It was one of those pleasant sort of mornings when you generally tend to break into yodelling a couple of Kishore Kumar’s tunes on the way to the hospital. Somehow, you know that today, there won’t be a lot of patients in the OPD, and with that grumpy doc-roach by the name of Phadnis away on a trip, you might find a healthy opportunity to snuggle up with Dr. Dimpy Minochha over a cup of coffee at the hospital’s snake-bar. This being the summer season, it was of course awfully hot on the outside. The summer, here in this western Indian state, is always a big pain in the ass assorted body parts, and this year was no different. The mercury looked like happily competing with the hemlines of Vijaya Mallaya’s Mischief Girls at every twist and turn. Still, there was something about the day that made the soul turgid with merry expectations.
The only bloke who could throw a spanner at the scheme of things was the Hospital Director (the same guy whose pennies Susie wanted to pinch innocently). And so he did. Threw a spanner, that is! As I settled down in my chamber and ruminated over practicable ways to lure Dr. Dimpy to the snake-bar, Susie floated in with a dazzling smile. That dazzle was on account of a set of braces which she had acquired for her teeth, and it interfered greatly with the whiteness of her stretched starched apron.
“Saar….dinner invitation for you today. In the night, saar..”
She placed before me an official sort of communication from the HD. I reproduce it here verbatim.
I am pleased to inform you that since the Swine Flu is knocking India we have to take appropriate measures to prevent it from spreading, so we have arranged a seminar on wine Flu at the Convention centre at 8.00 pm. Dr. (yours truly) will be giving a lecher on the main sign-symptoms of swine flu and way to prevent its spread.You are requested to attend the seminar and provide healthy inpots. Discussion shall be followed by Fellowship Dinner.
It was a dinner invitation all right. There were a few minor mistakes, though. Like wine Flu, lecher and inpot, which I wisely chose to ignore. I knew I wasn’t a lecher. I knew that in such seminars wine and wine bottles usually flew. I knew that with the kind of lavish gastronomic inpot promised by the HD, I had to spend some quality time on the outpot the next morning. I also knew what was there to be done at the dinner meeting.
We were supposed to stir up a stormy discussion on pigs and their lousy habits, trade blames, half charges and insinuations (which was a valid way of arriving at a consensus regarding the fixing of responsibilities) and generally make a meal of the swine and its wretched flu. For this act of sincerety, we were to be rewarded with a sumptous fellowship dinner. Susie wanted to know what ‘fellowship’ was and how was it connected with the dinner. I explained to her that in all such discussions, it was customary to soak oneself in 75 % proof ethanol, and thereby, ‘fellowship’ would come to mean ‘fellows sipping together’ or maybe even ‘fellow sheep sipping ale together’ . My explanation probably made Susie very nervous, for she quickly adjusted her big, large pair of sp…yes, specs and left in a huff.
Now surely, this wasn’t an egg that I was expected to lay. I mean, I am more into cutting and stitching, doing all the rummy work of peering into sundry orifices, and generally sermonising my patients on good gastronomic behavior. I’d probably have relished speaking on the bad effects of eating pork, or perhaps even telling the audience a word or two on ways to quit pork eating. But here, the Director was bent upon exposing my ignorance of hog sneeze before a full house of rowdies. Come on guys, give me a break. Swine Flu is for the physicians to debate. Why shove the whole thing up my ass-fixated asphyxiated soul?
Nah…I had to find a way out. Perhaps Dimpy Minochha could offer some help.
(To be concluded in Part II)