Friday, December 6, 2013

Beast of Burden??

A puff of smoke rose swirling up.

A curly haired, medium stature guy with dark complexion stood beneath. I could see a not so pleasant smile on his face and from the creaks of his lips smoke came out. One one hand, he had a smoking cigarette and was tapping it and waving it in the air and on the other was a mobile phone which he was looking at.

Beside him stood a shorter lady wearing a bright green saree. She held a child on her one hand and a milk bottle on the other. She was trying to feed him so that he would stop whining. A heavy handbag hung on her shoulder; it looked so heavy that it was almost pulling her down. Down below, near her feet was a big blue duffel bag.

I was standing somewhere near, waiting for a bus, tired and hoping to escape the harsh sun as early as possible.

A little while later, the guy spoke something to her and he started walking. She bent down, took her duffel bag and followed him.

I sniggered. Who would treat his own queen like a donkey, I thought. Is that sacred yellow thread/chain they tie at marriage nothing but a rein, I chuckled.

Don't treat your lady like a beast of burden.
Carry her load, not because she is a weaker version, but because she is your queen.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

What The Frail Old Man Taught Me On Love

It was on a mundane afternoon, one that I so vividly remember. It was one of those rare days in medical training (Internship) when nothing throws a surprise on you. Everything went well since that morning and all I had left with was a chronic disease OPD to attend after which I would walk back to my hostel room and enjoy the rest of the day absolutely doing nothing.

I was sitting in the female side of the OPD. All I had to do was to take blood pressure measurements, check blood reports of old people with diseases like diabetes and hypertension and re-write the medicines previously prescribed for them if everything was normal. I was doing it fast eager to finish it off.

An old woman come and sit at my table. When I enquired her, she did not respond. She made a few facial movements but made no voice. Instead, an old, should be 75+, frail looking man, standing nearby her side, was the one who did the talking.

I didn't listen to him. I was waiting for scream from the OPD nurse. That's what she does when any male enters the female OPD. (She does this on junior male doctors too at times :-p). I was waiting for this guy to be thrown out. I glanced sideways at the nurse. She was looking at us and beaming a broad smile. Strange!

This old man was cleanly dressed and was carrying two heavy bags. He spoke very softly and his voice indicated his frailty. With his little voice he was informing me what his wife's problems were and what medications she was on. He seemed to know the names of all the medicines and the dosage strengths and he was almost instructing me not to forget anything in a very polite manner.
(Normally it would irritate me when a lay person instructs me to prescribe, what's the point of me spending 5.5 torturous years in a med school then, I would think.) He was quite worried that I might miss out something from a big list of different medicines she was on. Probably, it has happened before that some junior doctor in a hurry forgot to write something or wrote something wrong. If that happens, his wife would have no tablets to take of that particular medicine for the next 2 weeks. So his behaviour was quite acceptable and I did my best to measure her blood pressure, check her reports and write her all the medications she required.

After I was done, the old man lifted his two heavy bags on one hand, held his wife's hand with the other and slowly walked her out of the OPD.

The nurse told me later that this particular old man brings his wife twice a month, every month from his village. His wife is hard of hearing and she has a high blood pressure and diabetes. It's a long journey from his village to JIPMER so he brings everything that would be required for her including, food, towels etc. and waits till the afternoon for the chronic disease OPD. He makes her sit in a bench and he waits in a long queue for her. He meets the doctors, gets the medications written, stands in another long queue for getting the tablets from the pharmacy and finally takes her back home.

When the sister had told me all this, I had a big smile on my face and a little tear on my eyes.

That frail old man made a statement so strong that penetrated my heart. I saw what true love was all about. The commitment, the care this old man had, simply melted my heart. He showed a commitment time nor tide would never fade.

Dear old man, I thank God for bringing you there to inspire me. I promise you, that when I hold the hands of my queen, I would remember the lesson you thought me that day.

And sure it does. Every once in a while in the middle of an ordinary life... Love gives you a fairy tale!

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Smartphone Battery Miser

It has become one of my life’s greatest disappointments to look at my mobile and see that my battery is about to die. It’s such a terrifying feeling to know that my mobile will run out of charge and will shut down leaving me strangled and disconnected in middle of a busy day or during a travel where charging facilities aren't readily accessible.

Thanks to the pathetic battery life of today’s smartphones and the constant cycle of such disappointments that I have had, I have morphed into something disgusting. A battery miser. Yes, a smart phone battery miser.
There are tons of battery saving apps and battery drain preventing apps in the Google market. I constantly keep track of them and keep reading the reviews. I have been hoping from one app to another believing the impossible promise of a longer battery life. Some apps simply disappoint by themselves draining more battery. The others bring about no visible change.

What can the apps do for you if you keep using your mobile more, you might ask. Yes. The first thing I did was to decrease the screen brightness to the minimum possible through the settings. The awesome AMOLED display fitted in my mobile constantly is dim because of my stinginess and others find it too difficult to read text or view images. To add fuel to my craze is an app called the screen filter. It enables to decrease the screen brightness less than 10% (the minimum possible using the Android default settings). I have been using this app and now my AMOLED screen displays pathetically washed out images and poorly dim lit text with no clear contrast. It is no longer crisp nor clear. All for a longer battery life.

What could be worse? I am so fearful of switching on the Wi-Fi or the mobile internet. I switch it on only for an instant. I try to check whatever I wanted to do on the internet and put it off as soon as possible. Often I am not being notified of my emails and messages from Whatsapp and Hike because I have switched off the auto-sync feature to prevent battery drain. I’ll have to open the apps and refresh them in order to get the notifications.
All for a longer battery life.

The kill apps button. I keep pressing this button whenever I unlock my phone. I am pathologically obsessed with an uneasiness which creeps into my mind when these background processes keep running and keep draining my precious battery. It has become an obsessive compulsive disorder for me now.

Games are a strict no-no on my mobile. Mobile is not for playing games! It would drain the battery more. No switching on the GPS or the Bluetooth either. If I find that the GPS had been left ON by mistake, I would faint. Any new custom ROM that promises better battery life would have been tested by me in vain. The battery stats in android is my best friend. I keep checking for the battery percentage. I keep checking for apps which drain the battery the most. 

My pathetic worsening condition has rendered my 20k+ smart phone into something worth nothing more than an ordinary mobile used for making calls and texting people. I constantly keep check of the battery percentage. I charge the battery whenever I get a chance. My mobile does not auto sync. My mobile’s AMOLED display performs poorly that an ordinary TFT display. And so on…

I type this on my laptop because typing this in my mobile drain a lot of battery!!!

Is there any help for me?    :-(

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Let go !!! Or wait...!

Few days back, I took a "seemingly" awesome pic. I am not self boasting but then, have a look. It seems that I have caught the leaf at mid air. I put a caption saying that often you'll have to let go of the old and unwanted things in life.

But then on closer look you will see a fine strand of a spider web holding the leaf.
Interesting isn't it. To me, it means a lot.

I leave it to the viewer for extrapolating little things into deep thoughts of insightful reflection. 
Like I often do. :-) 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Pain That Perfects

The door opened and a slender figure carrying a two year old boy on her hip entered.

An expression of relief spread over her countenance shadowing the fatigue and exasperation after waiting in a long queue forgoing her breakfast. Holding her son with one hand, she held out the case sheet to the junior surgeon standing near a raised bed. She was tall and thin, modestly dressed and her hair properly kempt. It was hard to tell from the first glance that she was bitten by poverty. It required a closer and a keen look to reveal that her clothes were very old and her hair were losing pigments and appeared too brittle. The boy she was carrying was wearing a short pant and a dirty tee. He had those big round eyes which were now scanning the shabby little room with curiosity.

The junior resident got the case sheet and went through the notes written by a senior surgeon. The notes described how the disease started its manifestations and how it has progressed so far. At the end was written instructions for the junior resident for the minor surgical procedure to be carried out to relieve the patient of the symptoms. This particular case notes ended " Incision & Drainage". The little boy had an abscess full of purulent pus on his chest that has to be incised and drained.

Now in this hospital it was a common practice to do incision and drainage of small abscesses without the use of any anaesthetic. There were many reasons they gave supporting it but still, in my opinion, it was simply one of the cruellest forms of surgery. The pain will be sort-lived, of course, but would be excruciating. Imagine the scalpel cutting through the already tense skin covering an inflamed abscess. Whatever it was, no one questioned such practices. Such practices have been in use since no one remembered when and it had come to be accepted routine and normal.

The junior surgeon gestured and the lady moved closer to the examination couch. She made the boy lie down on it. The junior surgeon was assisted by a uninterested orderly who stood by his side passing on the gloves, instruments and the other things needed. No time was wasted. The boy's chest was cleaned and the instruments to cut open the abscess were all ready in the hands of the confident surgeon.

The next 15-20 minutes were hell for the little boy and everyone around. He made a loud cry with his shrill voice. It made me very sad. But as kept watching, I noticed something very strange. The boy's mother was forcing him to stay still when the surgeon cut open his chest abscess. I saw tears rolling down the mother's cheek but she was determined not to let her child move. In a way, she was imposing so much pain on him but, at the same time, was silently suffering as well.

Why would she put her own child under the knife?
Why would she not let him alone?

She believed that the abscess was going to harm her child. She believed that though the surgeon would impose more pain, the pain would be temporary and do good.

Life does this to us at times. There'no no way of escaping from pain but just endure and let it perfect you.

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” 
― Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Long & Winding Road - A Tribute To The One Who'd Share The Journey

The long and winding road,
Lonely, I’d always trod.
The colours of the evening sky,
Comforts me in vain as I walk by.

There’s no place I’ll have to reach,
There’s no purpose that I’d preach,
There’s no reason to hurry,
No happiness, nothing to worry.

I felt so cold, I felt so numb,
Waiting for my princess to come.
For one thing, I’d asked of the Lord,
To bring some music, to strike a chord.

The sun went down,
Dark, it had already become.
I closed my eyes,
Beneath the dark greying skies.

From my peaceful slumber,
Woken by a light like thunder,
For a moment, I was distraught;
Will no peace follow me, I thought.

A pleasant sun, did the morning bring,
Like magic, my autumn had turned to spring.
Little birds at their squeaking best,
Filling the air with happiness and zest.

In a day, life was all changed,
Joy like never before, fully experienced.
I looked around, hoping someone be seen,
There in all her beauty, stood my precious queen.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Best Teachers Often Did Not...

The best teachers often did not teach us everything. They shared a little knowledge but left us with an irresistible desire to learn and to know more.  

The best teachers often did not look for trophies nor valued us for our accolades or marks. They saw our deep selves. They saw what we were capable of becoming when we were just germinating seeds.

The best teachers often did not point out the road and forced us to follow. They illuminated our minds so that we were capable of finding our own life’s paths.

The best teachers often did not force respect or admiration. Every act they performed, they did it with so much care, concern and love that it made them worthy of all respect and admiration.

The best teachers often did not compare us with the rest. They respected individuality, knew our capabilities and pursued us till we reached our best.

The best teachers often did not condemn. They showed us how much they had believed and hoped in us that we often were left dismayed to have disappointed them which motivated us to do better out of showing respect in return.

The best teachers often did not criticise. They showed us what was the right and the perfect way for us to follow.

The best teachers were often not only the school teachers nor college professors. They were ordinary people whom we meet on the roads. They shared their knowledge and their experience without expecting anything in return.

The best teachers always feed encouragement, ignited hope, inspired imagination and fostered originality and creativity. 

Thank you dear teachers for illuminating our minds with light that enabled us to find our life’s path. I owe you for what I am today. May God bless you & your family with health and happiness and may you continue to touch many more lives for good.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Expressions of Love: Inspirations

Love is not just a feeling or an emotion that can be stored up in hearts. My understanding of love is that it is the propelling force that makes one show utmost respect, utmost care to someone continually and unconditionally. Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to one's own. It fact, it becomes the priority over your own happiness. True love is consuming. “True love is like cancer that arises in the heart and permeates your soul until you lose yourself selflessly for the other”.

Now, however, open criticism is better than unexpressed love. Indeed love is full of action, but love has to be expressed and enjoyed. People often have a desperate need to hear from their significant ones that they are loved, that they are being cared for. People have become too busy these days. The best excuse for a workaholic husband is that they work because they love & care for the family. Well, true, but if you fail to express your love, you'll be failing in the most fundamental commitment of marriage.

As a part of Getting Trained For Marriage, I have enlisted some of my ideas for expressing love. I hope it will be an interesting read.

1. Words:

Words form the basis of our communication, especially when it's not face to face. In a face to face communication, the body language plays a major role. Words can be magical. Words can cast spells. Choicest words are but poor man's diamonds to express love. In the present busy world, we communicate a lot through short texts (SMS, Internet messaging, etc.). Whatever medium is used, words can stir up romance if a little care is taken to express love. Choose the right and sweetest of words and present them lovingly. If I happen to meet that special person, I would be sending a lot of love letters. The emotions that a hand written note can conjure up is not to be underestimated. Leaving sticky notes over common places serves as a means of short communication peppered with a lot of love.

"I've bought coffee and refilled the cookie jar, honey. 
I'd be thinking of you over coffee. 
Will be coming late from work." 
on the kitchen shelf is sure to relax and make your spouse's evening more beautiful.

 Written reminders of every day simple and beautiful moments maintained in a journal will be a great treasure to remind you of your glorious youthful days when you are old and frail.

Here are some of my own little notes!! 

Here are some I took from the internet!

2. Listen

It is in fact more important to listen than to talk. Listening is an act of love. Listen to understand and not to judge. Listening helps one to understand the perspective from his/her spouse's point of view. Arguments are healthy. What is unhealthy in an argument is when a spouse partially listens and fails to see the entire picture and gets his/her ego hurt. There is no place for any competition or superiority in marriage. Listen. Understand. Care.

3. Time Together

Spending time together is an act of love. Most spouses live in the same house living completely separate lives! Taking time off busy schedules every day and spending time together will renew the beautiful bond of marriage every single day. Scientifically speaking, it has many benefits. Touch is a very important sensation that releases a substance called oxytocin into the blood. It helps to form the feelings of a physical bonding. It also elevates the mood, decreases depressive feelings and makes a person feel good. Spending time together will take away the feelings of loneliness and foster a healthy body and mind. At times, a hug, holding of hands and a gentle caresses can work more wonders than the most powerful of medicines.

4. Share Every Work

I really don't completely agree with the 'divide n rule' policy when it comes to managing household chores. There is no reason why the kitchen should be the wife's department and the garage or the garden should be the husband's department. Instead, every work must be shared as much as possible. This will enable spending more time together. It also relieves the pressure of stress on each other as two heads are always better than one. The company of one will help the other in getting the work done more efficiently and make it more enjoyable.

5. Put a Smile on Your Spouse

Your spouse's smile. That's the whole indicator of a successful love story. I have written about it in a separate post already. Your spouse's smile is your priority!

6. The Courage

To propose love to someone and ask for his/her hand in marriage requires a lot of courage. And this courage is a sign of expression of love. For even though I write this, I am confused. Great relationships often start as good friendships. According to me love is but a long term commitment of respect, care and responsibility that only deepens friendships and does not destroy it. However, in the real world there are too many other things that can complicate this; a broken past, stubborn parents who vehemently oppose love marriages, etc. Often love is confused for lust in this corrupt world. That makes it a huge risk to propose love to someone with whom the relationship started budding as friendship. To find a person who shares most of the interests and thought patterns is already a difficulty. To take this risk and lose the person forever or miss the chance of a beautiful lifelong journey together is a tough decision that will haunt human minds forever. 

More to read on Synaptic Sparks on Love & Marriage:
The Ethics of Love
Love letters to the wind - Always By My Side
Can a Digital Rose be Romantic?

Monday, August 26, 2013

You don't just take out the camera, click a button and make a picture!

You don't just take out the camera, click a button and make a picture! A good amount of thought process has been spent on making on this one.

EXIF: F/7.1 1/400 ISO1600 300mm Canon550D. 
I wanted to remove the background an put the emphasis on the flower and I had a 70-300mm mounted on my camera. So I just zoomed to the 300mm side and focused on the flower. I wanted the thread like fine web to be in focus as well. So I stopped down the aperture a little bit to F/7.1. There wasn't much light. So I had to raise the ISO to 1600 so that I could expose @ 1/400 and thereby reasonably prevent camera shake blur. And Voila!

And what made me click this one? Do you see those fine threads of a spider web. Don't they look like holding the flower from falling?? That's my perspective.

Have a nice day.

Follow my Facebook Photography Page.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

What I'd Learnt From The Nursing Class

Let me get straight to the point.

I was taking a class on anti-epileptic agents for the nursing students in my college. I made sure I used simpler parlance to communicate medical terms so that everyone would understand the concept behind whatever I said. I tried my best to make it an interesting discussion. I used some "Nursing points" to highlight the role of nurses in the healthcare.

Halfway through the class, I felt the initial enthusiasm slowly die. So I took a little break from the boring Pharmacology content and spoke a little about the importance of nurses in the healthcare system, hoping that it would make them feel more important and would motivate them. But what I could fell is that most of them didn't realize that nursing was an important part of the health care system. Well, I have seen grumpy & arrogant nurses, sweet & pleasant ones too... Whatever, I have always had this opinion: Nursing is at the heart of the health care. Nurses and even doctors are supposed to provide this nursing care to patients.

And then, I asked an offbeat question. I asked how many of them had taken up nursing willingly and how many had come just because of their parents' coercion. I was quite shocked when a good majority of the class, like a mummy come up to life from the dead, raised their voices to admit parental coercion as the cause for their career choice. Their voices resounded of pent up anger, frustration and resentment. That was quite awkward. I shifted back and continued Pharmacology till the end and bid good-bye.

What I've learnt:

  • Most nurses may not know or may not feel the importance of nursing. We NEED TO MAKE THEM FEEL IMPORTANT.
  • Parental coercion (I am sorry if it sounds arrogant) still seems to be a major factor that decides career choice. 

Some Quotes:
(Image source:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Glimpse Into A Minature World

 A Macro lens is required to take highly magnified images and macro photography poses its own challenges to the photographer. Now that a macro lens from Canon costs more that 40k, I got myself a macro filter five days back for around 300 bucks and tried my luck on macro photography. Here are some of my first shots...

1. Magical Lights
Here is a twig which is illuminated from the first rays of the morning sun. The flare from the macro filters add to the magic of the moment.

 2. A Fly
Here is a fly seated on a leaf after a sumptuous meal. I am thankful because it kept hoping from flower to flower. As it sat down, I took a shot.

3. A Fly on A Flower

4. A Coloured Insect. 
Probably a good camouflage.

5. A Drip of Pure Joy
Caught a water drop before it could fall.

If you like my photography, you can follow my Photography Page in Facebook.

Read more on Synaptic Sparks: 7 Random Photo Thoughts on LOVE !

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Disappointing Morning...

After a night that crushed my soul,
The incessant pain I clearly remember,
Woke up from a disturbed slumber, 
Hoping the dawn would find me whole.

Alas, the sun's still not up,
There's no magic in my morning cup,
No roses are in bloom,
The winds move swiftly with arid gloom.
I hear no little birds nor their sweet voice,
Vacuous songs could still make any soul rejoice.

Oh you arrogant morn!
You brought me nothing but left me to mourn?
Who will hold me when I feel so torn,
My heart hardened like corn?
I try so hard to fake a smile.
Alone I shall trod, at least a mile.

Aren't my days all numbered?
At the end, I shall no longer be remembered?
Whom am I trying so hard to impress,
When no one shall be my side when I lay in distress?

I shall walk alone
In the rain, with all the pain,
I shall sing a song and never let out a moan.

Monday, August 19, 2013

World Photographers Day

Today, August 19 is the World Photographers' Day. Photographers make the world even more beautiful by their creativity. You may be an amateur, hobbyist photographer or a serious professional. Whoever you are, you deserve to know that your creativity makes the world more beautiful, changes perspectives, puts a smile on people and so much more...

Here are a few inspiring quotes on Photography:

You don’t take a photograph, you make it. – Ansel Adams

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs. – Ansel Adams

If your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough. – Robert Capa

It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter. – Alfred Eisenstaedt

I love the people I photograph. I mean, they’re my friends. I’ve never met most of them or I don’t know them at all, yet through my images I live with them. – Bruce Gilden

Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow. – Imogen Cunningham

In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality. – Alfred Stieglitz

Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase. – Percy W. Harris

I am not interested in rules or conventions. Photography is not a sport. — Bill Brandt

It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are. – Paul Caponigro

Of course it’s all luck. – Henri Cartier-Bresson

What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce. ― Karl Lagerfeld

A lot of photographers think that if they buy a better camera they’ll be able to take better photographs. A better camera won’t do a thing for you if you don’t have anything in your head or in your heart. – Arnold Newman

If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff. – Jim Richardson

It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get. – Timothy Allen

Even though fixed in time, a photograph evokes as much feeling as that which comes from music or dance. Whatever the mode – from the snapshot to the decisive moment to multi-media montage – the intent and purpose of photography is to render in visual terms feelings and experiences that often elude the ability of words to describe. In any case, the eyes have it, and the imagination will always soar farther than was expected. – Ralph Gibson

The best images are the ones that retain their strength and impact over the years, regardless of the number of times they are viewed. — Anne Geddes

To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them. – Elliott Erwitt

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
― Ansel Adams

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
― Marc Riboud

Wish you all the fun!

Do follow me @ My Photography Page, Flickr

Read more on Synaptic Sparks: Top 10 reasons Why You should Marry a Photographer

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Troubles & Tribulations of a 24-Year Old Bachelor!

It had dawned just like any another day. Nothing was too special nor too tragic about the day that it was worth any iota of my remembrance. Until...

"Don't give up hope. Everything will be all right, things will change for the better"

"What's wrong? You know you can discuss freely, right?"

What's wrong? Why is everyone acting so weird? I pondered. "Nothing", I murmured back.

I fell exhausted on my bed, my thoughts still researching what had called for such exaggerated concern all of a sudden. My curiosity only grew more and finally deciding to know the reason, I stormed out of my room and asked her. Momentarily taking her eyes off the computer screen, she looked at me over her glasses and answered me in gestures by stroking her chin I mimicked the same and my hands could feel the coarse bristles of overgrown hair on my beard. 

Phew... My dear God, why is it that I am always lazy and slack when I don't get things done in time but when I don't get a shave on time and grow a beard it becomes a quintessence of depression and love failure. This was not the sole occurrence of such demeanour, I realize that I've been facing certain troubles which I could say are rather peculiar to my present status: A Bachelor!

The other day, I was about to put a whole gulab jamun into my mouth. I was holding it in my hand. The sweet jaggery was almost dripping. It was looking so delicious and my mouth had already started watering. Ah...that happy reunion, that fleeting sweet love affair that was about to happen then was aberrantly broken off by an offbeat question from some nonchalant voice from behind.

"When are you getting married?"

I turned around and the gulab jamun clutched in my hand was carefully snatched. And before I could make a move or open my mouth, that slender figure disappeared amongst the crowd. I did not complain because it was a marriage reception that I was attending. I could get more gulab jamuns, as much as it pleased me. But that question put me out of mood for food.

I lay awake in my bed that night pondering over that disturbing question. "When will I get married?" I kept asking myself. Normally I wouldn't let such thoughts disturb me. But then, recently I had developed such anuptaphobia that I had asked such questions to myself several times before. All of my anuptaphobia stems from the fact that I live in an environment where love is just trampled over by the self-centred, the self-indulgent and the proud. No day ever passes without the sad story of the unfortunate love failures, marriages in shambles and desperate singles.

I have received so much advice so far that I can almost write a "How to find a girl for marriage" book out of it. Some excerpts...

"Keep searching. Keep trying. You'll will surely hit"

"Go girl hunting yaar, you're wasting your time"

"Get yourself registered in a matrimonial and find a girl soon, isn't it getting late?"

I am just 24 years old. Some feel it's too early (for marriage), some, too late. To be frank, I keep oscillating between the two like a disturbed pendulum pushed by people on either sides. There are times when I simply don't care and there are times when I am totally bothered and apprehensive. The fact is I do believe in a God and I know things will go on well for me. But then, God helps those who help themselves. There is a fine line between when you should be patient and hopeful and when you should take a step of action, a leap, courageously. And this fine faint line is seen by a wisdom which I am in desperate need right now.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Heart vs. Brain Battle

Dear Heart,
You have been bestowed with the gift of automaticity. Kindly remember, you have no right of autonomy. Don't decide upon matters without my consent and get into deep trouble.
Take care,

Dear Brain,
You may have control over every other dumb things out there but not on me. You keep thinking too much and too long and you keep judging everyone. Life is just too short and I cannot be waiting for your order that keeps delaying as doubts keep flooding you. Life is all about do or die. Life is about being daring. Life is about keeping hopes high. Haven't you heard of "matters of the heart"? So kindly leave them to me.
Beating for you,

Dear Heart,
Don't be too stupid. There's no way of staying away from judging people. You do it all the time. You judge people to be too good and get hopelessly hurt every time. Don't ever question of my authority, you bloody fool. When you are sick and can beat no more, people will throw you away and replace you. But if I am gone, you'll start rotting right away! Last time you made a rash decision and you put us all in deep trouble. You kept pounding so hard and left me no time to think. You almost broke the rib cage. And then you get badly hurt and go fluttering like a flag. You've gone too frail to do any more leaps. Everything you do is almost mindless, because you fail to get counsel from me. Stop taking us on roller coaster rides and bring no more devastation upon us.
Get lost,

Go to hell.
- Heart

Respected members of my body,
This is to notify you of a mutiny that has broken out amongst us. Hereby, I command you not to take orders from the heart. He has become too autonomous. He keeps taking rash decisions and hopes too high. Remember the last time he got hurt and left some of you bleeding, crying and groaning and in lots of pain? Remember how we were sleepless and burnt ourselves mourning along with that fool. So, from now on, wait for my order. I may tarry a bit, but I shall weigh the risks and benefits fairly in the light of all the experiences gained. I shall also act in accordance with the advice of those aged brains with more experience & wisdom. I am not saying that I would defer from taking up challenges, that I shall not love or hope etc. No. I shall do them diligently. I shall also plan for rescue measures beforehand if one of our steps had to fail, so that we can bounce back and not be knocked out, cold & hurt. I expect your full cooperation.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

P.S. Dear stomach, butterflies can’t enter you. Please stop bothering me with that. It’s just a silly trick that the heart plays on you. And dear eyes, don’t lose control and follow that girl the moment you see her. Last time you did and the forehead hit a lamp post. He’s been complaining all day to me. Behave yourselves.

[This is just a funny take on the heart-brain battle. There is no imitation or mockery of anyone's personal matters. Any references to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.]

Read more on Synaptic Sparks: The Ethics of Love

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Moods on A Rainy Day

Here are some of the photos I captured on a rainy day and my perspectives on them.

1. Refreshing

 2. A Sign of Hope

3. Purity

4. Desolation

5. Safe & Secure

6. Precarious 

7. Togetherness 

8. Lonely but still happy

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Warmth of Tender Love

The 9th August, 2013. Today. I would consider it one of the luckiest days of my life. It's Ramazan, a festive of our Muslim friends and I happen to be at home today. It's been raining continuously since yesterday evening. Morning, I woke up early and was wandering around through the garden that surrounds my house on all sides. My dad was already there and he had spotted something. It was a cute little living thing, drenched completely in rain and very cold. It couldn't move. As my father lifted it in his hands, it showed no signs of resistance. My sister saw the cute little bird and wanted it in her hands...

Initially she was a bit unhappy with us meddling with her. However, as we held her in our warm soft hands, she seemed to enjoy our company. My sister stroked it lovingly.

Then I took her in my hands and put some of my photography skills to use. 
You can view my photography page here.

Then we dried her as gently as possible, gently stroking her and blowing warm air over her. She was thoroughly comfortable with it. We warped her with a warm casing and she slept off in the warmth of it.

She's asleep now as I write this. When she's warm and ready, she'll fly off out of the window and she will be gone for ever. I hope she'll always remember the warmth of our love. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's Not A Perfect World

Head first and with a quick thrust, he made it. Being slippery wet, he wiggled away as I tried to get hold of him. In a perfect reflex, I grabbed his ankle, supported his back and lifted him up. Slimy wet and stark naked, he swayed his hands towards her. Then I glanced at her. She let out the most beautiful smile I've ever seen on a woman's face. A smile that heralded the inner outburst of exceeding joy that seemed to have completely effaced the moments of excruciating pain. I smiled back and turned him towards me and saw his rosy red cheeks. He gave out a low cry. I cut the umbilical cord and held him closer to me. That was when he peed on my labour gown.

It makes a doctor glee when a new-born passes the first stools or shoots his first pee. Because it's a sign of normal development of the gastrointestinal tract and the urinary tract. It allays the fear of any major congenital anomalies associated with these systems. I was happy too. "Your little pumpkin peed on me", I grinned. She giggled. Being the only doctor present in the septic labour room at that moment, I left her allowing the placenta to separate. I took the baby to the incubator. The nurse did the essentials for the baby like wiping the amniotic fluid dry, sucking the mouth for fluids that might obstruct the breath and made the baby feel warm. He was in good apgar and seemed very active. I watched him briefly as he poked all his four limbs into the air. It seemed he was too impatient and wanted to explore the new world he was into. I requested the nurse to notify the paediatrician and went to the mother's side. I removed the placenta and completed the other stuff like suturing and recording her vitals before she could leave the labour room to the ward nearby along with her baby where she could nurse him. 

It seemed like a perfect ending to all that anguish, all those lamentations and fear that gripped her.

A painting by Cynthia Angeles titled Grief

Earlier that day, when I entered the SLR (Septic Labour Room), I was nervous. I was told that a junior resident was on leave and they were managing a hectic department with lesser man strength. So I had to stay in the SLR with the nurses and take care of the patients there until they find a spare resident. How a final year medical student can replace a resident, I thought. However, there was only one patient in labour in the SLR and I felt relieved.

I went by her side as she lay on the cold metal board, occasionally screaming with pain whenever she had contractions. I took her pulse and blood pressure. As I was leaving to record my findings on her case notes, she looked at me asked, "How long would it take for my baby to come out?”. I had no idea. I had just come in and I really had no idea of her labour progress. However, I didn't want to showcase my ignorance. "When your baby is ready", I smiled feeling smart. "Will he be alive?" she pestered. 

I went by her side, bent near her and heard her story. I came to know that the present pregnancy was her second. This first one ended in a spontaneous abortion. Naturally, she was so scared of the outcome of the present pregnancy. And this time, to make matters worse for her, she was admitted in the SLR with premature rupture of the membranes. Her womb refused to open up in the normal speed and so was given medication to hasten it. And the doctors had told her that her baby was in distress and was in danger until delivered. I could understand her pitiable state of mind.

But I was so determined. Something told me that everything would be alright. I stayed with her and did my best to encourage her and allay her fears. And when the right moment came, I conducted the delivery and out came a baby that looked healthy and was doing fine. It indeed was a perfect ending, I thought. 

As she sat on a wheelchair with her baby close to her bosom and both wrapped in a blanket and about to be wheeled out to the ward, she thanked me. She asked me for baby name suggestions. I beamed a broad smile and humbly refused as nothing hit my mind. Before leaving, she asked me for my mobile number. Normally I’d never given it to any patient before, but as I wrote it down on a piece of paper and handed it over to her, she received it with great honour and heart full of gratitude.

Three days later, I received a call and on the other end, I heard a wailing voice that reminded me of the mother I’d meet three days ago except that it seemed a lot more coarser after repeated episodes crying. “My baby died doctor” is what I heard at the other end interspersed between sore weeps.

I hate to leave you with such pessimism. But let this be a gentle reminder that sometimes it's not a perfect world. And life has to move on. Make the best of it when it's still not too late.

- Do leave a comment below or contact me if you wish to communicate your feelings. Thank you for patient reading.