Dr. Phadnis and I are good friends. Rather on the same babe wavelength I’d say. We share many harmless interests, like coming to blows with each other while ordering coffee for Dr. Dimpy (Dimple) Minocha and things like that. Dr. Dimple is an asset for the hospital, but more on that later. In private, I call Phadnis ‘Faddu’. He doesn’t mind a bit. What he calls me in private is unprintable. Well, I too don’t mind at all. Only Susie knows what we call each other. And we don’t mind that either.
Now, what happened today, as I entered my chamber, I found Phadnis sitting in the other chair, in black and white. Black eye, white apron, that is to say. Susie whispered to me that she had seen Faddu limping, and I was naturally quite eager to learn how such a catastrophe befell him. Apart from a bit of flu which he had somehow managed to catch, he was in great form when I had left him last afternoon.
Phadnis shot me an acerbic glare. Ok. He was in a foul mood.
“Had a fight with Missus?”
It was a wild guess. Mrs. Phadnis was quite a stout woman. Most un-bhabhi like. I didn’t particularly like her. I mean, otherwise also, it is against my ideals to ‘like’ other people’s wives, but even for those who like to ‘like’ other people’s wives, it was unlikely that she could be ‘liked’ by any stretch of imagination. I hope you get the drift.
“Go screw yourself…”
So that was established. I ordered coffee and samosas. Phadnis touched his black eye and groaned. Then he shifted in his chair and groaned. Obviously, he was in great pain.
“All because of your idiotic suggestions.”
“Me?” Mea culpa? “When did I ask your Missus to beat you up!” I protested.
“Shut up! Who told me about those love experiments….? “
Aha. So this was it. But I was only trying to help, you see. Okay, let me tell you the whole story. A few days back I had read a remarkable blogpost by the name of Sick Fun and was deeply influenced by it. The post contained innovative love making suggestions for couples who were sick with flu, cold, itch etc. The blogpost author had somehow determined that the best way to spice up the love lives of sick couples was to have them impersonate movie actors in soar-throat aided husky voice. I thought this was really funny. So yesterday, when I noticed Faddu sniffing and snorting with a running nose, I promptly shoved a printout up his in his pocket and told him to follow the directions exactly as given in the post. He didn’t complain then. Rather he had laughed generously and promised to make the evening with his wife a memorable one.
Why hold a grudge now? As**ole.
“Will you tell me what happened?”
It took a while for Phadnis to break his silence.
“Leela was skeptical. She read the printout and started calling me names..”
“Oh come on Faddu. Behave like a man. You know how to patao your wife…”
Silence again. Phadnis seemed to carefully weigh what he was about to say.
“I tried to joke with her in Dharmender’s voice…”
“Great, whose voice did she copy?”
Ehe. I shuddered at the thought.
“Too bad. But you could have tried the 69 position See, it says here…‘One word. 69! Give each other foot-massages’!”
“I tried. Aaaahhieew” Phadnis reached for his black eye and groaned again.
“She said my feet stink. So we just lay there..”
“In the 96 position?”
I chuckled. “See? Don’t we all tell you to wash your socks daily. I tell you…Susie tells you…even Director saab has told you….”
“Okay. How did you get the black eye?”
“She hit me.”
Big deal. As if I didn’t know already. “But why?”
There was a brief silence. Just as there is a brief silence before all dramatic announcements.
“I…..I poured cough syrup on her….”
“WHAAAAAT?” I nearly fell off my chair. Susie must have been eavesdropping from across the partition, because I distinctly heard her drop a forceps. Pouring cough syrup on Leela Phadnis !!! Pouring aviation fuel on fire!!!
“Well….I wanted to lick it off her….”
“Had you gone mad?” Even Faddu’s dog shits in terror at the thought of licking Mrs. Phadnis!
“No, I mean…..I just wanted to modify that Tylenol instruction…”
“I didn’t know what Tylenol is”
“Tylenol is the @#$*& MD of our hospital. You saala poured cough syrup on her because you didn’t know what Tylenol is???”
“….I thought it would be more romantic…..”
“Kochi khoka. Faddu…you’re 35. What you did is insanity. Serves you right.”
Silence again. Susie briefly entered to inform us that there were patients waiting outside the chamber. I sent her on an errand.
“So she hit you…”
“Yea…aaaah.” Faddu’s gulped. “She said I had started the game and she would finish it…”
Now I gulped too.
“The thermometer….” Faddu’s voice had turned into a croak.
I remembered. Play thermometer race. Stick digital thermometers in your mouths and see who’s beeps first. My mouth went dry. Faddu stood up with a groan.
“You know my wife’s a vet…?”
Sweet Lord! Of course I knew. On an earlier visit to his home I had seen Mrs. Phadnis taking the core temperature of a goat using a large and stout thermometer which she had shoved up the poor creature’s backside….
“Oh God!…no…..you mean….!!!”
Phadnis didn’t care to reply. He had already turned back and was limping to his chamber with a gorilla like gait.