Okie... me I'm a simple girl. Mildly goday if you like (though not in the league of the estimable DDA.) For the last few years my time was spent mostly ambling around the National Hospital, the rest of the time in bed saying "amme, how my feet are aching!"
Ok, there were good times too. I had a great gang of girlfriends to gossip, go shopping and do the "girl-stuff" with. My boyfriend turned up regularly to sweeten my life with cream buns and by taking me "out". We'd go check out the clubbing scene occasionally - even though the last time we did that we ended up in a brothel. (Long story). Money was always in short supply - text books, equipment and stationary are quite pricy, shoes get worn out fast, clothes get gunk on them and need replacement and there were unforseen expenses like having to replace the earpieces on the stethoscope because a kid in the ward had eaten them.
So my point is, whenever there was a wedding or a party or a big do, I'd just wash my hair, slap on a bit of powder, drape a saree around myself and rush off. Getting dressed and primped and all pweety at a saloon was an alien experience until my wedding day. And it was a wonderful experience... I had so many people fussing over me and even my fingers were made-up!
So the season has dawned again, and there's a big family wedding next week. Having splurged on a fancy saree and a stylish jacket, me wanted to go the whole nine yards, so called a nearby saloon (a moderately famous one) for an appointment - hair, saree and makeup.
"That will be Rs. 2500/-, Madam" twitters the young lady, as if it were pocket change. I try very hard to swallow and inquire in a nonchalant manner "how much for a hairstyle ony?" "Rs. 850/-, Madam."
How much does a Doctor charge for a consultation? A consultant? Rs. 350/-? Rs. 450/-? This is with 6 hellish and un-fun years as an undergrad, gruelling training in the wards for PG, exams and more exams arguably described as the hardest in the world. Painstaking setting up of a practice and essentially working 2 jobs.
Damn, I'm in the wrong profession! In a 15 minute appointment, with absolutely no responsibility whatsoever for my client's life and well being, with no exhaustive thought process or analysis of symptoms, with merely an aesthetic appraisal of the shape of the face, type of hair etc., I could have earned double the money doctors 15 frikkin' years senior to me are earning.
I'd have time to take care of myself, get regular pedicures and possibly have a more fun and interesting life. I'd be around carefree people instead of stressed co-house officers and patients. I'd not get calls in the middle of the night that so-and-so was seriously ill, or requests to go see someone's, someone's, someone in hospital. I'd have time for my loved ones... and for myself
Anyway... I thanked the saloon lady politely and put down the receiver. I think I'll just wash my hair, slap on a bit of powder, drape a saree around myself and rush off.