward. She stopped and waited for the panting nurse to reach her. The Nurse blurred out more than talking, “Doctor, please come for help. Doctor Shweta is not able to handle the patient and the patient is sinking” Without a single word Uma turned and started running towards the maternity ward along with the nurse.
The operation theatre was in a total chaos. The patient was about a sixteen-year-old girl and was trying to jump off the bed screaming, “ “Leave me alone! Let me die. I don’t want this baby” While two nurses were struggling to pin her down to the bed. The fresh young Doctor Swetha in her scrub clothes and gloves was struggling to do her work. As nurse draped a scrub coat and face mask to Uma, she whispered, “The patient is a rape victim, teenage girl”
Uma started talking loud as she dressed saying, “Hey are you not the pretty girl who was selected for Super dancer show on the TV last year. I am so glad to see you here”
For a moment the girl blinked and stopped fighting. Using this moment the nurses pinned her down on the bed. The girl looked at Uma with her tear-stained bewildered eyes and said, “I never went on any TV show. Which show are you talking about? “
Uma now gestured Sewtha with her eyes to continue her job and coming closer near the face of the girl she said, “ Are you sure that you were not in the TV anytime? But your face is very pretty and looks exactly like the winner girl”
The girl’s eye widened and said, “But I had only watched the TV shows. Which one are you talking about?” Uma kept her conversation on as she joined Swetha in her work. Together they pulled out the tinny baby struck at an odd angle, safely from the mother’s uterus. She handed over the baby to the smiling sister and leaving the remaining delivery process to Swetha , she came near the face of the girl and said softly, “If you don’t want the baby it is OK. The hospital will keep the baby. But you take care of your health as your life is precious and be happy that now all the pain is over” She tenderly touched the face of the girl, the victim, who was crying heartbroken again. She injected the girl with a sedative and the girl calmed down.
As she came out to the side room and washed her hands the nurse said, “Thank you so much, doctor. I know you are on off duty today. In spite of that, you came and helped us. But for you, we would have lost both the bay and the mother”
Uma patted the nurse and said smiling, “It OK, Hema! I was around here just by coincidence. God decides everything. Take care of that girl”
Just as she was talking the intercom on the wall started blaring.” All doctors please listen. An emergency situation had occurred. All the doctors free, off duty, on duty, all are requested to come down to the causality ward immediately. A large number of accident victims are there to be attended urgently.” The announcement started a second time. But by that time Uma had already rushed to the lift. She went down to the main reception area which leads to the causality ward.
The reception itself was filled with wounded, bleeding patients all over as there was no room in the side the causality ward. Two buses had collided head-on and loads of sleeping passengers were injured. There were young and old women, men and many children too. They were bleeding so profusely that it was difficult to make out where they were injured. Within seconds doctors and nurses started busily treating the injured. IV stands and oxygen cylinders were drawn to the same place as there was not much time to shift them to a proper bed.
By half an hour all the doctors who were sleeping peacefully in their home also came down to help. Some of the patients needed blood and they were attended in priority. Many patients needed stitches for heir cuts and wounds. Some needed orthopaedic help for their broken bones. The night stretched to the next day and then night again and the doctors and nurses were not even aware of that, as they worked tirelessly. Three pregnant women went to premature delivery due to accident and Uma’s hands were full. By the next early morning, as the patients settled down, she went to the doctors changing room. She flopped on a chair and instantly fell asleep.
She has woken up by a friendly nurse with a cup of hot tea in the morning. Smiling the nurse said, “Doctor, most of the patients are now stable and our regular duty doctors are taking care. You can go back to the room and take a good rest” Uma got up and took the tea. Thanking the nurse she went back to the ward again, to have a look at the patients. Now each and every bed had a group of relatives, most of them were villagers. They had reached the hospital on hearing the news. As she went to each bed all the relations thanked her profusely with folded hands for saving the life of their near and dear ones. Many of them actually fell at her feet and she had difficulty in stopping them from doing it.
After one hour she returned to her room. She removed her white coat and threw it on the cot. The bottle of sleeping pills rolled out of the pocket. She picked it up and stared at it. She turned and saw her reflection in the mirror. The hundreds of faces which thanked her including the rape victim’s crying face, swept through her memory. She looked at her reflection and talked to herself. “ These are the hands which helped so many patients to overcome their pain. This body had the strength to go through two days work without a break doing the greatest job to humanity. When God has made me for this purpose, how silly of me to think of destroying the will of God. Thank you, God, for saving me from my stupid emotional mistake” After her shower, she went back to the storeroom to replace the sleeping medicines safe in the cupboard.
Now Uma is running a counselling service along with her hospital job to help the people who think of committing suicide, especially for the students who get low marks or girls who end up with a broken heart.
She advises them, “God has created everyone for a purpose. Life is very precious. If you meet a dead end turn your direction. Maybe God is waiting for you with something much bigger”