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.


Thursday, June 5, 2014


On this earth, wish each life big ’n small
Had the heart and grit of a touch me not
Closing their doors to the pain and strife
To everything that we refute, every time
An axe is up in the air for all that timber
A knife is made sharper for all that meat
 More than a conscience, celebrating guilt
What we mind only on days such as these
Has been here around ‘n surrounds us all
Suffering, while surviving the selfish lot
Whom do we owe for this living and life?
The strength supreme, subtle and sublime
Of nature who bears our hunger ’n slumber
Against whom we fight this battle of defeat
Or her patience on which our ego lies built
Forgetting she is nobody’s enemy to please.


PS: Written as a part of World Environment Day on June 5th 2014, theme of the year- 'RAISE YOUR VOICE, NOT THE SEA LEVEL' :-). To know more do visit United Nations Environment Programme.