Category Archives: Satire

Sirs, Madams, Soldiers and Slaves

Sirs, Madams, Soldiers and Slaves
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
 
“Who will face the bullets on the border if everyone starts arguing?” shouted the officer.
He was a municipal corporation deputy chief in a metropolis. I was representing a students’ union for resident doctors, and we were demanding two major changes: that our salaries be deposited in a bank (hundreds of resident doctors, wardboys and other staff were supposed to queue up within the first three days of every month, in front of the accounts office to collect monthly salary, some could not because their duties did not allow them), and that the libraries be kept open 24 hours, as our work hours were never defined, and rooms being shared, it was not always possible to study in hostels. The demands were many years old, nothing had moved.
But this time we had decided to use a new weapon: Strike. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
Sensing trouble as we had recently carried out a successful strike, the deputy chief blasted his arguing lethargic assistants who resisted every change: the hallmark of most administrations.
That’s when the deputy chief shouted upon them and ordered to comply immediately.
“Yes, Sir” they said. The next month, both these things changed in all Municipal hospitals. Threat had achieved what the system would never have allowed to happen.
 
Few years later, studying in Canada, almost every boss or senior I met insisted that we call him / her by name, and not Sir / Madam. “It stinks of slavery somehow” said a professor whose thinking affected me profoundly. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
“Why are so many brilliant Indian students so intimidated to openly argue, come out with suggestions or put forth a contrary opinion in front of their boss?” he once asked me, “I don’t think respect can be placed above logic. So I think fear must be involved”.
 
That set me thinking. It was true. From the parents who directly start slapping children for questioning them or talking about issues like sexuality, to the teachers who misuse their authority to suppress students by threats, failing in exams and scarring their CVs, we had grown up in the dual pressure system: cultural limitations that prevented thinking out of box, and intimidation by fear of humiliation and failure: from both family and teachers. There were rare honorable exceptions: teachers and parents who encouraged to think free.
 
What happens when someone in India argues against the prevalent system? First ridiculed, then refuted, threatened and often destroyed or outcast by the system whose malfunction he / she has questioned. From judiciary to journalism, from schools to parliament, and from doctors to labourers, his/ her own people question his / her sanity or intention. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
 
No wonder we have mastered the British art of establishing a foolproof slavery system.
 
Look at the scientific and literary outputs. Look at the productivity and innovation. A country that boasts of geniuses is happy to play the role of “cheap intellectual labour”, proudly flaunting the business, outsourced to it primarily for low costs, as an achievement. These super-talented brains in business or in any other field must only walk the narrow path, at the speed of one of the slowest systems, limited by humungous paperwork, red tapism, favouritism and corruption. . Public condemnation and humiliation await those who differ in their opinion.
 
What happens when one follows all the rules of argument in such a system?
 
Suppose a soldier tired of his heavy duty without adequate food complains about it to his superior, what is the typical answer he will get? Is it too difficult to imagine what will happen to his career? How many are the chances that a military superior, a government officer or your own boss will say “You are right, my dear, I am sorry you had to face inconvenience, we will correct this immediately” and do it? Sorry. We grow up with incessant reminders of how we are second to, under, helpless, and lesser than the people we work for, including our administrations. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
 
We live in a fool’s paradise. We like to stay hidden behind the fears of our little sins and mistakes (who doesn’t commit some?) being exposed, our socio cultural apple cart being upset and our perpetual orgasm with comfort zone being threatened.
 
When the hallmarks of slavery: calling everyone “Sir” or “Madam”, standing up, bowing, compulsory greeting, applauding and agreeing without pausing to think or argue are so perfectly blended with cultural traditions of respecting the elders, we create a foolproof prison for thought. It is indeed a mystery why a country which has so many elders, and so many respectable people, is yet to be at the top in any field! Do all these “Sirs and Madams” truly behave or achieve to match that respect?
 
A country where seniority, relation, political strength and connections, nuisance value, money and age surpass all other intellectual criteria of leading and promotion by merit, do we really dream of becoming number one in the world? © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
 
Every genuine intellectual, artist, scientist (and there will be many who will throttle up their throats to praise the existing system for obvious rewards) will dislike being tied down by limitations. The ones who have spent their youth standing up and saluting “Sirs and Madams” have had their time. It is high time we start thinking of the youth and the future generations.
 
When I returned from Canada, I had changed. I knew I could not change the system, but I could definitely change myself. I have since then never expected or insisted anyone calls me “Sir”, respects me out of context, or stands up / greets me. I prefer people, even students calling me by my name, and it has never taken away the affectionate relationship we share. I have always encouraged my children, my students and the scanty number of friends to be completely free in their thinking, to think of the whole world as their home and humanity as their culture, to politely argue without arrogance or spite, and to accept what is right without thinking who said it. Those who presume that “uncontrolled freedom will always go in wrong direction” confuse between misuse of freedom and non adherence to civil duties.
 
This small contribution to eradicate slavery of thought was one of my many duties towards life.
 
As for the soldiers on the borders of any country, who just “take orders from people sitting in air-conditioned offices, to face bullets,”, let us at least gather some courage to stand up to the sacrifice they make in the name of their country, and try to realize the meaning of this precious word : Freedom.
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
 
PS:
Only for free thinking intellectuals.
Please share unedited in the interest of future generations.

तुम देशभक्त नहीं हो सकते!

तुम देशभक्त नहीं हो सकते!
© राजस देशपांडे

ईमानदारी से अपना काम करते हो,
नेकी से घर चलाकर, परमात्मा को पूजकर
अपने बच्चों को बापू की कहानी सुनाते हो,
पर तुम्हारे पास जबतक वक़्त नहीं है नारे लगाने का..
नेता की जूती को सर आँखों पर रखकर
मेरे चुने देशभक्ति के गीत गाने का…
तुम देशभक्त नहीं हो सकते!

मेहनत कर, पढ़ लिख कर देश की सेवा में
पीढ़ी दर पीढ़ी तुम्हारी भले ही वैज्ञानिक बनी हो..
देश विदेश में भले ही तुम्हरी बुद्धि, और कला
देश की गरिमा-सी सराही जाती हो
पर तुम्हारे पास जबतक वक़्त नहीं है नारे लगाने का..
नेता की जूती को सर आँखों पर रखकर
मेरे चुने देशभक्ति के गीत गाने का…
तुम देशभक्त नहीं हो सकते!

सीमा पर लड़ता हर स्वाभिमानी जवान भले ही
लड़ रहा हो देश की खातिर, मेरी तुम्हारी खातिर,
तुम्हारे मन में भी उसके प्रति हो भाई-भगवान सी भावना
पर तुम्हारे पास जबतक वक़्त नहीं है नारे लगाने का..
नेता की जूती को सर आँखों पर रखकर
मेरे चुने देशभक्ति के गीत गाने का…
तुम देशभक्त नहीं हो सकते!

लाखों मरीजों को भले ही तुम ज़िन्दगी देते हो
करोड़ों विद्यार्थियों को पाठशाला में अपनेही बच्चों जैसे
बढ़ाते पढ़ाते हो, नेकी की राह और देशप्रेम सिखलाते हो
पर तुम्हारे पास जबतक वक़्त नहीं है नारे लगाने का..
नेता की जूती को सर आँखों पर रखकर
मेरे चुने देशभक्ति के गीत गाने का…
तुम देशभक्त नहीं हो सकते!

इंसान को रंगों में बांटकर, तलवार छुरी चलाकर
इतिहास का बदला जबतक वर्तमान से लेते नहीं हो,
तुम देशभक्त नहीं हो सकते!
उबले खून की जवान नस्लों को गजरे बाँध
सोने में लथपथ लार टपकाना सिखाते नहीं हो..
तुम देशभक्त नहीं हो सकते!
भेड़ बकरियों की तरह ऊँगली उठने पर सलाम नहीं करते हो..
तुम देशभक्त नहीं हो सकते!

शिवाजी, सरदार और नानक के देश का शेर होकर भी
तुम्हारे पास जबतक वक़्त नहीं है नारे लगाने का..
नेता की जूती को सर आँखों पर रखकर
देशभक्ति के गीत गाने का…तुम देशभक्त नहीं हो सकते!
राजस देशपांडे
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

Naked Cavemen, Einstein and Calvin Klein

Naked Cavemen, Einstein and Calvin Klein
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
Lower courts give judgements. Higher courts change them. Higher courts give judgements, other benches change them. Government fights with courts. All of them work less than 8 hours (few exceptions) and have sumptuous vacations. Judges without medical training will decide about medico-legal cases. But any of them do not require exams to improve performance or to deliver better in spite of huge backlogs. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
Almost in every government office, in most departments controlled by them, bribery is a rule rather than exception. Piles of files do not move, pensioners die without pension and farmers commit suicides. But the concerned authorities who work 8 hours per day do not need any corrective courses or exams to assess their performance, to compare where the developed world is today.© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
In most of the healthcare facilities run by governments, there are severe deficiencies: no appointments of doctors, no proper salaries, no facilities or backups, no security, and worst of all, no vision. But the people who are responsible for making these policies do not need any training, assessment or exams. The very people who want youngest generations of doctors to provide world class medical services to rural India do not want to change their decade old failing policies.© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
The thousands of practicing Babas, Gurus, Quacks who are officially seen tied up with the highest of the land and bash the allopathic and scientific medicines spreading poison in the society do not need any exams to preach or practice. The lawmakers who do not ban tobacco, alcohol, helmetless driving, the people who eat unhealthy and mistreat themselves or family do not need any exams. The transport offices that issue driving licences to unfit drivers do not need training or exams.
We see many military men and out of respect treat them free. They are so patriotic that they seldom expect anything in return from the country. But they often relate how bad the conditions are for them and their families. There is a crop of people who quote the military sacrifices as if it was their own credit! Those who are responsible for the upgradations in facilities for the military personnel do not still need any exams.© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
There are deaths due to hunger and malnourishment. But the ones who are in a position to change this by making right laws do not need any exams. Illegal buildings are erected, labourers die when they collapse, but the concerned professionals do not need exams or assessment.
547 extremely responsible and respected representatives who waste the public money in daily crores over a month due to ego issues, not being able to come together in the interest of the nation to resolve issues, blaming it all upon each other do not need any exams to assess their performance.
But the actual allopathic doctor, who has stood highest merits in all exams, stayed on the top of the competition to earn his / her degree late in life, all of whose exams had 50 percent as passing limit as opposed to 35 percent in all other professions, who has sacrificed family life, sleep and food for over 10-15 years just for learning, who works almost 24/365 and solves health problems on a daily basis, updates his / her knowledge with CMEs, stays in touch with the latest and delivers it to the poorest of the poor with equal affection, carries the country’s failed healthcare upon his / her shoulder is not good enough for them! Now they want the allopath to appear for exams lifelong, suspecting that his / her knowledge is still not enough good for them, even after the CMEs.© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
If the millions of doctors are forced to give exams repeatedly all their life, they will happily do so (for they are not afraid of exams). But this will take away billions of doctor-hours out of service (exam leaves) in an already failing healthcare system, will tax the patient more, will open up new channels of corruption and another universe of chaos will add itself to India. Who cares? The ruling mood seems to be ”Patients will die, patients will pay”.
The current CMEs are world standard, do not tax patients, and enough effective. But our system seems to want “better than the developed-world class of doctors”.
This is like the stone-age naked cavemen asking Einstein and Calvin Klein to appear for yearly exams to stay updated for serving them.
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
PS 1: The nicer you are, the worse your troubles. Doctors must unite upon an apolitical platform to fight stupid laws being proposed.
PS 2 For those who are not able to think beyond medical malpractices and corruption, please make an effort to understand that there are other issues in medical practice, and this post is not about money.
Please share unedited.

The Price Of Love

© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

He tied her to the pole, abusing and insulting her.
Wielding a knife in his hand, he slapped her once more. “You are supposed to be the honest one” he shouted, “I am a man. You were talking with our neighbour. What did you say to him? Did you two fix up a place to meet secretly?” he was trembling with anger.
She looked into his eyes, and replied “Don’t you talk to other women? Doesn’t your mother talk to other men? Do you always talk about that? I was asking him about his sick wife”.
Pulling her by her hair, he said menacingly in her ears: “Look, don’t compare yourself to me. I am a man. You are supposed to be the one who gives up everything for me. Do you think I don’t know how ‘those’ women behave? You have chosen to marry me. I can do what I want”. She didn’t reply. What could she say to a paranoid, suspicious person who had one way communication? The option of violence wasn’t open for her.
As it became dark, his mood changed. He started speaking soft and sweet. He untied her from the post so she could cook. She could not eat well, the humiliation and insults, the allegations and violence wreaking havoc in her mind.
Silence fell upon the dark. The next day’s work awaited her at dawn, so she skipped the sobbing and tried to sleep.
“Make love to me” he ordered. She tried to comply.
He raised his voice “It should come from the bottom of your heart. Don’t pretend. Love me madly, deeply, and let it show in your action”.
Silently, she replied “I can’t. The only one thing that could have made me truly love you was true love from you too”. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
This is the current scenario between the society and the good medical professional today.
Take for granted that the whole medical profession is one’s slave. Make allegations at every possible opportunity. Be suspicious and paranoid. Hold a doctor guilty for any news anywhere without logical enquiry. Make them overwork under the sacrifice tag. Disrespect them, beat them up, ask them questions as if talking to criminals. Presume every other doctor and every big hospital is a fraud.
Then, when one has a health problem, expect them to be truly, deeply compassionate, loving angels who will do the best because they are married to their principles of being good and kind to everyone.
If you expect the doctor to be truly nice and kind and compassionate to you, to make best decisions for you, ask yourself if you deserve that. No amount of money will buy you a doctor’s love and respect, no amount of hateful criticism or threats will compel your doctor to be compassionate.
A doctor’s real fees is the respect and trust you place in him / her. No amount of money is worth the value of your life. Pay with suspicion, threat and disrespect, and you destroy the compassion you truly deserve.
The doctor-patient trust is a coin with two sides, one side cannot be blank.
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

PS: I know the word “exaggeration”. Learnt it from some movies and TV shows that criticise doctors.

Please share unedited.

The Sweetest Pinnacle Of Life

The Sweetest Pinnacle Of Life© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

To many students who are lost in their search for the right aims and goals in life, who trusted me enough to ask that question, I have suggested that they imagine what they actually want in their life at its Pinnacle.

Success, riches, fame, awards and accolades, a legacy, achievements are all good to show and leave behind oneself. The truth is far more than that. Love and care, affection and respect in one’s evening of life is what everyone deserves, but few are fortunate to achieve. For what good is s life that spends its aged years in desolation, isolation, despair of an uncaring, loveless family one has sacrificed much to bring up well?

Hollow words of “show- love” and “pretend care” are commonly employed everywhere, especially among the rich, educated and culture-claiming pundits of humanity.

One experience I have is worth sharing: that the poorest of the poor, like the farmer in the wheelchair here, are cared for with far more genuine love and affection than many. This family collected alms and help to get him to India, and never asked for any concessions, free treatment etc., always saying they were willing to do anything for the happiness and health of this grandpa. His son standing by his side is an illiterate farmer, but is caring for his father . quoting proudly “He brought me up!”. There is no smell of “I am obliging my parent” in his behaviour.

I have met hundreds of Arabic Muslim patients who care for their parents, sons and daughters equally well, willing and with total faith in the treating doctor. It does not change with their financial status. They insist on the parents staying with them, ask questions about their food, exercise, medicines, happiness and comply strictly with the given instructions.

They naturally do not know the words “Culture, Rights, Medicolegal, Elderly care, Nursing Homes, Mercy Killing etc.”. Rarely have I seen them unemotionally “okay” with a bad diagnosis of a parent.

This old man, in my personal opinion, is one of the luckiest human beings upon earth!

© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

Thank you, Mr. Naser Ali, Mr. Abdul Hakim Mohd. Al Malahi, Mr. Majdi Jamil Aiselwi, Mr. Ahmed Anwar Aqlan!

The Addiction of Bitching Allopathy

© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
“Allopathy is like a beautiful, gorgeous, much desired woman out of one’s league, you know. Those who do not get her keep raising questions about her character.” said Dr. Sen.
Dr. Sen is a specialist in heart diseases. Known for his witty and acid remarks with bitter accuracy, he was admired by a few who did not mind such remarks about themselves. Most others were scared of his sarcastic humour, and the weak minded hypocrites with bloated egos maintained a safe distance, lest he expose them.
My Bangla friends have always enriched my life with a class of academic excellence, superb literature, supergenius class films, exotic food and that sweet speech with the cute accent where even quarrels sound like speaking to an infant in a cradle! Of course one does not want to face an angry Babumoshai or his sister, for they can kill only with words. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
A middle aged patient had come to Dr. Sen with many heart related complaints: breathlessness, fatigue, chest pain, palpitations and swollen feet. He was found to have heart pump failure. If the heart does not pump blood forwards correctly, the impure blood stagnates backwards. If not treated in time, this can turn fatal. This patient already had diabetes blood pressure, but for many months now had chosen to avoid allopathy for the fear of side effects. He had been through almost every other proven and fake pathy.
Dr. Sen gave him standard medicines, and asked him to return after two weeks. The patient came back after a month. He appeared near normal now. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
“How are you now” asked Dr. Sen.
“I am feeling quite alright, doctor. Just after I visited you, I also went to Dharambaba’s ‘Health magic’ healing center. His medicine helped me immediately, I feel far better now. But I continued your medicine too. I have come to tell you that I want to stop your medicines now. I asked the assistant of Dharambaba, she told me I can continue the allopathic medicines along with their treatment”.
Dr. Sen removed his specs. He took his battle position.
“Do you know the contents or names of those medicines?” he asked the patient.
“No, but it is written that they have no side effects. The only problem is that they are very costly. Baba does not charge anything, he is divine and treats patients for charity. Even the western yoga is free, american yoga experts teach it at his center, I only had to buy their kit for clothes and music”.
The total that the patient spent there was more than five times the fees of the heart specialist, but the well qualified heart specialist was still “inferior” to the unqualified methods because he charged upfront! Not to count the expenses of some grievous side effects that the patient was going to face in the future, never knowing that they were related to some unknown medicines in the past.
And if the patient faces an emergency during such unknown treatment, it is not the Baba that they rush to, but the nearest allopathic casualty. It is not surprising that no medical negligence/ medicolegal cases are heard of about the umpteen existing alternative pathies in India!
The level of superstition and defamation that allopathy faces is only comparable to the torture of prophets and saints all their lifetime. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
“I cannot tolerate any allopathic medicine” is one of the funniest and stupidest sentences a doctor gets to hear from some superstitious patients. Most doctors choose not to answer that.
Dr Sen flared up each time he heard this sentence: “This is like saying all computers are only used for pornography, and all smartphones for only sexts! Do you know how many medicines are there in allopathy? Do you know how they are studied? Just because you had some side effects to some medicines, don’t blame the entire science”.
Well, the least you can do if you do not believe in allopathy and do not tolerate medicines, is to not go to an allopath at all. Almost all allopaths are too overloaded to have to listen to superstitious analysis and criticism crap from those who aren’t even enough qualified to do so.. But if you do choose to visit and try allopathy, have enough sanity of intellect to not start any other pathy at the same time. Allopathy is so scientific that it has to mention the side effect of each medicine used. We cannot lie, hence we cannot compete with those who lie. Even minimal common sense tells us that many plant products are also poisonous, there are allergies to almost everything. How can someone claim an unknown medicine to have “no side effects?”© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
If your son / daughter is an engineer, try telling him / her about the rockets made a thousand years ago and listen to their response. Will you sit in a five thousand year old airplane flying upon faith and mental power? If yes, do not try allopathy. If you have a scientific mindset, you are the right person to benefit from a scientific medical practitioner.
Once a ruling party MLA came to visit Dr. Sen, with all his flaccid human paraphernalia. Very ill mannered, very obese, but his arrogance was the first worse thing to be noticed. Dr. Sen checked him up and wrote a prescription, explained him the condition, diet and precautions.
“You must visit Dharam baba once” said the MLA to Dr. Sen, “he cures so many patients of heart disease. You know, allopathy medicines have too many side effects. I am going to visit him soon.” © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
“Is it, Sir? Very good. Please stop my medicines when you start any others. These medicines are not to be taken with any other pathy medicines, there may be severe side effects. Please convey my Namaskar to Dharam baba”.
“When should I follow up with you again?” asked the MLA.
“Oh it is not required. Please continue the treatment under Dharam baba. In the rare event that you do not benefit from Dharam baba, try the famous Hakeem of Kanpur or the Vaid-Guruji in remote Maharashtra who cures everything by dropping some yellow liquid in your nose”.
“Doctor, you seem to be making fun of me” said the MLA.
“No, Sir”, replied Dr. Sen “You are making fun of your own health and life. You have no right to bitch what you do not understand”.
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

A Prayer For My India

A Prayer For My India
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

From the hypocritical mindset that “I should look only at the positive things around me and ignore all that is negative”, that is like saying “Only my brother’s room is on fire, I can still keep on idiotically smiling and act only when this fire reaches my own room”,

From people who have brought great religious and social events down to roadside vulgar drunken dancing and loud shows of might, from the leaders who ingratiate themselves with superiors and masses at the cost of dignity,

From intellectual thinkers lap-dancing for the rich and powerful by wordplay and linguistic trickery, from the voodoo of political religious misuse that affects even the biggest brains, from a society that is being officially turned into a slob mob that is aroused only by hunger, sex , glamour and money,

From the powers that arrest the life-saving qualified doctors at the drop of a hat and send them to police custody for suspicion, presumption and spite, just as celebrities and politicians who kill in front of witnesses are politically and judicially protected using all the resources that power grants,

From the Testosterone Tongues of Flaccid Bodies in a political system that talk of change but troll, block, imprison, manhandle and kill anyone who dares to challenge their wrongdoings, where men in power flaunt bodyguards while women are abused everyday, where laws and rules are used to blackmail rather than protect, © Dr. Rajas Deshpande

From a judiciary which is fast losing its reputation, struggling for its own identity and independence, from the judges who act selectively and partially and then blame it upon the system’s limitations, judges who suo moto initiate actions only against the weak,

From the laws made by the chosen few who never knew the people they made those laws for, the laws that were made over 60 and in some cases 100 years ago that hinder normal interaction than protect it, from a system which uses the legal options just like mafia weapons to threaten, intimidate and harass those who challenge the system or bring good, ©Dr. Rajas Deshpande

From the mindlessly idiotic enormous paperwork at every stage in every office that wastes time, resources, money, paper and ink in a country whose leaders appeal it to turn green and modern, and invite the progressed world to witness how backward, how traffic-senseless and mannerless is our population, even the educated, who find it mandatory to bestow blows and abuses at the slightest provocation upon the roads,

From the millions who cannot raise their voice against the hundreds of rapes, brutalities, hunger deaths, epidemics or corruption in our own country because they are engaged in criticising and trolling neighbouring countries, proving one religion superior to another,© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

From the filmstars who go to the lowest levels of vulgarity and female skin depiction in the name of entertainment, and promote violence on screen as a routine reaction, confirming that this is a lawless country where goondaism coupled with male chauvinism is a heroic choice in life, where the entertainment industry is fast turning into a mental porn-industry catering to the whims and fancies of mobs,

From the fears that shut up ever good man and woman who loves this country, from the lethargy of the press and media to remove their bejewelled blindfolds and see the naked truth for once, From those in high chairs of power and policing who see the wrong but do not speak or act against it for the fear of losing their chair, © Dr. Rajas Deshpande

From doctors soaked in greed for money and fame, conducting fake or plagiarised research, from the competition and ego amongst doctors which prevents them to come together, from a tendency to take advantage of patients, and from the mindless permissions of “anyone practice anything in medicine” for political gains,

From a culture of self-obsessed, me-cultured, comfort-addicted men and women who are mostly proudly training their children to leave their own country, from a society that has started to forget the sacrifices made by the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Maulana Azad, Netaji Bose, Lokmanya Tilak, Veer Savarkar and Sarojini Naidu (and many others),

From mothers and fathers who cannot find enough time to raise happy children, seeking excuses in the name of careers and necessities, From teachers who seek pleasure in material gains and marking rather than bringing up fearless generations, from schooling that teaches everything except humanity,

Lord Almighty, please grant me freedom. Lord Almighty, please save my nation.

I am not free of some of the faults mentioned above. But I get tearful every single time I hear the song “Saare Jahan Se Achcha Hindostan Hamara” or even the National anthem.

The only way I can stand up to this great feeling of calling myself an INDIAN is by accepting the struggle, punishments, hardships and poverty that is inevitable when I try to bring in some good changes in my very beloved India.

This is my own personal small freedom struggle for my great nation, India.
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

High alert: Doctor in 5-Star Hotel!


As a middle class doctor, he was always scared to enter a five star hotel.

His parents were simple ethical teachers all their life, the type who have “One dinner in a five star hotel with family” high on their “Bucket list” of lifetime dreams. It so happened that a minister was attending a marriage function of a local liquor baron’s daughter in a five star hotel, and this doctor of ours was posted as a doctor on duty in the team supposed to tag along with every minister’s convoy. The minister’s secretary graciously asked everyone in the convoy to have the “B” class buffet arranged separately for the staff. This included our doctor on duty too.

As this was his first encounter with a five star hotel meal, the doctor couldn’t help being curious and asked the waiter about wanting to see the typical menu especially for the prices. The courteous waiter obliged him. Upon a glance at the menu our doctor was too happy: he could definitely afford to bring his parents there on their marriage anniversary, as a special treat, if he saved half a month’s salary.

His parents, wife and child were beaming with pride as they entered the five star hotel. They had their best clothes on, which were still a level below the managing staff of this hotel. The five star staff sensed the “one timers” and behaved as high handed as they could. Just as the family finished their calculations of approximate bill of their culinary wishes, they realised that it was still a costly affair. Carefully folding their sweet hunger pangs, they ordered overlapping desires and waited.

“Hi! How come you are here? ” someone slapped our doctor on his shoulder. It was his classmate from school, who had dropped out after matriculation. He now owned a petrol pump, thanks to his father in law in the government. “Our Scholar has now become big doctor” complimented the friend to the doc’s wife, artificially greeting his parents. “I am a regular here.. Do let me know sometime when you visit.., now you must be having so many companies sponsoring you here: Saala Doctor log ki aish hai yaar”.

As the doctor hastily clarified to his family that it was not so, he had lost half his joy, and the parents most of their smile. His father still reiterated that they really didn’t care for five star meals, and will be proud if their son stays on the “right path”. They guiltily finished their dinner, feeling way out of their place. Restless, the doctor paid cash from his pocket in front of his parents and child so they were convinced that this was indeed his hard earned treat.

On the way out, the kid started shouting ecstatically: he had seen his favourite cricket player in the lounge. As they all ogled at the cricket star with his actress girlfriend, the kid begged the doctor: he wanted an autograph of his idol. The doctor requested the hotel staff, he was allowed, and the cricketer obliged. “I am a doctor at civil hospital ” said our doc. Nobody seemed to have noticed what he said, although everyone had heard it. ” So what???” was the universal expression.

The lounge was now all full of glitz and glamour, people from almost all professions were there, except obviously teachers, doctors or labourers. There were lawyers and judges, there were reporters and police, there were celebrities and artists and criminals and politicians. Nobody had any trace of guilt, and most of them were there sponsored by someone. Some were being paid by their company, some by government, many by means of bribe. All the remaining had money which they were not born with, money they had earned from others for whatever it was that they did for earning.

There was a medical update seminar going on, great doctors in the field of medicine from developed world were lecturing Indian doctors. This notice was guiltily displayed in a corner by a pharma company that had sponsored the event. Many who crossed the notice commented freely: “Look at the doctors today: they get all free booze and food from the pharma and then prescribe wrong medicine to everyone! All this medical corruption and malpractice must be banned, these doctors must be sent to jail! They survive by looting poor patients!” etc. “Why can’t doctors live simple lives, avoid all luxury and hold their meetings in poor one star hotels or govt colleges? Why do they need enjoyment or good food that they cannot afford? Why doesn’t the government ban doctors from entering five star hotels?” they asked innocently!

This was all way beyond explanation for our doctor. He had never felt so belittled for his profession. There was nobody who cared to look at the big picture. His merit and his education were his cross and his curse: to carry upon his shoulder, while those from other professions who didn’t care to have merit or ability could jealously preach him ethics that he alone must follow.

As the family cramped into the doctor’s small car, there was a loud panic. Someone had become unconscious. “Any doctor around?” shouted the cricketer frantically. His girlfriend had fainted. Just as our doctor took her pulse, the hotel manager kept shouting: “Don’t worry sir! I will get the best specialist in the town: let’s take her to that five star hospital: The owner is my friend “. She had become conscious again, after some sugar solution, apparently normal.

The five star ambulance left, screeching its siren aloud. Nobody cared to thank our middle class doctor. This was his duty to attend emergencies, taken for granted by all and ordered by law.

Addicted to scientific thinking, the doctor commented to his wife late that night:

“What percentage of people entering a five star hotel do you think are earning ethically and honestly? How many are there directly paying for themselves?”.

His wife hugged him, smiling. “I don’t know. But I know this: none of them is as proud as I am”. Her pride was reward enough for him, he had learnt to forget and forgive everyone else. For the sake of sanity required while treating his patients the next day.

(C) Dr. Rajas Deshpande

“Why can’t the doctor be more compassionate, spend more time with patients?”

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“Why can’t the doctor be more compassionate, spend more time with patients?”

© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

Ms. Bonnie Wilson asks:
“When are doctors (not all) going to grow some compassion or least show some and listen to what we actually have to say and maybe spend just a few more minutes to get to know the patient a little bit???? Then maybe more patients would appreciate their doctor more. I’ve been fighting a disease for 16 years now and a lot of doctors don’t even spend five minutes with you. Only speaking from many years of experience as a patient”.

Dear Ms Wilson, thanks for asking this question, it helps me introspect.

Simple answer:
Give the doc a patient who pays as per time and skill required for the consult, and they will spend an entire day with that patient. Give the doc a patient who writes down “Doctor, I have complete faith and trust in you, do your best to treat me, I promise not to sue you or blame you if in the course of my treatment something goes wrong. I respect your intention, and know that you are a human being capable of mistakes, I will be compassionate to you too.”, and they will cross all barriers to help / satisfy that patient every which way medically feasible.
Also add “I will endlessly wait in the doctor’s waiting room till the earlier patient smiles and leaves”.

Not possible? There you are!
In the 15 years of medical training, we hear innumerable sermons about being compassionate and “Listening to and Understanding” the patient. We have always learnt and taught in medicine to “Listen” carefully, so most doctors attempt this in practice, not all keep it up. Some learn the knack to “extract” the correct info to work faster.

Now imagine the Doctor’s side.

How long is “Little longer”?
75% patients really don’t have the sense of time when they talk about their illness. Instead of being to the point and realizing that this is a “professional consultation”, they go on to recite unnecessary over description / umpteen repetitions of the same complaints, even after the doctor jots them down, with confused details of their own symptoms, changing them often. Some tell their own interpretations about each of the symptoms, and complete detailed conversations that they had with their family / other doctors about those symptoms. Many ask the doctor to repeat long explanations, then some relatives ask it again. Many revise prescription medicines at least three-four times, in spite of writing down correct instructions. Many keep blaming the doctors and crying in our cabin for “incurable” disease diagnoses, thinking that the doctor is hiding good treatment for want of more money! We sympathize and explain, but cannot go on all day, especially if other patients are waiting anxiously for their turn.

Many patients fumble, forget, come disorganized (this is super-exaggerated in India, where there is no unified health record system, and patients carry messed up bundles of test reports / case sheets from many different specialists). Most (even literates) come without even the list of currently ongoing medicines, then call their family from doc’s cabin to enquire about these, and then the huge discussion about spellings, content etc. consumes double the scheduled time of consult, while other patients wait and complain. There is total lack of awareness of one’s own health responsibilities, even those who spend hours chatting in the waiting room don’t organise their thoughts or make notes for the consult, wasting time with the doc in “recalling” things!

In the western world too, there are many patients who go on describing the “unnecessary detail”, some talk too much, some talk slow, take a long time to recall and answer, and mostly come “unprepared” for the consult, without noting down questions they want to ask, and symptoms / medicines they want to discuss. Then the innocent “recalling” in the doctor’s cabin is quite irritating for the overworked doctors.

The third and the most difficult category of patients: the “over-prepared” patients / relatives, who have hyper-googled every symptom, every medicine and then come with a huge (and mostly irrelevant) list of questions about their minor symptoms. Stupidest of the claims on the internet are then discussed unnecessarily, and the frightened patient / relative really test the patience of the doctor. They are seldom satisfied with anything or anyone.

At what price?
Enter medical insurance. Enter the “Charitable Labelling” of healthcare in India, where iPhone will cost the same as in USA and UK, but the superspecialist doctor trained in USA/UK/Canada/ Australia etc. (with his own life, merit and money) must charge as per the basic general practitioner and local socio-political expectations. So the doctor has no freedom to charge the consult as per time required.

Result: more time translates into less income, worldwide.

Reaction of the society: So what if you earn less? You are a doctor. You are a spiritual saint who just earns in goodwill and respect, converts that by magic into money and then we charge you everything including taxes in cash! We all can dream luxury and good life, you can’t!

My question: What’s in it for the doctor in spending more (extra) time with the patient?

It is a pleasure for the good doctor to spend more time, explain in detail and compassionately listen to each patient, but then he/ she returns home to piles of unpaid bills and an unhappy family. Most Indian specialists don’t even afford their own home by the age of 40! Most western doctors are frustrated by the dictat of insurance companies that for a decent earning, they must see higher number of patients. No insurance company pays a good doctor better.

As for Compassion issue:
I have some really innocent questions to ask patients / society:

1. When any doctor was prosecuted for medical negligence in some case, how many times has any patient openly said “This doctor was very good to me”? Many doctors prosecuted must have saved hundreds of lives. Who stood by them when their careers were ruined by single mistakes? How many patients whose life they saved offered to help with the compensations the punished docs had to pay?

2. How many times did society / luminaries / media show compassion to the needs / plights of medical profession? Underpayment and Overwork, Victimisation and Insecurity are universal in this profession. Who showed any compassion ?

3. Can you be compassionate to someone who is being a “Customer” with the right and threat to sue you for an amount that will ruin your life, reputation, career and family? Can you be compassionate to someone who suspects every motive of yours, cross checks everything you say, argues with you, threatens you, does not have faith in you and will forget you the day their health problem is over, only to return when they need you again?

4. Can you be compassionate to someone who records your words of reassurance and uses them against you as a legal proof of “misguiding”? Can you talk nicely to someone who treats you arrogantly, mannerlessly and looks down upon you as a “Money maker” rather than a respectably educated hardworking Doctor?

Indian Docs carry the whole burden of the country’s mismanaged healthcare system upon their shoulders. Millions of poor, unaffording patients are RIGHT NOW being treated by thousands of doctors FREE. Most patients get better than not.
But
When the uneducated filmstars rubbish the whole profession to prove themselves tall, some movie claims that doctors treat dead bodies to earn more money, no one speaks a word against it. Why?
When senior doctors who spent lifetime serving the poor are wrongly suspended by politicians without any enquiry, not a peep from the society.
Why?
When doctors are killed, attacked upon, and abused, media justifies / glorifies such events.
Why?
Some of the senior doctors cannot stop talking ideal, even at the cost of their children’s lives. “Spend more time with the patient, be more compassionate” they say. I agree.
But we never hear from them when a doctor is killed. They are never seen defending those doctors who faced 12 crores worth compensation punishments, when laws like PCPNDT send young and old doctors directly to jail for documentation errors. It is very fashionable and hip to be a hypocrite and speak what people like. To understand any issue, there is a simple formality: think of both sides. Who thinks about the Doctor’s side of the story?

There is a worldwide notion: that doctors are guilty of earning more money by wrong means like hurrying. For those who think this, I have one question: Which Doctor in the world has more money than the price of YOUR life? If they save you, they are blamed for high charges. If they don’t save you, they are sued for unbelievably stupid compensations. This is the paradox: that lost lives have become costlier, saved lives don’t matter anymore.

There of course are a few greedy doctors, who need to improve. These are few and a shame.

The real tragedy of our faithless lives is this: Nobody ever thinks that a doctor may really be working faster and harder to help more patients rather than to earn more money!! He/ She may be struggling with his / her loans, sacrificing his/her own health and family time, fighting frustration, but still listening day-in and day-out to crying, complaining people merely out of the wish to relieve their agonies.

What price is the time you are away from your family? What price is years of sleepless nights? What price is the mental trauma of seeing dead bodies every day? What compassion did any doctor get for these, from media, judiciary, society, anyone?

© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

PS: Less time does not mean wrong diagnosis or approach. Mostly it means “Cut off talk to bare minimum interaction necessary for this consult”.

@ Bonnie Wilson, thanks for the opportunity you created for me to answer this concern. While this is not a personal reply, I agree with you that more time and compassion will go a long good way, but then both sides need to introspect and change.
RD

The Bollywood Hospital

The Bollywood Hospital

© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

“You are invited for the inauguration of The Bollywood All-or-None Good Doctor’s Ultimate (BANGDU) Hospital” said the card. I was ecstatic, because now I could meet the so-claimed best experts in the field of medicine, the Bollywood heroes who “create” and advise the screen doctors, and know best about medical profession. This was also my lifetime lucky chance to learn about new methods of medical practice yet to be discovered by the actual medical professionals practicing all over the world, like conducting heart transplants only by using cellphone batteries and delivering babies using toilet vacuum pumps over Skype after graduating in engineering, which all the Medical councils seem to approve without hesitation.

My good friend with emotional incontinence (uncontrollable crying / laughter) Mr. ‘Arun Khar’ (Mr. A) was to be the medical director of this hospital, because usually he declares himself the perfect and best at the outset, and everyone else has to be compulsorily less smarter in his shows, movies or whatever else he does. As I wished him a good evening, he reminded me that I should now call him ‘Dr. A’ as the Bollywood Medical University has conferred upon him the superspecialty degrees in all medical and surgical branches within one year of joining the course because he was too smart: in fact, he showed me the special “Oversmart of the Century” certificate conferred upon him by the BMU.. There was one more reason that he was chosen the boss: he had also produced huge number of patients via his work, in the field of violent revenges and other human injuries so essential to improve other human beings.

The crowd was overwhelming, as the public and some TV channels were very excited that the “Real Good Doctors” from Bollywood with Godly qualities were now available for their free and most accurate miraculous treatment, there was no possibility of any patient dying. Unless of course they wanted to shoot for some movie, where the script demanded that the patient died. The hospital was decorated by the best imported designers in artful colours, live orchestra played beautiful tunes stolen from the western musicals, but the theme was Indian (sorry, Desi). The ambulances standing outside had turbo and nitro modes, and their sirens were created by the best South Indian Music Directors, in the “Karuna Rasa” (nectar of compassionate pity). The paramedics and ambulance drivers were said to be trained by the best Hollywood stunt masters. Each ambulance was also equipped with praying priests from at least four different religions.

So it came that Dr. A started showing me around.

“This is out Casualty in charge Dr. Mithun Coconut”, he said as we entered the casualty, introducing me to a sickle-wielding man who was threatening all the casualty doctors. “He has already killed three doctors today for not saving the dead bodies of our innocent film stars who were fighting gang wars with guns, bombs and knives since their childhood”, Dr. A proudly hugged Dr. MC. They both wiped their eyes after taking the right pose in front of the camera.

Dr. MC then explained the relatives of a critical patient of brain tumor, by showing them an X-ray film of pelvis on the view box. How artistic and meaningful!

I was curious about the blood bottles hanging upon each wall, ready to be transfused, labeled “Lost son 1, Lost Mom 3” etc. When I asked about it, Dr. A answered with a trademark cunning smile: “That is our creative idea: so we don’t waste time in blood grouping etc., we can readily transfuse blood when the lost relatives are here. We are so advanced, we even have emotional singers sitting in the casualty specially for that occasion”.

“These are our Operation theatres”.. he showed me two rooms with green and red bulbs over the door. We entered the first room. It was empty. “This is our ‘Director’s cut’ OT… Different genius directors invent different medical / surgical procedures, like cutting the heart and keeping it in the freezer till the hero kills the villain, hero holding his totally cut head for days so it fits back, conducting online deliveries etc… we have reserved this OT for such emergencies. You routine doctors will never be able to match us!”.

The second operation room had specialized music systems to adapt to the patient’s heart rate and criticality. It automatically started to show the patient’s life in flashback and played songs sung by either his / her parents or fiancé in the past, so their heart would restart. “The doctors and anesthetists are very well trained here to look frightened and concerned into each other’s eyes and sweat heavily when the patient goes serious. We have three specially trained “tears of joy” nurses who smile a curiously contorted smile when the patient’s heart restarts. The lighting also adapts to the situation” He described.

Then we went to the ICU.

The moment we entered, someone karate-chopped my neck and hit me on the head. As I regained consciousness, Dr. A introduced me to the ICU in-charge: Dr Akkha Kumar. I had heard the name earlier: He was world famous for his work: killing all those who were living and saving all those who were dying. “Why did you hit me?” I asked, hiding behind Dr. A. He looked at me angrily and said “This is my style.. I assault all qualified doctors, govt. officers etc. to prove that I am better than them. Do you understand?” He asked, pointing a gun at my forehead. “Yes, Sir”. I said.

A nurse came running “Dr. Akkha sir, the patient has had a cardiac arrest.. they are resuscitating him”.. Dr. AK jumped over three beds and thrashed the doctors who were trying to save the arrested patient: “You idiots.. his heart has stopped.. Khattam… Don’t treat this dead body now..”.. “But sir, she’s young, and may survive..” said one young doctor… “Bang”. He received a bullet in his forehead. “My Style, remember?” asked Dr. AK to me. Some people came in and actually performed a pooja and aarti upon him for his human values: after all killing and violence was such an easy solution to all problems, which the likes of Gandhi and Einstein had missed!!

In the next room, there were many elderly ladies. “We even provide these praying and crying Moms to our patients at discounted rates. They have a degree in emotionally blackmailing the doctor, and the only way our patient’s will start talking again, however critical with whatever diagnosis.” Explained Dr. A.

There were sounds of loud music coming from the auditorium next door. As we entered it, we saw the ever clever and strong  Chunabhai MBBS: whose famous radical theory of providing “alcohol and sex” to all dying patients had caught the fancy of our times. The old methods of religious recitals and soulful things were so bland for the dying! How could sex and alcohol not make them happy in their last days? These were the only things one could want in life, especially when dying young with grievous illnesses! Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Counseling.. were old treatments. How innovative and mind-blowing!

“Is it all free?” my natural question.. “Yes, for those who watch our movies. You must show the tickets for entry in this hospital. Those in emergency can buy tickets for our shows in the multiplex on the top floor.. we thought of everything.. medical charity is our aim”. “What is your first response when an emergency arrives?” I asked Dr. A innocently.

He smiled his famous “Ain’t I cutely great?” smile, and said: “Just see”.

In a few minutes, an ambulance rushed in. Dr. A was at the forefront with his team. What a hero!! The patient was apparently having a heart attack.

They made a circle around the patient. Dr. A and his team removed their shirts. Some wardboys came with buckets and mugs. Some others rushed in with a huge water pipe. The orchestra opened with loud drums, to which they all danced: “Jab Life ho out of control … Toh Hoton ko karke gol.. Seeti bajake bol… Alll Izzz Welllll (Basically a hindi song meaning when Life gives you the raspberry, just say All Is Well to yourself till situation resolves!)” .

As the music drowned the patient’s voice, I saw the relatives and TV channels line up to get the autographs of these greatest doctors upon earth!

(c) Dr. Rajas Deshpande

PS: Purely an imaginary story. No truth at all. Any resemblance to any human, animal or non living entity or event is purely a perversion of reader’s imagination.

PPS: For all the criticism of medical profession they show, whenever the b’woodians need to show a hero / heroine intellectual, he / she is a good doctor automatically. This post is for the real good doctors!

Pl share without editing.