Mumblings, Story Time

Doctor Selfie | Ajit Hirekar

February 5, 2016
Doctor Selfie AjitHirekar

Doctor Selfie is an extraordinary tale of an Indian origin Doctor & his patients. It narrates the amazing bond between a patient and the famous Doctor.

The plague affected millions. Even as the World Health Organization had declared the global emergency, most nations were fighting their own individual battle to tackle the epidemic. The Spanish professor who tracked the plague and studied its effects from 2004 told leading newspaper that he can imagine ‘ more than hundreds of thousands of families in Europe alone that were affected. If the cause is not detected in the next few weeks, the epidemic will alter human genetics’. This was enough to effectively alarm the international community.

It was during this period of extreme caution that an Indian claimed to find the cure for this unexplained infection. In an important #MakeInIndia moment by the Indian Government, the claim came just days after the red alert notification by the country’s Health Ministry. Though the individual was not a certified Doctor and had dubious role in managing various fraudulent mid-level companies with criminal cases for implementing bad employee policies, the well-preserved tradition of Indian Jugaad supported by the mania of MakeInIndia and the well-established yet corrupt babudom helped him to acquire an honorary title as “Dr.” And as social media whiffed the news of the potential cure, the India media went crazy with their graphical display of patriotism between heavily advertised and politically motivated debate shows. The newly crowned doctor needed no tests or scientific backing for being the greatest Indian savior of the millennium. Within days of the announcement, franchisees and venture capital poured in enabling this to be the most successful #StartupIndia Campaign ever. Within a weeks’ time, more than 20 clinics bearing the Doctors name sprung up in major cities claiming to cure the worst epidemic that the world had ever seen: Selfiexia Nervosa or the Selfie Fever.

The plague spared no one. Every demographic was vulnerable. From Pregnant Mothers to newly born Kids. From a couples to travelers. Families, friends, strangers, tourists and even animals all were affected by the same disease. There were reports of Jailers infecting criminals and posing for selfies together. Divorce rates skyrocketed as spouses subconsciously posted selfies of their affairs. Post Mortem selfies, Dying selfies, Murder selfies, toilet selfies were all some variant of the same epidemic. The symptoms presented themselves most commonly in the form of the stains on the body especially on the face of the victim due to the flash of the mobile camera, a permanent elongated forward sulking of the lips called the beautiful pout or the ugly duck face, and the alarming raised eyebrow contusions. Most males came in with a paralysis of the fingers while they were attempting the sign of the horns. The paralysis slowly spread to the other body parts often requiring complete amputation of the arm. Most of the symptoms of the female populace were characterized by binge clicking selfies and almost immediately deleting them. The epidemic also affected the cognitive behavior and psychological mind frame of the victims. Low self-esteem, Narcissism, depression, camera addiction and delusions were common symptoms that followed. Though the deaths related to this epidemic were not in majority, but the number increased alarming each day. It was truly phenomenal that the Doctor had somehow managed to find a cure this horrendous disease and he was soon felicitated with the highest international medical honor.

Things worked smoothly as the Miracle worker used his expertise in Photoshop, image consultation, Indian mentality analysis (IMA) and even Mobile repairing to the fullest. His nonexistent medical prowess helped him connect with the patient on a more platonic and moronic level. His patented programs such as image consultation, Outfit management, cosmetics makeover and body shape evaluation were a hit among the masses. With almost 100% success rate, the Doctor was on cloud nine until his biggest challenge walked into his posh clinic.

The case file on his desk was almost as thick as the dog-eared Rapidex he used while posting his images on social media. Most of the terms in the case file did not make sense to him. It had too many words let alone the heavy medical gibberish. ‘Why can’t medical reports be like mine…You know like a combination of tweet and tumblr post…short, meaningful and precise. This is what gives us doctors a bad name.” he thought to himself even as he tried to make sense of the mess. Skipping over the intrinsic details, all he could gather was that the patient was extremely dangerous. Almost a dozen of reputed psychiatrists had not made any progress before the case was referred to him. It was a case that was like nothing he had ever seen or diagnosed. If he was able to crack this case it would be fodder to a lot of media frenzy. He imagined book deals, documentary, Talk shows and Movies all surrounding this particular case. He took a deep breath as signaled his assistant to bring in the patient.

The patient was restrained to a wheelchair and had to be assisted into the large cabin. Judging by the medical history, the doctor had expected someone who was bizarre, burly, uncouth with foaming mouth and weird ferocious intense glare. But when he saw the patient he wondered were the restraints necessary. The patient was a young, vibrant yet shy 12 year old girl. She looked around the room in curiosity and carefully studied the Art work that hung up on the walls. The restraints however did restrict her motion as he tried turn glimpse the art on the walls behind her. Eventually giving up, it was the ” Image is Everything” Plaque on the Doctor’s desk that caught her attention. This is when the doctor who was keenly studying the patient behavior greeted her,
“Hello…How are you?”

The Patient smiled.

“So you are Farah?”

The Patient nodded.

“Do you know why you are here?”

“My…My parents think I might be sick.”

“Why do you think they feel that way, Farah?”

“Maybe it’s because I am not like the other girls. It’s not like that I have not tried. It’s just that I cannot be like them.”

“You reports show that you have a low selfie rate of 12, your FB friends are just 118. You have tweeted just 7 times and you don’t even have an Instagram account. Tell me is everything Ok at home. Have your parents given you a Smartphone or is there a continuous WIFI at your place. If not, you know we can report these inhuman conditions to the authorities.”

“No everything is fine at home. My parents gifted me a new iPhone just three weeks back. ”

“Then child what is the problem? Why don’t you use these to stay connected with everyone? Your previous diagnosis has stated that you might suffer from Anti-Social behavior. People suffering from it rarely do well in their Lives. Don’t you know the schools and Job interviewers check your social status thoroughly before even giving you a chance? Do you want to be a burden to the society all your life?”

“No… I swear I have tried to be like others. I attempted taking selfies but I don’t like the process. I don’t like to be on the Virtual world. I like to travel without being spotted or tagged, I like to eat without posting the food plates, I like to watch movies without telling everyone and I read a lot of books but I don’t like to quote them, like them or praise the author incessantly. Can’t you help me? Can’t you see I am just like everyone else?”

“If you ask my professional opinion, I think you are a hazard to the society. You fail to realize what is real and suffer from confused thinking, reduced emotional expression and low social engagement. You just don’t share the same excitement as other normal socially active people. For all I know you could be suffering from acute Schizophrenia caused due to the infection…”

“Doctor please give me a chance to explain. I don’t want to go to a mental Institution. Just hear me out once… I understand I might be different but tell me isn’t there a single moment in a day when you feel like it would be Okay not to namedrop or drink a regular coffee instead of Starbucks and not post about it. Don’t you feel it would be amazing to meet and talk to people rather than friend them on Facebook and ping them on whatsapp.”

“Stop …just Stop”

” Please tell me isn’t it better to express your disgust to someone’s face rather than post an insinuating message about your personal life. Doctor tell me wouldn’t it be simple to use simple language than be pretentious about your words. Shouldn’t we refrain from labels, brands and not correct every single grammatical mistake made. Can’t we for once fail miserably rather than pretend to be cool always…”

“Nurse…Nurse, anesthesia stat!!! The patient is having a bout of Hysteria.” screamed the doctor.

As the Nurse administered the dose to the slowly numbing body of the patient, the doctor wiped the sweat from his forehead.

“Nurse, prepare the patient and transfer her to the operation table.”

“What Operation Sir?”


© Ajit Hirekar

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