Friday, September 19, 2008

Tincture Iodine anecdotes


Amongst the oldest reminiscences every individual retains from the time the brain actually starts identifying objects and people around is the rendezvous with the physician, for the annual shots one has to take in childhood depending on the person’s power of resistance & penchant for adventures as one graduates from infancy to childhood. A peculiar whiff distinguishes a medical set up from the hearty world
The physician - During those days when my dad could lift and carry me, here days mean days and do not represent a considerable slice of period from the chronology of my growing days as they generally do in conventional literature as my healthy augmentation outweighed relativity, I patently recollect my trips to a doctor who had his dispensary just adjoining my building. The dispensary had a typical set up which one gets to witness nowadays in classic black and white movies. At that age the architecture of the dispensary amused me. It was exactly identical to that of my flat. My dad always fooled me by saying that the dispensary took the shape of the house of whoever visited it. And while I would be busy analyzing the science behind the dynamic architecture the doctor would start sterilizing the needle. During those days disposable needle wasn’t very prevalent. The doctor’s table had a leather desk and a glass slab placed over it. The space in between was utilized to depict panoramas from all over the globe. What prominently films on the canvas of my mind is the huge clock which hung just above the doctor’s chair. It was an antique piece with the words scientific clock written on its metallic body. Its needle’s tick tock could be clearly heard in the silent ambience. A steel pendulum oscillated in a square case below the dial. The doctor’s surname rhymed with the word pendulum and the kids had declared a nick unanimously for him. He was addressed as ‘Pendulum’ and hated by almost all the kids in the vicinity. He had the physique of a wrestler and the face of an undertaker, that’s what it seemed to us during those days. A thick wooden frame bearing painted and layered glass panes separated the bed from his table. On the other side of the room a passage led to a platform with a ledge above it. Identical plastic containers housing various medicines stood neatly arranged on it. A strange aroma would fill the dispensary on the complete sterilization of the needle. It indicated the beginning of an animated exercise where I would utilize the energy stored in every cell of my body to run away from the dispensary, and my father would try to pull me back. The doctor would stare with a detached look. Even at that age pinning me down on the bed, for a time period sufficient for the doctor to inject me on my posterior without bending the needle, was almost an impossible task. My father would then start enlisting ice creams, chocolates and toys as gifts which I would receive for exposing my posterior to the doctor. After meticulous calculations I would then negotiate with my father and finally a treaty would be achieved. With a sullen face I would walk to the bed and with some assistance from the doctor would step up on the stool and climb over it. Then with closed eyes I would wait for the needle to have done its job. For the first couple of years of this ritual, a couple of floors over the doctor’s dispensary would get notified about my shots through the sound waves propagated from my vocal chords. The doctor never smiled much. But he being on the panel of the company for which my dad worked would attend to calls even at 12 in the night when need arose. He stayed in the neighborhood and everyone knew him as well as his family personally. The foremost league of the people from my social circuit to have made it to the ‘Hall of flames’ was certified dead by him.
Empires never fall they just witness a change in leadership. Another doctor in the vicinity gained popularity as Mr. Pendulum retired from his practice. The new doctor was immediately bestowed with the title of “Chaddi” because of his surname which rhymed with the Hindi equivalent of knickers. His appearance matched with that of Hitler. The only difference being he wore spectacles and was twice the weight of Hitler. He himself had a history of medical woes. During those days the kids discussed with great surprise the tales of a doctor who himself was a patient. By that time I had grown up into a healthy kid and my dad had given up the idea of using physical force to pin me down for injections. I had grown courageous too and would now take injections on my arm after negotiating the gifts with my dad. However Mr. Chaddi got a taste of my wrath when he was invited home by my parents. I was burning with fever. Though I felt fit my parents were of the opinion that admission in the hospital would become inevitable if a doctor was not summoned immediately. The child specialist who cured me within moments without injections was out of the city. So Mr. Chaddi was summoned. He whispered something in my dad’s ears. I had seen such scenes in movies. But as my exams were just a fortnight away, I was dead sure that my parents wouldn’t allow me to die before appearing for my terminals. The whole scenario started unfolding before my mind when the doctor tore open the packet of a disposable syringe. The needle was at least twice as big as the ones I was used to seeing. I straightly refused to enter into a treaty. The warrior who had diplomatically won treasures till date wouldn’t budge a feet behind on this crusade. Even for the riches of the world a truce wouldn’t be signed. My dad realizing the seriousness of the situation lured me with the ultimate possession a 9 year old mortal could imagine of. A remote controlled car. The warrior started negating his thought procedures by luring his mind with the moments he would spend with his new remote controlled vehicle. It would mobilize at the press of a button. The doctor briefed my dad on the negative effects of pampering on kids. I summoned all my memories since birth to enlist all the curses I had learned till that moment and bombarded the doctor with it. Even at that age I had an impressive vocabulary. The doctor almost dropped the syringe to cover his ears. My mom and dad looked at me with a face which depicted anger, astonishment and embarrassment at the same time. For decades after that event the doctor has always treated me with respect. The deal was struck. And the needle tasted my posterior. The warrior whose arm had mellowed hoards of needles decided to entrust the responsibility of this gigantic needle to his foremost general the bump.
The Dentist- I had heard the tales of one of the most painful and irritating ailments since childhood. These chronicles would be repeated mostly after the consumption of any sweet delicacy, whose absense most of the times was discovered hours after the consumption. During the afternoon times when my mom and grand moms took a nap, I would raid the kitchen and leave it bereft of anything which would taste remotely sweet. Such was the obsession with sweet that once I had even consumed wheat mistaking it for powdered sugar. This obsession of the childhood had a decade long pay back time. After experimenting with chewing gums, chalk powder and chocolates as fillers for a dental cavity which existed in one of my gums. I had to take an appointment with the dentist. The moment marked the beginning of my dental chronicles which continue till date. My parents had been visiting him since he was unmarried. When I first visited him his kid was 7 yrs younger to me. A good looking guy always made me sulk for my parent’s inability to find a female dentist. Unfortunately He didn’t have any nick-name, however I felt blessed as I had been hearing tales of another dentist in the vicinity who unplugged teeth with an instrument resembling a spanner. He was bestowed with a nick. But absence of nick was a small price to pay in lieu of pain. Before my first rendezvous with the dentist, friends who had already undergone dental treatment came to meet me boasting about their valor and explaining to me in detail the intricacies of dentistry. They derived a sadistic pleasure looking at my face displaying concern and fear. From their innumerable lectures I learned that if the tooth was rotten enough, I would be given an injection on my gums, following which a hole would be drilled in my teeth and a nerve cut. Then hot molten silver would be poured in the cavity to be finally concealed by a cap. I prayed to all the Gods I knew that night promising them 40% of all the sweets I consumed in lieu of a brief stint with the dentist. But the Gods seemed to have sweet teeth like mine. Forty percentage shares were not acceptable to Them and my dental woes continue till date. The fateful day arrived. The X-ray revealed that my tooth required root canalling. I broodingly occupied the chair. It resembled to the one at the barber’s shop, the angle of recline here being a good forty degrees more than the barber’s chair. The dentist was loquaciousness incarnate. With the patients’ mouth incapable of creating a sound, he readily took upon himself the responsibility of creating enough vocal waves which could represent him, his patient and his mute helper. The dentist always has some fascination or the other to talk about. When I had first visited him, he used disposable equipments and was the first in the vicinity to do so. He repeated the fact at least 8 times. If he keeps speaking at this rate he soon will have to use disposable vocal chords, I thought to myself. With my mouth open and strange looking steel paraphernalia whose acoustics resembled a chain saw being periodically inserted into it, I had no option but to keep myself busy looking at the stuff placed around. The dentist’s place could be used as a museum on weekends when he doesn’t treat patients here I thought to myself. At that time at least 50 pieces of arts graced the shelves around. My first encounter ended painlessly. Later on over the years we became friends and my visits to him surpassed my visits to any other medical practitioner. He belongs to the same sun sign as me and shares madness for symmetry and neatness with me. My oral cavity today abides enough silver to mold a ring for myself. Going by my physicality that is a substantial amount.
The psychiatrist- Somewhere around the end of my teen hood I was officially declared as a problem child. If the president had an award like ‘Nuisance- Ratna’ I would have been a strong contender for it. Almost every professor in my junior college referred to me as a ‘Gone- Case’. I had an opinion on every practice in the civilized world and countered every advice put before me. I read a lot, but used academic literature only to glorify its useless ness. My parents had employed a dozen of private tutors who periodically testified my grim future. A cousin of mine having pioneered similar behavior in our generally scholar family had shown signs of improvement after taking treatment from a psychiatrist. The piece of information reached my parents. It was my turn to pay a visit to the ‘Mental Doctor’. Lectures were delivered by my parents stressing on the fact that psychiatrist didn’t necessarily mean a ‘Mental Doctor’ and retards weren’t the only people who visited him. By ‘Mental Doctor’ I didn’t mean doctor treating mental people but a doctor who is mental himself, thus Mental being an adjective rather than his area of specialization, I put forth my point. My furious parents preponed the meeting by a week
The clinic had a name which meant a turning point. Why someone would come to a clinic for turning, after all a turn could be in the wrong direction too, something indicating a step would have been a better option, I raised my doubt. My dad asked me to shut up as he registered my name with the receptionist. There were some other people already waiting their turn. I looked at everyone carefully trying to judge their mental condition and sat at the farthest end of the room on an isolated chair eyeing every object and individual with suspicion. Prior to this tryst I had seen mental hospitals in movies. Mentally retarded people appeared normal and calm until they pounced on you. I was busy devising strategies to handle an attack if one came my way. The walls of the room displayed posters of the cover pages of the books the doctor had written. There were books on fighting insomnia, books on fighting stress, books on fighting negative thoughts. A book on fighting hypocrisy and rotten education system would have been much more helpful I thought to myself. A good looking young girl stood besides me smiling at me. Such a nice face and a punctured mental state, fate and destiny never spared their wrath I was thinking to myself when my mother broke the chain of my thoughts and asked me to accompany her. She was a student of psychology and worked for the doctor. She took me to an adjacent room and bombarded me with questions. “What would you do if your professor yells at you?” she asked. “I would probably yell back at him, after all I pay him and consumer is the king” I answered. A burst of laughter behind a curtain revealed that there were others like her doing their internship. Had this meeting occurred in later years I would have convinced those interns to enroll into the students union and demand a better stipend from the doctor. However during those days I was naïve at rebellions. “Do you like to listen to advices, especially from elderly people who have your well being as their first priority?” she asked. “Oh yes I do, however I implement them only after testing their antonymous corollary” A louder burst of laughter followed. I felt like a comedian who performs on television where in a laughter follows every statement he makes. Fed up with my replies, she gave me a question paper to solve. I had cracked the code of these vocational guidance tests in my school days. I could alter the outcome of these tests at my will. There are a certain set of questions which determine your IQ and then based on the options you select to another set of questions, these people decide what career interests you and whether you are capable of pursuing it. I decided to give the psychology student a tough time. I answered in such a way that my IQ was indicated as above average , which is a prerequisite to be eligible for a profession of your choice and then chose diagonally opposite options for the questions which decide your vocation. For example if a question enquired whether I found testing of chemicals for hours together interesting I checked YES , and then for a question which enquired about my preferences of working I checked NO for closed environments and YES for a job which required traveling. Thus totally ruling out a career as a chemical researcher. Later on ,time must have taught those interns that in the real world the market decided an individual’s profession and not the individual. I was asked to return to my earlier seat. An hour later with a grim face the intern returned to the doctor’s cabin. I had heard stories about psychiatrists themselves becoming patients of mental illness because of over exposure to nuts. Also I had seen movies where adamant patients were given shock treatments. I had decided on a strategy in case the doctor tried any such misadventure. Under the worst case scenario as per my strategy, doctor’s groin would receive the shock meant for my cranium. Soon I was summoned. I entered the cabin with inhibition. Now the doctor was the object of my scan. I carefully observed the doctor. He was smiling, I frowned back. The cabin was crammed with artifacts from all over the globe. So he treated global morons too, I thought to myself. He started speaking. The way he spoke made me doubt his sexual orientation. He spoke for 5 minutes and prescribed some medicines. His surname rhymed with the Marathi word for pimp and I repeated it twice under the pretext of mispronunciation to his receptionist. The receptionist revealed his fees. For 5 minutes of crap and a stupid vocational test we were charged 750 rupees. On our way back somehow my father subscribed to my opinion on the doctor and viewed me with new found respect. The medicines though were useful. They increased my appetite for food , sleep and rebellion.

7 comments:

Rahul Parab said...

pendharkar , chedda , dighe and batawdekar :) all in scequene ..to good post man...sab poorani yadden wasp aagayi esp with pendharkar clinic..keep on posting ..good work buddy... tc - rahul

rahu tejwani said...

good work buddy,keep it up,an keep writing about your hidden characterstics.

Prerna said...

An Indian story teller on the way to Interntaional Acclaim...Good work

Pyromaniaaac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Parag said...

This blog has inspired me to write abt anecdotes from a doctor's point of view... LOL...

Watch my space in the future as a reply to ur blog :P

rashmi said...

Dr ka inta close inspection aur dissection kisine kiya nahi hoga aaj tak..keep it up.....

Vrushali said...

This is a fantastic piece of work Sanket! You are very good at observing minutest stuff also. Frankly speaking, your work is much more than being laudable.