Study Guide

Cutting for Stone Chapter 10: Dance of Shiva

By Abraham Verghese

Chapter 10: Dance of Shiva

  • The probationer, or nurse-in-training, takes the twins and, assuming they are dead, leaves them in a basin.
  • Luckily, the sun shines on the babies and begins to warm them up and bring them to life.
  • Hema operates on the mother, but it's no use: Sister Mary Joseph Praise dies.
  • The firstborn baby—the one who didn't get stabbed in the head by Dr. Stone—starts crying, letting everyone know that he's alive. Hema starts working on the unbreathing baby while Matron wraps up the crier.
  • Dr. Stone, the babies' father, slits open Sister's chest, trying to revive her heart with his hand, squeezing it. Wait, does that actually work?
  • Gebrew walks in with food for Hema and sees the horrific scene. He starts praying.
  • Stone is defeated, and he rejects the idea that the babies are a miracle in exchange for Sister Mary Joseph Praise's life. Hema asks him what they should name the babies, and he says to get them out of his sight.
  • Stone runs away, and Hema takes the babies as her own miracle.
  • Hema names the first twin Marion, after the father of obstetrics and gynecology, Marion Sims. She names the second one Shiva, after the god Shiva.