Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Laugh Lab

Things that keep us going in the lab:

Scene #1: 

Reporting  at 9am
Me: M’am the isolate from the sample is is E. coli, sensitive to all the first and second line antibiotics.
Professor: Oh then this is a well mannered E.coli, no worries.



Professor having her own doubts on the quality control of staining for acid fast bacilli for the day < loud and out >
“I think these AFBs are pale and anemic, we do not feed them with stains”



The chair springs up.
Professor to the male junior: Can you bring this down???
Male junior: < confused > I do not know how to do it  < takes the name of the female senior > she knows
Professor: You are a boy!
Female senior < rushes to the rescue >: Yes ma’m he is a boy, I am the man here!



A train of urine samples waiting to be processed. A silly one to a starving one pointing at a bottle: What does it look like? The latter grins, while the former winks and says ” No pineapple juice for you for life” 



Professor< loud and out >: I need a bottle of alcohol
Students look at each other  < getting ideas >
Professor: Well, I need it to wipe the lens of this dirty microscope.



Armed with a nailcutter to collect a nail clipping for fungal culture I approach this twenty something female patient , husband peeping from her shoulders.

Patient: Will that cause me pain?
Husband: Will that cause her pain?

< both in a grand unison >

Me< smiling more to myself >: I hope you have cut your nails before.



Professor showing darting motility of Vibrio cholerae under the microscope to two students
Professor: How is it moving?
Student#1: Sir up and down, up and down < one looks at the other >
Student#2: Sir it is going fast, taking a turn and coming back
Professor < flabbergasted >: What... it is driving a car or what?


Monday, March 25, 2013


If you are locked up inside
With a fellow alike
And your wings tied up
Which are meant to soar
In the open skies, over the clouds
Beating and breathing the winds
Filling your lungs and the soul within
What is life, with all the joy
Is it in the being together
Or in doing all those things
 You are destined to
Maybe far, even different
But always in sync
The bird in your heart
Will sing this song
A cage even with your love
Is never a home


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Easy Pleasy

If you were to ask me well an 'EGPG',thats the way the entire fraternity begins calling you right from the time you are almost entering the final year of your post graduation about the things that make you feel like one.Here is what I have come to realize:

  • They think you should know it all, you think do you know at all
  • You have the faintest idea of how days pass onto nights but you know that the doomsday is not any far away
  • You walk with an air of purpose,nobody knows what. And then there is that thing on your face, what they call seriousness. Hmmm...oh really?
  • People look up to you for help or look down on you to blame depending on their imperatives
  • Meanwhile you can work on a paper, boil milk on the stove, burn a toast, check your mail, read a book, talk with a friend - all at a time
  • You have lost the count of seminars, case presentations, journal discussions that you have battled through the course
  • Undergraduate classes, once extremely fun because you were on the other side for a change has now turned out to be repeat telecasts
  • The dissertation is wanting to meet a happy ending, but you wish you could just desert it
  • There are books waiting for you on your bookshelf, if only you read them with as much interest as you brought them home
  • You wish you were on an island, completely cut from the distraction(s)and you could just get the revelation you think you are destined to gain
  • Like everything this too shall pass...

Easy pleasy :-)


Sunday, March 17, 2013


As strong as this ground
On which I am flat down
Is this wish in my heart
To hold you close
To feel you breathe
Like always before
Wrapped in my arms
In a silence that speaks
Through dusk and dawn
If you are the one up there
Playing hide and seek
Watching me fight sleep
Behind this veil all green
Between the clouds afloat
Wanting to come here
As much as I long
All night to be there
Up with you, for you
Only to let you know
How much I miss you
Hold it safe and tight
The gravity of our love
For it keeps us apart
Only to keep us together


Monday, March 11, 2013

The Ignorant Man vs The Intelligent Bug

” 80 % of sore throat and common cold are viral, but 80 % of the people who get them take antibiotics” a very senior professor remarked at a scientific session here a few days ago, a tragedy this is of sort of which we all have been a part since the time Fleming found the penicillin. Today self prescriptions at four out of five times are far from rationality. Professional prescriptions are not any far behind. With times it has just gotten harder, and when I find at least one bug a day on an average resistant to sixteen of the seventeen antibiotics tested in the laboratory, and the generation time of a bacteria on an average being twenty minutes it gives me a compelling reason to speak about it.

Where do we draw the line when it comes to taking or prescribing antibiotics, or can we? Well this is something which we should be concerned about before a cough takes us or anyone whom we know to the intensive care unit and gives a comma, at times even a full stop. The point is it is hard not to care, it is hard not to hope to get well. Antibiotics give relief, or so is our belief. One easy way to procure them is the neighbourhood pharmacy, where Amox is equal to candies and Norflox are not any less than toffees. The more you pop them the more gratifying it gets. The other end of the problem is the lack of a uniform antibiotic policy which is flexible enough to be applicable to all health care set ups across the country. There is a lot more to superbugs than just medical tourism. Not to forget is the charge at the ‘doctor’s shop’, you know the two or three small notes at the barber’s shop, well it’s just a ‘little’ higher than that you have to part with. Who does not want to save money, duh! What the doctor  gave thy neighbour shall work for me this time, well that is the popular idea.

This silent epidemic has already gained its momentum. Bacteria are developing all kinds of new mutations and have all plasmids possible. We are much behind, there have been no new molecules to target them past few decades. All we can do right now is try out all kinds of permutations and combinations. If ain’t wrong it is hard for a doctor to decide whether to stop a course of antibiotic  or not rather than when to start one! And when there are bigger health issues in place, problems such as these do not come out into the open. It has to be a plague, it has to be a swine flu. Not until then. Fleming had warned in his Nobel Lecture by the way:

 -Alexander Fleming in Nobel Lecture, 1945-


Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Only Beautiful Thing

At the beginning, there it is
Love, of which you think
As the only beautiful thing
It just flows
Keeps your life afloat
Through the thickets
Rumbling with the rocks
Glittering with the green
Singing with your heart
At the end, if there it is
In the dunes of a desert
Still but strong
Lone but there
Like a little oasis
In the time of thirst
Only because its you
Call it for sure
Forever and for always
The only beautiful thing