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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