Editor’s Note: So you don’t look your age. And people compliment you by saying so. Often. How we women would love to experience that. But here is someone, our member aminroop who doesn’t. And humorously she tells us why. Write to us here if you have ever experienced anything similar.

The most frequent question people ask me when they first meet me is “ which college are you in? “ Actually, I’m lucky if they ask me which college because some people have even asked me what class are you in…like I’m 15! I almost scream out that I’m 24! When I say I’m doing my post-grad in medicine, they look amazed and even ask stupidly…’that means, you are done with your MBBS, is it??’ The worst part is I’m a doctor and even my patients don’t take me seriously. They think even the intern posted in the ward under me is senior to me. Incidentally, the intern is a tall balding guy with a thick mustache and even a few grey strands at the sides. ( I think the bald patch is what that works in his favour. People automatically seem to think he is very wise!) 

And before you can ask, I’ll tell you… NO, I DO NOT use santoor soap. No, Not even godrej hair dye.

I’m so fed up with this nonsense that I asked my friends for advice on how to look older.

One friend gave me a once-over look and declared “its your hair-style!” I looked at her quizzically… she said , “your hair-style is too…uh..er…how to put it…too glamorous.”: I was in fact flattered. Glamorous! Not bad. But then, that was the idea, because, afte rall I had paid 250 bucks for it! But she said it with such distaste that I realized it wasn’t meant as a compliment. But I thought looking glamorous was ‘in’ these days, wasn’t it?. But she clarifies soon enough saying… “ glamour and hospital do not go hand in hand. Patients won’t respect you ! ” Oh…dear! 

Another colleague said, “Maybe you should go in for specs. Glasses will make any person look older.” So, I go specs shopping and have a nice time trying out the different types that they have. Finally I buy a black-rimmed one hoping to look like Preity Zinta in kal-ho-na-ho…serious and all… And the next day I wear it to the hospital. One colleague says… ‘oh..you look sooo cute…!!!” well, ‘cute’ was exactly NOT the look I was hoping to achieve. Another flirtatious colleague said I looked like the ‘private secy’ in some remix video he watched recently and winked! Ahemm…!!! and, that was the last time my specs ever saw day-light.

Then another colleague suggested that I wear a saree to work. But I vetoed that idea immediately. Because I couldn’t imagine getting up an hour early to drape the saree and then travel on a two-wheeler all the while praying that it doesn’t cum off. As it is I’m quite clumsy, dint want to add on to it by seeming uncomfortable and awkward in a saree. But I must admit, secretly, I did consider that option too. But the only saree I possessed happened to be quite similar to the hospital sweepers’ uniform , that I dint want to take the risk of being mistaken for a sweeper.

Then a senior colleague took pity on me and said…”what if you don’t look the part, just act the part.” and even gave me a few ‘tips’ that were guaranteed to command respect from patients. These are the tactics that he uses, it seems.

  • Keep the talk to a minimum. Stick to grunts and groans as much as possible. If extremely unavoidable u may speak in mono-syllables. ( so…that explains why he looked as though it pained him to even speak!)
  • Look and feel important all the time. ( that’s the secret behind his swollen head! we always thought, with the force of gravity acting, it was a wonder he dint walk upside down!)
  • Snap at interns. order your sub-ordinates around if necessary to establish authority. ( how mean!)
  • If anyone has a query, you should always remove your specs thoughtfully and keep the answer as short as possible…preferably, just one sentence. ( ah.. so that’s where the specs come into the picture! That one I have seen in movies too.)
  • Just look like you know what you are doing even if you haven’t got a clue. ( keeping your fingers crossed helps too!)

While, I profusely thanked him for his pearls of wisdom, I don’t think I am up to any of the things he mentioned. I’m just not wired like that. 

So, I’m left with just one other option…which is , to let my work speak for itself, for now.. Someday I will look the part of a ‘doctor-amma’ too. But when?? is the question.