The doctor rushes to cure the zamindarThere was a village doctor who was very, very well known. He was extremely kind-hearted and compassionate. Again, he was very proud of his medical capacities. One day he was preparing to go to the town. He had to settle something with regard to his son's marriage, and he was in a terrible rush. As he was about to leave, a servant of the village zamindar came to him and said, "Doctor, doctor, my master is very ill. He is suffering so much. Please come and cure him."
The doctor thought, "Now what am I going to do? I have to go there."
The zamindar's house was quite far. If he went by ferry, it would take a shorter time than if he walked. The doctor hastened to the bank of the tiny river and asked the ferryman to take him. The ferryman saw that the doctor was in a great hurry, so this clever fellow said, "I am not in the mood to ply my boat today."
The doctor said, "What? The zamindar is sick. It is a matter of life and death."
The ferryman clasped his stomach and said, "I am not feeling well, I am not feeling well."
The doctor said, "What if I give you double the usual amount?"
"Oh, no," said the ferryman, "I am not at all inclined to go."
Finally the doctor threw down ten times the usual fare and said to the ferryman, "Take this and behave well. Otherwise, if you do not take me, I am going to tell the village zamindar how bad you are. Then he will take care of you in his own way."
The ferryman took the money and ferried the doctor across the river. Upon reaching the shore, the doctor went running to the zamindar's house and started giving him all kinds of medicine. People soon came to learn that the doctor had given the ferryman ten times more than usual, and they began speaking very highly of him. They were deeply impressed by how much he loved the zamindar. They said that they would punish the ferryman for being such a bad fellow. This message somehow reached the ears of the doctor's new daughter-in-law.
The daughter-in-law came to the doctor and said, "I did not know how great you are, how good you are! Everybody is speaking so highly of you. I am so happy that my father-in-law is such a kind-hearted man. You went to cure the village zamindar and paid so much money to the ferryman to take you there."
The doctor said, "You fool! You do not know the whole story. Already twice this year the zamindar has been very, very sick. He was literally on the point of death. Who cured him on those occasions? Nature. When I went there, nature had already done her job and he was improving. Two times this happened. So this time I rushed to his place because I wanted to get the credit for being a great doctor. I knew that if I could cure him, then I would have thousands of patients because the news would spread far and wide that I cured our village zamindar. That is why I rushed to his bedside."
The daughter-in-law asked, "But you did not do it because of your compassionate heart?"
The doctor said, "I do have a heart of compassion for the sick. That is why I am a doctor. But at the same time, I am wise. I knew that if I could get the credit for curing him, then I would increase my business. How I hate Nature! Twice before when he was sick, Nature cured him. I could not play my role. But this time I arrived before Nature could step in. It was I who cured him. And the reward will be that from now on I will have so many patients."
The doctor was right. When the news spread that he had cured the village zamindar, he gained many more patients.