Friday, June 29, 2007

The Wailing II

Before you start reading, please read the first part of this post. Here

Back to her desk, she begins her work. Her phone begins vibrating before emitting the louder notes of her ring tone from her purse. It is Abhi on the line.

"How are you feeling?" he asks.

"I am fine" she says.

"I got a call from Dr. Pratima; she said the results are in. Are you sure, you want to go there alone?"

"Yes, I'll manage, don't worry. I'll be coming home after the Clinic. So it's OK"

She had almost forgotten about the appointment. After notifying her boss, she proceeds to the lift. The lift is painted bright to keep the riders from feeling claustrophobic. Colors that represented happiness, the exact opposite of what she is feeling right now. The uneventful lift journey takes her to the ground floor. She hires a taxi and directs it to the Clinic.

On the way to the clinic, while the taxi waits for the lights to change, she sees a couple of half naked kids going from car to car begging for alms. Some windows opened, some did not. One of the kids carrying an infant, for added impact. The infant, started crying, flooding back the memory of the wailing she heard at her desk. That turning her off, she closed her eyes for the rest of the journey, trying not to think of anything but her meeting at the clinic.

The Clinic was the exact same as she remembered the last time she visited. The same bland white walls, with varying shapes of dried moss due to water logging, turning black. One would expect a clinic to be much cleaner. The insides were much better. Almost like a scientific lab, totally sterile. She approached the desk with a deep sense of foreboding.

She knew something was not right from the day she had the abdominal pain and dizziness. She thought it would pass, but it did not. Abhi took her to visit Dr. Pratima, their gynecologist. She did some tests on her and asked them to hope for the best.

The receptionist asked her to wait in the waiting room, while Dr. Pratima finished with another patient. She knew right then, something was indeed wrong as the doctor wanted to convey the news directly to her. She sat down. The table had an assortment of magazines. None interested her. The wall in front of her carried a poster - "Say NO to female infanticide".

Dr. Pratima called her in. She asked her to sit down. With the sundries out of the way, Dr. Pratima got out a yellow envelope with the test results.

"You have, what is called, an Ectopic Pregnancy." That did not make Shanti any more comfortable.

"It is a rare condition, where the fetus lodges in places where it is not supposed to. In your case, it has lodged in the Fallopian Tube. This form is called the Tubal Pregnancy."

She took a long pause put down the results in front of her, looked right in Shanti's eyes and said

“At this point, I have to be very clear with you. If you continue with this pregnancy, you might die!"

"I suggest we dissolve the pregnancy, it is a safe procedure where we will inject a chemical and dissolve the fetus"

The word "dissolve" did it. The room seemed to expand of its own accord. Her vision got blurry. The tears just wouldn't stay in her eyes.

The Wailing began again.
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