Let Me Stoop

Look up and soar?

Tempting, but no –

Let me stoop 

And pick someone up. 

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Posted in Musings

Unfreedom

I am bound by walls  and chained by prejudices of my own making.

The weight upon my wings is not a storm but a sigh; the blemish on my face not a scar but a tear that I refuse to wipe away.

I pull a shroud upon my features and hide from the sun, not knowing that the fire I fear is burning me from within. That the hot breaths scald not my skin but my soul.

I search for paths, riddled ways away from home and yet cower in the shadows when the winds whistles to say it’s time. Never ready. Not now, not ever – for I am not a girl yet to come of age and learn of the world but a woman who makes a mockery of herself hailing change and recklessness and that touch of infinity on the sly, and still end up yearning for approval and compassion.

I reach for the skies and fall to ground.

No, I am not free.

For I refuse to be.

Posted in Anecdotes, Musings

Sunshine

“Take care of yourself. You’re very important.”

That is what SV said as our conversation drew to a close. I had been rambling on for an hour about how horrible I felt lately, how the signs of depression seemed to be returning at a crucial point in my life. It felt good to vent to him; it always did. He always knew what to say.

And yet it’s those last words that really made a difference. He did not personalise it, did not smother the letters with a show of care; no ‘you’re important to me’ or ‘us’. Just important. Like an open ending to be interpreted as one wished, as if the whole world hid silently behind that last syllable. That my existence had a value that cannot be quantified by sheer numbers of aquientances, that maybe it extended to realms that I did not truly fathom.

I felt a ray of sunshine trickling in.

Posted in Musings

Wounded Healers 

“When Parvaneh gives him a look studded with a long line of question marks and exclamation marks, the doctor sighs again in that way young doctors with glasses and plastic slippers and a stick up their bottom often do when confronted by people who do not even have the common bloody decency to attend medical school before they come to the hospital.”

This one sentence amused me more than anything else in the wonderful novel ‘A Man Called Ove‘ by Fredrik Backman. It has everything to do with the fact that on multiple occasions, I too have been that very young doctor (sans glasses) with a stick up my bottom who grows exasperated when the illiterate patients in front of me can’t comprehend the complications of a cerebrovascular accident or even pyelonephritis. Of course, the frustration was always fueled not so much by their ignorance as my incompetence in making them understand. But what truly amazed me on reading this was the realization that this phenomenon is not localized to our part of the world, with our overcrowded public hospitals and overburdened health system; that this is indeed a global phenomenon!

I remember my mother once warning me about how people go into medical school as humans and come out as robots, hardened by exposure and oblivious to common suffering. I looked at her then skeptically, but I realize it’s true – somewhere between dissecting cadavers and running around sleepless writing endless case notes, our souls crack from numbness; when frustration mounts it enlarges to a chasm that separates empathy from the methodological, the functional. And easily enough everything starts irritating us. ‘Wounded healers’.. the term stays with me a decade after reading Erich Segal’s Doctors. 

Rising violence against doctors in India is a direct outcome of the same. Patients no longer lie docile when shows of irritation are meted out. Miscommunication is no longer pardonable. Time and again, the newspapers are filled with tales of health providers being manhandled for what is perceived as inadequate treatment. It is in times such as these that I pat myself on the back for opting to specialize in a non-clinical subject.

Neither side is to blame, really. It’s always lack of proper communication. Here’s hoping that both parties soon learn to empathize with the other’s plight in the future. Only then can we expect the untoward incidents to show a descending trend.

She laughed and laughed and laughed until the vowels were rolling across the walls and floors, as if they meant to do away with the laws of time and space

– Fredrik Backman

(A Man Called Ove)

Today it reminds me of a hat, the large brimmed hats women used to wear at some period during the olden days: hats like enormous halos, festooned with fruit and flowers and the feathers of exotic birds; hats like an idea of paradise, floating just above your head, a thought solidified.

– Margaret Atwood

(The Handmaid’s Tale)

Posted in Musings

The Proper Care and Feeding of the Writers in Your Life – Volume 1

This post speaks volumes (no, really; it’s one damn long write up) about the atrocities and trials faced by the average blogger. A humorous rendering of pent up frustrations, I could totally relate to the content. Maybe some of you too will. If not, just sit back and inhale this dose of literary laughing gas.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the obnoxiously clever, irreplaceable Brian of the Bonnywood Manor.

Bonnywood Manor

Once upon a time, in a land where the summer sun can kill your soul, on the patio of a restaurant bar where the libations eased the slow heat-death, a discussion took place betwixt a certain writer and a certain beloved person in the writer’s life. The conversation was initially mundane, with rambling whatnots about who would sleep with George Clooney if given the chance and whether or not a proper queso recipe should include diced onion. Then, in a rather alarming development, the dialogue became a wee bit accusatory, and non-sexual passions were enflamed. Nonetheless, some intriguing considerations arose, and I would be remiss in my responsibilities as a writer if I didn’t share this conversation with you.

(Note: Forthwith, the “writer” shall be known as “Hexom”, a character in one of my books, a simple ploy that should give the illusion that someone else has an issue, even…

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Posted in Musings

The Thing That Must Not Be Named

So my boyfriend complains of a splitting headache, and I graciously offer to massage his head in the event that he manages to procure a medicated balm to be smeared over his forehead. 

He heads to a random medical store, and in his current affliction, stands there hesitating, trying to recollect what brand I had suggested.

The very understanding shop keeper nods, reaches down and hands across the counter a packet of condoms.

Posted in Anecdotes

Broken 

I was in a hurry to have breakfast yesterday morning. I dropped my heavy shoulder bag on to an adjacent chair in the common students’ mess, and half threw my sling bag on top of it, before heading to the counter. It was after I had settled down and started eating that both the bags fell to the floor with a loud thud.

I didn’t really think much of it. That is, until I got to our department and fished my phone out of the bag.

A huge crack grimaced at the top left corner, spidering and spreading across the screen all the way to the bottom. I felt a wave of devastation.

No, mine is not a brand new phone. It is exactly three years old, bought in September 2014 with my first earnings, during my internship. I still remember how many reviews I went through and how many specifications I obsessed over, before zeroing down on this one. And unlike most people I know, I made sure the protective case arrived within a week of purchase – I wasn’t going to take chances. 

I’m proud to say that the phone did not let me down, it lived up to my expectations, caught all my good memories and also almost all of the photos on this blog. By the third year, I was starting to feel even a little haughty, as my friends’ handsets got disfigured, damaged or simply died, mine was still as good as new. Well, maybe it did have scratches over the edges , and maybe the skin peeled a little at the back, but to me it was perfect, a reminder that I too am capable of good choices once in a while. 

They say, the software gets affected once the hardware is; Google tells me cracks will eventually cause dirt and sweat and water to leak in and cause collapse of the system. That’s just so sad. 

But then, I remembered something else I read a few days back, a story by Osho about how nothing is sad news or good news, it’s just news. Anything that happens, we shouldn’t hurry to put them into categories. So I thought I’d do that now instead. My phone screen broke. That is all it is. It is neither good nor bad. Cool.

I’m currently searching online for wallpapers to camouflage the broken screen. This is actually fun. In a way.