Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Hypochondriac

Fiction Short Story


Fiction Short Story







“Your husband is crazy…” the man says to the woman.

“Why…? What happened…?” the woman says.

“Your husband – he kept on saying – “I want to be tested – I want to be tested…”

“So – what did you tell him…?”

“Well – I told him that there is nothing wrong with him – but – he went on and on and on – “I want to be tested – I want to be tested…”

“I told you that my husband is a hypochondriac – didn’t I…? Earlier – he would imagine he had other diseases – but – ever since COVID has come – he keeps imagining that he has COVID…”

“Does he have any symptoms…?”

“Not at all – you spoke to him – didn’t you…? And – I saw him in the morning before I came to work – he is absolutely fine – no symptoms at all – it’s all in his mind – just extreme anxiety – “hypochondria” – that’s all…”

“A case of severe “COVID Phobia”…?”

“Yes – he is terrified of getting COVID. And because of that – the last one year has been hell for me…”

“Last one year…? Hell for you…?”

“The COVID Pandemic started more one year ago – in March 2020 – isn’t it…? Since then – my husband is working from home – and he is obsessed with COVID – and he gets more and more paranoid – sitting at home 24/7 – imagining things…”

“These “IT Nerds” are lucky – they can sit at home safely and do their work – while we doctors have to risk our lives every day…”

“That’s why they call us “COVID Warriors” – don’t they...? And by the way – when you talk to my husband – don’t call him an “IT Nerd” – he gets furious – call him a “Software Techie”…”

“You said your “work from home” husband has made your life hell…?”

“I told you – he is paranoid about getting infected with COVID. And – I have to come to work every day to the hospital. He thinks that I may infect him – so – he has gone crazy taking precautions.  The way he “ostracizes” me – I feel that he has almost excommunicated me from his life…”

“What…? “Ostracized”…? “Excommunicated”…? What are you saying…?”

“It is true. The way he behaves – I feel that way. We live in the same house – but we stay separately in different rooms – he even wanted me to move out and live in the hospital – but – I put my foot down…”

“That’s insane…”

“He insists that we wear masks inside the house – maintain “social distance” – stay totally separate – avoid contact – washing and sanitizing all the time – it’s crazy – only I know the misery I am going through…”

“Avoid contact…? Are you telling me that you haven’t slept together for the last one year – since COVID started…?”

“Sleep together…? Ha Ha. He doesn’t even allow me to get near him. I told you – we sleep in separate rooms – we use separate bathrooms attached to our rooms – he remains cooped up in his room – working day and night – and – he even avoids coming near me when I am home. I am fed up with his paranoia – OCD – constantly washing hands – sanitizing – masks – social distancing – we take more precautions inside our house than people take outside…”

“This is unbelievable. Your husband seems to have really gone crazy due to “COVID Phobia”…”

“Yes – that’s why I gave him your number and asked him to speak to you…?”

“Does he know that I am a psychiatrist…?”

“No. I told him that you were a “COVID Specialist”…” the woman says with a mischievous smile.

“That’s very wicked of you, Uma…” the man says, “you don’t seem to have changed from your college days – the same “naughty” Uma…”

The woman smiles and says to the man: “I am so happy you came here, Rohan. Now – at least – I have someone to talk to. Most of the guys out here are boring “old-fogies”…”

“Yes, Uma – I never imagined you would be in Pune…” the man says.

“I relocated to Pune after my marriage – 3 years ago…” the woman says.

The man’s mobile phone starts ringing – so – he picks it up from the table – looks at the number – and says to the woman: “It’s your husband again…”

“You talk to him…” the woman says, “I have a “C-Section” scheduled – we will meet at lunch in the canteen – there you can tell me all about your entertaining conversation with my husband…”

The woman goes away – and – the man connects the call and starts speaking to the woman’s husband.




Dear Reader – let me tell you about the two characters who were talking to each other in Part 1 of the story – Dr. Uma (the woman) – who is an obstetrician and gynaecologist (aka – gynaec) – and Dr. Rohan (the man) – a psychiatrist.

Both of them are 30 years old – they were classmates and good friends during their MBBS – later – they went to different colleges in faraway cities for the specializations – and gradually – as it happens when people get busy – they lost contact with each other.

Dr. Uma – the moment she became a gynaec – at the age of 27 – she got married to Ashok – an “IT Nerd” (Software “Techie”) – and relocated to Pune – where her husband lived – and now – she works in a prestigious hospital.

Dr. Rohan – the psychiatrist – who was earlier working in Delhi – started working in the same hospital (as Uma) recently – he joined just a few days ago – and the two classmates – Uma and Rohan – they renewed their friendship.

Rohan is still unmarried – maybe – waiting for his career to take off.

Of course – with the second wave of COVID proliferating in Pune – Rohan hasn’t visited Uma’s home yet – in fact – no one has visited Uma’s house yet – there is no question of her “COVID Phobic” husband Ashok allowing visitors into their house.

After much persuasion by Uma – her husband Ashok agreed to called Rohan – to talk about COVID.

Uma’s husband Ashok – he called Rohan briefly in the morning saying: “I want to be tested – I want to be tested…”  

Rohan had told him to call later – so now – he is calling Rohan again.

Of course – Uma had told her husband that Rohan was a “COVID Specialist” – she didn’t tell him that Rohan was a psychiatrist.

Now – Dear Reader – while Dr. Uma performs the “C-Section” – let us hear the telephonic conversation between the psychiatrist Dr. Rohan and Uma’s husband Ashok.





“Hello Ashok…” the psychiatrist Dr. Rohan says on the smartphone to Dr. Uma’s husband Ashok.

“The Second Wave of COVID has come in Pune – I want to be tested…” Ashok says, with desperation in his voice.

“Don’t worry – there is no way you can get COVID – you haven’t come in contact with anyone – you even wear a mask in the house – and you keep “social distance” from your wife…” Dr. Rohan says.

“She told you…?”




“Is she there…?”

“No – she has gone to perform a “C-Section” – a delivery – but we are meeting at lunchtime – in case you want me to tell her something…” Dr. Rohan says to Uma’s husband Ashok.

“No – I don’t want you to tell her about this conversation – what I am going to tell you is strictly confidential…” Ashok says.

“Of course – what you tell me will remain confidential – just between you and me – you are my patient – and – I will never breach patient-doctor confidentiality…” Dr. Rohan says.

“I am sure I have got COVID…” Ashok says.

“How is that possible…?” Dr. Rohan says – you haven’t come in contact with anyone – you even keep away from your wife – and I am sure she doesn’t have COVID – I see her every day – I saw her a few minutes ago – so – you don’t worry – there is no possibility of you having COVID – it is all in your mind…” Dr. Rohan says to Ashok.

“But – I want to be tested – can you send someone home…?” Ashok says.

“See – I told you – there is no need for a test – you have no symptoms – you haven’t come in contact with anyone…” Dr. Rohan says.

“Please – for my mental satisfaction…”

“Okay – I will send someone from the Lab after 2 or 3 days…”

“Today – send the Lab person today…!” Ashok says, with desperation in his voice.

“It is not possible today – the Lab is overloaded – there is a huge rush to get tested – and I already told you that there is no urgency to test you– you have no symptoms – you haven’t come in contact with anyone…” Dr. Rohan says – getting exasperated.

“Actually – I have come in contact with someone…” Ashok stammers – nervously.

“What…? You have come in contact with someone…? Who…?” Dr. Rohan asks Ashok.

“My colleague…” Ashok says.

“Your colleague…? I thought you were working from home…” Dr. Rohan says.

“Yes. My colleague had come home. We live in the same building…”

“When was this…?”

“On Monday…”

“Today is Thursday – so – it was 3 days ago. Did you tell Uma this…? She didn’t mention it to me…”

“No. No. I didn’t tell her. You are the first person I am telling. Please don’t tell her…”

“Okay. You don’t worry – I will not tell her or anyone else – I will keep our conversation strictly confidential…”

“Thank you…”

“When you met your colleague – were both of you were wearing masks…?”

“Of course – I am very particular…”

“I know – Uma told me that you wear a mask 24/7 – even inside your house…” Dr. Rohan says, “you don’t worry – you won’t catch COVID from a momentary contact with someone…”

“It was not a momentary contact…” Ashok says.

“How long were you together…?” Dr. Rohan asks Ashok.

“Around one hour…”

“One hour…? I hope you were maintaining social distance…”

“I don’t know how to tell you this – but – we made love…”

“What you made love…? You had sex…?”

“Yes – but we took all precautions – we had “masked sex” – and – we used “COVID appropriate positions”…”

“What…? “COVID appropriate positions”…? Are you mad…? There are no “COVID safe sex positions” – don’t you know the COVID Safe Sex Guidelines – “you are your safest sex partner” – the only “COVID safe sex” is “do it yourself” sex…”

“I am sorry…”

“I feel sorry for you. You are a disgrace. You don’t sleep with your own wife saying you are afraid of getting COVID – and you brazenly have sex with another woman…”

“It wasn’t a woman – it was a man…”

“What…? A man…?”

“Yes – there is something else – he has tested COVID Positive…”


“He just called up – he was going to fly to Delhi tomorrow for some work – so – he got himself tested…” Ashok says.

Dr. Rohan takes a deep breath to “digest” the bizarre story Ashok has just told him.

Uma’s husband Ashok – the bugger says he had sex with male colleague – who is now COVID Positive.

Dr. Rohan decides to do three things:

First – to send the Lab guy immediately to Uma’s house to get her husband Ashok tested for COVID.

If Ashok turns out COVID Positive – he will have to convince Uma to get tested.

And if Uma is COVID Positive – he – Dr. Rohan – he will have to get himself tested – after all – he and Uma – they had a “quickie” in the morning – and they certainly didn’t use a “COVID appropriate position”.



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1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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