watch me watch you watchin' me.......

"though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light, I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night....."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Explore... dream... discover....

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover......"

Mark Twain

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Aint no road to health....

Some of them are spiritual, some are atheists, some are politicians, some are unemployed, some are handsome and some are not. But the moment they register their ID's and are given an MRN number, they all carry the same label, "patients". Some are identified by the bed number, some by the labels on the bed head charts, some by the disease, some by their physical appearance, and if ever, rarely by their names.

"bed 21A needs to be sent for dialysis at 10.00 am and 7B needs a repeat renal profile, previous blood sample was clotted".
"take congestive cardiac failure at the acute cubicle to ICU now and bring that thin indian OP poisoning female back. "
"What's the name of the DHF that passed away? I need to fill up the death certificate."

Most walk in through those glass doors, some are wheeled in. Some have enough cash for the expensive investigations and treatment, some borrow from somewhere. Some come prepared for the ward admissions, some come through the emergency dept. Some come whole, some come minus a limb or two, some come awake and alert, some drowsy and delirious. All come with hope. Some for a longer life, some a healthier one, some to just bring back a new little healthy one.

Coming here, believing in the magic of medicine, believing in strangers with some prefix, believing that this sterile hostile building is your sanctuary, and a place to heal yourselves. Believing someone who is as human as you are, can cure you, can take away your pain, can make you better than you already are.

You surrender your wealth in exchange for a better health, you surrender you self to me, allowing my needles and scalpels to violate that very body you need me to save. You mount your boulder of hope on my shoulders, weighing me down, rendering me helpless. Looking down the corridor I see more faces with hopes, impending deaths lying in a row, promises waiting to be broken by a person who doesn't know herself anymore.

Another promise I don't want to break, another's hope I don't want to kill, another certificate of death I don't want to fill. My pen hovers over the "cause of death" column, tempting me to write my own name in it. There's heaviness in my chest, there's pressure pounding in my head, the air is thick with unhealed sickness, the days are weighing me down. I don't want to be here no more.
Then why are yesterdays' some teary, some smiling and some relieved "thank you doctor" make me come back again for more tomorrows..... hoping against all hopelessness that I can deliver something more.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Strange lil habits.....

Charismatic & hunky, many hearts he has robbed. His striking resemblance to Zayed Khan made many jaws drop. All the throbbing hearts eventually did fall sick, it's a nauseating habit of his.... pickin' his nose in public. Eeww.....

I knew a girl once, who walked like a duck, her long tresses hung down her back in beautiful black locks. She fingers her hair.... (yikes! that doesn't sound very nice! rephrase....). Hmmm.... She runs her fingers down their length and then puts some in her mouth. Why do people eat their hair?? Is it a delicacy down south?

He was our biology professor and a comic to watch, throughout the lectures, he keeps scratching his crotch. He keeps turning to his class and says, "stop giggling! What's wrong?!", not knowing the source of their mirth is his itchy dangling ding-dongs.

I'll not forget bout my cute 10 year old nephew, has a weird understanding of "symmetry" and "balance" too. Everything he does, he does it twice, on both sides. If there's an itch on the left, he also scratches his right. Huh..??!

My eyes remain a lil' open, especially when I'm in deep sleep, and I also smile-in-slumber, it can get kinda creepy. My boyfriend gets spooked out, he thinks its kinda eerie. Well, I can't help being me, I'm a lil strange too, you see. ;-)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Letter No. 21

Maya walks into the house, balancing the groceries, mails and purse in one hand, handphone and keys in the other. She went on to arrange her groceries, boil some water for her hot chocolate, add biscuits to Duke's bowl, water her plants at the kitchen window sill and threw her washed clothes into the dryer. Her mind though, was elsewhere.

Her mind, was on an unopened letter inside a beige envelope lying on the kitchen counter.... she believes in delaying gratification. She had collected it from her unlisted P.O. box. It was the only way that he could contact her. When she requested, he had refused. When she had pleaded, he had denied. Then she had laid down the rules, gave him an ultimatum, he agreed.... to write her from wherever. No phone numbers, no address, no was the old fashioned pen & paper & postbox way, it was the only way... their way.

Sitting on the window seat at her study, she read n reread the 2 page letter 3 times. Savouring every word, the contents were melting into her heart like they always do. Smiling to herself, she was already travelling... between the lines, into the letter to where he was. The whistle of the angry kettle and Duke's unapproving whine jolted her out of her momentary journey, bringing her back to earth.

Placing her hot chocolate on her floral coaster, Maya sat at the kitchen table, picked up her pen and started her reply.....

Dear Mishra.
She has to stop calling him with his surname, they are teenagers no more.

Hola!! Cómo estás? Got your letter today......

I know.. I know... technically I'm not in Spain, but this house is making me feel so very Spanish. Since this is the first time I'm writing from this new home, I think it warrants an introduction. Came fully furnished, interior deco by a gay latino couple who used this place as a holiday retreat (what a retreat it must have been.... *wink*). I do giggle at some of the pictures and decoratives, still unsure if they are "pornographic" or "exotic", but their impeccable taste is impressive nonetheless.

Both the rooms are dominated by queen sized beds, covered with faded comfortable quilts that look like they belong to another English era. I have to tell you about the backyard, Duke's favourite hangout. Haphazardly planted roses, carnations, daisies and some flowers that I've not seen before, there's no order, no planning. Yet, it looks like a beautiful colourful page out of a children's book. During one of his down-swing moods, Duke had fought with three of the rose plants, and aside from a scratch on his nose, I have to say he won the fight. I had to nurse the scratch of my war-torn warrior for the next three days.

My favourite place is the kitchen. Very different from our's, no high-end gadgets, no "only silver-black-white's" here. The cups and saucers are mismatched, the mugs are of different sizes, all the 6 dinner plates are from 6 different dinner sets. I wonder if this was deliberately done. Small things that defy the norm. I can see the table that I'm using now have come from a very strong oak tree...

We had many moments in our kitchen, our ex-kitchen, didn't we? Kitchen is such a unique place of a house. Many kind of hunger could be fed here, many kind of thirst could be quenched here. It's where we had done our accounts, where we had our romantic dinners, our silly arguments, our serious discussions, our multiple and final separation. It's where we had come to laugh about our guests who were still sitting in the living room, where I had spied on our neighbours cheating on each other, where we found a baby kitten that Duke had hidden, and where we had cooked together and thought that that life was forever.

What do you feel now that no one fights with you for the morning paper, when no one yells at you for leaving the air-condition on, no one asks you about your work when you come home. I wonder if you feel like I do... aching solitude. Well, forget me. But Duke sure does miss you. He looks at the main door when the 8 o'clock news comes on, to see if you walk in. That was his cue. :-) He doesn't chew the floormat anymore. Has become a matured responsible man. Sits on my large swollen feet whenever he's a lil off mood, willing me to tickle his tummy like you do. It's getting a wee bit difficult to bend over to him, now that my own tummy is showing quite a bit. Too large for 21 weeks actually.

I write a weekly column for the Sunday paper under a nom-de-plume, I wonder if you realized it's me. I was careful not to mention anything that might tip you off, but I was hoping that you might... you know... recognize... style, maybe.... just wondering. What do you write these days? Still scribbling poems on scraps of papers and leaving them all over the place? It never bothered you that no one appreciated you, how well you write. You just write for the heck of it, a talent hidden from the world, no one saw and no one heard. Strange characteristic of an artist. At least you write me.... I should thank you for that.... ;-)

I've decided that I'll wear my hair long now, like you've suggested. They've reached my waist... Long hair is high maintenance but I'm trying. I'm wearing alot of lavenders and lilacs, I know you liked purple on me. No more coffee 4 times a day. In fact, I have milk before bed. I know this is gonna tickle you senseless, but hey... a glass of milk a day will help keep the doctor away?? a glass of milk at night may help this insomniac sleep tight!! I do some things that might please you.... you may not know it, but the illusion of pleasing you secretly pleases me too.
Well, as usual.... there is no other way to end a letter except "abruptly".... like many things in our life.... Looking forward to your next beige envelope......


Maya folds the letter neatly and places it in a white envelope. There is a box at the top shelf in the kitchen. She places her letter inside the box, atop another white envelope that says "Letter No. 20", and slides the box back in its original position. She saw his letter on the table, left open, and decided to read it again. Carrying her mug to the sink, she wonders if the meaning of one's name has any influence in one's life.... her's being "illusion".

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hit & run... to the OPD.

A 20-something year old guy walked into the OPD today at around 4-ish with angry looking abrasions stretching from his right shoulder all the way up to his forearm. Like YSL "red strass" lipstick smeared on his entire arm in place of his epidermis. I can only imgine how those skid marks on a person must feel like. I had already decided in my mind how many days of MC I'd give him (generously) as I started asking questions....

Doc: What happen? Accident?
Guy: Er..... yeah.
Doc: Motorbike skidded?
Guy: Yes.
Doc: When?
Guy: Bout ten mins ago.
Doc: What did you hit?
Guy: Someone.
Doc: Someone? You hit a person?
Guy: Yeah, at the junction near the school.
Doc: Where is this person now?
Guy: She is still there I think. Near the junction.
Doc: She? Female? Is she ok? What was she doing? Walking?
Guy: She is a student from that school. She was wearing school uniform. She was trying to cross the road I think. She just ran in front of my bike when I made the turn. It is not my fault. She was thrown back onto the grass. I saw her when I got up and rode here.
Doc: Student?? But that is a primary school!! Is she ok? Was she conscious? Is she injured??
Guy: I don't know. I saw an Indian man trying to carry her. I don't know what happen to her.
Doc: You DON'T KNOW?!!! Are you crazy??? You just hit a small girl and you don't know if she is alive or dead. You do realize that it is "hit and run" right?

(I realized at this point that I have raised my voice a few hundred decibels higher! But my shock was overcoming any sense of rational that I had.)

Doc: You just left her at the road side with "an Indian man" and came here?
Guy: I wasn't really thinking. 

Nurse: Doctor, there's a new case in trauma room. Motorvehicle accident, hit and run, 11 yr old Indian female. Hafiz is assessing her. She is a little hysterical.

I could hear her screaming from my OPD room. Well, screaming is good. Better than an unconscious kid, most of the time. But kids can deteriorate so fast.... from a GCS of 14 to 3 in a matter of mins.
I walked over to the trauma room, leaving the nurse to clean up the guy with the abrasions. I decided scratches can wait.... I know it may not have been entirely his fault.