Tailored Doctors

Fast doesn’t always mean good quality.

Friendly and talkative may mean business not actual warmth.

Good jobs take time and effort.

Never judge a person without knowing the facts.

Here is a story that illustrates the above.

In the 70’s, Ramnath was a tailor in the dockyard area where the poor dock workers lived. It had been some years that he had set shop there. A lot of people flocked to him. He use to deliver very fast and that was one reason why people went to him. We all have this habit of proscratinating for months to stich a shirt or a skirt but once we buy the fabric, we want the tailor to deliver in a day or two.

Jaikanth was another tailor in the same locality, their shops being a 100 metres away. Most of the time Jaikanth would get those orders which Ramnath could not accommodate or those small maintenance jobs. Jaikanth did take quite some time in fact at least a week to fulfil a single order. He was very methodical and systematic. On the 5th day he would call for a trial and after having satisfied himself and the small requests from his clients, the delivery on the 8th day was always confirmed.

Ramnath on the other hand talked a lot and kept his customers engaged. Sometimes he wouldn’t have started on your work until you went to him. He would make you sit for an hour, take up your work and make amends so that you would get it the next day. His was a LIFO policy. Some liked his talking about day to day politics of the state or about happenings in the locality. He would even go to the extent of prescribing allopathic medicines. Like as if you told him about your allergic wheezing he would ask to buy a particular inhaler. If it was dust allergy he would suggest the client to go and take allergy tablets. In fact he became so popular with such remedies that people would visit him for such consultancy. Some of them got relief from what he advised and so he became the medical consultant who was ready with tailored remedies.

Jaikanth spoke little and was always engrossed in work. Some of his neighbors observed that he appeared to have worked as an attender with a homeopathic doctor for quite some years before he switched to the stitching line though they were not sure about this. Whenever someone appeared sick, he did make inquiries and gave some potions to the poor who visited him with their small maintenance work. So whether it was a common fever or a sore throat or a stomach upset, his remedies also worked. Slow and steadily his patients too grew.

There was one doctor in the locality who charged for every visit which the poor could ill afford. So unless it was serious, they either went to Ramnath for fast relief or Jaikanth if they knew him. Slowly these two were the talk of the locality and people often wondered what would have happened if these two were not there to help them with their ailments.

Slowly they started to compare one with the other. Ramnath was good at heart but he had a sycophantic fan following. His such patients always rooted that he was the better of the two in fact better than the doctor who practiced. In fact the medical shops also lent their support to Ramnath since he used to prescribe more than one tonic or an ointment or tablet as time passed.

As rumors and unspoken words were bartered by the unscrupulous fans Ramnath started to hate and avoid Jaikanth who being an introvert was ignorant of all that was happening. One day it so happened that Ramnath was down with food poisoning and it being a Sunday the medical shop in the locality was closed. The doctor too was out of station and therefore Ramnath’s wife had to rush to Jaikanth who was resting at home. He gave a patient hearing to what she had to tell and then gave her a medicine and did not take the money she offered saying I am not a doctor. She was however accompanied by some of the fans who heard what Jaikanth had said.

The medicine worked wonders and Ramnath was cured soon. He didn’t like her praising the tailor or his medicine. He however kept quiet. Day by day slowly envy took form in his mind. After that incident Jai was well known and Ramnath was snubbed. There was another incident because of which Ramnath thought that Jai was eating into his territory. He and Jai had bagged an order of 100 shirts each from a garments exporter. While Jaikanth got further orders, Ramnath’s batch got rejected as he didn’t think of putting the collar button, the same way he did for his customers.

It was then he spoke to Sam the local sub inspector about Jaikanth the tailor who doubled as a quack. After some stealth inquiries it was clear to Sam that Jai was a practising doctor and it was left for him to check his credentials. But Sam also failed in his duty to confront the tailor upfront and question him. He was so convinced about the fake doctor bundled up in the tailor that he took further steps that would lead to the imminent arrest.

The Dday dawned and unknown to Jaikanth a force of officials drove down with police escort accompanied by a small crowd that had a mix of followers of both tailors. Though some were surprised that the tailor was fooling them all this time a few others who were convinced in the goodness of Jaikanth prayed for his wellbeing.

Jaikanth look a bit tired when the battery of officials fired a volley of questions at him to which he had tailored answers. Ramnath, who with his chums and standing behind the questioning officials was now getting impatient. He wanted Jaikant to be arrested instead of wasting more time. The officials went walking with Jaikanth to his nearby house followed by the inquisitive crowd. He showed his qualifications and his registration which was convincing enough for the officials to leave him in peace.

When the law enforcement agency officers got into their vehicles without taking him it slowly trickled as enlightenment to the poor folk that the soft spoken tailor who also treated them was indeed a doctor. There was no doubt that the trap set for him only proved to benefit Jaikanth many fold. It was a matter of time to see the poor and ill flocking to the new avatar of the disguised doctor in a tailor’s clothes.

12 thoughts on “Tailored Doctors

  1. I love this story. You are a very skilled narrator. Once I start reading, I cannot stop until I reach the end of the story. Well done Sunith! Happy Sunday! Happy month of December too!

  2. “Fast doesn’t always mean good quality. Friendly and talkative may mean business not actual warmth. Good jobs take time and effort.” Golden words that need to be reinforced in today’s world.

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