Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A tale of two villages

1st October 1989; 11:45pm. In a tiny village called Sewagram, a girl was born..
20 years later... the very doctor who delivered her, now teaches her the very thing..
o ya! Every kid born to a doc in Sewagram, does the same.. Its like, God got bored of writing each one his individual destiny, so he did a "copy to all" for all of us!
I got over with my 2nd year universities some 15 days back, and the very next day, as if one village wasn't enough, our batch had to go to another village, Bhidi, to get "reoriented" in medical education..
But contrary to what you might be expecting of me, I loved it there! o yes! those 11 days had squeezed into themselves fun equivalent to an additive account of every tiny ounce of masti that I had had in a long time!
I can never forget those early morning quick baths.. those 10-15 people hunched over the serving table fighting over the just arriver rotis.. those kho-kho matches.. those late nights of chatting, singing, dancing, laughing.. those often unsuccessful attempts at staying awake while listening to the unending stories of national policies.. those everyday walks along the not-so-pleasant smelling streets.. those tries to ditch the clinics.. those Christmas carols, those smiles popped upon every face at the mere sight of a camera.. every single quarrel, every single joke, nothing, virtually nothing compares to what memories this village camp has left us with!
And it is here, in that tiny village of 3200 people and 12 hour power cut, that I understood that no matter where you are, no matter who you are, in the end it is always the people who matter.. it is here that I realized that my friends had become my family and that had made all the difference!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Traffic Theory

More than half the people around me have no idea what they are going to do with their lives as doctors. They are doing and will do what others are doing, what seniors have done. I justify it by what i like to call "the traffic theory".. it is just a psychology that comforts you and helps you stay calm in times of introspection.. what it says is that since everyone who took the road I am planning to had a swift bump-less ride.. so will I!
Its been two and a half years since i have been associated with this profession..
When in the first year, I found studying dull.. back then maybe it was the subjects...
In the second, things didn't improve as much as I would have hoped.. this time it wasn't the subjects.. of that I am sure..
and thats when I realized that doing anything that everybody else is.. or anything that is not out of ordinary made me lose interest.. and unfortunately most of what one does in life is just that.

So then you might think, alright.. maybe she'll like the 'dealing with the patients' part as it comes along.. talking to them, treating them... Umm.. Here comes the scary part.. I don't think I like that either! Then what the hell am I doing in medical school?? I honestly have no idea!
Saw a movie today.. Patch Adams.. a good one.. it was this movie that stirred up the two year old silently purring uncertainty about me going in for this field.. I have always sucked at connecting with people... so if a doctor is supposed to be what's been portrayed in the movie... I am in deep shit!
so i guess now my life seems like a big mess up haan?? something, that might make many freak out and fret over all the time? But you won't find me doing any of that.. u know why?
The traffic theory!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Turning Twenteen!

Tantrums, heart breaks and uncertainty... life licenses only six stupid years to yell, be unreasonable, misbehave, make mistakes and still be okay.. and as I move closer to the 1st of October, I find this right been snatched away from me right under my nose and there's nothing that I can do about it!!
As if God only wanted to make it clearer to me, that my period of 'no more a child- not an adult either!' ends this year, for the first time ever, I wont be celebrating my birthday at 12 am.. why?? exams! That's right! Instead of attending phone calls, dressing up, loving all the attention, all I'll get to do this year is face a bunch of microscopes, instruments, fluids and attempt to answer a bunch of teachers in pathology viva! Wow! Fancy haan?? Just about every person's ideal birthday!!

So that's how I slowly, unwillingly yet inescapably edge my way toward my twentieth birthday..

Those of you who've been through this might know what this feels like.. for those who still are in their teens... live up to what's expected of us! Because after nineteen... there is no twenteen!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Medicon o9!

A blue pen, a red bag, a gold momento.. all would hint toward my dad's return from another one of those 'conferences' .. Never really got what the fuss about all these meetings was.. So a bunch of docs come together, talk a lot, eat, everyone gets a token to remember the meeting and you come back home??
That's what i figured what conferences were till 24th of last month.

20th June 2009.. a group of twelve MB BS students from our college left for Mangalore. So finally I was going to get to see what a conference actually was. The organisers picked us up, accommodated us in their great hostels, and after a day of pre-conference workshops (which sucked by the way), the main event began.
I was there for an oral presentation on a research project that I was doing this year. The rest of my team also had such presentations. Students from many countries were here. India, China, Russia, Romania, Iran(!).. It was exciting to see so many students were into research, whatever the reason may be.. there were about 650 delegates! 480 of them were active presenters.

Vinay Kumar, a giant in pathology- coauthor of Robbins! Remember Kumar, Contran n co??Ya, he's the 'Kumar'. I met him! Got an autograph too! I attended one of his sessions. During which I learnt two important lessons:
1) stay focused.. work hard.. being sincere is not a crime
2) I can sleep no matter who's teaching!
Had my presentation the next day. I wasn't as nervous as I used to be before. and I won the session. Felt awesome! I was a hero that day.
After all the presentations were over the next day, they ended the conference that evening with another little function. As it turned out, I had stood 1st among all oral presenters too! Boy did it feel nice. I was ruling the show!
What more could I want from my first ever conference? An awesome beach time, a trip to the one of the most fascinating colleges in India, eleven unbelievably cool companions.
It couldn't have been better! Looking at what people are up to, getting to know how much in medicine is known, how much isn't, conferences are a way of letting your mind out of the comforting confines of your own college and going out there to see where you actually stand!

By the way, I got my own blue pen and red bag from Medicon.. only this time, they meant more!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Super Mario!

They say you have to have it in you to be a doctor...
Before we go on with deciding whether or not we have it in us, lets study the game..

The flowers, the rainbows and all things nice:

The fact that you are going to be a DOCTOR!!! Just imagine! How cool is that going to be!!

Plus, in M.B.B.S.,we have our exams every six months... thats it! Any part completion tests?? No! Any surprize class tests?? No! Any unexpected change of schedule and an oddly timed exam?? Again.. No! Life here is pre-planned, predictable. Its like a video game! Just go on passing through the levels.. one after the other and you will come out a winner. Maybe not in one shot.. but The Medical Council of India is in no hurry either! Take all the time you want.. You dont feel like it in 2009?? No problem sir! Lets give 2010 a shot! You think 2011'll be a lucky year??.. fine! Or maybe you might want to graduate with your son in say.. 2030?? Sure! Maybe it'll turn out to be a good thing after all.. I mean we all have our worries about the generation gap.. Throwing a joint graduation party might prove to be a plank helping you bridge it up a little! ;)

In the beginning, they show you trees, and flowers and butterflies.. basically everything that calms you down, keeps you in a great spirit... what they are really trying to do here is... they give you time to gear up, to be ready for what's about to come..

The obstacles, the monsters, the fireballs:

A month or two before the exam is havoc! The circadian rhythm (though it never held any meaning for me anyway) is broken; the 90% attendance that you kept all year long just to kill the time, which seemed amply available then, becomes your hibernation survival tool; even the tiniest of joys like watching a movie, grabbing an ice-cream, napping all day long... become the Mercedes you always dreamt of owning.. and you know you'll have it someday but not yet!

The life of a medico is no joke! What we face are not stupid creatures who vanish simply by jumping over them! We here face real danger and true torture...

Who can endure full one hour classes, eight to five, from teachers who are masters of spiritualism, law, environment, social service.. virtually everything that has absolutely nothing to do with their line of subject; in a language which seems a lot like English but at times makes you question your high school English teacher's credibility; and who are so sinfully boring and monotonous that you consider the prospect of poisoning them somehow just so the posterity lives safe and untouched by the sadism these teachers actually master!

Its not just the one hour that sucks the life out of you. Its the amount of physical labour that we put in during them that's draining! I mean I am sorry but my parents didn't implant a pendulum in my head that'll constant bob after every line of yours.. or I am sorry if I forget to laugh at every one of your 'jokes'.. I just don't get them! My sense of humour unfortunately isn't as sophisticated!

The worst part comes next... the girl sitting next to you is exactly what you are not, or what you have failed at doing so miserably! Highlighting your incapacity to nod along for 60 minutes and your utter disregard for the teacher's sense of humour, she'll portray a pendulum with unparalleled amplitude and giggle so violently at those 'jokes' that you are more often than not forced to question your state of orientation(or if put less gently, consciousness!).

You have to be a person of immense stamina and ambition, if you ask me.. to be a doctor!

If you think you have all this, you can smoothly totter your way into the succeeding levels without any introspection or regret.
And if you don't have it all.. O come on! Did you think I was going to give up and look for other career options!?? no way!
Cheat code?? Yeah baby! They themselves gave it to you!! Here it is...
Focus on the vision of you, ten years into the future, radiant, with an aura of brilliance and compassion speaking for itself, that no amount of head boggling or dramatic laughter can fetch you. Let this vision, of which you often dream(so what if its in those endless hours of lecturing!), do the trick! It works for me!
So no matter what you are, just play the game!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I am a true libran. Indecisive. Lost. Trying to balance opinions, seeing both sides of the story. And so, I am never sure of which way to go! 

I wish life was simpler.. I wish you could be spontaneous. But things don't work that way... 
I go through life one episode at a time.. There's no planning(stink at it!), am sure of nothing that could lie ahead...
My life's just like any other student's... classes, friends, movies and music.
And since my family's right here, there's no excitement of 'going back home!!' like many other students- another down regulating factor in the already not so exciting life! :(
I cannot hurt people and live with it... I m not comfortable talking about how I really feel about stuff either... my diary's helpful there..
Plus, I've always had trouble with the word 'no'.. I find it difficult saying it to people. And when I do, I don't really pull it off well. Things don't remain as pretty then on...
I love pets! love good food! And I find there's no bigger a turn on than a doc in the OT dress or a surgeon at work! 

Why Inertia?
If there is one constant aspect in my life, it would have to be this principle of fundamental physics. The tendency to resist any change! I love being set. In my cocoon, any attempt to disturb the equilibrium is frowned upon! 
Yep! That's me! :)