Sunday, April 13, 2008

Vices don't liberate you. Virtues sure as hell don't. Accepting vices do, may be. But on whose part? I know who I am.
If you say it over and over, it does start sounding like truth. I know who I am. But you kept saying it over and over.
So let me come clean today. I am not good. I am not a good person. I am not a good girl. I am not a good friend. I am not a good daughter. I am not a good student, never was. I am not a good teacher, will never be... I am not a good anything.
So just free me of the burden of being good. In fact, lately, I've come to doubt the existence of goodness.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

During the early second week of last December, I had been to Chandigarh and Delhi to give two very unfruitful exams. However, the trip really made up for it.

The bad foggy weather made our pilot take a U-turn to Delhi after hovering over Chandigarh for a while. It made things quite difficult for us but I am not sure if I would want to complain about it.

The reason is this. While we were hung up in the sky, not too high when the captain was deciding what to do, I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. To my left was my friend with a sick stomach from bad airport food. To my right was heaven. I had luckily got a window seat. The view outside was something that I had never seen before!

It was just before sun-set. The sky above my level was blue. There was a huge white woolly cloud at my eye level with a wonderful formation. In the distance there were gray clouds and the sun popped out of them every now and then. Below me were hills. Blue-gray mountain tops to be precise. And they stretched on the land below as far as my vision. The reason that I could only see their tops was that they were covered head-below with dense white fog! Suddenly some of the gray clouds parted and a few rays of sun shot out of the darkness on to the hill-tops below. And they in turn glowed golden. So basically it was like a white beautiful cloud with a blue backdrop dancing in part of the frame, the other part covered with gray fluff, spotlights traversing the gray fluff, golden spots glittering among dull blue spots rising above a white sheet of silk. It was a view of a life-time!

Now when I think of it, I feel a little disturbed. There was no one else on the flight who was looking out of his window! I feel like going back in time, on that flight and scream out to them- “THIS IS A VIEW OF A LIFETIME!” And then they all will look at me like I am insane or I have come from another world or perhaps I'm too dumb to know about the weather 'problem'. And then I’ll laugh…

I laugh not because I am dumb or insane (I might have come from another world), but because its funny how people can actually get lost in reality.

( be continued...)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Matrix is bull-crap!

Let me just get to the point. Machines will never take over the world and chimeras won't ever eat the human race away. Just like Mumbai will never submerge due to melting glaciers and cloning will not be the only way to reproduce because gay marriages will be legalised!!!

The biggest flaw of AI being a threat to humans is the presence of 'intelligence' in AI. One trait of modernity is condemnation of the human race for all the wrong thats done by us. We are no longer children of God. But the reason we go wrong so many times is that we know there exists a right! We don't really go wrong but we 'realize' we've been wrong. And thats because we are an intelligent species (no pun intended).

Humans are the least violent of all animals. True, the planet has never seen a world war sponsored by another species but if you observe more closely human beings, generally, don't like to fight. Animals kill for territory, mate and sometimes for no apparent reason. With humans, that is the last resort and for much complicated reasons in the present phase of civilization.

If you find it hard to believe then try to think about the reason behind this peaceful nature I claim we possess. Animals, except us, are majorly guided by instinct. As far as we know, their limited memory span doesn't really allow them to draw logical conclusions in life. When confronted with adversity, they fight or run, literally. Humans obviously face different types of adversities but more often then not, they try to find a logical way. We tell ourselves that it was a one-sided affair and it wasn't meant to be instead of ramming our head into the head of our contender. And thats not instinct, thats intelligent logical thinking.

Life created to create more of it. Animals know just that. We don't accept it. We give it a purpose ourselves. Thats why when we soon manage to make a robot that thinks even better than humans, it will know that fighting is not right. It won't be a power hungry computer with some identity crisis. It can't be. And no lunatic can make such a machine because we still don't know the origins and nature of instinct. And as far a a sense of self is concerned, people are hardly aware of it so tough chance make an 'I' robot.

Therefore, matrix will never be created (unless it already is! Hehe). Machines will be used for all sorts of purposes but without a mind of their own.

Friday, March 23, 2007

My experiment with alliteration (read transliteration)...

शीतल शशि

सुरमई समीर

तरल तिमिर

शाश्वत क्षण

उत्सुक उर

मुदित मन

नमित नयन

करुण कंठ

अधीर अधर

विरल वचन

व्याकुल वाणी

कम्पित कर

स्थिर स्पर्श

प्रीत परिणय

विलीन वियोग

मधुर मेल ...

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Thread

Its too thin to be seen
But I can feel its pull
It pulls at my skin, my stitches
And it feels wonderful
Like heaven
No, like home
My wounds gape
They are as old as they'll ever be
They are fresh
I stand at the edge of the cliff
And it pulls me
I can't wait to fall
I can't wait to lose, to let go
The shroud of my sorrow
Poured over my skin
Hot molten amorphous,
Burning it and sticking to it
Burning and sticking
That finally froze, yet sticking
Is coming to life again
I wish it would melt soon
Melt and be flown off me
Burn me and leave me
Pull me, drop me, leave me...

Monday, January 29, 2007

I reached college today and ran straight into a discussion between my batch-mates about, well, ‘The system’. Since we’ve reached a yet another milestone in our professional lives, it is indeed the hot topic of discussion nowadays. It is the next thing we’ll be stepping into after all, and staying in it perhaps for the rest of our lives.
So people were saying that there are things that are bad and we’ll have to adapt to them. People said that things are bad but not everyone has to go with ‘The system’, although its damn difficult. People said that there are ways in between too.
The options are plenty I think. Even at this stage, I am strictly referring to my profession; people can turn into money-making machines if they want to. There is certainly no need to cry and regret and waste your precious emotions on the choice of your profession at this stage. It is a very crucial turning point indeed but we need to know where we want to spend the rest of our lives. May be there won’t be much turning back, or sideways after this. So we need to know.
Incidentally, it was this morning itself when I stumbled upon an interesting thought. Decision is not making a choice but knowing your choice! May remind you of Matrix, but I won’t give the details of my thought’s origin. It will bore you more.
The thing is, there is no real reason to do what you think is wrong or rather, what you don’t want to do. Just remember that there are consequences.
Talking more relevantly, about the present India and its immediate future, our country is changing. The pace has dramatically increased in the past one decade or so due to several factors but in my opinion largely due to the information revolution. India is indeed shining more than ever since its independence. And it will continue to do so at a rapid pace in near future.
Secondly, its difficult to utilize you full potential as a doctor if you don’t have a vision. Medical profession is not about securing your basic necessities (a very relative term) or doing what you know to do when someone comes to you with illness. We learned in PSM about the significance of health. And its not just theory. Morbidity, productivity and growth of various sectors of a population are closely related. It makes no sense giving analgesics/ anti-inflammatory to patients of Chikungunya fever and not check the mosquito population.
I am not saying that you have to be a revolutionist. It doesn’t take a revolution to change the world. One way or the other India will change and as I said, it is. Its your choice to be a part of this change or not. It sounds a little poetic but it is as solid as a fact. For example, someone started a trend of piercing the stilette after IV cannulation in the mattress. (Seriously, who is that great soul???) Now its your choice to join this trend or not. Similarly, whether to use proper sterile technique for urethral catheterization or get away with an alternative quicker method is entirely up to you. But you are contributing to a fashion by your way of working.
So its up to you to be a part of the change that your country will undergo in the coming years. The picture does appear rosy to me. I consider myself really lucky to be a part of this generation. I believe that more than anything else, education will be a big factor in our development as a nation. So its up to you to be a part of it by educating a child or staying out of it. Its going to happen anyways. Its your choice to educate a village about condoms and STI’s or not. Its your choice to tell people the flaws in our health system and make suggestions to the government and follow it up to its implementation. Is it too difficult? Or too boring? Or you really don’t care? Whatever, its your choice. There is nothing to cry about.
And if you claim that ‘the system’ can’t be changed then I thoroughly disagree. I have seen Juhu beach in its dirtiest days and look at it now. There are no more uncovered drains in my area. Slum rehab is being taken more seriously every day. People are at least considering introducing sex-education formally! The most remote areas in our country are now connected to the world although they have no electricity or telephone cables, thanks to the satellites. I am certain, that polio will be eradicated.
There is no doubt that still a lot remains to be done and we still are a third world country. But this is the primary reason that I want to remain in India. I want to be a part of the transformation of my country. It is my choice. So just make yours.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I recently read Michael Crichton’s ‘State of Fear’. It opened my eyes.
The book is about ‘environmentalists-terrorists’ and a group of people who try to stop them. It came as a shock to me that even environmentalists could be extremists.
Circhton has used ample references to verify his facts that are a part of the story. Some of which are-
1) The earth’s temperature is indeed rising, the phenomenon we call as global-warming, but it has been happening since several hundred years after the mini Ice-age.
2) Nobody knows how much of human activity is responsible for the rise in earth’s temperature or for that matter, even the rise in the levels of carbon-di-oxide.
3) It has been ‘guessed’ that at the current rate, the phenomenon of ‘global-warming’ for which millions of dollars are being spent, will cause about 0.8 degree Celsius of rise in the earth’s temperature in a century!
4) The Kyoto treaty claims to bring down this rise by about 0.3 degree Celsius.
5) Nobody has an accurate data of temperature of the past century in the world. In fact, the warming is not even uniformly ‘global’ according to the data. The rates differ, in some parts the temperature has either remained the same or there has been a documented decline!
6) No rise in sea-level anywhere in the world attributed to global warming has been recorded.
7) Similarly, there is no evidence of global warming causing melting of glaciers or ice-caps anywhere around the world.
8) Our climate is too dynamic for us to exert any effect on it, positive or negative. Storms, earth-quakes, floods, draught, tsunamis, are not under our control.
9) We have a very little understanding of our environment. We really don’t know how to ‘manage’ wilderness.
10) All this is the result of lack of experts/scientists in environmental organizations which are run by litigators and donators who have no absolutely relation with science.
I signed the online petition forwarded to me by WWF favoring the Kyoto treaty few years ago. I thought ‘global warming’ would one day eventually submerge all the coastal cities. I thought somehow we were responsible for the natural calamities I’ve seen in my lifetime. I never knew how, but I do remember my science books in school claiming so and many NGOs and celebrity volunteers shouting the same as loud as they could into my ears through the media! Do they even know?
My beliefs are shaken. I’d take all news reports from now on with a pinch of salt. Especially the studies, which are more often than not sponsored and hence have an agenda. Blinded scientific studies are actually hard to find. Their results are already in the researchers’ expectations.
I’ve also decided to ‘learn’ about our environment rather than just assume that humans are responsible for all the disasters. In fact, that is the only way we can hope to reduce the damage we might be doing. Step one is to know the damage and its cause. Interestingly, ‘State of Fear’ also mentions that some global warming might even be advantageous! It may increase our crop production considerably.
Crichton has written this book to bring to our notice the farce of ignorant environmental organizations/individuals. The story is a by-product. He’s kept the language obviously simple. The concept of a state of fear is also very interesting but I’d like you to read the book to understand it. It tells you how the world thinks. Everyone should read it.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Of fragrances and life...

I once said, 'The best experiences are had with your eyes closed.' When you cut off your visual inputs; which are over 90% of the total sensory input, then you suddenly enter a different world, where things 'feel' different.
That world of mine is one fragrant world I know of! I mean, the dominant sense when I shut my eyes is that of smell.
Its weird i know, but my most beautiful memories have a strong component of fragrance. More often than not I am reminded of certain events, places or 'people' not by a sound or a visual, but by some smell. It could be anything. A passer-by's perfume, some flower, the smell of wood, anything...
I can never escape the haunting warmth of the small hut sort of hanuman temple at the banks of The Ganges when I'm near an agarbatti of a particular scent. It was dark inside, on a summer noon in Kanpur. Lit only by a diya, the shadow of the deity flickered on the mud walls around. I remember the moment... The smell.
Then the smell of roses. It reminds me of a party, that happened many years ago. But it still does, always.
There is so much fragrance around us, its surprising that its seldom appreciated. The smell of turmeric, that of recently splintered coconut... There is a scent of something I don't know thats there in a lady's vanity box. It reminds me of the packed rooms where women get dressed before a wedding.
I remember gulab-jamun more by its scent than the flavour! Nothing satiates me more than the aroma of hot chocolate or rich coffee. And nothing is more unappatising than the smell of desi-ghee!
Sometimes even my dreams are based on a scent. Like the smell of burning wood or charcoal... Its so deep seated.
And then there is nature with all kinds of fragrances that stir some sub-concsious instinct every time. The smell of mist, the just-spicy scent of dust, that of trees drenched in rain, of grass- both dry and wet, of the ocean...and so many lovely things...
Although I love to capture still moments, I wish I could add a part of fragrance associated with each of them, that belongs to them. So that I could live them with my eyes closed...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Don't read...!

I am tired of people!

I am actually bearing them roughly since the past two years.

I had never been with them before except in the beautiful novels that I read and my dreams.

My daily strolls to my school and back gave me enough time to spend with something that they never would know exists. They have been just lucky enough to let nature take their breaths away occasionally in their lives, on a trek, some pic on the net or some other similar momentary experience of the unimagined. I lived as one with it.

I could tell from the cat’s posture if there was a snake nearby. I knew the sound of the kingfisher. I could tell between the male and the female cuckoo. I would mimic a bharadwaj. I knew the colour of seasons. I have run ahead of the rain… I knew the smell of summer-earth.

And I dreamt… of beautiful things. I thought. I figured out why the shadow grows in size when taken closer to the light source. I was 10. And stuff like that.

I read Jayshankar Prasad. I had never known that level of passion.

I learned. I grew. But I didn’t know about people.

Now that I do, I am tired.

I am tired of the ignorance. I am tired of their enthusiasm to reach on to a judgment about someone. I am tired of people who just don’t have the sense to appreciate good sense! They just aren’t happy enough to respect anyone or anything. The escapist attitude that has become their habit gets on my nerves! To turn blind to your mistakes and blame the entire system for the misery around, makes me sick. Sometimes I feel I am tired of the general low IQ around me…

They lie. Even if they aren’t wrong. They lie! It’s a shame. But they’d laugh at me for thinking like this.

I am not tired of pretending to be happy around them. I don’t do that. I am tired of being around them. I am tired of putting up with them…

I am sorry that I sound so crabby, but this is just not the world I dreamed of…


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Medical mnemonics.

 5 T's of early cyanosis: Tetralogy, Truncus, Total anomalous, Transposition, Tricuspid atresia.

Causes of post-op fever 5 W's:
1) Wind- RTI (in 48 hrs)
2) Wound- Infection at surgical site
3)Water- Thrombophlebitis at IV access site
4)Walk- DVT due to immobilisation
5)Whiz- UTI if cathetrized
and if u may, 6)Wonder drugs

For more medical mnemonics check out this site

and this