Home > Short Stories > Owing A Bit Of Life

Owing A Bit Of Life


He was hardly breathing when we reached our medical aid post. Youngest in our team, Sepoy Rajender volunteered to be the Scout number two of our leading platoon that night.

No matter how hard you train, the very instance it happens, you can never predetermine how your body and emotions would react. Everything happened so fast that night. It started with the initiation of a trip flare and ended up with us overwhelming and bringing down two insurgents. Sepoy Rajender received a bullet wound that grazed his neck opening a big gash. The nursing assistant did whatever he could and we carried Rajender’s body five miles across the jungle to reach the nearest helipad. It was a long night.


I woke up in the middle of night with an excruciating amount of pain slashing inside my left wrist. I felt as if I dreamt of the bleeding body of Rajender and that it woke me up. But no, it was not the reality or the guilt. It was plain and simple pain. It started the night we got ambushed. While taking cover, I fell hard on my left hand. It was numb when I lifted Rajender for five miles. It was numb every now and then after that incident. Perhaps, it was the curse which I had to live with. Perhaps, it was my sacrifice.

But for me – this pain had a name. My condition of numbness in my fingers and lingering pain in the wrist was diagnosed as “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome”. What had really caused it was never a reason for me to find. A decorated soldier with nothing more to prove, I had the option to call it a day and go for a table job at staff headquarters. But I had a debt – a debt I can only pay in the field.       

When I checked in at the Apollo Hospital, Delhi I was told that the reason for the numbness, sometimes burning sensation and pain was due to the median nerve getting compressed at the wrist.

The doctor had the Durkan test  and the Phalen’s maneuver performed in the next two days. On a scale of ten my condition was kissing seven. I was oriented with my condition in a detailed sitting and politely informed that due to the quantifiable confirmation of median nerve de-nervation an early surgery was recommended.

Surgeries and the poignant pessimism of the human mind !

It was my call. The carpal tunnel surgery was performed under local anesthesia by a team of three doctors. I was awake throughout the procedure and it took exactly twenty five minutes before I was rolled out of the operation theatre. Wide awake.

After eight weeks of physiotherapy and a couple of visits back at the Apollo, I went back to my battalion in the field area. The very first person to come and greet me was Sepoy Rajender of my platoon.

Whatever happens in life, it always encourages making you stronger. But there would always be instances where you would look back and thank a couple of hardworking people who made the difference.

I am a soldier…and I owe a lot to an institution known as Apollo Hospitals.


(This story is my entry for “How does Modern Healthcare touch lives?” contest.

Click http://www.apollohospitals.com/cutting-edge.php for more info)





  1. April 29, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    I was almost worried for you. Sigh!

  2. May 1, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Hey, I nominated you for the liebster blog award, here are more details should you choose to accept,
    Congratulations 🙂

  3. July 27, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Clear writing that leans refreshingly to the simple while it’s not simplistic.

    how your body and emotions would react.
    I would say “will react.” But that’s just me.

    Thx for the follow.

    • July 27, 2013 at 11:04 am

      my pleasure ma’am
      thank you for such inspirational words.

      happy blogging !

      • July 27, 2013 at 11:22 am

        oooh, i appreciate the respect but please don’t call me ma’am. i feel jurassic.


      • July 27, 2013 at 11:33 am

        Point taken !
        I guess its just the occupational zeroing with me !
        pleasure following you !

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