22 November 2012


Ghost of New Moon:

That was the first posting of Dr. Binoy after his post graduation in Medicine at Karanjia.    He had left behind his family at Baripada. Majority of his patients were local tribal people who come to hospital only when someone was serious or their old tradition methods failed.
                              That was the month of May when the first monsoon rain had hit that part of the Odisha. There was a knock at his door in the early hours of a morning. Doc came out of the mosquito net to find out who has disturbed his sleep. When he noticed the hospital ward boy, he could know that he had to go to hospital. The ward boy Dhanu told him that “one serious young patient has been brought in a cot by a dozen of people from a nearby village called Tatoo.”
 A healthy robust young boy was rolling with abdominal pain and was semiconscious. When Doctor asked about the history, patient’s brother told him that “there was a function in their village and the boy has taken some local alcohol and mutton at night and slept on the floor but suddenly got up around midnight and complaint of pain abdomen and vomiting. Thinking that the problem was due to alcohol all of them again went back to sleep but the boy made their life horrible, as a result they called the local black magician who told that it is due to a ‘ bad spirit’ which has entered his body, only killing of  a goat or a roster can satisfy the bad spirit. When everything failed they brought the young boy to the hospital.”

Dr. Binoy could diagnose immediately that it’s a snake bite case and proceeded in the best possible manner to save the victim with limited resources. The villagers who had accompanied the patient said “Due to the black magic every year during this new moon time of the year a person or two are killed by this ghost.”
 The anti snake venom(ASV) which was lying in the store room unused for years was used along with other emergency drugs as a desperate manner without further delay even though there was no history of snake bite.
Doc told the brother of the patient about the possibility of snake bite to which they said doctor “are you mad, this is nothing but black magic.” The attendants were told to search for the snake where the patient was sleeping.
Doctor had a close watch on the blood pressure and respiration of the young patient. He looked at the watch it was 5:30 am.
 After his return from quarter in few minutes he observed a big crowd, was sure the boy must have expired. The father of the patient fell flat on doc’s feet and said “Doc you are our God, what you said was right” and opened a gunny bag and lo behold there was a live banded krait. The young boy survived and Dr.Binoy became famous overnight, as a result of this incident his transfer was delayed.

On the day our doctor left Karanjia, that young boy whose name he remembers even today- “Ignesh Majhi”was waiting for him with his two children and wife to say good bye. Ignesh was his most memorable patient in his long medical career.

 Sanjoy Kumar Satpathy.

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