Adventures in ‘alternative’ medicine!

You may want to try out one of these…

Ajaz A Baba
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 8 2018 10:45PM | Updated Date: Dec 8 2018 10:45PM
Adventures in ‘alternative’ medicine!

It being the ‘sale’ season, my initial thought on seeing a series of tents erected in one of the public parks in Lal Chowk was that a mega sale must be underway. However, as I entered the very first of these tents, it turned out to be a protest sit-in-cum-hunger strike.

“What is all this about?” I asked one of the participants.

“We are demanding to be recognized as a system of medicine and to be considered for government jobs,” the fellow informed me.

“What is your calling?” I asked.

“Sneezopathy!” was his prompt reply.

“Sneezopathy?! Whatever is that?!”

“That’s strange! Your not having heard of it, I mean!” the guy said contemptuously. “It is an established branch of the healing sciences. It goes back two centuries when the founder of this ‘system of medicine’ sneezed one day and threw out a pea that had got lodged in his nose and got convinced of the ‘medicinal’ value of sneezing!”

“Really! What do you offer a cure for?” I asked.

“Almost everything under the sun!” he claimed. “We induce sneezing in our ‘patients’ which jerks out all the germs from their system. It also agitates the blood preventing the build up of clots which otherwise plug the blood vessels leading to terrible diseases. Of course, there is a proper ‘dose’ for every disease – specific number of sneezes for a particular disease.”

This sounded mighty convincing. I decided to give it a try.

“I have been having this heavy feeling in my head lately. Would you be having a cure for that?” I ventured.

“Sure!” he said and escorted me behind a partition in the tent. I was instructed to sit in a chair with built-in handcuffs. After being properly restrained a couple of sneezopathy ‘doctors’ started tickling my nose with what looked like dry grass. Soon enough I started sneezing and one of the ‘doctors’ recorded my sneezes on a hand held counter (which they later told me was a portable ‘sneezometer’!). After a volley of nearly 50 sneezes (the proper ‘dose’ I presume!) my head began to swim, my eyes bulged out and I felt that my brain had somersaulted and changed direction so that the whole world appeared different to me!

“Are you feeling better?” the ‘doctors’ asked solicitously. Because of the marathon of sneezing my head was nodding continuously and taking that as a ‘yes’ they released me. The truth was that I was feeling lightheaded after the ‘therapy’, so light in fact that for a moment I feared that I might have sneezed out my brains!

After I recovered I continued to look around. I entered another tent only to discover yet another ‘science of healing’ vying for recognition and jobs.

“We are specialists in ‘astropathy’,” an intense-looking young lady, who wore a whole constellation of star-shaped ornaments in her hair informed me.

“What’s it about? Is it anything to do with astronomy or astrology?” I asked.

“Well you might say that it is a kind of sub-sub specialty of a mixture of both,” she explained. “We usually give the therapy during night hours. We ‘admit’ our patients and put them on beds out in the open. Then we assign them a specific portion of the sky to scan and count the stars therein (depending upon the disease and the required ‘dose’, that is the number of stars to be counted. Usually the patients are so taken up with the counting that they forget all aches and pains. An excellent remedy for sleeplessness and a host of other diseases!”

At this point of time a young man feigning blindness bumped into the young ‘astropathy’ lady ‘doctor’. She instantly caught hold of the guy and planted a couple of full-swing slaps on his face. The ‘blind’ fellow immediately ‘regained’ his sight and fled from the scene.

“What was that?” I said, startled by the suddenness of it all.

The ‘lady doctor’ smiled sweetly and said, “That’s a kind of minor ‘surgical’ procedure. You see it instantly cured him!”

No wonder these people called themselves ‘Bachelors of Astropathic Medicine and Surgery’!

I couldn’t restrain myself from peeking into the next tent. The guys in there did not even wait for any question. “We are Psychopaths!” they said.

“Oh Really!” I said and was instantly on my guard. “Now I didn’t know that it requires a degree to become a Psychopath!”

“Of course, it does!” the leader of the group said. “We have done a year and a half long correspondence course in Psychopathy.”

They showed me their colourful certificates, which had more colours than a rainbow and rightly so as they were from some ‘Peacock College of Psychopathic Sciences’.

“Is it something like Psychopathology?” I asked.

“Well…yes! No! Maybe!” their leader said uncertainly.

“I mean, do you fellows follow Freud?” I offered.

“Yes…No! I mean we follow Fried!” the leader countered.

“Fried?! Who or what is that?” 

“That’s what the respected founder of our alma mater ‘Peacock College of Psychopathy’ is known as. You see he used to sell fried sweetmeats on the streets and so ‘Fried’ became a part of his name (as usually happens!), a sort of nick-name! Then he jumped into politics and became an MLA. Impressed with his Psychiatrist he opened this college of Psychopathic Sciences and got it recognized by the local medical council. He even wanted to name it after his Psychiatrist but that fellow threatened to commit suicide (probably he was too modest!),” he explained in detail.

(Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored! Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce (iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, at

This site uses cookies to deliver our services and to show you relevant news and ads. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service.That's Fine