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Friday, August 28, 2009


My parents used to call me a cockroach when I was young. Simply because I had this unusual habit of feeling hungry at around 1 am – everyday, without fail, when everyone was, obviously, fast asleep. I used to hunt for food in the kitchen, refrigerator and the good old snacks cupboard. I don’t know why I’m reminded of this sick fact now.

I’ve read somewhere that cockroaches are fast; coordination between their four (or is it more?) limbs is amazing. I can’t imagine how some people can actually eat them… yikes.

I hope you know what you’re supposed to do when you get a feeling that your commode is hungry. So what if it’s 1 am?

(This is probably the most random stuff I’ve ever written. And posted.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I hate people who give unsolicited advice. Especially on issues that don’t matter to me much.

Last week, I was posted for swine flu duty (H1N1, to be precise). If you are a Mumbaikar, you would know that the BMC has started this swine flu helpline, a 24-hour telephone line (108) where one can call and get emergency information on this disease. For 5 days, I was one of the ‘doctors’ from KEM recruited for this job. I had night duty on all 5 days, from evening 8 to next day morning 8.

The phones rang like hell. People called like crazy and I had to solve weird doubts. Basically, I was convincing them how their non-specific symptoms are not related to H1N1. So far so good.

Then it happened.

A guy called up at 1.30 am, well past midnight. He sounded old; like a retired man who had no work whatsoever. And started giving me unsolicited advice. I explained to him that this was a helpline number and was meant only for people who require information. But he didn’t care. He started giving me advice instead. He told me how people should not panic. I agreed to him. He told me that media is creating an unnecessary hype. I agreed again. He told me how America should take up responsibility. I couldn’t take it anymore.

I asked him again, “Do you need any information?” I mean, any sane person wouldn’t call up at 1.30 am if it weren’t serious enough. But this man went on talking! He asked me why there is only one laboratory in Mumbai testing samples. I gave him reasons, which are quite valid, but he wasn’t in a mood to listen. He went on talking some gibberish and I had no choice but to respond. I tell you, if I meet that man in person, I’ll break his canines.

In the end, when he was gratified, or at least seemed so, he asked me, “Doctor, tell me one thing; isn’t this phone line toll-free? Thank god!”

Thursday, August 13, 2009


(That’s Puss – the good-for-nothing cat.)