My Blog:)

Hey everybody! Welcome!
There's a lot to life and there're a dozen million ways and more to discover it!
This is where I share all of my experiences and views.

A myriad of hues which blend into perfection, or well almost there about, that's life ... No wait, i've got to change that definition!!!... Now that's life!!! ;P... Es mi vida!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Doctor In The Making- Beginner's Guide

As Dr. Gregory House, M.D, strikes yet another fancy word off his white board, his clunking cane and (the 'long necked') Lisa Cuddy in tow, I bet you all quite fancy your chances at getting the diagnosis a tad ahead of house himself!
After all, you've watched enough of House, Grey's, E.R. ( Clooney!! Drool!!) , and what nots , to know your 'Lupus' from your 'Sarcoidosis'! Or wait maybe it's Guillian-Barré !!
But then beh! , coz House beat you to it , and the answer is Amantadine!!
Ah well, what do you know right!!

So every day as you watch savvy doctors swing from couture to scrubs, I bet deep down in the dark depths of your impoverished grey matter , you wonder , how oh how , or what oh what goes into the making of the doctor!

And so the journey starts at the foothills of med-school, when starry eyed first years are thrust into the hapless caverns.
Welcome to Anatomy 101, the first week you sit in an unknown world staring at cadavers, with tears in your eyes (coz the formalin stings!!) and watching as your faint hearted fellows flop off the stools !
But once you get through that initial turmoil, and wield a scalpel for the first time, albeit , on the cadaver , everyone wants to be a surgeon! Ah come on now, you've all held the heart or the brain during dissection, and felt like heroes! Sigh!
But then comes the dreaded anatomy viva where your superficialis looks quite like the profoundus , or wait was it the longus and the brevis, you know not! You remember that your wrist bones look really pretty, but you can't catch 'em,  and you know for a fact that Svelte Lucy's Pretty Face OftenAttracts Medical Students, but you DON'T in the name of God know what the mnemonic alludes to!
Ouch!
And just when you were recovering from that jolt called anatomy, you're whammed in the face by patho, micro and pharma!
 You choose to love patho, coz everyone tells you it's the seeds that'll blossom when you study medicine and surgery, so hey, Robbin's your best friend!
Then there's pharma, where you can make by , by knowing all -prils are ACE inhibitors and even lay persons know the statins.
But have you met the cephalosporins? So hello cefaclor, cefazoline, ceftriaxone, cefoperazone, cefoxitim, ceftobiprole and cefuroxime! Now please tell me which belong to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations here!!!
But the ultimate test is microbiology! Why!?That's all I ask! (P.S. Chocolate Agar is definitely not something you'd want to eat!!)

It's by the time you're in third year that you feel like you know something, and so as a reward you're treated to PSM! That's preventive and social medicine.
A world of insects, sewage treatment, statistics, health committees, public education, vaccinations, national programmes, statistics, oxidation ponds, HDI, HPI, CFR, GDP, PQLI, ABCd..... You'd wonder how any one subject could encompass all this.. Well this is but a walk in the Park! Pun duh!!!
A test of your steely grit, determination, love and loyalty!

And after you've bin though all of this which even Dante couldn't envision, you breeze through final year, coz well , there's nothing new left. Ah, ObGyn you ask?
Oh now come on ! You're a veteran of all forms of torture by now! And you've been there for 4 odd years , the transition from youth to adulthood having been shrouded in a labyrinth of exams, late night cramming and the above mentioned 'character building exercises', you know well enough to be able to utter vertex, breech, brow and CPD at the right times ! ;)

And yippee!! Final year done!! Internship awaits!! :D






Thursday, September 11, 2014

A WALK AMONGST THE STARS


This story was written in the summer of 2013 as an entry for the annual Deccan Herald Short Story Competition.




As she nuzzled against me, I felt the warmth of her little body, the slow breathing

synchronising with mine. Her almond eyes tightly shut, her somnolent mind led

for a walk amongst the stars.

I remember the very first time I held Maya to my bosom. My blood was still

throbbing following the eight hours of intense labour. I was drained, parched and

broken. Yet true to her name, those little fingers, as I entwined mine with hers,

wielded a magic wand. No sooner than did I peer into those brown eyes, that I

was healed. My baby.

The tiny steps she took, were momentous milestones in our lives. Her tiny feet

traced a path the lit its way into our hearts. First a coo then a call, our little girl

was growing up fast.

It came as a bolt from the blue. One day my little girl was jumping and playing

about, walking into walls, losing her balance on the bicycle even as her father

held her, and the next day she was tripping down the deep caverns of sickness.

It was a Saturday afternoon that we’d taken her out for an ice- cream. She’d lost

her incisor, and after a bout of sobbing, a few negotiations with the tooth fairy,

we’d all stepped out. The first sign was when she declined the ice-cream. Never

one to say no to anything sweet, my little one ,a trait that she’d inherited from her

mother, I put it down to her childish whims. Her headache having been attributed

to playing all day long in the sun, I put the tin of ice cream in the freezer.

The Sunday morning, I’d woken Maya up, only to find her listless and lethargic.

It took her father and me a whole lot of coaxing to get her through her breakfast.

But even her favourite story, and Polka her stuffed pig couldn’t afford much

success as the day progressed. Finally, she surrendered to sleep in my lap, early

that evening. As I put her to bed, I noticed she was running a fever.

Adversity brings forth a startlingly different response from each person. When

we are stirred to our depths, shaken, jolted, what simmers forth is the myriad of

emotions that exemplify life.

A diagnosis of leukemia, is still, very much an ominous announcement. And

when it strikes as close as your very own four year old, a bitter chill scorches

through your insides, one that words hath failed to describe.

X-rays and scans, tubes after tubes of blood being sent back and forth, and stark

white envelopes holding within, your fate. As you wait anxiously in the doctors

office, and he looks poignantly albeit with a scientific detachment, to pronounce

the verdict... the claws of fear, the mind numbing chill.

Yet barely a moment later, I was lucid. My analytically trained brain, having

devoured the facts was running its mental checklist. On the other hand my

husband had succumbed to the one human flaw, emotion. Overwhelmed, his

strong paternal façade had caved, and sobbing uncontrollably he clutched our

sick yet confused daughter.

To explain to a four year old child how an illness, and in particular cancer works

is a challenge. One that takes not only the explanatory power of a doctor, but

also the reassuring capacity of a parent. Yet no amount of scientific knowledge

on my part could satiate her.

I held her, I hugged and kissed her, and I whispered a silent prayer in her ear.

In my own search for an answer I had transcended the realms of science, the

boundaries had seamlessly blended with those of spirituality, a quest for an

answer in the beyond. A vague journey had begun.

What followed was months of multiply tiny battles. Battles against malignant

cells which had invaded my baby, battles to keep my retching, toxic toddler

going, battles I faced against and with my husband, as we watched our only child

on the brink of complete destruction. A battle which you fight both within and

outwardly, much like the chemotherapeutic drugs, which destroys from within to

fight outwardly –the malignancy. Ultimately, in this lethal tug-o-war, where there

is a blind distinction between the elements that make you and break you, its

anybody’s guess and blind faith that you need to tell you which side it is, that’s

going to make it.

And much like all great battles, I fought this too is no less an arena. A Paediatric

Cancer Chemotherapy Unit is the Azkaban of our real world. As you watch sick

children being wheeled around, tubes running in and out of their tiny bodies,

anxious parents sallowed by fear and sadness, subconsciously you sink.

Yet at the same time, you stand together united by the same harsh fate.

If it is empathy that I felt on one hand, on the other my whole being resonated

with one question, “ Why me?”

It’s a question each one of us will ask at some or the other point in life. And that

day was my turn. I fought with the universe for answers, I cussed and cursed,

I swore, then again I swore off yet many other things, I threw wagers, forged

negotiations, pleaded, fell to my knees, implored, prostrated my self, give me my

little one back.

Nevertheless she fought with childish fervour. That gave me hope.

She made friends with the nurses and doctors, the other kids, she made her

father and me read out endless stories, narrated them over to all and sundry.

She tried to learn the name of her medicines even, and being unable to grasp

those sharp names, she made up sweet kiddish monikers for these lethal toxins.

Each chemo cycle was like the long up hill, the week in between an insufficient

breather. We had our little triumphs and tribulations with each fresh blood count.

The three of us striving to protect our cocoon in the face of an opponent that had

swallowed millions.

But with each passing day, we passed from the bleak to the bleaker.

One such night, in the dark as I held her hand, and watched her shift around

in an uncomfortable sleep, groping for me in the darkness, she took my hand

and asked, “ Mamma, am I going to become a star?” ... her childish reference to

Alas soon after one balmy afternoon, even as I watched my husband tell her and

Polka a story, I felt her squeeze my hand, just as she fell beyond the veil into an

eternal slumber.

The first few days after a devastating loss, the mind develops an unknown

strength. So it was with me. Even as I whispered a teary adieu, I had enough

lucidity to carry out the nitty gritties of the after procedures.

But as time goes on, you let your guard down, the memories the storm had

brushed aside in a heap begin to unfurl. Every pin that held your tattered

existence together gives way, you fall by the wayside, in a futile heap.

The cold bleak winter of my life followed. I lived amidst the gaunt shadows,

withdrawn, the blinds down on all windows. I shrunk into my own den, shunning

the world, refusing to be touched by the warmth of the rays.

I was alone. Endless conversations followed in the darkness, with darkness.

It was an unlit meandering path I chose to take , and I walked alone.

Because its only in the immediate aftermath are there people to help you. But as

times moves on, its up to you to pick up the pieces, its up to you to heal.

As the months went by, my husband resumed work, he had begun to heal. I

grappled in the darkness.

I shunned all help; my journey had to be alone.

The voice grew louder,

The darkness deeper.

Echo after echo resonated my pain.

The caverns are haunted,

Not very much unlike how I’m taunted.

My despair is resounding.

My insides are gnawed at by a hollow something.

I see no respite,

I see no light.

Eighteen months that had gone by had taken with it a life time.

Nobody could replace my Maya, my baby girl.

Then one fine day, coaxed out of my den, I stepped into the sunshine.

My hapless husband wearily eyed me for signs of healing. I was unmoved by the

exuberance of the tiny humans around me. My armour of despair, still intact.

Then, “Are you my mummy?”, the shrill voice of a little girl spoke.

As she entwined her fingers with mine, the icicles began to thaw.

Little Leia was snugly asleep. Polka the pig was her favourite toy. And her

favourite bed time story was that of her Big Sister who walked amongst the stars.

I would heal.

........................x............................x..............................x....................................x.....................................

Friday, September 05, 2014

Book Review: The Mistress Of the Throne

An insight into the intriguing lives of the Mughal dynasty, especially their women and in particular their daughters... The Mistress of the Throne is a semi fictional memoir of  the unsung princess Jahanara and how she played a defining role in shaping India's history from behind the veils.
 A powerful, independent and strong character, born  perhaps about 500 years ahead of time, her remarkable life, her vision and her sacrifices appear to be the less chronicles aspects of what undoubtedly was the Golden Era of the Mughal Rule.
Her unparalleled love for her eccentric family is remarkable. As an adolescent she was thrust into the forefront of royal responsibilities soon after her mother , the legendary Mumtaz Mahal breathed her last, yet this Persian beauty wore the title of Shah Jahan 's Empress and that of a foster mother to her siblings with grace and dignity.
The melancholy of her own life not withstanding, she was the will behind the Taj Mahal, thus immortalizing her parents' epic love story. Her architectural vision also lead to the design of Delhi's famous Chandni Chowk, whether this was a tribute to her own lost love I do not know.
The book also delves into the bonds shared by Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal's children, their early lives and how it shaped Indian and Mughal history eventually.
Mistress of the Throne by Dr. Ruchir Gupta is a very interesting read, a book as mesmerizing as the times and the woman it chronicles.  
 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

To Write InVerse

The blue sky, the bird and the butterfly,
In all their cerulean glory, for my attention do vie,
I strain my brain to not give a grain,
Putting to work all those years of train.

Teasing me with a sweep and caress,
The evening breeze seeks to ease my brows creased with stress.

Yet I persevere, hard and fast,
But I do fear my will won't last,
Alas, I have been at this for the day past.

Yet, to my master, I implore,
The myriad distractions shall you ignore!
Dear, hippocampus , I've a lot of work you see,
Do, I can't , all that which would set my spirit free.

And so despite the finger itch,
I must put in the next stitch.
Yet, I see how you're writing without a glitch,
And now the urge to have me read has reached , a fever's pitch.

Ah well, about physiology, (for now), the devil may care,
For I will pick up that pen and lay my thoughts bare.

Thus,
I write, frigid and terse,
And out flows this rusty verse.



*to all the connoisseurs out there  :I do apologise for this is unintentional.
I very rarely do rhyme,
Not much more than  rosemary and thyme ;
The writing bug , occasionally I choose to nurse,
The result is this piece of poetry inverse! 







Saturday, May 24, 2014

THE JUNIOR DOCTOR

I woke up this morning to the very reassuring news that govt MBBS doctors in Karnataka are to see a salary hike , and it will now see them cashing in on 60K a month!!

Yayy that's great news for my clan! And even more so for "MY CLAN" i.e. all those fresh MBBS graduates (read #babydocs, #jrdocs, #jrs) at the mercy of mankind, coursing through all of Dante's hells to arrive at the ultimate prize ... a PG seat!
( associated perks : fulfilled ambition, reinstilled sense of self worth, a job and a salary, recognition, a SPOUSE!!!, ... and I've also heard whispered in some corners 'Happiness!!')

And so as we course through this phantasmic journey, unmindful of the endless night duties, the thesis terrors, the next quest for DM/Mch and other what nots that will follow in the post PG life...!

As the rest of the world scales great heights ( specifically with regards to their bank accounts), we trudge along the dreary path where exams are mile stones and any, ANY, known pleasure is a potent stumbling stone, akin to that dreaded Snake on 99 that can barf you all the way back down to 0 on the game board :\

The journey is a thankless toil, a bootcamp, a nightmare all combined and magnified a hundred times...
You think I'm exaggerating , well here's an insight;
At ages 23-26 heres what "My Clan" is doing:
8am to 8pm reading and re reading all that was taught over a span of 5 and 1/2 years .. which is actually an amalgamation of everything that manking learnt from Hippocrates'(the Father Of Medicine) era to what the NEJM (or for that matter some other journal in some far corner of the world ) published as of this morning!.. this Ladies and Gentlemen is what comprises our"COURSE SYLLABUS"!

A far far cry from the happening lives of our peers! #nonexistentSocialLife
But hey, saving lives is no easy feat eh?!?
But yes none of us look as 'fab' trying to do so a la Jackson Avery...

That said Greys Anatomy has made this profession of ours more glamourous in the eyes of the lay man. Then again, the very famous 'On Call Room' of Sloan-Grey Memorial is not a reality in our day to day lives, nor do we run into a McDreamy or a McSteamy very often !!!( two questions absolutely everyone asks me when they realize I watch Greys)
Unfortunately Shonda doesn't script our day to days!

And as the rest of the world breaks new barriers, we are further bound and tied down by new legislations, malpractice insurances, bonds,QUOTAS, licenciating exams and the lot!
All as we try to follow our passion to learn more about this magnificent machine, the human body!

Yes, the general public is very distrustful of doctors, and definitely I accept not without reason , there are a fair number (that I've seen in my very short career thus far) who are in it for reasons that they shouldn't, and hence the apprehension is understandable. But by and large, there is a vast majority who are truly passionate and work very hard day and night! #truePassion

Yes eventually we might be able to afford that all elusive BMW #loveTheBMW , but that's after spending a good part of our twenties being largely broke (and perennially hungry) ;) ... #by2Coffee

And thus we work our way through countless books, solely focusing our attentions on Messrs. Harrison, Bailey and Robbins , adding 'dysdiadokokinesia' to our vocabulary, learning the 'idiosyncrasies' of life, and fighting the every day battle against- '5 and 1/2 years to become a hard core cynic'  (as a popular daily newspaper termed the MBBS course ), all because we will one day learn enough to qualify as 'good doctors' and serve the society.
 All because we truly love what we do!










Friday, April 19, 2013

The Season

... Came in as the summers' breeze,
first a whiff,then a caress;
and soon all was at ease.

Such was the magic, such was the charm,
the cold countenance melted,
leaving the insides soft and warm.

The spring flowers bloomed and the bees held sway,
the hues grew brighter each passing day.

The fairy lights i noticed like never before,
for you were with me for ever more.

But as autumn heralds a bitter chill,
dark clouds marooneed over yonder hill.

Quiet grew the songbirds,
the lesson in absence learnt;
your silence speaks louder than your words.

Friday, April 05, 2013

MUSINGS OF MY MIND- A FOOLISH JOURNEY

One bright and sunny morning, I wake up to the not so startling realization that the world around me is filled with fools!
Old fools and young fools, flowery fools and mute fools, tall fools and fat fools, pretentious fools, and a whole lot of plain ol' fools! There's just an epidemic of foolishness it appears, and if you don't walk around with all of your bodily orifices firmly plugged, you might as well catch it!

So once this happy realization has sunk in, and your mind is in the midst of a thunderstorm even as the sun outside bakes all and sundry, you try hard.... to 'reason'!
The what ifs, and yets, the maybes and the may nots..... your effervescent brain dons the garb of the 'Devil's Advocate'!
And so it was with me!
But argue as I may in the court of my mind, I have not much to say, for the defendant is the devil itself, a fool! A waste of time, of space and of my grey matter!
Were they made to entertain us or to annoy us, I know not, yet they're all around!
The company of fools doesn't auger well. An ominous saying.

I take a deep breath, let me not be swayed, they shall not lead me astray!
I calm the inner turmoil.
It's the heat outside that's leading me down this path I tell myself.
Yet my insides seethe  the fire refusing to be doused, fight I shall, my blood boils over, the nostrils flare, my blood shot eyes personify the deep anger. In one swift move, I can see the end of this. The means to this end lies right in front of me, all I have to do is to extend my arm... I do so, with slow, steady hands, and in one quick swagger i gulp down the bottle of cold water!
I settle down for a nap. When I awake the sun would've abated, and left behind a few lesser fools.

Sociable