Sab Theek Ho Jayega !

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Kochi / Ernakulam, Kerala, India
A Doctor who loves to Live, Love and Laugh with the World! Absolutely crazy about Cricket ! Other Qualifications: A Tired Bathroom Singer, Retired Gully Cricketer and Satire Writer !

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tabla, Band and the Wife of Zakir Hussain !

I see in my clinic, many an young people claiming to be from West Bengal [Waste Bengal in their language], whose names sound very much like those Bangladesh Cricketers. Zainul Abedin, Mushfiqul Rahim, Shafiul Islam are among those hundreds working in the construction sites as cheap labor.

They live in extremely inhabitable ghettos surrounding the construction sites. It's extremely difficult to assess their actual motives but we have to treat them when they come with health problems. They seem to come to me because of my comfort with Hindi, which is the only language they can manage other than Bengali. This post isn't about the suspected Bangladeshi immigrants. This is about a stand out character I see very often.

Many other construction workers from Bihar and UP too come to my clinic. But they mostly come in groups and are always seen moving in groups. This is a 21 year old boyish looking chap hailing from a small town in Bihar and is the only one among them, who comes alone to consult me.

This is an incredibly funny character. I first saw him about 10 months ago. He had come with a complaint of stomachache. Translating our Hindi dialogues to English is a tough job. But let me try that. I have seen him many times since he first came to me about 10 months ago. I am chronicling only the important encounters here.

Encounter - 1:

Looking tense, anxious and forlorn, this handsome boy walks into my clinic and asks, "Doctor Saab, Hindi maloom ?" [Doctor, know Hindi ?] I replied, "Nahin".

He looked dejected but said, "Lekin idhar sab bolte hain ki aapko maloom hai" [But people here say, you know Hindi]

I replied with a smile, "Chalo yaar aapke liye Hindi bhi bol denge !" [OK, will speak in Hindi for you]

His face lit up and he said, "Bach gaya. Kya Doctor saab, daraa diya. Idhar koi Hindi bolta nahin, ulta humen daraate hain ki Malayalam seekho. Malayalam naam theekse bol nahin sakte hum" [I'm saved, What Doctor, you scared me. Nobody speaks Hindi here and they want us to learn Malayalam. I can't even pronounce the word Malayalam properly]

He introduced himself as Zakir Hussain from a small village in Bihar. He is one of the seven kids of his father from two wives. Being the oldest, he had to fend for his family. He flunked in class 7 and did odd jobs in his native place for five years before he was sent here by one of his uncles for a better pay.

I asked him jovially, "Kitne bachche hain ?" [How many kids ?]. He replied "Saat" [7]. I asked, "Bees saal aur saat bachche ?" [Twenty years and 7 kids ?].

He looked embarrassed and shot back, "Kya Doctor saab, humaara nahin. Abbu ke saat bachche hain. Apni toh nikah bhi nahin huyi" [What Doctor saab ? My Dad has 7 kids. I am not even married].

I laughed and asked again, "Ikkees saal aur abhi tak shaadi nahin huyi. Kyaa yaar kab karoge shaadi ?" [21 years and not yet married. When are you going to get married ?]

He smiled back and said, "Shaadi toh karni hai. Lekin uske liye paise chahiye. Mai apni biwi ko achchi tarah rakhna chahta hoon. Paise kamaane ke liye idhar aaya hoon" [I have to marry. But I need money for that. I want to look after my wife well. I'm here to earn money for that]

So I proceeded to examine him and prescribed him some medicines for acidity and advised not to eat spicy food. He said with a very humble tone, "Doctor saab, kisee bhi tarah aap mujhe theek kar-deejiye. Nahin toh dawaayi khaate khaate mere poore paise kharch hojaayenge. Mai kabhi nikah nahin karpaaoonga" [Doctor, somehow make me better. Otherwise all my money will be spent on medicines and I'll never be able to marry]. I asked him to follow up after 2 weeks.

Encounter - 2:

He came 2 months later with same problem and complained, "Doctor saab, mai barbaad hogaya. Mera pet poora kharaab hai. Mai mar jaaoonga. Kuch toh karo aur mujhe bachaado. Mai kunwaara nahin marna chahta" [Doctor saab, I am ruined. My tummy has gone bad. I'll die. Do something and save me. I don't want to die a bachelor].

I jokingly asked, "Shaadi ke turant baad marna theek hai kya ?" [Is it OK if you die soon after marriage ?]

He: Kya Doctor saab aap bhi, Kuch bhi bolte hain ? Phir meri biwi ko kaun dekhega ? [What Doctor saab, you can tell anything ? Who'll look after my wife ?]

Me: Agar shaadi se pehele itna pyaar biwi se hai toh apni sehad ko theek se sambhaalo. Maine pichli baar do hafte baad aane ko kahaa tha na ? Kyun nahin aaya ? [If you have so much of love for wife even before marriage, you should take care of your health. Why did you not came after 2 weeks as I'd advised ?]

He: Galti hogayi Doctor saab. Iss baar maaf kardo. Ab mai sab theek se karoonga. Mujhe bachaado. Meri toh shaadi bhi nahin huyi ! [I'm sorry Doctor saab, it was a mistake. Now I'll do everything right. save me please, I am not even married !]

I prescribed him medicines again and told him that he had something like an Ulcer [because he didn't understand acidity] and needed medication on long term to prevent it. I also asked him to eat light. He replied, "Kya light khaana Doctor saab ? Idhar sirf do cheez banti hai, Sambaar aur chaawal. Ab iss-se light kya khaayen ? Hawaa ?" [What light food Doctor saab ? Here only rice and sambaar is available. What lighter can we eat ? Air ?]

I assured him that rice and sambar was good for him and asked him to review after a month.

Encounter - 3:

He came as I was on my way home from the clinic and looked flustered. He was desperate and wanted to see me. But I could see he was not in serious trouble and asked him to come next day. He agreed and came next day. He said, "Doctor saab, meri toh shaadi bhi nahin huyi. Maine kisee aurat ke saath koi chakkar bhi nahin kiya. Phir bhi mere saath aisa kyun hua ?" [Doctor saab, I am not married and I never did anything with any woman. Then why did this happen to me ?]

He was on the verge of breaking down and I consoled him and proceeded to examine him. All he had was fungal infection in the groin and he thought it was a serious sexually transmitted disease. I reassured him that it had nothing to do with women and was just a matter of hygiene and sent him with a prescription.

He left with a happy smile, "Thanks Doctor saab, mai toh socha ki barbaad hogaya. Humaara bachcha toh hoga nah ?" [Thanks Doctor saab. I thought I am ruined. I will kids no ?]. I said, "Ek nahin saat - aath agar tum chaho toh" [Not one but 7 -8 if you want]. He winked and replied, "Nahin Doctor saab, meri biwi pareshaan hogi. Hume sirf do kaafi hai" [No Doctor saab, my wife will be troubled. We'll have only 2]. So much love for a wife who is not even in imagination.

Encounter - 4:

The most wonderful thing about this youngster is his affable nature and ever smiling face. Remembering his famous namesake, I asked him, "Aap Tabla bajaate hain kya ?" [Do you play Tabla ?]

He retorted immediately, "Kya Doctor saab aap bhi. Yahaan beri band baj rahi hai aur aap Tabla bajaane ki baat karte hain !" [What Doctor saab ? Here I'm in trouble and you're talking of tabla]

He had loose motions since 3 days and was really troubled because I was away for 3 days. He didn't want to see any other Doctor and came every evening to my clinic when I was away. I prescribed medicines and he was better within a day. Any Doctor would've done that but try telling him that and he would quip, "Aisa nahin. Mujhe sirf aap hi theek kar sakte hain. Aur koi dawaa liya toh mera toh sach me band bajega" [Not like that. Only you can make me better. If I take any other medicine, my band will be truly played].

Encounter - 5:

His latest visit was last night. He had come with a scrotal swelling suggestive of Hydrocele. He looked disgusted with himself, "Itnee cjhoti umr me itnee saari bimaari. Mai toh ek mareez bangaya hoon. Doctor saab kuch bhi karke mujhe phirse theek karo. Iss-se achcha marajaana hai" [Such young age and so many illnesses. I have become a serious patient. Doctor saab, do something and make me better. It's better to die than this]

I consoled him saying, "There are many kids in the world suffering from diseases like Cancer and Diabetes, who learn to live with them and even conquer the illness. Your illnesses are basically nothing. All curable and simple ones. You are lucky to be born so handsome and pretty healthy. You will be perfect by the time you are ready to marry"

He looked extremely happy. His eyes were welling up when he said, "Aapko pata hai Doctor saab ? Mujhe har mahine 10 hazaar milte hain. teen hazaar toh idhar kharch ho jaata hai. Paanch hazaar mai ghar bhejta hoon aur do hazaar sambhalke rakhta hoon. Mai achchi tarah jeena chahta hoon. Mai koi galat kaam nahin karta aur sochta tha ki kyun mujhe hi aise bhayaanak bimaariyaan aati hai ! Lekin aapne mera dil halka kar diya. Mai zindaa rahoonga nah ?" [Do you know Doctor saab ? I earn 10000 per month. I send 5000 to home. 3000 is spent for myself here and I save 2000. I want to live well. I don't have any bad habits and used to think why I was getting such horrible diseases. Now I am relieved. I will manage to live, right ?"

It was a lump in the throat situation for me. Here is a jovial young chap with dreams of a beautiful life with a beautiful wife who is just an imagination. And he was getting emotional for once. I reassured him, "Tum sirf bachche nahin, bachchonke bachche bhi dekh sakoge. Koi fikr mat karo. Hamesha khush raho" [Not only kids, you'll even see the kids of your kids. Be happy always"

He parted with a statement, "Mera iss gaon me koi dost nahin. Baat karneko bhi koi milta nahin. Sirf ek aap mere liye, dost, bada bhai, Doctor saab aur himmat sab aap hai ! Jab bhi meri nikah hogi, meri biwi aur baadme mere bachche, sabko mai aapke baare me bolunga. Sab aapko yaad rakhenge !" [I have nobody in this place. You are my only friend, big brother, Doctor and my support. Whenever I get married, I will tell my wife and my kids about you and all of us will remember you !"

Touched !

Dr. Punned-it