The physiotherapist, Dr. Brij Bhushan, was young and he smiled. He came from Uttarakhand, the hills above Delhi. He lacked the Delhi suaveness, but his tone was earnest.
“How are you?” he asked Reena, taking the tea and biscuits she served him and smiling again.
For the last week, Reena had visited the local physiotherapy centre for the IFT and Ultrasound treatment, but the pain persisted.
Now it shot up the inside of her left knee.
She grimaced. “I have called you. How do you think I’ll be?”
“No problem,” he smiled, “you will get okay.”
“I can only hope,” she joined her palms and fingers together in supplication to an unknown god.
“I’ll start from tomorrow. You will recover.” He placed the cup and saucer on the table. “Have you heard of Komal baba?”
“He is a fellow who used to have a show on TV and has quite a following.”
“Well, people come to him for medicine for their ailments, and he gives them the medicine.”
“Does his treatment work?”
“Don’t know how or why it would, but going by the following he has, it seems people will swallow anything.” He grinned.
“Like?” The pain travelled higher up her leg and Reena gripped her left knee hard.
“Well, if someone like you complained of leg pain, and went up to him for a cure, he would ask, ‘How many bananas have you eaten in the last week?’
“Suppose you answer that you have eaten one. He will ask then, ‘Did you eat it alone or share it with someone?’ Suppose you say, ‘I ate it alone.’ So he will nod his head and say, ‘Buy a dozen bananas, eat two and give the rest to ten people. God’s kripa, his benevolence, on you, will be restored. Follow this treatment for a month. Your pain will go.’
“You will nod and go away and do what he suggests. If your pain somehow goes away, you will sing his praises. If it does not, you will think you did not do something right. You may doubt him, but then with so many believers …”
“We get cured if we eat and share bananas?” She hobbled to the kitchen with the teacup and saucer. It wobbled in her hands. If only bananas could help, she thought.
“He has many kinds of cures. His followers swear by him.” Dr. Bhushan stood up to leave, brushing crumbs from his shirt.
“I don’t think I could listen to him without laughing.” Reena smiled.
“A lot of it is a mind thing. Should I put fenugreek seeds on your toes when I come tomorrow?” he asked her at the door.
“A Komal baba remedy?”
“Oh no, something I read on the net. It may work.”
“You just do the IFT, Ultrasound, and the exercises with me. If nothing works, then we will consider fenugreek seeds.”
“Madam, even if you don’t eat the bananas, stay smiling.”
Reena smiled and then began to laugh.
published 31 July 2013