Friday, January 13, 2012

The oblivious cabbie


I was on a cab this morning. After a few minutes, the cab driver struck up a conversation. He asked me what I did in Hyderabad. I told him that I work in a dialysis center. (He spoke in Hindi. I am translating here.) "Hmmm, dialysis? Kidney stones related huh?" I explained that kidney stones were different and that dialysis had to be done when someone's kidneys failed. Dialysis was needed to clean the blood and remove excess toxins and water.

I wondered how oblivious this guy was to what his kidneys did. They worked every instant of the day, tirelessly cleaning the blood. And he was not even aware of their existence. Well, to be fair to him, we are all like that. I had no clue that there was a word like 'dialysis' until I had to get onto it.

"There are many dialysis centers in Hyderabad, na?"

"Yes, most big hospitals have one. But ours are different. We do only dialysis."

"How much does it cost?"

"Roughly Rs. 1,500."

"Oh, that's it? Quite cheap!"

That was one thing that dialysis has never been accused of! "Quite cheap"! Everyone complains about the price of dialysis. You have got your frequency wrong, dear, I mentally addressed him.

"Thrice a week"

He turned his head towards me in disbelief. "Thrice a week?"

I gestured to him to turn his head to the front. He was driving, after all!

"So, Rs. 4,500 a week?!"

"Yes"

"I thought it just had to be done once!"

"Oh, how I wish that were true!", I thought to myself!

I refrained from telling him that I was on dialysis. I wanted to get to my destination.

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