Saturday, July 30, 2011

To - Day's Papers. 30th July.

To-day’s papers.

Justice Dinakaran

Yesterday I posted ‘Yevicol’ on my blog and this morning I read that justice Dinakaran has resigned from the post of Chief Justice of Sikkim. He was a close competitor to Yedyurappa in stickiness (and ‘stinkiness’- here you are Ravi!) grading.


The US authorities have raided another university UNVA, in Washington. 90% of the students are from India and majority of them from Andhra. Something similar to Tri Valley. There was lot of shouting in the media when the students of Tri Valley were made to wear ankle bands to monitor their movement. And the media almost succeeded in making people back home feel that the university was the villain and the students - innocent.

This time the US authorities are being more cautious - the papers say. The Indian embassy has asked the US authorities not to ‘victimise’ students.

Is the Indian embassy being naïve or caring? Who is the victim? Students or the US government?

Everyone knows that the students of both these universities are not ‘victims’ but perpetrators of a fraud to hoodwink the US authorities and gain entry into the US. They were very well aware what they were upto.

They have soiled the name of the country and thanks to them all Indian students will be looked at with suspicion.

What they need is not sympathy but a kick on the butt.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


ToDay’s news paper says that Yedyurappa has agreed to quit - at last. But he will be quitting on 31st, after another two ‘sticky’days. Since the time I started reading news papers I have come across quite a few ‘stickers’ sticking to their chairs. But this is one ‘Super sticker’.

In my profession, one thing that I hate is ‘Scaling’. What my patients call ‘cleaning’. This involves removing the ‘Calculus,’ commonly known as ‘Tartar,’ which gets deposited around the teeth near the gums. When I write the records after ‘Scaling’, I usually put the markings, + , ++ , +++ to indicate the toughness and ‘stickiness’ of Tartar. Hence forth I will write ‘Y’ to indicate something stickier than +++.

I also suggest that if the manufacturers of ‘Fevicol’ produce something better than ‘Fevicol’, they name it ‘Yevicol’ and multiply their sales.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Complaints And Compliments

“Hello doctor, how are you?”
A dark, short and fat fellow wearing a blue rain coat, hailed me in front of the agriculture section of the local co operative society. His face, most of which happened to be the nose, looked vaguely familiar. I felt that knew that face but could not place it. I had been to the society to buy some organic fertiliser for the okra plants, which were part of my wife’s latest kitchen garden project.

“Still practicing in that ground floor flat near Sesa quarters?” he continued. “I am your patient doctor. See, you made this denture. Must be more than fifteen years” he grinned to reveal his front teeth, “Still very good. Fits perfectly. I have no trouble whatsoever. Nobody can make out that it is artificial. I tell your name to everyone who has some dental problem. ”

I was very happy to hear that. It is not very often that I get such compliments and I gloated. i did not know how to respond to such praise.

“Thats good to hear” I answered politely, but swelling with justifiable pride within myself. “Nice of you to have mentioned. I am not in that old place now. Shifted next to the main road behind the Honda scooter showroom. Keep my number” I recited my telephone number and went towards the sales counter.

“That is the dentist. Very good doctor” I could hear the fellow telling someone who had turned towards us on hearing the conversation.

In a practice of more than thirty years I have treated thousands of cases. Majority of them just forget the teeth and the dentist - sometimes even the fee - once the treatment is over. Those who remember the treatment done are few and those who express their happiness (assuming that they are happy with the outcome) are fewer. I do not expect my patients to overtly express their pleasure even if they are happy with the treatment. It is fine if people are just satisfied with the outcome and pay my fee without a grudge. So, when someone remembers and praises the work, it does feel very nice.

As I made my purchase and returned to my scooter I saw the fellow who had praised my dentures, stopping briefly near the gate to exchange a few words with another fellow coming in and then ride away.

I was trying to find a way of securing the bulky bag of fertiliser to the scooter without the help of a rope but my mind was still occupied with the thoughts about this good fellow . It was in stark contrast to another case which I have not been able to forget even after many years.

Barve was the milk vendor who manned the Goa dairy’s milk booth near the bus stand. I had made a set of artificial teeth for him and since I knew that he had financial difficulties, I had charged him less than half of what I usually do. He had taken the dentures and had told me that he would pay me within a week. Having not heard anything from him even after months, I had tried to remind him over the telephone. His telephone had been disconnected. I tried the milk booth. It had been taken over by a new agent. It would not have been difficult to locate his house and visit him to get my fee but I did not feel like going to his house demanding money like a loan shark. In due course I forgot about it.

About a year later, one Saturday, when I had been to the market to buy our weekly quota of vegetables, I saw Barve bargaining with the fish vendor. He tried to duck and shoot out on seeing me but I managed to reach and confront him.

“How are you Barve? How is the denture? You never came back after you took it.”

“Good that I met you here doctor. I wanted to come to your clinic. I did not have time. You see the denture you made does not fit my gums at all. It keeps falling out again and again. I can’t eat and can’t even talk. Moreover it hurts the gums and the colour of the teeth you have put does not match my other teeth at all. In fact I wanted to come to you and ask you if you can take it back. I will come there sometime. It is of no use to me whatsoever.” I was taken aback. I did not know what to say or how to respond. By the time I got back to my senses he was not there anymore. It was the first time that someone had openly expressed dissatisfaction about my work and it hit me hard. Let alone getting my fee, I was actually glad that he went away without continuing his speech on the inadequacies of my denture. Few curious heads were already turned in our direction and I hoped that they did not catch the full conversation and that none of them recognized me. Ponda is a small city and I hoped that Barve does not meet any other prospective patient.

I was just thinking about these matters and was about to kick start my scooter when I saw the person who had just come in. The one with whom the unknown good fellow who had praised me, spoke at the gate. It was my friend Nageshkar, who sells stabilizers, batteries and inverters. Nageshkar’s family is in Ponda since ages and he seems to know every single person in the city.

I called out to him “hey, Mahesh, (his first name is Mahesh) who was that fellow you were talking to near the gate? The fellow with the blue rain coat?”

“Don’t you know him? He is Barve, who used to run the milk booth near bus stand. I do not know what he is doing now. Purchased a battery from me for his scooter and has not paid even after two years. Says that it never worked properly and he wants to return it. I Knew that rogue but still sold him the battery because sales were low. I am repenting now. I think I will have to write it off. Be careful with that fellow. If he comes to you for treatment better take your full fee in advance.“

I wish Nageshkar had given me this advice at least two decades before. It was too late now. Barve the master dodger’s compliments were as effective as complaints.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Monsoon Pictures

Yesterday it rained whole day and night. The sky was just starting to clear up with a few stars tentatively peeping out at half past five this morning. Everything was washed and cool and the outdoors was beckoning. There was enough light for me to differentiate between the road and the ditch. I decided to skip my exercise and go for a walk instead.

I went out carrying the camera along. I had not gone walking this rainy season. It was the same road which I see every day but how different it looked during monsoons! I can never stop wondering at the change the rains bring to my surroundings. It is a different world altogether - worth living in - not the one I am used to and the one that I live in! I say this at least once every year and put up few pictures to show what I mean. So, here I am at it again. At the cost of repetition.

The usual dusty road looks clean and the muddy sides, green.

These large leaved plants which grow in abundance hide the roadside garbage and the dirty roadside looks like a garden.

The drab hillside waiting to be cut into housing plots, like an animal waiting to be butchered, suddenly turns out to be - though temporarily- a piece of the western ghats,

And even the common place electric pole turns out to be a queen with a crown of green.