Category Archives: Hospital Tales

The Finger

I spot her in the crowd…run to her.
“Kitni umar hain bacche ki?”
No reply….she just showed me the finger.

I spot him in the crowd. His eyes meet mine…he nods…and shows me the finger.

Ahh….thats how the days are in the life of a “Pulse Polio” intern.

[For the uninitiated, any kid who has recieved the Polio vaccine on the immunisation day gets a mark on his little finger, to identify the unvaccinated ones.]


Mixed Bag

Long time since I wrote a a lot of topics in this MIXED BAG….

Happy Diwali
Wishing everyone a Happy, Prosperous and Safe Diwali. Happy New year to all celebrating it. My new year will be in March..

Had a fun time with funny/non funny names of late.

Today in the blood bank
Me: Aapka naam..?
Donor: Basudebh Das
So I started filling it in the form. B A S U D E B….
Donor:Basudebh mein B nahin…BHEE
Me: Ok. So I added the missing H, slightly confused
Donor: B nahee BHEE, BHEE…….’S’, ‘T’, ‘U’, ‘BHEE’

Then once at Oshiwara Maternity Home there was a lady called Photu, no jokes. The nurses had a fun time calling out to her…..”Photudeveeeee” the way all B.Com ladies are addressed. Well here B.Com stands for “Bihari Community” and not Bachelor of Commerce (No offence to the Bihari’s or Commercies). Photudevi’s name was the talk of the town…(ok,just of OMH). One day at breakfast table with 2 neonatologists..

Neo 1: Arey postpartum ward mein ek patient ka naam hain Photu…what a name..heh heh
Neo 2:Uska Husband hoga Camera….aur unka surname studio…hah hah hah
Neo 1:(In his slightly pansy style) What funny names people call their kids.Sweety, Dolly!! I know a 60 yr old dadima called Sweety…….imagine calling a lady that old Sweety…
Neo 2: Arey par usko Sweety bulanewaley dadaji bhi utne hi old honge naa……

Nanhi Kalee
I wonder when Indians will get over their craze for a male child. Tired of seeing women with 2 or 3 daughters getting pregnant, hoping for a son…..relatives pulling a face “ladki huee”….women refusing to feed their new born baby girls…..Of men treating their wives like a “Baby producing factory”…..of women with 3 girls going for a copper T, when advised permanent sterilisation saying “Ladke ka lalach hain thoda doctorsaab”

Fevicol Ad
Liked the new fevicol ad…which combines the words Diwali in English and Id in Urdu..its a hoarding. Tried to find a picture of it online…in vain. But very nice.

Amusing and Musing

Mid Day Boy
There is a boy I often see on the train who sells Mid-Day. He hops on the train, shouts “Mi de Mi De, tsk tsk”…..”Mi de, Mi de..tsk tsk”. He has a ‘eager+ forlorn+ anxious to jump out of the First Class ASAP’ expression on his face. Suddenly I got an urge to buy Mid day from him (Mid Day is something I buy only on impulse, or unless my Ajji (gran) is home. She HAS to have the crossword or she gets bored sitting at home all day). So he got in at Khar and I took a paper…started hunting my wallet for change. The train was about to leave and TC was on the train. So the guy said,
“Baad me sandaas me akey dena…”

I said “Huh, aye ruk….” He had long left the train, and the train had left the station. I keep feeling bad for not having paid the fellow, and befuddled by the toilet bit till Santa Cruz arrived and I realised I heard him wrong. He had said…“Santa Cruz mein main ayega to dena….”

Professional Secrecy
Now I know why professional secrecy is such an important legal issue in Medicine. Today in the Gyn OPD came a patient whose name I will obviously not mention. She was married and in Gyn you have to ask the patient a lot of personal questions…like time since marriage, about miscarriages, contraceptive use and so on. The lady started giving her history by telling me that she had been married since 5 years but her in laws had cheated them so she and her husband had had no physical relationship whatsoever. In her words, he had still not ‘broken into her’. I was shocked. Not as much by that fact as much by the realisation that without having known me at all that lady had confided a very personal, a very serious matter in me. I am still dazed…..


At present I am posted in Gyn/Ob department of KEM. And 10 more days to go. And I remembered Dr.MSVK Rajoo, my psychiatry HOD from my alma mater in Loni. Now what’s the connection you would ask. I will come to that, at the risk of being bashed up by all the feminists and probably my non feminist gal pals too. But I take the risk anyways. This has been bothering me for a few days now and finally I decided to put my feelings into words. Not only have I been busy but have also learnt that when you post too frequently the number of comments you get on your older posts reduces…..:)

Coming back to Dr. Rajoo. He is one of my professors I have adored. And who have inspired me. After one Dr. Abhang Prabhu who inspired me to take up MBBS, Dr. Rajoo was the one because of who my interest in Psychiatry deepened. Then one day he made a statement in class, “A woman’s biggest enemy is another woman.” And God was I scandalised!! He clarified, saying visit the maternity ward to know more, to see how one woman treats another. And I forgot all about it till I joined here. He wasn’t too wrong. Here I see many gy/ob PGs……all females themselves treating their patients very badly. Those coming in the middle of the night to the labour ward are the ones treated the worst, “Arey if your tummy hurts, but you are not ready to deliver your baby, I can’t admit you. Admit karke kya pooja karu tumahi?” Now thats not very consoling to the lady who’s just 7 months pregnant, worried she’s in labour too soon. Ok, you are overworked, your unit has in all about 100 patients, your diurnal rhythm is screwed for life and you don’t remember when was it that you last slept. But is that the fault of the distressed patient sitting in front of you? Didn’t you know before taking up this field that all your patients are going to be women coming in unannounced, in multiples and they are going to be anxious!! As a fellow woman can you not understand their anxiety! And when you start your private practice…will you still shout at each and every female who comes in at 4 am with labour pains?

I still do not completely agree with Dr. Rajoo but what he said wasn’t too far from the truth….I am sad…

The Great Indian Habit

Jara sa or little bit is such a popular word of the Indian man’s jargon. Like when they cook, they always put jara sa hing or haldi or whatever. My jara sa never matches with that golden standard jara sa I feel, hence when I cook, the haldi hing and salt are either jara sa excess or jara sa less..or maybe jara sa more would be fine….huh

Or when I miss meeting the head of the unit for the coveted signature and posting completion I am always jara sa late.

The other day in the casualty at around 2 am came a patient with a nasty laterated wound on the scalp, outcome of a fall.
I am not going to translate the rest, won’t be as much fun….

Me, “Vomitting vagera hua?”

“Haan, jara sa.”

Me, “Chakkar aya kay?”

“Haan, jara sa.”

Me, “Kahi aur laga kya?”

“Haan idhar udhar jara sa laga”

Me, “Behosh hua tha kya?”

“Haan, jara saa hua…..”


“Haan matlab hua……..”

Russian Tonsillectomy

So today while I was sitting in the side room of the OT, killing time and worrying like mad about many things including PG exam, my preparation (or rather the lack of it…why would I worry otherwise?) the sick AMO of Cooper etc Dr. Hindolkar, unit head of surgery walked in with his gang. And after the usual talking about PG exams, reservations, etc he started telling us all and Dr. Bhargava about people removing appendices via the stomach for people who want no scars on their abdomen. Or removal of thyroid by laparoscopic techniques and more such fascinating surgical developments. Dr. Samir Bhargava is a famous ENT surgeon who has also written a text book I used for ENT in final MBBS. So while Dr. Hindolkar was amazing us with these facts Dr. Bhargava chipped in,

“In Russia they remove the tonsils via the rectal approach……..
…………as you are not allowed to open your mouth in Russia!!!”

For the uninitaited….tonsils lie inside your mouth….open your mouth…stick out the tongue…aahhh there they are!

Erratica!!….it was Dr. Kamat who we were talking to….not Dr. Hindolkar. Since I have never seen both before I mistook one for the other

The Poor Man’s Blood

Story Courtesy: Dr. Meena Galliara

Post 11/7 blasts in Mumbai each and every Mumbaikar wanted to do something for the injured who need help. This feeling is intense amongst people who were not present at the site and may not have been able to help in any way. And not all of us have the cash resources but we readily donate one thing we all can…some thing that cannot be replaced..that is Blood.

NMIMS had organised a blood donation camp at the college for student volunteers and anyone else who wished to donate for the noble cause. Dr. Galliara and her department was actively involved in this campaign. The student turnover was awesome and probably more than they anticipated or even were prepared to handle.

A frail looking poor man turned up there. He was so poor that he didn’t even have anything to wear in his feet. And the organisers knew from his looks that he couldn’t possibly qualify for the donation as he was certainly less than the mandatory 50 kgs. When asked how he had learnt of the camp he said,
“I saw your board outside and came over to donate blood. I lost my brother and bhabhi in the blasts. They were my only kin in this world. Now I have no one in this world and I don’t wish to live. Government has promised compensation for the kin of the dead. But whats the use of all the money? If I come into too much of money, some long lost relatives might turn up like leeches and run away once they get what they wish. So please take all the blood you wish from my body……1 bottle, or 2 or even 3 if you need.”

Sad but true…….

The poor man had to go back without donating a single pint of blood as he weighed only 45 kg.