Monday, February 22, 2010

So Much to Learn

Lesson #1

Fact: Amrit hates math. Okay, he dislikes math.
Fact: Amrit adores Nikhil. Okay, he worships him.

Using this information, Taraji duly appointed Nikhil as Amrit's math tutor. In the beginning, there was some concept review. The deal was this: Amrit would review two concepts on his own, Nikhil would quiz him after dinner, and doing well would be rewarded with a computer game on Nikhil's laptop. Well, it turns out that Amrit's review consisted of scanning his book while watching 3 Idiots. Come quiz time, he was frantically flipping his textbook's pages, cramming words and numbers. Naturally, he was unable to answer Nikhil Sir's questions. No computer game for Amrit. Nikhil got a taste of teacherhood.

Lesson #2

Taraji's handicap on the computer is becoming increasingly evident. All this time she depended on Amrit and on volunteers to email and organize documents. As a result, the Desktop was cluttered, random folders had unnecessary files, and most documents were named in a way that made no sense whatsoever. I was determined to start repairing what could only be termed as an organizer's nightmare. For two hours, Taraji and I painstakingly went through files, opened each one, and renamed/relocated/deleted as needed. If I had done all the work, we would have finished in no time. However, nothing plants a process in your head better than doing it yourself. Taraji was in need of some serious planting. Freshly inducted into the "How to Create a Folder" Club she slowly and steadily organized two folders. Only a gazillion more to go.

Lesson #3

We went to a nearby tuberculosis hospital to meet Dr. Jakhetiya. The nurse informed us he had gone home already. Sure enough, when we arrived at his mansion-esque house he was seeing patients in a small room. While he was obligated to provide his services free of cost at the hospital, Dr. Jakhetiya left work early and continued his practice in his home where he could charge patients a fee of Rs. 50*. Clever. We were introduced as two people who have come from America and will be working in Shreeji ka Kheda. His first response - Oh! My daughter lives in the U.S. My son lives in the U.S. My daughter-in-law also lives in the U.S...Taraji politely interrupted and asked about the TB situation in Shreeji ka Kheda. What precautions should Nikhil and I take if we'll be staying there? The doctor provided us with three valuable pieces of advice:

1. He is already working in Shreeji ka Kheda and is frustrated with the people there. They refuse to take medicines even though he motivates them by screaming at them and beating them. Yes, he said "motivates".
2. Never touch a person who is skinny, coughing, or spits on the ground (Does he realize he just described 80% of India?). If they get too close to you, roughly tell them to step back. You must maintain a distance of two feet at all times.
3. Set up a water purifier where you will be staying. The importance of this point was highlighted when the three of us were offered glasses of water. When Nikhil refused, the doctor exclaimed, "Oh, don't worry. It's filtered."

I asked him if cooked food would be safe. He replied by describing how the lymphatic system works. His closing remarks went something like this. "Don't mind...but I don't think you can do it. I still don't understand why you are going there." Oh, Dr. Jakhetiya. There is so much to learn from people like yourself.

* According to Taraji, this practice is very common in the health sector here


  1. Wow! Live and learn :) The TB clinic sounds really exciting!

  2. The sprites of an impressionable mind - melikes :]

  3. Ok, we may not like Dr. Jakhetiya- none the less dont ignore his comments about taking precaution for your own health safety and offcourse WATER!!

  4. I don't think Dr Jakhetiya can motivate and convince people if he stands from distance of 2 feet and with the mental block he has.Anyways TB is a fully curable disease and its not too hard until it reaches to lungs.Proper test like Monto done at early stages can cure that .Anyways take care and sick people just need smile and care Rem "Jadoo ki jhappi" from Munna bhai with self care.