Truths and Inspiration

Home again

Have you ever felt you wanted your holiday to extend and keep going for some more time?

That is where I am now. The holiday was restful. There were some visits we made to people we knew from about 30 years back as college students. We visited with our girls and their friends. The visits to old friends made for happy and sad times- happy in terms of seeing them alive and sad in terms of knowing how different life is now than when we were young. Life seemed to stretch as a long belt in front of us. Thirty years down, we realize how frivolous and testy life is. Things change. What we expected to happen 30 years back did not happen at all and what we never expected to see have happened.

Many of our old professors are either living lives of retirement or semi-retirement. The present crop of students don’t know or have never heard of the “Terror of our times” – our Anatomy professor, who was nicknamed MaJa short for her first name and surname. To young 17 and 18 year olds, this venerable professor seemed ever lasting and always seemed to hover around the department wearing her white sari. White was considered the colour of Anatomy. Times have changed- Daughter 2 mentions how friendly she is with all the Anatomy tutors and how they socialize even outside classes- a thing unheard or un-thought of during our times. MaJa doesn’t hover around Anatomy any more – nor do any of her successors. Children of her successors are however teachers there and there has been change- positive change. Anatomy is not a subject of fear anymore.

I visited a couple of retired professors who lived a few kilometers off the campus and relived old days. The days were reminisced through my husband’s eyes’ rather than my own for my days in the college had been difficult and I cannot remember many pleasant days there. Anyway, my husband caught up with old memories and discussed the difficult but “good old days”.

Another person we visited was a classmate of my husbands’ and who also happen to provide daughter 2 with home cooked meals on days she wants a change from hostel food. His wife has just recovered from a difficult surgery for an advanced disease so we could revisit with her. I remember her as a senior about three years older to me and who was so full of energy and enthusiasm for any thing ” the alma mater”. Today she is a subdued, mature lady in her early fifties, with a smile that speaks of pain and gratitude. Seeing her has been a shock to me and a reminder of how short or how soon life can change for a person.

A long plane ride back in cramped seats and a day spent in bed, recovering from the short trip made for a happy ending.

Truths and Inspiration

And another travel

Planning to visit daughters 1 and 2 this weekend- a very short trip- a vacation for all of us from our routines. My nose bleeds are almost nil since the last one on February 23rd. Still on the medicine. Not much luggage this time. The trip promises to have its sparks and its events. I hate drama in my life but often, drama finds me as though it feels my life needs some livening up. It is what it is.

Truths and Inspiration

Kat and Cyn update: A lunch & some good news

Friend Kat, who left our department about 6 months back, wrote to say her partner who was without a job or visa for about a year and a half, was finally approved for a job and visa- so that is a big relief for her. She also got a bank loan to get a new car that would not stop on the road for at least sometime. I think that’s super news. We might have a celebration some time for them. Still planning how to throw him a surprise party.

One of our colleagues from our main university campus, who was here for two weeks is leaving tomorrow, back to the home campus. So we took him out to lunch at the food court of a mall nearby. We went to the Cheesecake factory and indulged to our heart’s content.

The tempura shrimp, the prawns, the avocado sandwiches and the tortilla chips were amazing as starters. Drinks like strawberry lemonade and black tea were provided in large glasses with any number of refills- who could want any more? By the time main courses came over, we were all rather full but we went on. I ordered a hamburger and Cyn an endive salad, saving her space for a cheesecake. Who could leave out the cheesecake from a visit to the Cheesecake factory . Everyone had plenty of food left over to take home in doggie bags. Most of the bags carried their cheesecake desserts. The best part of the day- not to have to return to work after lunch- we left for home soon after even though our work day wasn’t over yet.

A story starter · About me

CT scan update

Nose bleed waking me up at night. A bad feeling. Tears. Wondering what’s happening. It is a horrible feeling to have something flowing down your nose and waking up because of the bleed.

My CT scan reports are essentially normal- seems like I have chronic sinusitis. I visited with my ENT today and he confirms the CT scan report- what else could he do. Have been put on a month’s medical treatment after which perhaps I might need to have a sinus cleaning surgery. Funny that I didn’t have a single symptom of sinusitis- not one. And if the nose bleeds hadn’t occurred, I probably wouldn’t have gone to my ENT either or had a scan either.

A story starter · Choices · Co workers

A thief, a cross and a night shift

In 1992, which seems a long time back now, I was a very junior doctor, fresh out of college. It was a rural area and the hospital was the only one that served at least 20 hamlets around. Patients were few and those that came preferred to come at the dead of night. For that is when they fell ill. We junior doctors were on duty most nights- to be spared the night shift was a privilege of the senior doctors.

One dark night, it must have been in late October of that year, I was on duty. Our shifts were for 24 hours at a time. At around 1 am, I got called to go to Emergency and fortunately the case did not take too long to look at. I could get back fairly quick to bed- that I remember.

Shrieks and huffs and puffs woke me up. The time on the luminescent dial of my watch declared it close to 2 am. The sounds seemed to come from my neighbouring room. Shuffles and pushes and pulls were heard. Words like “let me go” or ” let it go” were audible through the thin walls. And then loud sobs and doors slamming. I buried myself in my blanket and my sorrows. I was newly married at that time- just a month or so and I was planning my escape from that hospital to join my husband at the hospital where he worked.

A few moments later, a knock sounded on my door. I opened the door to find my neighbour there. She told me a thief had gotten into her room through the open door and had snatched her gold neckpiece. At the end of the chain was a small cross, one of the two symbols of being married in that part of the world among Christians. She told me she fought the thief, the only thought in her mind being, to save the little cross. A costly gold necklace could be replaced but the little cross ordained by the priest could not be- could never be. The thief spared the little cross and ran away with the gold chain.

I wonder if the chain was ever returned to its owner, my neighbour. 26 years later, I was reminded of this incident because my younger daughter went to dinner at the house of this very same woman, yesterday. And she recounted this incident to my daughter. I remembered the scolding I got from this woman that night – I should have gone to help her fight the thief. I would have heard the shouts and struggles. Together we could have overpowered the thief. I don’t think so. I have never wanted to fight a thief- it is not one of my bucket list things. Live and let live is my policy. October 31 was my last day at that hospital. I went on long leave. It was a coincidence that the thief incident and my leaving the hospital were all consequential though totally unrelated.

The little cross( google images)