Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Cashew Nut Orchard

Part 10

“Can we join you Dr. Sani?”

I looked up. A colleague and two young mo’s were standing close to the table where I was sitting. Each of them was carrying a plate in the right hand and a glass of cold drink or cup of hot drink in the left hand.

“Yes. Of course. Take your seats.”

“Thanks.” The colleague, Doctor Denial, replied. He put his plate and cup on the table and then pulled a chair. The two young doctors did the same.

“So, how was the operation?” I threw out a question to begin a conversation.

“Hmmm… Sani! Have you met this new mo? She is Soleha, just transferred from Penang.” Dr. Denial decided to introduce the unfamiliar look of the new lady doctor in front of me.

After we had greeted each other, Dr Denial answered my question. “Alhamdulillah. Everything went smoothly. The patient responded very well.” The smile on his face obviously told the satisfaction that was felt after a delicate task was accomplished.

“Insya Allah, the baby will recover soon. It must have been a good experience for you, Soleha. Were you in the OT too?” I looked at Daniel and then to Soleha.

“Yes. What an experience it was! Sorrowful case. I can’t imagine someone can mercilessly batter a baby like a mad man. Luckily he didn’t suffer any skull fracture, just the bruises on the body and fractures in one arm and one leg.” Dr. Soleha quickly explained the five hours long surgery that they had just performed.

“That’s what happens when someone is under the influence of drugs,” Dr Zarina said, joining the conversation with an explanation for the beastly behavior of the father. She was the other lady mo, who was posted at the orthopedic department.

I turned my head sideways for a second or two, my eyes glancing at Dr. Zarina’s face.

“The mother was at work but the father was at home mending the baby. Unable to withstand the baby’s cry, he lashed at him.” Dr. Soleha continued the explanation.

I could not have been more saddened than hearing such a pitiful incident. As a doctor specializing in family medicine it has always been my concern to cultivate health consciousness among family members. In fact, postering harmonious relationship among family members is one of the tenets of family medicine specialization. The goal has always been to prevent rather than to mend, to be proactive rather that reactive.

We discussed various topics until everybody finished his or her quick lunch. From the canteen we went straight to the prayer room for the Zohor prayer.

“How do find those two ladies?” Dr. Denial threw a question while we were on our way back to our respective rooms after we have offered our prayer. Obviously he was referring to Dr. Soleha and Dr. Zarina.

“Which aspects? Work or personality?” I asked, pretending to be oblivious of the things that are revolving among unmarried man and lady doctors. Doctors prefer to have doctors as their life partners, because they understand doctor’s hard life and when they do get married they will support each other. So, Dr. Soleha and Dr. Zarina were two of those lady doctors under scrutiny among the men. I believed that my name was one of those circulating among the ladies. It seemed that my engagement to Siti Rahmah was not widely advertised. The fact that Siti Rahmah was not a doctor, had contributed to this situation.

“Suitability as a candidate for your wife.” He answered my question directly. There was no more hiding as we had discussed this situation several times. Once a while I told him that I was already engaged, but he did not believe it. I could not blame him because when I got engaged to Siti, there was no announcement or anything amounting to it. It happened so suddenly and cordially the night when Siti arrived home from abroad.

“I don’t know. Let time tell.” That was the only answer that I could think of at that moment. But I was sure that he would know the answer when I introduced Siti to him the following week.

Dr Denial had nothing else to say. He just glanced at me then took a ninety degree turn down the corridor to his room.

I sat back on my chair with my hand on my forehead. Yes! Dr Zarina was a good candidate for a wife ..... that was, if I had not been engaged to Siti. And I knew that Dr. Zarina would gladly accept me if I had proposed to her. But I would stick with Siti, until and unless Siti came up to me and told me that we were not meant for each other. For the moment, she is the one I want, full Stop.


Mawar said...

Prof Ismad,
saya agak tersekat-sekat membaca novel bersiri ini. senang sekali untuk membacanya dalam sebuah novel nanti ...

purplemelastoma said...

Dr. Mawar,
To get this story to the end could take another year or more. I post each part as I finish writing it. What you are reading is what I have written a few minutes before it was posted.... delayed telecast you may say. On the bright side, I have just finished writing 'Mawar Untuk Umi'. Finally, Umi got her rose!! I should have more time to write on the Cashew Nut Orchard Story.