She worked hard and saved harder. Multiple instruments. As recommended by her LIC officer. Her UTI agent, her bank manager. Her LIC officer didnt tell her about the trip to Bangkok he got if he got his target of insurees. The UTI agaents commision on each penny she invested in was a secret she was not privy too. Her bank managers monthly quota of fixed deposists made her just another dot on his sales graph. A dot that made him look good in the eyes of upper management.
The stock market. Nobody even told her about it.
Too risky baba. Its just like gambling . Only instead of horses you back companies.
No, No . It's not gambling. They are sure to make money. They already are and need more money too expand.
But what ddo they do ?
They make chappatis.
Yes. Imagine . Ready made chappatiss. Every house wifes dream. No more kneading flour at home. No more burning your fingers on a hot tava. No more sieving the flour to get the weevils and the stones out. Ready made chappatis. Heat and eat. How can they not do well? We are all going to invest and we'll be millionaires. The more money you invest the more chappatis they sell. The more chappatis they sell the higher your dividend.
But suppose they take my money and vanish ?
They cant do that they are listyed on the stock exchange. They have an ex army general on their board of directors. They have a factory in Kalyan. They have 300 employees.
Ok. How much will a hundred shares cost ?
That much. Dividend ?
They havent paid a single dividend yet. They're still building the company. Get in early. Next year the share price will double.
What Mary no fixed deposit this month. Going for a holiday ?
The share price was going up. She encashed her LIC policy to buy more shares. With the announcement of a Dividend at 20 % she liquidated whatever she could of her provident fund. The share price doubled. Then it halved, quartered and vanished. The factory closed down. Chappatis were not a product that travelled well. Not from Kalyan to anywhere. How to hide losses from showing up on a share report. How to put an ex army generals name on your company letterhead when he is in an advanced stage of alzeihmhers. How to manipulate a stock price. the chappati makers could have written the manual for them all.
No more first class pass. No more holiday to Goa this year. Definitely no more stock market. It was just a lot of bull. Irrespective of whatever Warren said.
You went there when all the home remedies had failed. When the barley water and kanji had been consumed by the gallon, but the fever still remained.
He had an impressive reception. Framed certificates . Proclaiming that Dr. O was a panel doctor. For Air India , for the railways, for various banks. In gilt frames were gilt edged certificates. Certificates that had letters after his name with more consonants and more vowels than in "The lazy brown fox jumps over the clever dog." That procalimed him a Fellow of societies and associations. But that's not what made him the family physician.
He was the closest. When looking for a bride your search might traverse far corners of the globe. When looking for a violin teacher you look for someone who doesnt mind teaching you even if you are tone deaf. But when looking for a family doctor you look for close. Close enough to make a house call in the middle of his dinner if something has gone wrong with yours, and you need and emergency Hemmlich. Close enough to be there to certify that your non misting over mirror diagonosis of Uncle Aldos heart attack is correct. Before Uncle Aldo starts to stiffen and you cant put his white gloves on. Close enough to accidentally bump into on the way to church. Where that rash on your neck can be cursorily examined. Without having to pay him when he says it's nothing. Wash properly.
But when you go to him you try not to touch anything with your bare fingers. People with infectios dseases come to him too. You touch nothing other than the National Geographic. Which show you how a certain tribe in Africa wears nothing but beads. Much more fascinating than the migration pattern of the siberian duck. The only thing a duck is good for is moile.
He would examine you with torch and stethoscope. Make you cough and stick your tongue out. While you held your breath and hoped that the cause of the fever was not cancer. He'd scribble his prescription. In a hand that would challenge the reading skills of people who could read mandarin written in the devnagari script. His compounder thru his jailor window would take the note. Out would come a bottle with a paper stuck to the side. Small origami like cut in the paper marking one dose to the next. Powders wrapped in paper sachets. Pills colour coded . All dispensed with strict instructions to drink only boiled water, no oily food and lots of vegetables. Green ones.
French fries? They are made from potato vegetable.
No they're fried.
Three days later your body is as good as new. No spells. The mercury in the thermometer not crossing the red line anymore. What you had and whether it was powder, liquid or pill that cured you remains Dr. O's secret.
Thank God it wasn't cancer.
Sunday morning and Im late before its even begun. It has'ntrained yet and the city's water is in short supply. But I have to have a shower . Bucket bath? There isnt even a bucket in the bathroom anymore. Doesnt look good the interior designer said. So if the statistics are right I use 60 litres for my bath instead opf the 20 a bucket would have held. The damn watchman is missing. He has the car keys. And he has'nt even washed the car yet. Whats more important his morning ablutions or me getting to mass on time? He stutters and mutters while I tell him if he ever delays me like this again he's fired. The water goes by 8? Thats his problem not mine.
Damn pedestrians crowding the gate. The line of cars waiting to get in gets longer. First all the cars that came in for the earlier mass have to get out. Here comes that damn beggar woman. Tapping on the car window.. Like I cant see her. I can smell her thru the glass. Her snotty kid is drawing circles on the glass. With what you dont want to know. An angrily waved hand doesnt drive her away as quickly as a loud blast of the horn. The only parking slot left half covers the gate. Its opnly half. Everyone will defintely be able to squeeze in sideways. But I'm inside church before the priest walks up to the altar. The four people on the four person pew are shuffling closer together to make room for me. Damn I should have chosen a pew that had no pregnant fat people in it. I move to the middle of the pew. Its directly under the fan. Its Fr. Ubaldo. Sermons going to be long. Sermons going to be boring. why dont they retire him ? Why do I have to suffer him ? Why cant he speak more clearly ? 75 is not that old . Look who's at the lectern. Cant pay her society dues on time and wants to lead the responses. I confess to almighty God........ Thank God I live a good Christian life and have nothing to confess.