The overdose

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There is no problem, here, getting any type of drug, even antibiotics, just by asking. It gets even better, if you just tell the person, manning the pharmacy counter, the general nature of your ailment, he would, in all probability, suggest the “right” medication! Shopkeepers do not dare ask for a prescription for the fear of losing business. Many thronging drug stores do have some such slip; there are quite many who do not. Antibiotics, as believed, are sold with disregard in most third world countries.

But people get residual antibiotic doses even by consuming items from unsuspecting sources like farm raised poultry products as well. As measure of safeguarding investments, chickens are given regular antibiotics dose like farmers doing the same with pesticides. Overdose is usually drug implied, but this piece aims to highlight some arising out of other sources, both physical and otherwise. We are reminded, more often, that too much of anything is bad and urban environment provides some of the best examples about such excess that could very well do without.

There is nothing worse than having to bear constant blaring of vehicular horn. This becomes even more apparent when one walks and gets horn blasts as people share the same pavement along with vehicles of all modes and make. Every vehicle is in a greater hurry than the one in front. Unable to do much, the easiest option is to press the horn. Unfortunately, blowing horn does not help anyone get airborne out of a jam. Small vehicles normally come with low decibel horns but that does not seem to be true anymore as motorbikes get fitted with loudest horns appropriate for off-road vehicles. The possible way to counter the “trigger” happy habit is to make it mandatory for all vehicles to have lowest decibel ones for their “Nepal Version” and make monitoring a regular habit.

Rules are made with keeping greater public safety in mind and mandatory helmet rule is an example. But it is equally true that majority of riders do not care to strap helmets as necessary. You might as well use a kasaudi, and no one will notice the difference. There was a sad case, few years ago in Bhaktapur, in which a motorbike trying to evade a police check post, ended killing a policeman on duty. News stories next day did not mention whether the rider, who also died, had his helmet properly secured or not? By not highlighting such facts, it ended being, nothing more than another accident story.

Motorbikes are often seen carrying three these days. At other times these are seen carrying hazardous items like sheet of glass, plywood boards, long pipes and even inappropriately bulky items and no one seems to take notice. We have liquor overdose rules but no resolve to check for compliance and a system to penalize defaulters in a legitimate manner. There should have been blood tests following definitive breathalyzer reading. People should be told that driving is okay so long as the breathalyzer reading does not exceed a specific figure. This should at the least make drivers drink sensibly, if nothing else. Nepal-related news get world headlines mostly for negative reasons and a sniffing Nepali Police had the world laughing.

People elsewhere find negative news, relating to their country or people, very offensive. Just to cite a recent example, a very close friend from my engineering college days immigrated to USA decades ago. He loves Himalaya and tries to visit Nepal after or before visiting his mother in Bangalore. He did happen to read my most recent piece (TKPost- 5 Feb) and found offense that it showed India in a poor light. It talked about U-2 (US spy plane) base in Orissa, against the generally held belief in India that cooperation with CIA was not in the country’s interest. That was a historical fact, but he simply did not think it was true.

This was another kind of overdose which prefers not to accept fact, howsoever bitter. We, on the other hand, seem to be at the other extreme. That said, everyone needs to be sensitive to all forms of overdose that makes Nepal and Nepali a laughing stock.    

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