Let me start by giving the due share of compliments to my beloved wife on being punctilious on matters of preventive health practices. She is also a very devout person having unflinching faith in various Gods and Goddesses without any inhibition for any religion/sect. As we travelled to USA for a long holiday, she took a share of her treasure of preventive medicines and copies of hymns and slokas too along with the other essentials.
This happened last week.....
Ah......ah......acchooo.......sneezed my elder grandson. My daughter immediately said "Bless you." It was contrary to her firm resolution not to be supportive of superstitions prevailing in India. But I thought this may be a part of conversational etiquette in USA.....! I didn't venture to ask about any controversial topics and kept my deep silence. But it was evidently the harbinger of some health disorder at least a minor cold, a viral infection or an allergic reaction.
My wife immediately got alerted and sprung into action like a policeman on duty in front of the Secretariat after seeing a students' procession. She brought a series of Homeopathic medicines and gave it to him. Since the tablets were made of sugar it was well received too. She called the younger one and administered what she called a preventive dose. The next target was me. As per her claim, she created an impregnable firewall around me to prevent any viral attack.
Day two passed without any major incidents. My grandson continued to be slightly upset with less energy level. But the boy started with nasal discharge which he tried hard to prevent. It became my duty to run after him with a tissue (kerchiefs of our times are obsolete in America ) to inveigle him to blow it so that the relief would be faster. Let me admit that it generally ended in a run and chase game without any positive result.
On the fourth day the throat got affected and the cough started. My wife had a different array of sugar tablets coupled with some Ayurvedic powders to be administered mixed with organic honey......which was well received by the "patient". The child started getting mild fever during night time. If it were in India, we would have either got some medicines from the local chemist or gone to the doctor. This was not readily possible in USA for which we the grandparents on tourist/visitor's visa felt awfully annoyed! At last we compelled them to call the infirmary attached to their town and get an appointment after about ten hours. My wife continued her medication through the sugar pills on all other members of the family proclaiming the superlative powers of that branch of medical treatment and their medicines on curing the problems and for preventing infection. My daughter and son-in-law who have been living in USA for about one and a half decades had the virtues of the local system deeply engraved in their minds. They remarked that a viral attack would generally take six/seven days for complete cure. The local hospitals wouldn't administer any medicines or antibiotics but would advice only complete rest.
As predicted, the diagnosis at the local hospital reaffirmed the suspicion of a viral infection.
The child became near normal and started his usual physical and mischievous activities after two days. Needless to add, the sugary tablets were continued on all these days with lofty claims on its virtues rattled out by my wife often quoting a few examples of successful cases in India.
On the eighth day a Sunday, he fully recovered and insisted on going to the swimming class. After the kids returned from the pool, my wife claimed grand success of her medication. She said "See he has been cured within a week .."
My daughter retorted, "That's why I said it takes seven days."
The younger grandson sneezed and "God bless you" was a statement in unison by all!