Tragedy at the tombs

The Paigah family were involved in ruling the Princely State of Hyderabad in the 18th century. Most of the family is buried within beautiful tombs in a peaceful area south of central Hyderabad

After visiting the collection of tombs, we waited in the rustic street that leads from them to a big highway. Cocks, hens,and goats roamed around. Eventually, an autorickshaw (‘auto’) arrived. We hailed it, then boarded it.

Before heading out of the rustic enclave, our driver stopped by the entrance to a yard. A little boy approached and greeted his father, our driver. The latter gave his son a package. It was rotis, which the driver had specially fetched for his mother. The boy took them indoors to his grandmother and returned to wave goodbye to his dad and us.

We left the area and began speeding along busy main roads towards the city centre.

The auto driver’s mobile phone rang. He pulled up by the side of the road, and answered it. Immediately, he burst into tears, crying uncontrollably.

We asked him what was wrong. He told us that his mother had just died.

Our driver resumed driving. Every few seconds, he wiped tears from his eyes. We told him that we were very sorry for him, and that he must return home. He did so, but only after making sure that we were safely aboard another auto to take us to our destination.

Even though we did not know him from Adam and are unlikely ever to meet him again, his grief was infectious, palpable.

The boys from South London

mobile phone stolen

contacts imag-es vanish:

 modern  tragedy

 

phone

For several years I worked in a west London practice near Portobello Road . My patients came from families that had originated in many parts of the world. Almost all of them had lively characters. They were not your average quiet provincial types, who respect professionals – a bit too much in my opinion. They were unpredictable in their punctuality and behaviour. This made every one of my working days exciting, sometimes a bit too much so.

‘J’ was a frequent attender with many dental concerns. Although he made appointments, I could be sure that the appointment times were those that he was least likely to appear at the surgery. His timing was erratic to say the least.

When J arrived, he ignored the reception desk and would come straight into my surgery even if I was already treating a patient. If I was in the midst of treating someone, he would respect my asking him to wait until I was free. He would then hover around outside my surgery, and if the wait was too long for him he would disappear, only to reappear unannounced and unexpectedly a few days or weeks later.

One afternoon when I was free, J, who was not a nervous patient, ran into my surgery. He was too agitated to sit down in my dental chair. Instead, he leant against one of the walls of my small room.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“It’s bad, man.”

“Can you tell me about it? Do you want to talk?” I asked.

“My mobile ‘phone has been nicked.”

“Sorry to hear that.”

“I know who took it.”

“Really,” I said, “then, can’t you get it back?”

“I don’t know, man. But, I know who nicked it, and I am going to get the boys from South London to put him six feet under.”

Having said those worrying words, he settled into my dental chair.