Baba tell us again that story of operation theater.
Two cute grand children surrounded me.
Which story you want to hear my dear?
I was damn tired and not at all in any mood to talk to, but you cannot
avoid grand children. That right is reserved only for their parents.
Not about any patient or surgery Baba, but in which you tell
about, many people had to gather in certain place, at the same time,
to do surgery. The operations were done in a big room, which had no
doors and windows etc.
Oh, that one, I will repeat it again for you, but no body will
interrupt me while I am narrating.
They agreed and fixed their gaze on me, with full curiosity.
I was then 35yrs, in my prime youth, full of energy. Our life
was full of labour. We had to go to the working places allotted to us.
Everybodys office hours were at the same time i.e 10 AM to 05
But Baba, our biological clocks are different. Said, one
Then the concept of biological clock, and to make use of it to
get best out of you , was not existing, other fellow gave him
reply, before I could speak out.
I was astonished with his reaction. That reminded me of an article,
I hac read about the same in 1980s in Readers Digest. They had
just started to think about it. It was a common observation that few
people do well at night, where as few in afternoon. Every one has a
clock ticking inside, which is quite different from the watch. It does
not match the worldly clocks.
This has wonderful applications. Early morning is the best time to
study maths. It is possible that 6 Am of your biological clock
does not match the standard time, but you have to go according to your
own body time, may it be afternoon according to worldly time and sun.
It was then thought that one should have the liberty to work according
to his body clock to get best out of him. Ways to know about your bio
clock were found out, like recording your temperature every half an
hour and calculate it by some formula. Now it has become so simple.
You just stick an electronic strip in the medial aspect of your thigh
and it displays your bio-time, how many hours you are ahead or behind
the standard clock. Probably that is more important than to talk of
You can employ the persons, taking into consideration of their bio
clocks. You should employ a night watchman, having his bio day during
our night hours. Similar is matrimonial. We should advertise, the
bride is needed for a beautiful employed Brahmin girl, 5.5, slim,
fair, expert in house chores, and Bio- minus 10 hours. Closest match
It means it is afternoon 3 PM for her at night 1PM, when most of us
are unable to remain awake. She is alert and fresh, because it is afternoon
for her. I know a lady doctor who once said, people call me queen of
the night. I become fresher as the night deepens. No wonder she was
bio minus 9 -10.
The girl will not slumber when the boy is in full mood of romance.
I regret, if this concept had come 40 yrs ago, I would have had a better
marital life. My wife had to open the door for me at 10 PM, when I used
to be back from my clinic and post operative rounds. I had to bang the
door for 15 mts, before she came. I used to be very eager to tell her
all about my day, but she hardly opened her eyes. Then it was my routine
to yell over her while locking the door, that you are sleeping as if
it is 2 AM midnight. What is the fun of coming back home if you get
such type of reception? Leave aside waiting for dinner; you dont
have even the courtesy to open your eyes for me! Now I repent on shouting
on her, because I know she was minus 4 hours bio, and it was really
2 AM midnight for her!
The communication was not so strong. Our PCs were not hooked
together so efficiently. Leave aside the computers; many of us did not
have telephones also. At that time, the computer, which your father
wears on his wrist, was as big as your T.V set.
So they used to hang their computers on the wall? asked
one of them.
I had forgotten, the age old T.V, which used to require a sturdy trolley,
had become obsolete and had become like a calendar since long.
Baba you were telling us about surgery and the operation theater
one of them reminded me.
Elderly divert too much from the actual subject. We are least concerned
about the reaction of the audience. It is a great pleasure for us to
have someone around us to listen to. By this age you have gathered lot
of matter to speak about, but no body has enough time to give you his
ear. Grand children are the easiest pray.
So I was telling you, all of us used to gather at 8 AM in the
place called operation theater. Children again became attentive.
Table on which patient was made to lie was called the operation table.
Now a days patient is placed in a glass chamber of 6x3x2.
Robotic arms extending into the chamber, controlled remotely, do the
surgery. The chamber is sealed off and there is continuous flow of sterile
oxygen in it, so there is no possibility of any infection to occur.
You even have the luxury to listen to your favorite music channel and
talk to your relations while you are in that operation chamber.
Since our patients are exposed, we were supposed to change our dresses,
wear cap and mask to cover our head, mouth and nose to prevent infection.
Why head? asked one of them.
I forgot to tell you that we used to grow our hairs and moustaches.
It is now for the last 15 yrs that people are shaving their heads also
for hygienic purpose. One funny thing, many age old traditions of our
country, what we have followed since ages, come back as a fashion, few
centuries later. We appreciate the same, when it comes back from western
world. Yoga became popular when west adapted it and told us the importance
of it. In our childhood we used to see clean shaved Brahmins with a
tuft of hair in back. We used to call it an antenna and used to make
laugh of them. Now we know that it is the superficial landmark of pineal,
the supreme hormone gland, and this tuft of hair keeps its temperature
controlled, any way!
On the head end of the patient used to be our anesthetist. He was there
to make the patient unconscious. It was not like now, when you remain
awake and get operated without any pain. These wonder analgesics were
not available. Now the patient himself controls his pain; he pushes
few drops of the drug when he feels pain. Gone are those days, when
we used to give tentative amount of anesthesia drug, which was either
not enough, or was too much!
To make him unconscious was necessary, as the sight of own blood is
frightful. Now surgery is done with laser beams, which seals off the
blood vessels, before the blood comes out; then we used to operate with
Just as we cut vegetables and fruits baba? asked one with
Yes of course. We faced so much of problems then to acquire blood.
Convincing people to donate blood was a big job. Transfusing blood was
very risky and at times life threatening. You cannot imagine that because
now you can buy the synthetic blood from any medical store. It started
way back in 1990s in Japan. That solved the great problem also
of the transmission of diseases through blood, apart from its
I would not blame you because I could not imagine as to how the people
used to collect urine of patients and retrieve antibiotic Penicillin
from it, about 90 yrs ago. Later on we had a big array of antibiotics
What is an antibiotic Baba?
It has become obsolete now, as now we do not need them. It was a drug
used to kill the bacteria, which caused infection. As the more and more
resistant bacteria were emerging, we were making more potent antibiotic
molecules to kill them. It was an absurd effort, which seemed to be
endless. Then is 1990s we concentrated on efforts to increase
our immunity, rather to make more potent weapons of offence. It was
becoming clear that these drugs also killed our normal cells.
This is funny again, because our ancient science Ayurveda had been
yelling for ages about the same. The stress of Ayurveda had always been
not to fight the disease, but to increase your own vital power. They
called this vital power as Oj and hence a healthy person
Ojaswi. The Ayurveda is called as the knowledge of How
to live; it teaches you the way of life. Once you have learned
it, and gained enough vital power, no germ will be strong enough to
make you ill. It is just a common sense, why does only one of the family
member develop a certain disease, where as all of them are living in
the same atmosphere and circumstances. It is just because he lacks the
immunity for that particular germ, which the others have. He may escape
some other disease, for which he is immune, while his brother may contact
Today ultimately we have come to agree on the concept of the Ayurveda
dont treat the disease, make a person immune to disease
by modifying his diet and the way of life, i.e Ayurveda.
About 35 years ago we could develop a drug called Immu mode,
which increased the immunity in a generalized way, not specific against
any particular bacteria. Now you have Immu preparations available for
specific bacteria like e Coli immu mode, Staphylococci immu mode and
so on. You swallow the pill which will not kill any bacteria, but make
your phagocytes kill it, and teach your bacteria how to deal with the
similar bacteria in future.
Now you have vaccines for common bacteria like Staphylococci- causing
boils, causing sound infections, Strepto cocci, causing sore throat,
E Coli causing urinary infections, etc.
So I was telling you about the anesthesia. Drugs were few. My anesthetist
needed intensive training to use them safely. We used to loose a good
number of patients during surgery, at least 2 per thousand. Isnt
that sad? It is now that we have not heard of a single death on table
since last 15 years, because the drug used for any patient is matched
with a drop of his own blood and the molecule is tailored accordingly.
Now there is no fear of hypersensitivity of any drug.
We have recorded video cassettes of our surgery. Of plunging knife,
yelling of the patient at times, people holding him firmly to prevent
him falling from the table, those streams of blood, our gowns getting
smeared with it, relatives running for blood, anesthetist declaring
about the shortage of time etc.
May be you would like to place those cassettes of our Bloody
surgery, in the rack of your horror movies.