Describe the physical and mental agony the doctor went through in Vikram Seth’s poem ‘A Doctor’s Journal Entry for August 6,1945‘.
In the narrative poem, the poet has given us a clear picture of the physical and mental agony the doctor was going through immediately after the atomic explosion of Hiroshima. Even before he realized it, a splinter jutted from his mangled thigh, his right side bled and his cheek was torn.
Anyway, he somehow dislodged a piece of glass from the wound. When he was going to the hospital with his wife Yecko-san, they fell stumbling over a dead man’s head. That clearly shows that they were not in their normal physical and mental state. Rather they were in a horrible shock and suffering from great physical pain.
They stood afraid seeing the dead man crushed by a gate. They saw a tilted house crashing before them and fire springing up from the dust. Though the doctor once remembered his staff and wanted to help him, he himself was not in a good condition.
After walking some distance, the doctor’s legs gave away and he sat down on the ground. Thirst seized him but he found no water. He was panting in great agony. But he was mentally strong. So he stood up again and continued walking. But finally he had to give up as his legs were severely injured and could not carry him any more. So he bade goodbye to his wife. She had to go against her will, as they had no better choice.
Now the doctor became all alone and felt a dreadful loneliness. Though his body crept behind, his mind ran at high speed. He saw a silent procession of naked men and women but did not know why. He was trying to figure out what might have happened to them all. Even he, or for that matter anyone else, was not ashamed of their naked condition. In short they were still under a kind of a trauma or a trance-like state.