It all started when I received that call from Vaibhav. “Dude, we are planning to buy cycles.” He wanted me to join him, along with Varun and Sumedh bhaiya in this new sport. He talked about buying good bicycles from some bike shop in Nagpur.
Were we not always told by our science teacher, to always ask why? To always questions. Why does water bubble when you heat it? Why does the earth revolve around the sun. Why does the apple fall to the ground? Why is the sum of the two angles of a triangle equal to the external angle of the third angle? Our math teacher had a hard time explaining that corollary!
We were honed to ask the question. No matter how obvious the answer was. What we were not told is when to stop. When you question why did the apple fall, you get gravity. There is a reason why we asked that question. There is a sane answer to it. But when you start applying this scientific inquisitiveness to life, things start to twist.
Why is this happening to me, you may ask? Isn’t it obvious? There is something that you did or did not do. But this is certain, that whining about it is not going to fix anything. As it would in science, questioning something won’t solve your woes in life. Science is easy, you ask why the apple fell and figure out that something is pulling it towards the ground and you get called genius! Not life. Questions usually don’t lead to any answers. In fact, I believe, they lead you away from them. All you need to do, is get your ass up and deal with things.
Most of the times the answer to these questions is – how does it matter? What good does questioning do? You just find out how miserable you have made yourself. And what good has that done to anyone?
Let me ask a question that might actually do some good. Why not just ignore the insignificant shortcomings in life? Why not just be happy with all the awesome things we have? Why do we run behind things that we don’t have and in the process ignore enjoying things that we already have.
I, for a long time now, have a perforated ear drum in one of my ears. I usually ignored the problems I had due to it. A little hearing loss was okay for me. But the other day I went to the doctor, and he performed a test on me. He patched up my perforation with betadine soaked cotton patch. And voila! Everything we extremely loud! I have quite some hearing loss and now that I had seen what I was missing, I wanted to be… normal!
Soon enough, I was scheduled for surgery! I also happened to have a deviated nasal septum, which complicates the repair of the ear drum. So now I had two surgeries lined up. One for the nose and the other for the ear. The nose was to come under the knife first. They were going to cut and lift my nose up, break a few bones (literally), straighten up my septum. The doctor said that the entire procedure would take 2 – 2 1/2 hrs max! Its no big deal.
The D-day arrived, 9th July 2010. We went to the OT early in the morning. I changed into the OT dress. I had done this so many times in the past. But this time it is different. I am on the other side of the table, rather on the table! I went in to find the anesthetist waiting. I lay down on the table and had an IV catheter fixed on my arm. The surgeon came and reassured me once again. I was given a sedative, and soon enough, I was fast asleep.
People would tell you that anesthesia is a great feeling! That you have the most amazing dreams, that you feel out of the world. Atleast in my case, they were wrong. All I remember was falling asleep and then waking up really cold. In the middle, 8 hours had passed!! And I dont recall a thing. No flying on a magical carpet through a rainbow of colours, no free falling, nothing!
At 4 in the evening, everything was finally over. I was bought out in the post-op room. Thats were I got up. And boy was I cold! I was shivering! For the next hour I was still a bit dizzy. I was shifted to the ICU, and then to a private room. It was now that I realised that my face was covered in tape! And it was supposed to stay for the entire 5 days.
I always thought that I would go back home by the evening or the next morning. But the surgeon had other plans! I had to stay in the hospital for 5 days, and then keep coming for my IV drugs!
After the plaster was removed, I started to feel much better. All those tapes all over my face were quite irritating. After a week, I was almost back to normal. My nose was now very fat from the odema, which would take another week for two to reduce, and quite tender.
Now its been 6 weeks. My nose looks and feels much better. And its time for the next surgery. Technically, I can have this ear surgery now. My wounds from my last surgery might have healed, but the wounds from the psychological trauma of surgery and hospital stay is still raw. I think I will wait for a few months before I go under the knife again.
The number of candles on my cake have increased yet again! And there is no stopping them. This year there were 24 of them. 24!! Can you believe it? All of a sudden I am supposed to do the things that real grownups do. I am supposed to be responsible. I can no longer say, who cares! It’s just too immature. But the fun I had on that day was unprecedented!
I had reached home at 11 in the night from my rural centre. It was more than 5 hours in the Lal Dabba. After dinner, I was forced to take a bath. Who takes a bath at 11.30 in the night? I could smell something cooking. What could it be? At 12, Surprise!!! Everyone was there, my neighbours, my friends… And on the walls were posters, handmade by my fiancée, making a couple of really good points. On my bed was a blanket with the Australian flag on it, again from her, again making a good point. It felt great to have everyone around you, celebrating your special day with you, letting you know that you really are special.
The next day, I got up to the most amazing gift I had received from my parents, a laptop!!! Oh yeah! I now own my very own personal laptop! My birthday had never been this special, and it had just started. I rate this day very high, that being said considering that I have just had the awesome day in my life just a few months ago.
It was the end of last year that I had received a phone call. I was asked if it was fine by me to take things to the next level. That do I want to formalize my 6 year old romance? Do I? Did I really want to take that giant leap? Back then, I wasn’t sure. I don’t know why, but it seemed to be a big deal for me. And good for me, I did!
The day was Jan 28, 2010. And what a day it had been. The fact that I was getting engaged had finally sunk in a day before we were to leave for Kunkuri. Relatives had started to come. Packing was at it’s peak. And then finally, we left.
We were received, welcomed and fed and fed and then fed some more. And then it was time. It was one of those rare times when you try to balance apprehension and excitement. Soon I got on the stage, and from the other end, came the most beautiful thing. She looked stunning clad in a gorgeous sari. She was took busy making sure she could walk in that thing, but she did evey now and then look up and smiled at me. I can still remember that smile. It was the most amazing smile I had seen.
Soon we were asked to do a series of things that made no sense whatsoever. And then finally, the rings. She stood there, all smiles, and we exchanged rings! What a feeling! Hundreds of people witnessing this great moment of our relationship!
After that, everything felt so perfect. We had people wish us all through the evening. We stood there beside each other. Sneeking a moment or two, having one of the greatest times of our lives!
Finally, we were engaged. One thing I regret is, in the process I lost my sweet girlfriend!
To become a doctor, you spend four and a half years of your tiny life in the medical school. When you start, you have that spark, the will to excel, you (and your parents) are on cloud 9. I have seen a junior ask a senior, with all the seriousness on his face, “Sir, Top karne ke liye kitna padhna padta hai?”
And then the dream shatters. You have incoming missiles by the name of Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology. And as you succeed to dodge one lot, an even deadlier one is headed your way.
And when you somehow manage to survive this brutal massacre, you enter into this new world where you are no longer supposed to remember complex names but learn the process to make the patient healthy. And this is different from anything that you have done before or seen people doing. It’s called the internship.
It starts from something as simple as drawing blood! (Actually, that’s most of what you do). The first time that I was asked to draw blood, I had only seen it being done a couple of times. I was explained the procedure… just push the needle into the vein and draw. Simple! Well, it is. But the thrill you get when your needle punctures the vein and dark red blood gushes into the syringe is immense.
As time goes by, you start doing things that are way cooler than sucking blood out of every vein you can see. Pushing a needle up patient’s spine and collecting the CSF… How cool is that? With a little practice these are fairly easy procedures. But the sense of accomplishment is what makes everything else worthwhile.
This is just the start. As you go to the surgical side, the journey becomes more thrilling. Not able to find the vein and your patient needs fluids? No problem! Let’s cut it open and put a catheter right in the vein. Excising cysts, suturing wounds, draining abscesses, they all are much more interesting when done than read.
What you also end up doing for most of your surgical posting is dressing wounds. And not just clean healing wounds… there are ulcers that have been rotting since months waiting for you to dress them. Then there are wounds with maggots crawling out of them. Wounds with muscles and tendons exposed and pus draining. And you are supposed to clean it all up and try to make it healthy!
Then there are the surgeries. The first time you hold the knife and incise the skin, it’s a really scary moment. What if I cut too much?, you think. And then you see your senior butcher his way in. It’s all so exciting to see blood on your gloves, even if all that you have done is no more than retracting the skin! And then there is your first surgery as first surgeon! Of course it’s going to be just a hydrocele surgery, but the excitement of cutting things open is great!
And then there is the part where you deliver babies. Really scary… you start to try to remember all the various ways the baby has to bend his way out, something that had twisted your brain in the final year and would definitely put the best yoga gurus to shame! And then all of a sudden, the head pops out… after a few chants of laga laga the shoulder, the hand, trunk and finally the legs are out! And then you start to think… what did you really do? Why in the name of god did you learn all those relations of the fetal head with the maternal pelvis, when all you had to do is some fielding practice!
And how can we forget the OPD. You sit there seeing patients after patients, referring most of them to the specialists. And every now and then, prescribing them… that’s right, prescribing them drugs! This is such a wonderful feeling of… grandeur!
All this sprinkled with a bucket load of clerical jobs is internship in a nutshell. Yes, it gets monotonous at times. Your PGs would make you go through all sorts of crap. At times you would be stuck in the wards for days, cut off from the outside world. But what this does is makes you feel like a part of the system. You can now associate yourself with the medical profession. Internship as a whole is many small experiences put together. Each one special, each one different, each one thrilling. And when seen together, it’s one heck of an adventure!
Its been more than 5 years. I had proposed that we be more than just friends and she accepted. What that naïve proposal started back then, is now growing into, what people call, an engagement. By the end of this month, I will be formally engaged to the girl I have been in love with for quite some time.
I really excited and at the same time quite palpably apprehensive. But I know I will sail through. And it is going to be quite a journey!
Since the time that I started understanding movies, I must say, and you must agree, that Bollywood has come a long way. I mean, look at all the crap that it puked on us in the ’90s. It used the same old script, that got altered by the scriptwriter. And I am sure, somewhere in the confines of Bollywood, there still is that old, original script, that everyone seems to have copied.
Not that they all were bad, we did see an odd movie that was… different, fresh, new. The likes of Dil Se.., Sarfarosh and a few more did save the day for the ’90s. But these oddballs were limited.
Come 2000 and a new face of Indian cinema was revealed. It started with Lagaan in 2001. The masterpiece from Aamir Khan took the hearts of millions of Indians (who by-the-way love both movies and cricket!) Aamir hit the bulls eye again with Dil Chahta Hai. This story of friendship and love gave the youth of India something that they could relate to.
More recently, Dostana, New York, Wake Up Sid, Rock On!!, Delhi-6 all rocked the cinema houses! They all were so unique and perfectly made. They all left us thinking. You could see that very unique expression on the viewers face after he is seen the movie. They motivated us and entertained us even more.
And what’s stolen my heart today is the latest by Aamir, 3 Idiots. It has been more than a week that I saw this movie, and I still can’t get it out of my head. I still can’t help but laugh at the crazy moments from the movie. It was a beautifully written script, even better executed by the master himself, Aamir.
What this new Bollywood has brought for us is variety, quality and a story that we can relate to. The old folks have gotten better at their game. The new ones are simply outstanding. I wait for a Ranbir Kapoor movie as much as I would for a Aamir Khan. As the acting is getting as good as it gets, the attention to detail and the cinematography is simply superb! The songs aren’t just a string of rhyming words, they have meaning and they alone can make you skip a heart beat.
Today, I can proudly say that I love Hindi cinema. I no longer wait for a Hollywood flick to be entertained!
In the summer of 2007, I had spent a lot of my time peeping into the patients eyes, looking at their tongues, gazing at their palms and inspecting their nails! 400 of them! Back then, it was just a summer project for the ICMR. All that I did was fantically collect as much data as I could as fast as possible. Later we put together a project report for the ICMR.
And then, 2 years later… Voilá!! I got a paper out of it! About 6 months ago we started working on this report. Trying to sculpt it into a paper. We shortened the 30 page report into a less then half, reanalyzed the data, made a few tables and graphs and then finally it was ready for submission. After about a month of submission, I get an email from the editor… “I am pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been deemed suitable for publication in PLoS ONE.”
And day one of this year, its published! I am really excited to have my first article published in PLoS ONE!! This is huge for me! Great start to this great year!
Just got back from the theater, and I must admit that I jumped to a conclusion too fast. The much hyped movie staring the Big-B as a 13 year old boy, deserves the hype!
Both Jack and Auro have a congenital genetic condition which accelerated their physical growth many fold. And thats where the similarity ends. The angry young man, once again shows off his class. It is acting at its best. The story was captivating and the comedy – world class! I laughed my head off, all through the movie!