3 Dec. 2012 10:42 PM IST
A strange illness is hitting many of our leaders, be they politicians, businessmen, even policemen. It manifests itself just before they have news of their impending arrest or rumours of their removal. They rush themselves into hospital, spend as much time there and delay going to jail.
“We appreciate these people coming to us in their hour of crisis,” said the dean of a well known hospital in Mumbai. “We have created a special ward for them. Come have a look. This is the playroom”
“Playroom?” I asked incredulously. “Like they have toys and games?”
“Like these,” said the dean.
“Plastic handcuffs,” I said.
“They love them,” said the dean. “They spend hours playing with these handcuffs, opening them, locking them and even breaking them. At the end of two days they have lost all fear of these handcuffs. So they don’t scream when they are finally handcuffed and taken away.”
“And what is this?” I asked, staring at a strange gadget.
“A dummy lie detector.”
“They try to master it.”
“Do they succeed?”
“They are like babies,” said the dean softly.
“Babies,” I said angrily. “They are common criminals.”
“They do not know the difference between lies and truth. Yesterday a policeman was practising on one of them. We asked him a question: Do you take bribes? Do you know what he said? Weekly”
“He must have thought his superiors were asking for his weekly collection.”
“But still they practise on the machine. Our moral department tried to give them a crash course on lies and truth, but time being a constraint, we hardly succeeded.”
“I don’t see any nurses around,” I said.
“No nurses,” said the dean. “No women in jail, so we start right here. First they shout and scream wanting to see the starched women in white, but soon realise it is for their own good.”
“You have thought of everything,” I said admiringly.
“It is the duty of any hospital to equip the patient for life ahead,” said the dean, “and we in our own humble way are doing just that for all these poor policemen and politicians who are now landing here by the dozen.”
“ Where are your ECG’s, respirators and other machines?”
“We sold them,” said the dean, “we didn’t need them with these patients.”
“And what has happened to your ICU’s and general wards.”
“We closed them down. You see at the rate it’s going we’ll need every inch of space for this new breed!”
“Thankyou,” I said as an ex central minister was rushed in on a stretcher.