Monthly Archives: April 2011

Keeping the spirit of life…

Already into the last week of April, I find myself in awe of time; the rate at which it flies by. It feels like yesterday that I was celebrating new year!!! The past one week was pretty eventful for me and the staff, in the hospital. The Passion Week ended with the Easter celebrations and yesterday we had the traditional Easter Hunt; with the bunny rabbits, secret maps for the “precious gems” ( a.k.a. Easter eggs ) and children running around and the adults busy with the preparations for the Easter lunch.

Few reminders that I associate with Easter are about the saving grace, redemption, love and most importantlyfor me is, hope. Hope for better times. For brighter days. For small miracles.

But sometimes, in the process of living life, I get all flustered up and disappointed. I tend to loose hope and fall out. Yet a while later, maybe even months later, I eventually pick up the pieces and try to fall back in the line, on the road. Then, it seems as though the worse things, though they happened don’t actually matter anymore. The journey seems far better than before. After all, it’s all about picking up the pieces and moving on.

And then one fine day,I realize that everything that I had always wished for, hoped and dreamt for has finally come true.

Then I look back and laugh at what all I went through, the trying times, the journey and how it all happened…

Then when I ask myself, “How did I get through all that?”….Things which made that happen matter the most..Maybe there were meant to be unpleasant times, difficult times. Maybe it all happened for a reason. To learn about life. To understand about grace and love.

Yet what I realized most importantly, is to just never let go of hope…

To just never quit dreaming…

Finally to never let that love depart from your life…

And that is how I made it till here. And that’s how we all made it till this point in our lives. So I pray for a good going this year and above all, hope to keep the flame alive ….


Dealing with the personal space invaders !!!

Commuting via the local bus and through the streets was an ordeal today!! Being shoved and pushed through the crowd is kind of almost a daily routine, but today while in the bus it went way out of hand. I was stepped on an endless number of times. Not to mention about the shoving, pushing and the temporary detachment of your upper half of the body from the lower while trying to get down from the bus. If anyone says that subways are better, I‘ll seriously ask them to eat crow!!

Alright, agreed travelling is highly strenuous at times, especially when you have to use the local transport (whatever is available then suffices thanks to the lack of time and your highly temperamental car; no taxi in sight !!). But the problem doesn’t end there. Waiting rooms, counters, department store and even ordinary conversation; some folks just come right up over to you, literally kind of just say a mere inch standing away from you!!! Half the time, I scoot over to make more space, and then yet, I am still cramped up l!!

Why hasn’t anybody heard of the term “personal space”!! I hate when people encroach that space around me, makes me feel flustered and irritated. Is there any polite way to say, “Er, could you please keep your distance?!!”I am not deaf nor blind yet, nor am I dumb; so if anyone wishes to make their point, I am definitely all ears, but it doesn’t warrant them to breathe down my neck or worse, right in front of my face!!! Besides, being annoying it’s highly insulting. Recently, I have started the new gesture of prodding to make them stay away and give my space. I know it’s rude, but I can’t help it; apparently “excuse me, please” doesn’t work anymore!!! My way out, to walk in a wide arc helps and to never stand still. And the occasional frown too, does wonders. I am still working out new ways to maintain “my space”. Unfortunately, can’t put up a sign saying, “Trespassers (of personal space), please keep out !!!

Play of The Colours

Seems as though the heat has been stalled for a couple of days in the tropics. It’s been raining like cats and dogs for the past few days. Yet not so terrible, looks as though they are taking turns, the clouds and the sun.

The smell and feel of rain is quite awesome, especially when you are in the city.Agreed it’s highly polluted and not same as the country, but still I eagerly await the rains any day. After a downpour, the air smells of fresh earth, wet grass and all the birds creep out to say a hello around. And nature wrecks havoc on my senses, the rich colours come back to life. Here in the tropics, there is no real distinction between spring and the summer save for the rains. Downpours are common during summer, though this time it is way early. Discussing the weather seems like a weird post, but let me go beyond that.

Nature plays with colours. Metaphorically speaking, it plays with our journey on the road, coloring it up, giving it dark shades and light shades, special colours, sad colours, beautiful colours and sometimes, colours which only we can see and experience, that nobody else would be able to. But when nature plays with colours, it doesn’t alert us with alarms or ding-dong bells !! It starts it’s work and gives us the option of seeing the colours as they are coming along the way. Unfortunately, what most of us do, including me, is to crib unceasingly about our misfortunes and downfalls in life; little looking around and appreciating how lucky we are when compared to many. Sometimes, I often wonder why we are given so many chances in spite of how hopeless we perceive life. Maybe it’s because of the amazing grace that is given to all of us. Maybe there is still hope that we,people would change for the better.

The Colours of Life by Leonid Afremov

That’s what the rains tell us, to pause and appreciate life, it’s beauty and grace. To take each day as it comes. To hope for the best; yet be prepared for the worst. To take pitfalls as they come, in stride. To say a daily prayer of thanks . To explore life. To enjoy and learn from experiences, be it good or bad. To inspire us to do something different, unique to each individual. To give something back to this world. Or what I perceive most importantly, to throw ourselves in the riot of colours of life, losing ourselves in the joy of living , and when we fall or stumble, to pick ourselves and  move on.

Standing alone…

Standing alone in the rain, and getting drenched; he looked a tad ‘lonely out there. He was a regular volunteer at the hospital; helping to take care of the elderly, spending time with the sick children, and so on. In short, a known face around. “What is wrong?”, I had asked him. This is what he had to say.

“Each of us has a network of friends and family, yet at times when crisis hits, you can’t share it with anyone. You try to talk it out, but the fear comes over you that they won’t figure you out; they wouldn’t understand your point of view. They often say, it will pass; but how will I cope till it passes over. Worst is the situation when one of your own is a pain in the neck, or has created a mess in which you can’t surface from. Certain days, in moments like these I feel all alone. Who can I talk to, then? And if ever that someone comes along, how can I be sure that they won’t be any back-stabbing involved. I deciphered this today, when crisis comes, awkward moments come; you are alone in this world. And that is the true face of life. Brutal but that’s the honest truth of life.”

What can I say? Standing alone; we all get that feeling at times. Of things not working out for us, while for others it’s a smooth sail. Of plans being made and you are the last one to know about it. There are many more instances like these, when sometimes you feel that everything or rather everyone is against you. This phase of feelings is a rough ride. The days then feel prolonged and the routine of life becomes monotony.

Thinking of life like that, we all are standing alone. We come in a single file and that’s how we go out. During the years we make our family and friends. And they do help us get by. Yet they are human too. And what I have seen is that the more we expect from them, the more we get disappointed.

As for facing the scenes alone, we all get that feeling of loneliness and tiredness though in reality you are not alone. Someone is always looking out for us. That someone who watches out for us and waits to see if we get back on our feet. He will give us some time and then when we still don’t surface, He intervenes and helps us to stand up. It’s just a matter of faith, hope, perseverance and time.

Crisis comes, and at times we are alone but just pause and look around. You are not the only one who is standing in the rain, many of us are. It’s just that each one of us gets caught up in our own mess to realize that we are not the only ones in a tight spot. It depends on how you look at it. You may stand alone but at the end of the “crisis phase” you re-connect and get back to the daily life, with faith hope, and a lot wiser. Just face it and get on by, don’t cower. For sometimes, by standing alone, it makes you a lot more strong and for all you know, it could be meant for the better than the worse.

Cutting your piece of the cake…

Last week was my niece’s b’day !!! She blew off her three candles admist loud cheers and  hugs. And oh yes, there was the traditional cake cutting ceremony, where in her fourth year of life started off with a big piece of cake. Philosphically looking at it, I often wonder why most birthdays are celebrated by cutting the cake. Seriously, no one rings in their new year by cutting a pie, digging into the pudding or ice-cream. The best birthday celebrations have to have that piece o’ cake, it may be home-baked or ordered, with or without cream !! Not that I belong to an “anti-cake squad”, I just wonder if it has any significance attached to birthdays being celebrated by cutting a cake, any symbolic meaning perhaps!!

Thinking about it, maybe our years untill our birthday can be summed up in a cake ( and I don’t mean in “easy” as when we say a piece of cake !!) , lit by the candles. I wonder what each person thinks as they blow the candles out. Maybe thoughts of what the past years have brought about. Or about the trials and trying times underwent so far. Or of the near-misses, lessons learnt and second chances. Or hoping that tomorrow will turn out to be better. What ever it may be, we close our eyes, make a wish, blow out the candles and cut that piece of cake !!

It’s hope that makes us look forward to the next year in our life. Hope for a new change, a new start or just some good ol’ luck (Like my grandmother who has been pining for great-grand kids for the past couple of days, after effects of long distance calls  to her grand-kids maybe!! ). But when times get tough, you kind of look back, sift through the happy moments and for some, b’days kind of bring a smile. For others, those without celebrations or who couldn’t celebrate, it brings in another year to achieve more, hope in something new. That’s what b’days signify, another year of hope and dreams; a year of new beginnings and wishes. And that’s what happens when you cut your piece of cake !! You make a new hope, a wish, and a dream to achieve that wish. And the next year of your life unfolds, another year of learning and moments.

Call of Destiny, is it so ?!!

He was born to a family which could barely make ends meet. Thanks to the law and social support, he could study till high school. At the end, he got a scholarship and went on to study agriculture-related subjects at college and later at the university. For someone whose family had barely five acres of land, today it has become a ranch. This is a story of one boy in the community that I live in. Many of the children in the little public school were of the same background. Little boys and girls who worked on the farm in the wee hours of the morning and post-school hours. Or have single parents who found it hard to get bread. Or whose parents were drug addicts, or whose were killed in tragic accidents orphaned at an early age. They were picked up by the various NGOs and charitable trusts hoping to give them a future, a second chance.

Taking a look at the other side of the coin. Born to a middle class well to do family, he had heard of struggle but never had experienced it. For he didn’t have to,bread was always on the table and the future was secure. Or it seemed so, till he met Uncle Charlie and the days were spent in hitting up or having a dig. Pocket shots were in, he said. The house knew no rest, gone was the peace and happiness, of the present and the future.

Thus is the story of two children, one who was given a chance, grabbed it and made his dreams big. The other who was enticed to go the wrong way. What does this tell us ? Being born having-it-all doesn’t help you be anyone in life ? When life deals cruel with you, then you tend to give it your best shot ? Circumstances is what makes you become what you are now, if you are born poor, it’s only luck which intervenes and gives you a second chance ? ( Never believe in that !!) It’s your destiny or fate which decides whether you make a mess out of life, or live it the right way !!!

Which brings me to the point, is destiny something so powerful that you let your life loosely hang on it. Is fate something so strong to let it dictate your life. Of course not !! Agreed, circumstances are what moulds us, shapens us into character, action and unfolds us in the way we, rather each one of us handles life. But circumstance is not a dictator. It is we who can use circumstances, for the better or  worse.  It doesn’t hurt to dream big, to soar high (not with Uncle Charlie or any other drugs for that matter !!), to make plans for the future. No one says all the dreams will materialize or post-planning, it will be a smooth sail henceforth, because all your plans and routs are chalked out. No. There are bound to be blocks and detours, standstills and upheavals. But if you stall and watch the traffic go by, you are bound to stagnate and before you know, poof, it’s over !! Time up !! Or you can pick up the pieces from the mess , re-start and move on.

Opportunity knocks on all the doors and peeks through the windows, but it doesn’t come with a bang and fireworks , to announce it’s arrival. It passes by. You have to be ready to see it or even it’s shadows and grasp it, before it totally jumps out of your grasp. If time is spent on moping, lying about listlessly; it won’t wait for you to buck up and reach out. Opportunity says, what the hell, if you don’t see me I can’t see you either !! Though sometimes, it will come by again, when least expected. Then, we can either fold our hands and say, it’s destiny, we can go only this far; or you can throw your hands and grab oppurtunity when it comes a second time, before it runs away.

The story of the two boys are just examples. There are countless number of people who decide what they want out of their life, and say destiny, come what may, but I am going to give my best shot while I can. Your background, your family name, your assets don’t matter infact, for they don’t define you. What you personally accomplish in life is what makes life worth living for. What you want to do, not what somebody else decides for you to do. Poor or rich, it doesn’t matter. Yet there is no point of building castles in thin air. Look at the finances, plan wise and act on it.

Many sit back and say, it’s destiny or fate, which ever you call it ?!! But what I personally believe, is you give it your best shot, somewhere along the journey; we both i.e. destiny and me,  will meet and reach a compromise. But it doesn’t warrant me to let fate control my life entirely. We all have been given talents of some sort. Using it wisely is a responsibilty entrusted unto us. As  Andy  said in the final scene of Step Up 2: The Streets ( ‘m into hip-hop at the present !!), summing it up as “…it shouldn’t amtter what we wear, what we school, or what neighbourhood we come from, because the best part of the tsrrets is not what you’ve got, but what you make of what you’ve got.” Well, I would like to metaphrase the street s as “streets of life” !!! So what are you waiting, go and meet destiny half-way or rather let help you reach where you want to be in life ?!! Call of destiny or fate ?!! Is it so ?! Or is it you decides if it becomes a call or a compromise between the two of you !! Destiny, fate or how ever you may call it.

You are what your deep driving desire is. 
What your desire is, so is your will,
What your will is, so is your deed,
What your deed is, so is your destiny.

You would be what your destiny is. – Pravs J

Of all woes, I have started scribbling !!!

Ahem, well this post is kind of a confession or an rather an understanding. Last year, I had posted about the end of the days of legible handwriting and the beginning of the scrawling era, i.e. “ Last days of Scrawling ? Not Yet !!” Well, working in the present situation as to being the only doctor attending rounds, monitoring the in-patients and handling the emergency department, it’s not possible to keep the pen at a standard pace on paper. Being a rural hospital not many doctors will volunteer for helping out on a regular basis. The main consultants that even work here, do so only on a two hourly, five days a week basis. So the daily routine of taking the a.m. and p.m. rounds falls on me.

Initially, the notes were legible and orders were pretty distinct. But as the emergencies pile in and the number of in-patients increased the scrawl pretty much came back into play. Earlier I never understood why my senior doctors wrote so brashly, but now I am doing pretty much the same. The solution obviously is to hire another doctor to share the load, but that’s out of question at the present. So now after scrawling down the orders, all the files land on my desk wherein I take my time and complete the notes, “legibly” and in capitals. The worst case scenario comes the patients get transferred over. Computerized records are not possible at present thanks to the fact, that I am working in a rural place in India. Electricity itself 24 x 7 is a rarity. So far the prescriptions are safe, thanks to the habit of writing in caps, but it is not feasible for me to do so for ward notes. During the transferring of the case notes to higher centers ; I have nightmares “what if it was read as…”. Obviously, logically the easiest thing would be to write legibly, but it is easier said than done for me, at present.

Handwriting woes !!! Why can’t the neurons send electrified signals though the air, so that whatever we say gets automatically set down in writing (only when we want it to), a pretty unreasonable demand, I know !!! Recently, I have started writing legibly (hopefully), but when the calls come-in haywire then I am back to square one. The best permanent solution to this would be to voice-write the orders ( technology, need help). Until then, all I can pray is for legible scrawls and less written hazards. Really need a lot of  luck at my fingertips and grace right now.  Amen.