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Lal Singh

Reading a post by Victo reminded me of someone.

Around 2009, five years into practice I had started doing Phaco cases. One of my first patients was Lal Singh. An octogenarian farmer, what you’d call ‘son of the soil’, always dressed in a simple white kurta-pyjama and a blue turban with a saffron band, a little bent with age and sporting a long flowing white beard.

The surgery went well and he was delighted with the results. Brought over his wife to get operated within a couple of weeks. I ended up operating on both their eyes and they were very grateful. Since then, whenever Lal Singh was in the neighborhood, he’d always drop in for a visit. He’d enter my chambers with his hands folded in a ‘namaste’, a smile on his face and always said that seeing me made his day. He’d almost always bring a small gift with him, guavas from a tree in his field or berries from a bush. He obviously wasn’t well-to-do but he hardly ever came empty-handed and those fruits were always delicious.

Once, when I returned from a week long vacation, he came to meet me. His grand-daughter had gotten married in the interim and he had saved up some sweet-meats for me (it’s called “bhaji” in North India, traditional sweets made at home for a wedding). He brought them in a worn plastic bag and they were a little stale and dried. I have received wedding invitations with boxes of dry-fruits, candied almonds and sugared cardamom and silver-plated stuffed dates and what not, but I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything better than those stale “shakkar paraas” and “motichur laddoos”. It’s a pity I didn’t take a picture of them but then I was young in and in practice and thought there would be many, many more events like this. They were quite a few, to be honest, but I always thought there would be more. Pity!

So thank you Lal Singh, for the fruits and the ‘mithaai’ and the simple joy of watching you come in and tell me that I, as a doctor, was next to god.


About hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. There were many reasons why I gradually became more regular in posting, but one way or the other, here I am! So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on(and trust me this does become an issue more often than I'd care to admit). I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice.


25 thoughts on “Lal Singh

  1. I came here thanks to Amy,I never regretted it.Interesting your story and very grateful your patient.I come from a family which has 4 doctors and I always admire the good rapport which is developed between the patient and the doctor.I strongly believe that it helps for a quicker recovery.The doctors’ Emotional Intelligence is even more important than their IQ and their Academic Degree.All the best, Doda

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by DG MARYOGA | 23/09/2015, 12:04 AM
    • Thank you for your kind comment. It is the trust between a doctor and the patient that holds the key to healing, not curing, medicines are enough to do that part.

      Liked by 1 person

      Posted by hbhatnagar | 23/09/2015, 3:25 AM
      • Absolutely,I wouldn’t disagree in any way and I would also like to add a quote,which I am certain sure,you believe in it too : “The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well.” Hippocrates

        Liked by 1 person

        Posted by DG MARYOGA | 23/09/2015, 3:56 PM
  2. Lovely story


    Posted by Cat | 14/09/2015, 3:44 AM
  3. Heart-warming to read.


    Posted by ANooP | 14/09/2015, 12:47 AM
  4. A moving story, and beautifully written. Thank you, Dr. Hb. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Amy | 13/09/2015, 11:26 PM
  5. What a great story! I love this; the little details make it so real that I can almost see it happening in front of me.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by La Quemada | 13/09/2015, 12:10 PM
  6. This is such a wonderful post. I could almost imagine those shakar paras. What a wonderful vocation to be in and to touch so many lives !


    Posted by priyankamoraes | 13/09/2015, 11:21 AM
  7. A very lovely post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Soumya Mishra | 13/09/2015, 10:10 AM
  8. I agree: a very lovely story.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by zdunno03 | 13/09/2015, 8:36 AM
  9. Lovely post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Victo Dolore | 13/09/2015, 8:29 AM
  10. Thank you for the linkup and I’m so happy you liked it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by hbhatnagar | 14/09/2015, 9:17 PM
  11. Thank you Amy, this was one story I loved sharing with the world. 🙂


    Posted by hbhatnagar | 25/04/2016, 9:06 PM


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