Pregnant pauses: Conversations in a doctor’s waiting room

Few things terrify me or make me as self-conscious as walking into my doctor’s waiting room.

No, no, it’s not because of my doctor. Dr. V, who is my GP is an absolute darling and I am half in love with him. He’s punctual. He’s thorough. He listens to what I have to say, does not medicate unless absolutely essential. And whenever I’m not well, he calls me up to check on how I’m doing. And never once, in the 15 years that I have known him, has he given me an injection :-) So if my doctor is such a nice guy, why am I so scared of walking into his waiting room? Read on…

One of the places that Dr. V consults from is a clinic near my house. It is not a particularly well-managed clinic, but since the timings and location are convenient for me this is where I go. Dr. V’s consulting hours at this clinic overlaps with that of Dr. K, a hugely popular consulting gynaecologist and a fertility expert. To give you an estimate of her popularity, let us assume that for every patient of Dr. V, there are 30 for Dr. K ! While the former’s patients are mostly elderly men and women, the latter’s patients are women in various stages of pregnancy.

Source: Microsoft Clipart

Now imagine walking into a room full of pregnant women and their accompanying family member/friend and feeling every eye on you. I don’t know about you, but I feel very self-conscious. I didn’t always feel like this, but my visits to the clinic and interactions I’ve had at the waiting room over the years, has made me so.

These have been interactions based on certain assumptions on the other person’s part. Assumptions made automatically, and perhaps even unconsciously, because I am a woman in the reproductive age range, and who is visiting a clinic where a gynaecologist is consulting. Assumptions played out at the clinic in a tragi-comic way, and navigating which has been quite a task as I have found out, starting with the reception desk.

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One evening @ the service centre

One doesn’t always have to go seeking entertainment, you know. Sometimes, entertainment comes to you or it just happens around you.

This story begins on the day my loyal cell phone of 5 years finally decided to give up on me.

I was quite heart-broken for we had been through a lot, my cell phone and me. I had clung on to it in spite of its many eccentricities, but that day it just stopped working. And I knew that it could not be repaired.

So off I went and got myself a new one, and that too a smartphone. This also meant that I could not use my old SIM card and would have to visit the nearest outlet of my cell phone service provider to get a micro SIM card.

So there I was waiting for my turn to be served and trying to read. But the snatches of conversations that I overheard was too interesting and after about 10 minutes, I switched off my Kindle and listened unabashedly to the exchanges happening around me.

Like this one.

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Let’s have some humour, please

The Guest Post Series onMy Favourite Thingshas contributions by those sharing my interests in travel, books, music, and on issues that I am passionate about. These posts are not always by fellow bloggers, and the guest authors are always those who have interesting experiences to share.

Today’s guest post is by Srinayan, the infrequent blogger of The Random Walkaround. An engineer by profession, he took up blogging a little over a year ago and writes on many topics, but always with sensitive insight and understated humour. Srinayan, however, prefers to be known as a lethargic blogger who is long on intent, but somehow falls short on delivery. That is probably why I have given up on waiting for an original guest post from him and, instead, am re-posting one of his old posts. A post that I liked very much, and a post that is quite relevant for our times.

We are living in a terrible world and doomsday is just around the corner; or so we are led to believe by television, newspapers, the internet and all other oracles of wisdom. Nothing seems to going to right for humanity—Greece, the Euro crisis, Wall Street, US debt, climate change, rogue states, etc. Closer home we have inflation, falling stock markets, the Lokpal Bill, 2G and scams of every kind and size. The list is ever growing; you only have to add your pet angst to it.

Whatever happened to that wonderful therapeutic called humour? I don’t mean the stand up comic type which is in vogue today; rather, the sly poke in the ribs that reminds us that, even if all is not well with the world, we are doing fine and having a good laugh about it.

Welcome to The Little World of Don Camillo.

In the context of its time, post-World War II Europe was just as insecure and dangerous as the world is today. While the common folk grappled with economic hardship, their political leadership was preoccupied with ideological realignments or preventing them. As a farcical consequence, depending on your leanings, all problems owed their roots to communism or opposition to it. Black couldn’t get blacker and white, whiter.

The absurdity of the situation was too much for an Italian called Giovanni Guareschi. He reacted by creating two characters, a priest named Don Camillo and his communist adversary, Peppone, in a village in the Po river valley in Northern Italy. The battle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie was truly joined and the several comic confrontation between the two reflected the pointlessness of the discourse of the time.

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Full moon of the teacher

The Year: 1995
The Place: A leading publishing firm in Bombay

The copyeditor let out a sigh of frustration. She had been copyediting an English translation of an autobiography originally written in Marathi, for the past two weeks. Progress was slow, painfully slow, largely due to the poor translation, and the list of queries for the translator and/or author was growing by the hour.

“This is not translation, this is torture!” grumbled the copyeditor for what was probably the millionth time.

Then, the copyeditor came across a sentence that stumped her completely and she knew that she could go no further till this had been understood. The sentence in the manuscript read:

It was the full moon of the teacher.

“Full moon of the teacher? Full moon of the teacher? What on earth is that? asked the copy-editor aloud.

The copyeditor felt a headache coming on. She decided to walk around the office and see if her colleagues could help her figure out what “full moon of the teacher” was.

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