Unpublished

Saved 5 years ago

‘Getting a driving licence in Qatar’ and other such mundane matters.

I receive a whatsapp message this morning. The generic, forward kind. The kind you get from a chronic offender of the inpardonable sin of sending unamusing, irrelevant, inane forwarded messages that no one reads.

This one read..

Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude.

Lou Holtz said it apparently.

Pshhsht!

Innumerable things are impossible in this world.

 

Saved 5 years ago.

Getting old, am I?

Today, I called a 24 year old intern A KID. Yes. And he calls me Mam!

I don’t go to the movies anymore.

I don’t wear “fashion” (read fake, blingy stuff they sell at Accessorize) jewelry. It has to be the real deal (gold…ahem platinum, *cough* diamonds) or nothing.

I only wear T- shirts at home or in the gym, and under my jackets while running. They can never be “outside attire” anymore.

I cut my hair short, to look ‘younger’. And I have started glancing back at anything that says “anti- aging”.

I think canvas handbags are passé and think low- rise pants are hideous.

I would not consider wearing a headband to tame my persistently naggy fringe. I only wear prim, prissy hair clips. And high ponies look juvenile to me.

 

Saved 5 years ago.

The cutters and the prescribers.

I am a cutter who is currently on a prescribing rotation.

The surgeons are the cutters and the internists are the prescribers.

Before I started, I was convinced that this was a bad idea, a waste of my time. I have done medicine rotations during my undergraduate years and during my previous residency, I barely remember how they passed and I’m not entirely sure what I gained from them.

I was sure to hate every moment of it.

Must be the fact that I’m older now (and consequently/ hopefully wiser!), or maybe three time’s the charm; apart from the occasional bouts of ‘blood withdrawal’ and ‘OR wistfulness’, I am NOT hating every minute. Dare I say I might even be enjoying it a teeny, tiny bit!

Na, I am definitely not enjoying it enough to cross over to the other side, but I can see the appeal of the medical specialities. These are guys who are paid to think, investigate, probe, discuss, consult, dig into the patient’s past like no one else before them and endlessly fiddle about with the patient’s medication profile. Everyday, they see folks who sometimes down over 30 pills a day with a few shots of insulin shots in for good measure, and a couple of sessions of hemodialysis as an outpatient. As a surgeon, I cannot see beyond row 5 on the medication chart. And to me, calculating doses for patients who barely have any kidney function left, have cirrhotic livers and have failing hearts with flip

 

Saved 3 years ago.

Untitled

I fell off the blog rail once again. To be honest, it rarely crossed my mind. Life consumed every ounce of energy and life force that I had and then some more!

In a way, it was is a wonderful way to live. Full, intense and gratifying. Oh! and did I mention- I HAD A BABY. A few days ago. A boy, this time.

Being the mother of a newborn is the most singularly lonesome experience. The burden is mostly yours to bear. Loneliness has been known to turn people toward the written word. The genesis of this blog was during my

 

Saved 4 years ago.

Good days and bad days.

I classify days into the good, the bad, the ugly and the meh. Most days are I admit “meh”. Today, I am yet to decide if it is a good day or an ugly one.

Saved 6 years ago.

Adventures of lil Z…

Lil Z loves new places. Mama loves new places as well and has taken lil Z to many, many new places both before and after “the great journey” (when Lil Z left her watery home and came into to her new home where she could see Mama and Papa).

Mama took several plane rides when Z was inside her. The last one was when lil Z was 10 cm big – it took longer than others. And after that, lil Z reached her new home or rather Mama reached her new home.

The first place that Papa took Mama to after she reached new home Mama was near the water. Lil Z loves water. Papa told Mama the place was called “corniche”. Wonder what that means. On the way, we saw many big and shiny buildings. The light in the buildings even changed color! Lil Z had never seen such tall and colourful buildings before.

The water was still and blue. Looked like a swimming pool that Z had seen before. Not at all like the ocean that Z had seen in her ancestral home in Kerala, nor like the murky lake that she had seen at Mama’s home in Bangalore. The water was clear. The water was framed by the shiny buildings on one side. Lil Z thought it looked beautiful. Mama thought it looked beautiful (you see, back then lil Z could feel what Mama was thinking!). Papa told Mama that unlike Dubai, this is the only place In Doha where there are tall, shiny buildings. Apparently, this was Doha’s “famous (and only) skyline”. Aah! So our new home is called Doha.

Mama, Papa and I went to Corniche almost every single day, thereafter. I kept growing inside Mama and she got very big and clumsy. Even then, we went. It was cold then. And we all liked the ocean air. It was very noisy though. The road runs along the walking path. So many fast cars (and sometimes fast, very loud bikes) whizzed past us.

Sometimes, we would all leave home (to go walking at Corniche) and then come back without doing so. Apparently on some days, Papa does not find space to leave (“park”…. is that the right word?) his car. Those days, the weather was so nice that many families (like us J) used to get their chairs and mats and food and sit there till late night- chatting, relaxing. The kiddies ran around, rode their bikes or were taken around in their strollers.( Uff! There were sooo many strollers. Good, I will have lots of friends when I grow up!) There were some ladies who had watermelon tummies like Mama as well. Maybe there were little kiddies inside. Just like me!

As Mama walked, lil Z saw that many around her were running with wires coming out of their ears. Just like how they would in the parks, at Mama’s place (“Ban-ga-lore” ….did I say it right?). Mama tells me they do it to remain “fit”. Mama does that too, now. But she complains that there are not many parks in our city. She misses her “home” city at times. Also, nowadays it is so hot that not many people come to the Corniche. But Papa likes it. He gets “parking”. We went there today after Mama and Papa broke their “fast”. It was nice. There were weird looking things hanging off the trees there which I had not seen before. They looked like the things Mama and Papa eat while breaking their fast. There were lots and lots of them!

Anyways my dear aunties and uncles, lil Z is very sleepy. It has been a long, hard today. I learnt how to laugh aloud today. Cool, no? Never knew I could do that. And all that rolling over back and forth is making my neck hurt. I am going to “hit the sack” as Papa says. Here are some pictures that Mama clicked. Come over to my home sometime okay. Lil Z will show you around…..

Lil Z.

 

 

 

A confession and a comeback.

Let me get things going with a confession- I have been writing elsewhere and this blog has been wilfully neglected. Repatriation has re- instilled the need for privacy and stealth. I now prefer to pen my thoughts under the cloak of internet obscurity.

The paranoia was bestirred by patients looking me up; and was further aggravated by relatives who had things to say about everything I wrote. I wasn’t afraid as much as I was annoyed. I still wished to write, but just not as myself. I therefore took refuge in an anonymous blog.

Bravo, to the few who tracked me down from here to there.

Anyhoo, the annoyance has now been overcome. Mostly thanks to a few hardcore (I wonder what they saw in these words!) readers from here. I think they know who they are. Thank you.

I shall now be me and her. The known and unknown. I can compartmentalise and share equally.

 

Till next time,

J.

 

On friendships. And yes, HELLO AGAIN!

Well, well, well. Look who’s here. It’s been a hot minute since I have last been here. I even let my domain expire, for a while. With the “big move” and children and a new job; not to mention being a single parent (albeit temporary)- somethings had to be allowed to slide. 

I missed this though. This weird diary. My own little pensieve. A doodlepad. For someone who has a remarkably feeble real- life friend count; it’s curious (even to myself) that it can be reposeful to write on a platform that is often read by utter strangers. We live in that sort of world, don’t we.

Friends. Almost every person I know has an average 500 “friends” on Facebook. Every acquaintance of mine, seems to have at least two dozen people who they are in constant touch with and would be referred as friends.

How many friends do we truly have? How many does one need?

I think I may have one. ONE. The key word being maybe.

On Friendship
 Kahlil Gibran

Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor do you withhold the “ay.”
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Till next time,

J.

Hello

Hella folks. Just popping in to say a quick hello. Thank you for the lovely congratulatory emails and wishes. It is comforting to know that some you folks actually consider me a friend even though we have never met or spoken in person. The internet can sometimes be a fantastic thing.

The new little one is well. We had a few bumps along the road with his health (just like my first- my blood isn’t very loving toward that of my children’s), but those matters seem to be behind us now.

The older little one doesn’t seem so little anymore. She literally grew up overnight. I kissed a sleeping baby before heading out the door with contractions timing 2 minutes apart. I met her again in the hospital a few hours later with a newborn in my arms, and whoa! The Lil One was a baby no more. She was a proper little girl with no remanents of babyhood in evidence. My Lil one was all grown up- wearing a top claiming she was the “Coolest big Sis in town” and pigtails that were severely askew (thanks to daddy!).

As far as mama news go, I’m in the throes of the all consuming initial days of motherhood. Endless nursing, burping and changing with no sleep in sight. Make no mistake, I’m not here to whinge or whine. Things are surprisingly chilled out and I’m trying my hardest to enjoy this calm before the storm. The storm being being call, theatres and clinics while pumping frantically and having sleepless nights at home. This is due in less than 30 days now. Let us not dwell on that for the moment..

The sleep deprivation is hard even though people around me think it should be easier for me as I’m used to staying up all night at work. But call nights at the noisy hospital where everybody around you is also awake is very different from the dimly lit bedroom consisting of the helpless but alert newborn and helpful but asleep spouse.

Still, I’m better prepared this time. I can even make it through the night with no help at all. Some nights, I just veg out on the sofa under the flickering lights of the television and nurse on demand and let the boob- master sleep on me. I catch a few winks here and there. I am even letting the husband off the hook more this time. He has no paternity leave and therefore I only wake him up when I border on insanity. Which happens every 4 days or so, due to the cumulative effects of lack of rest/ sleep.

Anyhoo, the plan is to chill and enjoy every moment of maternity leave and get on with things with minimal fuss and whinging. Yes, that is the plan.

Till next time.

J.

The Bright Side.

Hiya folks!

How has 2017 been treating ya guys thus far? All 18 or so hours of it.

Our little family isn’t one to ‘ring in the new year’ with festivities or parties. I rarely send out new year messages or cards. And the first of January is just another bloody ordinary day.

No resolutions. No fuss. Nothing.

I do appreciate the sentiments of the folks who do all the above mentioned “normal” things though.

New year’s eve parties must be great fun. And it is wonderful to have a day (arbitrary though it might be) where you can self- reflect and decide to make positive changes within and around yourself.

Bravo to all those to dare to brave change and challenge themselves.

By default setting, I am a Grade I, Type A pessimist. To me the glass is perennially half empty and it has invisible cracks to boot. Things never seem enough.

I wish I could resolve to look at the bright side. Not always lurk in the shadows of misery.

Just beneath the shiny cars, and designer clothes. Underneath the facade of unshakable faith and piety. Below the surface of ringing laughter and easy friendships. Behind the closed doors of the high-rise corner office.

Misery, internal grief, anxiety and discontent is everywhere. Scratch the surface a teeny bit, and there it is.

Never envy another’s laughter, or joie de vivre. For only she knows the true price of it. Everybody is leading their own unique, crappy life.

Yet, it is not all doom and gloom folks. There is enough sunshine, joy and laughter allocated to each one of us.

Enough of what we deserve.

Of course we could always snatch some more, from the seemingly miserly hands of Destiny.

Looking at The Bright Side, may seem difficult at first. But the current me believes that is only way to sustain moments of happiness (if such a thing exists). There is always a Bright Side, to every utterly dark situation.

So, cheers!

And here’s toasting to always looking at The Bright Side.

Have a good year folks.

Till next time.

J.

What a wonderful world.

I see trees of green,  
red roses too. 
I see them bloom,  
for me and you. 
And I think to myself,
what a wonderful world. 

I see skies of blue, 
And clouds of white. 
The bright blessed day, 
The dark sacred night. 
And I think to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

The colors of the rainbow, 
So pretty in the sky. 
Are also on the faces, 
Of people going by, 
I see friends shaking hands. 
Saying, “How do you do?” 
They’re really saying, 
“I love you”. 

I hear babies cry, 
I watch them grow, 
They’ll learn much more, 
Than I’ll ever know. 
And I think to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

Yes, I think to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

Oh yeah.

Most of you folks must know this song by Louis Armstrong, if not Google/ YouTube it please. And cozy up with a blanket and some coffee/ tea or whatever else is your early morning beverage of choice.

I’m still around folks.

See you soon.

🙂

J.

Hello there!

Yay! I have found my way back to the blog.

I am not a fan of the all-too-often used word “hiatus” and therefore shall refrain from using it to explain my absence here. I have no fancy excuses to cover my a%s* (the usual – sickness, horrendous rotation schedule, family, travel, weddings…); but things got more hectic than usual, and being the inconsistent slob that I so proudly am, I let these online pages of mine fall by the wayside.

To the few precious, loyal readers I *once* had, my most sincere apologies. I know my bordering- average rants and general whiny- ness provided some kick to your coffee and a feeling of ‘I-ain’t-doing-too-bad-hun’. I’m sorry for being an inconsistent slob guys. But I cannot promise anything more, for I embrace my ficklemindedness whole- heartedly. The posts here may or may not be regular.

For those lovely folks, who left comments and sent worried emails asking if something is wrong, I apologise if I have not replied- I was at a weird place mentally.

Currently, I am travelling but will be getting back to the daily grind soon. Z is a head- strong toddler who refuses to heed to any will but her own. Mr H is generally well, but I’m sure is harassed by the women in his life.

We expect huge life- changes in the coming months, will keep you guys posted. Thanks for sticking around folks.

Till next time.

J.

Of life, love and laughter.

It is all about the little things. Things that shouldn’t matter but do.

A handsome, older gentleman smiles at the rearview and thanks you profusely for letting him pass in maddening traffic when everyone else just pushed through.

It doesn’t matter, but you suddenly believe that the embers of decency and chivalry are yet to completely die out in this seemingly rude and impolite world.

You finally are able to let your little one participate in the costume party at nursery because for once you find a costume that fits. On a whim, you make a chance trip to a toy store in the post-call, hazy afternoon trip back home. She will be a tinker bell with a skirt that is a tad too long, but it will do and you feel like a less crappy mum. All the guilty thoughts of a mom that works too many nights and is absent on too many holidays abate for a moment.

It shouldn’t matter, but it does. An inane costume party at nursery matters!

It’s 3 AM and it’s been a long night in the trauma room. But when a barely conscious, construction worker with a split open face thanks you for sewing it back up, and tries to smile for you- you are secretly elated.

A simple thank you shouldn’t matter, but it does. And there is a spring in your step. At 3 AM.

Your mum is visiting for a couple of weeks, and suddenly there is hot food on the table and a bathed and content baby running around every time you are back from work.

You never knew hot food and a fed and cleaned baby mattered this much.

The husband fills up your car with fuel while making a grocery trip, just like that.

The next morning you notice the needle point at ‘F’ and not ‘E’; you are thrilled that you don’t have to battle it out at the nearest (i.e. about 20 mins away) WOQOD/ fuel station for the next four days.

It matters.

All the small, little things add up and voila, you have a great day.

A little bit of love, a little bit of laughter and some unexpected charities- that is all we seek ultimately.

I’m sorry folks, for being a laggard with posts on the blog recently. Being busy is one excuse, but honestly it’s been the will that is lacking more than the time. As time wore on, the habit of writing here wore away, and like a friend to whom you haven’t spoken for a while, it started getting awkward. I would have the blank page open, would have half a dozen thought threads running simutaneously in my head, but my fingers would be still. Finally, sleep would take over. And that was that.

Anyhoo, things have been as usual and we are still here in this tiny, desert town (as I like to call it). The little one turns two tomorrow (whoa! when did that happen) and we have absolutely no plans for the day. Now the question is, does it matter?

Till next time.

 

Dr J.

Letting go.

Wanting to be in control is a basic human attribute. Needing to be in control is a specific personality trait. An annoying trait on most occasions, and crippling at others. It is a need that consumes you from the inside; an ever- present, relentless, churning desire to be on top of things. To know what happens when, how and where. And to be able to plan for it, and see it to conclusion in exactly the way you deem fit.

Even the most meagre of modifications conspired either by circumstance or by fellow human intervention produces a restlessness within that cannot be easily contained. It might ruin your hour, day or week and destroy other concomitant arrangements that you might have laid in place.

Why then do we hold on to this vile desire?

Why do we subject ourselves to this vicious, tortuous circle of plans and failed plans?

What is the harm in letting go?

 

The more I let go, the more I am in control. I can control my being and thoughts without regard to external influence. I am no longer an underling to fate and chance.

The more I let petty matters slide, the more self-mastery I attain. The restlessness abates every time I tell myself I don’t care. 

The more important things will always be important. And I can expend my inner resources on them more efficiently once I decide to let go of inconsequential matters.

And so, here I am. A woman who no longer obsesses over laundry. Or the “grocery shop day”. This woman’s inner state is not ruffled by a ruffled bed, or made unkempt by an unkempt home.

The art of letting go, is the key to freeing myself from the vagaries and mercy of  Messrs Chance & Circumstance.

Till next time.

Dr J.