Continued from Ramki the Doc - I
"Excuse me, Do I know you?", asked Ramki in apparent confusion.
Looking at the perplexed look of of the guard's face, Ramki assumed that the God had already tampered enough with the guard's brain as he said, while the truth was that Bhagwan Das was still working out the meaning of Ramki's question, with his limited knowledge of English.
Ramki parked his car in the basement, in a place which seemed familiar to him. He rushed to the doors of the hospital. The young receptionist greeted him at the door, bending forward and intentionally showing her deep cleavage.
As Ramki saw the face of the receptionist, he felt a sudden flow of data pouring in from a remote part of his brain, recalling him all the details about her which he never knew.
"Alisha. Joined about two months ago, after breaking up with her boyfriend. Is been hitting on me ever since. And I am not interested in her" replied his mind.
He said "hello", trying to keep his eyes from looking deep into the cleavage, and moved on.
He entered the elevator. "Good morning, Sir" said the elevator operator.
"Murugan. Has been going up and down in the elevators, and in his married life too, since my childhood and his adulthood. Workaholic - drinks all the day, and works all the night. Currently managing his 4th wife, with a second setup."
"Good morning, Murugan. 5th floor" said Ramki.
As soon as he came out of the elevator his assistant doctor joined him in his brisk pace while reading aloud the patient's reports.
"Blood Pressure normal. Urine tests, nothing serious. Here are the CT scans, and there is the devil ( referring to the appendix visible in the CT scans ). We have to hurry doc. He has got less than 2 hours. The patient is anaesthetised. All the urine has been drained out. Everything is set up. The lamb is ready for the chop", smiled the assistant admiring his newfound wit.
"Rakesh. Age 29. Unmarried. Graduate from Osmania University. Currently under training for general surgery. Joined as my assistant 3 months ago. Bad sense of humor, which is apparent. Drinks. Fortunately, after the operation." came up Ramki's brain.
As Ramki walked through the corridors, the characteristic smell of a hospital, coming from the disinfectants spread on the marble white walls and floors, filled his lungs. He saw many strange faces on the way, some greeting him, as his mind continued to pop out their details from it's hidden corners. It was as though he was remembering his long forgotten childhood friends.
He was sprinting now. His legs seemed to move forward involuntarily towards a particular destination, unknown to him. The only thing occupying his conscious mind was the operation he was about to do, and the patient "who is probably going to die" he thought.
Rakesh and Ramki's legs stopped in front of an office whose doorplate read
"Ramkrishnan Ayyar, General Surgeon, M.D. , M.B.B.S"
Ramki stood still for a minute, in front of the door, staring at his name and the degrees after it. While Rakesh unable to understand Ramki's disarray, was signaling Ramki to open the door. Ramki came out of his trance, and deduced from the wild gestures of his assistant that he was supposed to open the door.
"But how?" he thought, "Surely, I must have a key. It's my office for god's sake!". He shuffled through his pant's right pocket, and found a key chain, with a bunch of keys. Holding them nervously, he inserted the first key, that came to his hand, and the door magically opened.
They entered into a small square lobby, filled with a desk and the usual clinical equipment. Through a translucent glass door, it seemed to lead to another larger room. Ramki assumed the latter was his office, while the small one was his assistant's and entered it.
His office was as beautiful a place as Ramki could ever imagine. At the back it was walled with glass windows, forming a transparent barrier between the room and the outside space. Ramki approached them.
Through the glass windows, from that height, he could see half of the city waking up. The yellow rays from the rising sun, traveled through them and fell upon the wooden furniture of the room, covering everything in shades of light and dark.
He could not help but admire the comfort of the swivel chair as he sat on it, the softness of his mahagony desk's spotless surface as he touched it, and the intriguing glass bubbles embedded in his heavy paper pad, as he looked through it.
On to his right were two bookshelves covered with medical books and magazines in various fields. On to his left was a patient examination bed hidden by a green curtain. On the hangers were his surgery clothes and his white coat. And all around the room, decorating the walls were various mementos and certificates. He pulled out the drawers of the table, to see his stethoscope and his sphygmo-manometer.
Forgetting completely about the upcoming surgery, he sat in the chair admiring his office, and his new found position. He felt a sense of accomplishment, a satisfaction of being somebody in the society. Most importantly, he felt he could now kick the shit out of Raj, in front of Shalini. He wondered what would it be like, if he were a doctor in his real life.
Then he thought, "This is my real life, isn't it?"
"But even if this is real and not the weirdest dream, I am a doctor only for a day! How can I be a doctor, for my whole life? How can I be "anyone" for my whole life?"
Ramki realized, he was envying the same thing, which seemed so silly to him a day before.
"How can anyone be someone for their whole life?"
He was pulled back from his thoughts by the face of Rakesh, peeping from the door.
"What?" he said.
"Doc! You are not dressed for the operation, yet? Are you, OK? Come on, his clock's ticking"
Ramki, feeling guilty for neglecting the dying bastard, who he was gonna kill anyway, as he was certain, said "I am OK. I will be out in a minute."
Ramki quickly wore the green surgery clothes. He washed his hands in the small wash basin adjacent to his room. Then he put on brand new white gloves from the table drawer.
He came out of his office. Rakesh was already waiting there in his clothes carrying a bunch of reports. Ramki studied Tiwari's reports as he strode along with Rakesh to the operation theater. He examined the reports, and something in his mind deduced from them, that everything was normal for the upcoming operation.
At last the operation theater came into view. As he drew nearer, Ramki's heartbeat grew faster. His hands and legs started trembling. He wiped the beads of perspiration, appearing on his forehead.
"This is crazy" he thought.
Rakesh noticed Ramki's nervousness with confusion, and Ramki became aware of it. Trying to hide it, Ramki tried to concentrate completely on the structure of the operation theater.
He noticed a peculiar thing and smiled.
"It has no red bulb."