A telling taleBMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2953 (Published 22 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2953
- Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor
For half a century the Indian author R K Narayan chronicled the everyday life of his fictional town of Malgudi, in reality his home town of Mysore. He had that ability to see (and convey in words) a universe in a grain of sand that is, perhaps, the mark of a great writer.
The protagonist of his short story “The Doctor’s Word,” published in 1947 in the collection The Astrologer’s Day, is Dr Raman. He is a specialist of sorts: people go or are brought to him only as a last resort. This causes Dr Raman to demand why they did not come to him earlier, exactly the question …