Al-Avalathi's Life (Al-Avalathi is the last Mallu to go to the Gelf)
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Close shave with insurance

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I always knew insurance was a subject matter of solicitation, but never knew it meant an invitation to a rigmarole.Sanity prevailed till I signed up for this.I am sure, it was part of a bigger conspiracy that brought Tata AIG to me.
The herculean task was not filling a small form, but the medical tests.It had almost everything from the tests that one goes through before joining the army(give me some points for exaggeration)

When the whole of the nation was celebrating Independence day, I was at one of the best labs in Trivandrum.I was there for a 5 minute long blood test mandatory for anyone signing up for Tata AIG;fair enough, five minutes and some drops for blood.

I was told that, I just need to show the request letter from Tata AIG and I would be treated like a king, no waiting, 5 minutes of tests and I am out.What an idea Sirjee, I thought.They indeed treated me like a king.Asked me to sit in one of the imported sofa sets and the wait had just begun then.The letter that I gave them had almost all tests that can be done on a human being, on all possible organs;seemed like a straight lift from wikipedia.

Why was I made to wait? The list of tests had 56 tests, 43 of them three letter acronyms,the people at the lab knew only 26 of them!After calling up all doctors connected to the lab, they figured 5 more and commented that the rest of the tests are not at all important.Lucky me!

So the five minute test started with a 2 hour wait.Remember, I was asked to appear for the tests, fasting.So,starved till 10am,they showed the green flag to my blood test.I was made to sit and this blood sucker lady came,discovered a vein on my left hand and filled in a huge syringe with my blood. sob sob!

Like a convict(minus hand cuffs ) I was escorted to the second floor.Misery had just begun.I was taken to the X Ray room.Why? Chest Xray to check if my lungs were in place.

I entered the dimly lit room.Two women were inside.I could barely see their faces.I was asked to take my T Shirt off!! Hey! X Ray passes through the skin/body,then why not the T Shirt! If my T shirts could block X Rays, I better show my muscular body to the women.The unwillingness evident on my face,I succumbed to the women and took my shirt off.One of them then directed me to a pedestal that reminded me of something used to take mug shots.With my bare chest facing a plate, she adjusted a U shaped object to fit in my neck in.
Lights off, lights on!X Ray done.A gush of relief flowed through me.One more task completed.

Next stop,Ultra Sonograph test.From my Pune experience,I knew that one had to drink water before the test.And the test is conducted only when you are bladder full.After drinking almost a litre of water, I reached the counter.
An elderly man, sitting next to me asks,”Oh! you have stones?”.
Me:Stone…..no no…Insurance…

The attender came out to check if there were newer patients and gave me a form to fill which had Patient instead of Name.Anyone who waits this long for an insurance needs tons of it,patience.
He asked me if I drank enough water and that they would let me in only when I feel like taking a leak.In 5 minutes,I called him out to let me in or I will have to clear by bladder.
Entered the posh room.Well lit unlike the earlier X Ray room, this too had two women.The almost-peed-me made an entry.”Take your T Shirt off!” There you go again!This time I held the T close to me but one of the ladies politely asked me to keep it aside.I was asked to lie down.The doc came in and asked to take my belt off!Now what?
“Take your button off”.The almost molested me,was left with no other option but to do an act of unbuttoning.A yucky jelly was applied on my tummy and a green cloth used to cover the only clothed portions of me.Something like a bar code scanner was moved all around my tummy. Voila! There I go! Kidney1, Kidney2, Liver…oh! I have all of them inside.(touchwood).

Like a mice who escaped a cat,I ran out…buttoning myself back in order. With almost all possible organs discovered, the heart was yet to be found.I was asked to go to a nearby private hospital with which the lab had some connection, to get a Tread Mill Test done.
After relieving myself,I filled in a form that called me a patient,again!
Me:Doctor,this is for Tata AIG insurance
Doc:You don’t have a problem withyour heart,right?
Me:Some have called me,heartless, would that count.
Doc:(murmur)..Bad joke
Doc:TMT, you have to keep running at an increasing pace, for about 12 minutes
Me:I haven’t had anything since morning.I will fall down half way through the test.
Doc:Go have breakfast and come.

To free myself from having breakfast in the hospital canteen, I got back to him after having 2 glasses of water.

Doc:We have to prepare your chest
Me:Prepare?
Doc:Ya,shave off!!
Oh god!!No!!I do not want to get rid of any trace of masculinity in me.
Me:Doc,I will have some more water and be right back.

Scoot! No, I don’t want this insurance and I was home soon.
Last heard.Inspite of my cheap stunt, Tata AIG has approved my insurance.They surely, have very few customers.

Update: This post was picked up by Reuters India and was featured on their homepage on 17th September 2008

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41 comments

1 Tony SebastianNo Gravatar { 09.11.08 at 11:07 am }

Lol that many tests? :O are they trying to insure ur life or take it? nice one :)

2 jjNo Gravatar { 09.11.08 at 1:33 pm }

My god! this was definitely some test of patience… LOL
didn’t they ask for a CT scan or anything to do with your brains :P ?

3 GWBENo Gravatar { 09.11.08 at 1:57 pm }

“reminded me of something used to take mug shots….”

Ahem, we would like hear more about that. Your tryst with mugshots :)

Looks like someone has been to places :P

4 ManasaNo Gravatar { 09.14.08 at 2:30 am }

ROFL.. That’s why LIC has more customers than TATA AIG :D

5 MathewNo Gravatar { 09.14.08 at 11:18 pm }

Doc:You don’t have a problem withyour heart,right?
Me:Some have called me,heartless, would that count

LOL!!..i actually like that one..insurance people are like the most hated people in the world these days..;-P

6 | Balu |No Gravatar { 09.15.08 at 12:37 pm }

Do insurance agents get life insurance? Their life expectancy is quite short considering what they put people through. :-D
(PS: yeah yeah I am the kind of guy who laughs at my own jokes)

7 PhilipNo Gravatar { 09.15.08 at 12:44 pm }

Boy, that was some trouble you had to go through to get an insurance. I didn’t even have to get out of my chair to get one…did that insurance guy have some unresolved issues with you?

8 MNo Gravatar { 09.15.08 at 1:09 pm }
9 SantoshNo Gravatar { 09.16.08 at 8:10 am }

good one nikhil. To save your hair please stick to good old LIC.

10 RanjithNo Gravatar { 09.16.08 at 3:43 pm }

U know, u mite have to do the whole thing again if AIG goes bankrupt :)

11 Getting Insured | DesiPundit { 09.17.08 at 7:53 pm }

[…] writes about his experience in getting […]

12 maddyNo Gravatar { 09.17.08 at 8:31 pm }

i was going to make the same comment as ranjith..
here you just fill a form…no medicals.. but then, was it for a life ins or a medical ins?

13 DineshNo Gravatar { 09.18.08 at 1:18 am }

I was thinking atleast you didn’t have to shave your chest for the x-ray, but you got there finally :)
“Stone…..no no…Insurance…”
Aren’t they same?
I had a similar experience with filling a medical questionnare sometime back. Filling Medical Questionnaire

14 Shrinidhi HandeNo Gravatar { 09.18.08 at 10:59 am }

Which policy was that you were applying for? and at what amount (Sum Assured)

Very few policies require these many tests…

15 NikhilNo Gravatar { 09.18.08 at 11:55 am }

@Tony
Testing times da!

@jj
The screen went blank then.Unable to detect :D

@GWBE
I mean mugshots I have seen :D

@Manasa
Thanks for dropping by.
I am sure. Will try LIC now.

@Mathew
I just joined the Hate Insurance club.

@Balu
Sounds like who cuts a barber’s hair.

@Philip
Trust me man!
Conspiracy!

16 NikhilNo Gravatar { 09.18.08 at 12:09 pm }

@M
Poor AIG.
God, will I lose my money?

@Santosh
Thanks. Seems to be the best option.

@Ranjith
My money?

@maddy
It was a life insurance. Breathtaking

@Dinesh
He he.
Pain these things are.

@Srinidhi
I am sure they goofed up,why else these many tests.

17 RanjithNo Gravatar { 09.18.08 at 2:57 pm }

Well, at least US Govt saved AIG. So, u needn’t worry abt that. Why do they need so many tests for life insurance? I didn’t have any tests for LIC policy. I don’t remember many forms either, for that matter.

18 tenaliramaNo Gravatar { 09.18.08 at 7:47 pm }

No wonder u keep pinging me that notytony blog link..I can see his is the 1st comment :P

‘you have to keep running at an increasing pace’- didn’t he know ab8 ur “Runner” tag.. and hope after your x-ray’s, your “Little secret” is not out. :P

19 shaifaliNo Gravatar { 09.18.08 at 8:16 pm }

lol
too much! how did you get yourself into such stuff? :P

20 kunikaNo Gravatar { 09.19.08 at 11:31 am }

OMG… how much cover were u looking for ….10-12 Cr!!
:)

21 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 09.22.08 at 11:55 am }

@Ranjith
Lucky you man! Ya, AIG is safe.
@tenalirama
Me and my little joys of life.Don’t zoom in.
@shaifali
I am just lucky. tax saving attempt, lady!
@kunika
I wish, I were worth a percentage of that.

22 SalilNo Gravatar { 09.22.08 at 9:46 pm }

Hi Nikhil,
I think they were just checking if you are a living being before they gave you a ‘life’ insurance :-)
Good one. Keep them coming.
Cheers,
Salil

23 Bhaskara VenkateshNo Gravatar { 09.23.08 at 10:24 am }

Good write up! good narration!
Cheers
Bhaskara

24 Babu ShanmugamNo Gravatar { 09.23.08 at 10:55 am }

I know lot of people make fun the way all the test are conducted. that is the only available option as of now, may the future will tell everything when u sit in a chair for a minute and u can walk off with ur papers cleared. I am happy about AIG spend money to do it properly.

25 SushantNo Gravatar { 09.23.08 at 11:54 am }

really hilarious…shaving ur body off for an insurance company that needs insurance itself..[:P]..

26 Hari ShankerNo Gravatar { 09.23.08 at 2:46 pm }

OMG!! I’d rather die than get myself insured!!

Now I know why AIG succumbed to the credit crisis!!

Awesome one!

27 Hari ShankerNo Gravatar { 09.23.08 at 5:24 pm }

And hey, I’m blogrolling you! :)

28 NikhilNo Gravatar { 09.23.08 at 6:42 pm }

@Salil
You bet!

@Bhaskara
Thanks for visiting.
Thanks

@Babu
When you look at it thatways, it makes sense.

@Sushant
He he, thanks for dropping by.

@Hari
Thanks.
Thanks for blogrolling.

29 LaymanNo Gravatar { 09.24.08 at 12:29 am }

Echoing Babu’s sentiments..
I’m happy AIG spend money to do it properly..
1) else we wouldn’t have this post..
2) Al- Avalathi needs a proper check up what with him blogging his life away.. :-)

30 RenjithNo Gravatar { 09.24.08 at 1:27 am }

Man , Hilarious ! Thanks for sharing it .

31 NikhilNo Gravatar { 09.25.08 at 2:58 pm }

@Layman
AIG does their job well. Agreed.Unfortunate that we have to go through these tests. Right?
@Renjith
Thanks aliya.

32 Usha vaidyanathanNo Gravatar { 09.25.08 at 4:10 pm }

hahahahha. I know exactly how you felt. But at least now you know you have most of your organs in place.

33 NikhilNo Gravatar { 09.25.08 at 4:16 pm }

@Usha Maami
Yes, except my brains rest everything has been found to be in place. Touch wood. Brains-they did not test, thankfully. :)

34 DivkiranNo Gravatar { 09.27.08 at 11:27 pm }

eihihihihihihih

I was plannin to buy insurance just this week… now m scared man!!!

ROFL…

And yeah, I can say for sure that TATA AIG is struggling,,,LOL

35 chhaviNo Gravatar { 09.28.08 at 3:43 pm }

oh my lord!!
Well, getting my insurance was a lot easier but getting them to bill me at monthly intervals rather than an enormous lump sum at the end of the year has been quite a process. yesterday I finally got a letter of confirmation from them dated August 21!! Are they super slow or is it our postal system?? dunno!

36 kochuthresiamma p jNo Gravatar { 09.29.08 at 2:27 pm }

did u take the insurance, finally? if not, rekshapettu. the company is running into trouble

37 NikhilNo Gravatar { 09.30.08 at 10:56 am }

@Divkiran
Go ahead. May be you will have more ideas to blog.

@chavvi
Thanks for visiting.
Ask them to send everything by email.That works.

@kochuthresiamma pj
Thanks for visiting Teacher. :)
Yes, avar enikk thannu. They spent money on these tests na, athukondu avark tharandi vannu. Orabadhham ethu police kaaranum ….

38 SravNo Gravatar { 10.02.08 at 3:25 am }

Dont complain okay!! The no of tests + SHOTS, that students who want to do an MS/PhD in the US have to take is insane… I love the loopholes though.. :D easiest way to get arnd all these tests.. make friends with the lab ppl :D

39 NikhilNo Gravatar { 10.02.08 at 12:33 pm }

@Srav
I tried my bit at making friends with the people there. But the showing off of my muscular bwwady killed it all :(

40 AbhishekNo Gravatar { 10.08.08 at 2:45 pm }

Excellent Dramatization of the situation – Loved the line- “I was made to sit and this blood sucker lady came,discovered a vein on my left hand and filled in a huge syringe with my blood. sob sob!”

BTW, The blood sucker lady – i s called – a Phelbotomist!

Ha ha ha! That was a good laugh!

41 FlugNo Gravatar { 12.10.08 at 3:35 pm }

too many tests, really
are u sure that they want lo insure ur life?
lol

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