Thursday, May 14, 2009

The most important lesson I learnt..

During one of my the peripheral postings of internship, i had to report to local leprosy control center, which was located in a retired police officer's house. I was dot in time,the office was still closed. The octogenarian police officer welcomed me and offered a seat. His equally old domestic hep was moving around . I noticed he had varicose veins and edematous legs. The officer wanted to know how the varicose veins can be treated.I was fresh with my recently acquired knowledge started blurting out all the surgeries that be done for it.The old officer simply laughed and said "see for him the treatment is to tell him that he has to learn to live with it"..And after so many years i still hold it close to my heart that it was the greatest lesson I learnt in my entire medical career.Many a times that is the only valuable treatment people need, which we ourselves should understand and help them understand that they have to learn to live with whatever ailments they suffer from..

The Loser...

Mithu is desperate to have a child . She is married for 11 years now.Her first child was affected with thalassemia and even after lot of struggling through tests and blood transfusions they lost her at age 5. Testing revealed her to be heterozygote of Hb- Lepore and her husband beta thalassemia trait. She became pregnant almost immediately after losing her daughter.Almost at 7 months ,due to threatening advice from some one against trying to produce one more sick child ,the couple decided to terminate the pregnancy .The painful experience of an affected child was strong enough for them to decide against another pregnancy.As the years passed Mithu became a victim of of painful remarks for being childless ! She lives stranded between guilt and despair and now desperately trying for another child for quite some time .I assured her that it may just happen and not be worrying too much , and had to explain about the need for prenatal diagnosis .After a few months she did return with a positive pregnancy test ...

Why do people take desperate measures impulsively..!..Is it not due to ignorance and letting some body else decide for them. If we follow our hearts and listen to our soul, conscience will guide us to choose the right path. The result may be anything, but we will definitely be saved from life long guilt.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

You will be okay

Riju had fallen down from roof at the age of four and had suffered serious head injury. After two months of hospitalisation in a comatose state he had recovered but with significant neurological damage. As a sequelae he carries a right sided hemiparesis and subnormal intelligence.His parents have tried to follow whatever advice was given for improving the spastic right upper limb.They have sold whatever property they had ..and wherever they went he was asked to continue physiotherapy with the words.."he will be okay"...Today Riju is fifteen and signs of manhood showing up ..but still behaving like a child not making any progress in school .He being their only child they are worried too about his future..They want his right hand to straighten up and think that will end their worries a bit.It has been years since the accident and what he has now is a spastic limb with contractures.His parents had to be convinced that the chances of improving this limb is meager; and what he has to do is to train his son to do some job and concentrate on that.He has to learn to do something to earn a living. The spastic limb and a subnormal intelligence will be there always and he has to live with it. In the pursuit of straightening the limb they should not waste more time and resources.Being in this rural area its hard to find a nearby rehabilitation center; so it's upto his father to take the responsibility of training. His father said Riju had shown interest in holding a brush and tried painting already and felt he can teach him to do that. He thanked saying he felt lighter as that was all he wanted to know ; he did not want to feel guilty for not doing enough for his son,and left with hope in his eyes ,and determination in his heart with the feeling that now his son will be okay.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The principal and the rickshawala

After my MBBS i was back to Tambaram , to start my PG entrance preparations . I had some applications to be submitted after attestation by a gazetted officer.I thought it will be a good idea to be back to my school, and meet the Principal. I was happy to go back and felt it was worth thanking the institution from where I had started ...With a file in my hand I entered the Principal's room after getting her permission and was just shocked at the way she welcomed me! She just saw files in my hand, asked whether i wanted attestation and straight shouted at me for wasting her precious time !!She did not even let me speak . The lady holding pillars of "education" demonstrated qualities which I guess any educated person should be ashamed of.

The PGI entrance was over. I had done very well and was confident in getting the seat of my choice after the year long hard preparation. But due to some misfortune , my friend , with whom i did the final part of the preparation, decided to return to Delhi without waiting for the results .The idea was to return to Chandigarh if successful.A third party was made to call us and inform about the result which was supposed to be published the same evening.Next day at 10 am the person called and informed that I had a good rank and the counseling will be at 1 PM. I started from Delhi all alone by bus and after a series of traffic problems managed to reach Chandigarh at 5 PM. The counseling was over...the seats filled up and I had lost it !..I met the Director but he asked me to come back for DM..!I felt lost.Had really worked hard for a year to get the seat! It was almost 7 PM and quite dark. There was no way I could return to Delhi. I had to spend the night in Chandigarh, all alone. I asked a rickshawala to take me to some hotel..After a bit of searching he took me to one.The place was empty , with only the manager and a waiter.They gave me a room. I asked the rickshawala to come at 7 AM and drop me in the bus stand the next day .I needed to wash off my despair ,and after a bath ordered dinner. I was wondering , here I am in a place where no one knows my whereabouts. If someone kills me , no one will come to know. I felt totally cut off from the world.The rickshawala was my only link . I was tired and slept off..It was a hard day...

There was a knock ..I saw the time .It was 5.45 ..The rickshawala was calling me. I opened the door..He appeared relieved. He said he was very worried about me , and had not slept the whole night.He just could not wait any longer to see that I was okay..

..And I believed in angels.Here he was an illiterate fellow, a total stranger who still cared.I did not mind losing the seat..I had gained something more valuable,a memorable experience .

I wonder,..what is the purpose of education ? To let you develop so much self importance that you do not treat another person as human ! Or the lack of such "education" preserves the basic qualities which make you human.

When I lost my child

I waited for my yet unborn child,
Dreaming with determined patience,
Perhaps he will be a supernova,
Radiating his brilliance:

I failed the test of time,
Now only breathe in desperation,
Not supernova but a black hole,
On his path to own destruction.

Left with no words to say,
I stand in mute testimony,
Even my eyes have run dry,
My heart full of agony.

Why did I fail?
Why did time defy?
With a thorn in my heart.
I understand why !

Whenever he looked up at me,
With curiosity filed in his eyes,
Didn't I stop him abruptly ,
Trying to show my wise?

Did I let him feel the softness of life,
But my heart full greed,
And my eyes blind by hatred,
I turned away from his innocent need,

Could I provide him a home,
Where he could grow without fear ?
But where only uncertainties prevail,
Destruction always seeming near.

Did I give him freedom,
To dream and to choose ?
I only made him a victim ,
Of my own fancies and woos.

I never tried to understand him,
Listen to what he has to say,
But forced him always,
To follow my reckless way.

I made him a prisoner,
With no say but expectation,
Born were the seeds of self-contempt,
Hatred and Frustration,

I stole his years from him,
In a frantic dream of fame,
I turned him into a criminal,
It's only me to blame !!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Defeating AIDS

Ajmira's husband died of AIDS four and a half years ago leaving a 6 month old daughter and the burden of HIV with her. She was even unaware of his diagnosis.His parents and brothers kept it hidden from her.It was her sister and brother-in law, who suspected it and got her tested for HIV, which turned out to be positive.She now stays with them, leaving her HIV negative baby with her in laws. They had taken all pains to take her to the School of tropical medicine in Kolkata for further evaluation and treatment. She was started on anti retroviral treatment , but the supply of medicines hasn't been regular.In spite of the trouble of taking frequent leaves and attending the over crowded OPD most of the times without any benefit, facing rude hospital staff , they have not abandoned her or got dejected either.They are ready for the course of actions required by the disease.AIDS might be consuming her in some way , but has certainly got defeated by love. .

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Mr Biswajit Pal , a carpenter by profession had stopped working months ago when he was diagnosed having coronary artery disease. He had suddenly felt uneasy while working few months ago..then a series of tests had assigned him that diagnosis and with that a morbid fear of dying.After months of antidepressants and a bit of pep up talk he returned with a gift , a table to keep my files.He said he has returned to his work,and has got back to all his old customers.Thank God ! after all the purpose of any treatment is put them back from where they deviated.

Monday, March 23, 2009

B U R D E N ...

Sahana is 47 years old and suffers from cerebral palsy, a result of home delivery without any supervision.Her mother has 5 normal children subsequently , but Ajmira remains a baby forever, bedreidden , unable to do anything for herself.Totally dependent on her mother and brothers .They brought her for poor appetite and fever that has been there for quite some time. She had urinary infection, poor lung function due to kyphoscoliosis, recurrent bouts of aspiration pneumonia,anemia..overall in poor health. The brothers were ready to bear any expense to see their elder sister smiling again and responding affectionately to them..Her incapacity has never been a burden to them in spite of their not so well to do status.They wanted her to stay with them and share their love...

Twenty five year old Shahul's life is totally out of control as per his parents. His father left his flourishing diamond business in Mumbai and returned to set his son's life right. He had taken to the "fast " life there, getting into probable drug addiction.They had attempted sending him to a rehabilitation center , without any permanent improvement . He does not listen to them, steals money and keeps popping pills , wanders around, shouts at them. does not show any interest in his father's business. His father was so desperate that he wished his son dies instead of being such a burden !

Thursday, March 19, 2009


True love is like the sky,
Open and uncompelling,
Frees the mind.

True love is like the sea,
Deep and persistent,
With immense beauty.

True love is like the breeze,
Calm and soothing,
Gives eternal peace.

True love is like the earth,
Strong and protecting,
Tolerant of all hurt.

True love is like the fire,
Warm and comforting,
Liberates from desire.

But there's no element like love,
No sense can perceive,
Gives meaning to all above.

The Language Barrier..

Initially i thought i will take a long time getting used to conversing with patients in Bengali..i was worried that i might blurt out in Tamil, after so many years of eliciting history and explaining prognosis in that language.In fact patients too had expressed their concerns that they may have to talk to me in English as i had always stayed "outside".But to my surprise i had no hesitation with the language.There was no single instance of blurting out a Tamil word , no word finding difficulty ever..I could talk to them as fast as i am known to speak!.Every instance , every complaint, every worry , every loss, ,every desire ,every word of hope, trust or faith is just the same .Language never came in between expressing these feelings.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Our lives are like that of ,
the little four winged creatures,
born in a state of complete ignorance,
Slowly we grow like the wriggling forms,
Which know only to feed,
their voracious appetite.

Such are we strangled ,
in the net of desires,
our lives revolving only
around their fulfillment.
Need we be out of this adolescence,
and enter a stage of maturity,
when no longer we linger to fulfill;

The insect builds a cocoon around,
and draws within,
To metamorphose into freedom.
Out of the cocoon emerges a butterfly,
To sip the nectar of truth
in the garden of creation.
finding it as if by chance,
As the realization of truth is mostly sudden,
Needed only a devoted effort,
Till the breath remains...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Circle of life...

My lost son...

Mrs M is suffers from depression for quite a long time, and it all dates back 16 years ago when she lost her first child , her new born son . She has two daughters and a caring husband but she is unable to come out of her shell even with medications.She still broods day and night over the son .
Mrs S 's problems are something different .She has severe osteoarthritis of her knees .But not all the agony stems from that alone, Her daily torture begins as both her sons whom she is living with do not even allow her to use their toilets as it will fill up the sump ! So when does the suffering ever end !

Saturday, February 21, 2009


In the eternity of time...

Lay there the vast expanse
waiting to witness forever
The black darkness above,
Even the stars can't cover;

The roaring sea sending waves
Fall back with a whimper
The wind hissing and blowing the dust
Time wrapped in its whisper,

The gibbous moon peeks behind the cloud
looks down at me with a smile
but such contempt ,such mockery
I feel empty and volatile;

I lay there like a shed leaf
Whose life from birth to death
In the eternity of time
Is no longer than half a breath ;

Why then i want to rule
and take the world in my hand?
Never I was and never i will
be more than a miniscule of sand!

( the eternity of time..)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Past , Present & Future...

Today these 3 patients taught me something very fundamental..!


Mr. Momin had always feared crossing the shaky bridge to reach his son's place..He had been gripped with fear every time he even thought of crossing it...and after a few months of medical treatment he overcame that fear..but alas his son had left home after an altercation,...and there had been no news from him for long..Mr Momin just wished the bridge to be back..And suddenly during the interview he got a call from the lost son which he had to cut short ;... he was quite troubled after that and sort of left in a hurry. I just wish he gets another call soon and the bridge builds up again. However far or near we are from those who are dear, what matters are the bridges between our hearts which make us feel that we are being thought of and cared for.

Celebrating life

Biswaroop came for his monthly vincristine dose..he is a remarkable child,..and his parents too who have taken their 4 year old son's acute leukemia so well..They are a bit
worried about his being excessively mischievous, as if trying to have all the joy of being without any fear,enjoying the freedom,..of being let loose as far as the imagination can take..!His parents too enjoy his activities to the fullest..Perhaps they show us one truth..Whatever may come to is only one and very every moment as it comes...and don't waste any of it thinking of what will happen next..!


Tapasi returned with relapse a month after her marriage . She is trying to manage her new life with her arthritis .Her grandma got her married hiding the illness, and she keeps the medicines hidden under the bed.Her stock got over and she could not procure them for a week .She managed to return to her grandma hiding her pain .Now the grandma is worried about the consequences..! The revelation, the rejection and burden !
Who is to blame for this..! Disease , poverty or the human mind that always lives in fear of what is to come...!