Dickey takes on shady medicos
The Deputy Attorney general of the Republic of Singapore was dignified and humble. He had come to India for discussions with the officials of Indian Bar Council and Judiciary. He was here to put together an agenda for the forthcoming Judicial conclave planned by his government. The main objective of the conclave was to address new ethical issues and other complications arising out of unregulated application of medical technology in the hospitals in Singapore. His government was hoping that the discussions would throw up guidelines to frame new regulations that would be introduced in near future. He was happy with the inter actions he had with Indian legal experts .He could now appreciate exactly how far Indian government had progressed in bringing about required regulations to prevent technological exploitation in medical profession. He also could see how corruption In the Indian system prevented proper application of new laws. He was very keen that Singapore should be more committed in the implementation of new guidelines and regulations
He was happy he had brought together right type of people for discussions on a rather tricky subject concerning medical profession. He was particularly impressed by the inputs provided by a fire brand female lawyer from Hyderabad. He looked at her business card again. It showed the name as Kadambari .She was also known as a highly committed human rights activist and she had brought heaps of documents covering the atrocities committed by the medical fraternity and enormous influence and power they had to protect the erring professionals. During the heated discussions she took on some very big guns with very assertive and at times very offensive remarks. He thought it would help his cause if he could hold a one to one discussion with her after main meeting with expert council was over. So during one of the many tea breaks, he took Kadambari aside and requested her to stay back after the meeting got over.
Kadambari was very surprised to receive such a request. After all that is said and done, in New Delhi she was a small fry as there were many more successful and prominent legal advisors , with more political clout to help the DAG. But the request was made very sincerely and she also noticed some amount of anxiety. Ever helpful and considerate to other people ‘s trouble, Kadambari agreed to stay back and added that she had to go out with her partner, who would be coming in shortly to take her away when the conference got over.
He asked her, ”Is your partner also in legal profession?”
Kadambari laughed trying to think how Dickey would have answered that question if it was put to him. She answered, ’No, he is not in legal profession. He does lot of investigative and troubleshooting work. More of trouble shooting, I guess , because I have a propensity to get into serious trouble and he always comes out as my saviour.” As she said, her eyes twinkled. ” He has other skills .”
‘Tell me more about your partner. From your eyes I can make out you have some special relations .Your face shines nicely when you talk about him.’
“yes, he is a very special man. He is a very good friend of longstanding and is like my body guard when my cases go awry and threatening.”
‘You mean dangerous’.
“Yes You can say that.”
‘And He is good in his job?’
‘Then please tell him that he is also invited. We can have our meeting over dinner .Will that be alright?’
“If it is a dinner meeting, I suggest we have it in the Army club. .It is an exclusive club meant only for very senior army officers and very select civilian gentlemen. My partner is a member and we use it when ever we plan some thing really naughty.’ As she said it she laughed loudly .Her laughter was contagious and lightened the mood
Ok, it is Army club then. Was your partner high up in the Army?.
‘I do not want answer that directly. But I will say that when my partner retired , from the army, the Army Chief personally drove him home’
You don’t wish to reveal his rank.
The meeting came to an end .All the delegates pushed their chairs back and stretched their legs, preparing to go out.
Dickey entered the room to take Kadambari away. As usual he was dressed in the most informal manner comprising of a Gurkha regiment khaki shorts nicely ironed, white round neck T shirt that was one size too tight, revealing his bulging biceps and broad fore arm. Kaddu always described his arms as Popeye arm. His long thick fingers were twisting out of shape a beaten up but clean white polo cap which he sometimes sported to cover his crewcut head.
The DAG watched from his place, kadambari putting all her papers together and looking up as Dickey leaned over to help. There was a warm hug and she walked behind him like a lamb. She stopped suddenly as she remembered and heard an irritated ‘what now?”.Kadambari held Dickey by hand and led him towards the waiting DAG.As they neared the waiting DAG, she said,”Dickey, meet Mr Shanmukham, DAG of government of Singapore “ and she smiled at Shanmukham and said,”sir, please meet my partner Dickey’
Shanmukham stepped forward eagerly extending his hand. Dickey completely ignored him and told Kadambari ’Kaddu, I am in a hurry. I can’t waste time talking to lawyers. Mouli is expecting my call and some thing has happened in Hyderabad and I need to catch the night flight to Hyderabad.so pl let us go’. He then turned towards DAG and said, ‘Hello’ with out caring to shake hands. Shanmukham went red in face. Kadambari said after literally forcing a handshake, ’Dickey , this is more important. please shake hands like a gentleman. Mouli can wait.’
Dickey bristled but like a child chastened by a domineering teacher, he reluctantly shook hands and DAG winced as the strong grip eased the blood out of his hand. Some how, DAG was not offended. He knew he was in presence of a personality who did not stand for any nonsense. He said “Dickey, I assure you that what I have to discuss is very important. I am sorry , your evening plans are dashed but you will agree after discussions that what I say is true. My position does not allow me the privilege of wasting any body’s time. Kadambari mentioned that we can have our dinner meeting at your Army club. Can you please arrange for reservation.”
‘It is not my club,’ Dickey said in irritation. ’ Kaddu here is known to do daftest of things and we end up cleaning the mess she leaves all over the place. She has not mentioned about any evening dinner plans to me. I had other plans, which are also no less important .’
“How can you say that ,Dickey. You don’t even know what he wants to talk about”
‘I know what he wants to talk about. His government has been making lot of money by allowing use of their hospitals by phony doctors and quacks and suddenly they are becoming ethical , because they have discovered that their treasury is being filled with blood money. They are worried about the fair name of their dear country being sullied by unscrupulous elements in medical field. They want your help to clean up their dirty closet”
DAG was shocked. The out burst was charged. It was honest. It was intimidating.
KADAMBARI SHOUTED ”Dickey, that was not fair. That is hitting below the belt.’
‘Is it ? Look at his face. You can not see anything more revealing.
DAG was hard pressed to keep calm. He now understood what Kadambari meant when she said Dickey was a special man. Suddenly he was happy he had met him. He knew he would find all the solutions he wanted from this man. Dickey was only 5’ 7’’while Shanmukham was 6’2’’ , yet he felt like a pygmy in front of a giant. Shanmukham had become a DAG from a very humble beginning. Softly he said, with grace and dignity, ”Yes, Dickey what you said is very correct. I need help. I do not see anybody more suitable to tackle this work. It is necessary to put our house in order and we are determined to clean up. We have been successful in cleaning many things in our country and every time we have taken proper help. Are you so busy that you do not want to support an honest effort ?”
‘Stop fooling around, Dickey. This gent is serious and he is screaming for help. Are you deaf?’ Kadambari had raised her voice by a decibel. DAG laughed .Dickey relented
“8 o clock, at the Army club. It is in Connaught place. I will send a car to pick you up. You don’t come to the club in an embassy limousine. It will attract unwarranted attention.”
Then he turned and walked away dragging Kaddu with him by one hand. .Kaddu was literally running to keep pace with him, while the other hand was busy stuffing her papers in her bag .DAG was watching. It appeared to him that he was seeing an elder brother dragging a reluctant sister to school. That thought filled him with a warm feeling towards them. He wanted to know more about them.