Are we living in a wonder land?


Have we got a ‘Magic Lamp’?

The word ‘hospitality ‘got into the main stream of English usage and came to prominence during the mid 20th century. Of course this word got clung into after the arrival of B schools. The sales man got a new coat of paint on him as marketing executive and the offices and organizations got transformed into ‘corporate’.

The Western culture import and the opulence of the Middle East bought a new glamour and sheen, which is the present world.

The very word ‘hospitality’ entered into the star category hotels and it stayed there.

The air conditioning and refrigeration and the pool-side barbecue and health spa which became sine quo non to these category hotels adorned a new name’ comfort business’. These super special hotels have stood the test of time in political kidnap and horse trades.

The ordinary ‘rooms’ in the lodges and hotels got new decorative names like ‘suites’ and other royal names. The splendor and opulence of these rooms often tempted the neoriches and the wallet burners to spend their sleepless nights and days as well in these cocoons to escape from so many adversities with their unaccounted wealth. A real bite for these star studded shark edifices.

This century has witnessed super special schools.

The old schools were teaching the students to count and write the numbers from   1, 2, and 3 and so on. And the English alphabets from A, B, C, and to discipline them and teach the A, B, Cs of life, the short form for Attitude (the way one looks at other things), Behavior (action under different circumstances) and Character (The mental and moral qualities in an individual).The latest superspeciality schools are teaching the students to count from Trillions and are very reluctant to come down as if it will be an infradig for the institution. The basic rhyme they teach is ‘No daddy, no mummy and only DD (demand Draft from a reputed bank) and not even deedy (a Hindi word for a relation).There is no ‘sinking fund’ theory here and there is only ‘Heaping fund ‘theory, in its literal meaning.

 They may even teach the rhyme:

Crores and the (Rolls) Royce will be always nice

We shall play the game of dice.

Nothing else that we have to know

And we shall play the games in Casino.

Mummy and daddy are only to feed

Money is the one thing the schools need.

Millions and Trillions, then parents are fine,

If not otherwise, they are swine.

The days will not be far to see the specialty and super specialty Kindergartens at the University level offering gold medals. World of e-Ed and apps are there. Future will present this world with super special parents and super special kids and super special politicians who will offer super special freebies.

Now this specialization has crept into hospitals as well.

It all started with consultation charges for their visits at home and clinics in the way of small tips that were stuffed in their pockets as goodwill and those time doctors were genes that belonged to fairly well to do families and this profession was a hobby for them, rather than a livelihood. In fact the degree they got was purely acquired as they were under the eagle eyes of British legacy in the medical fraternity. They enjoyed the profession and treated the patients as family friends.

With the arrival of private Medical Colleges, everything became topsy turvy. The attainable with the use of brain became obtainable with brawn and bulging bags of currency. The greed set in to get back what is spent, or to put it right, lost, with interest and even more. They became super specialty medical colleges what the govt.  colleges cannot provide.

Then the worm specialization crept in the profession. The so called doctors who have obtained special degrees in Eurecology and other names culled out from the medical jargons from the University of Timbactoo. Nobody will know for what purpose he had gone all the way. Or has he really gone? Is it an e-degree? Or for that matter a pure Virtual Reality in today’s computer and nanoseconds world?

Just like a professional told that she got the diploma through post! In fact she collected only a pamphlet from a roadside institute and gave her whereabouts in a ledger. Later came to know that it was a “free gift” for the first five persons who collected the pamphlet. Other media is a surprise call you can expect in your mobile saying that you are a winner of a Ph.D (Phalthoo Degree)

 A real inaugural offer!    The God which gives will pour through the roof!

Later on the real secret jumped out from the bag. The above qualified doctor used to check the patient and if he were ever to diagnose and find out the real cause for the disease, (the Providence has bestowed a new lease of life to the patient), or by some medication he had prescribed, if the patient gets cured, he will jump out from his seat and shout ‘EUREKA, EUREKA’. Thank god, he is in his proper coverings. Otherwise, poor Archimedes would have asked for a “cut” from his fee, for the infringement of his copyright, one for imitation and other for shouting these words wearing the dress.

This created a ‘head in air’ type of doctors who looked at the patients in a rather ‘special way’, from tip to toe, because he is only authorized to mark the letters R/x (forgetting his own origin through Darwin) at the top left corner of his prescriptions. The prescriptions for a detailed list of tests from the date of birth of the patients were generated as the imported testing machines should not be kept idle. Even if the toe is injured, the brain should be scanned to check the irregularities of a fall on the roadside due to lack of footpath. A minor bruise on the forehead is sufficient to put you in bed and administer drips and cover your head with a broadband dressing. An X-Ray of the injured toe and viewing it through a florescent light background with an added grin keeping a pencil in hand and circling the damaged (after all it may be a concussion in the tissues, right from his birth) tendons will be a welcome enactment in front of the impatient ‘patient’ who wants to escape from the added expenses that could further injure his or her day to day expenses. In the name of specialization, their names will be etched on the boards in front of the clinics with a remark: By appointment only. This is an added degree to show their importance (or unimportance) and the ‘made to believe’ busy schedule and at times their impertinence. Just like the old time hotels with a board showing the list of all the dishes which are neatly struck with a chalk, and what is left will be Upma. To show that the items here are fast selling, or in modern terms, super special delicacies. The secret is nothing other than Upma is prepared here!

For any preliminary check or test, the nurse, from their attire and who are supposed to have inherited the pristine qualities of Florence Nightingale, will give the same parrot talk: lots of infections around and the clinic cannot take risk. As if the clinic will be responsible for the wrong diagnosis and the patient’s treatment. Rather than the care by the nurses, most often they are kept to check whether any patient escapes from the clinic without paying the bills. Their lookout mainly is to remove the connections of an A/c if the patient opts for a non A/c room and the like. Very important rudimentary action in ‘hospitality’. Basically the little girls, the nurses, or for that matter small sisters, will not be knowing the basic level amenities in the rooms, whether the closet is working, the lights and fans are in operation etc.etc. Albeit their basic training in nursing and care, if at all.

Of and on we will be stumbling upon these types of boards: Institute of Blood Testing & Research Lab. There will be the names of some foreign countries attached; the statue of liberty and the Eiffel tower are very popular, with these boards with a photo of a smiling lady carrying a PG Diploma certificate with her. Even scholarships will be offered. From the first place of these boards hanging on dilapidated building walls will give us a clear picture of what is happening inside. If one really goes inside and ask what research they are carrying out, the girl at the reception will be searching for the bit notices printed out at the backyard in the same building. Do not mistake this as a multi disciplinary research centre in Biological sciences.

The only eligibility to enter is that you must have the capacity to pay them the fees. This diploma which will be given along the fee receipt is sufficient for the above types of jobs in the clinic as the clinic will provide a uniform to camouflage the illiteracy. Very few are fully qualified and practically talented with a humane touch.

Now look at the multi specialty Hospitals.

Courtesy: Times of India May 6th 2014.

Everything under one roof except the cremation ground and the burial ground. Straight at the reception, the photo will be taken and all the details about DOB and Blood Group (after a test, which is a must and immediate) will come as a laminated card which will be hung around the neck of the patient with an apron with a logo and mascot of the hospital. Please check for your ‘day of judgment’ in very small fonts printed at some corners! Invisible inks are available and the Infrared light will detect, if you have one. If you are a sportsman, that too cricket or an athlete participated in Olympics, the apron can be offered as an advertising surface and the patient can earn a good fortune to meet more than the expenses in the hospital. Depending on the patient’s status, he or she will come under the following categories. Prepaid, post paid, non paid, underpaid, overpaid, and over and above cashless under the insurance cover. For NRIs, the special counter to collect the foreign currencies. Even banks will not have so many counters. Sorry, banks have two counters at the minimum level (very smallest branch), one to accept cash and the other to pay (withdrawals). But here it is only receiving counter. Ultra modern computers, cash counting m/c, fake note checker, credit card swappers. Even high resolution CC Camers are there to check and X-ray your wallet at the entrance arch. Even the tone projected by these cameras can distinguish and put you in the appropriate category. Don’t worry, there are ATMs of all the banks in line, nowhere in the world have we seen such a disciplined layout. MONEY MATTERS.

While super specialty hospitals cater to the needs of medical side only, multispecialty has  two visions,viz; medical side for the treatment and star hotel side under the names Health Spa, Health care food and drinks, low calorie foods, special food for the patients, food for Prenatal and ante natal care. Two birds in one bullet. If the treatment bill is less ( in no way ofcourse), the food bill will compensate for the loss, if any.

Squeeze the purse,

Till the patient’s eyes fill with tears.

And make everything worse

Before we call upon the hearse.

Now the real drama is in the treatment, otherwise we can stretch as treeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeatment.

Full of electronic gadgets with probes, wires, tubes will be fitted and attached all over the body to monitor the behavioral patterns. One may think that an astronaut has accidentally fallen on the bed from outer space or from the texture and colour of the body of the patient viewed from a far away point through a small glass slit, one may conclude that it is an alien.

Each gadget will be monitored by a specialist and surrounded by attenders to check the proper functioning of the meters. All colourful pictures will be visible for the patient, if at all he is fairly healthy who had come for a general checkup.  A half-palm size Rajma bean shaped kidney which does a tremendous work inside the body, is made into a mess by the collection bottles, centrifuges etc.etc. to look like a first generation computer of Charles Babbage! We have a long way to go! If power fails, the backups will not be able to meet the demand. If he is inside a scanner tube, Whoa! He is out! It was my experience, once! Because I had my entire faculty in proper functioning order, I could scrawl out unscathed!

Suppose the trapped man is of a size of a SUMO fighter?! I think there will be heavy  and large m/c.

For a moment I thought this can be enacted as a climax scene in which the hero pushes the villain inside this tube and locks him up permanently!

Hi-tech drama, even outstripping the latest science fictions. All facilities from A to Z, thank God, no more English alphabets.

For a single eye drop treatment, the cornea will be tested. A super specialist will be imported. Who knows he is not a local tea supplier, specialized in acting. With a coat and a French beard and a steth coiled around as a serpent, it is easy to escape identification except under the very eyes of Sherlock Holmes.

A big question is standing before us. For whom these superspeciality hospitals are built? The concerned persons are responsible to give a realistic and ever sustainable answer to this delicate question, as it is their pet project. Is it for the haves or have-nots? Breaking the coconut, cutting the ribbon and lighting the lamp is a matter of few minutes job to invoke The Gods and that can be done by any Tom, Dick or Harry, but the reality that matters is the perennial sustenance of the project with the same opulence as how it has started. It should not land up as fence eating the crop.

Multistar comforts are to be given for the NRIs and foreigners who come for treatment. The news paper has already published the cost per day, the star hotel cuisines, and all that goes with an entourage of his relatives and friends visiting, their food and comforts. More yet to come through media.

They claim that it is in the nascent stage and will pick up fast. Definitely, nascent elements are very aggressive in nature, the very basic of Chemistry teaches us. Now, we can be contented that our leaders will not go abroad, but spend as much here itself, without paying from their pocket! Or go abroad and claim for both?

A concession is announced: More the days the ‘patient’ stays in the hospital, the same number of days the relatives can enjoy an outstation tour, all expenses met by the hospitals, with a side kick: conditions apply.

We have Super specialty hospitals on wheels and in aero planes. To whom it serves is the big? To what extent is it useful for the common man is really worrying the taxpayer. Except the pictures of it, I have never had an opportunity to see them. We can bring a super specialty hospital on the Metro train.

If NASA had incorporated a super speciality Hospital in their space mission that can get detached from the mother capsule in case of hazards, we could have definitely saved our dear astronaut Kalpana Chawla and all who were with her. A mission unfulfilled. Hope NASA will do this in their future missions!

Now that we have successfully glided around Mars, we can think about a super speciality hospital, Mall and super special colleges and schools there. Why limit our knowledge at this stage itself when we can create science fictions and space odyssey? We can clone super special parents to bear super special offsprings! Only thing is the offspring will look like springs and DNA RNA ladders!

Yes, the medical world has really grown in all directions to fill the pockets for many, inside and outside the hospitals. The link and the network between them is a mystery even to this day, and new innovations are the tricky brainwork of many charlatans. Many films we have seen and many books have brought out the bizarre realities in the medical world. “The Citadel” by A J Cronin, “Coma” by Dr. Robin Cook, and “High Anxiety” by Hitchcock are few in the list. Much more is there when we probe into today’s medical profession that will make the writers of crime thrillers and the cyber world to tremble.

Finally the words “Faith heals and Gayathri Mantra”. Mantras have enchanting and transcendental powers that can cure any disease and even bring back the dead, (Transmigration of souls is not a farce, but a reality proved by Adi Sankara) which a doctor, however specialized cannot even dream to. If everything fails, God is the ultimate redeemer! Please remember, it is the atheists who revealed that God exists. The echo from the superspeciality hospitals reveals an inner meaning for the Chanting of Mantras. They have used all their ‘Thanthras’ in extracting money from the patient to the last coin. Now what are left with the patient are only the Mantras that he had learnt in the past or what he can learn in his death bed. Once the acquired immunity (MONEY) loses its potency, only natural immunity (GOD and MANTHRAS) which has permanent potency, can save a patient. These are like temporary magnets and permanent magnets.

 Doctors heal thyself. The phrase alludes to the readiness and ability of physicians to heal sickness in others while sometimes not being able or willing to heal themselves. It also suggests that physicians, while often being able to help the sick, cannot always do so and, when sick themselves, are no better placed than anyone else.

Be a good doctor with human feelings. Touch the patient with your hands without wearing gloves. Be smiling and listen to his sorrows and pains. Treat them with your heart filled with joy. Create an aura of goodness around you. There is much more than the money that you earn for the mission for which you have taken the Hippocratic Oath.

This again takes me to the scenes in ‘Vasool Raja M B B S’ by Mr. Kamal Hassan and  the scene in ‘Ramana’ by Mr. Vijaykanth.

The same lesson for Super special schools and colleges: The teacher should not forget the student. This experience I cherish today after meeting my teacher who taught me in my 1st standard 60 years ago! When I met her in my home town, she called me by name! It was an ordinary school.

Hi-Tech cheating that’s all we need,

To fulfill all our dreams of greed.

We have no concern over mortality,

That is the moral behind super speciality.

Let us sing this in a different way:

Let not treat the patients with gale,

Be as calm as (Florence) nightingale.

Treat the poor with a vision,

Let that be your mission.

For more, study the biography of Dr.Mary Anne Scharlieb M D

It is impossible to do the maximum amount of good to one’s patients if one attempts to serve their bodies only. The real success and value of medical and surgical work is in proportion to the degree with which physicians and surgeons recognize the threefold nature of those whom they desire to serve”.

             Mary Anne Scharlieb M D  M S   CBE   Kasthurba Gandhi Hospital for Women, Triplicane 1866




Dated 8th May 2014.                                                       By   Sundareswaran  alias  Murali

With malice to none.


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