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.

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 Musings

This Part Of You

I had forgotten this part of you.

The part that cannot decipher my unspoken words. The part that inadvertantly steps over my silent cries for attention, because maybe you don’t suspect that I’m this frail. The part that not even tries to realise that I am struggling behind the weak smiles and half hearted statements. The part that mistakes the pause at the end of my replies; what I put forth as a comma, you perceive as a period and think no more about my broken sentences. 

How then, can I expect you to mend all else that’s broken about me?

Posted in Anecdotes, Musings

Maybe

I’m torn between desire and care.

Desire to see you waiting for me at the station in the wee hours of the morning, with even the sun yet to spy on us, and to ride home hugging you on the wide empty streets with the moonlight and stars for company.. But another self forbids me from waking you up; I know today is going to be another hectic day for you after numerous others and with many more to come..

I know you’re too. Torn between wanting to see me and yet having to succumb to the responsibilities weighing down on your eyelids; I know the fight inside you to be with me every day, even on the days when you’re not.. 

I know. Which is why I’m not going to wake you up at 4:00 like I promised. Today I’ll fight for once, take a cab and let you sleep.

Maybe this is what love is??

No.

I know it is. 

🙂

Posted in Anecdotes, Musings

Remembering Shaari

Shaari..

Shaari? Was that her name? I’m not really sure. I don’t remember.

What I do remember is the little shy girl, smiling timidly in a classroom where she herself might have suspected she didn’t belong in. I remember  she always had amicable smiles and average marks. Her skin was dark, her hair oily, combed back and held in place by plastic clips. I feel like describing her as having possessed mousy features as a child, perhaps because I can easily liken her to a tiny brown creature scurrying away from attention, and comfortable in dark corners.

But why I remember her is not because of her physical features or her characters. It is because of a plain sunny morning when a new teacher asked us to introduce ourselves, and one by one we reeled off our particulars – name, place, parent’s occupation – and when her turn came, she mentioned her father was a coolie. A daily wage labourer.

I was incredulous. My 11 year old mind was fascinated by the prospect of someone like her sitting here in a private school, among the children of professionals.. In retrospect, it does seem sad that such a thing even occurred to me. And yet, that’s what set her apart, for me. The fact that she was the daughter of an ambitious man, who refused to let his meagre earnings be a barrier in his daughter’s future, or believe that she was in any way less worthy of the painted classrooms of the celebrated convent school whose high walls were a stone’s throw from their small house. I used to imagine him coming home tired every night, and looking across the street at the iron gates; I would even conjure up a look of determination on his weary face..

The headmaster, Father T, would come by regularly to ask how many were yet to pay their monthly fees and invariably she would stand up every time. I believe she was given special consideration though, and allowed late payment.

I remember she was not particularly bright, or maybe she just  never had anyone to help her with her lessons at home. Maybe that was one of the reasons, along with financial constraints, that led her to shift elsewhere after middle school. 

I’ve never seen her since, but I do sometimes wonder what became of her. Had she found the new school to her liking? Has she have grown out of her shell with time? 

Sometimes, I imagine running into her some day, and struggling to recognise the mousy girl I knew behind the confident young woman who challenged the world, with her proud father by her side. I would like that very much. 

I look forward to that day.