Quack’s progress

a poem by

Nandlal K. Pancholi

Arriving from unknown somewhere
He set up clinic in the market square
Declared he could cure any disease
Using herbal drugs of plants and trees
Townsfolk being credulous

Soon to his shop began to rush
Diabetics, rheumatics, asthmatics flooded
None over his degree brooded
A few weeks later, afloat was this rumour
He cures for he rightly detects the humour
Realizing that every client is a prospective fan
He talked in technical terms even with laymen
He would expose his victims to numerous medical terms
Also trade-names, contents, firms, diseases and germs
Just to exhibit erudition and sound philosophy
Without occasion he embarked on learned topics
Often dwelt on sedatives and epilepsy
Or discoursed at length on tumor and biopsy
Then in a torrent of rodomontade would relate
Histories of cases cured with specific names and date
Discourses full of references to Ayurvedic treatises
Madhv, Charak, Susrut and other varieties
To prove his point he recited aloud original excerpts
As a result ,he soon won the epithet: “expert of experts”
“Discourteous ingrates! They even do not thank
Though I give ’em new life” exclaimed the mountebank.

Always eager to spar against allopathy
At the slightest provocation he would lecture on allopathic hazards
Or would lament on untidy hospitals and unhygienic wards
Boldly averring: “To hide anything from patients is a deadly sin”
Within no time he became a celebrity
His tricks worked and brought him publicity
After a year DHO came to see him in person
And sought his counsel for his sick son
A minister’s car at his doorstep halted
Just to enhance libido and weakness treated
He gave the minister powerful mercury dust
Which triggered his vigor and inflamed his lust

Then to CM’s ears reached his fragrant fame
Who called him secretly telling him not to declare name
MPs in turn heard of this rare phenomenon
And turned up to consult him one by one
Director drug control came to seek his advice
For chronic dysentery and perennial bronchitis
At length PM had to send him his compliments
For service to nation and “particular patients”
The whole world acknowledged him as master of his craft
But a person knew his truth in his own staff
His compounder knew his master was a fake
But he swallowed the secret for heaven’s sake