Tuesday, August 30, 2011

General practitioner....The vanishing Breed

Heart Specialist...E.N.T.Specialist...Ortho Specialist...Skin Specialist.....you name any organ or part of your anatomy and you have a specialist for it.They are the super doctors,very difficult to access for their appointment schedules are always overflowing. They charge a bomb as their fees and mostly patients return zapped with out completely understanding what has happened to them and not having the courage to question the Specialist...how dare they ask a specialist?

In turn the Specialists will see all your examination reports and prescribe accordingly. Many medicines will have some sort of side effects ,which would not be talked of by the Dr. before,things that can be easily managed. For instance having loose motions or nausea etc that can be taken care by simple medicines preventing the extra discomfort to the patient. But the specialist will not suggest them for he is the master of only one organ in the body...the rest do not fall under his purview.How sadly ridiculous.

Till some time back we had General practitioners who would be there to treat all possible ailments of our body. He would examine you totally , ask all related questions and then prescribe for a comprehensive solution ,taking care about all the possible side effects.You could talk about a small boil on your back even though you have gone to him for fever. He would deal with both. You ask a specialist the same, he would instruct you to go to a skin specialist. Then you are running around with 2-3 small problems to 2-3 specialists ,none of whom is interested beyond his area of specialisation.Sad Sad Sad.

Yesterday I was shocked again by the callousness of these medical specialists. No where else but in our capital Delhi, a maid working for a dear friend of mine ,was taken ill.She had some swelling below her eye and she was taken to a Dr. who gave her antibiotics. The medicines showed no results...the problem continued , in fact the swelling increased...she started having fever ...the Dr. kept on increasing the doses and for almost 3 weeks ,inspite of taking medicines the poor girl was in a bad shape. Meanwhile she was taken to an Eye specialist , E.N.T. specialist ...they said nothing was wrong in their specified areas. So the girl came back under the purview of another surgeon. Suddenly while talking to my father , who is a general practitioner in Kanpur,over the phone I told him the plight of this poor girl and my helpless friend. As soon as I told him the beginning of the problem and antibiotics not working for the first few days ..he asked me if all blood tests were done. He said she seems to have some kidney problem so she must have a kidney function test done .

I conveyed the same to my friend and when she took the girl to the Dr. requesting for the kidney test he said that yes the girl could have something to do with the kidney and she should be hospitalised in AIIMS or Safdarjung hospital for the treatment would be a long drawn process. He then suggested that she should be sent back to her village for who would be ready to shoulder this grave a responsibility?

So many specialists could neither suggest nor diagnose something so grave in a girl who was in front of them and a general practitioner over the phone ,without seeing the girl makes the diagnosis.

What do we say? The specialists are not M.B.B.S.? Of course they are ,only after that they specialise. So have they forgotten their basics in medicine? Or is it they are interested only in one part of the body..they refuse to see the patient as a whole ? Or are there no ethics what so ever left in the so called torch bearers of a noble profession?Or is it that a poor girl did not require the best out of them?

I am clue less...will anyone provide me with some answers please?

Monday, August 29, 2011


''Thank you madam,for the bat and ball that you sent for Aman. He is so so happy'' came the sweet innocent voice of Surekha ,over the phone. I could feel her immense joy and I felt the warmth of her love and gratitude for me. I spoke to a few other people out there and disconnected the phone. They were people of the OmaSila staff , the hotel in Ladakh where we stayed.Every one sounded so happy to get that call from me. I smiled contently to myself.

They were sweet warm people at the hotel. One morning I stepped out into the garden to find a red cheeked adorable 5 year old running across playing hide n seek with his mother,who worked as a maid in the hotel . As he ran past me ,I caught him and asked him his name. ''Aman'' came the prompt reply filled with gurgling laughter.''You go to school'' I asked to which he nodded in affirmation.''Which class '' ''1vth ''pat came his reply. Before I could say anything his mother came and corrected him saying ''junior k.g.madam''''he likes to feel grown up so he makes up the class. Aman was not happy with this revealation ,but could do nothing but hide into the folds of his mother's dress.

I would get to meet him off and on ,running, playing laughing. I simply loved his laughter. It was very infectious. One day on our return to the hotel, we found him playing cricket with a few children,most of them guests. A girl slightly older to him was on strike and my Aman was the fielder. I stood watching for some time. Suddenly I could see anger writ on Aman's face,,,on enquiring he muttered that how the girl was being unfair by not accepting to be out a number of times. Aman could not say much to the guest child. What could I do ...I started off for our room. My husband offered to join the team so stayed back. Suddenly there was a cry ...I turned back ....the batsman stood there with the broken handle of the bat and Aman was inconsolable. He ran away to his room ,sobbing.

I was very disturbed. Poor thing ...it was not even a proper bat. It was handmade from a piece of wood and that too was broken.My heart went out for Aman. I wanted a bat for him ...now. We were to go for a stroll to the market and I had made up my mind. Jhumi and my husband would stop to admire the various pretty things in the shops but my eyes were searching for a bat.Jhumi could make out that my mind was elsewhere. She asked me what was the matter. I then told them what I was looking for. Both of them immediately said then that is what we all should be looking for. We searched everywhere ,but to my utter dismay could not find a single toy shop. Disappointed we came back. Next morning we were leaving Leh for Delhi. I left some money with Aman's mother to buy him a bat ,and with that bit of disappointment we returned to Mumbai.

Suddenly one day Jhumi asked me if Istill wanted to send a bat for Aman. Her friend was to make a trip to Leh. I immediately said''yes yes''.Jhumi's friend was going from Bangalore. Very sweetly he bought a bat and a ball ,carried it all the way to Leh and delivered it to Aman's mother.I had called them up today and this is what she was thanking me for.

Aman is all over my heart. Playing Aman, doubling with laughter Aman, sprawled on the lobby chair immersed in watching Tom and Jerry Aman....now my heart is at peace imagining the look of joy on the little Aman's face on seeing the cricket bat and ball. I can erase the crying face of Aman happily from memory now.

May God always bless this sweet child ....Aman.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ladakh Magic

I let out a gasp when I saw John Abraham drving through mountains. Could there be a real place like that?I had gone to watch a movie' Paap' with Nishi and returned smitten by the location of the story -Ladakh. I was so overwhelmed by the beautiful locations in the movie that it soon became my Dream location.Dream yes, because honestly I never thought that I could really ever visit the place. It seemed too distant. The pictures remained in my memory.

Our son got married and he and his wife went there for a holiday and he came back with such descriptions that fuelled my wish again.So this summer my husband ,our daughter and myself went for a holiday to Ladakh.

The first glimpse of the mountain peaks from the aircraft was breathtaking. Little did I imagine that it was just the beginning. The landing was so amazing...the wings of the craft seemed huge ,carefully manoeuvering through the jagged mountain tops to sit slowly on to a cute little airspace. Leh looked like a small aangan surrounded by huge mountains from all sides.The magic had begun and we reached our hotel.

The hotel was very pretty ,with such vibrant coloured flowers on it's terrace. The people were very sweet and warm. You just feel that Time is standing still.It is such a different kind of peace that set on me,one that I had never experienced before. Nature has always had the power to move me. I am so easily in awe of Nature. Ladakh just bowled me over neatly. The landscape was overpowering ,the roads felt like unending and leading to almost Heaven if there is one. I just would gape at the mountains, the valleys, the landscape and wonder how very insignificant I was in front of them...I was nothing....I could be swallowed , crushed by any of it without leaving a trace of myself that I happily carry around. There is a network problem so we all were totally cut off from the rest of our so called world.

One more thing that I treasure about the trip apart from the sheer beauty of the place is the time I got to spend with our daughter. Jhumi had been away from home for the past 4 years....those ten days we were just the 3 of us in that magnificient lap of Nature.I got to have so much of her ...we would just talk or sit silently through the beautiful journey all day long. I so so cherish each moment in my heart for I do not know if or when we get so close again. I may sound stupid ,but the lack of modern communication was the supportive reason for this...no phone so we all could just be with each other.

I want to talk about the experience more than describing the place. I have no words to describe it....we travelled to almost all parts of Ladakh...breathtakingly beautiful lakes,snow,river,desert,valley I could go on and on. We passed through a so pretty place name Giamori....it looked like a fairy land...just out of the Grimms' Fairy Tales....red and green rocks and mountains with the springly river streaming through it just was a fairy land.

For me the place is unearthly and above all very very humbling. It is the only place so far which has had this strange trance over me. Generally when ever I feel happy I start humming ,singing. I was sure of spending a lot of time singing my favourite songs here but I couldnt believe the feeling that much as I tried not a single song could I utter.

I was probably totally speechless in my mind.
This was one new unexpected experience for me.


Yesterday I saw Rakesh getting up from the drawing room and going to the balcony . I knew he had gone there to smoke. He could not fight it any more and had totally failed in quitting it. I , had done what ever I could to help him and now I had accepted my limitations. Rakesh could read my face and asked me to voice my thoughts. I refused to do so and when he asked for the reason I told him that unfortunately by rejecting my extended hand ,he has taken away the right from me to accept his. He just looked at me helplessly and smiled.

I spoke about the incidence at home today so my daughter said that how could I be so harsh and serious about such a thing?I dont understand ,much as I d want to.For me caring, sharing,loving ,understanding all these are synonymes. I understand the inability to share , the helplessness but I assosiate all these to unclarity of thoughts, lack of total faith of being understood,or ones own conflicts and insecurities.

I always have given a face to different words or at least some of them. They are visuals for me. It is so may be because I have given a lot of my mind and heart to understand them and then use them to form an image. May be people do not like to do so , to be so clear with words and expressions....but I do not know any other way of communication. For me life is sacred, beautiful,priceless so I take lots of efforts to give shape to life. I am always ready to go any number of miles for the people who make my life ,so I do not understand what is to be serious or non serious.For me it is only the truth.

I believe that we need very strong relationships as pillars in our lives. The strength is how much we work on them, value them and it does not happen overnight. It is an ongoing process. What ever way it shapes generally does not change diametrically unless we hammer the structure down. So for me there should be betterment and growth in relationships signifying the right amount of work being done on them , anything otherwise should be disturbing.

We are all humans. We tend to err.But we should aim at learning too.This learning is only growing up and Communication proves to be a very effective tool to learning.

Can we describe the warm joyous feel that engulfs us at the times we feel understood?At the time we feel we understand?This is the priceless rewards of learning the so very difficult art of Communication.How beautiful it is to think that you can speak your heart out to the people you love for you believe that they understand you,for they too do the same.

Communication is always a two-way thing. By rejecting the outstretched hand of your loved one you take away the right unknowingly from the same person of holding on to yours at the time of his/her need too. It is either a mutual gain or a mutual loss. That is what I had told Rakesh yesterday.
I do not understand why do people not see the happiness, contentment that are the fruits of Communication.
I wish this art to all my loved ones and also to the not loved ones...in short I wish it to all.

Soul Mate

It was the same everyday ,now for the last two months. Sushil silently dropped his axe on the ground and stood behind the Banyan tree.His gaze was fixed adoringly on the girl who was busy tending to her cattle ,bathing them in the flowing stream and then leaving them to graze after which she nestled herself under the big Ashoka tree. She opened her small cloth bag and took out some sheets of paper and a pen and settled down to write immersed in a world of her own.

Sushil was a silent spectator all these days. He would watch her face,changing colours ,such a wide range....he marvelled at the purity and sweetness of that face and would spend all those hours drowning himself in the magic of his new found love that sat in front of him ,oblivious to his presense.She would seem to spend hours writing something ...then she would go away with her herd to where she came from.

Today also was the same when suddenly something caught Sushil's eye.A snake slithered from somewhere ,towards the object of his silent love.Sushil jumped out and that scared the intruder away. The girl was startled and stood staring at Sushil.Conversation began and in no time the girl was aware of the love Sushil felt for her. Her name was Amrita.She lived in a near by village and unlike all the other girls of her age , she loved to read and write. She was self taught, enough to write poetry and short stories.She would finish all the household chores early in the morning and then would spend the day doing what she loved, writing.Sushil came from a different village. He was a wood cutter and looked after his parents and two sisters.

Soon things changed. Amrita would look forward to her forest trips. She would read out her poetry to Sushil. She would read out her stories to him . Sushil would sit in front of her with all his love and adoration in his eyes,all ears to what ever she said.He had not much to speak.Amrita kept waiting for the magical moment when Sushil would profess his love and pour out his heart in front of her . She kept waiting waiting and waiting. Sushil never spoke.

One day ,Amrita could not take it any more. She asked Sushil to be forthright and speak up. Sushil stood there ,helpless and silent. Next day Amrita found a note stuck to the bark of the Ashoka tree under which she sat everyday. The note was from Sushil and it said that he thought Amrita was too accomplished,too beautiful for him, so he disappeared.

Amrita was shocked. She could not understand this love. Was everyday of the past so many months, then was not love? She had given her heart and soul but apparently they were not accepted,they were lost somewhere ,they were rejected. She could make no sense of anything. She was shattered. She was rejected for being beautiful, accomplished? Were they not supposed to be desirable and sought after qualities in a person?

Amrita is lost in her thoughts. She looks carefully into the mirror. A wrinkled face,thick glasses and snow white hair...she managed to get back to her armchair with the help of her stick and sinking into it thought...would I be accepted now as your love , your friend , your soul mate....now that I am no more too beautiful or too accomplished?It still mattered.....