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desideewar des se WITH SONAL KULSHRESTHA

No matter how many times we return to India from anywhere else in the world, there are things we note and are amazed at. Most of these catch our attention because of the this-happens-only-in-India factor. Some due to the this-still-hasn't-changed-in-all-these-years factor (read a separate article on that here). Add to that the cultural aspect that is so unique to India. Then there is that which brings flood of memories from our childhood days. Follow me right here as I journal my amazement ...

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#1.Home Visits- This never ceases to amaze us NRIs, the Non-Resident-Indians (as we are referred to in India). Right from the neighborhood grocery store, to doctors and pharmacist- everyone is willing to make a home visit at no extra charge. While growing up in India we always had the dhobi coming at our house to pick the clothes that were duly ironed and returned. Now even the dry cleaners have pickup and delivery guys for our royal convenience. The doctors in the neighborhood are always willing to make a "quick stop" on way to their clinic to check on our child who recently started loose motions. 

I was left in wonderment at another kind of home visit during my trip to India. My mom who has recently been diagnosed with ILD (Interstitial Lung Disease) was told to use an oxygen concentrator. I was still in America when my dad described how the vendor had delivered the equipment at their house, set it all up for them and even taught them how to use it. However, I got to witness it first hand when we wanted to add a portable oxygen concentrator for use during occasional trips when we visit. The owner of Lifecare Medica, Mr. Raj Sukhwania, who happens to live close by, came with his ace technician along with a demo unit of the equipment in question. After giving the necessary demonstration, he tells my dad, "Uncle, I'm your neighbor, tou main apko frankly bataun (let me tell you frankly), do not buy this portable device. This is four times more expensive and very delicate. You will be better off just renting it for the necessary number of days for your trip". Now, had my dad known the price of the equipment before he requested a demo visit, he wouldn't have even considered it. Priced at over Rs. 2 lakhs, it certainly isn't something a retired person will buy when cheaper options are available. But the point is, he instantly got my attention with his suggestion. I was impressed. Maybe he sensed that his potential client had quiet realized the price tag it comes with, but what an elegant way of informing the price without causing any embarrassment, and at the same time, winning over the trust of his audience. That wasn't all though. By the end of his visit, the guy had us sitting and listening to him like bunch of impressed school students while he imparted valuable suggestions and advises. All good, mind you. This is how it unfolded. My dad asked him a question. The question being-"My wife has been using the big equipment for the past two months. How can we tell if that is causing an improvement?". This is what he had to say-"Uncle, you ask very good questions, you spend the time to understand everything and you really care about your wife and that reminds me of my father-in-law. So I will tell you honestly. Allopathic medicine does symptomatic treatment. As I understand when you use more and more of oxygen, the lung muscles weaken. What you really need to do for her is respiratory rehab. We have a Philips Inspiratory Muscle Trainer for only Rs. 2200 that will do wonders for her. She must work on strengthening all of her muscles too. For that you can buy a stationary bike from us that cost Rs. 15,000. Uncle, you need it too. Your tummy should be like this (gestures to show that it should go straight down without any bulge). Believe me, both of your lives will change after that." He went on to say a whole lot of other things to his very rapt pupil- about how doctors prescribe but are too busy to explain the intricacies, about how he likes to share his knowledge with the patients as he delivers the equipment, and so on. Overall, he probably didn't spend more than 30 minutes in our house, but we were sold in less than half of that time. Yes, my dad plans on renting the equipment from him, buying the muscle trainer and the stationary bike- a total of  Rs. 22,200 worth of sale- versus being told the price over the phone and my dad going, "oh, never mind". But it is not just that I am left speechless at his salesmanship. I actually believed him when he said that it wasn't about the money for him :). 

(Of course, I just had to take a picture of him with my cell- Mr. Raj Sukhwani, on the right, with his technician. If you're in need of any Philips medical equipment around Delhi in India, contact be sure to contact Lifecare Medica)

#2. ...check back and follow me right here as I journal my amazement with India and its people...

By Sonal Kulshrestha

(Sonal is a computer programmer by profession and a writer by passion. She is an avid movie goer. She lives in Texas, USA) 

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