Midnight Mass attendance by injured army officers in plaster

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An interesting anecdote from an Army Officer!

In good old days, Command Hospital, Pune has two Officer's Wards.Upper- For Majors & above, or very serious cases.
Lower-For Captains, Cadets Under Training, etc.
The lower ward was notorious, to say the least. Young, hot blooded, mostly bachelors, always looking for nooky, loud & raucous.
Refinened & Baby-faced rams.
Result~Nurses (even young Lady Docs) would shy away from entering the Ward. It was such a shame!
Landed up there in Feb '83 with a broken jaw.
For broken bones, cure is to immobilise by cast plaster.
For me, they immobilized my jaws by stitching my lower n upper teeth with braces & wires.
(I wrote on top of my Med Case File : SHUT UP CASE).
We were nearly 40 patients in the ward.Come Good Friday.
A Christian, Sub Lieutenant from Navy, wanted to go for the Mid-Night Mass. Broken ribs & both arms. All plastered. Can't remember his name. We called him Dork (classic Naval Dope).
He would need help to reach the Church. He couldn't wear a shirt-n-tie, so we drew a tie on his chest cast. He wore a sleeves-shorn jacket.
5 more of us, none Christian,  planned to join him.
Result: One auto rickshaw, 5 plastered patients + me, in it.
2 mid-thigh plastered guys on either side (plasters jutting out). 2 arms plastered cases in laps, & me with driver.
We reached the Church, & sat in the last row to draw minimum attention & to make the fastest exit. (Being out at midnight, from the Hospital, was a straight forward punishment case).
Mass finished, we beelined for the door as fast as two guys on crutches could).
Reached our Ward unscathed & undetected.
Saturday, too, was quiet.
Hurrah, we are in the clear.
Or so we thought.
Easter morning. All hell broke loose.
Before we had woken up (sleep in till 7 am since breakfast was laid at out 7), first of MANY Nurses, Lieutenant Sheri prances in, with a broad beaming smile and an Easter cake.
Greetings, laughter, hand shaking...
It was just the beginning.
By 10.30 am, we had 23 cakes in the ward. Many more, than the cakes, nurses, including the matron (head nurse, a Brigadier) had trooped in & out.
Totally missed breakfast. 
Doctors rounds was also a similar story~more smiles, more wishes & handshakes.
We were absolutely shell-shocked.
Cherry was the Registrar striding in. A known No- Nonsense certified Psycho- terror.
Opening line "Who all went to the church last night?"
Common thought,'We are done in as in doomed'.
We six raised our hands.
Next Salvo 
"How many Christians ?"
Barks Colonel Mathews (it WAS akin):"Nice! Appreciated! Happy Easter to all." Marches out!

The whole congregation had noticed the motley group
since the Church is in the Cantonment, that accounted for 95% of uniformed Church-goers.
We had become celebrities overnight.
More than that, our Ward had became 'The Place'.
Not the plague ridden, goon-den, or rogue dungeon.
Doctors on round to The Upper Ward, would drop in to chat, Food from Nurses Mess, Trainee Nurses from Army Nursing School visiting after classes, outright flirting & dating, 2 hookups (that I know of) resulting in betrothal & weddings.
ALL because of a quirky idea of 6 bashed up jokers attending Midnight Mass on a Good Friday.
I WOULD say my Hail Mary's on this day.

Have a fantastic week ahead!!


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