Travelling by train always leads to talking ,the indian railways being conducive to the national ethos of idle conversations, what else do you do with all the time and with nothing in particular to pass the time
suddenly your neighbour whom you wouldn’t have cared to look at elsewhere looks positively intresting and you ache to know all about him .He becomes a celebrity in those closed quarters .
Being a doctor passenger often has its good and bad ,the moment you say you are a doctor faces around lights up as their minds work overtime how to badger a free consultation
“ohh a doctor is it a homeopath or an allopath ? which specialisation ? which hospital ? my nephew is a doctor you know in the states a cardiologist ,Americans have given their heart to him !! ha ha
After this innocent introduction the knives are sharpened for the kill
“You know .”pipes one bald corner seat walla “actually my back is the problem lumbago , it all happened when I slipped a disc or two years back and it is been hurting me ever since,I used to touch the ground with my forehead all the time before that
( no wonder the hair bade him farewell ) all those medicines I have swallowed have only made my doctors buy new cars and left my pain with myself .”
This would give rise to faint chuckles by the crowd always delighted to expose clay feet it is good pastime that a doctor is being tickled ,after all they live on our sicknesses and make one pay fat bills to live in style .
Every man there becomes an instant remix of Lenin and stalin as they berate the doctor as a symbol of bouergaiese exess
The lower berth pot belly would then start describing the noxious emanations vaporizing from his posterior and confess how he always needed a toilet around .He goes on to lengthy explanations punctuated by grunts and groans to elaborate his bowel movements in remarkable details as to him they were earth shaking events .
“ My aunt has cancer you know , why cant you doctors find a cure for that ?and yes AIDS what about AIDS ,forget all that ,the common cold is there a cure for it ?
accuses the bright young thing peeking from her Readers Digest .
To her Doctors should have answers for everything or else they were not worth their salt .
A somber looking middle aged man who has hypochondriac written on his forehead dictates the whole pharmacopia as the drugs he is on and finally with a forlorn look asks me what do you suggest doctor ?for which I almost say all you need my dear man is the right kick in the right arse but turn down the temptation for the next time .
There are dangerous maniacs who hate modern medicine with a venom lurking in all crowds specially trains who seek their victims in unaccompanied doctors .
They always berate doctors of charging exorbitantly and letting loose tons of dangerous drugs on the unsuspecting innocent sick of the country ,this variety is always aided by timid companions with their own versions of torture by doctors ,spreading the word that all doctors are born murderers and pirates so much so that the whole train hates you by the next junction .
The internet has made it more difficult with net savvy smartalecs fresh from their browsing quizzing on the latest to foggy old doctors like me whose knowledge starts and ends with the kind pamphlet the medical reps delivers with panache
one yearns to get away from all this probably with a friendly puff near the door, but nuisance follows like Marys lamb “ what doctors smoking ,what a bad example ? “
So now this time I traveled in train I was wise and when the inevitable question came I called myself a sanitary inspector with a sneer thinking that will put you morons in your place but then the man next to me said oh a sanitary plumber is it tell me which is the best potty for a man with third degree piles !!!
Karma lands me in haemorroids again !!.