House Call

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Poor Tod. He was up and down all night burning with fever. He missed out on all of today's activities.

While the rest of us wandered through Peharsar village in the morning, Tod slept. We drove to Jaipur and he crashed out on my lap in the back of the car. He went straight to the hotel in Jaipur while we toured the Amber Fort. When I reached the hotel, he was still burning with fever and feeling terrible.

I called in a GP to have a look at him. Dr. Arora arrived 15 minutes later, dressed in a blue shirt and brown slacks, carrying a briefcase with a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff and notepad. He talked to Tod for about 45 minutes, testing the vitals, asking questions about his symptoms and exhibiting a pleasant, fatherly bedside manner. Then he scribbled a prescription for antibiotics and various other medicines on his tablet. His charge for a house call was 400 rupees, or about 1000 yen.

I ran across the street (literally ran, dodging traffic as you do in India) to the chemist. I handed a young man the doctors orders and he moved through his tiny shop, opening glass-fronted cabinets and pulling out boxes from the ones stacked there. He took the boxes back to the counter, pulled out a pair of scissors and checking the script again, proceeded to cut off the right number of pills from each blister pack. The medicine totaled 170 rupees.

Here's some of what Tod missed:

Peharsar woman forms fuel from cow dung

Garden in the Amber Fort, Jaipur. "Winter, summer, monsoon palace; army barracks. Come. Look," said our guide over and over...

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