Monday, February 11, 2013


Hello there! Long time no see... well... that's because there wasn't much to write about... that changed Saturday...
I was on night shift getting bored as usual. When suddenly we heard firecrackers. (If you've read my previous post titled 'annai', you would know what I mean.) And then all of a sudden it was like the floodgates were opened and I was surrounded. What had happened was that a herd of 8 elephants had strayed into the village. The forest officials and villagers were chasing them back into the forest, when one elephant turned back and ran towards the humans. There was a small stampede and those who were bursting firecrackers had them go off in their hands.
Thus I was dealing with the aftermath of burns and injuries.
Just when I was finishing up, I was informed that one of our staff, thomas, was coming in. Turned out to be ureteric colic - the condition when a kidney stone gets stuck in the urinary passage causing pain and obstruction. I started treating him with all the available medications. However there was no change in status. He had to be taken to a higher centre.
Now where was this higher centre...? On the other side of the elephant reserve.
What time was it...? 10.30 pm.
The forest department had already issued loudspeaker warnings about the elephant invasion, telling people to stay inside. 
But thomas had to be shifted.
And who had to do it? Me
On what ambulance? My scooter!
So I did.
Took two other male staff on a bike. With the patient behind me, I rode the thirty kilometres through the reserve to the hospital on the other side. Narrowly missing a lone elephant on the road.
We reached. The patient was treated.
And guess what... I rode back! At midnight!
I got a nice dressing down from my fiance. My staff were in awe of me. (I understood the meaning of 'thandhedam' which is malyalam for gumption) But I slept well that night. Absolutely content. Having survived my first thadagam adventure.

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