Open Letter

You came home, my parents’ guest. You hardly know me, we are meeting after almost a year. You see my baby, hold her….play with her. Fine.

Then you tell me, “She is so thin! Don’t you feed her?”

I felt the need to be defensive, I claim she takes after her slim grandparents. I tell you how the doc says she is thriving well. Her growth is absolutely fine for her age. I don’t give you a piece of my mind. Funny, I thought I would have given anyone who said that a long lecture. I didn’t.

Because you don’t know how many nights I stayed up feeding her by the hour. You have no idea how sore each part of my body was, coping with the stress. You don’t have a clue how much I have fretted over her pees and poops, the color and frequency- all indirect evidence of adequacy of her feed. You don’t know how it breaks a mother’s heart when someone accuses her, directly or indirectly that she isn’t giving her baby the best.

I forgive you, and I thank you. You have no idea of how much your supposed smartness can give some mother some blogging material.


Record the moments…..

I look at you as you sleep in my arms. Full after a meal, content. I land you down, you stir and open your eyes, express your displeasure at being away from me. I hold you close again and you close your eyes and smile.

Someday you will be too old to sleep in my arms, you will choose your own clothes to wear. You will eat your own meals with your own hands. How time flies- seems like just a few days ago you were this wailing milk guzzling newborn. I must cherish these days. They won’t come back. I must record your smiles, giggles, wails and cries all in my mind.

You wake up…..we exchange smiles. I lift you high in the air, the way you love it. In my mind I try to record all the expressions and giggles.

And you spit in my face…….

Yes motherhood still rocks.



After reading this article by Janice Goveas, I knew I had to call someone. Mother of my old dear patient, who left for heavenly abode almost 2 years ago. I had written about him the angelic boy with Acute Leukaemia, who succumbed to a very brave battle against his disease.

I had, in the course of his long treatment interacted a lot with almost whole of his family- mother, father, sister, aunts. When he passed away his shocked and devastated mother had called me and told me about his demise. After that I lost touch with her but I missed the sweet boy- especially on his birthday, the first anniversary if his death. Yet never mustered the courage to call his mother. Will it be the right time? I don’t want to remind her of him, what do I speak?

It will never be the right time. A departed son who left behind 13 years of memories cannot be forgotten. Not in a year, or a decade or even a lifetime. He will always live in her heart, a wound that probably won’t ever heal. So I finally decided to do the deed.

She didn’t recognise me for around a minute or so and I didn’t want to call myself her son’s anaethetist. I just waited for her to recognise me. Which she did and for a moment she wasn’t sure I even knew about his demise. After a few cursory exchanges we both cried for a few minutes. Words flowed effortlessly and I realised I was mostly listening and intermittently talking. She told me how much she missed her boy and her home was full of his memories. She and her husband had gone deep into soul healing philosophy and were struggling to live a normal life. They believed in life after death and were hoping to find their dear boy some day again. Their daughter was trying to get back to a normal life too. They had finally managed to get over a large part of the painful loss.

The conversation was lot longer than I had expected and though it wasn’t easy I am glad I called her. I somehow felt much lighter after talking to her. An unknown lady, probably 15 years my senior and we met for a few months by chance. She has invited me to her place and she wants to tell me lot more about her dear boy. I think I shall pay her a visit, hopefully I can help her in some way by sharing the memories of her son’s small journey with her.



As a kid, my brother had different ideas every day about what he wanted to be when he grew up. A truck driver, painter, clay idol maker… Any new thing he saw, he wanted to be that. I wasn’t like that. I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. Or a teacher. In fact more of a teacher than a doctor. Probably because my role model was my mom, a teacher. And I have always loved to describe anything in detail to anyone who cared to listen.

Then fate landed me in medicine, and I consoled myself that I could still teach. But somehow I had always thought that teaching kids in a school would have made me happier. The desire, adequately expressed to the family after 10th class itself, was nipped in the bud with many arguments which mainly included inadequate financial remuneration, lack of growth beyond a limit and that I was probably cut out for something larger.

I was, of course happy learning and later practicing  medicine. And forgot about being a school teacher. A few days back however, stressed with my exam, worried with the uncertainty in life and many such mundane excuses, I snapped at my dearest mom about how I would have rather been a teacher than a doctor. And no one had any business pushing me into this long uncertain alley! Talk about being thankful to the lady who believes in your talent, supports you in many ways through your education, including caring for the husband like her own son. (OK ma, I know you deserve an apology better than this!)
“You can still teach, PGs, interns and the students” she said with pride in her eyes.
“Well its not the same as shaping young minds. Like making a pot out of clay and such stuff” I said in retort and stomped out.

Then one day, I left my home keys at the hostel. While I was turning back to go fetch my keys, my dearest neighbor invited me over for a cup of tea and even offered me to camp at her place till mom arrived and opened the door. While I was enjoying my cup of tea, her daughters walked in and started regaling me with the tales in their school. Imitating their teachers, calling them names, enjoying the fact that some of their school mates are good at back answering their teachers which included saying “I’ll take you to court.” My head was spinning (yeah I was tired too) I mean, as a kid I have imitated my teachers too, but never did I have this amount of disrespect for anyone. Not even for the ones who couldn’t teach, were blatantly partial to some students and such.

I speak as if I’m so old, but with passing years, the respect we have for our elders is diminishing exponentially. More so for teachers, I noted. Mom was right. If I was a teacher to these students, I would have probably given up on them. If any one of my readers is teaching such children, my salute. I know you are doing a job for which no one is probably thankful. The students who do not know what they are doing, their parents who probably are lacking somewhere in imbibing the right values in them and sending them for tuition classes since they were gametes.

Thanks mom, for seeing the talent in me, for having a foresight which I probably would never have. And for many more things I cannot put into words.



Ha Ha

Anaesthesiologist (Age 73 years),  Patient (Age 60 years). Ages of the surgeon, surgical residents and the anaesthesiology resident do not matter

A: Aunty, open your eyes, the surgery is over
No response from “aunty”

After a lot of waiting, and adequate pharmacological reversal of anaesthetic agents we gave up and sent her to the ICU with the tube in….

If I was Mrs. M I too would have kept sleeping…..


Seven Minutes…

Yesterday was a long tiring day and by the time I had retired, it was rather late. Today was going to be a very long day, which necessitated me to rise early in the morning. To get a few more minutes to sleep in the morning, I had my long refreshing bath late at night. In the morning, with great difficulty I finally got up. Late but still a little sooner than I would have, since I had planned a lovely treat for myself in the morning. Skipped bath, had quick tea. Dressed. Since the OT was going to run for long hours, I knew my breakfast was going to be delayed indefinitely. And hence the plan for my seven minutes of pleasure.

I stepped into the kitchen, opened the box and carefully lifted out a ripe big mango. Few seconds to enjoy the fragrance of a ripe alphonso. Washed it carefully and patted dry. With a sharp knife I cut it into large pieces. The aroma of the fruit was heady and filled the kitchen. Carefully, I leaned over the kitchen counter (breakfasts on working days are seldom had sitting at the table) and relished the mango. Slowly at first and later with a gluttonous urgency. The pulp covering the seed, and later the pieces, all were gulped down in matter of seven minutes. And those were probably the most amazing seven minutes of my day. Rest of the day was a busy and forgotten about quickly. But those seven minutes in the morning made the rest of my day lovely.


Of course I am thankful and grateful for a wonderful life, family, husband, career etcetera . This list is for those smaller things in life for which I am really thankful

I am thankful to Gujarati women of yore who came up with this recipe to probably do away with left over rotis and equally thankful to the modern Gujarati women who sweat it out to make these khakaras for sale for mortals like us. I have survived on this snack for over 10 years now. While in the younger hostel days the adventurous variations like “Pav bhaji” and “Pani puri” flavoured made good tea time accompaniments, now I choose the routine plain or methi flavoured. Now a days often it makes up for a missed meal, to buy time till the next one.

Mobile Phones
Sometimes I wonder how we even lived so many years without this one. I still remember the rainy days during my childhood when we would wait for mom to return from work hoping she is safe, wondering where she must be, pacing by the window. Or the hostel days, rushing to the phone hoping its from home, waiting at the public telephone booth for a turn to make an STD call. Mobile phone has suddenly made it all easy…from locating the spouse on railway platform to short messages from the brother abroad saying I’m fine. And I am not talking of the fancy gadgets. A simple phone is all I want (and have) and need.

Continuous Supply of Electricity
One of the few pleasures of living in a Metro… no load shedding. Having lived for a short while in places where electricity has been conspicuous by its prolonged absence makes me value this resource and wastage of any form irks me.

I am glad good things in life come as paperbacks and hardcovers! And love my parents for building a small neat collection for me. And I hate myself for having lent a few of my books to people, no one returns a lent book. Only a fool lends a book. Greater fool is the one who returns it.

There is lot more I am thankful for and that will follow soon enough…….This one post deserves a part 2


Hebra’s Circle

Not related actually, Hebra’s circle is something related to scabies (ouch, sorry) but then, cannot think of another terminology for these ‘events’ that happen in a circle. Like the other day, I was thinking about a ‘character’ I knew from one place about 2 years ago. The very next day, I actually see her at the most unlikely place. Then I was thinking of a blogger who shifted elsewhere and was wondering why she had still not mailed me her new url. Only to find later, four hours later to be precise, her mail in my inbox. Cool eh? So I think of something, and that thing happens, to complete this circle of sorts.

While I was waiting at the bus stop today early in the morning, saw a man alight from an auto. He was in his early thirties. His father (I presume from his age) dropped him, took a turn and went back in the auto. So I presumed (I love presuming things) he had dropped his son to the stop on his way somewhere. What struck me was the extreme thinness of this person. And the fact that his clothes hung about him like a sack. And the fact that earlier in the morning I was appreciating the uniforms of all staff nurses in the ICU and noticed one of them had visibly slimmed after she had her uniform made. Needless to say, she was the junior most on duty. Circle hmnn! Coming back to the slim man, either he was wearing ‘handed over’ clothes of someone healthier than him. Or had lost 20kgs in his clothes. Later possibility seemed unlikely, he did not look so sick. So, after his father left, he went away from the stop somewhere and a few minutes later, was back with a burning cigarette in his hand. Now nothing pisses me off more that people smoking at public places. Last time my friends and I had met someone like that at a coffee shop, one of my pals had politely told him that the smoke was bothering us and he very apologetically went to another table away from ours. He continued smoking, we cannot stop that, but at least he had the courtesy to keep away. I am not the kind who can tell people that they are bothering me. Not in so many words at least. So I silently tolerated his smoke. But not without giving him dirty looks. Passive aggression! I was also hoping his bus comes real soon, so that he has to drop his cigarette while he has just started smoking. His bus came, when he was almost through the whole cigarette, most of which I choose not to inhale. Prior to boarding the bus, the man dropped his cigarette on the road and did not bother to stamp it out. The bus left and the cigarette was left behind smoldering on the road, people carefully avoiding it. I was tempted to go and snuff the life out of it but refrained….not sure if it would be OK for the sole of my footwear! Plus did not want it to seem like I had thrown that stub! Eew.

Damn it, I hate people smoking on the road and public places.


Its Not Me….

…because never have I been filled with any kind of hatred. Leave aside the amount I feel today. Someone tried to hurt my spirit…..suffocate it. The damage was slight, reparable but unforgettable. Unpardonable.

There are these moments…..

…when you are so tired, dying to hit the bed. And when you do, you realise you are too tired to even fall asleep!!

…when you wish you could change the direction in which your life is drifting….

…when things go so well you wonder whats wrong!

…when things go so so well that you need to pinch yourself to know its real.

…when things you are confident of doing well screw up royally and what you fear you won’t manage goes fantastically well

…when you wished you looked in your photographs as nice as others look in theirs!!

…when you wished you could shed in a night the pounds you gathered over a year….aargh