Somti bai was brought in by her mother-in-law and her father's family with no clean surface visible in her person.She had suffered more than 90% burns.We found a small patch on the dorsum of her hand to start her on fluids.She was intermittantly screaming with pain.Her tiny children a boy and a girl ,both below two years watched wide-eyed at all the elders wondering what the occassion was.They came to the hospital at 2 A.M. in the morning.Preity devotedly did the dressing and we snapped a ringer into her and put it on continuos flow.We also started her on antibiotics.With three patients needing simultaneous attention I was about till four in the morning before I could go back to bed.
We did not have much hope for Somti but after she had been meticulously cleaned up,bandaged and with some sedatives into the system she settled down into a slumber.Next two days she started feeding but even then we put in an NG tube and started giving her high protein diet.We did a cut down on her but found that most of the superficial veins were burnt so finally when we did manage to get a good vein we made sure that we fixed it properly so as not two lose it.She started moving her bowels.She was on tramadol and so would get into a light sleep as soon as we left her alone but even if we addressed her slightly she would immediately be wide awake and would respond to all the queries with depth of intelligence you don't find in perfectly well patients.
The second night,her mother told us she asked for a bible.She could not have read it,she is barely awake but we do our ward prayer in the morning .
I was to take the bed-side declaration from her and this is the story she told me.
Her husband ,a drunkard abused her frequently.She stayed back hoping that he would change.He did not.On that particular night he came back drunk at the middle of the night and insisted she leave the house immediately.She was trying to persuade him to eat some food which he refused.He kept insisting that she leave the house so that he could get another woman into the house.
She tried reasoning saying that in the morning she would call her parents to take her home.He suddenly went into another room ,got out a bottle of kerosine,pressed her down on the floor with his legs and poured kerosine over her and lit a match following which he went to the other room and went to sleep.She started running helter skelter asking the villagers to help her and all they had to say was we do not want to get into your mess.Her mother in law who stayed in the adjacent house came and helped her ,informed the right people,and made arrangements to take her to the hospital.
In the hospital when the police came to take the declaration the villagers pressurized her saying ,'You are going to die anyways so why do you want to spoil your husband's life?Just say that you did this to yourself'.Didi,she said ,'my mind was also not clear that time'.
I was weeping by the time I had heard her out.
Somti is not your avarage village woman.She is extremely intelligent.Now even her little child is afraid to come near her.
Each time I come and talk to her my heart warms up and there is very little I see around me that makes me feel this way.
Eve was made from Adam's rib to be protected and kept close to his heart.