Friday, January 25, 2013

Honey, get the money!

I went to a very renowned eye clinic today - (Center for Sight, Safdarjung Development Enclave), after having procrastinating for an year and guess what would have happened. No no, my car didn't break down, I didn't get stuck in a traffic jam, I didn't forget to carry my eye reports BUT BUT BUT I forgot to carry money. I didn't care much, because I had gone with dad so anyway I am not supposed to spend when I am with him. But what if I tell you that he had just 500 bucks in his pocket and we figured out that we had to pay Rs 3500 to the doctor for a battery of tests and consultation. We thought and thought a little more, we were carrying no cards - debit/credit, there was a Bank holiday and we practically knew no one in that area.

What could we have possible done, let go off the appointment, go back home and come back later. I and dad cursed ourselves for at least 10 minutes when I decided to request, just in case. I went straight to the person at the billing counter and checked with him in case internet transfer is possible, he said, it wasn't. I told him our embarrassing situation, he said he will connect me to someone who can take a call. So, I was handed over to the manager of the clinic, she really didn't know what to say and apologetically told me it wasn't possible. She paved way for me to go and request to the CEO. Yes, yes the chain has a CEO and all that. So I meet the distinguished Dr Alka Sachdev, she was appalled and asked if this was a pre planned visit, I said yes and then looking towards my dad said "You are her father". She almost said it through her eyes, "How can you guys not carry money". She asked me some hypothetical questions about what would we have done, if our car would have broke down and so on. I wanted to say, would have requested the same way we are requesting now. Anyway, finally she said Dr Mahipal Sachdev (the doctor I had to consult and her husband) will not be available post 3 so we can't really go and come back. She also said it wasn't possible to start my testing till the time a receipt number is entered in the system. We almost felt dejected and thought that the day was wasted. Tomorrow and day after the center was closed so I was particularly sad as I didn't know when I could visit him next. Dr Alka Sachdev, saw our disappointed faces and offered help; she would pay for me for a couple of hours, testing could start and dad could get the money. We were elated and thanked her profusely.

Today, I felt for the first time how difficult life can be without money. It is just so difficult to explain why you would't have money or why you would pay back whatever amount is lent. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you need money. People will tell you politely or harshly, but they will tell you - honey, get the money!

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