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Dog days in Dilli

If there is anything which distinguishes the city of Delhi from other metropolises, it is the power of the name. When bulldozers come to dem...

If there is anything which distinguishes the city of Delhi from other metropolises, it is the power of the name. When bulldozers come to demolish the extra room of my ex-neighbour, a retired bureaucrat, all it takes for them to turn back is the threat of calling up the prime minister’s office.

All this is common place. But what I recently witnessed at my vet’s clinic took my breath away. We had gone to get our dog vaccinated to our vet’s clinic. As usual, we had to wait for our turn. Now this is not easy. In the small waiting room, there are dogs of all sizes and temperaments. Controlling our little dog is always an experience. That day, there were about four of us “parents” waiting with their “wards” at the clinic.

Ordinarily, it takes about 10-15 minutes before one gets to see the vet. But on this day there was a lady inside the vet’s room with her maidservant and a tiny poodle. One could see through the glass that the doctor was finished with the dog but the lady kept on arguing. This went on for about 25 minutes. Everyone in the waiting room was losing patience.

I decided to be discourteous and knocked on the glass to make the doctor aware of us poor souls. To my surprise, the doctor looked relieved and within minutes, the lady was out, with entourage and fancy dog products.

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It turns out that the lady got her poodle treated and bought several products and asked for the bill. On hearing the amount, she expressed surprise and disgust. Now, one doesn’t argue with a doctor or a lawyer over his fee in polite society. But clearly, this lady was made of sterner stuff. The vet gently tried to tell her that this was not done. The lady, then went into the dilliwalla mode and told the doctor that the poodle belonged to the Ms So and So — the pioneer of one of the most lucrative industries of our times, the weight-loss industry!

All I could imagine next was that this goddess of anorexics, who must have made millions, would be demanding a discount from the subziwala.

First published on: 19-07-2005 at 00:05 IST
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