There are always moments in life which are so filmy that if it were to be a part of the film we would dismiss it off as unrealistic and impossible. One such incident happened at the beginning of this month…
It was around 4:30 in the morning on the 3rd of June. My friend had come to the room for he had to leave for Delhi immediately as his relative had passed away. He and I were awake till 2:30 and incidentally he was showing me the photographs of his uncle who passed away couple of hours after he showed me the photographs.
While he was going back to his room he stood at the door of my room for a while and that is when we saw a friend of ours walk towards us. As she neared us she said, “Please take me to the hospital.” She had consumed alcohol the previous night and it was one of those days when things just go wrong. She felt dehydrated later in the night and she also threw up a few times. My friend said he will go get an auto, keeping aside the tragedy of his family aside for a while. He had his flight in the morning and had to leave for the air port by 8 and before that he had to pack too. He kept it all aside and tied his lace to take our friend to the hospital. I said I will go get the auto and asked him to be with her. Getting an auto at an ungodly hour is not an easy task. But somehow after walking and running for some time I got an auto. I got the auto to the hostel and we took our friend to the hospital. We took her to the hospital where I have a Doctor friend working.
The emergency ward doors were open and we entered. Everyone was asleep inside. We woke up the doctor and explained the situation to him. He asked for a few more details and said the patient would be given an injection and will be observed for a while. The doctor woke up a nurse and asked her to give an injection to the patient. Saying so the doctor went back to sleep. I woke him up and asked for his colleague who is my friend. “He is not having duty today,” said the doctor and went back to sleep. Our friend was made to sleep; curtains were closed around her and she was given an injection by the nurse. Laying on the bed our friend also slept off. My friend and I were the only two awake. I slowly walked towards the counter as I saw a newspaper dated 1 June 2013 on it. I took the newspaper in my hand and turned the first four pages without reading a word as the first four pages were completely advertisements. So the fifth page- first page of the newspaper- had the following as its headline, “Toast to your health: Hospitals cut costs by using non-MBBS docs.” As I start reading the newspaper I see that the opening quote of the report is by the Director of the very hospital in which we were. Then there is also a quote by a doctor from the very same hospital. Both the quotes almost justifying the non-MBBS doctors!
I freaked out. Also started wondering if my friend in that hospital was really a doctor or not. Because he and I became friends sometime in November when I was rushed to the hospital after passive smoking created problems to me and this doctor couldn’t detect what the problem was and said, “Attention seeking, nothing else.” Well, I was not in control of myself and was unwell too. I yelled at the doctor and not just suggested some books to him on psychiatry but also wrote a couplet on a piece of paper and gave it to him. The couplet read:
Harf-E-Tasalli Toh Ek Takhalluf Hai,
Jiska Dard Usi Ka Dard Baaki Sab Tamaashaayi
(Consoling words are just a formality,
Only the sufferer knows the suffering the rest are just an audience)
which I had read somewhere. The doctor had become nervous when I yelled at him and had also taken my prescription on psychiatric books to him seriously. He had made a note of them! But what made us friends was poetry. He said he too wrote poetries and we became friends. Now after several months I was wondering if he is actually a doctor. If he was why would he randomly say, “Attention seeking, nothing else” when I was unwell and throwing up for two days? Why would he freak out when a patient yells at him and make a note of the medical books that are being suggested by some godforsaken patient?
With all these thoughts I showed the report to my friend and told him that we should inform our friend about it. We both slowly walked towards our friend and woke her up. I read out the headline and told her that the opening quote was of the Director of the hospital in which she is now. I tell her that she now needs to decide if she wants to take treatment in the same hospital or does she want us to take her to some other hospital. But to my surprise and that of my friend, our friend very casually, lying on the bed, told us, “In my family there are six doctors and none of them are MBBS.”
I dint know what was the heights of irony. Was it that the news paper was kept in the hospital even when the report had targeted the hospital? Or was it that we found that newspaper when we went there. Or that it was our friend whose family has six doctors but none MBBS being taken to that hospital which had appointed non-MBBS doctors.
When the doctor gave a prescription to our friend I told my friend, “Let us ask her if she actually wants to take these medicines,” and added, “Let her consult her family if she wants.” My friend laughed and said, “Her family will make a note of the medicines so that they can prescribe the same to the patients who will come to them with the same problem.”
Some jokes are hard to laugh at!