Outside a Doctors Clinic

Joyer Noronha Kinnigoli 

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In rural places like Kinnigoli the appointment system doesn’t work quite efficiently at the medical practitioners clinic. Doctors don’t strictly enforce either the appointment system or the token system for one reason- it would put the poorest of the people in highly disadvantageous position- fair enough. During the peak hours, as a result, you are forced to wait for your turn. It might take from half an hour to 4 hours depending on your luck or lack of it. Still, most people presume that they would have a field day at the clinic and schedule all their activities assuming that they would finish their encounter with the Steth-carrying man within half an hour and then rush back happily to their chores. As a result, the moment they arrive to the clinic their moods get disturbed after sensing their imminent long wait, their peace gets lost and they appear very upset and start grumbling.

People waiting outside a doctors clinic do following things in Kinnigoli. They question the very sense that Doctor either has or lacks. They scream at the receptionist. They curse the women in her middle age who take too long or talk too much to the doctor. They get busy in taming down a odd uncivilized person (read rich) who tries to jump the line. They blame the village panchayath, congress party, the monsoon this year, price rise and the woeful situations and degeneration society is facing now.
In spite of knowing very well that there are 12 people ahead of them and the affable chap inside is going to spend not less than 10 minutes on even with the person having simple headache, they manage to stay anxious every moment. They recall the pending jobs and share it to the benefit of the gathering. “Oh, I had to pay the electricity bill and today is the last day, those fellows will cut my connection” one fat lady would say. The thin lady would retort ” I had to be at Mulki police station in half an hour for  passport formalities “. “This is an issue  with this doctor” the third would murmur.
I feel there is no point in being anxious when you know very well about what is in store for you.  This would perhaps make you more sick- rise your BP or drop your sugar. It can even cause a unrest at home because with the lost mood you are very likely to start a fight with your spouse or a neighbor whose dog had just trespasses your compound. Accepting your reality and making peace with it is the best option. You don’t want to change the doctor, you can’t change your timings, you can’t force the doctor to change his habits- then you have only one option- change yourself.
There are many ways to deal with the situation
1) Make calls to all your old friends and relatives whom you haven’t spoken  for ages.
2) Make a list of all the pending jobs that you should have done ages back. Example – Paying land tax, reminding your friend to pay back the money you had lent him four years ago, applying for ration card/voters card/ pan card, taking your child to dentist.
3) Observe the people, their deportments, their facial features and imagine them as characters for next story or blog entry.
4) Strike a conversation with a farmer and try to learn a bit about agriculture.  Find out “which vegetable would yield maximum produce or easiest to start with”.
5) Make friendship with youngest of the child and spend time playing with it. Odds are that even her mother, father and grandmother might become your friends.
6) Make a round to the market, ask for the price of onion or “bendi” at different shops- at venkappa’s, mikkiyams or at beary’s- find out which vegetable is cheapest where. You’d be surprised to find up to 70% price variation within a few meters.
7) Have a walk down the street and check how many meters you can walk without getting hounded off by a speeding bus.
8)  Wait outside the door, stare at the bus stand and find an old acquaintance or a long lost classmate.
9) Go to Rama restaurant or Abinandhan and sip a Tea. If there are too many people ahead of you visit “Shivanna’s Canteen”. Avoid the plentiful of bars.
10) Remember a child in family, your friendly neighbor or may be your own wife, whom you haven’t gifted a little pin in years, buy something for them at the fancy store.
Last but not the least and my favorite-Get a nice book along with you. Read peacefully- undisturbed. Read like you have eternity to go on. Every extra moment would give additional moment of happiness, education and possibly entertainment.
But, remember, you should get to your book only when you are done with all the people around you. Who, when they are in good mood can be great fun to know or to be with.

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