Saturday, October 3, 2009

love in parts

They never gave her the children’s ward.

Actually they never gave her any of the regular wards. Of course they were polite about it. As polite as you can be at a god forsaken government hospital.

“Nurse, only emergency ward hain.”

She never asked why.

That’s because she knew. She knew from the look on the patients face when she first went up to take their temperature. She knew from the giggling behind her back at the nurses’ station. She knew from the drunken whispers of the ward boys at night.

She had never been pretty. And by the time she hit her thirties, her face had started to turn against her. The prickly hair that grew under her chin had started to multiply rapidly. The boils that came only in summer, now refused to go.

Her eyes became smaller, her nose bigger, and her hairline started to recede.

She had given up looking at the mirror some years back. She had also given up the thought of finding a man.

She looked at the other nurses. How they flirted with the doctors. And she ached to be held, to be caressed, to be made love to. Once, lonely and crazy from being on a ten hour emergency night shift that included four accident victims and two dead bikers, she had tried telling the ward boy that she was available for anything he might have in mind.

The fellow laughed hysterically. And said with her the only thing he had in mind was to run the hell out of there.

She never tried again.

Till that warm humid night.

When they brought him in. He was nineteen, and beautiful. And he had just chopped his thumb off. His hysterical parents had brought him to the hospital.

His uncle who had gifted him the gleaming fake Swiss army knife was also there, berating himself for his thoughtless gift. The uncle was carrying the thumb in a plastic bag filled with ice.

Of course they flinched on seeing her. But their grief had made them numb, and they didn’t even ask for another nurse. They begged her to please do something. Sow his thumb back. Call the doctor Nurse , please, save our son. It is true isn’t it, that the thumb will survive in ice. Tell us it is.

She hooked him up on the bed. Told them she’d call the doctor, and that they’d have to wait outside. Then she took the bag with the thumb, and walked to the cold storage room.

She stared at the thumb in the clear plastic. A strong thumb, not too fleshy. She took it out and held it against her cheek. And slowly moved it down her face, across her neck. It felt like a caress, rough and cold, but manly.

She moved the thumb down the swell of her breasts. And that’s when she made up her mind.

“ Sorry, spoke to Doctor. He says nothing can be done. Our Operation Theatre has been shut for a week. And the thumb can only be attached fifteen minutes after being severed. It has already been one hour.”

But nurse...the mother’s wail filled the air.

“Sorry. You have to take him to the next hospital for stitching, or the hand might get gangrene, and it might spread. Go fast”

They left in a babble of confusion and crying. The next hospital was in the next district. And in their hurry, they forgot the thumb. The thumb that was of no use now.

She reached home just as day was breaking. She opened the rusty fridge, and took out a steel tray full of ice. The thumb was placed in a sparkling blue soap dish, next to her bed.

She hummed to herself. Happy that she had two men, one who couldn’t take his eyes off her. And now another, who couldn’t keep his hands off her.

The eyeball, in a glass, on top of the old TV, followed her as she went about making tea and humming her little song.

absolutely love this song. how to save a life by The Fray.


Meghana Naidu said...

ah dear girl! what a story! and what a way to tell it!

"throughly enjoyable and brilliantly written"

one of the best i've read, definitely.
shall i say which bit was my favorite?

Pinku said...


that freaked me out for a good long while...very well written...

Kroswami said...

my blogroll describes you as the one who writes like the Chuck.
mind-twistingly hilarious piece.

Anonymous said...

How do you come up with these stories? Would love to know what goes on in that head of yours...

Simply loved this story...keep it coming...

Arslan said...

Whoa!!!! Ridiculously great stuff!! :D

Not for the first time, but totally Pahluniak-ish. In the best way possible. :)

Anita :) said...

Top Quality stuff, I say! Extraordinary!

Pancho said...


Stephen King's got nothing on you, Lady!...
You scare me sometimes

Pancho said...

@Meghana Naidu:
I can guess

SUHAS ROCZ said...

sexy write such stories..I am sure u r xcellent in diz genre...

agent green glass said...

@meghana: thank you. glad you liked it. and i think it's the freedom from going to office, i am going slightly berserk writing.
and ha, tell which bit?

@pinku: : )

@kroswami: i'd like to say thanks and jump up and down, but er, i fear i shall be laughed at.
however i am, secretly, very pleased. just so you know.

and the other thing is i really want to write a sweet simple story. maybe even romantic. but it totally eludes me at the moment. sigh.

@anon: thanks. there is no way anyone is going to know what goes on in my head!

@arslan: sheepish and ridiculously happy grin.

@anita: thank you.

@pancho: oh, i love king. some years back i OD'd on king. i think Christine is probably my favourite.

@suah rocz: thank you. glad you liked it.

☥ ѕωαмι ηανєєη said...

creepy :o ... thats quality stuff you wrote there !!

Hakuna Matata said...

Just BRILLIANT. Started and then kept reading.

Meghana Naidu said...

if thats the only reason then,
QUIT work! fitch em all, run away,

i ain't kidding girl
this is brilliant stuff
i can almost see the title of the book

Anonymous said...



As the Mind Meanders said...

What the....

Sorry... still recovering... will type in more later...

Mindblowing... gasp...

Mumbai Diva said...

good god!! yeah..awesome.

slash\\ said...

Read this. Was left breathless. Then googled Palahniuk's Guts to see what others here meant. Was asphyxiated further. Came back to comment: this is...breathlessly awesome.

Divya said...

Oh dear lord that's creepy. And brilliant! I'm with Kroswami about Chuck :D

oRange* said...

oh my god but im out of words!
just so brilliant!

and yes im in love with that song as well :)

Shanu said...

Wow that was awesome..seriously mind blowing stuff!

Shamanth Huddar said...

In spite of the sorrowful tone of the story and the character, the twisted humour is simply crackling !!

Excellent narrative.

Visited the page on the recommendation of the Meandering Mind.

(Diligent Wanderings)

vinay said...

wow, girl. that was seriously twisted. this is the kind of story a 'hannibal lecter' would have written. i chuckled like i had chuckled when 'he' said, i am having an old friend for dinner. beautiful.

Anonymous said...

oh my god. very very creepy but brilliant, in a roald dahl sort of way.

kedar said...

damn! this is good. no, i mean it's absolutely gross but the story-telling is neat.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

Okay that is pretty warped. Good warped. Very roald dahlisque.

sidd said...

izza wow izza good. simply luv it.

Ashley said...

And yet so disturbing....Loved it!!! :)

Roy said...

woh! it is disturbing that the story was enjoyable. or the writers skill

agent green glass said...

@everyone who left a comment and made my day: thank you. i wrote this on a whim. and i'm so pleased that you guys bothered to stop and read, and comment. huuuuge encouragement. thanks a lot.

and i would love to reply individually, but i'm so jacked with my new job. advice: working for someone is better, because you can always crib and cry!

ani_aset said...

brilliant story AGG...superb awesome fantastic...great :)