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Jul 27, 2006

A Watchwoman's Wrath against Mustache

Long long ago, before the telephone was invented. (Yes there was such an era), a Traveller became sick and was guided to the town's Doctor.

"I want to meet the Doctor" he told the Watchwoman at the gates. She looked at him coldly, frowned and pointed to a small sign near her. "Men with mustaches are not allowed", said the sign.

Shocked, he asked. "What does the Doctor have against mustaches?"
She shrugged. And stood more firmly between him and the gates, with a grim face.

He decided to stand his ground, even if it meant outside the gates.

Perhaps bored with him, or repulsed by the sight of his mustache, she said after a while, "Why dont you visit some other Doctor. Or shave off your mustache and then come."
"But why?" , he persisted, though little softly. He had realised that he would need her cooperation.

She shrugged again, chewed over something, spat it out and then said "I hate mustaches. Its so offensive."

He stared at her, suprised "Who made this rule, you or the Doctor?"

A rapid volley followed.
"It doesnt matter. I am the gatekeeper and I decide who goes in."

"But the Doctor pays you!"

"The Doctor doesnt pay me, the patients pay me a commission."

"Do the patients know, you made this rule?"

"How do you know the Doctor wont agree to this rule?"

"OK. Let me in and escort me to the Doctor. If the Doctor wants me to shave off my mustache, I will shave it off and come tommorrow."

"My job is to stay here."

"Can we call the Doctor here?"

"He should not be disturbed."

"But what if he is unaware of this."

"Why should it matter. Anyway what is more important to you, the Doctor or your mustache."

"The Doctor is important of course. But I will shave it off, only after the Doctor tells me. "

"There are other Doctors, visit them."

"Perhaps thats because, they dont have a Watchwoman like you."

She went back to her shrug mode. When he still didnt leave. She started, "There is a protocol for everything. And here, this is the protocol."

"Fine. But who are you to decide the protocol."

"Why do you want to visit a place, where you are not welcome."

He burst out in anger. "Because you object to me. Not the Doctor."

"Thats because your mustache is so revolting. Urgh. You think you are special, and you think this is a symbol of how special you are. And you flaunt it in front of me."

"Well its just a part of me. Just like my hair, on the head."

"I have a hair on my head too, and its better and longer than yours. But you have the mustache and I dont."

He pretended to give up and two days later, managed to sneak in, without the Watchwoman's knowledge.

The Doctor didnt throw him out, but treated him. But when he complained about the Watchwoman, the Doctor simply laughed and said. "I didnt make the rule, in fact I dont remember appointing her." And moved on to the next patient. (A man who had shaved off his mustache.)

Aghast, he asked the Doctor, "But arent you going to fire her?" The Doctor didnt reply since he was busy examining the patient. "This is so unfair. She is misusing your name and you dont care!" He exclaimed.

"I am busy. Even if I kick her out, tommorrow another one might take over. I just happen to have better things to do."

"But what about the mustached men. Do you want them to shave their mustaches to meet you? Tommorrow, what if she made a rule, that people with only one hand can meet you. Will your patients, have to cut off their hand?"

The Doctor didnt reply but continued to be engrossed in his work. Perhaps the Doctor thought, if one could come in, others too could come in. Frustrated, the Traveller, walked out in anger, and confronted the Watchwoman. "I met the Doctor, he treated me. He has a mustache and a beard!"

Her eyes went cold and stony, and she gave him a cold hard stare for few minutes. When he didnt budge, she shrugged and said, "Well we dont meet. So he doesnt offend me. The rule still stands. And you better pay a fine to me, for violating my rule."

He stared, stunned and suprised. And walked away. He went to the seniors, in the town and asked them to make the change. But they didnt want to antagonise the Watchwoman. They had grown accustomed to the rule. Mental inertia, instructed them to not make a change, unless they didnt have an option. He argued that the Doctor had a mustache and a beard, but the villagers simply pointed out, he wasnt a Doctor, but a patient.

Tired the Traveller, gave up and decided to continued his journey. During his journey he prayed, "Dear God, please make the Doctor come out of his house once, it would be amusing to see him plead with the Watchwoman, to let him in."

Like the Doctor, the Creator was too busy, channelising rains to a drought hit region, to indulge his request.

Wonder what the watchwoman, would have made out of the “mustache allowance” of Rs.50 every month, reintroduced by commandant V K Singh, who revived the dying tradition of UP Police in a bid to "give extra motivation to the force".

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