MY STORY - 13


Once I had a man come to see me in my Consulting Room. He said: "Sir, my wife is seriously ill." He said she had been operated for gall bladder at the Breach Candy Hospital but had developed jaundice after a few days. She was again opened, was in the Operation Room for five hours but the prospects of her getting well were remote. The surgeon told him that he will have to take his wife to Boston to DrCathell. The man said that the expenses for that trip were beyond his capacity. When the man's wife was taken to Bombay Hospital for yet another operation he decided to find out whether there was anyone in India who could do a Cathell. He was told that there was one DrShantilalMetha who had learnt biliary duct repair from DrCathell, but he was out of town. The surgeon who said this, was not telling the truth. He and I had been on a joint consultation only three days earlier and he knew that I was right there in Bombay. Only he did not want me in this case.

But the man found out my whereabouts and requested his surgeon to get in touch with me. I advised the latter to do a Cathell, but the surgeon said he didn't know how. Would I take over the case? I asked him to send the lady to Harkisondas. The operation took 71/2"hours. But it was successful. In gratitude, the man came to my room to pay my fees. "How much do you earn?” I asked him. He was a lawyer.

"Between Rs 3,000 and Rs 3,500" he said.

"And after income tax, what is left in your hand?”

 "Oh, about Rs 1,800 to Rs 1,900".

"And how much have you spent by now?”

"About Rs 40,000” replied the lawyer. 

"And where did you get that sum?” I asked again.

The lawyer said that he had borrowed the money.

I did not have the heart to charge this man. I told him: "Go home in peace. I am not going to charge you anything."

He just fell down, caught hold of my feet and said: "Sir, I am going to pay. You have saved the mother of my three daughters”.

Not long after, he became a Judge. But whenever he meets me, he touches my feet, to my great embarrassment.