"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)


The Doctor Will See You Now..


On certain streets in Delhi “doctors” ply their trade.
What they lack in qualifications is hopefully balanced by experience.
Many of the poor cannot afford to see a registered physician, so there is considerable demand for this cheaper alternative.

Alongside the doctors, unqualified dentists offer extractions and dentures.

It’s a thriving business and certainly an alternative to socialized medicine:
the logical outcome of an unregulated healthcare market.


Picture taken from our cycle-rickshaw, on the streets of New Delhi. 

Long Distance Running


Tight hands grip the arms of the chair,

as I rise –

My weakness of limb I no longer disguise.

From doctor to patient,

requiring a nursemaid.

At times I look forward to boosting the hearse trade.

Spare me sweet patience,

Your kindness won’t do.

A life in the alms house is not what I choose.

While carers encourage my effort in movement,

The last thing I need is:

“Oh, what an improvement!”

Long term inflammation’s

my unwanted house-guest.

The blood tests are showing stale-mate but not conquest.

Now paid baby-sitters

must stay in my home lest

I fall in the night and am found with my pants messed.

Age and infirmity.

– I squirm and pride fades –

I tried to embrace these unlovely bridesmaids.

My heart is so weary,

my joints are so tired they’d

Welcome release, in the knowledge I’d paid

the debts which fell due in this life,

so confusing.

I will focus my thoughts as I ration my musing.

I have girded my loins and I’ll limit my snoozing.

To stumble, but finish,

cannot be called losing.




“…that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”


Ulysses, Alfred Lord Tennyson


Little Pharma

Here in India, I self-prescribe. Everything I request is supplied with a smile.

Powerful intravenous antibiotics, needles, syringes, analgesics, statins and anti-inflammatory steroids: all have been purchased over the counter.

This is an excellent service.

But I wonder about its implications.