The Mysterious Blessing
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
Years ago, one aged Sadhu / saint with long white beard came to the casualty at around 3 AM for an injury caused by a four wheeler. He was walking by the roadside, when someone’s uncontrolled jeep had hit his hand and sped away. He had a big bleeding cut in his arm and forearm. The lone young disciple accompanying the Sadhu was crying, but calm. The sadhu was smiling.
The medical officer on duty was too tired to wake up, and lost his patience. “Why don’t you take rest at night, Babaji?” he shouted at the Sadhu, and then told me, an intern then, to clean and dress the wound. The disciple carefully took away the Sadhu’s belongings: a cotton sling-bag, begging bowl, a Damru (two-headed hand drum), and a flute. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
As I cleaned the wound and stitched it after using some anaesthetic, the Sadhu’s smile did not change. I knew he had severe pain.
“Isn’t that painful?” I asked.
“Very painful, but now I feel better” he replied “God bless you”.
“We need to file a medico-legal case. Did you see the vehicle number?” I asked him.
“I have no complaints about anything. Neither the one who hit me, nor I run this world. The one who does will take care” the Sadhu said without any bitterness, and kept his hand on his disciple’s shoulder. “I am all right” he reassured the sobbing disciple. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
The casualty ward boy brought my tea just then, and I requested him to get tea and some water for those two too. There was no one else waiting. Nights make us all better human beings for sure.
As they started to leave, I touched their feet. It was just an etiquette, out of respect for age and renunciation. I was just starting out as a doctor, and I was amazed at his pain tolerance and patience. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
“What do you want? What shall I pray?” he smiled as he raised his wounded hand to bless me.
Never be ashamed to be honest, I knew. “I am waiting for my MD, a postgraduate seat. Please bless me for that”
I felt the irony of what was going on. But sometimes when life’s problems are beyond thinking’s domain to resolve, you don’t think: you just flow. Those times often become the most iconic memories of your life.
He kept his hand upon my head and said “My son, you already have what you want. Stop searching”.
Then, something out of the world happened.
As I got up, that Sadhu touched my feet. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
Red with embarrassment and bewildered, I was too dumbstruck to speak.
“This is for the work you do” he said, and took out something from his bag. Placing it in my hand, he said “You treated me with the same love as you’d treat your own. There’s nothing more than that to learn in this world. May your life be blessed with the same love”.
As I stared at the big Rudraksha in my hand, they walked away into the dawn.
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
PS: This is a real story. I am rather spiritual than religious, do not believe in most superstitions, but I do not also consider myself enough knowledgeable to take for granted that what I know now or for that matter what science knows today is final. As a doctor, there is no other choice than to think only scientific. But to choose only to be a doctor is optional.© Dr. Rajas Deshpande