Busting Some Afghani Myths

Not a single Afghan I’ve met is a character from Khaled Hosseini. Being nice to your wife isn’t related to nationality.

Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh
5 min readAug 17, 2021


Photo of what my Afghan patients look like, though they don’t always wear white, and they look ten years older than this guy. Photo by The Chuqur Studio on Unsplash.

Usually, all my patients are Indian.

A few come from Afghanistan. In all, I have treated seven Afghan men and two women. I know, it is a small sample size.

In 2008, when I treated my first Afghan patient, I wondered what they do in crowded India, overflowing with its own labour force.

Afghans in India lend money and sell carpets.

Of course! Persian rugs. Just like in Aladdin.

For the first ten years, all the patients I saw who came from Afghanistan were men.

In 2018, two Afghan men brought their wives for dental treatment. The wives spoke no Hindi or English.

One couple had a four-year-old daughter, born courtesy an Indian gynecologist’s IVF. They were trying for a second child.

The other Afghan couple was in India for the first time, to try the IVF the first couple had recommended to them.

IVF or In-vitro-fertilization costs around a lakh of rupees, around $1350. He came from a country famous for polygamy, but had come to a different country to try for IVF with his one and only wife.

Then, he was so delighted with a girl child that he brought his buddy over so that buddy and buddy’s wife could benefit from the same procedure.

As of today, these five people are still five. The IVFs haven’t taken, and one of the women had a heartbreaking fifth-month miscarriage last year. The four adults have been fully vaccinated in India.

How do I know this? Hesitantly, (because if you look at it, I am his dentist and not his mother!)I called one of the men this morning, and asked him if he was well.

He confirmed that all my previously treated patients were safe in Afghanistan where all of them were fine, and that he and the other man, and their wives were still in India for IVF.

As for the people who fell off the plane…



Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh

I don’t just create smiles, I inspire them! Dentist, mom—Jamshedpur, India.

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