Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Saturday Night Doctors

Another Saturday was slipping by, Joseph, Rajesh and I idling in the room. The cable operator's strike was on, and so TV was out of question. The sole means entertainment was the internet, and that too was very slow.
It was then that (Dr.) James burst into the room with plans for dinner at the airforce mess.
Now we'd all heard about these fab things called navy ball, where the gentlemen of the Navy come along with their wives and their beautiful daughters and there'll be a fashion show and stuff. The daughters, particularly, evoke a lot of interest. If the progeny of the guardians of the sea are so beautiful, will those of the Air force be too far behind? Of course not. The dinner was being organized as part of a seminar on "Updates on medicine". James had registered 5 people and three of them had cancelled their registrations. Well, free food is always so very tempting, you see?
And so it was that 8 o' clock saw us in the Airforce mess. It was only upon reaching there that James informed that we're all supposed to be doctors. I was Dr. Gopal, Joseph was Dr. Jagan, and Rajesh had a tongue twister for a name.
We were quite nervous because the dinner was being held on a lawn, and the people who kept coming in were like a roll-call of Bangalore's famous physicians.
We did however, try to put a smile on our face and sit back and really look like doctors, though our medical faculties went nowhere beyond paracetamol.
Finally after a lot of time, we decided to unwind, and mustering courage, Rajesh and I decided to go for a drink. We went to the bar, set up at a corner of the lawn and ordered Vodka with orange juice. Were waiting for the drink when someone patted us on the shoulder. Turning back, we faced a very aristocratic looking man, no doubt one of those "exceptional practitioners of the medical profession". The dialogue (trialogue??) that transpired between us was such:
Doc : " So gentlemen, are you enjoying the evening? Which college are you from?"
Me : " We're from Manipal, Sir."
Doc : "That's wonderful. So you must be Dr. Shetty's students, eh?"
Rajesh and I : "Yes, Sir".
Doc :"So, Where did you do your MBBS?"
Me (oh - oh) : "I didi it in Salem, Tamil Nadu, Sir"
Rajesh : " I did it in Davengere, Karnataka" (I was sure Rajesh did not even know the name of the college.)
Doc "Oh, so if from Salem, do you speak tamil?"
Me : " Er, a little bit sir, since I am from Kerala."
Doc : " Oh, I see, tell me, how much is the fees in Davenegere these days?"
This was a clincher. The loo was nearby, so I started moving towards it slowly...
I have to hand it out to Rajesh, he thought really quick, and started laughing..You know, one of those stupid goofy kind of laugh. The doctor of course had no idea what to do. Then he too joined in and said, " I guess you joined in payment seat eh? ha ha ha..Have a nice evening, gentlemen and enjoy your drink.".
We returned to the table, proud at how we had handled the situation and almost pissing in the pants because of nervousness.
The food was good, the finger sized fish cutlets awesome. We relaxed and even thought of socializing. The band was really good, playing some Rock n Roll from the seventies.
But, then there comes Dr.Shetty, who is the dean of the college we were supposed to be studying. We cannot tell him that we are in manipal, can we? Boy, this IS a tight situation. James told us to tell him that we are from KIMS, another medical college. The great man came near James, told that he was glad that James could make it and then extended his hand towards me.
"Er...Ummm..I am Madhavan, Sir." Gone was Dr. Gopal. "Ah! And which college are you from?". "I ..Umm..I am James' friend, Sir".
Somehow, I couldn't get myself to lie to him. A gut feeling that he'd see through it.
He looked at me just for a second and then smiled. James quickly explained that since his batchmates were unable to make it, he had brought us so that we could fill the place. Then he introduced Joseph and Rajesh too. The Dean was happy, and everything went well.
Though, for the rest of the night, we had to keep our fingers crossed that Dr.Shetty and the other doctor who'd met us first don't meet and discuss us!!

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