Thursday, January 8, 2015

Everything Is 'Andhaa-Dhundhi'.

Recognise the uniform at the corner of the picture? Yes, it is the traffic police official posted in front of SBI Ponda. Notice the double parked scooters? Yes, that is what he is supposed to prevent. But he appeared to be least bothered. We usually ignore both. Today I decided to question him about it.

“Sir, do you see those two wheelers which are wrongly parked?”
“Then, what are you doing about it?”
“They have just gone to the ATM”
“But going to the ATM is not an excuse to double park their vehicles and you are here to prevent that and take action. Not to justify wrong parking.”
“What to do? Eevery thing has become haphazard” (“Kite karpache? Sagle andhaa-dhundhi zaale”)
“My dear sir, I am supposed to say that. Not you. Things are ‘andhaa-dhundhi’ (haphazard) because YOU don’t care. Do you understand that?” 

He was not interested in continuing the conversation with an old idiot who did not have anything better to do other than pointing out silly things. He looked at me with pity (as we usually look at mentally unsound people), smiled and walked away.  I took his full picture and also his name and buckle number. My first thought was to write a complaint to his superiors. (Not that they would do anything about it). But then I thought about it and felt that he is not the only one to be blamed. I made a list of those whom I would like to blame.

1. We, the citizens - who consider these matters as silly things not worth bothering about and accept them because that is how things are in our country. We consider these uncivilized actions to be an aspect of our ‘Indianness,’ many of which we see everyday everywhere and are actually proud of it rather than being ashamed. We have grown with it and we bring up our children in the same way. Have any one of us questioned such things any time even though we notice them everywhere?

2. His ultimate superiors - Our ‘Netas’. Who have many weighty things to bother about and who have themselves set examples by being lawbreakers a number of times. Here is a small example of their attitude related to traffic. Few months back, five of the Hon. MLAs of the Goa legislative assembly, rode on their two wheelers - Enfield, Harley Davidson, Yamaha and such other glittering things - instead of their cars, on a fancy. Nothing wrong with that. But, none of them wore a helmet, an offence for which hundreds of citizens get ‘challaned’ every day. The police at the gate saluted them smartly and let them in. But some media fellow, who did not have any thing better to do, took their pictures, questioned their action and demanded that they be punished. It took three days for our MLAs to accept that they did something wrong and say that they would pay a fine. But I don’t think any of them did. At least I have not read anything about it in the papers. This is a trivial issue (as many may say) but with 'law makers' like these, what else can we expect?

3. His immediate superiors - who have failed to instill a bit of pride in him about his job and also have not drilled into his head the necessity to take his job seriously. Probably they themselves just say “sagle andhaa-dhundhi zaale” and close their eyes, an action which their underling follows.

4. This constable is the last to be blamed.

Whenever we from POP (Our group, People Of  Ponda) have talked to the traffic cell about haphazard traffic in our city, the usual response is that the PWD has not installed enough sign boards or that they (traffic police) do not have enough staff. I understand that, right now there is an exercise going on to redefine parking areas, one ways, no parking zones etc etc in our city. I would like to point out to the people in charge of traffic cell that they are wasting their time redrawing traffic arrangements if they are going to be as indifferent to the new system as they are to the present system. What we need are not new/more rules/arrangements but only effective implementation of what we already have. All they have to do is come out of their indifference. Nothing else.

(I also noticed the same situation in front of Padmavi hotel and in front of Canara bank where there were not one but two police officials in each place, including one having Two stripes on his sleeves.
 POP has intentions of talking to the top cops in traffic about traffic management in Ponda city and I intend mentioning this to the higher ups in the police force if and when we get to meet them. Hope we find a receptive ear and not an indifferent one)

I wrote this piece and tried to think why did I write? Is it just to have something posted on the Facebook page? I don’t think so. I feel strongly about these matters and want to do whatever I can, to bring about a change. Making others aware is one of the ways. Some say that I am just banging my head against a rock. A rock called our ‘collective attitude or the system.’ May be. But I hope that if everyone of us bang their heads - lightly, not very hard - it may cause a small dent on the rock one day or the other. Like drops of water falling over the ages. I do not hope to live to see the day but may be, my great, great grand children (if and when they are born) will be part of a civilized society.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Clock That Displays Qualities

See the picture of the wall clock? It has reached there after a long journey and like many other objects in our house it has a story attached.

It had been ordered online, meaning, that my wife had asked her sister to bring a ‘decent looking’ clock from the US, and the ever obliging sister (what are sisters for, if not?) purchased one, packed it in her suitcase and checked it in. The suitcase passed through the tender and loving hands of the luggage handling systems of four air ports and arrived in Ponda, along with my in laws, to a warm welcome. When my sister in law took out the ominously tinkling package and started removing the pieces of the clock, which had been converted into a zigsaw puzzle, I counted thirty eight pieces. Nineteen pieces of glass, two pieces of metal, thirteen pieces of plastic, three pieces of paper and the only intact part, the quartz timer. (The black square thing at the back where you insert the battery)

My sister in law was crestfallen. She had searched so many shops, selected  the clock - keeping in mind all of her sister’s specifications, got the approval (on ‘skype’), paid good money, packed it carefully and had brought it. Now, all that she had to show for her efforts were some pieces of glass and plastic. But she recovered in no time. She took the timer, held it to her ears and exclaimed excitedly, “It is working. Hear!” She pressed it to my ear for confirmation.

“This timer is working. But your brain is not.” I was curt. “What can you do with that timer alone? Tape it to your ear and count seconds?”

“The timer is what is important. Other parts can be repaired” she replied “The frame is plastic and the pieces can be glued together. We can get glass of that size in any glass shop. The dial can easily be taped.The needles are only separated, not broken. We just have to put the pieces together and fix the needles properly.”  So simple!

She is like that. Optimism personified. Decades back, when she was a student, she had an accident which cut her face, broke her jaw into two pieces, broke her skull into four pieces and four front teeth into eight. It happened just before her final year exams and it tried to break her will. But it failed there. Once she regained consciousness  - which took about three days - she took a look at the situation through her blackened eyes, found that the brain was working and the will was intact, got the other things repaired, grit her teeth (which actually required no effort - they had been wired together), bore the pain, wrote the exam, and came out with flying colours! No signs of the ordeal exist now but for a faint scar on her face. What was this broken clock in front of that!

But I have enough pessimism to balance her optimism and spare some.

“Don’t be a fool the second time. You have been foolish enough to waste your money and efforts trying to bring that clock through four airports in one piece.  Don’t waste more time and efforts. Just throw the pieces out and forget it. You sisters have no sense whatever. She asks for it and you bring it.”  I was angry. It was such a waste.

“It was not at all risky. I have brought things which are even more delicate. This time I made the mistake of packing it at the top of the suitcase instead of putting it in the middle between the clothes, that’s all.”  She was not prepared to accept any fault.

My wife was hearing the conversation. It was a surprise that she had not joined us yet. Now she did.
“You don’t have to be harsh on her. She has taken such a lot of trouble for our sake. I have been telling you that we need to buy a good wall clock and you don’t care. Since our bed room clock stopped I wanted another one in its place. None of the others that we have (we have four others) suit there and moreover, they are required in their places. Your Ponda shops just don’t have a decent clock. You have selected such a place to live. Actually I did not ask her to bring the clock. I just mentioned this to her and she has been considerate enough to bring one for me. Don’t blame her. You don’t care for anything (substitute ‘my feelings’ for ‘anything’). I am lucky that I have a sister who does.”

My father in law was observing the goings on. His hearing is poor. His ear, now, has stayed tuned only to the frequency of my mother in law’s voice and she has to covey things to him. He looked enquiringly at her but  before she had completed her second sentence he had gathered the essence. “If you can get me some Feviquick and adhesive tape I can attempt repairing it. If the timer is Ok and if I can fix those two needles in proper position, it should work.” He likes such activity and here was a chance to keep himself (and others) busy during the visit.

I could not bear it anymore and I could not tell him that he is talking through his hat. I was certain that it  was a hopeless situation and I only said that it is not going to work, told them to be careful with the glass and walked off.

When I came back from the clinic in the afternoon there was a package on the table which contained tubes of Feviquick, Aralditel and a roll of adhesive tape.
“I bought them from the corner shop. It hardly cost thirty rupees. We have nothing to lose. Let me try” - F in Law.
“Let him try. If it can be repaired, why not? As he says there is nothing to lose and he is getting bored” - S in Law.
“Do whatever you want. Tell me after you are done and I will dispose the pieces properly. Don’t throw them in the trash bin.” I could not bear with their stupidity.

Whole of the afternoon and evening my father in law was tinkering with the clock exclaiming now and then “this Feviquick is very fast” - “this Araldite is taking too long to dry” - “if I had something to hold this in position for a while it would have worked” etc etc and was putting all others to work, fetching him a screw driver, another one with a smaller tip, a piece of card board, tweezers, so on and so forth. Sister in law was overseeing the operations with helpful suggestions. I ignored it and waited for them to give up and allow me to throw the thing out.

Next morning when I left for work they were still at it. When I returned from the clinic in the afternoon I found the frame of the clock full and square, resting against the wall. From a distance, nothing looked amiss but for a big hole in one corner. The dial was patched up and was drying in the balcony. The hour and minute hands had been set in the timer and were actually moving. I had to appreciate my F in Law’s patience and perseverance and out of curiosity, I took a closer look. 

The Patched up dial
The frame had been joined quite well except for the hole in the corner and there were four pieces of plastic remaining.  “I am sure those four pieces belong there but I am not able to make out how they fit. Please see if you can find out.”  F in Law drew me into the operations. I like to try my hand in such things too but this had looked absolutely hopeless. Now, after twenty four hours of sustained efforts, the situation had changed and there was some hope. I sat with the frame for the next half an hour and managed to fit three of the remaining four pieces. One was left. The last piece of the puzzle. It was the right piece for the slot but due to minor irregularities in gluing a dozen pieces together, one corner was not fitting. I took it to the clinic, trimmed it with my denture trimmer and it slid into place. The frame was complete.

A corner glued together
After that there was no looking back. The in laws got into the task with renewed enthusiasm and hope. By the third night the other parts had also found their places and the clock was on the table almost complete and ticking.

It continued to keep perfect time and the next evening, when it was time for them to leave, my sister in law pleaded. “See it is working. Please don’t discard it. You just have to fit a glass now. It will be fine.”

I checked it for the next forty eight hours and it was doing well. I took it to the glass dealer, got a piece of glass cut to size and fixed it. Then I hung it on the wall. It looked fine. It has been there for two weeks now. I am happy to accept that I was wrong in my assessment and wish my sister in law could see it. She would have been very happy. She will see the picture anyway.

She was a young girl at the time of my marriage and I have seen her grow, set goals, achieve them and reach for new heights, in all spheres of life. She has an unending supply of optimism, hope and the ability to work tirelessly to get what she aims for. This clock, sort of symbolises, the challenging tasks (sometimes appearing to be foolishly hopeful) that I have seen her attempt and succeed.

I hope this clock keeps ticking for a long time and apart from keeping time, keeps reminding me of all her qualities, which I appreciate and admire, every time I look at it.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Betul Boat Ride And Shantadurga Kunkallikarin

One of the messages on whatsapp received recently, said “The last week end of 2014 - Enjoy it”. Our swimming group ‘The early Birds’ took it seriously and decided to do something about the suggestion. An invitation from one of the members to visit his village near Cuncolim for the annual ‘Jatra’ of ‘Shantadurga kunkallikarin’ and have dinner in his house came in handy. The invitation had been there for a week on the  ‘whatsapp’ group and had not received any response. I do not know who let out the word that the major component of 'Teerth' in the ‘Teerth-Prasad’ is going to be ‘Chivas Regal’, suddenly on the Sunday morning there were half a dozen takers. We have another friend whose in - laws live in the nearby village 'Betul' and own a fishing boat. He offered to provide ‘Tea’ - Just real tea - and take us for a ride on the fishing boat in the sea if we could leave a bit early.  A full fledged plan of a ‘pleasure cruise followed by Darshan and teerth prasad’ got in place in no time and was notified.

We were to leave by four but we left by five due to force of habit and when we arrived at Betul it was just past six.  Just a few minutes spent exchanging  pleasantries and we were in the boat.

Getting into the boat - carefully  
Heading towards the open sea. Calm water, cool breeze, beautiful sights, pleasant going. 

The family watches our departure. 
 I got to know some of the facets of fishing as an occupation. It is not a pleasant joy ride for the men who head towards the sea every day. They usually leave at about four in the morning and return by noon or leave in the evening and return after midnight. Tough timings. You spread the nets and wait. I believe the fish move to and fro at dawn and dusk and get into the nets during the process. The catch depends more on your luck than on your skills. And so are the chances of returning alive - when the sea is rough. Out there you are on your own. Our friend's family has lost a son. It is nearly eight years now. The wound is still there - but life goes on.
A resort across the waters. If only the 'teerth prasad' was served here!

It is not so calm in the open sea. The nose rises up and dips down constantly. It is getting dark and some stomachs are turning queasy.
Our hosts do not mind going on for some more time but it is getting dark and there are a few requests to turn back. The light is low and the camera refuses to work. We head back. 
What looks like some christmas decoration is the fishing net hung out to dry. 
  After the stomachs relaxed, the group refreshed itself with Tea and snacks and headed for the Jatra.

'Deepasthasmbha' in front of the Shantadurga temple at Cuncolim.

And the temple at 'Jatra' time.
Paid our respects to the twin deities Shantadurga kuncallikarin and shantadurga fatarpekarin, partook the teerth prasad at our friend's place where the teerth flowed liberally and returned home after a nice evening - the last week end of 2014.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Some More Action - Hope we do not go too fast and end up losing steam!

In my last post I mentioned that we intend meeting people who matter, inform them about our work and involve them in the process. We learnt that our MP from south Goa, Sri Narendra Sawaikar, was in town and met him. He was appreciative of our efforts, eager to provide help and offered to  join us in our next programme. He sounded keen to dirty his hands ( in the literal sense) and since he was available today, we fixed this morning 6 am to clean up another eyesore. I do not intend giving you a overdose of garbage and hence have kept it short and posted just a few pictures. 
Again, work began early in the morning and our MP was punctual. I was happy to note that he was not there just for the photo-op. He meant what he said, spent a full two and a half hours, did considerable amount of work, dirtied his hands and seemed happy that he joined us. He is the one in the center, bent down.  
This is a place where people throw their garbage packed in plastic carry bags and the Panchayat arranges to set fire to the littered garbage when it feels like. The trash mixed with the melted plastic was not easy to clear and required spades and shovels. 

We raised enough dust. Hope it was noticed.

An adjacent construction site which needs to be filled up, comes handy. 

The spot was in front of the sports complex and some of the walkers and  players were waylaid and pulled in to lend a hand.
Requested the next door fire station to give the finishing touch with a spray of water and they obliged. 

Where is yours truly? Since there were enough hands, I evaded work
and busied myself with the camera. Just my shadow was enough to get things done!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Swachcha Bharat Abhiyan and POP - The Clean India Initiative

About two weeks back I posted a few pictures in this blog labeled ‘Ponda scenes on a winter morning’. One of them was the temple of goddess ‘Sateri’ near my house, decked up for the annual ‘Jatra’.  Thousands of people visited the temple seeking goddess Sateri’s blessings. Dozens of temporary stalls selling  this and that but mainly eatables, had come up and the devotees gorged themselves on ‘Khaje’ (a traditional Jatra sweet made with gram flour and jaggery - in the form of pencil thick sticks), laddoos, ‘bhaji’, gobi manchurian (Bombay special Manchurian, Lucknow special Manchurian and Agra special Manchurian - to name a few) and ice cream.

The Jatra concluded. Temple committee was happy that they held a successful jatra (and got some money for the temple). Devotees were happy that they got special blessings from the goddess (along with special Manchurian). Stall owners were happy that the devotees blessed them with business. All of them left after a week, leaving behind heaps of trash for people like me to feast our eyes upon during our morning walks. I usually avoid going there during Jatra time and when I went for a walk after the jatra, I felt like crying. I am sure that goddess Sateri would have cried too - had she seen the trash around her temple. But she had been locked up after the Jatra and she remained inside safe.

This was nothing new. I witness this every year. The trash remains there for months, some of the degradable materials rot and other things (plastic trash)spread themselves all over and get washed into the neighbouring ‘nullah’ during rains. The place appears clean for a few months and then it is the time for the next Jatra. Life goes on amidst trash. Both ours and the goddess’s.

This time I decided that I will do something about it. I managed to trace a member of the temple committee and asked him what the committee is going to do about the trash? 
“We have nothing to do. We have arranged to clean inside the temple and the surroundings is the job of the Village Panchayat. They have given license for the stalls and collected the fee.”  
I met the Sarpanch of the Curti panchayat.
 “At the time of giving license we instruct the stall owners that they should keep the area clean. If they don’t follow our instructions what can we do? We have no manpower to clean all that trash. Actually the temple committee should take care of cleanliness”. 
  I suggested to the committee that if some of them could volunteer and come forward to clean up the area, I would join them with my friends. He said that he would talk to others. The next evening I called him up. “Doctor, you can go ahead and clean up. We have no objection!”. (No objection!- the cheek!)
I decided to put the matter for discussion before our group “People Of Ponda.”

This ‘People Of Ponda’, POP for short, is a body of like minded citizens of Ponda who want their city to be a better living place and who are willing to do something about it. (my son calls it the ‘Kachara committee’).   We meet once a week to plan and try to do our best to achieve our objective. After an enthusiastic and lively discussion that evening, our group decided that,

1. We will clean up the surroundings of the Sateri temple, ourselves and inform the temple committee and the Panchayat about it and urge them to see that a clean Jatra is held in future. (We hoped that if these two bodies have any sense of shame they would take notice.)

2. We will meet the committee members of other temples around Ponda city and the respective Panchayats where the annual Jatras are due, inform them about the Sateri experience and urge them to take initiatives to see that the Jatra does not end up turning the temple surroundings into  garbage dumps.

3. We will inform the ‘directorate of panchayats’ about this and request the director to use his office to make the Panchayats do what they are expected to do.

3. We will Write to /meet the Governor of Goa who happens to be the state coordinator for the ‘Swaccha Bharat Abhiyaan’ and inform her that unless the bodies like these ‘Temple committee’ and the ‘Panchayat’ are woken up, our PM’s ‘Swachcha Bharat’ campaign is only going to be in his speeches, on the TV screens and News papers.

The following are the pictures of members of POP putting the first stage of their thoughts into action. We plan to follow it up as planned. I can’t assure that we would do it, but if the enthusiasm of our group during the first stage is any indication, we certainly would. I very much appreciate the Swachcha Bharat (Clean India - in the literal sense) initiative of our PM. Nice to see a PM who could say "pehle shouchalay - Baadme devaalay". I only hope that this initiative does not end up just as a slogan like everything else. This post is to urge all those who have had the patience to read this to leave aside sceptisism and do what they can, however little/inconsequential it may seem.  Who knows? 'Swachch Bharat' may work after all! Even if it doesn't, at least you will feel nice about what you did - just like we did on this Wednesday morning.

Trash around the temple - tip of the iceberg

and by the road side 
More trash by the road side 

Cleaning begins early in the morning in semidarkness  

It was real work. Not just posing with the 'jhaadu' on clean roads like our celebrities

I could even enthuse my son, for whom the morning was still three hours away.

Roadside halfway through

Cleared of trash

Area around the temple - as it should be.

Our group POP - and evidence of a work well done! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


My son has identified some thirty different birds which show themselves around our house. Some, like the common Crow, Pigeon, Bulbul, Robin, Koel, Koucal, Sun bird and the kingfisher are fairly common and we see/hear them every day. Some are seen occasionally (Green barbet, Minivet, Horn bill) and some rarely (Oriole, Coppersmith, Parakeet, Hoopoe, Owl).  The whistling thrush is heard every morning this time of the year but never seen.

Almost all the commonly seen birds have already got into my camera, often devoid of a feather, beak or feet and then have settled in this blog. The Kingfisher, however, had escaped. I see the bird on the power line (its favourite perch) almost every day when I come out for a walk, but whenever I have the camera in hand, the bird is not on the line. And since I am always at a lower level, there has been no chance of getting the full bird.

The other day I saw the Kingfisher on top of the house when I was returning from the walk and it remained in place till I got into the house and then came onto the balcony with the camera. Camera in hand I tried to climb up the ladder very slowly, without making any noise, for a closer look and a chance for a picture. I think my back brushed against the ladder. I did not hear anything. But the bird looked down (may be with annoyance) and the next second it was gone. Looked like it did not want to have anything to do with us humans after the disrepute brought to its name by one of our fellow humans. This is all I got to show for my effort and photography skills.

This afternoon I finished my siesta and casually looked out of the window and saw the kingfisher sitting on the power line directly across me, its head, neck, feathers, beak and even the eyes in view. Since I was looking out of the window and had the window grills to support my hands, got some fairly good pictures with full zoom. It sat there for a long time turning this way and that and in general posing for the picture.

When I went to the balcony in the evening the KF was again in sight, this time on the tree, its colours in contrast to the dark green back ground. Again it waited till I got the camera out and clicked a few pictures.

Add caption
May be it understood that this human is different and posed for the photos providing me with a chance to get my best bird photograph till date.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

DharmasankaTa In Dentistry

 I do not know if there is an equivalent in English for the Kannada word ‘DharmasankaTa’. It is difficult to explain the meaning of the word. It is a sort of dilemma. May be an ‘Ethical dilemma’. I am not sure.  It is actually a situation you find yourself in. You are required or compelled to do something or act in a particular way. While it is not wrong doing it, it is not exactly right/moral/ethical either. You experience ‘SankaTa’(suffering?) because what you are required to do may not exactly be ‘Dharma’. Pricks your conscience, so to say.  I do not know if I am talking sense but this is the best I can do to explain ‘DharamasankaTa’, assuming that I have understood the term in the first place.

I found myself  in DharmasankaTa recently. In my practice. Nothing serious, just concerning a decision whether or not to squeeze out my fee from one of my patients.

Dhaku Gaonkar came to the clinic holding a broken denture in hand. He said that I had made the denture about a year back or may be two years at the most, and it broke.

 “It was very good. Was fitting very well and I could eat everything with it. It was just about a year old and it broke. Do dentures break like that?”

Usually they don’t. I asked him if he tried to bite something very hard? (Some people get carried away with their new found ability to chew up things and end up with a broken denture).
He looked a bit sheepish. “I was washing it after dinner when it slipped and fell down. Before I could pick it up, my wife stepped on it.”

So, I was off the hook. Relieved, I went over his record. I have the bad habit of writing down everything that I do for my patients in a card and preserving it. (Why I call it a bad habit - I will explain some other time)  Going over his record, I found that his had been a particularly troublesome case and that I had to put in considerable efforts to overcome the difficulties and prepare a set of dentures for him. He had mentioned about some financial difficulties and had requested me to allow him to pay my fee in installments. I had not only agreed to his request but had also charged much less than usual. I had paid for the services of a specialist and the lab, from my pocket. He had paid a little more than a quarter of my fees and had taken the dentures. That was ten years ago and he had never come back!

I was annoyed but one cannot openly express annoyance (shout at a patient I mean) in the clinic. I expressed my displeasure at what he had done and he gave the usual explanations and vague reasons for the lapse on his part. “I did come to pay your fees but your clinic was closed” and “someone in the family fell ill and had to be taken to Bombay for treatment” etc etc.  I have heard these umpteen number of times in my profession and am used to my door being closed, somebody being ill, a lady being pregnant and a student having exams for years together. 

Anyway, his broken denture had brought him back to my clinic. Having got used to his dentures over a decade he was unable to eat anything without them. It had to be repaired or new dentures made. A god given chance to recover my fees. That was my first thought.  But  when I saw the fellow sitting in front of me, forlorn, holding his broken dentures in his hand, I realised that it was not going to be easy.

He was employed in mining, some small job, and with the mines closed down, even that had gone. He was old and weak. And with his dentures broken, not able to eat properly. He knew that he had cheated me and that I was not kind towards him but now, he had to seek help from me again. He was in a pitiable condition. I could force him to pay my fee but he being in that condition and the dentures now broken - making  whatever service I had rendered meaningless - was it right on my part doing so?  

At the same time, I could not forego the fee for a service for which I had not only put in considerable efforts but had actually spent quite an amount from my pocket. I run a practice, not a charity establishment. What the fellow had done was in fact cheating. He had used the dentures and had obtained all the pleasure out of my work for ten years.  And he had not paid me in spite of the concessions given to him.  I should actually demand my fee with interest.

Should I or should I not? That was my ‘DharmasankaTa’.

After a bit of thought I decided up on a compromise. I decided to forego a major part of what he owed me, charge him just a little more than what I had actually spent from my pocket, and repair his denture free.

Bad for the business but good for the conscience.