|Trust me, we looked much better in the morning ! Dr Vasudha, me & Dr.Vinay.|
It is camp season at work, while last month I had to visit just one school nearby, this time around the hospital has organized 16 camps spread across different districts in the state of Karnataka.
Bagepalli is a small town located at around 100 km to the north of Bangalore, I was not scheduled to visit this place today but then I had to oblige my colleagues who had valid reasons for not being able to make it, now I am not against conducting and attending medical camps, it’s just that I am not a big fan of waking up early in the morning, especially if it has rained the previous night.
The small government protected forest area I drive through to get to the hospital was laden with the fragrance of freshly squeezed eucalyptus leaves but I had no time to pay any attention to it, I drove like a madman zipping past my fellow patrons on the road splashing water in all directions as I drove over large puddles of mud. I do not endorse high speed driving, better late than never, right?
At the hospital I was joined by my colleague and friend Dr. Vasudha and Dr. Vinay, someone I had never met before but was very pleased to be acquainted with.
On the way to the camp site we talked about topics that ranged from our personal ambitions to politics and bestselling novels, there wasn’t a dull moment during the 2 hour drive.
The usual camp crowd was present at the primary health centre in Bagepalli where the camp was arranged.
There are a few aspects about attending camps that draw me toward them, one is of course the food-we usually get a taste of the local delicacies, the other is the fact that on most occasions we end up meeting some interesting people who leave us with long lasting memories.
At Bagepalli I met a lot of new people, close to 300 in fact, it was however a group of four patients who taught me an important life lesson about friendship.
The gang was led by Mr.Thimappa, he sat next to me on a chair as he described all his complaints one by one in a very somber tone.
Three of his friends stood behind him, Mrs. Muniamma, Mrs. Gundamma and Mr. Huligappa, they were not related to him by blood- trust me, I asked them the same question over and over again. They were childhood friends who knew each other for over 6 decades.
Whoa? Shocked,eh ? Well that’s exactly how I felt.
|Friends forever ! Smile Please...|
Here’s the interesting bit.
For every complaint Thimappa shared with me, his friends had a cheeky comment to pass.
When he told me “Sir, I have severe Chest Pain” His buddies behind laughed as one of them said “He’s had it since he was 16 when he saw that girl he loved getting married to someone else”.
When He complained that he couldn’t breathe easily, his chums asked him to breathe slowly since he only had a few more breaths left in him.
Thimappa looked back at his peers with a look of disdain on his face and said,
“You didn’t have to come along, it’s better to be alone than have friends like you”.
His pals kept quiet for a second, a look of guilt on their faces before one of them said – “We’re here to carry you home if you passed out when the doctor was examining you”. Raucous laughter followed.
The same thing happened with the other three as they took turns to be examined and treated.
I was amazed.
Its funny how Irrespective of age, literacy, language or place of origin and whatever differences we may think of, when friends are together they always have a good time.
On my way back home I reflected on all similar experiences I have had in the past with my colleagues and friends and it made me happy.
Here’s hoping that the month of may will have more of such enriching experiences.
Until next time