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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Compounder and a generational shift!

Heard of this word - compounder?
Wikipedia doesn’t even recognize this word!
The free dictionary says this.
Regulars here know that I come from a small town (oh! Yeah that heaven of a place called Neyveli. Ok, if u ignore that environmental disaster its mines was, it was heaven in many ways. The best part was >300 trees per head!)

There in that cute small town, you have to head to one corner for all ailments. GH!! Join a big queue bcos half the town and those ill from 18 villages around will only land up there and collect a slip to the ‘directed’ ward and there again sit on the long benches and wait perennially for ur turn to meet the doctor. Oh! Those long waits, the humming big fans above (How did they ever keep the regulator, if any, in 0.25 or lesser? And do you call it running still?), big chats of all diseases all round, and sudden spurts of actions- every one will rise and move 1-2 inches towards the doctor's door, every few minutes..The best part is one needs to bunk school for sure bcos no one ever went there early and got back in time for school:-)

Coming to the matter, atlast u get to sit in front of the doctor who is already tired of seeing so many patients and prolly the same symptoms as u. So he urges u to move fast with a scribbled prescription. Come on! Don’t try to read that, u can never decipher it.
Here enters our hero.
So u rush to that small window (or the ulta “U” hole in the wall) and flash your paper.
Its only this compounder who can decipher that and then in a swift move will take a cut paper and pour some powder and fold it in to a neat packet. If you are lucky this powder could be colourful! But more colors follow if you have been prescribed some syrup..oh! I know lots of them ask for the doc to write a syrup – all rose, pink and jarring colors. The more colorful it is, you get well soon- goes the local folklore..
If you had gone for some skin ailment, hmm, u had it. Poor you. All u get is a slimy jell like colorless substance. yes, that would stink too. You apply it and whole town knows you went for some skin problem to the GH. But even that is packed in 2 small pieces of paper by this compounder fella. Actually thinking back you always had stuff only in paper or bottles. How lovely and ecofriendly my upbringing has been:-)
But we never thought for a second what was given..None of us knew.. these stuff were all called APC, PPC, PP4 injection, Kalimbu and what not..
So this Compounder fellow was the king mixing away to glory.
If you pan over from the kid’s view of amazement of his job at the hospital, its even more incredible.
Say there is an emergency or just some high fever or suchlikes in the evenings, the townwalas never ran to the GH..they just call this Compounder and this man will come with his stylish leather bag in a cycle and mix something, then pick up one injection and insert and collect the pennies and run..all this he would merrily do till late night. Prolly all the input was flicked from the GH including the syringes (oh! Those days they were (re)used till they wouldn’t even enter even the cotton bunch).
There was one compounder in the other end of the town who would ‘put injection’ for all ‘rohas’ and so was the most popular and so became richer by the day and slowly progressed to a 2nd hand Lambretta and upwards..

I was suddenly thinking of this Compounder yesterday- as a word and as a job its not seen these days, but only people from my generation and before understand.
NO! may be my grandfather wudnt..

That set me to thinking more..My grandfather had never visited that GH (for that matter any hospital) and when he was seriously sick (almost all knew it was his time and so dutifully wanted him to part from the GH, which was the norm those days) too he objected to going to hospital or consuming medicnes..”che englishkaaran maruntha yevan saapduvan” used to be his regular retort when ever he used to have these small niggles..
But he did have his own treatments..he wud squeeze a lemon (plucked fresh from the garden- oh yeah, each house in Neyveli had so many trees) in to his eyes so casually or he would just squeeze tulsi or some erukkan leaves on some injury or rub aloe vera on cut wounds or cloves to be ‘adakified’ inside ur mouth for hours or such like..
Ok, I didn’t value that and so like lots of other special, traditional talents he had these also went to the grave (that’s for another day).
But This man hasn’t gone or seen the compounder and so not those chemicals- powder or injection or syrup or what ever..

So where did we lose this war?
Do you get it?
Like in many things, my previous generation that of my parents lost:-(
In the guise of development or Englishman’s way or science or just aping the west, it’s the previous generation that lost it all..and ofcourse we also followed it blindly..

Do you really get that?

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