Yesterday there was a lady who came for a filling, accompanied by a friend. It was a simple matter and was over in fifteen minutes. Before leaving, her friend asked,
"Doctor how long it will take to remove one tooth?"
I told her that it may take five minutes or it may take one hour and gave the explanations.
"How much you will charge?"
Again I told her that I may charge one hunded rupees or one thousand and gave explanations.
"After removing, is it necessary to fix an artificial tooth?"
and the questions continued.
"Can you fix a tooth there immediately ?"
"How long we have to wait before putting a denture?"
"How much you will charge for a replacement?"
"Can a temporary denture be made?"
"How much you will charge for a bridge? what about a denture?"
"Is plastic good or ceramic?"
"Are any cheaper varieties available?"
"Which is better? removable or fixed?"
"Which will last longer?"
"If there is no pain, why can't HE keep the decayed tooth as it is and forget about all this?"
I had spent nearly half an hour answering her questions and now it dawned on me that I have not obtained one basic information from her. I asked her whose tooth we were talking about?
"It is my husband's. He had come to you with tooth ache four years back and you had asked him to have that tooth removed and a false tooth put. Later there was no pain and he left it as it is. It is gone now. Only some pieces are there. He does not want to do anything. He only wanted to find out if the charges are same or increased!"
I have forgotten most of this very nice kannada poem. I don't even remember the title but I can reproduce part of it,
ಓಡುತ ಬಂದನು ಗೌಡರ ಸಿದ್ದನು
'ಕರಡಿ' ಸ್ಟೇಷನ್ ಬಾಗಿಲಿಗೆ
ಎದುತ ಬೆವರುತ ಮೇಷ್ಟರ ಕೇಳಿದ
"ಸ್ವಾಮೀ ಮೇಲ್ ಟ್ರೈನ್ ಏನಾಯ್ತು?"
"ಅಯ್ಯೋ ಪಾಪವೇ, ಮೇಲ್ ಟ್ರೈನ್ ಆಗಲೇ
'ಗುಬ್ಬಿ' ಸೇರಿರಬೇಕಲ್ಲೋ "
"ಹೋಗಲಿ ಬಿಡಿರಿ ಅತ್ತಿಂದ ಬರುವ
ಪ್ಯಾಸೆಂಜರ್ ಗಾಡಿಯು ಯಾವಾಗ?"
"ಅತ್ತಿಂದ ಇತ್ತಿಂದ ಎರಡು ಗಾಡಿ
ಗಳತ್ತಲು ಇತ್ತಳು ಹೋಗಾಯ್ತು"
(Sidda came running to the "Karadi" railway station
sweating and breathless, he enquired with the station master
"sir what happened to the mail train?"
"oh poor fellow, the mail has already reached the next station 'Gubbi' "
"forget it sir, when is the passenegr coming from the other direction?"
"passengers from both directions have come and gone their way" )
The poem goes on describing the villager enquiring about all the trains that pass through the station and at last, the station master very sympathetically enquires where he intends going and if there is any urgency?
"Oh, I don't intend going anywhere sir. I only have to attend a wedding on the other side of the railway track and wanted to Know if it is safe to cross it!"
2 hours ago