Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Bunch of Lies

"How can you be so irresponsible?" shrieked mum, "If you don't go, I will give you a nice beating!"

I continued to stare at her with glaring eyes. Seriously ma? I'm 24 and you plan to threaten me with a beating?

"Please, Sundar... Mummy is asking you only for your own betterment, yes?"

Now that's more like it! "Alright... I'll go... Today... Happy?"

An hour later, I reached the clinic of a Dr. Lenin at No. 8, Gundu Salai, Natesan Nagar, Puducherry. How on earth do people come up with a street-name like that: Fat Street? Fatso Street? Bomb Street? It was my mother's friend who'd recommended this physician, as her own daughter had apparently witnessed magical results from treatment at his hands. I was skeptical, and so was the man seated outside the empty clinic on a rickety three-and-a-half-legged stool.

"Is the doctor in?" I inquired, only to make him stare at me with more skepticism, get up, and walk inside the clinic never to return. Impatient, I removed my shoes and walked towards the door crowned by Dr. Lenin's name-plaque, wondering if the "doctor who blessed his patients with magical results" would look like a tuxed magician with a tall black hat and a long shiny wand, or a priest with immaculate long and white robes, mustache and beard, holding a brassy kooja, with aromatic healing waters in it, in one hand, and a dusty-old Rudraksha-mala in the another.

I walked in, only to realize that the doctor had already decided to look just like the man on the rickety stool outside the clinic. Darn it!

"What's your problem?" interrogated Dr. Lenin, no sooner than I sat on the "patient's seat" right next to his kingly chair.

I thought the doc's only magical; now I learn that he's also extremely courteous and kind. 

"Hair fall!" I explained, "My scalp gets very oily, sticky and itchy unless I shampoo my hair every single day. I'm not sure if it's the condition of my scalp, or the daily usage of shampoo that causes the hair fall."

He continued to stare at me skeptically. I'm not lying to you doc, for god's sake! Trust me!

"Look at the ground!" he commanded.


"LOOK AT THE GROUND!" he roared, even louder.

I obeyed, wondering if I had somehow desecrated his (holy) presence. What spell are you going to unleash on me, O magical doctor? Have mercy!

Click! He turned on his battery-powered torch and peered onto my head.

"Pediculosis capitis" he pronounced, after an intense round of examination long enough to stiffen my neck, as he began to pen his verdict on a prescription letter pad in wriggly letters. The rest of the prescription letter was written in perfectly illegible DoctorScript.

"Pedi-cu-losis ca-pi-tis" I struggled to read from the prescription letter, "What is it, doctor?"


"Dandruff? But I've never had any white flakes fall off my head!"

"Pediculosis means scales... Scales... Mixing with oil... Getting sticky..."

Now why didn't I think of that?

He got up, walked to a few shelves hidden behind thick curtains at a corner of the room, and brought back pills in small paper packets. After giving out confusing oral instructions as to how and when I should take these pills, he comfortably placed his arms on the rests of his chair and gave out an "Anything else?" look.

"Thank you! What's your fee, doctor?"

"Four hundred... For the consultation and the tablets..."

Four hundred? I can't bargain with him, can I? I handed out a 500 rupee note, which he examined with great care to ensure that it's not counterfeit, and handed back a 100 dollar note. Things I could do with four hundred rupees... If it hadn't been for mum, and that nosy friend of hers...

Exiting the clinic, I put on my shoes as I sat on the empty rickety stool outside, and headed home wondering how silly it had been of me to have not known that I had dandruff for so long!

However, I was still skeptical.

So, as soon as I reached home, I switched on my computer and googled about Pediculosis capitis.

The results of the search blew my fuse.


Because Pediculosis capitis is the medical term for the mundanely common head-lice infestation!


So the bottom line is, I ended up paying four hundred rupees to a crook who has diagnosed my hair fall problem to be caused due to lice...

...and having a bunch of hair in my hands that I pulled out of my head in complete exasperation!

Now you're happy, mum?


I called up the doctor from the phone number printed on the prescription letter, and spoke to him 'naively':

"Hello! Dr. Lenin?"


"I'm the patient you consulted minutes ago..."


"I looked up Pediculosis capitis on the Internet and learned that it's the medical term for head-lice infestation. But I don't remember you speak of any head-lice. So I called to resolve the confusion. Do I have head-lice, doctor?"

"Internet explanations are always confusing. Don't worry! Take the tablets!"

"But, doctor, every article very clearly explains Pediculosis capitis as head-lice infestation. Also, no article speaks about dandruff or hair fall. What do you comment on this?"

"Eh... Lice causes dandruff... Dandruff causes lice... No confusion... Take tablets!"

"Okay, thanks!"

He's a crook alright!

Dear readers:

Here is a case of daylight robbery. If an educated man can be fooled and robbed so easily, how about the ignorant, illiterate, poor and needy people who seek his help?

I do have his hand-written prescription well preserved.

Is there a way to teach him a lesson?


Viji said...

Not fair shivsu, you should have told him that you are a thorough researcher and you won't take a solution without questions... not fair at can you blame the poor rich doctor? give him one more chance, I am sure he will be careful on what he says, next time :)

lol... good post and I am not going to tell you that I am happy to see two posts in couple of days, coz I've done that before and had to wait for almost 6 months for the next post...

Viji said...

looks like you love green too... nice skin :P

Siva Sundar said...

Yeah right, poor rich doctor!

Now that I've got a couple posts out, I can come back after a year for my next! :P

Cheers on the skin!

Viji said...

pls feel free to post when you feel like... :) no point in viji cribbing... she can't write your post you see? :D

Siva Sundar said...

I can't watch you crib, Viji...

Remember my first post?!? :P

Sittik said...

Ha Ha Ha... nice post Shivsu... Had a good laugh after a long time... But, sorry for your hair loss dude.. Update me if you find a solution for that(Hoping that you would find one soon :D)

Siva Sundar said...

Sittik machaan!!! Unakkumaadaa???

Ellaam wisdom! Mandaikkulla irukka alavillaa wisdom thaan karanam 'nu naam nenakiraen!!

Vengat said...

Hey I have read in many news papers that pediculosis capitis means lice infestation .Ok but generally doctors charge a lot when u go to problems regarding skin and he himself will state that some medicines he prescribes will qaggravate the disease.Skin is such a senstive organ.

Siva Sundar said...

Agreed! But since this man's ignorance of even a medical term as trivial as Pediculosis capitis is clearly established, I think it's fair to question his capacity as a trained and qualified medical practitioner.

And Vengat, I don't mind paying for a doctor's services, however high the charges may be. But, I don't wish to pay even a dime to a crook according to whom Pediculosis capitis is a term for dandruff!

Anonymous said...

It happens everywhere, the doctors (not all..its unjustice to generalise) think their patients are just illiterates and are like "Religion" that should not be questioned and have faith. I have two cases with me. 1. my grandma who was diagnosed for "Mitral valve prolapse" and was admitted in the hospital, i'm a biologist myself and demanded the Doctor an explanation to which he saw me like a worm. They decided to operate her at the age of 75 and when their decision negates out conscience he came up with a question "What do you know about heart?". P.S. She died a week later.

2. A relative aunt called me saying her sisters son has been admited in the hospital due to some strange problem, he claimed that his head and arms does not belongs to him and he was admited in a psychiatric ward. The physicial examined him and declared it as a mere "imagination" and a couple of sleeping pills would help. Whereas he was suffering from a neurological condition called "Apotemnophilia" a body integrity identity disorder.

In general not all doctors consider their education as science and its for service, its just a money minting tool.


Siva Sundar said...

Marlin, I'm sorry that injustice was meted out to your grandma and your aunt's cousin.

Incidents like these have instilled in me a new sense of responsibility over my health and well-being, for I can no longer trust my lives in the hands of even the most trained, renouned and expensive medical practitioners. It is I who must safe-guard my body against ailments, disorders, plagues and injuries.

And I've found more respect for the Stone Age Suruwaha tribe still inhabiting the Amazonian rain forests in Brazil, who despite been proven to be the fittest and healthiest folks on the planet, commit suicide by the age of thirty! Why? Because they wish to die when they are in their best of healty and vitality, free from any infirmity.

Devasena Hariharan said...

so u created so much ruckus for a mundane hair fall and dandruff issue.

also surprised that people at pondichery charge so much. The docs charge only 100 or 250 max. really surprised.

Siva Sundar said...

My family physician (who charges a nominal Rs. 50 per consultation) dismissed my "hair fall" problem to be caused to due a poor lifestyle!

Shivsu's now under a an intense fitness and high-nutrient-low-fat diet regime!

It's now time to bring the six packs, drifted, in two sets of three, to each side of my abdomen, to where they (rightfully) belong!

Pasupathy said...

hi dude... ur condition is comecial and also teaches a lesson... dude u ever forgot who i am or what i do? u cud hav asked me first... ther r so many guys out ther waiting to cheat u... by consulting me first u can avoid such situations...

Siva Sundar said...

Pasupathy my man, a lesson learned the hard way!

A grave mistake it was to have not first consulted you or one of our good doctor-friends!

Devasena Hariharan said...

do u really have to keep that label for this post.

to my one year old son,I say- "Karthik, do this or else amma will beat u.."

Your mom does the same.. it means?

Siva Sundar said...


About the post label: "Yes! Why, you think I'm such a 'tease'?!?"

What it means is: "Moms don't grow up!"

Viji said...

"moms don't grow up" ?... ha ha... rotfl... hear hear devs :D

Maya said...

LOL... Nice post :) Clever Doctor (!?!) and same innocent Mother's :)

Siva Sundar said...

Thanks Maya!
I promise to pass on your compliments to the doctor and my mum!!!

Viji unplugged said...

"Now that I've got a couple posts out, I can come back after a year for my next! :P" did you literally mean it?