Top Pop

20 Aug

Ol’ Pop 1: “I saw my doctor today. He’s the FRCP, MRCP, BA, MA, MBBS head of neuro-cardiac-ENT-gastro-medicine at the biggest hospital in our city. He says I need to up the dosage of my cholesterol meds.”

Ol’ Pop 2: “Ah, well. It’s our age. I saw my doctor the other day. He’s the FRCP, MRCP, BA, MA, MBBS, MALLB head of neuro-cardiac-ENT-gastro-pediatric-medicine at the biggest hospital in the next town over from yours. He used to work in America and teach at Harvard and when he wanted to leave they begged him not to go and even offered to give his wife a job but he said his roots are here. So he told me that my cholesterol and my blood pressure are both up and I need to increase my dosage.”

Ol’ Pop 1: “Oh, really? Harvard, is it? And he lives in the next town? Not ours? One of these young fellows I suppose. Very eccentric these fellows, all kinds of ideas. My doctor is a more experienced man. England-returned, you know. He was personal physician to the Mayor of London. Maybe even the Queen but he’s very modest. They wanted to knight him but he refused because he’s one of those old fashioned patriots, you know. He’s also a millionaire and married to the daughter of the man who owns the hospital. Half the doctors who work there used to work in America. Now they all get fabulous salaries to work there. Of course, none of them gets paid what he does. They’d all pee on their shoes if he even looked at them.”

Ol’ Pop 2: “My doctor doesn’t like to live in the big city. He likes to live in our town because you know how your city is these days. Too many people, too much crime, pollution. He came back specially to work here. He used to treat George Bush but after a while he decided he’d rather serve the poor at home. He has principles. And of course, he doesn’t need any money – his father and his grandfather and his great grandfather were all famous doctors. His father used to charge 100 rupees in the 1950s! And still, every morning his garden was full of waiting people who’d come from far and wide to consult him.”

Ol’ Pop 1: “Ah, yes. My doctor is like that. He charges 500 rupees for a ten minute consultation. He doesn’t even do anything in that time but look at you and ask you what is wrong with you. Oh, what beautiful manners he has! Very much a gentleman. Then he’ll listen to your heart and tell you what tests you must take and then he’ll cure you. 100%. And all of those tests are very expensive. They’re not for just anybody. Oh no! You have to be somebody before he’ll examine you. And when he does examine you, he won’t touch you with his hands. He’ll always wear gloves which he throws away once they’ve been used.”

Ol’ Pop 2: How much does he charge for your medicine?”

Ol Pop 1: My cholesterol tablets are 60 rupees. And they’re only available at one chemist shop in our city.

Ol’ Pop 2: Ha! I knew it. I’ve taken that medicine. And it didn’t work for me. All these old and dated medicines are the same. What we need now are new ideas from young men. You know how much my tablets cost? My cholesterol tablets are 20 rupees each and I have to take them two times a day while my blood pressure tablets are 25 rupees each. My medical bills each month are so monstrous, the local chemist offers me tea when I go to his shop. I have his number on speed dial on my cell phone. Have you seen my cell phone, by the way? It’s 45,000 rupees. Imported. But I got a deal on it and bought it for 35, 000.

Ol’ Pop 1: I’m afraid I don’t carry cell phones. Ever since my heart operation, which cost one lakh 75,000 rupees plus 2,000 rupees per day for a private suite with a drawing room at the big hospital as my doctor recommended especially for me, I have been wary of using things that have radiation problems. But in a way that is good because now I can do other things with it like buy this watch. See? It’s 2,00,000, gold plated with diamonds. When I go somewhere, everyone stares at it.



Posted by on August 20, 2008 in Fiction, Life


18 responses to “Top Pop

  1. Pitu

    August 20, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Hilarious!! It reminded me of the project I am working on at my agency- a building for older renters. The Account execs were like “Think of it as Club Med in Chicago” :-p so I said “Yeah, more like Club Meds”. The AEs weren’t sure if they’re allowed to laugh. Heh.

  2. memsaab

    August 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    My parents live in a retirement home, and that’s how pretty much every elevator conversation goes. Either that, or they compare whose memory is worse.

  3. memsaab

    August 20, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    and Pitu, I would not have been able to NOT laugh 🙂

  4. Gaurav

    August 20, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Hilarious! 🙂 Thats how most of those talks on park benches went until we accidently disturbed the conversation with a cricket ball! I used to love those conversations so much that my preferred fielding position was at the end of park near their benches. 🙂

  5. Gagan

    August 21, 2008 at 12:15 am

    god u rule!!!

    i could tell u stories about the bottom line,,, but rite now as a junior boy in that fraternity i have bite my tongue…i am biding my time ams…. like the Elvis Costello song line ” i want to bite the hand that feeds …I wanna bite that hand so badly” 🙂

  6. Partho

    August 21, 2008 at 3:36 am

    Superb! Bang on! Only except towards the very end where the pops start showing off their goodies, which IMHO is dangerously close to matronly housewives’ club territory. But that’s only me. But the shop talk on docs and meds, you rock!

  7. Amey

    August 21, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Err, please tell me you overheard this while stuck in a bus or something. Because the alternative (you being a part of the conversation) is too….

  8. Amrita

    August 21, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Pitu – hee hee, you SHOULD call it that.

    Memsaab – Oh yes, the great memory loss or as it’s called between my mother and her sisters “Do I have Alzheimer’s?” 😀

    Gaurav – they’re kind of mesmerising aren’t they? I keep waiting for one of them to bop the other one with a walking stick or something. this is serious business!

    Gagan – a junior boy in that fraternity? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….????

    Partho – I just wanted it to stop! good catch! 😀

    Amey – omigod! did I give myself away? Yes, it’s true – i’m five hundred years old and my real name is elvira.

  9. Pitu

    August 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    I had a colleague named that and she had long black hair too 😀 All she needed was the vampy nails and a slinky, black gown :-p

  10. Gagan

    August 21, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    the doctors not the geezers lol

  11. Gagan

    August 21, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    as in an intern….that’s what i meant…

  12. Amey

    August 22, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Naah, you went too far with “Elvira”. You could have sold it with a name like something or other bai/amma/ben.

    So, medicines and maladies are new cars/gizmos of old age?

  13. Pitu

    August 22, 2008 at 9:58 am

    This reminds me of the joke in ‘Khakee’ where Akki thinks an old woman is the lady who’s looking for- ‘Mahalaxmi’. Mahalaxmi turns out to be Aishwarya Rai and the budhiya blushingly tells Akki her name is ‘Pooja’ :-p

  14. Amrita

    August 22, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Gagan – oh 😳 I knew there had to be an explanation!

    Pitu – I confess: I never saw Khakee. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I thought I’d make up for it with tashan and promptly got burned. Yargh!

    Amey – yes, I meant Elvira ben. 😀 Well, they need something!

  15. Pitu

    August 22, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Amrita: It was quite good. Amitabh and Akki rocked. Ash was affected and pretentious – so what’s new? But overall it made for a very engaging watch. Tushaar Kapoor acted very well, believe it or not. I’d recommend it. Just skip the songs.

  16. Gagan

    August 22, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    no need. for the blush .just read as an indictment of privatized med.. and was cheering it on 🙂

  17. Amey

    August 24, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Khakee and Tashan.. no comparison Amrita. As Pitu said, Khakee was much better.

  18. Amrita

    August 25, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Pitu / Amey – alright, alright, Khakee. I’ll put it on the list.

    Gagan – Ha, Canuckstani! 😀

%d bloggers like this: