Doctored Fraud

Doctored Fraud

Michael Pritchard says, "Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed". Well, perhaps out of fear, but most of us react submissively in presence of a doctor. We even tend to follow their instructions blindly – especially in a hospital. 60-year old Sumati Phadke did the same and was a victim of her own fear.

Ms. Phadke was admitted to a private hospital at Gokhale Road after she complained of restlessness. Considering her old age and a history of Asthma, the doctor recommended that she be kept under observation for a day. By Afternoon, when most tests were over, Ms. Phadke’s son Rajendra went out for lunch and the old woman was left alone in her room. Soon afterwards, a doctor entered her room and told her that a few X-rays had to be taken. As per standard X-ray procedures, he asked her to take off all her jewellery and keep it in her purse. He then asked her to lie down with her eyes closed and relax while he organizes to bring the machine to her room.

Ms. Phadke was gripped with fear as she suspected that she might be suffering from serious medical problem. Her thoughts wandered and without inquiring any further, she took off all her jewellery and deposited it in her purse. Then she lied down and with her eyes closed, waited for the doctor to arrive. After a while, Rajendra returned from lunch and he asked her about the jewellery she was wearing. Her mother told him about the impending X-rays.

Rajendra was shocked, as he knew that no X-rays were to be taken at all. The "X-ray doctor" was actually a clever fraudster who tricked Ms. Phadke and duped her of jewellery worth at least ten thousand rupees and some cash as well.

According to John Powell, "The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing". Ms. Phadke concedes that the hospital incident taught her a lesson, though she had to pay a heavy price for it.

Storm in a Teacup
Our fast paced urban lifestyle gives rise to an indifferent attitude towards such important issues as hygiene. This is especially so in case of eating out.

Mahesh and Sunil frequented this up market restaurant on the lakeside for a hot cup of delectable tea. Last week, for the umpteenth time, the friends asked for their favorite item. As he was about to sip his way to fulfillment Mahesh spotted a small cockroach-like insect in his cup. Disgusted, the friends complained to the restaurant management about the indiscretion. "This can happen everywhere. Does it not happen in your own kitchens?" was the manager’s reply. The apathetic response of the restaurant manager was even more unpalatable than tea that was served. Leave aside apologies, the authorities did not even feel remorseful and actually went on to defend their stance.

Dr. Lin Yutang, in his book The Importance of Living said, "Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." How true!

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