“It was my job to conduct postmortems every day and with it came some professional hazards. The bodies I examined belonged to victims of murders, rapes, accidents or suicides. At times, I would get bodies of toddlers or small babies injured while sleeping or crushed under heavy objects. In those days, I used to be really scared for the well-being of my two-year old daughter. Every morning I would place my fingers under her nose to ensure she was still breathing.
I was paranoid about my daughter’s safety. I would carefully watch who she talked with, who crossed her path and whether anyone was bothering her. The world of crime had burrowed a hole deep into my sanity. One day, I saw a man stealthily letting his hand slide over my daughter at a crowded railway station. My daughter hit that man’s feet with her suitcase. That was the day I realized that my daughter had become capable of looking after herself.
My daughter was 11 when she attended a postmortem with me for the first time. She was neither horrified nor disgusted. She was just curious and eager to understand the science of investigation. It reminded me of when, while doing my MBBS, I had started reading Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, and Perry Mason. The works of these writers had made postmortem interesting to me. The idea of being a part of a mystery busting team or solving crimes excited me. I often tell people that I don’t find it weird, just professional.
Today my daughter is 17. We both go out for coffee almost every evening. We talk about everything under the sun. She understands me and respects my work.
I can’t wait to resume my work after the hospital building where I work is renovated.”