Sorry doc,I gonna do the Google search!

A few months ago, my teenager had a sprain and some swelling on her feet. I went to the local trusted physician for a check up. The gentleman doctor advised rest but also raised a panic alarm when he pronounced the name of the said ailment that I almost fell off from my seat. With high anxiety and rising sense of helplessness, I reached the medical shop and asked for the tablets.

The girl at the counter informed that the prescribed medicine was not available. ‘Give me for today’, I insisted. ‘No, mam, it is steroids. So it is better that you take the entire course. I will get it for you by tomorrow’.

‘Steroid’!!!, I staggered and walked away in silence.

We went home. I called up my mother and reported the events of the day.

As usual my mother in her rather nonchalant manner advised, ‘ Heat up some water. Put some salt into it. Ask her to dip her feet in the salt water. After some time, tie that crepe bandage and keep the feet elevated. She will be fine in some time.’

I realized my tensions literally vanishing and I heaved a sigh of relief as the real doc has pronounced that ‘all iizz welllll’ 🙂

What would I do without this wonder woman?!!!! Seriously!!!

Next day, I went to another expert that my physician had recommended and sat waiting in trepidation for words of more wisdom. The smiling lady said, ‘it is nothing actually, ask her to rest completely. Send me pics of her feet and if things don’t improve, we will see.’

Surely enough, my teenager was back to her bubbly self and I regained my peace and calm.

Yes, I know that not all doctors are to be blamed and not every time. Yet when doctors prescribe steroids as easy to take medicines, you do wonder.

In another instance this week, I chatted up with a friend after a long time. She told me of her inability to join me as she was suffering from excessive bleeding during menstruation. As is the normal practice, she went for a checkup. The doctor told her that she has to get her uterus removed and advised her, almost insisted that she get herself admitted immediately for the operation.

In fact, one of the nurses callously commented, ‘Why do you need a uterus anymore?’

Agitated,appalled and terribly disillusioned the family decided to go for a second opinion and called back home in Kerala. The family physician in Kerala advised that she should at no cost remove the uterus. She was warned of further complications if it was done.

Said my friend, ‘I will take it slow. I know that my body will heal and with the right treatment, I will be back and bouncing’.

With good folks around, happy friends and a happier family, what can not be healed after all?

‘And a treat is in order’, I reminded her.

A doctor has put up a sign,’ Don’t confuse your google search with my research!’

Fair enough! but we can still use our brains, right!

Time-lined!

Ahead in the line

I saw a silhoute

that caught my fancy

a silver bun

a few silver strands dancing

a white dress

a pale complexion

a back not yet bent

and perhaps I thought eyes still bright

then I saw her profile from the side

just a glance

her eyes beneath her glasses

her lips drying

I turned away afraid to be caught staring

but as you would guess

my eyes strayed

and she turned with a sharp look

I stood shocked

who did she resemble so closely

and then I realized

I was standing since long in the queue of time

future ahead

past behind

which side was I

I shuddered to think

till I noticed I had fallen apart

away dangling as if from nowhere

watching the

myriad faces of lives now and after

and I broke into laughter.

Of disagreeing with Plato

In the Republic, the eminent Greek Scholar, Plato chooses to ban the poets from the society on the argument that they are far removed from reality and that they induce passions and corrupt feelings through the magic of sweet rhythm and music.

Really! not really, so I thought as I watched the enthusiastic participation of young people in the cultural fest at the college.

Yes, it was a cultural extravaganza with a well lit stage glittering like a queen, the vast spread of the campus all lit up and blushing, young men and women scouring the place, friends hanging out together shaking a leg, sharing food, jokes, laughter and more.

Across the sea of faces of young people was a sense of purpose and a sense of joy. They looked happy to be relieved of the burden of learning even if only for a day and took to the event with excitement.

In the event that I was organizing, which was sketching, many young boys and girls came on time, and mulled over the theme given to them and produced some very creative and engaging interpretations of ‘Reflection’.

I asked the student volunteers how was it to be a part of this event, they said, ‘it was great to see different perceptions of the same theme and how patiently and carefully each artist worked on their craft’. That observation was enough to tell me that perhaps this is the biggest take away for these youngsters today, to work at your craft with patience and be able to think originally!

After the Treasure Hunt, where the young lot was sent scurrying across the campus, chasing clues and deciphering them in groups of three, the students all blushing from the heat and the run panted as they spoke, ‘we had lot of fun and though we didn’t win, we made new friends!’ Apparently the last clue was of ‘the place they fear to enter’ and they rushed to the dean’s office whereas it was the main stage!, they laughed as they said that.

At the evening DJ night, the youngsters and the adults let their hair loose and danced to the tunes releasing many stressful hormones and replacing it with some happy feelings and experiences.

As the day drew to a close, I realized how important it is to have a stage, a place to discuss, deliberate and express oneself for the young and the old alike.

Now, come to think of it, what avenues of self expression do the poor have in this country, where do they go? why can’t there be more competitions or contest or just fun fest which are affordable to all?

Perhaps given a chance a child or an adult would not want to turn to violence! Maybe more avenues of self expression and self exploration is the way to curb violence!

Perhaps Plato was wrong after all to sagely advise that poetry and modes of self expression are corruptible in nature!

Of how your body speaks

The tall boy spoke well. He spoke with passion. His words precise, measured and his stance commendable. Yet, as his index finger moved furiously, the audience received him with mixed emotions, awe at his speech and an unease at how his body spoke.

One of the most prominent speakers on the national media tends to use his index finger a lot while speaking . Does it affect perceptions about him? Here is my two bits.

While the current prime minister is no doubt a go-getter and has a vision and a passion to bring betterment to the lives of his country men , I believe his using the index finger while speaking, moving it up and down as if brandishing a cane in the manner of a school headmaster does not sit well with the persona of a national leader.

For better success may be he could use more open hand gestures and totally avoid the use of the index finger while speaking.

This I say as a layman who has observed his rise and his frequent courting of hate and bad press.

Of her

It must be her smile I thought

or those little hands that clasped mine

those moments when she leaned in

or a firm hand now when we cross the road

it must be the fact that she is taller

and definitely smarter

way ahead than what I could hope myself to be

it must be then those memories of laughter

of little jokes, of incessant passion for dance

dressing up and posing

of the stories of school, classroom, teachers

of those little insecurities and then the revelations

the great discoveries of the self and small moments of acute embarrassments

it must be the feeling of her self in my being

of how special she felt and how special I knew she is going to be

it is beautiful to have her by the side

with the many quarrels and fights

the long pieces of motivational setups

the sneer and the sly banter of ‘ so what did you do?’

of now to see her walk ahead

just herself ,her sweet being, so blessed and so true

that I stand in awe of the blessings bounteous of the universe.

Of going be-kaar

I grew up in a middle class family. My parents did not ever think of buying a car for themselves. Initially it was not affordable and when it became affordable, my father reasoned that it is going to be a white elephant… who is going to maintain it, feed it, clean it and drive it around? After all was the auto rickshaw not so ever easily available, accessible and affordable? This was definitely a sensible argument and no one could counter him.

During the years when my brother was sick and was in need of help for mobility, we did often think of owning a car, but again those years were of excruciating pain, none of us were in a mindset to take any firm decision, and I despite being older was still a school teacher who considered a car, a luxury.

We did struggle, often a great deal. My mother broke down in sheer agony and helplessness many times, considering how most places became inaccessible and most travels impossible for my brother who was now wheel-chair bound.

Thankfully, father had a trustworthy friend, whom we call Krishnettan who was always willing to drive us around in his cab. Krishnettan not just drove my parents and my brother around for his numerous visits to the ayurvedic treatment centres, allopathy was not a choice, since they had already given up all hopes of any kind of recovery, he also lent a helping hand even as many of those we would have expected to be by our side chose to turn away.

Those were times of pain, nothing is more painful than to have to watch some one you love suffer without being able to do anything to reduce that pain. We all experienced that closely and somehow it changed all of us for better or worse.

When I thought of buying a car for myself, my brother had already left for his other home but my parents rejoiced at my ability to do something ‘rather elite’, on my own. So did I too, feeling empowered and blissful as I cruised around the city, cheerful, even in the most peak hours of Bangalore traffic, enjoying the feel of the steering wheel in my hands.

I liked it when I could pick and drop my parents who came visiting from Kerala, or drop my daughter or take her around or sometimes though rarely be privileged to drive around my friends or colleagues. I must say, I did thoroughly enjoy those moments.

In fact, I even fancied turning into a cab driver for the sheer joy of driving and some good conversation.

But then something changed and I started questioning the need to maintain a vehicle for myself, adding to pollution and traffic when enough cabs were available at reasonable cost.

Thoughts were soon followed by action and I decided to go ‘bekaar’ , and sell off the car… And it does feel good.

Sometimes, selling off, getting rid off what is not useful creates more space for what is productive, creative and more happy….

Will I regret this decision, may be, may be not but it is good to change equations and see how life turns out, how you respond and how you are perceived…

So long, as I enjoy being ‘bekaar’,what is that you would like to let go of?

PS: Of letting go!

With a twinkle in her eyes

She spoke to me with a twinkle in her eyes. Listening to me intently, brushing off every excuse and filling me with positivism.

She took me down the memory lane and around her life with its own struggles and how she finds joys in between and how it is all worth its while. I made excuses complaining of the generational gap, but no, she would hear none of it, till I finally just sat hooked to my seat and to the twinkle in her eyes and the lilt in her voice wondering where does she find all this energy from!

As we talked I could feel myself getting recharged almost visibly and smiling with absolutely no reason, surprised at her spirit, in awe of her enthusiasm for life and in admiration of her ingenuity.

I looked at her in surprise when she said, “I got it from you, mam’, ‘you do that to me every time’.

I was surprised, shocked even, really, how? I wanted to ask her but I kept quiet because it was so good to just have her talk so animatedly, sharing her life story, punctuating it with suggestions for me, a decade and a half older to her but still so unsure and lost…

We had a mixed meal of random items, then she asked, ‘so what do you do on Sundays?’

I said, ‘Like I do a lot of cleaning, scrubbing, rearranging, washing and stuff’. ‘Oh,’ she said mockingly, ‘what an interesting life you have’ and I blushed crimson in embarrassment!

‘There is a world outside your little universe of cleaning and scrubbing, go get ready to explore, travel, watch movies, read books, go’ she said, ‘I will ask you next time!’

I sighed thinking of what would I do without these souls of pure love and nodded my head not even able to thank her for her time and her timeless wisdom.

There is always a way, if you want to find it… hmm I thought to myself.

We find excuses only because we want the excuses even more than the way out! Strange then that we complain so much!

Ps: of friends and friendships!