Is It (J)EV?

Is It (J)EV?

Varun and Gayatri spent another twenty minutes questioning the boy. Varun asked the boy about where he kept the monkey during night. The boy took them to the backside of the hut and pointed to a small kennel made of wood. He said, ‘My father is a carpenter and he made this for DoDo to live in. I had to tie him up. You know how monkeys are.’ The boy had tears in his eyes when he said this. It was obvious to both Varun and Gayatri that he was very attached to the monkey.

Gayatri said gently, ‘We are sorry about your monkey. Doesn’t your father send you to school? You say he is a carpenter. Surely, he can afford to do that.’

‘He is not my own father Memsaab. He is my stepfather. He says school is a waste of time and waste of money. He spends all his money on drinking, and we used to live on what DoDo and I earned. I would like to go to school very much.’

‘Why did your father kill DoDo?’ Varun wanted to know.

‘My father got angry when I told him what had happened that day when DoDo attacked the other Memsaab. He got angry with me for not keeping DoDo under control. He tried to hit me. And DoDo tried to save me. And my father caught DoDo and strangled him in a fit of temper. I cremated DoDo some distance away from here. Sahib, my father would be coming anytime now. Please go. If he finds out I have been talking to you he will beat me black and blue.’

‘I will come at some other convenient time when your father is not here. Here is Rs 25 for you. You have been a great help. Thank you.’

Varun and Gayatri left the hut.

They went back to the hospital and entered Anandi’s room. She was looking woebegone, and Varun could see that the pustules were spreading to her neck. She was awake and looked depressed. Varun held her hands and spoke. ‘I will move heaven and earth to get you out of this. This is one of the best hospitals in India and Dr Peter and the other doctors are all experts in their fields.’

‘I don’t feel very confident Varun. I think this is going to be the end of me.’

‘No darling, please don’t say that. I will be lost in this world without you. I need you.’ Varun’s voice choked.

‘I have lived a good life, Varun. Now I don’t want to suffer for long. I just told you what I felt in my bones.’

Varun patted her on the shoulders. The nurse came up to him and said, ‘Dr Peter told me to inform you that he would like to meet you in his room.’

Varun and Gayatri went over to Dr Peter’s room and his secretary bid them to enter. Soon they were seated in front of Dr Peter. He looked at them steadily and said, ‘We have just received the preliminary report from our lab at Bombay where we had sent the liquid inside the pustules for analysis. I will explain how things stand now. They have found that the yellow liquid is full of a virus that bears very close resemblance to the Japanese Encephalitis Virus commonly known as JEV. This virus causes the disease called Japanese Encephalitis as you might have probably guessed from the name. The symptoms include brain inflammation, high fever, vomiting, seizures and headache. But there are no known cases where you will find pustules on the face as a symptom. Another thing is that the modus operandi by which the virus spreads is different from what we see in your wife’s case. JEV like Malaria spreads through mosquito bites. There is no known case of a monkey bite causing Japanese Encephalitis. This case is turning out to be a medical puzzle. But our technicians are still working on it and this report is only preliminary. It would be a big help if we could examine the monkey with a vet’s help.’

Varun said in dejection, ‘Doctor, I met the boy who owned the monkey, and he told me that his father had strangled the monkey in a fit of temper. He has cremated the monkey somewhere.’

‘Oh! The kind of cruelty people are capable of!’ Dr Peter exclaimed. ‘So that idea goes down the drain. But I can see you are very much in love with your wife Mr Varun. We will do everything we can.’

Gayatri smiled at Varun. They said goodbye to the doctor. It was 7.30 PM by then. They had dinner outside and went back to their rooms.

                                                                                             To Be Continued...

This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter J

#AtoZChallenge 2023
Please check out the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge

6 thoughts on “Is It (J)EV?”

    1. Yes, indeed it is tough. JEV as mentioned in the post stands for Japanese Encephalitis Virus. The A to Z requirement constrains me quite a bit. You are correct about finding it challenging to weave a plot around that.

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