Sunday, July 1, 2012

In you we trust - 9

(This is the ninth part of a fictional short story - In you we trust. You can find the first part here.)


Dr. Jha looked at the report gravely. He then looked up and asked Prakash, "What exactly happened?"

Prakash replied, "Nothing sir. I was just playing a prank on Aparna madam. I promise, sir. Nothing like that happened. I take the utmost care to make sure these things don't happen. You know that na, sir?"

Dr. Jha said, "Yes, I know Prakash. I trust you completely. But do you realize what you have done? Aparna is not going to take this easy. She will create hell for you - and me! The police is not going to believe you when you say it was all only a prank."

"Police? Why police, sir? Why will the police get involved in a medical matter?"

"Well, it is no longer simply a medical matter. You told Aparna that a mistake was made and now she has turned positive. What else do you expect from her? What do you expect from anybody? Heck, even I would go to the police!"

Prakash was shocked. He did not know what to do or how to react. He was seeing his entire career and life being destroyed in front of his eyes for no fault of his and he could not do anything about it.

"When will she come next?"

"Tomorrow."

"Ask her to meet me when she comes."

The next day, Aparna knocked on Dr. Jha's door. "Come in", Dr. Jha beckoned.

"Sit down Aparna."

"Good morning Doctor!"

"How are you doing Aparna?"

"I am fine Doctor, thank you. Prakash said you wanted to meet me?"

"Yes. I wanted to meet you. So, Aparna, your Hepatitis C report has come positive. While I understand this might be disturbing for you, I must also tell you that this is not a very big thing. This disease takes 10, 15, sometimes 20 years for any symptoms to show up. And that is if we do not treat it. These days there are some very good treatments available and most probably we should be able to eliminate the virus."

Aparna was shocked. As Dr. Jha said the last few words, tears started rolling down her cheeks. She immediately pulled out a handkerchief and wiped them off.

The tears gave way to rage however.

"How did this happen Doctor?"

"Aparna, I know it sounds horrible but to tell you the truth, these things happen in dialysis units in our country. We have still not been able to eliminate cross infections. Whatever we do, patients invariably turn positive every now and then."

"No Dr. Jha. In my case it did not happen just like that. It was done intentionally. He wanted to take revenge. He wanted to teach me a lesson. You know that Doctor!"

"Aparna, you're being unreasonable now. I understand you are going through hell right now. Please take care of yourself. I know, right? Many patients turn positive. It is nothing that Prakash did." Dr. Jha did not want to mention the prank. It would not be right at this point, he thought.

"I am not going to take this lying down Doctor. No way!"

"I can only advise you Aparna. It is your decision after all. You need to take good care of yourself."

"Thanks Doctor. I will leave now."

Aparna got up and left.

A flood of emotions hit her. Anger, confusion, despair, frustration. Prakash has done this for sure. I will not let him get away with it. I will see this to its logical end.


The next day, Aparna sought an appointment with the CEO of Charaka Hospital, Dr. Raghunatha Doraisamy.

Dr. Doraisamy was a cardiologist with over tweny five years of practice. He had started Charaka Hospital about four years back. He was a very reputed doctor and Charaka became quite famous in a short span of time. He had a good circle of friends from among doctors and he enlisted quite a few of them to join his hospital over time.

Aparna explained the sequence of events to him. He gave her a patient hearing. At the end of it, he said, "Ma'am, I am very sorry that this happened to you. I assure you that I will enquire into this personally and get back to you."

He took down her telephone number. Aparna left with some hope that some action would be taken.

That afternoon Dr. Doraisamy called up Dr. Jha and requested him to come over to his office. Dr. Jha immediately guessed that it was about Aparna. He reached the CEO's office immediately. Dr. Doraisamy told him that Aparna had come that morning and complained about the technician in the dialysis unit. She accused him of wilfully infecting her with the Hepatitis C virus.

"What is the truth?", Dr. Doraisamy wanted to know.

"I know the boy, Doctor", said Dr. Jha. "He would never do such a thing. It was only a prank." Dr. Jha went on to explain the sequence of events to the CEO.

Dr. Doraisamy realized that something needed to be done. If at all Aparna went to the press, they would be in trouble. The press does not verify the facts. They would not bother with the reality that Heptitis C infections are common in dialysis units. He visualized the headline in the papers the next day, "Dialysis patients get Hepatitis C at Charaka".

"Can we fire the guy?", Dr. Doraisamy asked.

"We found him with great difficulty Doctor. He is very good at his work. We will find it very tough without him."

"Tough or impossible?"

"Very tough Doctor!"

"What do you suggest we do?"

"Give me some time Doctor. Let me think about it."

"Take until tomorrow Dr. Jha. But this girl is not going to keep quiet. We will need to show that we have done something."

"Sure Doctor."

Dr. Jha was at a loss. He could not lose Prakash. He also realized that they had to do something about it. What would satisfy Aparna without letting Prakash go?

No comments: