Sure enough, in a few days, I found myself face down in a hospital bed. Its amazing how things happen so quickly. It had only been 5-7 minutes since I met the doctor. Things began to deteriorate into a downward spiral the second after the first meeting happened. When the doctor uses words like "life threatening" and "dangerous" one gets face down on the bed in 2 minutes and asks no questions. So it was hard to be in the most chirpy of moods. From that posture, it was hard to see or focus on the doctor. This doctor quietly looked at my shoulder area and suddenly said "I am gonna have to cut it open now, let me numb it first". My gripe is that if you are going to use such sentences you might as well announce it with sudden music and a lot of sad orchestration. It is the unannounced nature of such sentences that make people drive up the wall. It is amazing how simple sentences can affect you and make you unbelievably alert. Sometimes my wife speaks 3-volume books full of words and that doesn't make me move an inch out of my sofa. This doctor says a small sentence and I want jump out of that bed and run for it. The state of heightened senses is amazing. I highly recommend everyone experience it.
So being the coward that I am, I shuddered. On instinct I found myself saying "Not the injection doctor. I am afraid of shots". If I had a lawyer with me he would have critiqued the poor choice of objection. It is the knife that should have been objected to. Not the injection. The injection exists because of the knife. Not the other way around. I fell right into the trap. The portly looking doctor pauses, looks at me says a "hmm". When a doctor hmmms, it confuses you. Maybe he hasn't seen a grown man who is afraid of injections. Maybe he has (who are we to have these delusions of uniqueness) and simply forgot how to respond. He quietly says as a matter of fact - "ok then ... lets do it without the shot".
The way he said it might have led an unknown passerby to believe that the doctor and I were discussing vegetable prices in Koyembedu. "Potato or Brinjal" the doctor appears to ask. I respond "no doctor! potato is vaayu. Lets go for Brinjal". For which the doctor says "brinjal... okay lets make brinjal-curry today". If the unknown passerby had left the premises after the doctor's response, he might've been permitted to assume that we were having a discussion on vegetables. Because what happened later was not for the weak-hearted. Mainly because I went from the well-documented "state of confusion" straight to "state of complete surrender". People cut open apples, canned food, water melon, gift boxes. People don't "cut open" other people, other people's shoulders. Quite frankly, it was hard to understand what he meant by "cut open". The doctor, maybe he read my mind, proceeded to take out a plastic bag and tear it open. Out popped a scalpel. So he meant that "cut it open". The "cut it open" with extreme pain written all over it.
At that moment I was Jack's complete lack of shame.
People have seen Rambo movies where the hero cuts himself open, plucks out a bullet from his body, pours alcohol, and stitches his body back like the way 2nd floor maami in Usman Road stitches 'ravikkais' for Rs 25/ravikkai. It looks easy on TV. In real life it has staggering impact on a person's peaceful disposition. I began pleading with the doctor to consider alternate means. I suggest tablets, ointment, rest, 4-days-leave, legiyam, kasaayam and many things that even the great droid Getafix might have not thought of. This doctor catches my flailing hands and says "look here! if you fight me, I'll fight you". It dawns on me that I have been pushing this man's hands away. Then I go straight to begging. My throat is dry and I can't believe the man who had such a pleasant conversation with me a few minutes ago is now threatening me with a knife. The world had turned upside-down in a few minutes. Without warning. Finally I push more words out of my mouth - "Give me 1 minute to mentally prepare myself - doctor". He appears to loosen his grip on me and says "okay, you have a minute".
I relax. And for some reason the numerous movies in which a Ponnambalam-type guy rapes Raasi-type woman flash through the mind. In 10 seconds, I am ambushed without warning. The doctor never planned to give me a full minute. The doctor presses my hand down, my wife holds my legs down and I feel a knife drive into me.