Dabbu’s Dilemma

Dabbu’s Dilemma

Dabbu was a child who loved to eat. But he had been unwell for the past few days and was not eating like his usual self. This was a cause of concern for his Dadi. She told her daughter-in-law to take him to the doctor.

Dr. Ghuseda, “What is the problem?”

Amma in a plaintive voice said, “He’s not eating doctor. His Dadi is making all his favourite dishes and he eats them with only two chapatis. He has become so thin.” She exaggerated as mothers are inclined to some time.

Looking at his rotund frame, the Doc tried not to roll his eyes. He had known Dabbu since he was a toddler and had never in the past eight years seen Dabbu thin.  

The Doc made Dabbu lie down on the examination table. “You know he loves to eat and can’t stop himself. On top of that you and Dadi feed him more. He’s a boy not a stuffed toy. His stomach is distended, give him light non-spicy food, lot of fluids and these medicines for the next five days and come back for a follow-up.”

However, Amma didn’t go for a follow-up as Dabbu had started eating like his normal self. But unknown to both, there was trouble festering in his innards. Also, while Dabbu was recovering August had crept up on them. August was Dabbu’s favourite month. It had a completely packed social calendar what with Republic Day, Rakshabandhan, Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, four birthday invites and his own birthday on 30th.

During such times when Dabbu went to eat at his friend’s house he would be dressed properly but when he came back, Amma noted that his pant buttons would be open. Though she chided him for it, the chiding had no heat because she saw his utterly satisfied expression.

Then the inevitable happened just four days before Dabbu’s birthday. On that morning he sidled up to his mother and tried to whisper in her ear. Amma being busy didn’t have time for sweet whisperings. Seeing that Amma was not paying any attention to him and considering that he was probably upset with his current situation Dabbu lost his cool and shouted.

“I have not done potty for two days.”   

Amma stopped working, Dadi stopped praying and they gaped at him.

“What, why didn’t you say anything before?”, asked Amma.

“I thought it will happen. But it hasn’t.”, said Dabbu, tears rolling down his face.

After consoling him, Amma and Dadi turned to their trusted home-remedies and tried everything to unblock poor Dabbu’s blocked intestines. Unfortunately, the next morning did not bring any good news. This saw Dabbu and Amma back at Dr. Ghuseda’s clinic.

The moment the Doc saw them he knew what had happened. It didn’t take a genius to figure it out. Amma looked contrite and Dabbu in pain. After a short conversation he prescribed a syrup that had to be administered in the night and told her to up the dosage by 5 ml if it didn’t work.

29th dawned. As soon as Dabbu woke up they urged him to go to the toilet. Now if it hadn’t been impossible for even one more person to squeeze in, they would have been there in that toilet, keeping an eye on the proceedings. As such they stood outside the door constantly asking, “Hua Kya?” further stressing Dabbu and making things impossible.

Finally, the door opened and two very expectant faces peered at Dabbu. He hung his head indicating a mission not accomplished. Now Amma and Dadi were truly worried. Tomorrow was Dabbu’s birthday, what will happen? Amma tried calling the Doctor but curiously he was busy in the morning and apparently had to go out for an emergency in the evening. She didn’t have a choice except to give Dabbu the increased dosage and pray for the best.

The birthday dawned. The whole exercise of yesterday morning was repeated, with the same result.  Dabbu was in pain, Amma and Dadi were crying. It was the worst birthday ever. When Amma called the clinic, she was informed that the doctor will only be available in the evening. The birthday celebrations were cancelled.

In the evening they were back in the clinic. Dr. Ghuseda told them what needed to be done. Amma and Dadi felt terrible for putting Dabbu in this position. On a day when he should have been stuffed from the front the poor kid was being stuffed from the back.


Dadi – Paternal grandmother

Amma – Mother

Rakshabandhan Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi – Hindu Festivals

Hua Kya – Has it happened?


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Shweta Singh
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