Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lock And Key


Day by day, one by one, we lose them all
All those keys of sense and sensibilities
Which we think we own a lot but not
For we are prisoner's of our minds
And let those locks rest and rust
Holding all that is over and done
Safe in those figmental closets
We close more than guard
Unaware of the obvious
That the best in life
For all the good
Is on its way
A little slow
But for sure
Meant to
Come

-R-

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Hope



"So what does it mean to you?" I asked.

"What?" he asked back.

"This whole sweeping thing" I said.

"You mean this job of mine" he exclaimed.

"Yes, why are you doing it, you don't look well, why don't you stay back home?" I asked him crossly.


"Because there I don't and here I do" he said and smiled.

"Do what?" I asked again.

"I earn" he added with pride.

"So?" I added.

"It means hope"

So said the old man who cleans the park in the morning and swept me away.


-R.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Where I Belong




When John Denver goes “Country roads take me home, to the place I belong” West Virginia may not be the place I intend or can travel to. The local line buses here in Mangalore, when relatively free of all their crowd give me this feeling, the one with which he sings. I slip into a reverie of sorts sitting in a corner with my arm resting on these low railings of the window with the breeze brushing past my face. The speed at which these vehicles bolt and their very characteristic honk is very contradictory to the serenity they bring, my thoughts effortlessly fly like a grasshopper and turn along with the bends.

I go into a world that is quieter, amongst people of whom I know none and yet the town looks unsophisticated, very familiar. It has to, after two and half years. The coconut tree greenery around greets, the clouds that may burst any time any day and any way loom large. There is hardly any sunshine unlike during the heat of the summers. The air smells of the salt peculiar to the sea, and then there are those frequent occasions when it smells of the fish. I am a Mangalorean, but that has got nothing to do with the hundred and one reasons I can give this world on why I detest fish. When I look up to the sky there are birds flying more than I can correctly name one. I wish I could do that, go wherever I want to whenever I feel like, all because this strange silence in my mind makes me miss all the noise back at home in Bangalore.

I know I am not very far away. I have always believed that I am not the hippie kind who can manage to live anywhere. It was not about the place, it was not about the people. More than anything else it was about me, what I identified myself with. I have always, essentially, been waiting and trying. Waiting and trying to become something, waiting and trying to be that person I always thought I am on the verge of becoming. In my head, it was possible. And in that process day by day, today I wonder if life has begun. Sometimes it feels this is it, this is the way. That thing I was waiting for, those moments  unfolding silently and patiently. The doorbell from the milkman at sharp six who refuses to take the last two months bill amount and says “Give it next time Ma’m”, and the next time is for eternity.  The old autorickshaw fellow at the auto stand who refuses to pick up others and waits for me till eight thirty for some absurd reason that I look exactly like his dead daughter and chats on one day about why Narendra Modi SHOULD become the Prime Minister of India , and how we can cook good food without onions on the other. And then there are some very nice and new friends who explain me on why I should stay back here in this town, well this way:


'The Big Bang Anti-Theory': On how and why people can be together despite moving away.
[ It made sense unlike this final picture ;-) ]

I do not know what Jon Krauker meant in Into the Wild when he wrote this:

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun”


What is unconventional living according to you ?
Living in one place differently everyday, or living in different places everyday? :-)


-R

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cheesy !


For every trouble under the sun
There is Cheesecake or there is none 
Be there one, try to find it
 Be there none, go out and buy it...

[Quote Courtesy]

Friday, August 2, 2013

Picture Perfect


This morning I happened to see these two friends and how happy they seemed to be with each other, aren't they? The broken winged butterfly knew where to go, the lone wild flower knew who would come. And when such people get together, everything has to be picture perfect :-)


“When you start to really know someone, all his physical characteristics start to disappear. You begin to dwell in his energy, recognize the scent of his skin. You see only the essence of the person,not the shell. That's why you can't fall in love with beauty. You can lust after it, be infatuated by it, want to own it. You can love it with your eyes and body but not your heart. And that's why, when you really connect with a person's inner self, any physical imperfections disappear, become irrelevant.”

-Lisa Unger-

-R.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Matter



Like ice in water
I melt in your being
I maybe afraid to say
Anything else but this truth
I maybe afraid to go
Anywhere else but with you
For you are where
My joy and journey is
For you are where
My mind and spirit is
In the only state that we live
And call it a good life
With all its twists and turns
When there is an angel like you
Subtle and simple, silent and strong
To hold me even before I ask
To treasure more than I love you
Is the only matter that matters

-R-

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Shoes of the Dead - Book Review




Politics, journalism and everything between the two, well that is today’s India for you. Kota Neelima’s Shoes of the Dead gives a remarkable insight into what has become of us today, we as a nation - a complete breakdown. What the book captures is the unheard rural issues of farmer debts and suicides, things which do not make to the prime time news. While Gangiri could do that, the end of chapter twenty two tells us until when. It hits the conscience. Farmers and their families, bank officers, local leaders, politicians and journalists- the detailing of the circumstances and characters although very elaborate is very much needed to make the reader realize what the ground situation in the villages is, it very much reflects the extensive research behind this book. There are parts such as these which put me to thought:

“There is no one out there reading your story. There is no one who will take a step because of your story. It is just a numb, self absorbed world that is slowly consuming itself, from light to darkness, from darkness to darkness”

How true is that! People tend to get out of the mass ignorance and fight for the right but only when the wrong happens to them. To change the system first we need to get into the system, there is no waiting for that to happen. And that’s what the book tells us, to do the right at the right time in the right way. Then there are instances as close to real, where Keyur, a politician because he was born to one speaks like this in a press meet:

“People believe we will make better leaders because we are born into political families into power. They know we can handle it better. And we have” 

Really? This speaks of the many in power right now in our country, arrogant as much as ignorant. Our maybe politicians analyze people better, or else the latter wouldn’t be at the receiving end. The role of journalists is well portrayed too, especially Nazar. Things that happen in the media, how news becomes breaking news and why. The complexities of governance are enlightening but deeply saddening. The ones who make it to the system are consumed by the system unfortunately. So where do we all stand as India, a nation, a very scary thought, ‘Bharath Nirmaan’ and all the glorified concepts apart.

A commoner better pick such books up from a library or book store because until one is aware there is no thinking about it, and doing something about it is a farfetched idea. The book isn’t a thriller, a self help book, a romantic story or a fantasy fiction. The genre is different, it is reality. Well we do not read such books in detail often and that’s the depressing truth. Principles and power do not go together, so do politicians and people in a bad democracy. There is a lot to avoid, to learn, to change, to act or else we are not far from becoming one. In this direction, the book is one good attempt .

PS:

This post is a part of the Book Reviews programme at Blogadda

-R

Monday, May 27, 2013

In Conversation - The High Five Men


Ever since the connections between the two legged mortals across the world have improved things have changed more than anyone has ever wanted. The cell phone towers have outgrown the number of trees and have threatened the very existence of the sparrows who remain conveniently forgotten. The morning alarms are more through the cell phones than the bird chirps, well only if they could virtually tweet or use an anger emoticon as a status update. To top that a fortnight back we had one particular man with a statement “I am not a lame duck”  The lameness because of which those innumerable scams have happened right under his nose in his network of administration is an attribution enough. Why call a duck lame when you are so one? Leave the soft feathered souls.


The great misfortune that has befallen this country is that good governance is diluted in bad politics and as expected a huge educated Indian populace codemnns, judges and opines about such self assertments and explanations from their representatives way more than they understand. But when on rare occasions when a word comes from this leader of towering silence, well he needs to be given a platform to speak his heart out as much as his critics and the public does, and stand for his actions [if any].


Considering the lack of his connectivity with the general public how about a ‘WeChatWithThePM’ campaign. Always in a blue turban and once in a blue moon talk does not help I say! ;-) The strategy is this, we first will have to block Madamji, you know to avoid all the expected influences. Secondly we will be having an advisory panel to ensure that we help him to ‘speak and act’ which are words disappearing from his dictionary.

Here are the people to our rescue. He shall be assisted by The Gangnam Man with ‘The Shake Option’ Breathe in, relax and go “Oppan Gangnam Style” two minutes before any conversation and this we hope will work to move his otherwise flaccid muscles, at the least an inch, well that would be great to demonstrate some sign of activity.





 



The Invisible Man would be helping him get our opinions with ‘The Drift Bottle Option’ which  lies in the sea, thrown only to be forgotten. It is high time he hears to what his fellow countrymen have to tell him, one on one.



 
With ‘The Look Around Option’ he shall be given suggestions and solutions to all the issues of national concern, he is deaf ears and blind eyes simply because he has no good assistance or help. He shall worry not, for that we have The Common Man, someone who has represented us on the receiving end for years with all kinds of people in the parliament. To find an answer we first have to face the question, any better choice ?

 




Lastly what we would be aiming at is something close to impossible. We will be leaving him for a tête-à-tête with The Laughter Man who shall teach him the value of emoticons and emotions, a few hours a day should do. And the day we catch a glimpse of his teeth, well that photograph will be the highest captured and shared with ‘The Moments Option’. We need a happy leader to be happy right? :-)




That makes my weird high five, so how many fists in the air? ;-)
 
PS:Wanna talk beyond the Quack! Quack! Wanna join this developmental conversation? You never know when is the next opportunity, if at all! Join in, the comment box is waiting :-)

PS2: Written as a part of  Indiblogger and WeChat , a new way to connect :-)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Game Of Care And Cure



  
Picture Courtesy
“It is the last place I would step into” fortunately or so I am one of those who will never wish to say this unlike many others while speaking about a hospital, thanks to all the medicine I know and I am in the process of learning. It is the first place I look forward to be in and do what I am best at. Every morning when I make it to my work place I see people queuing up to get an appointment, people waiting outside the laboratory to get their reports, people getting their prescription of medicines at the pharmacy, people in the ward running behind the nurses and ward boys, people in the operation theatre, people in the casualty, people in the outpatient department, people getting their radiographs done people near the blood bank, people who make it and people who do not. A sea of them and I am not exaggerating. Everything on each of their faces, the relief and the pain, the joy and the suffering well that answers this question ‘How does modern heath care touch lives?’ It is something we must acknowledge, more than we do right now.

Modern day medicine is more demanding than it is often debated about. Like all other systems, health care is not spared of issues, in fact it is targeted first and that kind of talk would make an another post. I would be deviating from this one necessary question which needs to be answered. Thanks to Indiblogger for letting me beat a drum about it here ;) Being a doctor at the least what  I can do is make the world aware of the good that we get to do and are bound to do :) 

The sheer difference an investigation or an intervention brings in somebody’s life, and the way a medical professional looks at a disease or a disorder because of it is just incredible. They therefore can give you a hope to fight, to live better and survive because they know there are these amazing inventions and discoveries in their hand and knowledge in their head to help you out. Diagnosis is better compared to what the situation was like a few decades ago. Hole in the heart? It can be fixed. No more heart??? Well that can be fixed too.

Transplants and resections, minimally invasive and robotic surgeries, drugs and vaccines, tests and markers, molecular studies and research. You ask for it, you have it. This was on one of my night duties , the Vitek, an automated blood culture system beeped within 8 hours of loading the blood culture bottle to the machine, which meant there was some microorganism growing in the blood culture, we did the staining and identified it as cocci in chains and reported immediately to the clinician so that he could start the right antibiotic, the patient was later diagnosed of Group A Streptococcal sepsis and thankfully he recovered. On an another occasion we had a patient diagnosed of dengue, not responding to treatment for almost a month in the hospital and on more elaborate investigations we found her to have profound bone marrow suppression due to a rare complication of the infection. She recovered too with chemotherapy. It is in instances such as these, which are beyond all this talk about advancements and technology which make doctors like me believe that we can deliver what we should. 

Every new drug, every new test, every new machine, every new tool, every new procedure and every new doctor in fact is accepted into the medical camaraderie after crossing a hundred hurdles. Trials and phases as we call it in pharmacological terms ;) This surely is the case in many other professional set ups as well, but in health care the glitch is this, there is no room for a mistake. You do it and you are done. Then is when the world talks about healthcare, not otherwise. In such a critical scenario, what medicine has achieved is commendable, nothing can match up to that.

Fleming did find penicillin, but he had warned about resistance. Now we have carbapenems, well resistance to them too. Modern medicine has not just touched lives, it has radically changed the way we approach health and disease. If you were to hear the commencement speech of Dr.Atul Gawande at Stanford School of Medicine  in 2010 you will understand what I am trying to put across. The field is large, the goal is big, the crowd is huge and the players are less. But the game, if you are allowed to call it so, is definitely interesting. Only those who play and cheer will agree :) I am more than glad for having chosen to be a part of it for all my life :)

Only Bill Watterson can make Calvin Hobbes play Doctor-Doctor this way ;)

Picture Courtesy

-R.
 PS: This post is written as a part of Indiblogger's How does Modern Health care touch lives? in association with Apollo Hospitals