Many An ‘Aai’ and ‘Tai’ in’ Looting’ Medical Firms
by Someswar Bhagwat
When i had my secoñd heart attack in a city of Maharashtra i was admitted to a corporate hospital. There is a general belief that most of the corporate medical services providing specialist care loot customers. It is true that many of them prescribe unnecessary tests and scans and some ‘conduct’ them even after death of the patient inflating the final bill. The famous playback singer S.P. Balu (Balasubramaniam) was admitted to one. “They took ₹2 crores and gave the dead body” said a social media post on his Covid19 death”.
I recalled how a nutritionist in one of them used to say from outside the entrance to the special room: “Yes you always prefer Idli for breakfast. Go ahead” The bill included ₹650 for each of the eight days there. “Nutritionist consultancy fees” it said. My daughter who flew down from Canada to relieve her brother discovered this. Totalling bills has been her habit as they usually show a higher amount.
Perhaps due to this bad reputation, my son, who flew down from Bangalore, got me discharged from there, made many enquiries and got me admitted to the hospital of one highly recommended cardiologist who did not believe in nursing system as in the government hospitals. Instead they had many a tai (meaning ‘sister’ in Maharashtra’s local language Marathi) and they did excellent work. But one of them, an elderly lady was an exceptionally good one. She made it a point to ask me every day whether ate well. It was not a part of her duties and she was not the one who cooked the meal. Still she made it a point to ensure that I had a good meal.
So I used to call her not ‘tai’ but ‘aai’ (Marathi for mother). Nurses usually are from Kerala and usually Christian, but not here. The language of the nursing station in a big hospital usually is Malayalam, just as that of Marwadi Goenka-owned Indian Express is not his Hindi but Tamil.
But they were all Maharashtrians there, it being not a corporate money-making machine. Ñurses are not women of easy virtue as usually depicted but ‘aais’ whatever the type of hospital Every hospital, corporate or not has tais as well as aais.