Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Autopsy Woman

I have gotten used to the stench of death in its myriad hues and shades, so nothing surprises me or shocks me now. They are nothing more than a number to me now; in spite of me being a ‘woman’, there is no sensitivity left within me with regards to death now, except for its causes and the timing, if I were to exclude the causes out of my daily routine as well.
Everyday I have to see dead bodies, or its remaining parts or its shreds, whatever the cops manage to recover over varying periods of time. The causes of death are several; the motives seem to remain the same, if one were to believe what the cops say. But I do not care anymore; I restrict myself from thinking too much about that.
“Here’s the new one,” spoke the coroner, as he shoved up the body up onto the examination table with the help of two other apprentices. Death weighs heavily upon all of us, and so was this body similarly bogged down by the weight of its own decaying mass. The body was horribly disfigured from the abdomen and below; there was nothing left for me to tear up the body for, as the coroner handed me the bag containing the remains of her inner organs, or rather what was left of them. “Here is what remains in the name of organs that have recovered from the site. Hope it is of some use to you, though I doubt it,” grunted the coroner from behind the mask to hide himself from the stench of death that surrounds all of us in this room.
The stench of death is a mystery to all of us who conduct forensic examinations day in and day out. It has several tinges to it; the bitter almonds due to cyanide, the crazy sulfurous smells arising due to gun shots, the rotten smells arising due to the maggots and bacteria having eaten away at the flesh, leaving behind a consortium of half eaten body parts held together by a half-eaten body. Anyways, what is there for me to say, but that I am so used to it that I now do not even notice the difference between the living and the dead; they all seem to be the same to me.
To be honest, there are no differences between the living and the dead today; it is just that the living have are able to move around, unlike the dead. Otherwise the two are in a perpetual state of continual decay, be it mentally, physically, socially, culturally or any other parameter of measurement that you may wish to adopt for comparison. There seems to be an endless list of faults and errors that the human race are; moreover, they snap back when one of us lower levels of human beings dares to point out the same to them.
“So, what do you say, doctor?”, spoke the assistant, as I was examining the various body parts, or any that had been spared by the vicious brute who had killed this woman.
“ Number 17165 has been killed by knife, and her private organs have been torn to shreds for sure. Seems to be a hate crime, and certainly has a masculine touch to the entire pogrom. Moreover, the weapon was a knife for sure,” I spoke from behind my mask, while I continued to peer across the naked body (or whatever was left of it) to make observations of the various injuries, scars and gashes that wrapped her body like a crochet weave pattern. “And she seems to have been raped before the murder was committed, looking at the current state of the body, around midnight.”
“So she was raped before being murdered?” asked he, as he kept scribbling down his sheet.
“Difficult to say. There are too many scratches on the body due to the sharp object, so it is difficult to assess whether she was raped or not. But the murder was committed around midnight,” saying which I walked out of the room, leaving the attendant to clear the table, and send the body to whoever was claiming it for burial.
I strolled out of the room, and headed straight towards the sink to disinfect my hands. Having done that, I headed towards the laboratory, where some of the other scientists were conducting tests on the samples collected from her body.
“Any luck?” I asked, though not expecting much. Nowadays, I never expect anything: no joy, no hope, no disappointment; nothing.
“Negative: there seems to be nothing that can help us nail the culprit. We’ll have to examine everything from the site all over again.”
“Do it fast,” I commented, “or else the evidence could get destroyed. We cannot afford to lose any evidence, howsoever miniscule it may be.”
When I go home from work, I insulate myself from all the scenes of death and murder by listening to classical music. The way Mozart’s compositions flow; the way Tchaikovsky’s tunes draw my attention; the way Brahms induces me into a state of peace; it helps me a lot to move away, to recharge, so that I can start afresh the next day. This case, however, reminds me of a very old case that had shocked me. I could not recall the culprit of that case; the case had created a similar sensation then as well in the print media; only to be replaced by the hysteria in the electronic media and the tabloid nature of the print. Let us see what it turns out to be. In the meantime, I have Beethoven to help me come out of trance.

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