After the era of compact tape records, I’m so excited to move on to the next post. I’ll tell you a bit about being a doctor and black magic! I know that you all are eagerly waiting for this post to come up on the blog. You remember I had promised to tell you my personal story with ABBA and Boney M? I’ll surely get to that soon!…
I know that, even though you are so eagerly waiting for the next post, there is this unexplained inertia to subscribe to this blog. It feels unsecure to click the subscribe button that’s available on all the pages of the website. May be its not just inertia and you probably think this doctor will do something very mysterious with your email address ? Maybe he will throw in some black magic and your email account would just disappear into thin air.
About being a doctor and black magic
But let me assure you it isn’t like that. When it comes to “about being a doctor and black magic”, I can confidently say that I know nothing about the latter. I would have loved to learn magic and knowing it would have been so wonderful. Imagine a really sick patient lands up and I do some Black Magic and the patient is right back home out of the ICU absolutely hale and hearty. A great feeling!
A doctor tucked away in the Himalayas
Let me tell you a story that happened to me long ago when I was serving in a remote hilly area. It was in the beautiful state of Uttarakhand in folds of the majestic Himalayas. I was the doctor of an Infantry Unit and a lot of people really looked up to me. Not because I was a fantastic doctor or anything like that. They just didn’t know any better. Some kind of blind faith I suppose. For any kind of ailment, they would say “Doctor Saab, Doctor Saab”. I felt that I was very well read, really important and very good at my job.
They were blissfully unaware of my skills as a doctor and they were totally unsuspecting victims of my quackery. I say quackery because those were the times that I had only a list of a total of ten medicines that I called the top ten, from which to prescribe. That was all that was available in my dispensary and what was available in the market was lesser. After studying hard for five and a half years I got an armamentarium of a total of ten tablets. And believe you me, at least one those ten miraculously worked for all the patients that I treated. It actually was magical.
I started believing in myself (actually got comfortable with this quackery stuff) and grew more and more confident as days went by. Had I reached a state of competence where I could prescribe medicines (one of the top ten obviously) even without seeing the patient? Yes, of course, I thought so….”! Give him paracetamol or give him avil or something like that I would say”. My patients never came back to me and I happily assumed that my genius had cured them totally.
The charm of enchanting hill folk music
Late one evening I was invited to attend a bonfire party with the troops who were happily dancing to the tunes of the hill folk Song “Bedu pako, Bara masa” in the presence of our Commanding Officer and other officers. Bedu pako is such an enchanting folk tune and I’m sure you will love the video I’ve posted with this story. The Garhwalis love to dance in a circle to it especially after a tot or two of rum with an equally popular snack Kachmoli which is half cooked mutton.
Treating a six-month-old baby
I was feeling great too with all the high spirits around and deeply entrenched in the party when I got a call to see a small child who was vomiting. I ran down to the MI room immediately. The MI room was the medical inspection room where I examined my patients. The mother and father of the six-month-old baby told me that she was incessantly crying and vomited a few times. I examined the baby and felt it may be a colicky pain and rest was alright. So I confidently prescribed syrup paracetamol and syrup metoclopromide straight out of my popular top ten. I told the parents to review with me in the morning and was back to partying in a jiffy with Bedu pako my favorite.
It was only two days later when my wonderful Commanding Officer then Colonel now Brig (Retd) Ajai Prakash a perfect gentleman and role model for me who taught me a lot about the army, enquired about the child, that I called the father. As usual, I had happily assumed that the baby was cured by my magical touch.
The father came to me and I asked him why he didn’t review with me in the morning. I also told him that I was answerable to the Commanding Officer. He said “Sir, your medicine didn’t work at all. The baby didn’t sleep the whole night”. I asked him if he went to some civilian practitioner in the market the next day as he hadn’t reverted back. He said “I didn’t go to a doctor sir. I know you are the best that we can get (“we can get” he said was as if he wished for someone better but didn’t have the choice).
Jadoo or Black Magic
He said “I went to the tantric baba down the market. He did some Jadoo and Mantra by burning a broomstick and waved it around my daughter’s head. Then he put a teeka on her forehead with the ash (kind of black magic if I may say so) and my girl responded immediately”! How I wish I knew Black Magic….
The story of about being a doctor and black magic unfolded because I wanted to urge you and request you to fill in your name and email address in the top right corner of this page and subscribe if you like my blog. Dear friends as eagerly as you are waiting (I think) for my post on ABBA etc, I’m waiting for you to subscribe. Please do so at the earliest and continue coming back here for some good music and good reads.
Wishing you a happy musical day!