Parents (or ma/baap) of public health

The Ramayans were driving everyone crazy (including themselves). They had been sitting on the fence for so long that everyone had gotten used to it. Everyone, except some stupid children from the slums, who began to indiscriminately throw stones at the Ramayans and demanding that if they were being used in the Ramayan’s Mahabaratha as main characters, then they needed to get a share of the financial pie and literary glory. ‘How can you take stories about us and make money of it and then not give us any share of it?’ asked an upstart, rather petulantly.

He was so dirty and stinky that the Ramayans had to move away several inches before they even attempted a breath. The fact that the drain surrounding their plush office smelt even more foul was lost on them (“Force of habit” as one of the Ramayans frequently loved to point out).

The Ramayans made it a point to be on every committee that was ever made so that they could claim to have been at the centre of every decision making at the national and international level. The Ramayans felt that public health was a hereditary right. They felt that their legacy of public health should be rightfully handed to their own children and grandchildren.  They felt that knowledge could not be handled by any Tom, Dick and Harry (read Kenchappa, Siddappa, Mallappa) who were nothing more than illiterate brutes.

“Knowledge’ agreed the Ramayans, in their weekly academic poutings, ‘was precious”. IT COULD NOT BE something that ANYONE could handle. It had to ONLY be handled by Ramayan progeny or Ramayan trained stooges. If so handled by someone else, knowledge would become a dangerous weapon that would upset the apple cart of the Ramayan’s historical legacy of being the HOO HOO in public health.

The Ramayans therefore began a new fellowship course “How to train unethical spies to sabotage uneducated community folks who seek to hold knowledge which belongs only to the Ramayans and their progeny and/or their stooges’. They actively solicited several people to take up this new course. The results were mixed. On the one hand, the Ramayans did indeed enroll several promising young (and old) candidates into this modern day course, but on the other hand, the Ramayans fell into the ditch surrounding their sprawling mansion. While this fall wasn’t literal, it meant that the Ramayans fell first in their own eyes and then rapidly in the eyes of all who had inadvertentely looked up to them.

The fall of the Ramayans was also documented in a public health history textbook titled “Historical perspectives on public health in an imaginary state in an imaginary country”. The chapter was aptly titled “The Ramayans – A case study of how to protect ones spaces by hook or by crook (mainly the latter)”  Not surprisingly this particular book was never stocked in the Ramayan’s magnificient library.


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