My Laal chhadi broke down in the middle of the road on my way to college. Caused me very public embarrassment with one Luna fellow yelling, "En swaami, 1950's model-a?". Luna! Imagine degree of embarrassment. I said FUUUUUCK really loud which made one Iyengaar type auntie close the ears of her child, and scowl at me.
My really cool Pepe Jeans and Levi's bags are torn, and one of them spilled books on spit-strewn street. (Spit is no decoration; no, not even when it is red and green. No.)
My shirt today was a mild shade of pink, and had all manner of people, of all known persuasion leering at me for no reason. (No reason?)
On my way back, on foot, on really worn out Nike-s, I laid eyes on a really black crow digging its really black beak into a really dead black rat which had large and ugly incisor teeth.
And now, I have really ugly Uppittu/Upma for lunch because Amma has gone to some Devara Samaaradhane. Cousin getting married. Yeah, that's what we need. More marriages, more pregnancies, more hell for us who hate OB-G. (Stop getting married. And stop making children. If at all you have to, do it the Kunti way. Besides, whoever said you have to make children if you get married. Stupid grandmothers, and their obsession with grandchildren having sex. Sheesh.)
So, aside from establishing me as irreverent, insolent, condescending, brandwhore-ing, racist (even about animals), Upma-hating, OBG-DESPISING, grandmother-idiosyncrasy un-understanding, it also establishes that I am a wee bit pissed off.
[Vodafone continues to be a bitch. What's in a name? Those bastards insist on calling me, like every half hour. I am in half a mind to call their (non-existent) Customer Care and finally break their bubble. I don't have big breasts, I don't wear pink mini-skirts and I most certainly am not going to handcuff you and sing Tu, tu hain wahee in a phone-booth. Stop Calling Me.]
The whole point of the post is lost. Hutch rubs me that way. As also Dr.L, The Bastard.
So, why I chose to be a doctor.
First up, Dr. Spunky Monkey sounds way cool. My actual name sounds way-hay cooler. The nurses would all go "Dr. S, Dr. S, the Prime Minister's vitals are crashing. You are the only one who can save him". Then, I would be all House MD-like, and go, "Nurse Clare, push adrenaline (and like they do on those medico soaps) stat". Then she would be like "No Dr. S, he crashes, even as my tight white dress unbuttons all by itself". Then I'd be like, "It's time we used the robotic arm we procured for $6m to conduct a super surgery through a hole 3 microns wide". Nurse Clare, in Silk Smitha mode would go, "Doctorr Ess, yuu naaati". I'd go "Huyn?". She'd go, "Oh, it's something we nurses like saying; it could mean anything, it's like you saying Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome to anybody who came with so much as a common cold"
And so on and so forth would the Doctor-Nurse repartee go; emphasis being on the way Dr. S is enunciated.
(If you haven't read my Disco Shanti-Silk Smitha post, it's time you did. One of my personal favorites, that one.)
(I am so shameless, no?)
Secondly, I immediately become the center of attraction in any family function. Most notably, our fabulous weddings. It's also the same time when amma-appa's faces look like they could light the whole wedding hall, and no Happydent required, thank you.
We enter the hall. The Nadaswaram is invariably playing "Raghumvamsha Sudha". And then, disssstant relative, who wears the same raw silk Jubba for every wedding identifies us from a really long distance and goes,
"Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho (crescendo and de-crescendo), barbek barbeku, kaLe banthu choultry-g eega"
(Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho, come come, now comes brightness to this godawfully stuffy wedding hall)
"Ayyo, neevoLLe chennaythu", amma would beam while appa would grin an appa-grin.
(Ayyo, stop talking out of your arse, and get off our butts, is what I would say in my head)
"Enantaare, engineer-u, doctor-u?"
(What say the Engineer and Doctor?)
"Shut up, for one, and use a mouthwash, for another", I'd say. In my head, of course.
"Waat is thees, daaktar himself lookking like payshunt", he'd grin.
And there I was, thinking my unshaven, unkempt look would be called nonchalance-meets- grunge. Bah.
I'd make some polite joke to the effect that the books are really heavy, or generate random surrealism about medicine being the elixir of phantasmagoria and scoot to sip some of that excellent filter kaapi that only these bhatta-s can brew.
While our man halitotic would go on to appa-amma about, "Neev biDi, obba injiniyurru, obba daaktru, laatri hoDdri, doDDong yaavaag maduve, namm kaDe oLLe huDgi idey, dipplamo compheetralli. Wurd gotthu, eemale aalso"
(Oh you leave. One son Engineer, one Doctor, lottery only. When are you getting the first son married, we have a girl from our side, diploma in computers!! She knows Word, and e-mails also!!!)
"Sadhyakkilla, he is only 22 ree!"
(Not right now, he is merely 22 dude)
While this conversation gets repeated with about 250 other relatives, I show my teeth too often and generally behave like a bum walking in a pot induced haze. And feel immensely cool when relatives acknowledge me for being an astute clinician.
"P anna's son, Dr. S, still studying, but said EXACTLY what the doctor told us", one really nice uncle would go.
The aunties would all do a chorus "Bhesh, bhesh, bhale, bhale!"
(I prescribed Crocin, I think. But that's really besides the point)
One of the aunties would then go, "He was always a bright child. Vanajaa, remember the time he sang Mahaganapatim when he was 8? It still rings in my ears as though it was yessturday!"
(For all I know, I would probably have called the raga Naati, in place of Naata)
"Yes, yes, that one. Remember that Shilpa Shetty song, what was it called, Chhuraake dil meraa that he used to sing soo well?"
(Oh-oh, this is not going too well. Butt in, NOW)
"So, auntie how is your son? How's that Dengue of his coming along?"
"Aww, such a modest child, and so caring also! He is doing very good ma, Spunky Monkey. JUST like you told he would be"
(I had said, give lots of fluids and stuff, wait for one week or so, it might probably go)
It is this kind of adulation for no reason, that gives me the kicks. And makes me forget momentarily about my monumental disasters in exams back in college. That, and wrinkled old grandmums coming up to me, holding my hands with theirs, dotted as they are with liver spots of the many years they have spread joy and wisdom, and saying, "Your grandma, how unlucky she was; she would have been so happy to see you become the first doctor of the family", shedding a quiet tear and blessing me with all the goodwill their small bodies can muster. And I check their pulse in return!
Thirdly, they all give me money when I fall at their feet. Which is really fun. I bend over, I am paid. (Shut up, you pervert.) Strangely enough, they even consider my opinion. Nodding along vehemently to whatever I say, and making me feel like I am in the United Nations fighting for
Fourthly, do you have any idea how easily doctors can admonish people? They can yell at patients if they are being total pains in the backsides. How I LOVE the prospect of yelling! And generally being the nose-in-the-air guy with the most acerbic tongue a la Dr. Parry Cox in Scrubs. Ahh, the joys of it.
Fifthly, when I was in eighth standard, brother S fell sick and had to be admitted in this hospital. I went visiting, like younger brothers do. There was this uncle of mine who drilled into my head over a week or so, this line. "This college is cool; if you have to do medicine, you HAVE to do it here". The tape played forever in my head. Besides, this place had really yo! doctors that spoke really good English (that's SUCH a huge plus for me), and had deer inside the campus! Now, that's gotta do something to a heart infested with Enid Blyton. Then I decided I'd study here and know all about the deer psychology. I haven't progressed much beyond knowing that they don't like grass. Especially when I hold it out for them to eat.
(Sheesh, did I give away way too much about myself? Cut the deer bit people. No deer, okay?)
Sixthly, did you know medical professionals need the highest IQ of any job? Yes, we are at the very top of the hierarchy. And I just wanted the world to know about it. Hence this whole elaborate exercise involving dead body cutting, digging through shit for parasites, measuring toilet dimensions, putting up with really, REALLY, REALLY nagging classmates and carrying around books that could well help Bappi Lahiri, the Big Momma, to get back to shape.
(Okay, you had the last laugh. Snap out of it already)
Then of course, to gross people out. And make certain people give up choice items on the menu. Just say, "That post-mortem we saw today, man, that was pretty gory even for a post-mortem. Totally smashed the skull no? New assistant I think, the brain matter splashed on all of us. One piece went to A's open mouth. Tasted like wet sponge, he said. Then of course was that really shoddy rectum job. Couldn't he pull the guts out properly. Parts of the intestines were dangling like chicken necks, the colon was full of crap still".
And the ice cream is yours.
(It's another matter however that on the first day at the dissection table, the macho-est beefchunks said they had to go to the toilet and did not return for hours.)
So much for why I chose to be a Doctor.
About the contemplations I talk of, suffice to say you don't have to call me in the dead of the night to confirm from me that you should not take medicines past their expiry date. What are you, Miss South Carolina? It's called Expiry for some reason no? Ex- gone, Expire- GONE, ex-pyre - Harischandra Ghat type GONE. Don't take it, and don't ask me again. Pah, I must have burst an aneurysm or two.
And auntie, it is true, I do study Gynecology. Yes, it is about women and their, er, problems. But please don't discuss your menstrual history with me. Please. Please?