Bits From Life, doctor, Life is such, Mid Week Quests, New life, Uncategorized

Doc Diaries #1 – Mid Week Quests

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When we met last, I was babbling about my future prospects, the first baby steps of which were to be taken last week and sans hesitation, let me say that it was taken, on a warm note to my relief too. Although, one way or the other, I have been serving the Government for the past few years, as an intern first and as a resident later, this is the first time I feel that I have been imbibed into the otherwise enclosed and privileged terrain, without the constraints of time and bond limiting my stay. Am I happy that I have had a taste of what it feels like to be secured by the promise of a job for life? Yes.  But as they say, the fact cannot be denied that I still have miles to go before I sleep and the sheer rawness of the undeniable truth keeps me from relaxing at this juncture. My eyes are set on higher studies, one that will consolidate the professional in me.

The job is in another district, to reach where I have to travel for around 2to 3 hours. The place is calm and serene, as far as I have seen. But you know, a doctor confronts bloodshed and goriness day in and day out. They are mostly the first halt for assaults and medico legal cases, especially the ones serving Government hospitals and there in surface the darkest and depressing facets of the place we serve. One cannot judge a place by what we see in a quick glance. The undercurrents are mostly hidden, like the massive, albeit inconspicuous chunk of the iceberg wallowing beneath the surface of the ocean.

Sadly, there is absolutely no place to stay there, particularly for a few kilometers around the hospital premises and because of that I am forced to adjust my duties in a way that will let me commute for work in a comfortable manner, thanks to the colleagues who understand the wariness of the situation. 

As far as the commute is concerned, I get to travel a lot by train. And undoubtedly, I am delighted in that regard as well although I have never much travelled far and long for my job almost on a daily basis before. If you haven’t heard about the speciality of train journeys through Kerala before, the best way to imbibe the raw beauty of Kerala is to travel by train, a fact vouched by any tourist who has travelled the length and breadth of the state. The cold rush of breeze against the hair, the warm motes of sun settling on the inviting skin, the evocative and enticing sights of nature and the thrill of being on the move imbibing the nuances of life, both from within and from around sound insatiable indeed. 

Even when the matters were almost settled in my mind and heart, the first ever duty that I took in the hospital gave me reasons to worry. Because of the adjustments, I was to take a straight 19 hour duty, which I thought would be, if not a cake walk, at least doable with the amount of experience that I had in medical colleges where we serve for up to 36 hours once a week. Somehow, here, there was a seamless flow of patients, granting me little time to rest. The variety of cases that arrived left me astonished too. There was never a plateau phase as far as the depth of the cases were concerned.

After the duty, even though I had barely two hours of sleep, I found myself all peppy, happy and satiated. Having had my breakfast, smiling, I took an auto to the railway station and waited there singing a song and clicking photographs of the deserted station, sipping from a cold drink in between. But the vibrant time was not to last long. The train was supposed to come by 10.00 and there was no sign of the train even one hour after that. I was all sweaty and tired, my hair was shaggy and ruffled and I could sense distressing drops of perspiration starting to collect on my skin for the hot weather and my dreary body. On top of that, to make matters worse, the inevitable migraine kicked in mercilessly. Needless to say, I was a bundle of havoc  in no time. Before things got out of my hand and made me swoon, the train arrived, trundling in its own pace and I got in and settled without much ado. I came back home and slept 5 hours straight in broad daylight, much to the awe of my parents.

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Now that I realised I cannot trust that train, I have changed plans so that the dark episode wouldn’t happen a second time. Nevertheless, I am content that I am working and am hopeful that the initial hiccoughs would part ways, soon and forever. One learns along the way, isn’t it so? However old a person turns, he or she would still have so much to learn from the pages of life. Even though it is too early on the path to state affirmatively, I have a hunch that the following days would be liberating, both with regard to my inner professional and personal space. 

The last one week has been so utterly a busy one that I missed my Mid Week Quests, although, it should be stressed that I truly have been on one of the worthiest quests of my life. Seven days of weariness and the whole routine is threatened to be toppled down headfirst onto the ground. But I don’t think there is a reason to worry as long as something good is happening along the way. I can always write when I am settled. I can always catch up on my reading the next free day.

 One cannot live forever, relishing the gifts of life. Sometimes we need to strive hard to make those gifts attainable forever; simply that one needs to be sensible enough to realise when to draw the line and take rest to recharge.

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Now reading, mostly in train:  The Cosmopolitan by Anjum Hassan.

 

P.S: This post is tagged with Mid Week Quests, a sub section of this blog where I write on a Wednesday, about random nuggets from my life .

Bits From Life, Books, Life is such, Mid Week Quests, New life, Passion, Uncategorized

At Crossroads – Mid Week Quests

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A part of my collection at home

Life has it that, it needs to smother us with torrents of sorrows at one time, but to exhilarate us with thickets of joy at the others. Just last week, I was lamenting about the humdrum that persisted in my professional life owing to serious setbacks at the administration front and merely at the start of this week, I am bombarded with alluring choices as to how to take forward my professional life. It so happens that I am not yet done with my higher studies- Another two year would be a boon when it comes to my professional skills, I being in a surgical speciality. Nevertheless, I received the appointment order for a permanent Government job this week, out of an interview that was conducted a couple of years back. There are a few worries about taking up the same, but there are things to rejoice as well.

My parents are overjoyed with the unexpected turn of events much more than me. They think I should grab the job sans any delay, but still make sure that my concentration suffers no aberration from the higher studies dream wheel I am manoeuvring. For doctors, a government job after serving residency means steady working hours and options to relax in between, during the night off days and week off days, although we do have to serve 24hour duties every week or so. The environment is blissfully different, although only relatively, from the residency period, when the resident is supposed to available in the hospital, either in person or as on call duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 365 days a year.

Residency days witnessed the slow demise of my creativity. I have no regrets, for it died or rather went into hibernation for a noble cause. I see it as more of a sacrifice, which deserves praise, let alone disturbing and remorseful stares. The books that I had so wishfully bought to be read, soon was drowned in an ocean of the academic text books. I abandoned my efforts to seek a muse for there were direr matters at hand imploring my attention and service. I even believed, assertively, to an extent that I would never ever write again in my life and that my passion would remain buried in a deserted, enclosed pit forever. However much I tried to focus on the pages of a novel, I could hardly make myself drag my eyes for more than a few pages at a time. Although, all the while, a feeble voice had been muttering in the back of my mind that the phase should pass soon. Yet, somehow man tends to ignore the forecasts of the soul sometimes and find an inexplicable, mysterious joy in the heinous task of rubbing the salts of apprehension on the still oozing wound. Not much of a ghastly wound when it comes to the scenario I just described, but, an aching abrasion for sure the unappetising emotion was. 

I assumed mine was an isolated case of reader’s block, until yesterday when one of my dearest friends confessed that she was encountering a similar situation, her life being chock a block with the formidable, implicit and explicit responsibilities of residency. She also added that a day without reading a book always felt incomplete for her. How true!

It so turns out that for me, spring hastily follows winter, however long the stone cold era might be. The period of parchment the bibliophilic section of my mind and heart is accustomed to, if the atmosphere transforms to a more favourable one, is without much delay followed by an entirely enriching experience. I know that this endearing halt on my journey has to be considered as an oasis, for the days of sheer bliss( concerning the reader in me, for the doctor in me feels blessed every minute of the day with or without books) are not to last long.

From there ensue the cascade of acts that any bibliophile could relate to- Buying dozens of books online/offline and savouring them back to back, all the while snuggling onto the couch, munching on crispy chips punctuated with sips of tea or coffee. This has happened to me occasionally before too- During my Summer vacations back in school, after my Medical entrance, on year end breaks in college, after my post graduate entrance and now recently, after my post graduate university exam.

The bittersweet truth is even when I pine to get hold of a book; I fear it would be hard to fall back on my habit of reading after a long hiatus. Inertia sometimes take a toll on me, but once I overcome that marshy patch, things start to glide fast smoothly.

Coming back to my soon-to-be posted job, if I dissect it to shreds there are several pros and cons:

Pros:

  1. There is nothing new to be learnt to perform the job (Now that is one good thing about being a doctor. You are trained to act according to the circumstances, however mind numbing those might be)
  2. I would be ‘working’ after a monotonous gap of five months.
  3. I hope to read and write, now that I am officially a medical officer, and not a surviving medical student.
  4. Reasonable amount of leisure time

Cons:

  1. I would have to shift to the rural terrains of another district.
  2. I would miss the comforts of my home.
  3. I wouldn’t particularly be using the skills I acquired through my post graduation for the time being. But surely, after a while it would happen.

I look forward to penning down a post after I embark on the new job. A whole new list of pros and cons might welcome me there, who knows.

For the time being, I am relishing my much sought after time with books. I am relieved that I reclaimed my habit and to consolidate the same, I signed up for the Goodreads Reading Challenge too for a goal of 50 books in 2016. I long to read more than that, but one never knows how the days turn out to be in my profession. I have had a lot of book talks this week- with my friend whose words echoed my thoughts, with an upcoming author on his debut and right when I thought it was going to end, I received a courier carrying the books I had ordered online last week, stirring in me the flame to write this post for this week’s Mid Week Quests. I am leaving you all with a picture of my latest assets. Posing suavely alongside is the cutest, cuddliest, sleepy little gem who is my writing companion these days.

Ogle as much as you want, but do leave behind your own stories surrounding books. Do you go on a reading spree like me when you finally earn the time? Have you too weighed out the pros and cons enroute a new job? Do you suffer creativity-block yourself when accosted with duty calls ?

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There is not a thing I don’t love in this picture!

 

P.S: This post is tagged with Mid Week Quests, a sub section of this blog where I write on a Wednesday, about random nuggets from my life .

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Bits From Life, Life is such, Mid Week Quests, New life, Uncategorized

Being Personal – Mid Week Quests

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Image Source: here

This blog was born out of a misery. A misery which was capable enough to shake the earth beneath me. A helpless and distraught me found respite in the blank canvas that lay invitingly before me on this glaring monitor. It has been close to eight years since I started blogging. The blog started off as a niche where I jotted down random posts that niggled in the depths of me, desperately pleading thereby to let them out. I wrote my first ever piece of poetry, not on a ragged piece of paper or on the blank pages of my notebook when I was a child; I wrote that on an MS Word document and copied it onto my blog, but when I was 20. This blog has taught me many a thing, but more than that, somewhere on the trail, it shrouded itself the cloak of an archaeologist and started excavating the hidden chambers in the gurgling innards of me. I discovered a part of me that lay buried in an abandoned corner, waiting to be unearthed someday, before it was too late.

Around two years into the journey, the concept of blogging in me underwent a drastic change. I started eyeing blogging as an exercise I could undertake to polish my writing skills without depending on anyone. It seemed to me the perfect way to test the strength, durability and flexibility of my writing. Undoubdtedly, the opinions of my readers acted as an essential inspiration all along, to keep experimenting and to try out fresh avenues on the wide pedestal of writing. And that was how I started writing stories in this space. Over the time, this blog changed shades and metamorphosed into, more than anything else, a creative blog. Snippets of my personal life and accounts of my hitherto unspoken emotions dwindled with time.

Over the past few weeks, I have been having a recurrent thought as to why I stopped peeking into the individual in me to lend voice to the forgotten cadence chirping shyly somewhere inside.  I have been busy dissecting the many fictitious characters, that I was never implored to infuse life into the multifarious hues that lay redundant in me.

Talking of personal blogs, I am tempted to confide in you a couple of vagaries too, that in a way, acted as the implicit prompt for this post. These might sound insignificant, or perhaps even undeserving to be encouraged, owing to its silliness. But I do have to let it out, to attain respite from the consistent disturbing urge to speak out the heart’s dilemmas. To put it simply,

  • Is it necessary that each and every post I write in this blog, or for that matter, any blogger writes in his/her blog ought to highlight a particular message?
  • Should it always speak of something that satiates the interests of the readers?
  • Should it always garner comments aplenty?

I personally love to read blog posts that are written from the heart.  I may not always have words to express how I felt for the writer when I read those, but I sure hold those accounts close to my heart. And it was when I thought it that way, that it struck me that blogging needn’t always be about the readers. At times, it should also be about satisfying the writer in you; let it be through pointless rambling speeches, introspective posts, stories, poignant poems, or however else it may be.

On a very positive note, I have decided to not unnecessarily chain this blog with reins any more. This blog shall have everything till the time I decide to wrap it up sans a return journey– Stories, poems, reviews, random musings and photographs- Everything that touches my heart, everything that I would want to segregate and have etched in this space in black and blue, so that they would have a soul of their own to realise that they are to look deep in my eyes and smile when I feel the inevitable need to reminisce. This space ought to be and would be a hint to what I am in the inside. 

Also, I shall strive hard to keep posting regularly in ‘Mid Week Quests’. I have started liking this section of blog the most. Now, after writing this post, I have the inkling that in 2016, this blog might witness the celebration of the essence of being. Well, I cannot be happier for that revelation. 

If something as evocative as deciphering the whispers of my soul would nudge my pen to scribble more, then why not?

 

P.S: This post is tagged with Mid Week Quests, a sub section of this blog where I write on a Wednesday, about random nuggets from my life .

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Now Reading : The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback) and Lolita on the Kindle App. 

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Bits From Life, Life is such, Mid Week Quests, Uncategorized

Secret Remedy To Misery – Mid Week Quests

Secret remedy to misery- Midweek quests- Chasing Passions
Image Source: here

So, there has not been much going on in the professional front. Owing to certain chaos and shackles at the administration level, work is now progressing at a sluggish pace. Speaking of work, it amazes me at this moment when I ponder over the amount of time one spends at one’s work place. For most of us, life comprises proudly of two terrains- Family and work. And so also, it wouldn’t be ornamental or in any wee bit way overwhelming if I say that the atmosphere at work is almost as important for a sane and content life, as the placidity that prevails in the innards of a happy family.

There have been times in my past, when there existed utter pandemonium in the deepest pockets of my mind, for matters concerning the sheer sanctity of my existence. It is no point to be bewildered at, I am aware, for life, as we all know, is not a bed of roses ( Clichés turned clichés for a reason).  And at those times when one is prompted to sit up straight, foreseeing the ride to soon be rolling haphazardly through bumpy realms, there ought to be a silver lining that shines through the thickest of fog to help us through. Life would invariably turn a hopeless black hole otherwise, wouldn’t it? It scares me to even think of a situation when life would go completely distraught sans a safety line to hold onto. 

‘Tighten the seat belt, will you?!’ The wary mind calls out frantically almost instantly as a reflex in those circumstances. What if there was no seat belt to hold you in position? Would you turn insane or chirp away happily to the one seated next to you, accepting the truth that your end has come?

I am not talking about silver linings or being hopeful in general. More precisely, I want to write down here gaily about the impact my job had in my life. Yes, the seat belt I was referring to would be my enriching time at work that indirectly and unknowingly sprinkled me with glitters of peace during the most harrowing of times. 

It is as if, I step out a different version of me every morning when I go out for work. It has been like that ever since I could remember; whether it was school, college or presently, work. The issues that would trouble me the entire night are flipped out the window, the moment the friendly gales of companionship and productivity brush against me, the next day, at work. This is not the first time that I have found myself ruminating on the phenomenon. Admittedly, it does feel like an ordeal to wake up in the morning when your mind feels smothered by the harsh, dirty cloth of reality. But once the hardest part of sliding that bed spread away from me is done, the whole process turns relatively less hard.  No, it is not like we party away at work or sit for hours filling each other on the turning points in our lives. On the contrary, work is as grave as it can get ( I am a doctor).

Hectic schedule, less time to brood. Could that be the reason? Perhaps.

Amiable colleagues. Sense of togetherness when tackling similar circumstances? Likely too.

 I speculate that the sense of depression has more to do with the fact that we turn aggressively pessimist for whatever reason that pushed us down the abyss in the first place. I have read somewhere that if hit with an adversity, instead of hurrying through the phase, it is better to sink in the sorrow, to let despair take a trip through the channels of your body, till that day, when you feel confident that it can’t affect you more. There is a point there too. The aforesaid is what one is tempted to make oneself go through, undoubtedly, in times of misery. To sleep for hours or days at a stretch, to not talk to anyone, to cry silently in to the pillow, to reminisce on the better days of our life, the list is unfortunately endless. But then that has to end one day too, shouldn’t it? The sooner the better. 

 I am not a person who usually pours my heart out to someone about my worries. I would rather have it buried in me than be spilled in the open. Yes, writing helps a lot too. But for reasons stated above, I wouldn’t be writing about my problems as such. I need something to silently pull me out of the abysmal pit. It used to be music a few years back. But then, somehow, the charm that music enjoyed in my analysis ebbed away slowly. Reading offers company for a good many hours. But would I pick up a book, when my eyes well up every few seconds? I think not. I prefer reading books when I am at peace with myself.

Being with my dear ones would definitely be the first thing I do when struck by a problem. But I have realised over time that they can only lend their hands to help me out of the rubble. The rest is up to me. It is I who ought to drag my way out with their help. I feel good when comforted by my parents or my friends. But finally, it is I who should nudge me to walk out and do something about it. And my secret remedy for the same comes in the guise of my job. No, I don’t let it devour me wholly, like they say in books. Nor do I discard the presence of my family for the intoxication of work. Family matters the most and it shall be so forever. I am stressing here about the time after the initial distressing period, when one realises that life is not over yet. One is left, more often than not, staring in to the horizon, muttering the question, “What next?” and that is when having something to do with your life to keep it engaged helps. 

Specifically, I assume it is the feeling of being alive that nourishes the soul in me during those days. If I didn’t have such a rewarding job it could have been anything else. Anything rejuvenating. Anything that would let the wind blow against my face. Anything other than being bogged down for hours. Excercise, out door games, long drives, doing something productive, going on a small trip with your dear ones – All these have come to my rescue at one time or the other. They offer temporary solace, acting to set me kicking. But after that, it is mostly by being indulged in my work that I find a healthy, almost permanent respite.

Writing, work, gardening, taking care of your baby, cooking, cleaning – Whatever it be for you, the key is to keep sustaining. To keep afloat. To not let your soul sink. To surround you with positivity. To observe the doors of recovery swarm around you, egging you to open it every time. 

Before I wind up this post, let me take a moment and ask you, “What would you do in in similar scenarios? Is there a secret remedy to misery for you too?”

 

P.S: This post is tagged with Mid Week Quests, a sub section of this blog where I write on a Wednesday, about random nuggets from my life .

Bits From Life, Mid Week Quests, Uncategorized

Could I Ask You A Favour? – MidWeek Quests

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Image Source: here

Today, Mid week quests is all about ‘favours’. No. Nobody is asking anyone any favour through this space. On the other hand, I shall put forward my thoughts about the term and the deeper meaning it holds. 

Do you find yourself hesitate when bombarded with the ordeal of asking a favour of someone? Have you at least once felt all too determined to chew way more than you can bite, simply because of the fact that you shy away from pleading the service of time and energy from another person?

Well, I have. I find the matter troubling, if not harrowing, to ask someone to help me tackle a burgeoning task, let alone offer me company in trouble. I would rather try my best and solve the problem myself, any which way, than deliberately shed the cloak of hesitancy. I now know the habit to be a double edged sword. For one, it has taught me to stand up for myself, but secondly, it has caused me innumerable days of frustration and distress. And that is why I doubt whether I lack the sense to play according to the situation.

I am someone who hallcinates to be in an utterly embarassing scenario, as far as my mind is concerned, whenever the thought of approaching another person with an intention of borrowing money confronts me. Amazing me, last day a friend of mine came forward like a jet plane and asked me whether I could lend him money and that too in the most casual of manners. Not giving it much thought, I obliged to lend him a decent amount, surprisingly, in the blink of my eye. 

Pondering over the incident, a while later, I came to the a reasonable conclusion that friends are indeed bound to go through bonds of such kind. Yes, if the person to whom you lend the money is presumably fraudulent, the debate has no meaning. The scenario that we discuss now is purely based on the fact that the other person is your good friend.

There are certain things which I like to do for myself. But who wouldn’t love to be pampered once in a while? The rumination acts to prompt me now to be more flexible when it comes to taking care of the chores around me. The conclusion doesn’t mean that you should always find the easy way out. The line that separates the concepts of sensibility and shrewdness is never a thin trail on sand. Never confuse the two terrains that lie on either side. It should also not be too frequent as to gradually interfere with your ability to handle a troubling situation all by yourself if need arises. ‘How to be dependent?’ is not the topic discussed here, if I may stress. 

If the task at hand could be wound up in a matter of few minutes or days with the help of another person, should someone not resort to the same?  It might even make the other person happy to know that you thought of him/ her during adversity, wouldn’t it? Moreover the act of indulging in a revolting muddle, hopeful of deciphering the subtle knots, to eventually come up with an ideal remedy together consolidates the strength of any relationship, isn’t it so?

There is no hard and fast rule that life is to be treated a path strewn with thorns. The fumes that effervesce when forced to remain straddled for long might garner the strength to explode uncontrollably one day. Why suffer in silence, when you have the voice to ask that kind friend sitting at mere arms length to uncork the bottle?  

 

P.S: This post is tagged with Mid Week Quests, a sub section of this blog where I write on a Wednesday, about random nuggets from my life .