De Mortuis Nihil Nisi Bonum

The hospital pager was calling his name incessantly. Dr Siddhant Kulkarni was lost in his own world. He knew that he cannot go to the Operation Theater. His hands were shaking as if he was under the influence of malaria.

He was a resident doctor. Like all residents, he and his brother were allocated a small room in the adjoining hostel. He was lucky to have his brother as his room mate. Usually people got total strangers. Sudhanshu was more handsome and 3 years younger than Siddhant. He was very lively and always used to joke around.

It was 7 pm. This was the usual time Sudhanshu usually returned from his workout. Usually accompanied by girls, who left him at the gate of the boy’s hostel. Siddhant smiled. He fished in his pocket and found the earrings, which Sudhanshu proudly waved before him last month! “Dada! He bagh! This was her favorite, but she still gave me when I asked. Do you think she loves me?” subconsciously, Siddhant nodded his head. He was busy with work. Being a resident surgeon requires a lot of dedication. Especially, if you intend to complete your MD within the stipulated time.

There are two types of people in our world. One, who work all day and never have a minute. But, they always look free and relaxed. They will join you for a cup of coffee. The other is, who have limited work, but always seem ‘oh so busy’ and don’t even have time to talk. Sudhanshu always managed to submit all his projects and handle all his surgeries. Siddhant was still struggling. He took out the bauble from his pocket and cursed Sudhanshu. Not for the first time.

The pager squaked again. ‘Dr Kulkarni, please report to OT 7 and to Dr Balsara.’

Siddhant was transported to another world. His brother was a good for nothing. Always running after girls and never focused on advanced medicine. He remembered the day when they had a session on Cardiopulmnory and Coronary artery bypass and his brother was missing. He came at night. Blind drunk. Siddhant was too angry, but his brother hugged him and explained that he’s getting married. How can you show anger before such happiness? Siddhant looked around at his cramped office. He took out his cellphone and called his brother. As usual, it was switched off. Why the hell people keep a phone if all they want to do is avoid calls? Siddhant thought irritably. How very like Sudhanshu! To ignore his only relative in the world! Hell!

He got up from his folding chair and looked across at his brother’s chair. All the files were untouched since last week. He smiled indulgently. Always the last minute worker, Sudhanshu. He suddenly remembered the latest fiasco!

A major cardiovascular surgery was going on. It was an open heart and a senior cardiovascular surgeon Dr Batliwala was presiding. All the residents were called to attend. He and Sudhanshu were there. He, bright and Sudhanshu red eyed. During the intricate surgery, Sudhanshu got a call, though, cellphones were not allowed. He ran out of OT. He was censured and reprimanded by the dean.

“Dada! Tumhich saanga! My girlfriend’s mom called. How can I avoid? Hell! She will think that I’m avoiding her daughter!” Sudhanshu always had a fundoo logic. Siddhant never could avoid indulging in his antics. May be that’s why Sudhanshu was spoiled! He needs to be tough now!

Siddhant looked at the calendar and thought. Why the days stagnate? Why the months stand on a spot for years? Why they are so lazy? Why younger brothers become kid brothers?

Last week Sudhanshu met him for the last time. He didn’t know when will he meet again. Why should someone commit suicide in love? Is love so important that one can lay down their lives? If it is, is it only for opposite sex? How about one’s own brother? Doesn’t he rank somewhere on the totem pole? How can he be selfish enough to leave his brother alone and end his own life for his love? He looked around through the window of tears.

Siddhant looked again at the earrings, tried once again to call his dead kid brother, in hope that someone in heaven will accept it and transfer it to Sudhanshu. He got the same impersonal message that the subscriber has switched off the cellphone. Why the hell he switched off the phone?

He dabbed his eyes and walked briskly towards OT 7.

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