Oct 1, 2003

Those of you who do not know me and see me in a crowd may be given the following for a means of identifying me: look for the person dabbing away with his handkerchief. Those who do know me, especially guys working with me know that I have had a long relationship with the cold-and-cough, the strain of which apparently runs deep in my family.

So no surprise that I've tried a few nuskhaas to get rid of the sniffles, including visits to a local homoeopath (let that fertile imagination of yours not run away please at the word associations). When I first visited this experienced wielder of the powder-and-pill, he promptly set about asking trademark questions about my response to heat and cold, condition of my elbows and so on, the kind of arcane personal trivia that you didn't know mattered. From his reactions and choices of questions, it seemed that I fitted into some mental category of his in which were scattered many an identical case in the past. Quite like an astrologer's performance. I couldn't help but feel a tinge of disappointment: I didn't know my case was so trivial and hackneyed as to be diagnosed in 3 minutes flat. Of course, it meant that the treatment wouldn't be experimental and that the ailment wasn't something incurable. But it was a little ego-deflating, especially when I saw the young intern behind nodding her head in tune to the questions- she seemed to have seen my kind of case on page 383 of the Hahnemann Handbook and solved it for 15 marks in her second semester paper on "Common Ailments of the Respiratory System". They could've atleast shown a little less disdain for my case. Also, whenever my answer didn't exactly match the textbook version (so it seemed from their raised eyebrows), I felt as if they knew what it should be and it was I who was at fault at being unable to recount what the symptoms were. No wonder that my emotions on leaving after my monthly visit are usually akin to those last experienced at exiting vivas.

No comments: