Monthly Archives: December 2010

A sprig of Holly and good cheer…

Four hours past X’mas day, and I have been having a jolly good time . Before writing (…rather typing) any further; a sprig of holly, a piece of cake (freshly baked…and oh yes, edible!!!), a glass of wine and good cheer to all…..Well this post is long overdue…. It was more or less supposed to be my X-mas checklist, I mean like “is-everything-in-order-before-chaos-occur”. But as usual I lost the battle with time, eternal enemies that we are!! Fortunately it did turn out to be pretty great “X-mas” this time- my first ever away from home and oh yes, I am still working!!! Taking you through my X-mas checklist and my X-mas day….

Pre-Christmas days were pretty busy with the caroling, X mas play and the bonfire nights. Setting up Christmas trees in the wards and at my place…finding the right size was essential especially in our cramped (minus the books and clothes strewn around, voila we have a dance floor then!!) quarters. So a miniature spring cleaning process took place and finally we found the right place for it. As for the books ‘n clothes, they shall enjoy the space of the spare closet in the hall, for the next couple of weeks. And up went the Christmas tree….not having one is like something missing from the Christmas spirit. Spruced up with decorations, all lit up, it gave the hall a welcoming look. Ideally, the Christmas tree symbolizes the ever-lasting life with God. There are many legends which tell about the origin of the Christmas tree, but one thing I have personally felt is that without one, there is something missing in Christmas.

Meanwhile, away from home, I had the enormous task of sending e-cards and greetings to friends and family, especially to my re-connected friends. And hunting cards for my grandparents who adamantly refuse to use technology. It’s all totally confused, says Grandma and Grandpa is convinced that these things are bugged. It’s a wonder that they agreed to a land-line and nope, no cell phones yet. Anyways there is something precious about Christmas cards, getting the real ones is fun, especially when on looking at the old cards, I am reminded of the past Christmases’. Anyways that and the gifts had been taken care of.

Secret Santa, we used to play it every year at home. Being away from home was all the reason more to hold one among colleagues. You can imagine the surprise on our faces when we drew the lot. We all could hardly wait for the unrevealing to happen.

Beginning with the eve of Christmas, the bunch of us who were the working lot decided that work or not, Christmas dinner would still there be as at home. So before the midnight church service, we all came up with the idea – to host the traditional X-mas dinner at one of our places. Nothing new about the timing of the idea, we are one set of regular last-minute-parties-and-dinners. Choosing which one of us would have to host it was the next thing to decide, because it meant cleaning out the whole place from top to bottom, at least the main hall!! Once the decision was made, reinforcements were called in and oh yes, the process of leafing through the recipe books started and so did the calls to home, what to make for the dinner. And the hunt for the groceries started. Thankfully, the stores were still open!!! But before it could be a complete kitchen disaster, we had help from one of our senior doctors on the campus. Under her watchful expertise, the dinner was prepared. It was fun, though a complete mess of the kitchen was made. And the dinner was not a disaster, for many of us who exist on ready-to-cook and pre-dinner boxes; it was like a miracle that we could prepare something edible!! Miracles of Christmas!! Baking didn’t turn to be as charred as expected. Add the wine, and we were all set for dinner.

Then we all went for the Midnight service. Sitting for the message, brought back memories of my childhood, how we all used to gather beside the Christmas tree listening to Grandpa tell us about the story of Baby Jesus and the Star. No matter how many times I hear it; there is a sense of wonder in knowing the love and mercy of God. It signifies the true essence of caring and giving, the spirit of Christmas.

Then dawned Christmas morning. Though most of us had to work, we did have fun in the wards, especially with the children and elderly. Oh we do make wonderful Santa’s. Those of us who did manage to get a few hours off, escaped for a “picnic-lunch cum dinner”, or as we like to call it so. Not yet freezing out here!!! For my first Christmas away from home, I surely had a wonderful time. Sitting and typing away at the wee hours of the morning, all I can say that life is indeed a miracle. The way you value it makes each day more precious than the other. And the memories that are made, they last for a lifetime till the grave. Well, it makes the “crappy” days worth living. I have to get some shut-eye now but where did that bottle of wine go?!!! Can’t let it go wasted, can I?!! Cheers to you all….Feliz Navidad

 

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Can’t believe…after so many years…

For the past couple of days, I been suffering from what anyone would call as a ” fish-mouth-syndrome”; continuously gaping at the screen of my laptop in shock and wonder !! ( Don’t blame me, you would me doing that if you were in my position, betcha !!) Oh my gosh !!! Time has flown by and oh boy, the changes it has brought. Perplexed ? I am sure by this time, anyone would think that I am completely nuts, but seriously I am not. Read on..

I have been a born traveler, right from the crib. Honestly, the maximum time I have spent in any place is for a period of five years ( just one place so far !!). So my entire childhood, till college was spent in a total of five schools. Consequently, I have lost in touch with most of my friends and high school teachers. These were the times when the e-mail and the internet fever was just catching up. Re-unions are rarely held for the lower grades, and the wanderer that I am, I am sure my invitation would be lying somewhere, lost to the winds of time and distance. Over the past few days, I have gotten back in touch with most of them ( the wonders of a small holiday break !!!) Over Twitter, Facebook, Skype… social networking to the limit !!! Thank goodness for such small “inter-distance” wonders !!! It was great to hear from many of them and to renew the bonds, especially over Christmas-time. Besides the reminder that it’s a small world after all, catching-up with the days of the past has brought back memories of the mischievous school days, the notes swapped in class, school drama days, the camps, the high school dance competitions… And oh yes, my high school crush-list, finally getting to chat with them after a really long time. ( The list never got announced, so far safe and oh yes, they are still guessing !! ha ha ) Feels good, makes me smile during during those strenuous duty hours. ( Working !!! , yep got no choice. I am one of those unlucky few, without a X’mas break, but I got longer breaks now !!! )

This is one bit of technology that I really don’t mind !!! Looks like this might be an extra-busy Christmas-time, with all the new greetings to be e-mailed, new addresses to be added to my address book and of course an r.s.v.p. to all my e-mails !!! And for all the rest of you out there, have loads of fun !!!

 


In memory of…

Today is a Black Day. There is a feeling of emptiness within, especially when you know that you will never see someone again. When you will never hear their voice or even glimpses of them passing by. Never to hear the words of encouragement and support. Never to see the smile on their faces. Life has it’s unexpected twists and turns; nasty shocks hidden in its shadows. Many a time, no one can explain why it happened so. How could it ever happen so. And most importantly, why them. Oh, why ? These are some questions that may never be answered. It just takes a second for life to get snatched away. A careless mistake, an inevitable event, an unforeseen circumstances, an accident.  At the end, the price is paid no matter what happens or who does it.

I will never ever hear the words of my mentor again. Never get to see her or work in her presence. Time snatched you away and I can hardly say anything at all. Still speechless from the shock. The days of your lectures, the bedside clinics, the morning rounds, fragments of conversations, words of support and encouragement, your smile, your presence…are all running through my mind. All I can put in words is, Ma’am, I miss you…


Hmmm….a boon or a bane

I think I have lost it – the art of reading. No, don’t get me wrong, I am one of those avid readers – nose-in-the-book-all-the-time type, popularly a.k.a “nerd”. Yet, now I really think I have lost it. I am a part of the technology-transition-generation, i.e. growing up with books from the public library, hand-me-down books and oh yes, the neighborhood-borrow-books club. Old ancient looking classics, the Enid Blytons, Brer Rabbit, and the Grimm Fairytales…later the adventure series etc…the books used to have a lot of dog-eared pages and bookmarks were kept, if one could be found. A sunny or rainy afternoon, a glass of orange juice and the books. Some of them, I used to read again and again, too irrresistable. Ah, well those were the days.

Fast forward to present, aside from most of the books being replaced by texts, the public library used to get updated less often. The neighborhood club numbers had dropped. The other hurdle was getting the books. Well, yeah we could place orders via Amazon but hey, the last time I was in a bookstore was like six months ago. And today most of my books – the texts and the novels are all online or on the E-reader; the classy cool compact gadget. Not to forget, blame the rising inflation as well, ’cause e-books are way cheaper and of course less heavier. But I miss the feel of paper, of the marking with pencil, doodling on the last pages. When I feel like re-reading a book, I have to start all over from page 1; it’s not easy to browse through the pages. All the zooming and blurring of words make me feel dizzy. Well, I have no choice but to keep up with technology, but I wonder what will happen when my laptop crashes and I loose all the books, or when my E-reader malfunctions. Guess, it’s a useless wish, that we could go back to those ol’ days of sitting by the fireside, immersed in the pages of a book.

 

 


A vicious cycle…..

Well, I have been putting off a lot of things this month especially my blog… Procrastination is not the only reason, sometimes my planning goes way off track. That is, accomplishing too much in too little time which is kind of dangerous. To start off on those things which have a rain check, it would be too numerous to enumerate. Sheer laziness, you could call it. But the minute one thing ends, the next begins. For starters, the Christmas Play led to the College Baccalaureate, followed up the re-setting up of a peripheral health centre, followed by the various Christmas programmes going on in Campus. Time, even if it were more than 24 hours, I would still run out of it. Most important thing that I have been putting off is time for myself, like quiet time. As for my resolutions and new-things-to-learn-this year especially my dance, my music, my writing and my drawings –  well at least they have all been started off; don’t even ask about the rate of progress. Work schedule, chores…kind of drain all my time and energy.

Maybe that’s what I should do, take one day at a time. Maybe I should think that the day has only twelve hours, so that way I would make less number of lists and plans, and instead do more. N find some time to at least start off….soon. And my blog, definitely all my weeks of “missing-in-action” shall be compensated for. Hopefully, I shall start off.

 


Com’on let’s go…!!

Twelve hours ago, I was scrambling my brains, hunting for the various props required for the play, pouring over the script and one look at the mirror; I looked something like an extra-terrestrial. Paint smeared face, yellow-green fingers….one big mess!!! The team had finished today’s work and I was cleaning up. Reached my quarters and was settling down, when the phone rang. Now what?!!
The next minute I left.

The next few hours were some of those that I treasure and keep it categorized as “memories for later”!! There is something special about spontaneous, unplanned events. Five of us, hit the road for a drive. Post-traffic rush, the drive was awesome. The thing that attracts me about a drive is that, it is a pleasant time to mull over, to reflect, to drift away, to dream or simply sit back and soak in the scenes that roll by, nature’s views, the music…. Or maybe it’s the fact that I am getting out of the local “habitat” and heading out somewhere different. And a drive with no planned destination in mind and going nowhere in particular, is simply the best. The random days of travel and the countless hours of just driving, stopping at random spots, depending on whatever catches the eye, exploring the roads….are like some moments which are worth making. A new road, a new area, new scenery appears…. no second thoughts at all… Although, the best is when it is an overnight trip. Unfortunately it is “work-day” tomorrow.

Anyways, this drive turned out to be a big break from the usual grind. I wish I could do it more often. Sometimes, extremely pre-planned events lose their fun due to the extreme planning. Spontaneity, I really miss it thanks to all the schedules and planners. True, planning is a must; but surprises I like better. Well, back from the road, the whole gang had crashed over; looks like it was a Saturday night after all!!!


Roll your “r’s” and get your “t’s” straight !!!

Christmas-time !!! Aside from the yearly Christmas celebrations, i.e. carols, church choirs, bonfire nights, all the baking and friends and family meet; there is the annual institutional Christmas events..i.e. the Christmas choir and the Christmas play. Well this year, I am getting involved with the play. Nope, not in the “dramatic” department, had enough of theatrics at work. Rather I am into the sets and props. Hey, you put the actors on stage but minus the sets and props, all you get is a bunch of dialogues and facial expressions !!!

This year, the script is based on M.A.S.H.- the 70’s show drawing the concept from the “Officer’s only” episode (15) of season 02. Concept all about discrimination based on rank. Well, practice will soon get on full fledged as the three day show is over the next weekend!! Dialogues, expressions, pronunciation, stage movements…thank goodness I switched over. Recollecting my earlier roles, the long tiring practices, memorizing the lines, and worst of all the stage fright…..it was fun, but this time I needed a change. So I jumped at the chance to take care of the “sets and props”. Earlier I thought it was light work, but I have changed my mind. Post-reviewing the script and the airing of the original episode for the benefit of the entire cast and crew, I was staring at the screen gasping for air like a fish!! Omg work has to get started asap. Looks like there is going to be a lot of heavy furniture to be moved around, ward scenes to work out and a bar to be set up !!!

Ironically, are we getting breaks from work  for this? Na!!Nada!!Zilch!! After all, the whole objective of this institution is to make us into multi-tasking professionals!!! So with a prayer, I shall start off. Yikes!!! Where did my copy of the script go ? Have to get the separate lists for the props for each set sorted out ?! Oh no, not a hunt now!!