Chapter  5, Pt 4 of 4


No wonder he was always so very grateful for what we did for him. He not only got a bigger remuneration but also was treated as one of the family. He had the same food as we did. We would not have it otherwise. The only way we could have these doctors living with us, was to let them feel quite at home, and to treat them as our own brothers.

Doctor Naqvi had a charming personality. He was of fair complexion, quite a tall and well- built man. His slightly greying and thinning hair gave him a distinguished look and he made himself well liked by his gentle, courteous manner. He was most tidy in his habits and nothing in his room was ever out of place. I could not help asking one day how long it took him to develop this wonderful habit of perfect tidiness. “I have to thank my old aunt for that, she had complete authority in our household and she never hesitated in giving me a caning if I failed to put my things away, including my text books.

Doctor Naqvi had other qualities besides being tidy. He was forever ready to please Sheel in every way. He believed in discipline, and the respect for the seniors. He never argued with Sheel or tried to shine above him. He always said quite openly that his duty was to play second fiddle, and he must stick to that. It was amazing how, even in small matters, he would always place Sheel first. For instance, he would never sit down if Sheel was standing, and would not dream of having his meal before him, even if he had to wait for a long time.

They got on splendidly together and after supper would sit by the fire and talk away, even when I had gone to bed. Then they would drop off to sleep in the easy chairs and snore quite loudly. They were both champion snorers and I could hear them upstairs in my bed. Then one of them would give a great big snore and wake himself up and that would be the signal for their bedtime.

Doctor Naqvi had a very attractive way of telling stories and various incidents. I have not forgotten one of his personal experiences he related to us.

It happened in Wales where he was doing locum for one of the doctors. “It was evening time.” he said, “and I had only a few more patients left in the surgery. There was no receptionist to help me with the work. The next patient who walked into the room was a tall, hefty fellow with a sullen look. ‘Sit down please,’ I said, pointing towards the chair, ‘and what is the trouble?’ ‘I want to know that myself’ he replied sharply. ‘That is why I have come to you.’ ‘All right go over there and undress’ ‘Do not order me about’ he protested, and without any provocation on my part, he became abusive. ‘Would you go into the waiting-room, I said firmly, ‘and I will see you later.’

” ‘You will see me now,’ and as he said it, he stood up showing me his broad chest. He seemed ready to fight. I had no choice but to stand up and face him. I must admit my legs were shaking a bit, because I expected a blow from him any time.

“ ‘Would you wait outside,’ I repeated in an unusually loud voice. I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard the waiting-room door open and a gentleman thrust his way into the room. He saved a lot of trouble for me.”

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