"And we don't have any bata-deen. I'm not sure what it is you need."
Marys hands are shaking, thinks this baby can't be three weeks old; the baby doesn't have the strength to keep on gasping any more.
"I need something to clean the skin," and Marys also on the verge; shes slapping at the other leg, still desperate for a decent vein. Chidda brings a cotton ball thats soaked in something horrible; slowly mops the knee and thigh till Mary knocks her hands away. The baby is so deep in shock her veins have all nearly collapsed; with fingers trembling Mary blindly sticks the IV needle in. She knows that theres a big vein somewhere near the outside of the shin; after several tries she finds it: tiny flash of something red.
"Damn it! I need tape!" she screams, her patience finally wearing out; she knows this babys going to die and everything will be her fault. Vikrams letter said the staff would help her any way they could; all she needs to do is ask: the nurses are all excellent. And this was what he'd written in the letter underneath the book: that he would keep her in his prayers, that Richard would be proud of her. I'm going home to Kerala. My father's taken gravely ill. Ill be back in a month or so. The hospital depends on you.
She knows that shes not up for this, she hasn't got much in reserve - she came this far to find a ghost to hold her hand and comfort her. She looks down at this tiny girl, while Chidda draws the saline push; this dying babys face holds all the sadness in the universe. She knows that she will have to stay, if only for a couple days: she'll live but only if I keep this needle safe inside her vein.
Reprinted from Himalayan Dhaba by Craig Danner by permission of Dutton, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright © Craig Danner, 2002. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced without permission.
Discover your next great read here
No pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of two more years in a geriatric home.
Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.