Indian Pediatr 2015;52: 247
Life go on
Pradeep Kumar Mehta
Mehta Clinic, Ranital Chowk-Shahid Smarak Link Road,
Jabalpur, MP, India.
This column has ignited a new spark to pen down
memorable moments in our day-to-day life. Practicing with rural parents
is great fun. They are flooded with innocence. A child with viral
diarrhea, who has been duly explained for likely recovery in 5-6 days,
lands with his grandfather the very next day with a grudging appeal: "ek
paise ka aaram nahin hai" (not even a penny worth of relief!).
Similarly, when asked for the symptoms, the reply is a simple: "tum
hi samajh lo" (you figure out yourself). When a very sick child is
advised for hospitalization, his parent would ask bluntly: "kya
tumhare bas me nahin hai?" (Is it beyond your capacity to treat?).
In contrast, the urban internet-savvy elite, with a touch of arrogance,
would ask for a complete diagnosis. They would persistently argue for
feeding with a bottle, while the rural parent throws away the bottle
with the first advice: "Tumne kahi hum phek de rahe" (I threw it
away as you instructed).
Young children are certainly intelligent, innocent,
innovative, interesting, and filled with pure thoughts. Entering into
the chamber, he/she would command immediately: "Dekho injection mat
lagana" (Beware! No injection). While examining for ear pain, while
observing the normal ear one would say "Ismen kuch nahin hai"
(Nothing wrong with this one). Sometimes, the younger one would demand
his check-up after his ailing sibling, and we would have to oblige him
with a beam of flashlight in the mouth, and stethoscope on the chest.
Even then, he would grudge: "Array peechey to dekho" (look at the
back too), step forward for taking weight, and would not sit down till a
fake prescription has been handed out.
Even in the 21st
century, no matter what the educational background is,
the rift between dadi (paternal grandmother) and nani
(maternal grandmother) is never ending. Mother while going to nani’s
house gets strict advise from her mother-in-law to make sure that the
grandchild does fine, "dekho ja to rahe ho bachhe ka dhyan rakhna"
(You are going all right, but take due care of the child). In this
era of technology, she regularly communicates on mobile and wants to see
the grandchild on Skype! Similarly when nani (maternal
grandmother) brings her granddaughter to the clinic, she wants "jaldi
se theek ho jaye raji khushi apne ghar jaye" (desperately needs her
to get well soon and go back peacefully).
We are both lucky and fortunate to get into the
specialty of Pediatrics, and have the privilege of interacting with
agile children and their energetic caring parents. Our colleagues in
other streams of medicine are often jealous of us! When a proud father –
who was himself under our care while he was young – introduces his son
for routine checkup, it unleashes a rush of adrenaline that sends us
shivering with pride and satisfaction. Most of the tiny tots enjoy
playing and fighting with their peers in the waiting hall and start
screaming with our glimpse in the chamber, but in between an innocent
and pleasant million dollar smile of a six-month-old infuses a new wave
of joy and strength, to go on and on.