Wanted to post this earlier. But a wedding, a holiday and then the backlog had restricted me. The InSaf Test series too had bogged me down on LLL. So here I am with an anecdote from my recent holiday.
We had incessant ceremonies and a get together between 26 December to 28 December in connection with the wedding of my cousin. My wife was going through a difficult period. Travel had worsened her monthly travail. Since she was bleeding heavily and was complaining of backache, I went to a Medical Shop to buy some medicine for her; after consulting my Gynecologist Friend in Kochi.
I was waiting at the counter of a fairly busy shop. The medicine I asked was not known to the girl who was attending me. She asked her senior colleague, "Mama, do we have Tranostat-Mf?". The Uncle dismissed her, "There is no medicine like that". I hesitantly told, "It is there, but you might not be having it...". He dismissed me too, "No, no. No medicine like that".
As I was contemplating about my next move, the nice girl went to check the MIMS [Monthly Index of Medical Specialties]. She insinuated to me to wait. And I did.
At this juncture, I saw a girl in her mid twenties wearing a red salwar trying to gain space between the crowd of customers. Since I had to wait, I stepped back to let her in. She showed a piece of paper to another girl on the counter. The girl couldn't decipher what was written. So the red salwar girl called her Mom on phone and gave the name of the medicine to the girl on counter.
The counter girl went in and fetched the medicine. As she was handing over the pills to the customer, she asked the know-all Uncle, "Mama, for which illness is Olvance given ?". Uncle gave instant reply, "It is for Sugar". Now, the red salwar looked surprised. Looking at her discomfort, I politely told her, "It isn't for Sugar, but for Pressure".
This unfortunately was heard by the Mama. He came rushing towards me and asked, "What do you know about medicines ? This is a brand new Sugar medicine. Even Doctors don't know much about this. I know about all medicines. Don't mislead people".
I still remained polite and said, "I don't know about Doctors. But I know this medicine. Olvance is definitely given for Blood Pressure. Yes, it also is used in Diabetics. But it is primarily a BP pill". Uncle was boiling and he admonished me, "First you come with some stupid nonexistent name. And then you question me. Even Doctors don't question me".
A man standing next to me whispered, "Don't argue with him. He is right. He is better than Doctors. He gives medicines that are better than the Doctors. I never see a Doctor. He is my Doctor. You better accept his words. He can't be wrong. You people get some half baked information from Internet and then create confusion".
In an alien place, I didn't want to alienate people. But how can you remain silent when nonsense is being peddled for knowledge ? So I persisted, "This isn't any half-baked Internet knowledge. I know this and I am talking truth. Olvance is Olmesartan Medoxomil. It belongs to a class called ARB and is used for Blood Pressure and related conditions".
Uncle was shouting now, "You telling truth ? Then am I a liar ? I am in this business for more than 35 years. How old are you ? You weren't even born when I started this business. Who are you ? A Chemist ? Pharmacist... ?".
I had a function to attend and also had to fetch the medicine for my wife. So I cut him short and said curtly yet politely, "See Mama, first of all, I am forty, so definitely older than your business. Two I am not a Chemist or Pharmacist. I didn't want to disclose what am I. I never think that is important, but I have been dealing with BP, Sugar and heart diseases for almost 16 years now. I am a Doctor".
And now, the red salwar who was witnessing all this exchange finally opened her mouth, "Yes, yes, my mother has only BP, she has no sugar. I was surprised when he told it is a Sugar pill. Thanks Doctor for the help". And then the red salwar was gone.
Thankfully, the counter girl who was thus-far engaged with the MIMS; had finally found out Tranostat-Mf did exist. She came and told me, "We only have Tranostat. Mf is not stocked". I decided to settle for what was available and escape.
As I made the payment and took the pills from the girl, she gave a shy smile and asked, "Where do you work ?". I replied, "Not here, Kochi". Immediately her eyes lit up and she asked, "Aha, Malayaliyaano ? Ivide engane vannu ?". Now, not many people have thus insulted me before and that is another story !