|Rowdy Doctor (standard:Flash, 1412 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Oct 31 2010||Views/Reads: 2513/1779||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A sad story of a doctor's wife.|
Rowdy Doctor By Subba Rao Coconut Grove was neither a recreational area on the beach front nor a decent residential district but a low-lying shanty area under water during monsoons and home for people at the bottom of the society such as rickshaw pullers, coolies, maids, sweepers, professional panhandlers and petty thieves. The raw sewer from the entire town flows through Coconut Grove via an open drain that also serves as an open toilet to the inhabitants of the Coconut Grove. Coconut trees flourished in abundance on nutrient rich sewage in open drains in the low-lying area. Thus the area earned the name “Coconut Grove.” However, over the years, some trees were dead from disease, and fires killed several more. Thatched-roof mud houses were gradually built on the spaces left by the dead trees. The area was still known by the name “Coconut Grove” though very few trees were left in between the crowded huts. There were no paved roads in Coconut Grove, only narrow dirt alleys for the pedestrian and rickshaw traffic. In monsoon season, the narrow lanes turned into small streams. People used cow dung slurry to plaster their mud houses, the dung turned into a stiff coating on drying like a paint albeit-totally of organic in origin. Freshly dried toddy palm leaves were used to repair leaky roofs. Parked bullock-drawn carts over loaded with dry palm leaves waiting for a brisk sale were commons sight on the street near the Coconut Grove. The odors from the drying cow dung plaster and deteriorating toddy palm leaves on the roof permeates the narrow lanes of Coconut Grove. Children from Coconut Grove would go around the town with a metal bowl on their head to collect fresh cow dung from the street. Some children walk behind the roaming cows and fight among themselves to collect fresh dung as the animals defecate on the streets. Most women at Coconut Grove would leave their homes early for work as day laborers, maids or professional panhandlers. Their children left alone at home entertain themselves on streets playing marbles or running behind push carts or skillfully maneuvering metal bicycle rims with a stick at high speeds on the narrow dirt paths. Some kids roam the nearby streets scouting for funeral processions where few coins could be collected when coins thrown on the dead body as a part of ceremonial tradition drops to the ground. Women cook their meals on wood-burning mud stoves either indoors or outdoors, and the smoke from burning firewood covers the area particularly in late evening hours. The meal, a hot peppery slurry containing few salted fish or a few shrimps for flavoring and vegetables mixed with mounds of boiled rice was intended to satisfy hunger more than palate. The aroma of dried fish and shrimp blended with odors from cow dung and toddy palm leaves improvise Coconut Grove with a peculiar odor, a lasting experience to any one visiting Coconut Grove for the first time. Among the crowded huts was a small tiled roof concrete dwelling with a large rectangular shape sign board that read “Dr. Seshagiri, RMP (Registered Medical Practitioner).” Dr. Seshagiri practiced medicine from a small section of the front veranda of his house. He rented the remaining section to a tailor, a fair skinned immigrant from the North. His house was one of the few with tiled-roof and concrete walls in Coconut Grove. Given the economic and social status, Coconut Grove was an unlikely place for a doctor to set up a practice let alone live there. But, Dr. Seshigiri chose to live there with his wife and practice medicine from his front veranda. The mysterious reason for Dr. Seshigiri to live in the shanty area of the town was only known to a small section of the society. In a society where abortion was a serious taboo and not very many doctors from the main stream want to indulge in such a practice, Dr. Seshagiri's practice was exclusively dedicated to performing abortions. A large section of his clientele were prostitutes who ended up pregnant, an occupational hazard. Dr. Seshagiri was rumored to have illicit relations with some of his clients. The frequent visits by pimps that brought the prostitutes for abortion to Dr. Seshagiri's clinic earned him the infamous name “Rowdy Doctor.” Very few know Dr. Seshagiri by Click here to read the rest of this story (88 more lines)
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