One needs to take just an extra step
I was a bit surprised to receive the call from my friend Ajay yesterday morning at 11. He never called at 11. If he calls, it is usually evening time. He should be busy with his affairs and don't have any reason to remember me now. Our work together will be in May. Not now in mid-April. Just as I guessed, there was a surprise in store for me.
In a subdued voice Ajay spoke, “Boudi has pancreatitis.” Vaguely I remembered—it is not a good thing to be afflicted with pancreatitis. Whatever it is, pancreas has something to do with it and that organ is not one to trifle with. I kept my silence. I didn't know what to say. Ajay and his wife both are very dear to me and only a week before a great tragedy struck this family. Ajay’s brother in law, in mid-forties and apparently in good health, died of pancreas affliction after a superhuman struggle over a period of two months.
Ajay broke his brief pause, “Your doctor friend is in Bellevue, isn't it? We need to consult a pancreas specialist Dr. Murari Ganguly who is at Belle Vue. Can you ask your friend about him?”
Okay, I can do this. I said, “Samrat usually doesn't answer calls at this time. If he doesn't pick up my call I will leave a message.” Ajay said, “No such urgency, you may call him later also.” His voice sounded weak. He himself suffered a major heart ailment only recently from which just by the grace of God and his will power he survived.
I called Samrat immediately and fortunately he answered, “Can I call you later. Right now I am into an emergency.” I said, “I will take less than a minute to say my say, you answer later.” Quickly I stated the problem and finished the call. One minute most people can spare. We went ahead by a step, no less.
Two hours later Samrat got back, “Dr. Murari Ganguly is a chest specialist. Must be a mistake somewhere.” Situations like that happen, I thought. Samrat spoke again, “Would he consult Dr. Samrat Narayan?” Now he offers himself as the doctor!
That is my friend! I consider Samrat a physician par excellence and if he takes up the case, it would be the best. Add to this his exceptionally proactive approach to go out of his way to help people and patients. Final outcome is trust.
Ajay, though not a doctor by profession, has similar approach towards life and I have deep respect for him for this reason among others. It would be nice and interesting if Samrat helps Ajay!
I can only think—what else to do!
“When are you reaching me?” I asked Samrat. Today Samrat is to have a long session with me in the evening for a special work that we are doing together. “I will try to come early today say by 7:30.” I closed the short discussion, “Let me tell Ajay to be ready for my call when you arrive here. He can come with Boudi in 20 minutes to my place. He lives near.”
That was mid-day. When it was past 8 in the evening and no Samrat, I called him. As expected my call went unanswered. I sent a message and called up Ajay, “Samrat must be stuck in an emergency case. There will be delay. I will call him again after an hour.” “Okay”, in a tired voice Ajay responded. I knew in spite of his own weak condition he has an indomitable spirit except when in a case involving his wife. His wife stood like a rock throughout their life weathering severe storms and misfortunes together. I felt sorry for him.
Duly I called at 9. This time Samrat answered, “Yes, yes, I am coming. I was stuck. Say in one hour.”
Dutifully I called Ajay again, “Samrat is expected after 10. He was involved in an emergency case as I told you.” “Then it will be too late for me to come with Boudi tonight. Some other day then.” Ajay was dejected, I could sense clearly.
I let go. I couldn't say anything positive at that time. Sometimes, even when you can see bright prospects, the best approach is to stay silent and wait for events to open up the prospects in sight.
Samrat entered my door at 10:30 p.m. expressing deep embarrassment, “I am so sorry. I was so late! Can your friend come now?” That was typical of Samrat. Though an eminent person himself, he always is very humane, natural.
I told him the gist of my earlier conversation with Ajay. Samrat said, “Can we go to his house? Does he live near?”
“His place is nearby. By car it would have taken 10 minutes, and walking 20 to 25 minutes. We may not get any conveyance now. At this late hour, his area is closing down. But, first let me ask him.” Though unexpected, I was not very surprised with Samrat’s proactive approach.
I called Ajay. Luckily he picked up the call despite the late hours, “Even at this late hour I can take Samrat to your place now. Are you on?” I asked. He expressed his deep surprise, “No no, he will come to our house! It is late.”
I told him, “Okay, let me see. I will call you in 5 minutes. Don't go to sleep.”
I told Samrat, “It is better not to make it tonight. It has been a heavy day for all.” He took up the cue immediately, “What about tomorrow morning?” That is persistent will to complete his patient’s call.
Well, from this point on it was my job to make arrangements to the satisfaction of all concerned, enable the more than willing doctor to see his more than willing patient in complete comfort on the way to his Hospital. I have to hire a taxi with the understanding that he will have to wait for some time on the way.
We reached Ajay’s place at 10:30 after a heavy night’s work. Samrat went through all prescriptions and Pathology reports and then went into a long session with the patient.
In due course of time bidding goodbye to my friend Ajay, we boarded the taxi. The first thing Samrat said, “She doesn’t have pancreatitis. Her reading is 107, a borderline case, whereas my 75 year old pancreatitis patient I told you about had his figure 2700. I have prescribed a medicine for her though.” Till date I never have had the occasion to see any of his prescriptions fail.
It would have to be my satisfaction also. Isn’t it! After all, I am the mediator.
I felt relieved—oh what a cure!