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Saarc 2014

The beloved Dr Ram


JAN 13 -

It was still dark outside when he woke up. His head felt like a ten-ton hammer as he struggled to lift it. He had had too much whiskey last night. His eyes were red and bleary. His right hand was lacerated from the fingers to the elbow; the blood seemed to have dried off. He dragged himself out of bed and staggered into the bathroom. When he got out, he realised his stomach was rumbling terribly; he hadn’t eaten anything while gulping down those two full bottles of whiskey.

“This stomach must be made silent,” he thought. With each second, the roar inside his intestines was getting louder. “Think. Think. I need to think here,” he tried to talk himself through the torment. His head was throbbing with a shattering pain. He knew that he had no food in the kitchen. And no water to drink.

•••

Ram was a doctor working at a very reputed hospital. He was building his reputation as a brilliant surgeon. He had worked hard through medical school in Dharan, and after completing his MBBS with exceptional grades, he had started work at a private hospital in Kathmandu. He was passionate and diligent, and everyone loved him. He was charming and wealthy, too. As one would expect, Dr Ram was the most sought after bachelor in the city. Dr Ram was also a little bit strange.

Few nurses had noticed Dr Ram hanging around the operation room long after surgery was over. After operations, Dr Ram would insist on being left alone with his patients. If an operation went wrong and the patient died, he would shut the doors of the operation theatre and remain inside for hours. Everyone assumed he needed solitude to reflect upon whatever had happened. Dr Ram would then come out, fresh and ready for another operation. No one bothered to ask what he did inside the theatre.

•••

He had to eat something somehow. He had heard news of remarkable feats, of people surviving without eating food for months. All those yoga freaks on TV, and those meditation freaks in the papers. He didn’t have such amazing stamina. He needed to eat something.

•••

Last night was an eerie one for Dr Ram. The hospital was dead still, like an old cemetery. “No patients tonight?” he thought, “Or are they all dead?” He got out of his cabin and started strolling around the emergency ward. A nurse was sleeping on her desk. The other nurses were not around. The reception hall was empty as well. The silence seemed strange and somehow menacing, as if something evil was about to happen.

Then, he saw her.

As he was about to turn on a corner towards his cabin, she appeared right in front of him. He staggered a few steps back in pure horror. Her eyes were beautiful. Her lower jaw was missing. She had long shiny black hair. Blood was gushing out her right ear. He took a few more

steps back. He soon realised that she was not a ghost, like in the movies. Nor was she a kichkandi. She was real. She stretched her hands, as if asking for help, and crept closer towards him.

“Oh God, it’s the receptionist,” he got back to his senses. He quickly grabbed her, lifted her up, and placed her on a stretcher; all by himself. He had to act fast. He pushed the stretcher along the corridor, into the operation room. He had no time to think. Once in the operation room, he started to cut loose her clothes. Except for her disfigured face, her body was like an angel’s. Dr Ram had never seen such a body. Perfect, without any blemish. She was still breathing, but by now she was almost unconscious. She was perfect.

Dr Ram took a stainless surgical blade and swiftly made a deep diagonal incision on her upper abdomen. The receptionist flinched and jerked her body violently. In the few grueling minutes, Dr Ram cut through her abdomen, reached inside, and took out her liver. His eyes were beaming like a thousand suns. He had always wanted to eat a liver. He had tasted  the heart and kidney before, but never a liver. He had never liked muscles, they were salty and chewy. “Someday I should try the brain as well,” he was contemplating, with the warm liver on his palm. Suddenly, she grabbed Dr Ram’s left hand, but only for a moment. He didn’t even know her name. Her body was still shuddering with involuntary spasms. And then, she was calm like an ocean. He gloated over the body one last time. It was perfect.

•••

Dr Ram dashed out of the operation room, and into his cabin. The nurse on duty was still sleeping like a stone. He wanted to get out, get home as fast as he could, and relish his treasure. The thought of roasted liver on his plate gave him a mild orgasm. He grabbed his stuff, slung his imported leather bag around his shoulder and then, made his way towards the exit. There was still no one at the reception, he knew why. He let out a faint, wry smile.

He paced towards the parking area. It was dead and dark. As he neared his Toyota car, he fumbled in his pocket for the car key. He always forgot which pocket he kept the keys in. “What’s wrong with my dimaag!” he cursed at himself. He never misplaced his cell phone. Nor did he ever misplace his wallet. But the car key seemed to be his weakness.

Then, he felt it.

WHACK.

Behind his head, at the back of his neck. It was as if the mighty Bhimsen had swatted him with his heavy iron club. And, another whack. This time, he dropped to the floor like a sack of potatoes. Completely dazed and shocked, and with both hands and knees on the ground, he gazed up slowly and saw that there were two junkies, one with a lead pipe and the other with a pistol. “Nai. Nai. Nai. This is not happening,” he couldn’t believe he was getting mugged. Not tonight. It was his night. He felt a hard kick upon his abdomen. He curled and writhed in agony. He was already half drowning in the pain. Helpless. They wanted his wallet, his watch, his car. And his bag. “Hey bhagwaan, not the bag, please.” He tried to fight for the bag but instead, got beaten with several, repeated thuds of the pistol’s butt on his head, and agonisingly painful kicks from feet bound in leather boots on his guts. They picked him up and then threw him like a pillow over the trash can. And they were gone. In his car. With every thing he had. In a matter of seconds.

•••

“This stomach must remain silent,” he thought. With each second, the roars inside his intestines were getting louder. “Think. Think. I need to think here,” he tried to talk himself through the torment. His head was throbbing with a shattering pain. He knew that he had no food in the kitchen. And no blood to drink. He had to eat something, somehow. He had to eat something, someone.

Posted on: 2013-01-13 08:42