When Doctors follow the plan

Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan
I was lost.
I could not come to terms with the absurdity of all that was going on in India. Suddenly, caring about fellow Indians and being compassionate was resulting in me being called various expletives. Not caring about a person’s religion or my own personal grudges while treating patients – something we are supposed to do as doctors – suddenly was a bad thing.

A newspaper seller could be arrested because ‘the newspaper’ had something that was offensive to somebody else. A comedy roast could take place and even though the roasters, the roastees and the audience had no problem with it, people who were not there that day and who were not even mentioned by religion/name/innuendo could still feel insulted after watching a video at home and a police case was successfully filed against not just the roasters but also people sitting in the audience and laughing. Books written thirty years ago were burned because suddenly they became morally corruptible.

I tried making sense of it all and could not. Luckily, total strangers from social media were there to guide me. They told me that this is "the India of the future" – the one that will lead the way - and so old fashioned people like me with concepts like equality and freedom of expression could either go away to Pakistan (which is the obvious choice for equality and freedom of expression) or ‘get with the plan’. 
Spicy Saturday pick
of the week

Since Pakistan had neither Kerala styled jaggery coated banana chips nor puttu-kadala curry which I covet, I was reluctant to go with Option A. So, I did "get with the plan." 
I incorporated all that India is becoming into my medical practise. And while it does not necessarily blend in easily with the Hippocratic Oath, I say to hell with that, right? I mean, who needs that old piece of paper anyway? When we can remove words from the Constitution, why not be selective here too, right?
Anyway, this is how I deal with my patients now:

“Doctor, there’s a road traffic accident case coming! Small boy with pretty bad injuries.”
(My old questions) “What is the age? Consciousness level? Blood loss? Site of injury?”
(My new first question) “If he is from my religion, put him as the first case. Otherwise, the last case in the list and don’t give any painkillers. Let him suffer a little for the sins of ISIS/the Britishers.”

“Sir, my one year old daughter has high fever."
"It must be because she is having a mobile or wearing jeans. It is your fault.”

"Sir, this patient needs blood. Blood group is AB +."
"Forget the blood group. Get blood from someone who matches his religion. He is a vegetarian. We can't give him non-vegetarian eating rascals blood."

“Doctor, there has been a bus accident. Multiple casualties coming in.”
“Get the triage stickers out. We will need to see and prioritize them from the casualty.”
“Red, yellow, green and black for immediate, moderate, stable and deceased, right?”
“No, saffron, white, green and black for Hindu, Christian, Muslim and Godless seculars.”  

Image source: here

“Nurse, who left this Harry Potter book here?”
“The patient, sir. She was reading it.”
“Throw her out of the hospital. She’s reading about wizards and magic spells. Bloody blasphemy!”

“Sir, I am having a burning sensation while urinating.”
“In your past life, you must have been a slut. That is why you are being punished in that area now. This is the number of my favourite Godman. Only he can save you.”

“Sir, the patient is coughing up blood in the post op room.”
“No, none of my patients will cough blood.”
“Sir, we all saw it happen. It was right in front of us.”
“How do I know you did not cough blood on his bed, nurse? Your type is like that!”

“Sir, the patient’s reports just came back. He is positive for Hepatitis B.”
“Tell him if he and his wife and kids are willing to convert to my religion, his hepatitis will go away.”

“Sir, we have an emergency caesarean. Kid is in fetal distress – breech presentation.”
How dare the kid show his bum to me first? Must be one of those idiot modern moms who watches perverted English movies. Have her arrested for this lewd behaviour of her unborn child! I will not perform the surgery otherwise.”

“Sir, I was taking your medicines and it was not working. Then I took homoepathy and I got cured entirely.”
“You third rate sibling of 35-40 dogs! If anyone gets any treatment other than allopathy, I will have them arrested. It does not matter if the homeopathic medicines actually worked for you – that is irrelevant. Homeopathy insults MY DEFINITION of medicine and THAT is all that matters. Any relative who watched you consume the homeo pills will also be charged in my FIR. Ben****! Insulting my field of medicine!”

Of course, I am slowly learning to incorporate it into other aspects of my life too. So far, so good. Touch (sandal) wood.

“Virat Kohli is fielding pretty badly today."
Oh. When Abhay Kuruvilla was fielding badly in that game in West Indies back in the 90s, you did not have a problem? You saala madrasis are all alike! Prejudiced *ss*ole!”

“Today’s chicken manchurian was pretty good."
Why did you not order chicken hyderabadi? Only Chinese dishes you can eat? Anti-Indian b**tard!”

I will admit, getting rid of that maddening sense of secularism is so refreshing. Replacing it with this aura of moral righteousness has made me more confident of myself as a doctor and as a human being. I don’t feel sad while reading the newspaper anymore. Between you and me, I actually pump my fist in glee every time I read of another book burned or another North Indian labourer beaten by people of a state because they don’t like his state.  Medically too, I now know that it does not matter whether my treatment works or not. I realize that medicine is not just about healing people or making a ton of cash. It is also about persecuting and discriminating. Why stop at bacteria vs virus, right? In the end, it is about making my kind happy by letting people of ‘other kinds’ suffer, even if NONE of them have done ANYTHING to me personally.

I was lost.
Thank you for helping me find myself again. Now if you will excuse me, I am in the middle of getting my hospital canteen cook fired for taking an order of chicken biryani from a man two tables away. It is Friday, you see, the day when my family at home eats only vegetarian food.

Author’s note:

If I need to explain what kind of post this is, then it defeats its purpose. 
Introspect, India, introspect. 

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