Jack vs Auro

Just saw another amazing movie from Robin Williams. Jack. Its a story of a boy who has a genetic disorder that makes him age faster then normal. Sounds familiar? Why shouldn’t it? The Bachchans have, yet again, failed to come up with a decent script for their next movie. What do they do? Steal it!

The much hyped movie, where the junior Bachchan plays Big-B’s father, Paa, seems to have the same story line as the decade old Jack. Ripping hollywood movies is no news in Indian cinema. But when the likes of Big-B resort to it, its a slap on the face.
And as far as I can see, Jack kicks Auro’s ass any day!

Technology and She

Most of us boys are obsessed by the technology that surrounds us. Be it your cell phone, a car, computer, even something as stupid as a pen drive. We need to have it all. Its a fetish we just can’t give up. Whenever you see that new Alienware computer with the i7 processors or the iPhone 3GS with 32 gigs of memory or even a Segway, you know that your hormone levels are deranged. You get that feeling of rush. A craving to touch it. A craving to push a button and see things jump to life!

But the ladies just don’t get it. For them it is just a box used to get your work done. How can you work on a computer of hours at a stretch, even when at the end you have done nothing? Why are you using your phone even when you are not texting or calling anyone? Whats in those stupid blogs that you keep reading? There is so much that they just don’t get. The closest they get to technology is maybe making a call from their pretty little cell phone. And no, your compact is not a gadget. They would go whining that, my boyfriend is in love with his iPhone, what should I do?

Their feeling of insecurity is natural. They know they just cant compete with these new hot gadgets that keep getting hotter by the year. You can dump one for a new one whenever you want. They would let you do whatever you want. You are always in control. And if you ever get bored, you can just switch it off!

And then you say that your boyfriend is in love with his iPhone? Well, guess what? I am, and there is nothing that you can do about it.

P.S. This may be my last post. Its been nice pouring my head out here. I am so dead after my girlfriend reads this. 😉

The Apple of my “i”

It was back in the January of 2007 when I was seeing a live stream of a MacWorld keynote presentation from a small company – Apple. This guy, wearing a black turtle neck and denim looked nothing like a corporate guy. Slightly balding, he had an aura around him. When he spoke, people lisened. This 6 foot something, thin guy was Steve Jobs.

And the product that he unveiled that day was the iPhone! He went on and on about this legendary device that had this huge capacitive touch screen, a widescreen iPod, an revolutionary internet device and lest we forget, a phone all rolled in one beautiful shell of aluminium.

Since that day, I have been drooling for one. Why shouldn’t one. The thing is the best handheld device that the  world has seen till now. And we keep forgetting, its also a phone. A lot of companies have made these claims, but this truly is a computer in your palms. And then, about 9 months ago, out of the blue, I found one sitting in the palm of my hand.

The one that I own, is the second generation iPhone – The iPhone 3G. Apart from the cool things from the last release, it now sported a GPS, native third party apps, ability to tune into a fast 3G network and the list goes on. Mind you, the original iPhone still kicks all other smartphones’ asses, no questions asked. The Androids, the Blackberries, the WinMos they are still a generation behind it. And what I have is the second revision of the best… how cool is that!! (Well, the third generation iPhone is also out and the ‘Whats new’ list continues to grow… do you hear the other phones crying?!)

Nine months, and anyone would start getting bored of their old phone and starting craving for that cool new phone that their friends have. Not me. I am still so overvelmed by the things that phone can do that I have even stopped noticing other phones.

Lets start with the most basic of its features, the phone. There is a great phone app that springs up the second you touch it. Just touch the name in your contact list and thats it. It does what its meant to do in the simplest of ways, making and receiving calls. Most devices will have the phone as the core with the other features being sidelined. But the iPhone is not a phone, it also has a phone that is seamlessly embedded in the smooth interface.

The other thing that I use is the web-browser. It nicely renders pages like it were a desktop PC. And with the touchscreen its so easy to navigate. And now with all big websites like Google, Yahoo, YouTube being rendered for the iPhone, things are even better then before.

The music players is an iPod. Nothing more needs to be said about a music player after that. But this is so much more! The touch interface makes it so easy to browse through the music library and the videos on the 480×320 screen look simply gorgeous. Making playlists is so yesterday. What I do is simply select a song that matches my mood, hit the ‘genius’ button and boom, I have a playlist that I am sure going to enjoy.

To add to the list is the Maps app. Using the huge and continuously updated Google maps data with satellite imagery along with the really nice A-GPS, finding places has never been so easy. My friends would mock my of being too advances and literally living on that device everytime I and use it to find something or am accurately able to guide them where that cool food joint was. But I know its just envy speaking! Every now and again, they would pick it up and adore the great things that I do with it and wondering how is a thing so small even able to do all this.

This has just changed the way I communicate. With my mails being pushed to me the movement they arrive, and my contacts and calenders being continuously sync with my Google account, I have never felt more connected. And did I mention there are more than 100K apps just waiting to be downloaded at the app store? Facebook, Twitter, chat apps, Doom, Photoshop, Remote desktop, Skype… you name it!

Words just can’t describe this amazing thing. You have to see for yourself. With the third generation iPhone sporting a faster processor, more ram, a compass, voice commands to name a few, I feel a shiver down my spine everytime I think of what the next revision will hold.

Live!!!

I was sitting in the Obstetrics and Gynecology OPD, measuring BPs and weights and filling thick registers, when I hear that the tickets are available!!! I knew it was on 28th, but had totally forgotten that it was this month. And then I made the worst decision, I postponed the ‘Ticket buying ceremony’ by a day. That day I spent thinking about who will I go with, how many tickets will we need, what level tickets… only to find next day that the tickets are no longer available!! But if you live in India, ‘Sorry, the tickets are no longer available’ doesn’t say its over! I made a few calls, a friend knew someone, who could ask someone to get us a few tickets. So no harm done, the only downside was, we had the cheapest seats that there were! But that doesn’t bother a cricket fan. By the way, I was talking about a cricket match, but you got that!

The day arrived, and what happened that day was legendary!

We had learned from our past experiences to get to a cricket match well before time if you don’t want to miss anything. You just don’t walk into the stalls waving your tickets at the checker, you get past the traffic, find a parking slot, stand in a looooong queue, get frisked and then your companion loses their tickets, you spend some more time explaining it to the authorities, and then finally you get to the gate leading to your stall.

Now what I saw next was a scene Steven Spielberg would be proud to shoot. I walked up the stairs and I could see people sitting around, all pumped up… I went further and I saw more of them. There was a heavenly glow around. Everywhere I saw, everyone I saw, had a wild excitement in their eyes. And then I finally climbed in to my seat. It was just beautiful. Smooth green grass, neatly cut, a nice dry pitch in the center, wickets at both its end, two huge screens on my right… and the crowd, it was amazing. It was a mind numbing experience.

Once the view had sunk in, we started to wait for the players to get out. And when they did, it felt nothing like on TV. They were really there! It was great to see Sehwag and Tendulkar walk out of the pavilion and take their stance. And then it all started. Bowlers bowling, Batsman batting, fielders fielding… it was a show sync to harmony. It was like music for your eyes. Really good music.

But this wasn’t about how the players played, it was about the atmosphere. Literally, it was hot as hell. The first few hours the sun was scorching at 40 degrees trying to mellow us down. But that had little effect. The tricolour was being waved around everywhere, everyone would jump up at even the slightest sigh of aggression. And the Mexican wave, what should I say about it? It just didn’t seem to stop.

The Indians batted through the sun and as the sun started to set, we had shouted our throats sour. We were piling runs like it was some backup team from Bangladesh we were playing against. With a beautiful century by Dhoni, we had pocketed a decent 354, and the players walked back to the pavilion (the Australians with  their heads down.)

The flood lights had come up by now. And I never knew a stretch of green grass could look so beautiful. With the glow from the four huge flood lights towering above us, it was magical.

A few minutes later the entire Indian squad came out, stretching, running, throwing the ball around. And soon they scattered in a neat field formation. Pravin Kumar and Nehra started the massacre. The Indians, when they were batting, had the ball cover every inch of the ground. But the Aussies just couldn’t connect. With the wickets falling at the right time, no Australian looked dangerous. These cold blooded hunters were easily tamed by the Indians.

At the end, India won with Australia still 99 runs short. But even a hundred grand HD screen or cinema display can ever replace the experience that those cheap tickets gave us. I felt like a kid in a toy store. The excitement, the entertainment, the emotions, the enthusiasm that a live cricket match brings can hardly be felt from that comfy sofa of your home.

Its a girl-boy thing!

I have fallen in love so many times since that first time. Back then it was more of the excitement than the feeling. The first time I said that I loved someone, I didn’t even know what it meant. It was a dialogue that generations of movies had taught us to say when you felt that spark for that special someone from the opposite sex (or who knows, the same sex!). The dialogue didn’t mean much back then, but I sure did feel the spark. Just like in those movies, a call did put a smile on my face. I would wait for the next meeting. I was happy, excited and so …naive.

It was good while it lasted. Then I fell in love again! It was a smooth flow. We just clicked. Our young hearts thought that this was it. Everything was planned, the road was laid. We would glide smoothly to the end. While we were painstakingly placing each object in our surrounding, making the ambiance look better than the Versailles, there is one thing that we forgot, us. Soon we started discovering glitches. There was turbulence in the flow. And that turbulence eroded some of our beautiful garden.

And then, one more time, I fell in love. This time I knew about the sharp edges and I knew how to dodge them. But it wasn’t that fun anymore. Instead of gliding, we were more of dragging ourself. But still, every now and then, that spark would reignite and the day would feel sunny again. I would again feel happy, excited. But this time I was not that naive.

With that sense of maturity, I fell in love a few other times. Fell a few times, had fun the other. But every time understanding that this thing is so complex that I may never be able to understand it completely. All that I can do is enjoy the good times, and hope that they last really long. As for the bad times, I still haven’t understood how to avoid them. Just hoping that they are quick and painless.

But this last time I fell in love was different. The last couple of months have been great. The chemistry is just right. The spark is brighter then ever, things just click and I see no sharp edges around. I am gliding again. May be its because I know where not to tread. Or just may be I have started to master the skill of pressing the right buttons at the right time.

As I was saying, I have fallen in love so many times since that first time. The thing is, it was always with the same girl… over and over again!

Community time!

3 more months and I have (sorta) completed my PSM posting. PSM, the Preventive and Social Medicine… what it did for me was it prevented me from socialising at all! For starters, we were locked away in ‘jails’ about 25 kms from sevagram. A dirty room with a motheaten bed, crappy food, no source of entertainment what so ever and to make things worse, notthing to do.

We would sit in ‘Kiran Clinics’ from sharp 8 to 1 and see 3 patients. One of them with nonspecific body pain and has come to get his free aspirin refill that he has been taking since the last 20 years. If I distill the aspirin out of his blood, I might have enough to have a major pharma company running for their money! The second, an old lady, had an unique presentation of fever, that starts on her legs, then crawls through her spine to her chest and finally goes in her up to her head. A presentation, epidemiologically speaking, confined only to the rural indian masses. And the last guy was there just for the bi-weekly dose of injectable vitamins.

After we have run this quackery, we would go eat our crappy food, make some of our own if its too crappy to eat, take a nap, and then go and ‘study’!! Thats right..STUDY! Who in the right mind expects interns to read? Add to that, literature about how elderly in some remote village have health problems! Next comes the the best part, come evening and we are free. So we sit outside of our room and… well thats it, thats all that we did. We sat! Fun, ain’t it?

The better part of PSM was the GOPD postings. Again a strict 8 to 1 schedule. But now we were more like real doctors on a real hospital and were able to prescribe real medicine for some real problems. And there was less worry as if our young brains failed, we could always refer them to a specialist… and we always did ;). The best part was that we were free in the evenings and were at home!!

Over all, a complete waste of time. All that we did was stick to a strict time schedule and allthat we learned was doses of the likes of PCMs and CPMs! Way to go PSM!

Medicinal Blues… and the other colours!

It’s been 3+ months since I have joined my internship. And I have finished my medicine posting. I started off with my ward postings. My job discription – Drawing blood, filling out forms, making entries, and grossly doing anything nobody else wants to do! But the Verdict – Fun! (most of the times)

When I started, I was scared. I will actually be involved in actual patient care. What I do will matter. And if I don’t exist, the system feels a hollow! That is a great responsibility on my shoulders. Then you start pricking patients and drawing blood right, left and center. And that very disposable needle eventually breaks the bubble!

But the life in the bubble was wonderful. That first time your needle enters the vein and the blood gushes into your syringe gives you an unimaginable sense of accomplishment. Then there are pleural and peritoneal taps. You push a needle in the cavity, and draw the dirty water out! How cool is that!! Every now and again, the bubble starts to form… to burst again. But the little time you get in it is great!

I spent a lot of time in the ICCU. And most of it was spent taking Blood Pressure, measuring Blood Sugar and recording ECGs. That doesn’t mean that the bubbles didn’t form. I did a couple of very successful LPs. I put tubes up (dead) people’s throat. Gave a couple of CPRs.

On the down side, I must have completed atleast 500+ patient files. Filled out thousands of forms. Made innumerable entries on the computer. Filled in the discharge papers. But all this isn’t all that bad. I mean it was no fun, but not that bad either.

Over all, I would give it a thumbs up!

Doctor Who

Classes, clinics, practicals, teachers, professors… It’s all over now. The results came out and the way I lived my life has changed! I am now an employee and not a student. But what excites me the most is that now I am a doctor!!

4 and a 1/2 years of slogging your ass off makes you really despitate to achieve your goal. And once you really get it… you are extatic beyond words!

Plus, on top of that being a doctor changes the way people look at you. You see a new respect coming your way. They respect you not just for what you are but for what you can do… save lives!!!

But the system has a way to bring you back down to earth. It’s called Internship. For starters, they pay you just 1700 bucks. We are what they call, cheap desparate labours. On top of that they make you do the lowest level of work. All that we do is suck blood, send it to labs, fill in forms, finish paperwork, make entrys and take BP. We are just a bunch of glorified attendants!!

The Final Level

..an X-ray on Bladder stone, luckily a specimen of bladder stone, a clamp, autoclaving, hernioplasty, fibula, the Austin Moore hip prosthesis and I was done!!! That was the final 20 mins of my last exam. And what a relief it is. I came out of the surgery seminar room at about 5 and didnt realise what just happened. This is what I have been waiting for not just for the last few months, but for the last 4 years, maybe longer.

As most of us know, getting past this torturous obstacle race is no easy task. To add to all this, you have the professors. They lurk in the darkness of the hospital corridors. Constantly observing your every move, and when the time is right, they would pounce on you. And as you go further ahead in the race, the harder it gets. Its just like that video game we all play. Well… a lot harder!! And what’s hardest is … The Final Level.

When it starts, you don’t know whats in store for you. You are all cheerful having just passed the pre-finals. Its 3/4th done you say… just one more year and BAAAM!!, I will be a doctor. Folks! Its easier said than done. Back then in February, you are carefree, hoping to organize a function or two and have your share of fun at the Gathering. Its just 4 more subjects, whats all this hype the seniors are creating. I can handle that… right? Wrong!! Those four subjects may look harmless and simple, but believe me, as your exams approach, you are going to wish you had never…ever… even thought of wearing that white coat or putting a stethoscope to your ear.

Let me tell you what I am talking about…

Behold… Pediatrics!! Now don’t go by the name. This little boy will pull hair out of your nostrils, cry all day, poop all over you and finally make you feel like you are full of it. These children, even when they are normal, they aren’t! They are this alien life form, completely different from the adult human. They act differently, they sleep differently, they even get sick differently. When you thought the children must be the easiest to handle, look at the expression on the face of a mother of two who just found out that she is pregnant!

Talking about pregnant… there is Obstetrics and Gynecology. As if dealing with girls isn’t enough, now you have to study their health problems. And honestly, why would a girl come to you and tell you about her menstrual irregularities? But if she does come… congratulations for reasons more than one!!

They even go to their doctors even when they are not sick. Dude, who goes to a doctor when you are fine? They just have a faulty body, but lets not go into that. What I am tryin to tell is its no easier than the other subjects. And when then the examiner asks you how does a couvelier uterus look like, you think you were better off with your girlfriend asking you if she looked fat in her new dress!

Lets have those hands together for… Surgery! In the beginning its so cool. No matter what the problem is, all you have to do is cut! That must be easy. Cut – Resect – Close! That’s an easy drill. And its so manly! But by the time you have finished reading about the kidney and the man organ, you will have no idea what so ever about what to cut, what to resect and what to connect!! Its all just Blah-Blah-ectomy.

And finally… Medicine. Thinking of this as ‘just a subject’ would be a blunderous mistake. That’s right… that’s how big a mistake it would be!! It’s the mother of all of them. It’s a real cocktail. You add up everything you are supposed to learn about the human body – how it works, how it doesn’t work and how to make it work – and mix them well and you are done! That’s medicine for you. But the problem is, unlike a cocktail, it just doesn’t go to your head.

That would be the study part, I didn’t even mention the fortnightly ward leavings, the case taking, the clinics, the classes, the peer pressure, parental pressure, the short attendance… and the list goes on…

But that’s nothing to worry, everyone goes through that. So can you… RIGHT?