Saturday, May 21, 2016

This was some 25 years ago. though there were some die hard golfers, their numbers were small and the golf courses were few. almost all the equipment had to be imported. the conditions of importing any thing was an ordeal with the customs looking at you as a criminal out to get them. We the beginners had to depend on much used rusty second or third hand sets to learn and play.

After graduating to play, we made a foursome and we had a fixed time to start. 10 minutes ahead on that given day, used to be a four ball of senior citizens. one of then was a retired Air Marshal, another was a business executive, and third was retired bureaucrat and the fourth was from an illustrious family and didn't need to work!

They naturally would finish before us and by the time we finished and settled at the next table, they would be into their second glass of beer. Their infectious pleasure in what they did, some times would rub off and would involve us at the next table!

Their conversation too would often involve pulling each other's leg.Three of them were accomplished, widely traveled and had many experiences to share and naturally they hogged the conversation. The jobless land owner, though witty, often was reduced to be an interested listener.He was also the most generous of the lot and quite often he would pay not only his bills but the neighboring table's which was usually occupied by us.

One such day primed by beer, Air marshal was describing where he got his set of clubs and how he got it. he said, 'I was air attache in our high commission in the UK and had lots of time which I spent golfing and made more money in winning the bets than my paltry salary. this set was given to me by one looser who had no money to pay, he said, Marshal, you take this set instead, I only end of loosing every time I play with this. I took it, it was fairly new, and also because I was not sure he would pay when we met next. But we did meet and he kept loosing despite playing with a new set. This set which I have is that'

The bureaucrat tried pulling a fast one by saying his nephew presented the set to him when he visited him, in one of his government sponsored trips abroad. The jobless land owner, I will call him G, said,' nephew my foot, didn't Mr S gave this to you when you helped him to get his file cleared? I know this because he is a friend of mine'. The bashful bureaucrat saved his face by saying that the nephew also gave him a set which is lying at home

 The Business man followed with his own story of how he got it from the US and the harassment he went through in the customs to clear it.

Now came the turn of G, He said, 'you know, I like old cars, I have one 1930 model Morris car. I needed a carburetor part for the car. I usually go to city market gujri [ urdu word for used spare parts]. I went there looking for this part and found this set lying in one corner covered with accumulated dust.I asked the gugriwala, what is that?, he said, 'Saab, I don't know, it came with lot of other iron, bekar[useless] sticks' I had a look, the clubs[sticks] appeared in good condition, I asked him what he wanted for them? he said Saab, please take it, you don't have to pay, it is occupying much needed space'. I didn't feel like taking it for free, Paid him 100Rs and brought it home, cleaned and polished it and that is the set with which I regularly beat you guys'

we at the next table joined him in the cheers

G was a golf fanatic and wanted to die on the golf course was his wish. He did die while playing at the Mysore golf course

Saturday, March 5, 2016

40 years ago when I put up my board, this area was much undeveloped to say the least. Full of swamps, with agricultural fields in between, with no pukka roads laid, connectivity with the city was two busses, which plied twice a day. Mosquitoes were ubiquitous with an invasion at night fall. And there I was with an open door leading to the road sitting and waiting for the patients. Occasionally, however, I used to get busy and when BR visited me all in a panic that forenoon it was one such occasion.
He pushed his way through, and said, ‘doctor, my wife is unable to breathe, please hurry and come with me’. How long she has been ill’ I asked. Since three days she is worse, she has asthma, and her medicines are not working’ he answered.
Asthma and Bangalore city have been great friends and continue to be so. In those days it was even worse, the whole area of nearly two to three square KMs, slated for development of an extension was full of parthenium weed. The abundant spore producing parthenium was one most important cause of allergic rhinitis and asthma. Over the years buildings came up all over and this noxious weed disappeared and the incidence of asthma came down. It is very much present on the outskirts of the city and doctors practicing in the periphery of the city must be seeing quite a bit of  asthma cases even now.
Coming back to BR, I said,’ if she has been having this for three days, it can’t be an emergency, I will come with you after seeing these patients’ He did not take kindly to this, he said, ‘no, no, it is serious, she will die if you don’t come, my home is just across the street’
Seeing his panic and my reluctance to leave the waiting patients and go with him, one of the patients told, doctor you go with him. We will wait’
I had no option but to go with him. I took my black foldable bag which had all the emergency aids and went out with him, He had no vehicle with him and as it was a short distance we walked, he carrying my bag and virtually running, and I following him. Across the street we went but he would not stop, his across the street was not just across but across many streets! When asked where the house is, he pointed in the general direction and said there. No point in asking this man. Better go and face the problem when we get there I thought, after walking nearly a km we reached that single storied small bungalow. Both the gate and the front door were open, we went in heading straight to where the patient was, half sitting and half reclined.
Mrs J was then a young woman of 25, recently married, new to the city, was in real trouble. One look at her, I realized that BR was not exaggerating when he said it was an emergency. She could hardly breathe, with a cyanotic tinge, perspiring all over. There was no need or time for any detailed check. Subcutaneous adrenaline was the drug of choice and I gave her this and followed it up with IV deriphylline and decadron. Her breathing eased, but she became nauseous and even before BR getting a basin to hold the vomit she brought out all her breakfast on to my shirt front. This happened as I was keenly watching her recovery and did not with draw quickly enough to escape the spray.
It was not an uncommon side show of using adrenaline. I took off the soaked shirt and vest and sat watching her recovery. Within the next ten minutes, like miracle she was normal, and wanted to make tea for me!
Where was BR? He had disappeared with my clothes. He returned after a few minutes with a new shirt of his. Different color, different make and size. I had no options but to put it on and return to my waiting patients. BR came with me carrying the bag despite my telling him not to.
On reaching the clinic, one patient asked me,’ doc do your patients give you a shirt also when you make a house call? I had no patience to explain or appreciate his humor. I must have given him a dirty look, to make him keep quiet.
That night after the evening clinic, I dropped in to see her. She was perfectly normal, and gave me a paper bag which had my clothes neatly washed and ironed

The friend ship that began that day has lasted even to this day.