bhOndOO, the butcher.

Thanks to the discussion with Mukta and Arun for the idea of this story. Special thanks to Maneesh for the word butcher.

“Just give me 10 minutes.”, Lili said.
“But we are already late.”, bhOndOO argued.
“It is very important. I have to show results to my boss tomorrow.”, Lili counter-attacked.

bhOndOO thought of replying: Then why are you coming for the movie? But remembering that she was invited by Shami, he continued seating patiently on the sofa. He kept calculating how much of the initial part of Rambo, to be shown in Gymkhana, they were going to miss.

He was in BioChemistry department in Lili’s lab. The medicated smell in the lab was almost taking life out of bhOndOO. He hated the smell, he hated the delay, and he hated missing Rambo’s start.

Lili was least bothered. She continued injecting some chemical into several mice one after another. It was soon followed by cutting some other set of mice and collecting blood out of them. Whenever she used to get the red blood out of a mouse, a tinge of smile appeared on her face. bhOndOO found it terrible and he reconsidered whether it was wise to accompany Lili for the movie in the dark.

Within minutes, bhOndOO got bored.
“How much more?”, he finally asked.
“Just 5 minutes!”, Lili answered without turning, and continued smiling to see the blood getting collected.

To avoid boredom, concentrate on details, bhOndOO remembered from a Management course. He thought for a while, decided something and got up from the sofa. He came to Lili’s table and made the blunder of asking, “Lili, what is your research area?”.

Lili, engrossed in injecting the chemical into a mouse, turned and gave him a look as if he was a mouse! bhOndOO dreaded and carefully stepped back. When Lili came to senses, she started, “I work on cellular immunology. To start with, T lymphocytes are responsible for cellular immunity. Clonally variable T cell receptors (TCRs) recognize antigenic peptides presented on Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) encoded molecules. T lymphocytes on activation produce cytokines, proliferate and undergo differentiation. Productive T cell activation requires two signals: TCR and costimulation. I have been studying the role of costimulatory receptors, CD28 and CTLA4 (CD152), on freshly isolated mouse CD4 positive T lymphocytes under different in-vitro conditions of activation using antibodies to CD3, lectins and/or pharmacological compounds. It is generally thought that CD28 positively, whereas CTLA4 negatively, activates T cell activation. My finding is that CD28 activates T cell under all conditions of activation. However, CTLA4 activates or inhibits T cell activation under different conditions of T cell activation. I am investigating the mechanisms involved in positive and negative costimulation to better understand its role in modulating T cell activation. In addition, I am studying the effects of novel small molecules compounds in modulating T cell activation.”.

bhOndOO cursed the Management course for giving horrifying advices. He only managed, “That sounds great!” and came back to his sofa.

One of the lab mates, Bunny, got a call and he hurriedly started running out of the lab.

“Bunny, why are you running?”, Lili asked.
“Chunna is back from the conference and has brought chocolates!”, Bunny answered without stopping and left the lab.

At once, Lili left the table and ran after Bunny. Other labmates followed her.

“Lili? We have to go…”, bhOndOO tried.

Lili didn’t bother to answer. Within seconds the lab was empty. bhOndOO wondered about the future of the lab. He then imagined Lili eating chocolates with the same hands with which she was dissecting the mice and collecting their blood. He refrained from vommitting.

After a few more seconds, bored, bhOndOO got up from the sofa, and started roaming in the lab. He saw every table with a shelf full of buerettes and chemicals. He came to Lili’s table and found among other things, several scalpels, scissors, and a tray of live mice injected with anaesthesia!

bhOndOO looked around and found no one. He looked for gloves but did not find any. He touched a mouse with his left index finger just to confirm if it was really unconscious. It did not make any movement. Relieved, bhOndOO held it in his left hand and took out a scalpel from the dissection kit with his right hand.

It was a moment of decision, it was a moment of tension, it was a moment of sensation. bhOndOO kept looking at the mouse. So far in his research life, a mouse always meant an electric device connected to a computer. But today, he was witnessing a live mouse in his hand. The next moment, bhOndOO felt formation of a small girdle in his stomach, the diameter of the girdle slowly increased. It then traversed above the stomach through his chest and came near the throat. bhOndOO expected himself to vomit, but that didn’t happen. The girdle continued its travel and bhOndOO felt that it reached his head. Within seconds, bhOndOO started sweating. His legs started trembling. He started breathing heavily.

I cannot even dissect a mouse! This insignificant creature is proving superior to my courage! I must show it my strength, I must show it my bravery, I must dissect it!

bhOndOO held the scalpel firmly, prayed to Lord Lili Amma and injected the scalpel’s sharp end into the mouse’s stomach in his left hand.

The mouse jumped from his hand and came on to his spects. bhOndOO, terrified, threw away his spects, collapsed and fainted.

After he came to senses, Lili offered him a chocolate (with the same hands) which bhOndOO promptly ate. None of the lab members asked anything — they were too accustomed to such events. One of them gave him his strong spects — intact and washed.

“So, shall we leave?”, Lili asked, her eyes glistening with mischief.
“Yes, but you go alone. I am going to my hostel.”, bhOndOO answered thoughtfully.
“Shall I drop you?”.
“No, I am fine.”.

Later, asleep, bhOndOO dreamed himself fighting a war with a mouse using scalpels. For one week after that, bhOndOO washed his spects with Dettol every day.


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4 Responses to “bhOndOO, the butcher.”

  1. pranav Says:

    i hoped something different to happen in the end.
    certainly, it must be difficult to stick to the standards once set.

  2. Maneesh Says:

    Hahaha!!! I can go on giving you sound-bytes like that!!! I live for such moments!

    How about liquidator?! or annihilator? or exterminator? or neutralizer?!

    or just terminator?! 😀

  3. vinay Says:

    hahahahaha! hail bhOndOO! long live bhOndOO!

  4. apkmnp Says:

    Can’t stop reading this blog…quite well written ..keep continuing it 🙂

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