Click here for nice stories main menu

main menu   |   standard categories   |   authors   |   new stories   |   search   |   links   |   settings   |   author tools

Rowdy Doctor (standard:Flash, 1412 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Oct 31 2010Views/Reads: 2513/1779Story 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)

Authors appreciate feedback!
Please write to the authors to tell them what you liked or didn't like about the story!
Juggernaut has 237 active stories on this site.
Profile for Juggernaut, incl. all stories

stories in "Flash"   |   all stories by "Juggernaut"  

Nice Stories @, support email: nice at nicestories dot com
Powered by StoryEngine v1.00 © 2000-2020 - Artware Internet Consultancy