The last week has been pretty pathetic.
I have been suffering, the last few days, from some evil disease. My differential diagnosis is bird flu, lung cancer, or pneumoconiosis.
I have been having fever, severe malaise, a voice like an asphyxiated bullfrog and a dry hacking cough that threatens to dislocate my testicles to my frontal cortex with every attempt at clearing my lungs. So what else could I be suffering from?
The common cold, you say? Poo-bah! Would I have such depressingly ordinary problems, ever?

Would you not have been disappointed to learn that Amitabh Bachchan had been hospitalised because of worms in his intestines? That he had jejunal diverticula that perforated and nearly killed him created a tense drama that enriched his enduring image as a timeless Indian superstar. Leander Paes, India’s tennis star, had neurocysticercosis, and not just a bad headache. Even Elsa, the lion of ‘Born Free’, died of an exotic African infectious disease called babesiosis.

In short, great people should not die of ordinary, plebeian, diseases. They surely deserve exotic bugs.
What disease would you have? I am sure you would all want to die in your sleep, without a single moment of suffering. In addition to the fact that you may have spent not one moment of your lives investing on your health!
In the midst of all my personal misery, last night, I get a call at 10 PM, when I am generally found sleeping tighter than a baby’s ass.
Man: “Hello?”
Me (hoarse and grumpy): “Yes?”
Man: “Good evening, doctor, you operated on my wife six weeks back…”
Me: “Thanks for informing me about that. She is still alive, you mean?”
Man: “Very well she is, Saar. She hasn’t taken a bath since then. So I just wanted to ask you when she can do it…”
If I had a moustache, it would have bristled in indignance. My nasal vibrissae took the onus of bristling, instead.
Me: “Well, since she has managed to last six weeks without taking a bath, why bother anymore? She will, surely, manage the rest of her life like this!”
Man: “Hahahaha! So, Saar, when can she take a bath?”
Me: “After you visit the ENT to clear up your clogged sinuses.”


  1. Vivek Khadpekar


    My sincere sympathies on your indisposition, and I wish you a speedy recovery (is it done to say “Surgeon heal thyself”?) 😉 .

    //Would you not have been disappointed to learn that Amitabh Bachchan had … jejunal diverticula that perforated and nearly killed him created a tense drama that enriched his enduring image as a timeless Indian superstar.//

    Not being impressed by anyone whose main claim to fame is superstardom, I find your rhetorical question a rather JEJUNE aspersion on your readers’ intelligence and taste. It suggests that they are among the plebeians that you refer to (I don’t deny that I am one, but to be TOLD that to my face — a bit much saar! In fact your speculation reeks of axillary olfaction that no run-of-the-mill deospray can correct.

    Incidentally, have you had yourself examined for possible pneumono­ultra­micro­scopic­silico­volcano­coniosis, contracted during one of your peregrinations to exotic lands and climes? 🙂

  2. Now I know that when they say ‘it’s a dog’s life’ they actually mean ‘it is a doc’s life’. Poor you!
    Get well soon .

  3. Hope you get well soon, doc.

    I dunno which disease I would wanna have but I think I would wanna die while having sex. The pleasure should manage to negate the pain. And think how spooky it’d be for the chick. One moment you’re having sex with her and the very next you’re dead. Just like poof! 😛

  4. i second vivek and maybe ish too…
    somehow his idea of death reminds me of some seedy movie of ashok amritraj staring the buxom baywatch fem Pam!

    Get well soon 🙂

  5. Vivek Khadpekar


    Nice to have you seconding me … but on WHAT? 🙂 Whose idea of death?

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  7. It’s always funny when patients practice extreme caution! I know someone like that. If a doctor says don’t do this for say x number of days they will not do it for 3 x number of days! And then there are patients who go to the other extreme. When the doc tells them to do a certain thing, they ensure they don’t do it. I know someone like this too. In fact they will promptly take a second opinion and a third and finally go to a homeopath! So pray you get more faithful followers who hang on to your every word…and more!
    By the way, I would never like to die in my sleep because I visualise a dramatic scene like the bollywood movies where everyone around me will tell me how much they will miss me and how wonderful I am! Also I would prefer to die of old age…more years to have sex Ish!
    And I almost forgot, get well soon! I don’t wish upon you an an exotic bug unless it’s of the kind that makes you want to blog more. 🙂

  8. Vivek,
    i was kinda allured by ishs idea of pleasurable death

  9. Vivek Khadpekar


    Oh! OK I had nothing to do with that particular one. It was Ish’s idea. I have always been prepared for death in an abstract sort of way, but never quite got down to the details of what I would like to be doing when it came. I have, of course, read about some species of insect for whom carnal intercourse is life’s final act. Don’t particularly fancy being classified with them 🙂

  10. oke, your scrip,thanks

  11. Vivek
    since childhood i have skirted with death
    so it dont worry me much

    prepared for death in an abstract sort of way
    thats a great way of putting it death catches with u when u least expect it 🙂
    there are so many old people begging for it but still dont get it

  12. And doc good to hear that u r much better :v)

  13. Rambodoc, Wish you a speedy recovery, for your sake and for your patients who would be missing your humour apart from your medical skills. I am curious to know, how do you deal with patients like the one you have mentioned-//“Very well she is, Saar. She hasn’t taken a bath since then. So I just wanted to ask you when she can do it…”// when their next visit is due.
    Nita, I would like to die in my sleep. It would painful to hear people telling me how much they will miss me and how wonderful I am! even if I know that they are lying through their teeth.

  14. Ish, Prax,

    The New York Times describes “the pleasurable death” thus (via Wikipedia):

    A male mantis approaches a female, flapping his wings and swaying his abdomen. Leaping on her back, he begins to mate. And quite often, she tears off his head. The female mantis devours the head of the still-mating male and then moves on to the rest of his body. […] If you put a pair together and come back later, you’ll just find the wings of the male and no other evidence he was ever there …

    It’s not spooky for the “chick”, but it must be tasty alright!

  15. TRF 🙂
    i have seen the whole thing on discovery
    sir davids wierd planet ?

  16. @TRF: Yep, I’ve heard about that too. But hey, I’m not a mantis. And Thank God for that.

  17. Glad our doc is feeling some better.
    Certainly hope you were not afflicted with some emerging contagious illness, although that would get you a lot of attention….you could make the news and be internationally famous, then charge everyone (excepting us, your current loyal readers of course 🙂 ) to read your blog.
    On this morbid topic, I’m with whoever said they wanted to die in their sleep. But not a choice we can really make, sadly. Dad’s cousin suffered rheumatic fever resulting in a heart valve defect….I think he had two valve replacements.

    (FINALLY) recently retired as a mechanical engineer and moved to town, leaving the beloved family farm to his kids. He died, alone, apparently of a heart attack, while mowing hay –something encoded into his DNA as a farmboy.

    They said at the funeral that he went quickly, in his birthplace, doing what he loved….not in some town in a hospital.

  18. Vivek Khadpekar


    //death catches with u when u least expect it//

    I am reminded of the padre at school who taught us heathens ‘Moral Science’ in lieu of ‘Scripture’ to save our souls. During one class, on the subject of ‘Sin’, he thundered:

    “Beware of temptation and sin; pray every night before you turn in; ask for forgiveness. If you don’t, you may wake up one morning to find yourself dead!”

    That was ages ago. I was an impressionable kid who had yet to discover the virtues of skepticism and irreverence. And the science they tought at school us was restricted to physics and chemistry; not a slender chance of chancing upon the the mantis — praying or preying.

    And yes, as luck would have it, I had read Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’ long before Attenborough came along to brighten my life. The two don’t go together too well.

  19. Vivek Khadpekar

    Corrigendum (last-but-one para) “… the science they taught us at schoool”.

  20. Prerna, actually I forgot to add a smilie after that statement!

  21. Vivek Khadpekar

    Just to clear a possible misimpression my last comment may have created — there was a gap of several years between my exposures to the dire consequences of sin and to reading Kafka. It’s just that Attenborough followed Kafka. Had it been the other way round my views on the circumstances of death might have been different 🙂

  22. true vivek,
    i havent read kafka
    In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.
    On – you may wake up one morning to find yourself dead!” well i never could understand how u could wake up dead 🙂

  23. on reading a summary of metamorphosis
    and ur comments once again i finally understood ur twist of word 🙂

  24. Doc, Is it common for a common cold to keep you down for so long? Seems rather like an uncommon cold to me or have you just turned cold on the blog and your readers?

  25. Usha:
    I plead guilty. Not in a frame of mind to present in public. Body is all right, whatever is left of it.

  26. Hope you are well now. 😆
    And are you sure you heard right? 6 weeks? 😯
    What kind of a husband was he?
    The last thing anyone would like in his bed is a stinking wife. 😐

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