Thursday, August 28

The Belief

Far away, tucked in the sleepy downhill of one of the tallest mountains, existed a village named Lakora, peppered with dusky women and even duskier men. They spoke a language which was yet to metamorphose into strings of words written with a hearty soul. The hill peaks gave birth to sun every morning, well before six, showering the brightest rays on Mother Earth’s cheeks. The unrelenting cries that accompanied the same as birds fluttered their wings to distant places in search of food, settled into pleasantries at the warmth of the baby’s touch. 

This small space was intriguing in varied aspects. It was a mystery, the many dungeons hidden away in this murky of a place and the many secrets that had accumulated in those over the years.

‘ They brought illness to the family. They did. Those big blue marks!’, Buja stated explicitly. 

Lova listened to her grandmother, wide eyed as strands of jet black hair flung lower down onto her waist. She involuntarily caressed her pregnant abdomen, stretching her wrought, swollen legs on the steel cold cemented floor. The waft of spices being crushed at the nearest mill brought tears to her eyes. She suppressed a sneeze with the inside of her hand  as the old lady continued in her hoarse voice, diseased with abuse over the years,

‘ They kicked you a lot,Lova.They kicked you a lot. It never happened with the good ones. Terrible creatures they are - with blue sinful marks! But see, God exists. Never was devil of that sort delivered in this village after the aftermath that happened in Boa’s family.

‘ What happened to Boa’s family?’

‘ Not one member of her family survived the outrageous fire that broke out in their haystack years back the day that young girl gave birth to the ugliest little baby with the largest blue mark i have ever seen on its back, the last of that kind ever sighted in this village. Poor Boa and her husband. How happy were they before that dark cursed day!’

A soft groan slid through Lova's flushed lips. The tiredness of pregnancy was starting to take a toll on her delicate body, with each kick of her baby’s feet against her womb, every five minutes, sending a strange shiver down her spine. 

A torrent of deep burning thoughts rushed through Lova’s mind at the instant her grandmother shut her mouth up, a handful of betel nut leaves now engaging her tongue. Her village never had such a baby ever since? What were the odds of that happening? No one of that sort existed atleast in the near vicinity of the mountains. How strange! 

Lova shifted her place onto the armchair which gave her more space to relax while the baby moved inside with fervor. Her grandmother’s sordid words lingered in her thoughts as her heart started pacing to and fro in an arrhythmic pattern - 'sinful baby!'

A tiny droplet settled on her forehead startling her from her reverie. Huge black clouds raced towards her, wrapping her house in the heaviest of the blankets.

The next morning  Lova’s house woke up writhing in the wails of its occupants. Lova rested crying in her grandmother's arms as her distraught mother wiped away with trembling hands, the fresh blood stains on her daughter’s thighs.

' Why Lova, Why?' 

Lova muttered in between helpless sobs,

‘ The devil. It kicked me a lot, Ma. It kicked me a lot’

The fiery shade on Buja's face gave way to an implicit smile which dangled at the corners of her mouth. A blood stained death to a blood stained inception! Buja wondered at the tenacity of the belief that stained rooted over the years. She awed at how it stayed preserved amidst neololiberalism and modernity - safe in the manipulative hands of the midwifes or further yet, in the amateur quivering hands of the young hapless mothers. 

In Lakora, wasn't belief all that mattered ? 

Buja caressed Lova's restless locks as fresh strokes of pride blossomed on her cheeks. Her grand daughter had just saved them from a havoc. 


Monday, August 25

So, do you love what you do ?

                       I never yearned to be a doctor. But my parents knew better. They wanted our family to have a doctor who could take care of the members without having to go through the direness and hazzles of apprehensively rushing to a hospital not knowing what the diagnosis would be. Not that a doctor could treat a person solely within the confines of the four walls of a home, but nonetheless, if I were a doctor I would judge the situation better and would pacify the members for good – such were the reasons that formed the crux  of the long yearned for dream.

God listened to parents. True. He is there for me. I know. But He listened to them more than He listened to me.  I wanted to be a journalist or an engineer or at the least someone who could spent atleast five days of a month sans the worries of work. But, no. He made me a doctor. And then he flung me past the biggest hurdle that is the post graduation exam to place me safely on the other side.

So, do I regret that God listened to my parents more than he did to my prayers?

Life is an illusion. The things that we desire for the most cease to be worthy once we get a grab on them. On the other hand, something repulsive at first glance turns out to be a life long treasure in the course of time. Life is such.

So after toiling for one whole decade of my life I find myself  in a place where I belong to more than anywhere else. White overcoats, green surgeon’s gowns, cape and mask and emergency procedures. Life has painted itself white – Peace.

Peace? No, never. Three migraines a week is more that I can handle. Sixty hours a week. Sometimes more. Being a resident is no cakewalk- someone had told. I remember dismissing it with a jeer.

Being there for others is no easy matter. But then, isn’t that part of your job? Yes, it is. But I am pretty sure the number of doctors who sweat out day and night,without bites of food at times, far outweigh the ones who serve people solely as an ordeal.

Harking back, I feel I made the best mistake by filling up the premedical entrance application. I really did. How can I explain to you why? I cannot. I live the answer to the question. Every single day.

So, are you someone who love what you do ? 

Sunday, August 17

Wiping Away The Dust

One whole year. Unbelievably so ! A year passed by sans a single post on my blog. A year passed by with no creativity firing up my grey cells. A year passed by engulfed in the smoky mist of white coats. A year passed by trying to decipher the course of nerves, the worth of ganglia and the mechanisms that keep humans breathe with peace. A year since i embarked on my post graduation course in ENT surgery - A lot to say, a lot to share.

I wouldnt be here yet if not for two incidents that occured a period spanning the last two months. 

*  My school reunion that happened last week
*  For that wonderful, smoldering mail from The Tamarind Rice team ,letting this proud spirit know about their decision to showcase her article At The Bookshop at their literary meet ' Literary Lapses'

School reunions always arrive carrying a mixed bag of emotions . Nostalgia mounting beyond seams can be overwhelming at times and at other times they can leave you all brooding when reminded about the good things that withered away over the time. And this time, it came as a common query - ' Why dont you write these days, Maliny?' 

Oh, i missed writing ! I did. But these were months when the thought of sitting lost in a fluffy cushion typing away word after word, spewing posts felt like a luxury. 

And i am not yet sure how long away is my next post. Nevertheless, i badly need to satisfy my itch to write something this very moment and that too,with all my heart. Now that i have done it there are few words to describe exactly what i feel right now. Enlightened, maybe?

There are times when you need to sail with the wind. So that you derive as much power as you can to sail against it when your mind years for it the most. There are low times. There are duties to be performed. There are goals to be achieved. There is a time to toil. There is a time to let free. There is a time to celebrate.

Life runs a course. This moment,i realise that sometimes,it is fine to abide by the rules of fate. Sometimes it is alright to float and not to fly. But never let the spark die out. Let it burn within in the lightest of the shades. You never know. The very next minute might very well be the that perfect polishing moment you had waited for all along.