Monday, June 30, 2014

Of Hills And Views

“Put yourself in his shoes and walk a mile” they say, I would say put in a tad more effort after the last two days. It’s beautifully strange when you care to see everything and everyone through someone else’s eyes only to realize that there is more to the world around you. I did just that. It is on journeys and places which are never on your mind you come to understand what actually blessedness feels because there are no plans, no maps, and therefore no expectations. In fact you end up smiling more than once.


A bunch of kids come running to you with jamuns.

Eggs you though you are allergic to are no longer a problem, end up tasting the best in a simple meal.

There is something more than tranquility in and around the place you sleep.

Steam from the tea makes peace with the breeze through the window, while you try that with your friends in the process of waking them up.

Flowers bathe in the morning dew before they bloom.

 A new friend follows you for hours wherever you go, even more than your shadow.

Old benches find and invite you without wanting to know who you are and why you are there.

A place which makes you feel that temples and palaces are not the only ones with good architecture.

Trees filter your thoughts like sunlight, clean and thorough.

  Dates of some unconnected past intrigue your mind more than your present.

The dusk light sprinkles like gold on the far mountains.

It rains somewhere but you drown and drench.

For once, others see you more than you see them.

     Things that take years to understand sometimes are learnt from places such as these, not from books neither from classes, there are signs all around, signs of life, from an alarm call to the smell of a kill. And for once it feels good, to write more than a travel post. I returned home this morning with only one thought ‘When your experiences run close to nature’s course, your life is well lived.’ 

 “Who goes to the hills goes to his mother”

-Rudyard Kipling in ‘Kim’-


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Soft-Thursday Challenge

If your heart is as soft as butter and as sweet as sugar, wait until someone gobbles up that cookie ! ;-)



'AIDS' For Thought

Image Courtesy

On a regular day, a staff nurse from the operation theatre makes an emergency call to the laboratory, and only she is aware of the number of times she does that before any surgical procedure and asks “HIV / HBsAg?”, “ Negative Sister, your name? ” we reply and also inquire for confidentiality purpose and inform the much needed report. The PPM (Personal Protective Measures) and other procedures that is to be followed in addition to the ones already in practice  is another ordeal if the status is otherwise positive. 

Meanwhile in the obstetrics department a pregnant lady waits for her report, a pathologist gets pricked accidentally during sampling, a surgeon is already undergoing post exposure prophylaxis, a newly married couple is undergoing counselling in the PPTCTC (Prevention Of Parent To Child Transmission Centre), a high risk patient refuses testing in fear of the result, an already diagnosed patient thinks maybe the infection is of less harm than the treatment, a doctor worries about his patient’s CD 4 count or about the recent cold or cough he developed, many consent forms are signed, blood vials are fed into the machines for testing, Western Blots are run for retest, reference laboratories are contacted, statistics worked upon and health authorities informed. Day in and out, HIV/AIDS looms around us like a death eater in hood, outside as well as inside the hospitals. There is no person or organ of him/ her that it spares. Having said that and experienced it from a doctor’s perspective what compels me to write this post is the recent hubbub about it.

This is what our health minister had to say:

Image Courtesy

And the reporters reported that he said:

And then the clarifications, explanations and discussions that followed:

I have tried compiling most of the news that I could come across since yesterday and they are here in this list, after having read them I can only agree with Edward Murrow, the American journalist who puts matters such as these in perfect sense by saying “We are in the same tent as the clowns and the freaks-that’s the show business”. While our tweets and status updates are adding to the heated argument on what he said and why he said so, we need to realize that any point which we think and put across is futile unless it goes beyond the ‘condom vs culture’ debate because ‘HIV/AIDS’ is not just about that. We all have our share of responsibility in making and taking such news. I wish the science of our minds; be it the ministers, the policy makers, the reporters or the readers who read and react to this was more sensible than sensitive. Criticizing anyone or anything here serves no purpose. As an adult, as a person of medicine, as someone who has read enough about the virus and the disease and who has seen the ones battling this infection my understanding is based only on my learning and experience, well I have tried to put it up in a picture today:

“Viruses have no morality, no sense of good and evil, the deserving or the undeserving.... AIDS is not the swift sword with which the Lord punishes the evil practitioners of male homosexuality and intravenous drug use. It is simply an opportunistic virus that does what it has to do to stay alive.”

- Chris Crutcher in King of the Mild Frontier –

As straight as that.


Sunday, June 22, 2014


 This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda :-)

It is six in the morning and I look at this window, the amount of light that it carefully and slowly filled the house with, ah such a fine feeling. A perfect balance it brought every day. Moments ago I had fallen off the bed with a thud, you know the sort of dreams people would not want to wake up with, it was one of those. Somewhere on some cliff I was bungee jumping and suddenly the rope snapped and I was on the ground but on a different one, the floor of my room here and thankfully alive.

What an amazing start to the day it had been! Long ago I remember Ajji telling during one of her story telling sessions about dreams that come in the wee hours of morning, how they eventually turn true. Now not that this trivia frightens me but it has chosen to stay in one corner of my mind.

It is not unusual of me at the breakfast table to be nowhere but in my own world, and one of my family members pokes my bubble with a question. So today it was my brother “What are you worried about?” he asked. I gave him one of those 'I-am-your-sister-I-know-you-care’ looks and smiled, for the person he is my reply being insufficient and inappropriate, ”Will you tell me what it is?” he screamed. It was hard, to think of the dosa on my plate as the last one for this life, how I hated them when every alternate day Amma made them. And now when I am about to leave even these minor aversions seem difficult to part. How would I go, where would I go and what would happen to the people around me after the fall ? I wondered.

”Will you tell me what it is?” he screamed again, trying to avoid his curious stare “What if today was the last day of my life?” I mumbled. “In that case Akka, do one thing, eat all these dosas before you go and save the ice cream in the fridge for me” he said.

I could not help but laugh because there it was, an another window, to my thoughts. Even if it was my last day, I knew there was nothing more to do apart from keeping away from the ice cream in the fridge, already enough challenge. Life is simple, twenty four is all that you have, first or the last.

“Some people and moments are like windows, always open and showing us the best scene of our lives...unlike the many doors that we knock and knock despite knowing that they are always closed.”


Wednesday, June 11, 2014


When darkness slithers sly and slow let your soul shine
Love for and faith in yourself is the only silver line
A life that you live with these is the most fine
You are your own solace O' dear friend mine.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

We Are The World

 “How come you are out today, look at you, ah the bore you are!” said the stapler loud looking at the bookmark just out of the book with the DO-NOT DISTURB look. “You dare say that you monster, I am well read, I do not pin up and hook around unlike a few here!” the smarty pant replied. The stapler turned a puppy face. “Wait until I punch you all over, what is read shall be dead!” said the paper punch looking at his friend,. Laughter ensued in the crowd and the bookmark looked around. It was a different world altogether. So many people and all strangers.

Life suddenly seemed good between the pages, between the story, the characters and the circumstances, every time the girl flipped to the next he knew he made it ahead, there was some sort of pace and now minutes ago everything had reached a dead end. She smiled and closed the book, took him out, got up from the chair and left out of the room leaving him alone. 

“Oh my God, why did she get me out?” the bookmark shrieked “Can’t she get me a book now? How long here in this hell of a place? Now she will forget me and get to the laptop!” he sighed. Meanwhile the pens standing neatly together in the stand- the blacks, the greens, the reds and the blues looked at this new entrant and mumbled something between themselves “Such an overpopulated place and having this level headed young man here, how good is it, this idea?” 

The paints, crayons and sketch pens went “Mama! Papa! Let him be here, we shall colour him!” being the playful kids they were got eager thinking he would join their game. But the old brushes who monitored these little devils turned out to be flat and point, “Of what use is he to us, an introvert who does not want to mingle with the place and people” they exclaimed. There was silence and everyone nodded. “Our eraser and sharpener men have enough rules to make and issues to control here. You never know what he is capable of, he has traveled books and that too many, knowledge when more than necessary and if not in the right place is dangerous. Even our calendar uncle cannot  judge and keep a record of him. If anyone speaks in favour of this chap again, well we shall ask the scotch tape police to shut you guys up and tag along with him. As criminals, as outcasts. We do not need Robin Hoods here. You understand that. You will be thrown into the prison and mind you our dustbin has a lot of place. The girl hardly remembers it anyways” they added.

Hearing this everyone on the table prayed for someone to come, to take this Einstein to a better place, somewhere he deserved to be. The laptop decided to help their situation and ran out of power. The door opened and someone came singing “We are the world, we are the children” like MJ. It was the girl, she looked at the almost dead laptop and made a funny  face. She changed her mind and turned to the bookshelf, took out another book thinking if she had read it already, smiling sure that she hasn’t she picked up the bookmark, kept him between the pages and started reading yet again. The relief on his face, as well as the rests, blimey was not so stationary.

 Chaos is a sign of productivity is my theory but ain’t blind to the obvious mess 'difficult arrangement'. It’s just that it is a pleasant sight, having things scattered around on my table always and only I know what lies where which is a feel good thing. Wonder what my world would have been if they all were somewhere else !

PS: This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Of What Dies

What do you think of things which are about to end? A dirty feeling about something getting over? Some things do because they are just meant to, if we could have a decisive instinct of sensing them could we endure something about them without any loss or regret? Like how we remember our beginnings; the first day at school, the first cycle ride, the first crush, the first love, the first trophy in the shelf, the first pay check, the first home, the first car- like how these things seem positive, can we appreciate the way some things finish too?

We have a small heart for such things; the last few lines of a book, the last bite of chocolate, the last few days of a trip, the last few laughs in a conversation, the last few moments in a relationship, well think about it, it’s over before we know.  It’s either too stifling a noise or too loud a silence. When the new comes all that is left is weird reasons, disturbing nostalgia and some vague memories. Now who would agree with this line “If it isn’t beautiful, then it isn’t the ending” after reading what is in this picture.

When we let go something or someone, more so because we were determined to and feel great about it rather than just fighting with the sense of an ending, perhaps that’s the point worth all the applause and attention. It takes a lot more than courage, to decide to remember more than to forget. So what did you let go today and feel great about it, let me know. I like my new green tea with all the lemon and ginger and mint of course, but my last cup of coffee felt way better!