Bliss.

Bliss.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Internship at Hassan 1

New beginnings don't come often but when they do, make sure to make the most of it.
So here I am at Shri Chamarajendra Hospital, Hassan for the next 10 months. I'm posted in Paediatrics for now and today I finish my tenure at the NICU.

The NICU is all about details. Its about specifics, minute details, extensive workup, meticulous follow up and identifying danger signs. Is it all about oxytocin high inducing cuddly little ones? I'm afraid its anything but that. There's more of sick and malnourished neonates, febrile irritable babies, babies in respiratory distress as they gasp and grunt for every breath, yellowish jaundiced little one and sometimes a convulsing neonate who needs immediate management.


Since my first day here it has been an overwhelming experience as you watch the birth of a baby, give immediate newborn care and hand it over to the attenders even as they are sometimes overcome with emotions. Sometimes you see sick babies and admit them for further treatment and investigation and watch the troubled expression on their parents faces. Babies may often make a quick recovery necessitating their shift to the mother side and eventually a discharge but this is closely monitored to prevent any lapses.

While in the NICU, stats are everything. The birth weight, yesterday's weight and today's weight are important for growth monitoring and also for antibiotics dose calculation. We need to look for urine output, grbs and the days of life of the baby and in the hospital to decide the course of treatment and relevant investigations.


The consultants need the numbers. A fall in platelet or rise in WBC or CRP+ve implies a change from 1st line to 2nd line antibiotics or upwards. The feed for the baby is NGF or OGF and slowly DBF is introduced when the baby improves. Fluids for the baby are either 10% dextrose in the initial days and then to isolyte P based on the weight.

Part of NICU duty is baby receiving which means when the OBG intern calls you saying there is a case shifted you run to put on your OT dress, grab a tray and gloves and receive the incoming little one. Sometimes you are informed late and you run to the OT only to hear the little one giving its first cry, you trip and fall right at the OT entrance even as everyone inside gave a surprised expression and went about their work. The sheer number of cases is staggering. There are days with consecutive caesarean sections with skewed sex ratios like 7 males and 1 female in a matter of  few hours. Sometimes we rush to the labour ward (with the sister, of course) when there is weak cry or meconium aspiration. It might seem dramatic but there are times when I have rushed out of the labour ward with a baby bundled in my arms to be resuscitated in the NICU. Once the baby is inside, the trolley is rolled in and emergency intubation is done if the baby is in distress.


As this is the district hospital we get a lot of cases referred from the Government hospitals in Sakaleshpura, Belur, Holenarsipura, Alur and Chanraypatna.
The NICU is a closeted space from the rest of the hospital and it attracts a huge amount of daily visitors implying the need for strict sterile precautions.

The consultants look at the investigation reports and charts and decide the course of treatment in the morning and also have a counseling session with the parents where they tell them the present status, course of treatment and prognosis.
Later in the day there is another rounds after the reports from the morning investigations are brought back.


Sometimes we refer the babies to a higher centre (Indira Gandhi Children's Hospital) when we realize that the child may improve under different conditions. Baby of Pooja had elevated urea and creatinine continuously and we had to shift it out. We explained the same to attenders and told them about the free ambulance facility. The attenders asked me if one or both kidneys were damaged because if both were damaged they wouldn't be able to afford treatment. We tried our best to tell them about the free facilities and after some running around for an RMO sign and the ambulance, B/o Pooja was off to Bangalore. Similary B/o Gayathri came with abdominal distension from Arsikere and one look at the X Ray showed that something was not right. The surgery consult said that it was likely a case of Congenital Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis which would require paediatric surgical intervention. B/o Pavithra had elevated Bilirubin (20+) levels in spite of phototherapy so on one rainy evening we referred her to Indira Gandhi again.

During the course of my NICU posting, I've seen life and the beginning of life in close quarters. I've also seen the darker side, with death rearing its ugly head often in the NICU. Explaining the condition of a critical baby is always a hard time and there are times when you push back tears of your own.
Baby of Mamatha was a tiny preterm LBW baby who fought for a while until it was too laborious to breathe anymore. While sometimes the parents understand that their child hangs precariously between life and death, at other times, it is a tough moment for them to see that after 7/8 months of nursing dreams of a newborn, the little one did not make it.

Baby of Mala was also a brave little one who was lucky enough to receive surfactant (rare in supply and requires an indent), caffeine and when his Hb% decreased one evening, I even decided to arrange for 1 unit of B +ve blood that night even though his saturation was not maintaining. When the blood finally arrived, he had already desaturated and had no cardia thus leaving one unit of blood to go without use. This was also the first time I practised intubation thanks to the hyper Veena sister.

Baby of Asharani was the first of the 28week twins who lived for a day on the ventilator unlike his brother who didn't make it out alive. Baby of Pavithra is also the first twin who breathes mechanically at 27weeks. In such cases it's important to find out the underlying cause especially since in this case the mother had APH and a similar preterm pregnancy.

Perhaps its the 'perk' of being in the NICU but it is indeed a tough moment when the parents place so much faith in you and ask you to do everything you can to save their child's life. Sometimes you go back with a smile when you send a discharged patient after a long stay. Sometimes you can only tell them that you are doing everything possible in this hospital's facilities.

There were days when I didn't answer questions I ought to know, there are moments when I feel how can I have this responsibility upon me; do I know what I should know?
From the plush confines of Subbaiah to the government hostels here, its been quite a journey. Real exhaustion is when you sleep for 12 hours straight after your duty ends. Its when you eat what's in the mess without a squeak because you're too hungry to complain and your co-intern is waiting to be relieved.
Its been about 10 days here and nearly 10 months to go.

Adios Amigos.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Nefelibata.


Picture Imperfect.

Tell me everything I shouldn't know

The dark stains that refuse to go.
Fill me with the darkness that shall blind,
The answers to the questions on my my mind.


Beneath that fine veneer and sheen

Maybe there are unknown tales to glean.
Fall from that pedestal of glory please
Bestow that starched white with some grease.


Tell me everything I shouldn't know

Anything to let go of that halo
Fill me with dark lies so I may believe
And hope to seek an uncomfortable refuge.


Beneath that chiseled perfection I see

Maybe there are crevices and cracks unknown to me
For now that is all the reason I can live with
To believe that it is after all a delusional myth.

When I'm not swatting flies and seeing inebriated patients on night duty at the Holehonnur CHC, I'm scamming their free WiFi and attempting to relearn how to write poetry.


Working at a PHC for a month and now a CHC has been an interesting experience so far, opening your eyes to the amount of sickness and disease. It also makes you realize how the things you take for granted are privileges to someone else.

During my free time in the day, I've been doing paintings that should probably be torn up into 38372827 pieces yet I still have them probably because they are so stupid they are a little funny. :')

Oh and I'm also listening to some music after what seems like ages! :) 
  • Kajra Mohabbat Wala (Sachet Tandon)
  • You can be king again (I'm not really into anime but I should thank Medha for this!)
  • Nindaraan Diyaan (Amit Trivedi) <3
  • Your hand in mine (Explosions in the sky)
  • K (Cigarettes after sex)
  • What's my name (Rihanna) (I heard this recently after years and I couldn't believe I was a big fan of this once xD


^ A cloud walker. An individual who lives in the clouds of her own imagination or dreams. A person who doesn't abide by the rules of society, literature, or art. 



Thursday, April 5, 2018

A Billion Worlds.

We live in a world of contrasts;
A conglomeration of extremes.
While a little one utters its first cry in a grubby labour room in a village, another is already trending on social media.
While the little girl who studies at the local school dreams of becoming a teacher,
another boy juggles between cricket, guitar and the perfect grades.
While one relishes the chat by the roadside stall as a treat,
another has a brunch at the upscale resort in town.
While one lit the midnight oil in a nondescript town to bring life to those dreams,
another light up to banish those insecurities in a cloud of grey.
While one was blessed with conjugal bliss,
Another was tethered to a lucrative kiss.
While one sweats it out for the daily bread,
another plunders through wastefulness and opulence.
While one surrenders to the elements,
Another challenges them and defies death.
Between these two divides lie the great majority.
In awe of wealth, yet aware of cruel Fate's stealth.     
Cushioned from dire poverty yet embroiled in competitive vagary.
Cocooned from squalor but desirous of glamour.
We live in a world of contrasts;
A conglomeration of extremes.
With a billion stories within us we live,
With hope that some dreams shall fulfil.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shootin' stars?

There is something so poetically beautiful about fleeting moments of happiness even though you know they are only like drops of rain in a parched land, like an oasis in the sultry desert and maybe like a moment that isn't really yours but only a dream you know you shall be awakened from.

Yet, sunshine isn't dulled in its warmth even if lasts for only a short while in the cold North, a rainbow shall always make heads turn even if may disappear in the blink of an eye, a comet darts across the starlit sky in moments, yet that mystical scene remains etched for eternity and no matter how how brief the spectacle lasts, its one that remains close to you.

As clich├Ęd as it might sound, it is no wonder that the best literature or arts stem not from a state of euphoria or contentment but more often from that painfully beautiful state of incomplete jigsaws. 

Life is short, times change, we know not what tomorrow holds but its upto us to make the most of the Time as the clock keeps ticking. To make every moment worthwhile, to have good memories worth cherishing and to have the strength to tide over and look past the bitter memories.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Backpacker Diaries

"Seriously?!" she asked me in surprise, "You're going alone all the way to Cochin?"

"Are you really going alone or is there something you're not telling me?" said another with a sly grin.

After my spontaneous decision to go backpacking resurfaced, it wasn't difficult to choose: Kochi or Alleppey since I wanted to travel God's Own Country.

After having a good look at the options at hand, I got the travel bookings done thanks to Abhi and BP, packed my bags for 4 odd days, borrowed some sunscreen and a good power bank and set off on yet another journey to explore!


The journey to Mangalore was a night bus and I managed to catch some shut eye despite the window sneaking in cold air as we rattled our way through the Ghats. The next morning after a quick "Wash and Brush" at the dingy bus stop and a simple breakfast, I headed to Mangalore Central, found my way to the right platform and boarded the 7:20 Ernad Express that starts from Mangalore, traverses through Kasargod, Thrissur, Kannur, Kozhikode, Cochin and Alleppey, all the way upto Tirunelveli. It was a pleasant journey with a scenic view of streams, canals, coconut fields and green fields and I reached Cochin by late evening, found myself an Uber and reached Zostel after a 45 minute drive through the city's bustling lanes, overlooking the lit up port and through the quieter neighbourhoods.

Cochin, the conglomeration of Ernakulam town, Mattancherry, Fort Kochi, Willingdon Island and a few other nearby islands, is historically famous its role as a trading centre, a thriving port town and the epicentre of cultural exchanges back in the day. The earliest visitors were probably the Chinese who are known for their most famous contribution to the city: Fishing Nets that dot the landscape of the sealine. After them, came the Arabs, followed by the Portuguese, the Dutch who brought Kochi to the international limelight as the hotspot of spice trade and a commercial hub. Lastly, the British arrived and mainly used it as a colonial settlement but not before it had made a lasting impression in the international circuit for its trade relations. 



So in retrospect, it made perfect sense to me that I had Americans, South Asians and Europeans as roommates and subsequently interacted with a diverse lot in the following day! I opted to go on a boat ride in the morning and we were joined by new travelers along the way until we reached Vaikom. 


Thampi, our guide, told us about the agenda for the day and we set off in two small boats (or canoes) through the backwaters, gently sailing through the narrower canals even as the tree lined canopy shaded us from the heat of the sun. Water snakes, washerwomen and bathing children greeted us along the way until we disembarked at one of the settlements to have a look at the spices like cardomom, clove, bay leaf and nutmeg. We had a glimpse of how coir was made (Unity is Strength was the take home message) and later had a traditional Kerala lunch on a plantain leaf.

During the course of the day, I spent time with my roomates, Gaby and her friend who were Americans working as teachers in Thailand and we shared some light moments and 'rice crackers', a crispy snack from Thailand. There was Naomi and her friend from England who were friendly and we bonded when I realized Naomi was a doctor and wanted to pursue Tropical Medicine. Then there was blue eyed Robin and his friend Yohaan from Germany who were students on a vacation and Ponya, also from Germany who had traveled across the length and breadth of our country. There was a pretty young girl, Anna also from Britain who was on a gap year after finishing high school. Coming to India was a revelation of sorts for her since this was where her parents met when they were in college. Then there was the All American couple, John and Debbie, who were pleasantly surprised to know that I was from Bangalore and not in IT. I learnt a little about the american healthcare system and also why medical tourism in India is picking up rapidly. The web designer from Paris had some stories to share about his stay in Sao Paulo and Germany while Lee, the American shared his experience and photos of the Aarthi at Varanasi. While he worked as a limousine driver for half the year, the other half was (wisely) spent in traveling across the world. 



Post the boat ride, I met another Asian, Nanthini, from Malaysia who was also on a solo trip and we watched a beautiful sunset by the beachside. I was glad to have a fellow companion as we ventured around Kochi at our pace. Perhaps it was the Asian connection or just two individuals bonding over their love for travel but either way, ai was glad to have found a comrade. In a way, Kochi was and still is, the melting pot of many cultures as it continues to attract travelers, tourists, businessmen and artists alike. 








The following day, Nanthini and I made a neat plan thanks to the folks at Zostel and we began with a visit to the Mattancherry/ Dutch palace which houses intricate murals and a lot of artefacts that detail the era of the Kerala rulers. It detailed the lineage of Raja Rama Varma, the matriarchal system, their weapons, wardrobe and a general preview of the life they lead. 


After this we took a walk down the Jew Town and shopped judiciously for curios. A customary visit to the Synagogue showed us a few paintings that explain the role of Jews in Cochin, their arrival, trials and triumphs. For lunch, we headed to Fusion Bay where Nanthini got her much awaited fish curry cooked in the traditional Kerala style with a hint of Mango while I was content with some Okra Masala and Malabar Parota. Post lunch, we rested awhile at Santa Cruz Basilica, refreshed at Zostel and then headed to Kerala Kathakali Centre. 




Kathakali is an ancient dance form originating in Kerala as a variant of Krishnanattam under the then king's support. It is known for its detailed makeup and costume efforts, intricate facial expressions, mudras (hand movements) that signify different meanings and the enactment of a story from any mythological tale such as the Ramayana or Mahabharatha with drum beats, cymbals and vocals to accompany the performance. Kathakali performances are traditionally known to last for several hours and generally involve only male artists. 




We arrived in time to watch the make up in progress which every performer applied by himself for the most part. We were taken through the basics of Kathakali before we began with the story depiction. With rhythmic drumbeats, spirited use of cymbals and intense expressions, it was a complete performance that left one wanting more. 




After dinner at a nearby cafe and bidding goodbye to my newly found friends, I struck up a conversation with my Uber driver as we made our way back to Ernakulam Junction Railway Station for the Maveli Express. A nursing student, he was surprised that someone would travel alone but I think I made some valid points in my defense and appeared to be more open to the idea by the end of the journey. 

A delayed train journey, some Ideal Gudbud for breakfast in Mangalore and a bus ride later, I was back to the comfort of my room in Shimoga with a cartload of memories and the unmistakable self confidence that comes when you know you are independent. :)



PS: Half the pictures are courtesy of Nanthini's photography skills and the rest are probably the last works of my phone as it lies on its deathbed. :P

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Unwelcome Relief.

So here's an attempt to try and look at the brighter side of things. Perhaps the holidays are not what I had hoped for but there's a month to go and it doesn't hurt in the least to look at the glass half full. :)

The idea is to complain less and appreciate the good things. I finally got to meet Sanjana after she did the classic trick of pretending to be mad at me and pop up at my place when I least expect it! It was the most unexpected thing at probably just what I needed then. The following day, I met Pingi and we had the usual banter just that suddenly 23 seems like a bigger number than the time when we were little kids without dreams as high as the sky!

So Di and I tried building the DJ Krishnu DogBot and the gears weren't all that flexible so we tried doing the TurtleBot which was partially successful but here again we were thwarted by the gears which just don't seem to coordinate. Yet, it's interesting to put them all together and watch the wheels in motion, if only slightly when placed in sunlight/ close proximity to a 100W bulb. :)

 I think the best part is having Di urge us to try and fix the loopholes, reading the instructions herself and trying to set up the whole thing. 


Probably my most prized possession till date! <3
This is just the setting sun!
 So last week was the much awaited Super Moon/ Blue Moon/ Red Moon with the Lunar Eclipse touted to be a once in 150 year phenomenon so Di and I headed to Lalbagh along with Sahana where I was actually surprised to see people spanning all age groups in large numbers. While the Red Moon eluded us for the most part, we did see a spectacularly bright moon later which was captured appreciably in Pingi's phone. 



The Culinary Diaries:

These holidays have been spent trying to gain some experience in the culinary department, if nothing else. What began with the initial basics of Rasam, Sambar, Palya and Batter preparation has progressed to a variety I (and Di!) are interested in. 
We've dabbled in Gobi Manchuri, Palak Paneer, Alu and Gobi Parotas, Masala Puri, Pani Puri, Pav Bhaji, Godhi Biscuits, Sweet Pongal and even some lip smacking Paneer Tikka that was in short supply after increased demand. :)
Pardon the pathetic 'plating skills',
I don't have the finesse of your television chef!

The second picture, is the all too familiar Sabudhana Kheer 
which we tried with some jaggery instead.
So you might have heard of Sabudana or Tapioca Pearls which Amma needed for a craft item she was trying out and I tried out this recipe and it turned out just fine. It's basically a Maharashtrian Recipe and it made for a good evening snack. Aided of course, by Di, who helped in every stage of it's preparation. :)

 Check out the recipe here :) 

The evenings from Tuesday to Friday are spent in the art class where little ones come home to learn drawing and painting. I'm usually assigned the youngest of the lot (the ones who believe they are Baahubali, the ones who show me the gap in their toothy smile, and the ones who ask for an 'ice-cream star' for drawing neatly) so it makes for interesting evenings. :)
When he knows only Bengali and
I know only basic HIndi
The one who wants to
draw cars, ships and trains :)


So I finally caught up with Padmaavat and was rather in awe of the Rajput culture, couture and the grand set up from their glittering palaces to the intricate details in their designer wear. Not to mention the stellar expressions, the stories conveyed through mere eye contact and yes, a mention to the maniacal ruler that is Khilji. Of course, it is a movie and just that. History cannot be gleaned from the same since it is after all, an exaggeration of reality or perhaps a portrayal of a work of fiction (Padmavat was a poem by Mallik Muhammad Jayasi).

On an other note, I recently noticed the stark contrast between myself and my close(st?) relatives whom I FINALLY caught up with. Perhaps it stems from my own disinterest that has built over time, or the paucity of time during the course of the academic year or the convenient excuse to attribute it to the prevailing situation; but I find myself in the dark about civic issues. In the sense, I am aware, yet I am not pro-active in the least. While it is commendable that they are part of ECO groups, active members of the Welfare association, plant saplings in the neighborhood, initiate and conduct a fest in their area,  organize e-waste collection drives and protest against Modi's flex banners in the event of his arrival in Bangalore, I'm currently living through each day, trying to make sure Di packs her bag and gets to her van in time, making her a snack for the evening and trying HARD to get her to open her books and read. Yes, this is from the same person who once started a nature club and tried to get people to be more eco friendly. 

I really think it's about how much of an effort we make to fight and buy time for the things that matter to us. After all, everyone has a busy schedule these days with the constant struggle between work and family but perhaps we can all steal some time for anything that WE feel deserves some attention. :)

Here's hoping for a good week! Cya readers. 

As for the title? look up "caregiver burden".

Saturday, January 20, 2018

StayCation

Hello there readers! Here's to the first post of 2018 and more meaningful posts to come, hopefully. This one definitely will not make the cut.

So the year began with the practicals and they were.. well, a lot of things! That thing I said about how I need to control the stress I bring to the surface? Didn't really work in reality.

Oh and I hate rats. With a passion.

Finally sweating it out in the gym and looking for imaginary biceps every other day. Feel like a boss lifting some weights and trying out all the tough stuff until I see huger people prowling around.

Joined the RoundChapathiAndDosa Squad and began taking notes to make Rice, Rasam and yeah, even my favorite Chitranna. Although I don't get the point of a lot of things. I mean why did the human race come up with the idea of slicing cabbage into tiny equal parts for a palya. I mean couldn't I just wolf the whole thing down. -_- And how there are a lot of indefinite measures in cooking. As in 'put the rest of the ingredients once the rawness is replaced by an aroma' (wut) or 'stop frying the ladies' finger once its sticky consistency is replaced by slight brownish color' or the mind boggling ratios of flour and water which I never seem to figure out. But hey, I can identify the ingredient boxes without opening the lid so maybe I'm getting better at this. B)

I think I adore little kids who come to Amma's art class and it takes a lot of self restraint not to pinch their cheeks and cuddle those cute champs who stutter and stammer as they speak. I think I might violate the Teacher-Student code of conduct at this rate. -_-

When I'm not busy with these, I'm trying my hand at another piece of art, which I really hope to do justice to. Let's seee.

And when Di comes home from school, that's the end of any 'me time' that I can claim for myself. We did come up with a partially functional Robot: DiJay Krishnu Dogbot. We finally did the visit to ISKCON so she had some one on one time with her fav. When I'm not yelling at her for being greedy/ losing her specs/ being rude/ making faces, I tell her stories and ask her not to take ICSE and put her to sleep, only to fall asleep myself mid-story, until the beginning of another busy day.

Here's to home. Here's to coming back, adapting to the changes. Picking up from where I left, which is not always easy. You've stayed away for a while, you've developed your own ways and habits but you've got to remember your roots and do what's best for the moment.

Cya Peeps. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

UnLearn.

Hello dear Readers (if any left..)

The past few weeks have been stressful to say the least. It was enlightening, humbling, disappointing, hopeful and yes, a lot of other adjectives. I think a major part of it was spent in fear and despair alternating with a state of panic provoking rapid action until the next wave would hit. I never thought I would question my choice of career or even spontaneously burst into tears owing to the exam stress.

Part of this is because when you’re in a hostel, you are with people trying to navigate the same kinda boat so you can’t really tell them how difficult you find boat riding and also when you’re conversations with your family are more on the lines of:
 “How are you doing?
I’m OK.
Okay? Okay.”

What I realized (much, much later) was that we can and we must be able to filter out how much of the stress we want to feel. Or anything else for that matter; we hold the keys to the amount of emotion we bring to the surface.

So coming to the pre exam era, I timed my meals with BP and we did a little of combined reading towards the very end and magically enough, there would be a few questions from our chosen topics. Sanjana and I would panic together, discuss a lot and then feel a little hopeful. Truly, it felt good to know how things are going on with someone else and clarify even the seemingly silly doubts! A special mention to the absolutely irrational obsession I had developed over my hair and the varying extent of damage it had suffered over the past few months thanks to my neglect and oh my my, that pure bliss when you finally go and get a haircut and feel damn good about yourself after a long time!! (You may split in piece for all I care now, I am a happier woman now B) )

 

During the exams, I had a lot of rituals. Now is where you begin to question my sanity but here goes:
  • I HAD to wash up and THEN have my breakfast BEFORE 8 AM.
  • I had to consume exactly two M&Ms on all days (so that it would last until the end of my last exams.
  • I had to consume 1 Milano for each subject around 11 AM
  • I had to have a spoonful of Nutella.
  • And lastly, I HAD to have a spoon of Bella just before I left for the exams. (That wasn’t really a good idea considering its granular extra sweet aftertaste but RitualsMustNotBeViolated so it was duly followed.
  • I also HAD to leave the room by 1.10 and arrive at the exam hall with Accamma ONLY by 1.30, then sit and breathe deeply until they gave the papers at 2.00PM
I later realized that this was all a cunning plot by my sly brain to pilfer more and more food until I was nearly always eating something/ just finished eating something. I barely allowed myself to feel any hunger until I would happily pounce on some Ragi/ Sprouts/Fruits/ Chocolates/Biscuits.

Coming to other matters, as a part of boosting my dwindling morale, here’s a lowdown on the year that was:
  • Visited the Oh So Pristine Beaches of Andaman and Nicobar and gave a shot at Scuba Diving.
  • Had my first Solo trip on my Birthday to Gokarna
  • Tried my hand at Pleural Tap (even though I was only partially successful)
  • Presented an adequately decent case in Paediatrics
  • Read Psychiatry and did well in the state level quiz with Abhi
  • Tried something I had become curious about.
  • Did well in the Quiz at SIMS with Govi.
  • Went to Delhi, Agra and Amritsar with classmates and juniors after endless train journeys and busy metro rides. Fell more in love with the idea of travel.
  • Presented a Psychiatry Case and managed to win some books and $$
  • Revisited Gokarna with AbhiBP and soaked in some more Vitamin Sea.
  • Visited Kuppalli, Kavaledurga, Kundadri and Shringeri.
  • Hosted Sanjana in Shimoga and finally caught up on our much needed girl time.
  • Attended enough marriages to start dreading them for the likely conversations one gets entangled in. But let’s get dressed up anyway
  • Made new friends (Anul, Naman, Robab and Bhargava), learnt to see newer perspectives, discover new ideas and share common interests.
  • Learnt how much my existing friends mean to me. Lost a few friends too (prolli?)
  • (Trying to) Learn to bother less about what she/he says/thinks. Learnt that I don’t owe an explanation except to the ones who matter to me.
  • (Beginning to) Learn to accept people for who they are, understand why they are the way they are and just appreciate their existence in your life without question. It might make life easier for all you know..
  • Learnt how much I miss Di. Beginning to appreciate how perceptive she is for a child her age, for everything she has seen and continues to see and yet remains one of the most enthusiastic kids I’ve been around.
  • Learning to apologize/set things right with people and not just leave a blank space. (Atleast, try to.)
  • Learnt how you need to believe in what you do. Learnt that you must not compromise on your beliefs. Realized I was happy at the end of the day when I had done what was right. Learnt to voice my opinions aloud and take a stance, to understand my own needs and desires better and thus have more coherence.
  • Learnt that distance does NOT matter to keep true friendships alive. Thankful to the days I had Sanjana, Pingii and Anusha to just share our thoughts and woes and HOWTHEHELLCANIREADSOMUCHINSOLITTLETIMEIAMSODED kinda conversations.
  • Learning to live and love life with each day, feel grateful for the things you’ve been blessed with and try to be a better person, even if, in the smallest way.

So apart from this abysmally long list, I’ve also begun to realize how much more I need to work in order to get where I want to get. I just hope the coming year will be a lot more fruitful and productive. Currently, I’m wondering what the hell I’m going to do on NYE in Shimoga considering how I stayed back keeping the practicals in mind and my panic prone pre practical phase.


Here are my heartfelt wishes for the upcoming year, for all the challenges ahead, the excitement and to the journey! :) <3

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Reveries of a Harried Soul.

Sparks Fly

Like the sizzling crackle of embers in dry firewood,
Like the million electric charges piercing barren land,
They were sparks that seemed like fireworks,
An entity so magical best left untouched.

Not dampened by the swirling clouds,
Left unscathed by the scorching heat,
They shone with a glow in their eyes,
Akin to fireflies glittering against the night skies.

Yet every radiant flame that ever shone;
Would know that its light was only a borrowed loan.
The embers that braved the external assault

Were extinguished by their own emptiness.


(16th November)


Raw.

The nervous quiver as I speak
The ugly bruise over my knee
The angry pimple on my cheek
Are honest watermarks of the real me.

The curves of my smile
That curl into a sarcastic jibe
The curves of my imperfect body
I embrace as my quintessential vibe.

But it is the starry dreams of my soul
That make me whole
And the fragile hopes in my heart
That sets me apart.

I speak with feet firm on ground
But with a spirit that soars abound
A heart enslaved by its own wrath
Yet raring to embrace the unknown path.



(26th November)

I am still coughing up in the library but the good news is that our fridge finally has some goodies for snacking in my compartment! The above nonsense was penned at odd hours when I was saturated with Hernias and Hydatiform Moles and decided to spill some thought-ink.

I want this year to end. ASAP. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Quest For Sophrosyne.

So I'm finally done with the Clinical Postings for the year and after a fairly uneventful End Posting, its now more or less study holidays. Some of the cases we saw (and presented) in the last two weeks in these postings include
  • Anemia in a young female. (Dimorphic Anaemia)
  • Anemia in a middle aged female. (Anaemia of Chronic Disease)
  • Anemia in an elderly male.
  • Anemia ... ok you get my drift.
  • A HIV+ patient who was known to Mahendrappa Sir from his McGann days.
  • A case of (cough variant?) Asthma.
  • A case of hepatic encephalopathy and ALD
  • A CNS case with Lhermitte's sign.
  • A case of malaria who was eager to get discharged and celebrate his 1st wedding anniversary.
Probably not one of my best weekends and I'm glad its over. A bit of disgust and self loathing, a fair amount of fear of falling into a redundant lifestyle and some annoyance for being voluntarily cocooned inside my comfortable shell. Being sheltered is important, you need to be protected from the big bad elements in the world. But that is different from being in factitious isolation. Unexposed to the realities of life and in persistent supression of natural emotions.

There is the concept of Hygiene Hypothesis in Immunology wherein individuals brought up in a highly sanitized environment from early life are more prone to allergic conditions on exposure to 'normal environment' which would be teeming with potential allergens that any other individual would have developed resistance to.

My point is, you cannot protect yourself forever. You cannot weave a web around yourself as a shield to the ravages of reality. The sooner you voluntarily step out of your comfort zone, less harsher would the 'burst of the bubble' feel.

There are going to be good days and some really trying days. Days when you don't know where you are headed, days when you find a stranger looking back at you in the mirror and days when you simply loathe your mediocrity, your decisions and your irrelevence in this universe. The hardest part is to get through those days, the fact that you did would be the best part.

A friend once quoted Sagan to refer to how infinitely small and insignificant our actions are in the magnitude of the universe and while most of the time, we (I?!) Choose to ignore this reality and believe we are capable of something impactful, the reality of our mundane existence is hard, almost bitter to digest.


  • Watch Thor (If you haven't).
  • Read Metamorphosis by Kafka. From what I gleaned Kafka led very troubled life and several parallels are drawn between his own struggles and those potrayed by Gregor Samsa.
  • Listen to Lights On by H.E.R (one of those singers who prefers not to 'Have Everything Revealed' but let her music do the talking.
  • Read a few short stories (including Khol Do and Thanda Ghost) by Saadat Hassan Manto last week. Manto was a prolific Pakistani writer who wrote unabashedly on themes of partition, sexuality and violence in the era with dark undertones, yet very impactful. Not for the fainthearted, his audio stories online are an attempt to recreate the art of storytelling.

So long!