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. 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. :)

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


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


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)


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!

Monday, October 30, 2017


When you no longer see what you once saw, you are filled with a mixture of wonderment and regret. Wonder for the complexity of the fluctuant brain and regret for lacking the visual acuity or rather, for the clouding of one's vision. Everything that you once chose to ignore is now all that you can see.

It does make me feel like a bad person but to lie through my teeth would be more hurtful. The last time I had this 'epiphany' was months after I left Deeksha..

Is it a trick of the mind? A weakness of will? A change of heart or dawning of consciousness?

When you develop the habit of pushing every discomforting thing 'under the carpet', you get a big mound of dust in your living room that can no longer be ignored.
When you have no answers for these questions and when you only have more questions for yourself, you know there has been an irrevocable change. This has also made me consider the role reversal and its only when you put yourself in another's shoes and walk a mile do you realize what you might have put someone through...

Do I have to have one good week and then a not so good week to set right the balance in the universe? Last week was a good one with some notemaking and the happy discovery of 2nd year Patho, Pharmac and Micro notes which actually make a lot more sense now, followed by surprise-ish visit by MaPaDi and we lit sparklers at Jewel Rock to celebrate our kind of Deepavali, two rounds of strawberry cheesecake with AbhiBP and later with FroggieTheFoolest and of course, the joy of new mail!

I don't know if its a seasonal blip or the negativity tumour that I'm seeding inside me but I've been in some kind of zone lately. And sometimes anything, from an unexpected friend's words of encouragement (Thanks to Dixi) to a few words by my Pingu to my unwavering source of support (Sanjj), I do know I am thankful for all the goodness of people around me. Help comes from unexpected quarters, at the least expected moment and makes an impact.

So we watched this movie, Secret Superstar and it was not bad but for some of the dramatic histrionics and saccarine sweet quality to the narrative culminating in a fairly predictable ending.

So I was talking to Di today and she tells me her favourite song is ALSO 'Nachde Phira' and we began to discuss our favourite songs (She finally has a new favorite song after Tu Jo Mila!)

No therapy like girl talk (ladies gossip?) with my Maa about everything under the Sun from which relative turned up at which wedding to what the neighbourhood auntie has been upto to everything else! :)

What's the best thing to do after a day of Preterm Labour, Breech Presentation, Post Partum Haemorrhage and some Abnormal Uterine Action with your mind in running its own commentary of doom in the background? That's right, scale up the notch and watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil to test yourself. :))

Laugh at yourself a little more, don't hesitate to shed those tears and above all, remember, you are probably not alone. :)

Caffeinatedly yours,

Sunday, October 22, 2017

String Of Flowers.

A string of flowers for her silky strand,
He walked into her life, asking for her hand.
Endless sunsets and misty mornings in mind,
Reality was otherwise, she would soon find.

Away from the simple cows and the grazing meadow;
A village belle within four walls and a window.
Away from the friendly folk and rustic lore,
She lay forgotten but for her marital chore.

Bereft of the care and love she craved,
Alas, her first born could not be saved.
Agony and pain seethed through her veins,
In futile hope, she clutched at the remains.

No longer was she the cherished one,
After all, she had failed to beget a son.
A string of flowers she saw in his hands,
But they never made it home to her silky strands.

As the eager wife waited in her desolate tome,
The flowers found their way to another home.
And they wondered why she turned insane.
After all, wasn't he handsome and humane?

//Now I'm writing something after what feels like months. I'm surprised I could even string two words together. This is based on a movie plot that I heard from a friend and a fertile imagination. KThanksbye

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Ho Hum

I have to state that this post will have no value add whatsoever. It's just me exercising my freedom of speech, freedom of rant and freedom of cynicism.

So now that my cough seems to show signs of abating (yes, I've finally learnt to titre smaller doses of cough syrup), I am in a far better state of health. The annoying thing is when you're down with a fever/cough you don't want to go to the OPD because you tend to think; hey should I really go for something trivial like this, maybe I can handle this myself. Except the cough needs better antibiotics, so yeahh.

Wayanad is not happening after all and after a few days of moping around, I've come to accept that we have a lot on our plate at the moment so perhaps it was not meant to be.

We do see a lot more cases in medicine postings these days,
  • A case of fibrocavitary lesion in the right upper lobe due to reactivation of tuberculosis in a middle aged chronic smoker.
  • A case of hydropneumothorax and swelling of limbs with h/o tuberculosis treatment.
  • A case of syncopal attack in a middle aged patient of Aortic Stenosis and Mitral Regurgitation.
  • A case of global aphasia and hip fracture in an elderly patient after h/o fall but recovered after a few days.
  • A case of alcoholic liver disease in a middle aged woman.
  • A case of emphysema with h/o ischemic heart disease in an emanciated elderly patient.
So we have a marathon of internals coming up in the next 2 weeks. After that we'll hopefully have some sort of study holidays until our exams.

My policy has become it is better to be asleep than to sit up and think endlessly. I'm not saying its working great but I think I'd rather not be entrapped by the web of worries I spin around myself. It's been one year and I ask myself have I become any wiser? Have I changed for the better or worse? You imbibe the good, ignore the bad and remain true to yourself. It's safer to avoid these questions and plough on.

To be honest, I feel, education is no prophylaxis for stupidity! Wisdom comes from practical knowledge and common sense, not something that poring through endless books would teach you.

Successful people are not the ones who never make mistakes, they're the ones who aren't afraid to make mistakes but also pick themselves up and get back after a fall.

Another thing that I've realized is that its important to discover yourself, work on building your strengths, develop better communication skills and have good hobbies. Somehow, at the end of the day, you should be able to hold a good conversation, have a good set of friends to share your best moments and have a sense of humour. Or atleast, retain some 'spirit' in life no matter how hectic or gruelling your schedule will eventually be. Because, at the end of the day, why do you put yourself through all the rigor? To lose enthusiasm in life? Of course not! Nothing is worth that.
Bottom line: Learn to stop and smell the roses. :)

So we watched snippets of this Telugu movie Arjun Reddy (don't worry, I still have my prejudice against the language) and we had a lot of fun poking fun at the blockbuster movie that seems to have got rave reviews for its depiction of 'raw reality'.

I also watched the Good Doctor from the makers of House MD and yet again another stunningly attractive set of doctors are busy saving lives peforming complicated surgeries and having a great social life a la Grey's Anatomy except there is an autistic doctor with Savant Syndrome also in the fray.

Songs on my mind include:
  • Build it better : Aron Wright
  • Seetha Kalyanam : Suraj S Kurup
  • O Rangrez (from Bhaag Milka Bhaag)
"That's the thing. I don't think I kind of believe in deep down. I kinda think all you are is the things that you do."

Sunday, October 8, 2017

pre Monday Morose Musings of a Medico

Maybe I should make a To-Do List of all the things I want to blog about before I commence because I actually have many musings to put down.

Anyhoo, Last week I made what will probably be the last Bangalore visit for the year. The journey to Bangalore was actually good. I travelled by the morning train after quite a long time and there’s nothing like a some rainfall, pleasant music and a good weekend to look forward to. It was Di’s Birthday so we had the usual cake cutting and balloons kind of party.

On our return journey, we happened to strike a conversation with two college girls travelling to Shimoga as a part of the ball badminton team from Maharashtra participating in the nationals.

I definitely had a good experience trying to converse with them in my defunct Hindi (“Aap Kahaan se Ho? Nagpur ke saamne? Wahaan ke Orange acche hai na?” and other cringeworthy moments.) Furthermore, they were from Chandrapur , Sevagram and other areas in the interior of Maharashtra and were travelling together for the first time. With great pride, the recounted how one of their seniors selected from a previous such Nationals tournament later went on to join the Olympic team. With their education being funded by a scholarship, they get good support from their family. Most of the compartment uncles asked for their story in turns and gave appreciative nods while the aunty beside me underplayed the whole scenario. (“Swalpa nu English baralla alva? Nagpur Orange enu chanagiralla, Chikmangalore oranges eh chanagiradu.” and other face palm worthy moments).
While Shimoga was inundated with heavy rains the same evening, here’s hoping those girls go far ahead and shine. :)

This week has been hectic to say the least. Getting back to college, we had to finish with the OBG end posting which was taken by Arathi ma’am who had a LOT of questions.

After the Surgery internals were announced (which clashed on point with the South Zone Quiz), we had some running around and letter writing to do which were all duly rejected until further intervention from the Psych Dept ensured that we would take the internals with another term a few days later.

After this came the BNET quiz for which I didn’t really prepare but tried to read up on some Anatomy and our present portions. While I barely scratched the surface of Anat, I must mention how I felt quite happy that day because reading from BDC brought back some memories of Vasudha ma'am explaining the structure with the brain in hand. I really wish I could go back to her just to listen to her teach!
When I got all excited and made stick figure man notes! :')
And so we set off to Dharwad from the hostel around 5AM, boarded the direct bus, alighted at Hubli and finally made it to the sprawling SDM campus. While initially there were no other contestants in sight, they made their appearance by the aforementioned time and the quiz began with an initial MCQ based prelims.So the prelims had about 50 questions in 50 minutes and we did quite well! The finals had about 5 rounds including a rapid fire. While we didn't make it in the finals, BP and Disha came second and will represent our college at the finals in Bangalore. :)

After some snacks at their canteen, we set off towards Hubli to board the bus back to Shimo. We had a make shift meal of Jolada Roti and Random curry and Rice at a nondescript hotel as dinner and headed back to the hostel by 1am.

I had typed a LENGTHY paragraph on my phone which I didn't save and thus I have more reasons to be a grouchy git.

There's always something new to see, some new experience every time I travel.

The little one who began crying when the bus started because his grandpa hadn't got back yet.
The woman who patiently picked out the lice from her husband's head even as he bowed down to her.
The old woman who couldn't stop arguing with the conductor at the top of her shrill voice until another passenger explicitly asked her to shut up.
The young boy looking out of the bus at the young girl standing outside in the evening drizzle; sharing a wordless moment, perhaps until their next reunion.
The lost puppy on the road, the mentally ill man grinning away to glory, the hen on the bus making eerie sounds and the woman crying in the ER..

I could go on but you get my drift; every person, every moment is a story in itself if you bother to look.

So why am I a grouchy git? After yesterday, I felt I am lacking on SO many Basic levels. I mean, there are things you should know and those that are good to know (i.e will be useful later). There is no point trying to work on the second category when you have some loopholes in the first itself. I feel I did not reason out enough but that stemmed from not being aware/sure of so many things to make the necessary connection. Anyhoo, got enough and more on my plate for now!

So by this virtue, I cannot attribute my happiness to any physical entity, person or event. Which would mean I would have to feel intrinsically happy. Does this mean the happiness one gets from any of the above is not to be encouraged because we would be dependant on it? Or is the fear that the deprivation of them would cause us to feel sad?

I don't think I can blog much in the coming weeks (this is the lame lie I come up with every 15 days -_-) but I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to blog instead of spreading my neurotic tension to everyone around me.

On another note, I should probably update my status on all media and issue a public notice that I am not responsible for my lousy acyclical moods; the fault is in Rguhs. -_-

I haven't heard too many new songs lately but I think the old ones more than compensate for it. Am I the only one who feels that moments can be recreated with music? And that the happiness you feel with these pleasant recollections, is probably enough? As in, an old some heard in childhood brings back some cherished memories, the ones from school actually make me laugh because we are all so naive.. :) (Did you know That is her favourite song? It's such a bad song XD)

Further more, I am often torn between having the everything that happens is for the best kind of mindset to the 'No, of course not, why try to see good in bad' kind of comeback. The best resort would be to ignore both and just do what has to be done. (I Didn't say I do that all the time; don't assume.)

Confusedly yours,