Doctor and Patient

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 PMNov (Friends, Literature, Media, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

As always, i walked all alone into that department. I sat before that cabin which knows me from the past seven years. I looked at the cabin door and saw something missing over there. Yes, it was the name plate! Could it have fallen? or did she quit the organization?- I asked myself and rushed towards the board which displayed the names of all the doctors in that department. I scanned the list twice and nowhere could i see the name. I asked the nurse and got the answer, “She resigned around two months ago.” I stood still there and looked at the display board again. NO, the name Dr. Hema Tharoor was not in the list. She had quit the organization.

Dr. Tharoor has been my psychiatrist from the last seven years. Who has seen me and my twisted mind over the years. I don’t see myself improving or rather being cured but still constant visits to Dr. Tharoor has been one of the reasons which has kept me going over the years. Even when i kept visiting her i knew i would never get ‘cured’ for i knew that the problem was not with the mind or the brain but with the very existence. It has been an existential problem. But still i kept visiting her, during troubled times, just because my heart had come to believe that she understood my state.

As i walked back from the hospital, i knew and also deeply felt that i had lost someone very precious who i would miss for ages to come. My eyes swelled. A lump in my throat. Emptiness in my heart. As i walked i remembered G. Krishnamurthy Bhat, about whom i had mentioned to Dr. Tharoor in one of my very first meetings (counseling session) with her.

My story with Mr. Bhat dates back to 2002-03, a few months before my tryst with Dr. Tharoor. Those were the days when i spent most of time with my psychology teacher and reading quite a bit of psychology, in order to understand human psychology and more importantly to understand myself as i was a mystery to myself. And once when i told my teacher about the immortal loneliness within me she said, “You need someone who will understand you in your intensity.” This line lived within me and my search for a person, be it in the form of a friend or a lover, began.

I was a member of the Nehru Memorial Library in Manipal those days. I would randomly pick up some book and borrow it. As i keep telling some of my friends, i never chase titles or authors, i chase ideas. I kept taking random books across genre. Within a few months i noticed something. Most of the books that i was borrowing had written on them on the very first page, “Donated by G. Krishnamurthy Bhat.” I thought the person must have donated quite a lot of books hence i keep chancing on books that he has donated. Even the next couple of books which i chose impulsively and randomly were donated by Mr. Bhat and one evening it struck to me that if Mr. Bhat donated these books, he must have read them. If not then he must have at least have had interest in those ideas. That evening i felt here was a man whose thoughts and ideas were matching with mine. Now i wanted to meet this man and speak to him and make myself understood in the same intensity.

I asked the librarian who Mr. Bhat was. “He is a mad man,” came the reply. I was stunned. “Why do you need that man?” the librarian shot back at me. How could i tell him about my immortal loneliness and need to find a person who would understand me in my intensity? “Most of the books that i have been borrowing have been donated by him. So i thought he must be having an excellent collection at home,” i said. “No no. He has nothing left at his place. He donated all his books to us and the very next day he came here and demanded that we return his books. He is mad. He had lost his mental balance,” the librarian said. “Do you have his address?” i asked. “No. But our cleaner would know because had gone to his place to bring the books,” came the answer. “Where is the cleaner?” “He is on leave today. Come tomorrow.” Pause. “But Sir, why do you need that mad man?” I smile and leave the place.

“That was some ten fifteen years ago. Now that place has developed and i cant say where exactly that house stands,” the cleaner said the next day. “Which area?” I wouldn’t leave. “You have to take a right turn from Kalsanka. Before Doddandagudde you will get his house,” the cleaner recollected from his memory and informed.

In a week i took my scooty and traveled that area asking every Tom Dick and Harry if they knew G. Krishnamurthy Bhat. No, nobody knew. They would ask me, what he did or how he looked, to which i did not have any answer. I came back home being disappointed. And as i was lying on the bed i felt i should ask Muralidhar Upadhyay Sir if he knew Mr. Bhat. Muralidhar Sir lives in Doddanagudde and has a good taste of literature and philosophy. So i thought Mr. Bhat must have crossed paths sometime with Muralidhar Sir. I rang up Sir immediately. “Yeah i remember this man. But i haven’t met him in the last few years. He was a close friend of Jayavanth. Go meet Jayavanth at his shop in Udupi car street,” Sir said.

Introducing myself to Jayavanth i asked if he knew where i could meet Mr. Bhat. “Why do you need to meet him?” asked Jayavanth. For some reason i felt quite comfortable in the company of Jayavanth Sir and decided to tell him why i wanted to meet Mr. Bhat. Listening to me patiently he said, “He is not in a position to meet anyone these days. His family has locked him up in a room and does not let anyone meet him.” I was disappointed but did not leave the place. I stood there. After a while Jayavanth said, “Come after a week. I too haven’t met him in a long time. I will ask his family members if we can meet him.” Overjoyed by the progress i came home.

When i went to Jayavanth after a week i had no positive answer. Mr. Bhat’s family was not willing to unlock him from the room and let anyone meet him. “They say he has become very violent these days,” Jayavanth said. I, silently, walked out of Jayavanth’s shop carrying the immortal loneliness that my heart has sheltered from the time i have known myself.

Yesterday, as i walked back from the hospital, not finding Dr. Tharoor there, i remembered the evening when i had walked back from Jayavanth’s shop, getting to know that i will not be able to meet Mr. Bhat. I knew that in terms of ‘cure’ i had not benefited anything from Dr. Tharoor. But i had a feeling that she understood my immortal loneliness and my melancholy in its intensity. I knew Mr. Bhat was a patient himself. But i hoped to meet, in him, a friend who would understand me in my intensity.

One Basavaraju, nearly a year ago, writing about P. Lankesh in a magazine recollected an interesting incident. It seems Lankesh Sir was diabetic but still wouldn’t stop consuming sweets. He would eat various kinds of sweets and then check his ‘sugar level’ calculating which sweet causes rise of sugar level at which level. Bsaravaraju once asked Lankesh Sir not to experiment with himself warning him of negative consequences. “Are you a doctor?” roared Lankesh Sir. Bsavaraju stood silent. The question came again. “No,” said Basavaraju. “Are you a patient?” asked Lankesh Sir. “No,” said Basavaraju again. It appears like Lankesh Sir was of the belief that only a doctor and a patient can understand the problems of a patient. The rest, however concerned they are, cannot understand the problem in its intensity.

09 January 2010


  1. B.Suresha said,

    ಕತೆಯು ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿದೆ. ಭಟ್ಟರಭೇಟಿ ಅಂತಲೇ ಹೆಸರಿಟ್ಟು ಕಿರುಚಿತ್ರ ಮಾಡಬಹುದು. ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಿಸಿ. ಒಳಿತಾಗಲಿ

  2. uglywords said,

    You never met him, and that’s sad. Now you’ll never know if he had a pretty daughter in a beautiful jungle waiting for someonew to come and liberate her. 😉

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