Open Page

The cut and thrust in the wake of a sliced finger

open page anu vijayakumar 171217

open page anu vijayakumar 171217

The last thing one would associate with a decadent dessert such as caramel custard, wobbling contently in a pool of amber-coloured caramel sauce, is blood and gore. It was a cool winter evening, things were going on as they should, in my kitchen and I could already picture myself slicing into the warm pudding, smothered in the bitter sweet caramel syrup.

As it happened, the only thing that managed to get sliced that evening was my index finger, which was neatly sliced across by the razor- sharp edge of a condensed milk tin can. The way the wound was spurting out blood, it suggested a deeper cut than I had imagined. Very soon the kitchen began to resemble a crime scene, with drops, smears and splotches of blood everywhere.

Trying to quell the wave of panic, I rushed to my neighbour’s door and frantically rang the bell. The door was opened by her little girl, to reveal an activity class for children in full swing.

Having gathered that her mother was not at home, I rushed to the next apartment, where the little paati (grandmother) inside, was reciting her prayers. Having been rudely shaken from her reverie, by my yelps and the shrieks of a dozen kids who were by then following me as though I was Pied Piper, she blinked at me in confusion, her eyes alarmingly magnified by her thick glasses.

By now it had dawned on me that I would probably pass out on her pristine door mat if I risked explanations in my limited Tamil. I held up my blood spurting finger for her to see, but she was more interested in my neck, which I had managed to smear with copious amounts of blood. After almost disrobing me and twisting my neck in the process to glean the source of the wound, the kids managed to convince her that the culprit was my finger.

She rushed out, to promptly ring the remaining door bells on my floor. And in a matter of minutes our usually peaceful and serene floor was converted into a melee of scrambling adults (armed with everything from gauze and ice packs to turmeric and coffee powder) and shrieking kids, who had got their friends from other blocks to witness in wide-eyed fascinated horror, the blood that showed no signs of stopping its flow.

The wound seemed to have a mind of its own and it was time for the higher powers in a hospital to take control of it. Smothering the wound in layers of gauze, my husband, who was miraculously back home on time and I, rushed to the nearest hospital where a second round of scrambling adults, armed with all things medical, tried to discipline the recalcitrant wound into behaving itself and stop the bloodshed.

“We will need to put in sutures, ma ” declared the bored-looking duty doctor stifling a tiny yawn, like he was going to put a band aid strip on it and send me off home, with a candy to boot.

Seeing the series of convoluted expressions on my face, much like a trained Kathakali actor enacting the distress of a hero on his death bed, he promptly assured me that I wasn’t in danger of dying from a cut in the finger. He then proceeded to call my husband inside the room, in the hope of boosting my morale. The doctor had just reached the part about sutures, when there was a loud crash; and we stood staring in unison at my husband, who lay unconscious on the floor.

There are many things that happened after this; getting my poor finger sutured was not the highlight, sadly. After my husband was declared ‘fit’ enough to be discharged, by the relieved duty doctor who couldn’t wait to get rid of us, the giggling nurses asked me to come back to dress my wound, preferably by myself.

Well, to cut a long story short, for the want of a finger, a much awaited Friday evening was lost. At least no one can accuse me of not putting my sweat and blood into cooking.

anu.vijayakumar1979@gmail.com


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 25, 2022 7:11:50 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/the-cut-and-thrust-in-the-wake-of-a-sliced-finger/article21822951.ece