Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Ultimate Cure

Azad Bhai is no Dallas Austin. Infact he would rarely associate himself with a rapper whose hit singles include ‘Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg’ and ‘Silly Ho’.

Possibly that is why, somewhere during his 35 year old struggle in the UAE, he decided to become a 'doctor'. The ‘doctor’ or the ‘Vaidyan’ as per a South Asian terminology, interestingly never carries a stethoscope. He looks pretty innocuous, until someone flashes a couple of 10 Dhs notes and that is when Azad Bhai will reveal his armoury, a full array of illicit liquor bottles concealed under his worn-out shirt. There are thousands of ‘doctors’ like Azad Bhai in UAE who make a living out of selling illicit liquor. And there is never a dearth of ‘patients’ either whose monthly salary will not be enough to pay a days bill in one of Dubai’s exclusive bars.

Years and years of eluding the Dubai Police and late night handling of bottle deliveries have taken a toll on Azad Bhai and now retirement seems imminent. But he is all too well aware that there are more than enough promising ‘doctors’ out there to carry forward his legacy. Besides for a man like him, an official pardon doesn't seem too likely either.

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