Mr. Death convenes a meeting at his office with Messrs Diabetes, Hypertension and Heart Attack.

Death: I believe you will be wondering why I convened this urgent meeting. I am quite unhappy with your performance, and I am seriously concerned about the future of my dynasty. I have been instructing you for the past several years to bring Mr. Health to my office. But you people have been turning a deaf ear to all my orders. I just need your explanation. Let me start with Hypertension.

Hypertension: Sir, I am deeply offended by your comments. As you would be aware, my acts come to light only after a long period of time. I wish to once again disclose that I have been silently affecting a larger percentage of the human population, causing considerable damage to almost all organs of the body. Basically, I affect the blood vessels and will make every effort to hamper blood supply to vital organs, including the heart, the brain and the kidneys. My persistence depends upon the person’s unawareness of my presence. But if I manage to persist, I will surely ensure that he is brought to your gallery or at least make his life worthless and confine him to bed. When I damage a person’s heart, he will develop heart failure and when I damage his kidneys he will develop kidney failure. When I damage his brain, he will suffer a stroke. I can even make a person blind and speechless.

Death: You are boasting too much, then why did you leave Mr. Health?

Hypertension: Sir, whatever I said is not just empty rhetoric. They are true facts. Mr. Health gets his blood pressure checked periodically through his family doctor. More important, he is stress-free. He has reduced his salt intake, and right from childhood he has been doing regular exercise. How can I approach him, sir? I am equally ashamed and concerned. But I am helpless.

Death: Oh God, what about you, Mr. Diabetes?

Diabetes: Sir, It is indeed disheartening to see you worried and angry. But let me assure you that we have been working too hard, especially during the last 25 years to throw life on earth out of gear. Currently, I have made India the diabetic capital of the world. I wish to humbly disclose that I can derange the whole metabolism of the human body, and can equally cause damage like hypertension and I can even damage the nerves, when no one controls me. Especially, when we both (Diabetes and Hypertension) make an alliance, no human being can escape the clutches of our cruelty.

But in the case of Mr. Health, he has very clean eating habits. He avoids junk foods. He eats plenty of fresh vegetables and goes for a morning walk regularly. Even my sister Cholesterol couldn’t have any nexus with him.

I would also wish to bring to your notice that Mr. Cigarette and Mr. Alcohol have left him scot-free. I am helpless at present.

Death: Is it? I shall summon them both immediately

Death sends an sms to Cigarette and Alcohol — ‘urgent meeting at my office. Come quick.’

Both of them appear within minutes.

Cigarette and Alcohol: Good morning, sir.

Death: This morning doesn’t seem to be good for me.

Cigarette and Alcohol: What shall we do for you, sir?

Death: Look here gentlemen, I have been praising you always. You both have been doing a wonderful work ruining the world, and spoiling mankind. But I get worried when Hypertension and Diabetes accuse you of not having made any nexus with Health.

Cigarette and Alcohol: Sir, we tried our level best to approach him. We have indeed made an indecent proposal through his friends. But he doesn’t seem to bother us. Yet we are continuously struggling. Once we succeed in approaching him, we will destroy almost every organ in his body, but our preference will be his lungs, heart and pancreas.

Death: You have not spoken anything, Mr. Heart Attack

Heart Attack: Sir, as you would be aware, without the cooperation of the other members, I am virtually helpless.

Death: Gentlemen, I am totally upset. If such things continue on earth, then my galleries will be virtually empty. I have a feeling that my dynasty is shrinking. I hereby make an earnest appeal to each one of you to continue your battle more vigorously against mankind. Expecting positive results from you soon. Goodbye.

Writer’s advice: Dear students, did you hear the conversation of these bad guys? Let us not fall a victim to their nefarious plans. Let’s strive hard to win this unholy battle against mankind. It is only during childhood that healthy lifestyles could be built up. So right from now, start practising a healthy lifestyle. Adopt clean habits and sensitise your neighbours to the importance of health.

(The writer is a Tutor in Community Medicine, Tirunelveli Medical College, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. drplatha@yahoo.in)

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