Well... continuing from where I left off in Part-I...
The first thing that both M and Lakshmi asked/told me was about the "auspicious time"... for the following day (meaning... the time that baby should make his/her appearance on this planet). I had no idea... yours truly not being a stickler for such things/matters/stuffs. But I guess... in the south of India... folks do believe a lot in "auspicious time"/"muhurtams". And so "auspicious time" it was.
We found that 6-7 am in the morning was a 'very auspicious time'... but I vetoed it. I have never woken up that early even during my 'egg-jams'... what to say about the sudden arrival of a freshly-minted baby!!! From 7-9 am it was "Raahu Kalam" or "Rahu Kal"... that part of that day that should be avoided for all auspicious activities. From 9 am-12 noon it was "Yama Kalam"... or "Yama's time" i.e., 'influenced by the redoubtable Yamaraj'... no less! Yama/Yamaraj being the 'Lord of death'... as per the Vedas. That he is also referred to as 'Dharmaraj' (the Lord of justice... in reference to his unswerving dedication to maintaining order and adherence to harmony) and is believed to be the eldest Pandava and the epitome of piety and righteousness - Yudhistira's father... is conveniently forgotten! And since I had no intention of meeting his assistant - Chitragupta - during or after the operation... we rejected this time slot altogether. Then we discovered that 12 noon-4 pm was also a good time.
Even though yours truly is no stickler for astrology and/or muhurtams... I felt that it was inappropriate to have the baby during inauspicious hours... knowingly. It was simply not the right thing to do. Hence I obliged. Noblesse oblige (?)... well, not quite. Or maybe. We informed the doc about it... and she very graciously agreed to reschedule the operation at 12 noon (the following day). And yours truly gave 'strict' instructions to the nurses... to wheel me into the OT only at 12 noon. Not a minute before. They too obliged.
Continuing our discussion about Yamaraj... he is also called Kāla ("Time"). Lord Shiva is also called Kāla ("Time") as well as Mahākāla ("Great Time") in his form as the destroyer of the world. It is said that Yama is also one of the wisest of the devas. In the Katha Upanishad, among the most famous Upanishads, Yama is portrayed as a teacher. He is the father of Yudhisthira (also known as Dharmaraja), the oldest brother of the 5 Pandavas (Karna was born prior to Kunti's wedlock, so technically Karna is Yudhishthira's older brother) and is said to have incarnated as Vidur (known for speaking the truth and for his intelligence) by some accounts in the Mahabharata period. But then... we no longer follow... nor are guided by the Upanishads. 'UPAnishad'... is the new way to go! *wink wink*
Frankly speaking... noone can claim to have ever met or seen these two gentlemen... Messers Yama and Rahu. Yet all are convinced beyond a shred of doubt that certain timings belong to them i.e., to say are influenced by them. Ha!
Through the night and the following morning... preparations for the surgery were carried out. Checking of "Bleeding Time" and "Clotting Time"... apart from B.P., temperature, enema (the procedure of introducing liquids into the rectum and colon via the anus... for complete evacuation of the lower intestinal tract)... and finally the urinary catherization (wherein a plastic tube known as a urinary catheter is gently slid into a patient's bladder via his or her urethra. Catheterization allows the patient's urine to drain freely from the bladder for collection in a urine bag... outside the body). Frankly speaking... I find the catheterization and the enema... truly disgusting. But did not have a choice.
I was allowed to have solid food till 7 am... after which it was "nothing by mouth". Meaning: no intake of solid food... not even liquid/beverage or plain ol' water... since the digestive tract needed to be empty. Around 11.30 am I was dressed in the green hospital gown (patient gown) and cap (to cover my hair), while my legs were wrapped with a white cloth cover - individually. Then I was asked to get on the stretcher. The nurses helped me of course. Thereafter I was wheeled into the OT (operation theatre)... after 12 Noon. Once there, I was shifted onto the operation table... or rather asked to shift... with assistance from the OT staff of course.
Ummm... I understand... that the 'hospital gown' is also called 'exam gown', 'johnny shirt' or 'johnny gown'. I have never sat for my 'egg-jams' in this gown... and I thought that Johnny was only a 'gaddar' with a weakness for Bips! With a dash of vidya thrown in for garnishing. You know... to spice things up *wink wink* Or is it to please the goddess Saraswati... ?!! My guess is as good as yours! Apart from being fond of wearing yellow-coloured itsy-bitsy swimming trunks to flaunt his body beautiful, that is... !!! I couldn't have been more wrong...
Ummm... since I have mentioned both Yamaraj and his assistant Chitragupta in this post... I guess it would be appropriate to share this humorous story (involving 2 trainee Yamadoots or messengers of Yamaraj and 5 other characters besides Yamaraj himself along with Chitragupta) with you all. Read and enjoy "First Day At Work".
(... to be continued)
Note: Some info courtesy Wikipedia.
1. Tiny little feet (Pic courtesy: link)