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While the nation was coming to terms with the horrific attack by Maoists on the Congress convoy in Chattisgarh, the country’s Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde was consulting an eye specialist in the United States. What exactly happened at the ophthalmologist’s office? The UnReal Times’ US correspondent, John Connor, brings you the story:
It was yet another busy evening for renowned US ophthalmologist Dr Ankhmare. After attending to what he thought was his final patient for the day, Dr. Ankhmare leans back and exhales. “Phew, done for the day,” he says to himself, when suddenly he hears 2 knocks on the door. Dr. Ankhmare sighs, and says, “Come in.”
A bumbling bald man walks in.
Dr Ankhmare: Oh welcome Mr Shinde. This is a surprise! I usually treat patients only on appointments.
Shinde: Oh! But I had already sent you a letter requesting an appointment through speed post!
Dr Ankhmare (a bit taken aback): Oh, okay. Well, never mind, I’m kinda surprised that you chose to visit me in spite of having some of the best ophthalmologists in your country.
Shinde (bursts out laughing): Where did you get that idea from? You haven’t been seeing our Bharat Nirman ads, have you? (laughs even harder)
Dr Ankhmare: Er.. never mind. Tell me, sir, how can I help you today?
Shinde: I feel some discomfort in my right eye. I think there are a few saffron particles infecting it.
Dr Ankhmare: Saffron, eh? Let me see. (shines his torch on Shinde’s eye and peers at it) Hmm… how did this happen? What did you do?
Shinde (defensively): It is not a failure on my part. I got information that some particles would enter my body, but just didn’t know where.
Dr Ankhmare (stares blankly at Shinde) I see. Anyway, these are not saffron particles to be precise, but there are some sand particles indeed. Were you hit by a sandstorm or something, recently?
Shinde: No, but come to think of it, the air pollution in Delhi has about the same impact. So I guess that’s how I contracted it.
Dr Ankhmare (continues peering at his eyes): Really? Everyone’s vision there must be flawed then..
Shinde: Oh, no no…Shri Rahul Gandhiji’s vision is impeccable! It is the best thing to have happened to India!
Dr Ankhmare: Er.. okay. But couldn’t you, as a powerful man in India, do something to ensure such infections don’t happen over there?
Shinde: What can I do? These things happen everywhere!
Dr Ankhmare: Seriously?
Shinde: Well, I can shoot all these particles in one go, if Soniaji tells me to do so.
Dr Ankhmare (lost for words for a second): Yes sir, I’m sure you would. Coming back to your eyes, I think you should be rinsing them more often.
Shinde: You’re right, doctor. I should have washed those particles away with water cannons. I have a good collection of those back in Delhi.
Dr Ankhmare: By the way, does your Prime Minister know about your illness?
Shinde: Yes, it’s all over television. I’m sure he must’ve seen it.
Dr Ankhmare: The news, yeah. I caught some of it too. I also noticed that quite a few doctors came to visit you, but you didn’t entertain them. Is that true?
Shinde: Why should I entertain them? Tomorrow some Maoists will come in a similar fashion. Why should I be talking to anyone who comes to meet me?
Dr Ankhmare (left speechless again for a few seconds) Umm… okay. How long did you have to keep your eyes closed because of the irritation by the er.. saffron particles?
Shinde: For 2 full hours…
Dr Ankhmare: Wow.. must have been a total blackout for those hours, right?
Shinde (gets defensive again): You should be happy I was able to bring power back to my eyes in a matter of hours. Blackouts in India take more time to rectify. I rate myself as an excellent power nap minister.
Dr Ankhmare (finally leans back from his examination): Well, my diagnosis is, your eye needs to be operated on. Would you please fill this form, indicate your consent and mode of payment?
Shinde: Sure (writes something on the form and hands it over to the doctor)
Dr Ankhmare (looks at the form): Er.. you only have to write ‘credit card’ against mode of payment. You don’t have to reveal your credit card number, CVV code and the 3D secure pin…
Shinde (grins): Hehe, okay.
The nurses come in and begin to wheel Shinde into the operating room, while the doctor starts towards another door to perform the necessary pre-operative procedures. Just as he is leaving the room, Shinde calls out to him
Shinde: Wait a second, doctor. What are we calling this operation?
Dr Ankhmare: Umm… an ‘eye’ operation?
Shinde: Let’s call it Operation X, shall we?
Dr Ankhmare (bewildered): Okay.
The patient, doctor and nurses disappear into the operating theater. A few hours later, the doctor returns to check up on how his patient is doing.
Dr Ankhmare: Hello, Mr. Shinde. How are you feeling?
Shinde (eyes still shut): Thanks to Sonia ji and Rahul ji, I’m feeling quite okay.
Dr Ankhmare: Okay, that’s good. Now open your eyes slowly, and read out the words on the board in front of you.
Shinde (opens his eyes slowly and squints at the board): MADAM…. SAFFRON…. SPEED POST…. SHRI HAFEEZ SAEED JI…
Dr Ankhmare (interrupting): Er… there is no Shri and Ji ..but never mind, you’re doing great! Continue!
Shinde: …LATHI CHARGE…. TELANGANA…. yeah, that’s it.
Dr Ankhmare: What about the rest? Can you not read ‘2G’, ‘COALGATE’, ‘ADARSH’, ‘NAXAL’?
Shinde ignores him
Dr Ankhmare (throws up his hands): Well, whatever. Do you feel any pain?
Shinde: Yes, a little bit… manageable though. But tell me doctor, why do I seem to feel pain in both my eyes?
Dr Ankhmare: Because both have been operated on.
Shinde (sits upright abruptly): WHAT THE HELL, DOC! You operated on both my eyes? I had a problem in just my right eye!!!
Dr Ankhmare: We did nothing you haven’t indicated your consent for. Here, you can verify this for yourself.
Dr. Ankhmare hands him the form Shinde filled in earlier, and points at a section on the form, where in Shinde’s elegant handwriting are written the words, “Operate my eye. Operate my eye.” along with two signatures.
Shinde (looks at the doctor with his jaw dropped open): THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!! YOU’LL FACE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR THIS, DOCTOR… I WILL, I WILL….
Dr Ankhmare (grins at Shinde, leans close to him and whispers in his ear): You will what? Order a probe? Go ahead.
Leaving Shinde speechless with indignation, Dr Ankhmare welcomes his next patient who turns out to be Ravi Shastri.
Dr Ankhmare (smiles): Oh, welcome Ravi. Seems like today is quite a high profile evening…
Ravi Shastri (saunters in, takes a look at Shinde and says): Well, Shinde seems to have got his eye in Dr Ankhmare. Just what the doctor ordered, eh Sushil?
Dr Ankhmare (sighs deeply): …and also a rather long evening. (points at the examining table) Please seat yourself here, Ravi, and take off your shades…
(With inputs from Ashwin Kumar and the UnReal team)