Sab Theek Ho Jayega !

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Kochi / Ernakulam, Kerala, India
A Doctor who loves to Live, Love and Laugh with the World! Absolutely crazy about Cricket ! Other Qualifications: A Tired Bathroom Singer, Retired Gully Cricketer and Satire Writer !

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hunger Management: A Self Realization !

Confessions of a Perpetually Hungry Doctor !

When I wrote 'Eat, Play and Love', I never imagined I will be forced to delve deeper into it so soon. Something happened a fortnight later and that has changed me beyond words.

If I eat and love food, it obviously is because I am hungry. My friend Satish Bhat used to joke about it. Whenever I said, "Hey I am hungry", he used to retort, "Tell us something we don't know. You are perpetually hungry".

'Hunger' has been a problem. Very often it lead to 'Anger'. Or so I believed. I used to get angry and snap at people when I was hungry. Very often I was downright rude to some of my co-workers. Later I attributed all that to my hunger and associated anger and apologize. Must say I am quite shameless in this regard. 'Sorry' comes easy to me than to most of the people.

It was a pretty busy day in our small ICCU. Sasikala, A Senior Staff Nurse was celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary. She had ordered Biriyani for all the ICCU staff and me. I live on tea and two bananas on normal work days. But I have to eat my banana before 12:00 noon to keep myself calm.

That day the Biriyani arrived a little late and I was famished. I straightaway decided to attack without waiting for the others. This is something I have done all life and nobody ever complained; at least never in front of me.

I sat down on a chair in front of the television with my Biriyani. I ordered to Jijin, a male-nurse to pull the curtains to keep me behind the curtains and away from the patients and other probable visitors. A known sleep-walker, he was wandering around obviously oblivious to my order. I asked him to pull the curtains another four times.

After the fifth time, I lost my top and shouted at him, "Pull the curtains you deaf idiot". That boy was stunned and the whole ICCU fell silent. He pulled the curtains and left the ICCU without a word. I finished my lunch and continued with my work. As I cooled down I realized it was plain dumb on my part. So I sent text messages with "Sorry, forgive me" words.

Next day, Vijayalakshmi, our ECG Technician told me the boy was seriously hurt by my rudeness. He had told her this: "Just because I am a Nurse, I have to hear and suffer all these kind of things. I should not have come into this profession". I felt further pain inside me. I went to him and personally said it was not about a Doctor and Nurse, but was just a momentary lapse in reason. I again apologized to him. He silently nodded and said, "It's Okey".

Two days later, I was in a jovial mood. I always am jovial when not hungry. I jokingly asked our staff, "So whose wedding anniversary are we going to celebrate today?". Betty, one of our most efficient staff nurse said, "Why ? Is it to humiliate another person ?". This hit me real hard. I tried to defend, "But he was acting like a sloth and I did apologize. How many people have you seen apologize ?".

Betty said, "Does apologizing after hitting or scolding someone really undo the harm ? In that case anyone can do that. What if he had retaliated ? If he were to scold you or even hit you, what would have happened ? I don't believe saying sorry after being so rude is a solution".

I was feeling hot under the collar. I left the scene lest I talk any more. Inside my own cabin, I shut the door and sat trying to regroup myself. What I have analyzed after this incident is what has guided my behavior since then.

Why do I get angry and shout at others ?

Is it Hunger ? Is my being superior justify this ? Is it right, even if they were wrong ?

The answer I found to my horror was it was none of these. It was plain 'Arrogance'. Yes, ARROGANCE ! How on earth can anyone be so rude to colleagues ? I myself have suffered rudeness from other people. But none of them were even remotely connected to me. I have always complained about rudeness on our roads, traffic and the society in general. So how different was I ?

The answer to this question was even more depressing. If people are rude in the traffic or elsewhere, they are being rude to 'Nobody'. Yes, most of the times the snarls happen between absolute strangers. And here I was, being rude to my own colleagues who have been with me for years. I realized I was worse !

The next realization came along with this truth. What makes me arrogant ? Well, I ask our staff to order my tea. I ask them to get me the papers and charts and everything. They often go out to the Coffee House to bring my food or tea. They wash my tea cups and clean my room. Why do they do all these things ? Because they respect my position. But who am I ? Is my position as a Doctor, my identity ? I felt miserable.

The ward staff are scared of me because I am short-tempered. 'Doorvasan' is the name given to me by those girls petrified by my anger.Some of them hide behind the Senior ICCU staff even to convey some routine results. It never hurt me before. I used to joke about it. But today, it hurts me.

I never divulge that I am a Doctor to anyone unknown. The reason is simple. I want to be left alone outside my work place. During travel and holidays, the prefix Dr. can become a problem. So I never affix it anywhere other than on official forms and prescriptions.

I now knew it was my 'Arrogance' not my 'Hunger' that fostered the 'Anger'. I had taken these people for granted. I had ordered around and got my way all these years, never bothering to check how they could have felt about it. So if they obeyed my orders in spite of myself, it was simply because I was a Doctor. And this was not a nice thought.

I wouldn't like people to do things out of fear for my designation. Making tall claims about 'Live, Love and Laugh' all along, I was hardly Loving people around me. I decided and changed many things from that moment.

Here are some of the things I changed about myself.

I stopped asking others to order my tea or coffee. I order them myself.
I don't ask them to switch on the fans and AC. I do it myself.
No ordering others to open or shut the doors. I do that.
Bringing papers or any thing from one place to another is done by me for myself.
Generally I don't allow anyone to do things for me other than what is concerned with their job.

Some of my colleagues think I was hurt and angry and was being spiteful. Far from true. They don't know how happy and grateful I am today. They haven't asked me yet about this changed behavior. I haven't told them too. I shall tell them if and when they ask me. Or perhaps they will know if and when some of them read this post.

But I must thank Betty for the favor she has bestowed upon me. If not for that straight talk, my arrogance would have continued to grow making more and more people resent me behind me. I wouldn't like to die as someone who was respected out of fear. All Dictators were respected during their time. I would love to be respected out of love. Forget respect, I just love to be loved !

I apologize to all those whom I have hurt before. I also apologize to another person I have always taken for granted, that is my wife. Very sincerely so ! I shall try my best not to lose my temper.

And I thank my Friend Murali who had seen it 21 years ago that my problem with 'Temper' will humble me some day. I thank you my Buddy !

Murali had gifted me this in 1989

Life is of no worth if we have to live in a mansion all alone.

Life is all about Love and Celebrating Life with Love and Laughter !

Dr. Pun-dit

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Mission, My Passion, My Life !

Love is a beautiful, wonderful and enchanting feeling... 
Until it happens to your Daughter !

My Little Angel !
This is a smart quotable quote attributed to Shakespeare by some modern day smart Alec. But it is true, as true as true comes. Only problem is we don't realize this till it perhaps happens and comes to face us face to face.

Why should I think, talk and worry about it now ? Very simple, my little daughter is growing up. As much as I detest this fact, it is true. She will complete 12 years and will graduate into the teen group now.

We know this teenage is the most notorious age. I myself had fallen headlong in love with my English teacher as a 16 year old boy. People call this 'Infatuation'. But try explaining this to the smitten and you will know.

This excessive information era has left this generation of parents in a serious disadvantage. When we were kids, we thought our parents knew a lot. But our kids think their parents know nothing. Seriously they know a lot more than us. Try some of those indecipherable games on your mobile and you know what I mean.

Going back in time to 19 November 1998, I vividly remember the stress I went though when my wife was posted for an elective Cesarean Delivery the next morning. Ignorance for sure is bliss in these kind of situations. Knowing all those horrendous possibilities associated with child birth can make a Doctor waiting to be parent a 'Nut'; which I was on that day !

When finally the moment arrived and we received my own little bundle of energy at around 11:10 AM on 20 November 1998, my life had changed forever. I had become a Father, Dad, Appa or Appe as she prefers to call me. I keep telling all my clients and junior friends, how wonderful a feeling that was and will always be.

Samskruthy is the Name !
All those moments of her growing up are etched in memory. The first gurgle. The kicking. The smile. The crawl. First step. Her walks. Her banter. Cuddling up when she wanted to sleep longer. Every moment is precious. Since I didn't have a video camera, I could only capture her on my still camera. Those are but my most favorite snaps and will always remain so.

At the Qutub Minar - My Most Beautiful Shot to date

Some exceedingly endearing moments are worth living the whole life cherishing them all along. I am particularly fond of the tour to Kullu - Manali in 1999 November. Soon after her first birthday, we three went to Delhi, Kullu and Manali along with my sister, brother in law and my seven month old niece Prajna.

We were traveling by a Sumo Jeep from New Delhi to Manali. We had covered both the little girls with ample warn clothes. The big girls too were well protected. My brother in law, the master of the party was sitting in the front seat. Me, my wife and sister were sitting in the middle seat with the kids.

Till that day, I was only a play thing for my Baby. She came to me when she was awake and wanted to play, and be carried all over the place. But when she wanted to sleep, she went back to her mother and cuddle up to sleep on her laps. Of course with her favorite dish in mouth. Never once did she sleep on my lap.

With Her Mother
But on that memorable day, as she was playing with me through our journey; she started yawning. And even as I expected her to jump to her mother, she actually cuddled up to me, held me tighter and slept on my chest, warm and cozy.

On Her Favorite Seat
This was the most beautiful moment of my life since her birth. As I resisted my wife's attempts to take her away, I also realized an extraordinary truth. Mothering a child is one real achievement. After just about one hour, she woke up and jumped towards her Mom for her feed.

As I tried to free my hands, arms and shoulders I realized my thighs, hands and shoulders were sore and numb. If one hour of carrying a 12kg child can leave you sore, just imagine how all those mothers should be feeling !

This was a moment of accomplishment for me as well as a moment of truth; the irrefutable truth. There isn't an entity greater than Mother on earth. I salute all mothers of this planet; those who ever lived, those who still live and those who will be mothers some day.

Any woman if she feels she is treated any lesser than a man, she should know better. A Man can be a lot of things and more, but he can never be a Mother. And for me that pretty much sums up the gender equation. The only regret I have in life about my relationship with my daughter is I can never be her Mother. Hence I try my best to be as good a Father as possible.

There are but only two occasions I have had to be angry with her. One ended up me deciding never to hurt her again. The second time was on a day when I had to act tough because the situation demanded it. At least I believe so.

My Mom asked her to light the lamp in our Pooja Room on the day we arrived from our native place after an overnight journey. All of us were tired. When she said, she can't light a match stick, I told her it was time she learned to light one. She still didn't like to do it. I cajoled her and even showed her how to light a match stick and then to light an oil wick.

But she wasn't budging. This made me really angry. I told her, "You will light the lamp today come what may". She lit the match stick and promptly burnt her fingers by holding it in wrong position. She started yelling loudly and waited for her doting father to hug her and relieve her of the misery.

But I told sternly, "Look Child, some girls your age light lamps and kitchen hearths and even cook their own food. It will be an insult to all of us if an almost 12 year old girl refuses to learn simple things in life. So, go and wash your fingers in clod water, apply Silverex, come back and light the lamp. You and YOU alone will light it today. And I will have nothing less".

She was sobbing uncontrollably. Though it tugged at my heart, I had to tell her very firmly to stop sobbing and finish the job. She realized she had no escape. So she went ahead and finally lit the matches and the light. Once the work was accomplished, I took my child in my arms, hugged her and broke down because I was forced to be rude to her. I could have spoiled her that day by being lenient. But I love my child too much to spoil her thus.

This post is as much about mothers as it is about a daughter. I would like my child to grow up to be responsible and worthy citizen of this country and the world. The next morning, she came and gave me a hug and a peck and said, "Appe, I lit the lamp today with just one match-stick. I have learned now".

So I told her, "Life is all about learning. We have to keep trying to improve ourselves. Your marks in school don't make you, your effort is what makes you. We don't love those prizes you win, we love YOU. I am not bothered if you don't win a prize or end up getting lesser marks in exams. These things don't make you any lesser for us. I am never bothered by prizes and awards, but it will hurt me if my child doesn't 'TRY'. You keep learning, working and improving. Give your best to everything you do; be it at school, on stage or in music or even a simple thing like lighting a lamp. Nothing will scare you if you know you are doing your best".

She Learned to Swim in 2 days, because she wanted to !

My child will be a mother some day and hopefully she will remember this lesson we both learned that day. I repented being rude to her and kept telling my wife, "I hope I will never have to be angry with her again". I really hope so. I still am not reconciled to the fact that she will be a big girl sooner than later and then will find a man for herself and will have to move on in life.

Watching 'Bidai' scenes in Bollywood movies makes me edgy. Tamil movie 'Abhiyum Naanum' made me emotional. Any mention of her growing up and her marriage makes me jittery. Not because I see that as a responsibility or a burden. But because I don't know how I will cope up with that. People advise me not to be so attached and possessive.

For what is a Daughter born if not to love and be loved ? So I tell people, "All those things you people tell may be inevitable. But as of now, she is my little Darling Angel and let me enjoy her being my child. We will deal with her marriage when we reach there. Now leave us alone to enjoy being Father and Daughter"

As my little Angel takes her first steps into teenage, let me wish her many more wonderful birthdays and all the love, affection, health, success and happiness in life. My life was pretty good before you came, but you have made it complete and meaningful for your Mom and me and all of us.

We love you and cherish you !

My Life, My Mission, My Passion !

20 November 2010
12 Years since the Beautiful Journey began !

Dr. Pun-dit