2888888 is the number of "just dial". A telephonic directory in Bombay (also available in many other metro cities). Growing up, I was a huge fan of dialling 888-8888 or 261-6666 (Ask Me) which were both information services if you wanted to find a particular business or product in a given area in Bombay.
Now I had surgery to get my wisdom teeth extracted two weeks ago. Recovery was painful, long, and not at all like what I had experienced back home when I had similar surgery to have the other two extracted. My encounter with the surgeon and medical staff during this experience had already put me off and made me lose trust in the system here. I am NOT blaming the dentist for the inflammation and pain I was dealing with this time, that I did not experience back home. I can understand how that can happen anywhere, if the wound doesn't heal properly and a dry socket condition develops. But the brusque, almost unwilling manner in which my post-op calls and enquiries were treated were what put me off. The superficial veneer of smiles swathed over this impatience and unwillingness to give attention is what irritates me the most.
Anyhoo.. the inflammation subsided 8-10 days later and the pain is almost gone now. However, I was still experiencing discomfort and the region didn't quite look normal. I decided to call bombay and talk to my dentist, if only to put my fears to rest. But of course, I did not have his number anywhere. I couldn't call my parents, because then they would begin worrying about me. I had already told them ten days ago that I was fit and fine and the surgery was "just like last time". I tried a friend or two in bombay but they weren't reach-able. That's when the memory from my growing-up days surfaced.
I called 28888888 and spoke to a really friendly lady at the other end. I told her the general area where we lived in bombay, the last name of my dentist, and what i "Thought" was his first name. She took about 5 mins but couldn't trace my guy. Instead, she found his father's clinic and number in another locality. When I told her I was calling from overseas, she offered to instead email me the results of her search, with a dozen phone numbers of dentists in the area I specified. WOW. And, by the way, this service is FREE-OF-CHARGE. Has always been. Compare this to an experience of dialling the "information" number, paying for it, and you can't even think of not knowing the zip code of the area you're looking in.
There's more. I couldn't find my dentist from all of that, but picked a random dentist in the list. I called her and explained that I was trying to trace this Dr. R.B. She couldn't help. Then I asked her if she had a few mins to spare. I ended up narrating my whole story and explained to her my situation and what was worrying me. She was patient, considerate, and put all my fears to rest, reassuring me that I needed to wait a couple more weeks, I was still not healed completely, and that's what i was seeing.
It was a busy Friday morning in India. She had no reason to entertain my call, much less talk to me at length, ask questions and explain things to me. I have never experienced such a comfortable, approachable vibe from a doctor here. And that is the 9th reason why I miss home!
p.s: and if you're looking for a dentist in the Kandivili East area, I'd recommend Dr.Sonal Arora. :)