Tuesday, May 26, 2009

kitCAT - A Short Story

Detective Somerset and Mills are running after John Doe. Mills is in problem. John Doe is about to kill him. Will he kill him or spare him? PHEW... power cut. Oh! This has to happen at this moment. I am getting bored in this darkness. Let me bore you with my story.

I am Stalin Moosa. My mother is a Russian and my father, an Indian. Don’t expect much ,my diversity stops here. I did my entire schooling, college and everything else from Hyderabad. After my engineering I was confused on what to do? Then the MBA thing struck upon me because most of my friends were planning to do it. I gave this exam called CAT and got into one of those Temples of Management Education, IIM. As per joining formalities I got to get a fitness certificate and an X-ray report from a civil surgeon. So I decided to go to Govt. Hospital the next day.

What happened! When can we expect the light back? It is raining cats and dogs. DHOOOM... my window pane broke oh! This looks like a serious storm. I locked the windows and retired to bed.
“200 Rs.”, the auto driver demanded. Common it will cost you not more than 100 to go to the Govt. Hospital. No sir it is in the old city. So what! I moved ahead and got an auto which agreed to drop me as per the meter fare.

Oh! Yesterday there was a huge storm. Most of the roads are blocked by fallen trees. There is space enough for an auto to go. The climate is pleasant. The cool breeze, the dim light wow! I am feeling like going to Ooty. It is a nice ride. I offered 10 Rs. more than the meter fare.
I stepped down the auto. I found a sudden drift in the environment. Lot of noise, ambulances, diseased people, and people met with accidents, message on AIDS control all around on the walls, mentally sick mysterious person sitting in the corner, and patients coughing, vomiting etc., Looking at such surroundings, my heart started to bleed as usual. The defence mechanism, may be a mental valve, that I developed lately shut that bleeding down. Seeing lot of pain around me, poverty, ill health so on.. I used to get too emotional and even cry. My papa consoled me and trained me to develop some kind of mental valve which opens / closes. Opens, if I can do something about it and Closes, if I cannot do anything about it. Most of the times it closes i.e., simply shut that bleeding down and ignore the things around. I hope I get a chance when it opens.

The hospital is a very large premises. It is a palace of one of the Nizams of Hyderabad. Unfortunately, very badly maintained, spits on the walls, lots of used cotton lying everywhere on the floor , stray dogs moving around and so on. My task is to find a civil surgeon. I caught hold of a nurse, she suggested me to look at Medical Wards. I started from medical ward 1 and received cold hand in the first two ones. In the third one the doc was kind enough to help me BUT ... he has this issue. He is a professor of Medical College attached to the hospital. He treats every one as his student. His every sentence ends with a stupid or useless fellow. To the best of my memory I remember that he spoke at least 30 sentences. Now you know with how many ‘stupids’ I was blessed with. He asked me to take the X-ray and come back to him.

Who is the architect of this palace? I think people might have spent one-third or even half of their life finding how to go from one place to the other! On the way to lab I came across some medical wards which are really horrible. Unclaimed bodies , about to be moved to mortuary and their associated smell. Oh God! Why did you make us just to kill after a beautiful life ? In some other wards I found young docs swiftly moving with their mentor, examining patients, giving them solace. Hats off! You are living a life worth living for. Of course, they have their own priorities and dreams. I hope they don’t overlook the service motive of their job when they reach the pinnacle and inscribe every word of the Hippocrates oath on their heart.

Am I in a laboratory or a cinema theatre to catch the latest release of MegaStar’s movie. The X-ray theatre is teeming with patients. Forget about privacy, Will they take the X-ray properly? Since it is chest X-ray they made me strip my shirt, stand erect, embrace a rod. Looked like I am about to do pole dance and all the audiences are eagerly waiting for me to start the stellar performance. He asked me to collect the report later.

I found part of a queue running for a length of 1 Km. at the entrance of report collection centre. My optimism convinced me that this is not my queue. So I went inside in anticipation of joining some other smaller queue. With in no time, I found out that it is my queue. People in the queue literally threw me out for violating the queue rules. I said to myself “Mera Bharat Mahaan!” and stood at the end of the queue. Looks like I will reach the entrance of the centre after 50 min and the counter after another 50 min. The queue is moving very slowly. Suddenly it started to oscillate. I tried to find out why is it oscillating?

Since it is a long journey to the counter some old people are squatting on the floor. When they got bored sitting on the floor they stand again. So when they stand the queue contracts and when they squat the queue expands. Hurray! I am almost there, only three people in front of me. Oh my God! What is that counter guy doing? There is no computer. That is Ok. They gave some serial no. to identify the X-ray but I think somewhere in this long process the serial numbers were lost. So when a person gives his receipt he reads the part X-rayed and tries to do image match with his eyes. What a sophisticated search! Google ! Where are you? Take this man. Suppose the receipt says right hand he takes out all the hand X-rays, try to filter them on right hands, and now comes the interesting part. He asks the man about the details of his X-ray. Wow! what a feedback mechanism statistically awesome balancing precision and recall. That poor man mumbles something. Now he uses probability. When there are multiple matches he randomly picks up one and hand it over to the man. It’s my turn. I helped him in searching fast. I shouted(out of excitement) “Chest PA view” .After all this fight he says Man! There is not even one chest X-ray. Oh! He got zero sample space problem. I was pissed off. I started quarrelling with him. People behind me are yelling for delaying their turn. As I told I am an optimist. I thanked God for rescuing me from becoming a victim of probability. I decided to visit some reputed diagnostic centre to get MY and MY OWN chest’s X-ray.

The surgeon blessed me with some more stupids and completed the formalities. Finally I relaxed munching a kitkat chocolate, watching why John Doe did all that he did?

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