Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A paradigm shift.

Is there a need for a paradigm shift in the way we look at rural India?
India has it all,the best of brains,all the money,all the poverty and a disbalance in the distribution of opportunity ......and the wealth.
Privellaged get most of the privellages and the poor..a few discarded favours.
We have the best of brains coming out from our institutions....this incredible India has no dirth of people who can innovate and innovate more for personal survivol.Why can't rural India be made part of the projects of the curriculum of the creme dela creme of our society who pass out from the institutions like IITs,IIMs,etc...every year?They rack their brain..they do it for America...Why can't they be made to do it for India?
The country has the resources in terms of money,man-power,brains...everything but it is hardly chanellised for the greater good.
The heart of India lies in the villages...the answer does not lie in doling out subsidies......but in investing time,energy ,thought and changing the way the rural India thinks....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Dinner !

It was a good dinner with the staffs doing their bit,contributing graciously...
The girls beautifully dancing the jharkhandi tribal dance to the rendition of nagpuri christian numbers that touches the heart.
Beautiful place,beautiful people,beautiful faith,Incomparable savior!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Is it christmas yet?

A little bit of sun-shine
filtering through the winter cold,
A little bit of extra time,
a little extra grace ..
..in the moment.
Is it Christmas yet?
The curdling scream of the woman in labour
piercing through the walls...
Her vocals hammering my head
at tandem-the anguished voice
of my sister-in-law over the phone,
Dare not picturise more.
Are the gifts packed?
Does everyone have a gift?
Are the arrangements for dinner made?
There is a phone-call,
my heart misses a beat!
My sister's reassuring voice
says-all is well for now!
Is it christmas yet?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Time out!

Where is the time to grieve?
Demands and endless demands
of people wanting of your time.
I want some time out,
even from myself!
Some time to understand my reaction,
to nurse myself,to lick my wounds,
or atleast to keep it out in the open and allow it to fester
for a while.
I want some moment to take a hard
long look at myself,
to tell myself it is allright.

Waiting for Godot!

Strange way to look at this advent season!
I remember my sibling looking at us one lazy holiday afternoon sunning ourselves and remarking sardonically-'waiting for Godot huh!'
Here we are in the hospital two doctors working our hearts out literally, me awaiting the inevitable....literally waiting for Godot!!
There are the children preparing for the christmas play,churning out the same old thing they have been doing for the last God knows how many years.
Christmas at home??I haven't been home for christmas for the last five years or so.
Every one in the extended family seem to be sick.If not tragic, it almost looks sinister.So I am here supposed to lead the campus for the christmas celebrations wishing I could be anywhere but here!
Got thoroughly harrased by the press the whole morning -gave them a good speech-pity them!I wouldn't know how I would have sounded after a sleepless night on duty but they were full of apology as they left ....awaiting the papers to see what they write!No worries though,we couldn't have done more for anyone!
Supposed to give the message in the church on sunday after the christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

CONSOLATION OF ISRAEL.

‘Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel.He lived a very careful,cautious,responsible life….one that was exemplary…one that brought glory to God’s name’
Simeon was an ordinary man but the Word describes him as ‘just and devout’whom the spirit of the LORD had prompted ,would see the messiah before he was to die.The prophecy comes to fruction .Joseph and Mary bring Jesus to the temple and Simeon is led by the Holy spirit to the temple as well.He has that deep joy of not only holding the messiah in his arms but also the honour of prophesying about the days to come……
'Simeon was a man who was led by the Spirit of God, taught by the Word of God, and obedient to the will of God; and therefore he was privileged to see the salvation of God!'
What a blessed man!
What blessed words!!….what a tremendous prophecy..!!
‘Lord,now let You your servant depart in peace,according to your word:
For my eyes have seen your salvation….(How many of us can truly say that?)
A light to lighten the Gentiles…….(missionary prophecy)
Behold,this child is set for the fall and rising again …of many in Israel…
A sword shall pierce through your own soul(Crucification)……and the thoughts of
many hearts may be revealed….’
It’s precise ,clear and delivered……PRAISE THE LORD !!.

Monday, December 14, 2009

MIGRATION

Migration has been seen as a very important factor influencing the pattern of disease and its control in India.One gets to understand the reality of it’s influence when one becomes involved in the control programmes at the ground level.In Jharkhand,there are the seasonal migrants who are said to migrate to areas like brick kilns during the lean agricultural season for livelihood.It has been assumed that the majority of these labourers migrate due to desperate poverty.
However,Alpa Shah from the department of Anthropology in Goldsmith College from the university of London has an interesting sociological take on the process.
‘Many see the brick kilns as a temporary space of freedom to escape problems back home, explore a new country, gain independence from parents’
NREGA’s hundred day’s work may not have the supreme solution to migration and disease control,although it certainly abets the problem to some extent.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Walking throught the mall in LKW.

Needed a comb for the journey-missed packing it-had some time in hand between trains,so made a quick trip to the mall in Gomti Nagar.There were designer shops gallore,almost felt embarrased near the driver.Predictably could not find a comb.
The driver asked us what the mall was like-I found myself telling him 'it was useless-no essentials available-'
what a joy it is to be in the company of the earthy,working class people....just being in their company makes one realise how superfluos our lives are......was talking to the other driver who drove us from Dehradun to torch-bearers as to whether he had been to Landour and he answered-Madam,if I go to visit places like Landour,what will my children eat?valid question although I had just meant in the course of his work!

Friday, December 11, 2009

These are the days!

Strange night, four patient's at the death's door were pulled out by the grace of God.
Gun-shot injury where the bullet had gone in through the left jaw and was lodged in the left retroauricular region.Took it out with an LA.The patient is recovering well.Had never seen a bullet in my life before except on TV.These are election times and this is Palaumu.One can never be sure what to expect.
Second was an accident ,where the patient had fallen from a bike.There was absolute fracture of the humerus and bleeding in the abdomen.Just the wife and a twelve year old for company,in shock.We arranged for blood and did an exploratory laparotomy.The patient is recovering well.
Third was a case of placenta accreta who had bled so severely that she was again in shock-she just had 2gms of haemoglobin and both the male bystanders were dead drunk.Had to do an emergency hysterectomy at the middle of the night.
Fourth is a commonplace enough ailment of rupture uterus which normally comes in from Garhwa district.
Laparotomy with repair had to be done.
Whew!quite a handful for a night's work.
It was Good morning to the theatre team by the time we all could go home.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Akshay-the lessons we learn.

Barack Obama's speech while receiving the nobel was quite a speech.Where does he get his rhetorics from one wonders?It couldn't all be speech-writers ...
Akshay is doing well.
He has this fascinating phenomenon I've been reading about in a book(A leg to stand on-Oliver Sachs).
He moves his feet off and on involuntarily-and often cannot ,when asked.
Today his mother told me that he taps his feet predictably to two songs-'stuti aradhana upar jaati hai...' and 'yogya kewal tu.....'
Brings to mind the verse in Isaiah 11,vs 2.
'The wolf will dwell with the lamb,
the leopard will rest beside the kid,
the calf and the lion cub will feed together
and a little child will lead them.'
It's amazing to watch how the lord heals the community it has called for a ministry even as he works his wonders amidst them.
Praise Him !

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Landour!

Up,up and up the hill-I come from the hills and I almost had a vertigo and an altitude sickness.By the time I reached our colleagues home my ears had started ringing and I could barely manage to calm down my poor gut.Landour,here I come....having heard so much about the place from my colleagues...and even from a dear cousin who took such a fancy to the place that he plans to retire in those hills...It was like a dejavu..!I gulped the wonderful tea,played around with the fuzzy tom-cat,whose reaction was almost human!The journey killed the joy!The hospital was awkwardly placed in the middle of nowhere...reminded me of government hospices back home.. I even dread to enter.The market place was another tourist mall in a hill-station i am only too familiar with.Aren't you from Sikkim?Isn't Sikkim hilly?-asked someone.One would understand me better if I explained that going home was driving by the banks of the Teesta to the gentle curves of the Sikkim hills-there was no climbing to Mandrake's xanadu!Due to constraints of time,I was deprived of the joy of making it to the sister's bazaar and the many halloed landscape and real estates one hears stories about.I liked the view of the Woodstock school one gets from the road we walked through,did not have the stamina to make it there although was offered a visit by a senior colleague who was visiting his wards there.The place was tough on my sinuses,my vestibular system and a bit too touristy for my taste.Quite a contrast to Lukhnow!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lukhnow!

Have heard enough and more about the city.
Synonymous with culture in many ways,somehow never made it there.
So I jumped at the chance to have a glimpse of the city while changing trains.There is the Lukhnowi andaaz,the Oudhi culture,the cuisine,the chikan ,the nawabs...the anglo imprint....it's endless....,what one reads about.
The station saw me staring at plastic packets being used to transport tea....I asked the driver how this worked?it's apparently transferred to a cup before it is sipped...this was a novelty for me.The driver chuckled,my companion followed and I hollered,my antennae up...
Next was the chikan shop...with it's endless provisions...was served tea(courtesy noted)and was badgered left,right and centre by an over-enthusiastic shop-keeper who knew his job well.
The gate to Residency had a story to tell-we looked hard at the structure could almost imagine the era....1857...the structures....Cliff Richards,Englebert Humperdinck.....and the name Henry lawrence....did it ring a bell somewhere.
The old Luckhnow replete with the muslim architecture ....every other government building,hotel,marriage halls....passed off as a palace of the old by our taxi driver......where did the poor people live?
Do you want to go to the zoo?-the driver asked-it was a resounding No!
Lunch was Lukhnowi biryani at an eatery in lalbagh,just next to the mosque .Atlast,I had sampled the famous Lukhnowi biryani in Lukhnow!!
La martinniere for boys was our next stop.My brother-in-law had literally grown up in the campus some two and a half decade earlier....just wanted to see the place.
We were greeted with hordes and hordes of people playing golf in the link as well as on the road side...this was almost like cricket elsewhere..this was supposedly La-Mart's land which had been converted into the chief minister's residence near-by.
Getting into the la-mart's campus was another story altogether.The buildings are much like the most of old lukhnow,never repaired since construction I would think...ruins..falling apart...Two sentries though were posted at the gates.I thought I would get down to talking to them.Asked one of the securities ,how many years he had been there,he said eight.i asked him about the condition of the buildings and he said-memsahib,you should see the interiors of the the buildings...it's so grand...I took his word for it and we left!I wish I had a camerra-i could have captured it for my brother-in law.
The next stop was the Gomti-nagar.The garish town which gives you the feel of driving through Bangkok.We refused to get down but had a peep through the window of our taxi...to see what the hulla-bulla of Mayawati's statue drive was...
I got a conversation rolling with the driver to judge his political affiliation or rather to judge the mood on the street!His exact words were-'UP has become a Bihar!We don't know whether we can say that because even Bihar is showing some kind of progress in the current regime.All the development you see in the state is within this kilometre or two of Gomti nagar-this is it!The current regime is certainly not coming back to power.
Congress should come to power in the state but Rahul gandhi will not become the chief minister even if it does...it will be someone else....'he left the statement hanging in the air.
Some passing thoughts...as I drove through and out of Lukhnow..this is the capital of UP,a state which has produced some of the most notable personalities that decorate the annals of India's politics,art,culture.....name it.In a state ,which has no dearth of achievers,Mayawati,a dalit by birth,a lady to boot...if nothing else,she sure has a lot of guts....it hit me like it hadn't before!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Issues that could hold the key ……

Tribals in India ,as in most parts of the world, are forest dwellers.They have lived in the forest and subsisted on them for their livelihood .These forests were acquired by the forest departments without settling the issues of rights and the tribals became enchroachers in the forest they have lived on since time immemorial.

Sanjay Patnoik in-‘ PESA,the Forest Right Act,and Tribal Rights in India.’

“In the continued harangue over national objectives and global needs, the question of the
livelihood security of the forest dwellers has been given quiet burial-as if they belong to
another planet. As we have seen, forests in India have always been valued for revenue profit,
conservation, and as a genetic reservoir. They have never really been perceived or managed as
a livelihood recourse. The fact that sustainable development of forests is possible with the
harmonious blending of local, national, and global needs has never been acknowledged in the
country. In what can be called the mother of all ironies, the Government, through its policies
and actions, first pushes the forest dwellers into utter penury and then starts poverty
alleviation programs for them.”

What do the tribals do to protect their rights.They do what they have been doing all their lives,take up arms and declare war against people who are threatening to usurp their rights.

Somewhere ,somehow every surpressed wound ,every wrong,every injustice brushed aside has a way of showing it’s head in someway.Someone has to pay for the sins committed-when and how is the only question?

Akshay,his spine,paraplegia ……and the joy of the lord !!

Little Akshay Kumar was brought to the hospital a month ago with complete paraplegia .For one so young,barely seven ,with retention of urine he had the forbearance of a child who has seen more than his share of pain.He was literally crushed under the grain crusher.He had injury and bleeding in the abdomen for which he had an emergency laparotomy –he survived the surgery but no one could do anything about his spine.They came to me in the emergency ,parents in that broken state …..Akshay was their only child.
I looked into the reversible and consulted a spine surgeon in Vellore who gave the verdict,no intervention could be done and one could not predict the prognosis.How do you explain such a prognosis to a mother of a child in such distress.You teach them what life has taught you during such crisis and hope fervently that somehow they catch on.They stayed in our hospital for a week.During their time we shared the gospel and taught the mother to pray.
They decided to take the child home and care for him there.In the mean time we had mobilized prayer ,the spine surgeon with the compassion of a missionary at heart kept enquiring about the child.
A month later ,a lady suddenly barged into my OPD .Seemed extremely glad to see me for some reason,and said that she had been searching for me all over.Observing that the other senior doctor was examining the patient I told her I would look in later.
Akshay ,it was ,as I gathered later.Wonder of wonders he had started flexing his knee-had developed a few decubites ulcers.My spirit was lifted further when she attributed Akshay’s progress to Jesus’ grace.
Often in our work places we see endless sufferings ,until everything around becomes a norm.We pray with patients ,we pray for patients.Our greatest challenge comes when we face these chronically diseased patients in all phases.Every day becomes a challenge then.
We serve ,God heals……there is the physical ailment glaring at us and there is the mental and the spiritual aspect which we often take for granted….the healing is essential anew every day of their lives.to continue onwards…to press on…..and then the greatest gift to press on with true joy in their hearts inspite of the struggles!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Simple Management Principle at work!!.

Anyone travelling by Indian railways will wonder at the sincerity of the waiters in the pantry car.You hardly ,if ever, see them sitting casually.It defies simple Indian logic that a host of public sector employees should work their guts out for their salaries.I don’t deny the fact that there are public sector employees who are committed and do their work with sincerity but this is certainly not a norm.You even see the waiters trying to convince the passengers to order something.I had to get to the bottom of this.It could very well hold the key to a major management issue.
A little research gave me the answer.I believe the waiters have a nine percent haul for the sale of the day and no steady salary.Each individual takes home a packet of around three hundred rupees a day.That is a little more then a daily wage worker who earns half the money in the same time.When they don’t work their lot is less ,could even be naught.
The driving factor here is the money…or rather livelihood ….as it is for people from all walks of life……
What a life!!!!...Brings to my mind the word’s of the Master-‘Man does not live by bread alone…..’

Sunday, November 22, 2009

INCREDIBLE INDIA!!!

This is a 48hrs journey to Delhi and back to attend the thanksgiving service for 40 years of EHA.
A simple ceremony,inspiring …
The journey back was in Tata-Muri ,jam-packed as usual.
Two things that struck me from an observation of my colleague during the journey….so much for the mineral water bottles and the strict instructions to destroy it once it is used..the urchins seem to make a meal of it….they collect the bottle ,fill it with ice-cold water from the station water-coolers and sell it to the passengers in the general compartment for five rupees each-I hope the common sense behind it will take him or her to heights of business glory in the coming days.
I found myself leaving the water-bottle with great care on my berth….hoping it catches the eye of the genious.
The station at Daltonganj was flooded with village folks working on leaves,sewing them together to make leaf plates out of them….apparently they travel all the way from their village every night to make use of the electricity which obviously is a non-entity in their villages to work on at night …they sell these leaf plates in bulk to a whole-sale agent who supplies it for weddings and pujas across the states or may be the country too…
This country of more than a billion people,this sort of ingenuity ,hard work and the ability to beat the odds would have given them rewards in mullahs in a richer country,say the west…..but this is India….there is a smarter person for every smart person on the street…..This is what makes this country incredible!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Winters -Brrrrrrr!!!

The winter's come in .
So it seems-today is a bundh and I still have to make a quick trip to Delhi and back in a 48hours time.In JKD where the temperatures go up to 49 degrees in summer,my fingers have started freezing.
DO I like winters ,I don't actually know.I guess it depends on the situation sorrounding it.
Last several winters,I have been travelling all over and have been to colder countries,but the thrill of seeing new places ,having new experiences and the adrenalline that goes with it somehow leaves me unqualified to answer the simple question-do I like winters?
I like the sun as much as the next person around i like the winter sun more,I like the snow and the feel of it.I get fascinated by the ice crystals during winters that drip down ,frozen from the hanging cliffs ,in a sub-zero temperature.
I like the crackling fire wood in the fire-place and the warmth of that hot drink that warms the bones ,slowly bringing it to life..i like the warmth of the winter hearth with the family at it, in absolute peace...reading ,whispering ,playing,a camaddarie that is often difficult to manage on easier days because every one is out-doors.
I like the winter sun and the way everyone seems to discuss the leaves on the trees and the shimmer of the winter sun on the valley....the light and shadows, the dramatic and sudden view of the endless landscape which ebbs and flows before your mind's eye with Elgar's symphony playing on the wireless and ofcourse I like the orange trees which bend to the weight of the oranges ,almost touching the ground at times....oranges everywhere...in the trees,on the ground....in my hand ...and in yours !

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The healing power of the pure!

What a beautiful message in the chapel today from the most unlkely source-a meek staff nurse!It was restating the gospel we have heard a hundred times over but came forth with clarity from a pure heart-not an extra word,not an extra intonation just a pure simple message....crystal clear.
How rejuvinating and beautiful it is to be in such a company even for a little while.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

FRAGILE !!!

I got a mail from my sister the other day.She has just lost her mother-in-law.She was a pillar of strength for my sister and the family.She said one thing which struck me .She said she was still fragile!!
Our chidhood was a protected one .I had not seen death in my family till I was in my late twenties and that was of a dear uncle,well-loved and truly missed.Life was one picnic with the greatest struggle being the exams one had to sit through and occasional skirmishes with friends in the boarding school.
I literally grew up in Tumbagara!
In Tumbagara,a small village with a hospital which I guess is all it can boast of even now,I learnt the ABCs of life....I saw life in all it's gory detail....lived it,lost it,found it and perhaps ...somewhere along the way it struck me that this was actually life ....
..if ten years ago my sister would have used the word 'fragile' to describe a state of mind it would have gone over my head...now I sort of understand.
Fragile!,what a beautiful word!
My sister used it to describe her state of mind.
Travelling back from England,the airport authorities put a picture of a set of crystals with the word as a label on my guitar,
I thought it was beautiful!
I found myself using the word to describe my exceptionally talented and well-loved cousin who's not been keeping too well.
What a beautiful word-….-‘fragile’....,.....liable to break ......,handle with utmost care.....it's precious!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A trial post.

I am just trying out my hands in putting photographs into my blog to see how it works!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Jharkhand's contribution to Indian cricket!!

India was at the brink of becoming world champions in cricket (BCCI ranking)and predictably,has lost the series to Ricky Ponting's Australia.Now an australian player Shane Warne has put the blame squarely on Jharkhand's blue-eyed boy Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captainy.
What's with Dhoni,a simple boy from a small town middle-class family sailed smoothely to captain the gentlemen's game with a lot of poise,and a definate level of cool-headedness and intelligence.We cannot really say India played badly.The players had their days!
I remember when ,a few days after India lost the world cup(T-20),and there were a lot of flaks being thrown on the cricket team,Dhoni coolly sailed into Ranchi with a brand new H2 2009 Hummer with some of his team mates.My old mother wanted to know what the budge was all about,my brother was patiently explaining to my mother how the captain of the cricket team which had just lost the world-cup had bought a car worth Rs.one crore .This car apparently is used by the US army and one more bollywood actor Sunil Shetty owns one.
This is just one more news item in the feature page of the newspaper and it passed off as a coffee table conversation in most homes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Strange Request!!

A typical middle class lady wanted to enter my office.She actually asked for my permission to do so!She wanted to know if her husband could get a job of a surgeon in the hospital.He was apparently working in Gaya.
I asked her what his qualification was and she proudly said ISC.
She reiterated that he could do all the surgeries and would duely produce the certificates!
Strange request this!!

Happy Birthday to me!

I spent my 38th birthday doing the rounds of the government health institutes in the district of Latehar.The reason being to get permission for PHC visits for the nursing students as per their syllabus.I always get something out of these visits because there is so much about the Indian health system ,which is fascinating in it’s ability to improvise for short-sighted gains.
The government has started this fascinating coupen system for below poverty line patients,the money is handed out to the poor antenatal mothers who access health facilities when they are in the family way.The doctor incharge of a PHC lamented that on one of his routine visits to one of the villages ,he asked the villagers why the children were not immunized and they were quick to respond that no money was being doled out for it so they would not bother.
The government health centre has been equipped with expensive medicines.The villagers on the market day just walk into the out-patients routinely with vaguest of symptoms ,the doctor says with the intention of getting some medicines which are free of cost which they sell at half the price in the market or better still use it to equip their bags with..By the time a genuine patient walks into the OPD with some emergency the PH Cs have run out of those all important medicines.
What I learnt was there are two sides to every coin .This culture of looking for short-sighted gain ,is imbedded very deeply in the psyche ,has taken up mammoth proportions, and is seen in almost all walks of life in India.
This was interesting,I had most times looked at corruption from the other side of the table and was vary of the government run institutions but now this was a different take altogether……

Lessons of Life!!

There are a few lesson life teaches you that leaves an impact.I have a few junior doctors working with me,youngsters who have seen a lot less of life than I have.In these last few days, I often find myself taking my life lesson of the years out of my kitty and sharing with them.This was not so five years ago.My juniors were much more world-savvy than I am and were friends I literally grew up with.They used to label me 'naive' then, I wonder what they would think now-most of them have moved on in life and must have got savvier by dozen.
The other day,I found myself giving my juniors a lesson from life I had learnt first hand ,as well as vicariously about patient management.
Every now and then we get an over-anxious set of relatives and equally over anxious set of patients who literally leave you flaggerbasted.My juniors came to me to discuss one such patient.They clearly looked harassed.Ten years ago I would have put the lot in a slot but years have taught me that nine out of ten it is God giving you a second chance.
During my tenure in this hospital I remember a time when an ordinary caeserian section was done on a patient.The bystanders were tough and demanding.I am a physician ,so was watching the whole drama un-fold before me while my colleagues beat their head out trying to make sense of the situation.The surgical site was clean ,the sutures were out ,the lady would not budge,she persisted on a stomach ache and the relatives were an angry lot demanding that the senior surgeon in the campus(an exceptional surgeon by any standard )was summoned.He examined the patient thoroughly-there seemed to be nothing wrong.A straight X-ray of the abdomen was done nothing was amiss.The patient was labelled a case of post-partum depression and sent to a higher centre.
Two weeks later the relatives were knocking at our doors demanding compensation ,a swab had been left in the abdomen and was detected elsewhere,operated and removed.By God's grace the patient was doing well.The hospital paid the compensation and the case was closed.
The senior surgeon who happens to be a man of God ,in his practise of over 30 years has a record of never having had any complications in any of his surgeries.He did not do the surgery but he missed the finding.
Later on he went back to the case on his own,and he came back with a resounding lesson on life.He detected seven times when God had actually given them a chance to have a re-look at the case and how each time they as a team had missed out.
I remember another time ,in a hospital where I was getting trained ,a lady was admitted with complaints of a chronic headache,the registrar who was looking after the ward was at a wits end with the demands of the bystanders and the ladies un-ending complaints .It is an extremely busy hospital with the bulk of the patient being medical and an OPD of around 3000 a day.It is a 250 bedded mission hospital.Suddenly an old man was standing in the middle of the out-patient ground and was pouring kerosine over himself .He threatened to burn himself in the out-patient if the senior physician ,a man of great repute did not see the patient right then.The consultant,a humble man of God was quick to respond -the lady had a severe pappilloedema-this story had a sad ending the lady succumbed to the ailment a few hours later but the old father was very gracious in that he said that he had wanted the senior physician to examine his daughter,he had obliged and he was grateful.
Nothing as dramatic has happened to me first hand by God's grace ,but it has taught me the importance of reading the sign of times in different situations in life,it's taught me to stand-still in all the crisis times of our lives ,it’s taught me to respect a patient and the relative's opinion,to give due weightage to their anxieties,but most of all to try and listen in all situations to that still ,small voice which says-‘This is the way walk in it.’

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

LEVITICUS 23

EHA celebrates it's spiritual week .The portion for the very first day was Leviticus 23.A call by God through Moses to celebrate the festivals of the Lord.What amazing lessons in learning to study the mind of the Lord.Every festival,with a clear-cut vision and an agenda ,a prophetic call to move forward with our heads directed towards Jerusalem,celebrating the festival of the pentecost as we march onwards to the feast of the trumpets.Right from the festival of the passover to the feast of the trumpets ,an intricate web of design placed by the creator ,a blueprint for every child of God ,Moses had asked for it.....it was given...it was given the exact blue-print...may God give us the clarity and the grace to fall in line with the agenda so that we can continue the journey till such time and be partakers in the coming feast of the trumpets.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Eichers!

Sheba,Andy ,Asha and Enoch were here for three days.Fiery people with a single track mind .Andy always bubbling to share the Word,the kids ready with their kitty of jokes and Sheba oh Sheba!I think it's because she is rather on the quiet side I always find myself talking non-stop with her!There were moments when I actually had a a jaw-ache.When I keep quiet she asks after my health and when I tell her I am resting my tongue she laughs away to glory....
It was good to have them here!
I see a lot of things about myself ,I normally don't otherwise in the nitty-gritties of living everyday.
Two days before their arrival while praying with the officers ,I was lead to pray "only what we do for christ and His kingdom will stand" and the entire time Andy's message went along those lines.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A love that will not let be….

A pastor today was sharing about a little boy in the heart of the naxallite belt who saw the light and is working towards sharing ‘the Word ‘.A shy nine year old tribal boy sidled up to the pastor and started asking umpteen number of questions.His queries were taken up and dealt with each time the men and women of God entered the poverty-stricken village which lives under the fear of gun.At the age of thirteen he made a resolution to take time after his school to spread the word,He finishes his school work and walks three miles to another village to spread the word.He was a back-bencher and a tongue-tied fellow who ,the teacher says, is changed over-night.He spends time in prayer and as per the leading he moves out.
He looks in the eye of the adults and individuals ,even the senior pastors are scared of ,and boldly preaches “those who live by gun will die by a gun”.

Isaiah 9,vs 2.
‘The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.’
May this be a reality for every life in bondage.

Friday, October 23, 2009

THE HAND THAT BLESSED ME!!

God’s hand
The perfect hands ,
A beautiful craft ,
Beyond skill .
Every contour,a work of art,
Every line –a divine part,
Perfect untouched,holy.

I saw the hand of the savior,
Deformed ,bleeding ,used,abused,
Imperfect
mark of the nail,
The pain,
the drops of scarlet…..
The precious hands
marred ,
My sin ,
a part –
I belonged!

I saw the hands of the risen christ,
Ablaze in the wings of Glory,
Resplendant in the halloed form,
Throned in the most high,
I saw the mark of the nail that’s mine
In the hands of the King ,most Holy,
This king is mine !This King is mine!
My failures-a part of glory!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Missed the bus –Wide (HAMARTIA!!!)

I am a good christian,
That is what I have been ,
As far as I remember.
I live my life packed with activities,
I attend the church regularly,
I work for a Christian organization,
I have been involved in charity work ,
Yeah that’s what I do!
I have a life!or do I?sometimes I wonder?
I can pray!oh yes I can pray for hours and ends!
Just ask the pastor-I pray the best prayers in the church!
I sing,I make the right noises!
Everyone looks up to me.
Jesus of Nazereth??
-Who is he??

(Might not be so drastic but our lives read this way sometimes!mine does very often.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A pastor with a call to fast and pray for India.

Got a mail from a longtime colleague,more of a consultant from my PG days,Manoj Jacob.A friend of his had this call to fast and pray in all the states of india-he had done so in most states and now it was JKD he needed to pray for.
He was on a meal and a cold drink during the day ,and a charpoy in the room where he can sit down and pray.
He gave a talk in the chapel today.
It was about looking up and at Jesus carefully ,to know him ,and about the call to be a disciple.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Community ,a reality we cannot ignore!!

The story did not end there.The locals had their share of heartaches which precipitated towards the evening.Had a detatched look at the whole issue.Got a vague understanding of unfairness of it all.Decided to review the whole scenario.Have had to do some soul-searching,change the existant,and move forward.
In the mean time decided to review the community's village health comittee's progress.The team is persistantly doing their bit against gigantic odds.They have been working on changing the reproductive child health status in the villages.Under normal circumstances,the RMP's(a synonym for quacks)have a phenomenal hold over the village health.They are at the doorsteps of the villages with their bag which contain the standard dexamethasone,Taxim ,gentamycin and IV fluids.They have an association which meet periodically to review the situation.They earn a minimum of Rs 500 per day which is much more lucrative than selling vegetables or mending shoes.Most of rural India, these breeds pose a lot of hindrance to effective and proper health care.The pregnant ladies are injected with oxytocins which precipitate labour but when injudiciuosly used can lead to major complications like rupture uterus.Now the latest I hear from the community health workers is that the government supply of drugs are beginning to be seen in the bags of these RMPs-was wondering how this worked?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Alcohol,poverty,superstition.........and liberty!!!

A body lay unclaimed in the mortuary.The lady had died of tuberculosis and the relatives had abandoned the dead body.The hospital authorities(read us)had to seek permission before we could dispose it off.After lodging a formal complaint in the local police station ,a staff was sent off to the village with a police personal .The village was deep in the jungle,no roads,no nothing and the entire family was dead drunk,drowned in alcohol.They were not fit for conversation.
The staff were told to dispose off the body in the hospital premises.
This is Jharkhand for you ,more han 80% of the population live in the villages steeped in alcohol,poverty,superstition......endless bondages.
Where does the process to liberate them start??

Aam Aadmi!!

There has been a lot of news in the recent past highlighting the Gandhi scions apparent philia towards the aam aadmi.He visited JKD and the latest breaking news in Times Now read 'Rahul Gandhi visits Francis Induvar's family in Ranchi'.
A day before there was another news item in the Times Now site about how a cab driver who had driven RG to the airport received all the attention and how he was the only person in the cab he spoke to,how he thanked the driver personally for driving him to the air-port,etc....
What makes this aam aadmi so special??I guess it is this very air of innocence and perhaps an unawareness of their worth which takes them to a different league.They are the 'salt of the earth'.Just being with them must be so very refreshing after inter-acting with layers and layers of slimy politicians on a one upmanship game.
I remember the look on Rajiv Gandhi's face when he was with the aam aadmi before the indian politics actually got to him.Just after Indira gandhi's assasination he was visiting Darjeeling.I remember one of the old ladies narrating the incident .her exact words were-'his face radiated with light!'.With time the light faded,politics is such a game!
For a sincere politician,(if there is such a term)being in touch with this special group of people is not only a duty but also perhaps a blessing!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A review of an article which struck a chord!

I happened to be going through an old copy of India today(Feb 2006 issue)-an article by Jaideep Sahni ,the author of the movie 'Bunty aur Babli'struck a chord.
He categorises India into three parts then.India A,India B and India C.India A were the big city public school babas,India B were the small town kids and India C were the types who were seen dancing tribal dances with Indira Gandhi on doordarshan and famine,farmer's suicide and poverty were their lot.
He talks about the times when India A types used to be bullied to high heavens when they came to small town campus'.He talks about how Michael Jackson cascates used to be burried deep into their pant pocket's and the moment they opened their mouth they would be Ya Ya ed cutting all their hipness to shreds!
Times changed.Suddenly the small towns loks were an aggressive lot ,moving into the bigger cities ,working hard and going for the kill.It didn't matter suddenly that your boss had never listened to Michael Jackson or even knew what 'Yes Minister'was.
But everyone forgot to invite India C to the party.He concludes 'As the history of the world shows the naxallites are any day faster than the governments.'
This article was written three years ago .It stands true now as it did then.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Blowin' in the wind.

Hot,hot winds of change are blowing through this land.There are noises and more noises!Government has resolved to go all out on the offensive against the maoists.It is a tough stance no doubt and a sensitive one as well.A police officer,Francis Induvar was abducted from a market place in Ranchi and was beheaded in cold blood.
The relevant question today is-Who are the Maoists? and whose interests are they protecting?
In the cross-fire between the authorities and the red rhetorics ,will the poor and the tribals,get crushed as usual???

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bethovian’s symphony no.9

Effortless flight,
In a clear blue sky,
Up,up,up,and up.
Over the landscape,rivers,hills and plain,
Over the eternal sun-shine and rain.
swooping,skirting,
skipping ,pecking,
discovering,floating,
skirmishing,flirting ,
just enjoying…..
then gently disappearing……

God is no man's debtor!

Pramila Kacchap topped the ANM results and came out second in Mid-India board.This girl was sharing how the lord has been faithful in providing for her family of five on her father’s meager salary of two thousand rupees a month.Today during the bible studies she gave her testimony .She belongs to a hindu background in a predominantly Hindu community.Her family converted ,her father’s siblings did not.The village ostracized her family and deprived them of their ancestral properties.The father with five children and a low-income job was pressurized in every which ways to deny his faith.The family persisted and prayed their way through all the persecutions-today her family stands as a testimony of God’s goodness and grace.The very brother’s who had denied them their birthright have come back to offer them the land unable to manage on their own.Pramila has grown into a fine nurse ,more so because she is filled with gratitude towards God’s goodness and grace.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

THE MASTER’S PIECE.

The rhythem of the art

Dancing to the rhythem of the heart,

In serendipidity,

The world has a name for it-

They call it the master-piece.

I call it the Master’s piece-

Chanced upon by senses

Tuned to the rhythem……

The beauty,edification and the very lilt..

Paying tribute to the Maestro

From whom all of creation flows.

Friday, September 25, 2009

100th BLOG!!

This is my hundreth blog and what do I write on?
Joining back NJH is like putting my feet on the clouds-floating and drifting it seems.There is my work and perhaps the ministry of the mantle of leadership entrusted on me and yet time and again I wonder what I am doing here?Is this my life's calling I wonder because there still is a restlessness burried deep within .It surfaces now and then.
'One day at a time' has been my motto-most times when I have had my time with God I am fine but there are good days and bad.Sometimes the workload and the demands to be met...just keep piling on and drains the life out of me....it is in those times ,I start wondering!
Reading ,yes reading !it is so hard to lay our hands on a good book now a days!Scouring through the bookshops one finds heaps and heaps of books ,put one on top of the other, most of which will qualify as the so-called 'time-pass' material.Even as I drag my feet to the bookshops I literally have to send a prayer up for that lifting ,stimulating and edifying book which might be lying somewhere unobtrusively in one corner of the shop gathering dust.When I pray I lay my hands on a copy that feeds me .Otherwise there are heaps and heaps of nonsense cycled out everyday .There is a huge market for nonsense so there goes a vicious cycle!-ask me I am one such sucker!
Yesterday we had our monthly chain-prayer-all the staffs taking time out of their schedule to be at the feet of the cross with thanksgiving and supplication-a pastor from Garhwa motor-cycled all the way to conduct the final worship and prayer session at seven.The call of the day was to come with trembling and fear at the feet of the cross-we had a restful day !Praise God.
The organisation is to go through a pay revision-the lord has been good to us -we will be one of the institutions who will be able to follow the executive order on the stipulated date and yet there is one predominant question in my mind-one hears of drought in the villages!Are we moving further away or nearer to the community we serve.I really have no answers for so many questions which keep popping up now and then!
God bless us and our daily walk with Him!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

GRACE

Grace has been the fruit of the spirit that has been on my mind the whole month-I was talking to a group of nursing students barely past their sixteenth year in the morning session of their bible studies.These are young kids from diverse background ,some catholics,some animists,a few protestants like myself.Even as they join the nursing school fresh from their villages one can often visualize bondages of various kinds reflected on their faces.
As they grow into the course and settle down they start looking wholesome ,neat and peaceful.These were the first years who had finished a year in the school.I wondered what they understood about this ‘fruit of the spirit’.
One of them shared about how God’s grace had enabled their father with a meager salary of two thousand rupees a month to educate and bring up a sturdy family of five children.She being the last but one ,was in the nursing course.The next kid broke down even as she shared about how God in His grace had saved and brought her mother through a most deadly disease.The third kid shared about how she had prayed hard that the Lord would change her father’s mind against sending her to boarding school and how her prayer had been answered.
Yes these were young kids but how often without realizing it I have short sold this fruit of the spirit myself.I have needed personal pain,absolute hopelessness …misery to understand and become aware of Grace operating in my life……unheeding the fact that the price has been paid on the Cross-and the Grace is mine to live and to share with the world this day.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The other side !

The journey to NJH was an extended affair.I had a stop in Kolkotta-had a mind to visit the MOC but got lost in the nitty-gritties of Kolkotta -must have walked past Flurries for the sixth time .The area was flooded with a group of bank employees who were protesting against 'I don't know what' but slogans were amusing to listen to .One person reads out a page full of facts in benglish and a crowd repeats just the last word-it's real tough on the listener with the creaky mike,et al...
Only in Bengal will one find the slogan shouter sing songs like 'Bee shall obercoammm 'with a straight face-for a cause like pay-hike or whatever!
Sitting in the out-patients in Vellore one catches up very quickly on the fact that an average person from that area is indeed special.They don't have simple chest-pain-they have myocardial infarction!They don't have discomfort in their tummies ,they have Bhee coli and some Dr.Mukherjee ,the Dr Mukherjee from Howrah is supposed to have detected it some ten years back-do I know Dr mukherjee from Howrah???-!They do their homework before going on a yearly pilgrimage to places like CMC-so you have all the minute ailments right from the birth noted down in a typing paper which never seems to end ,especially when you are sixty !!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cardomom pods and half a mind!



Today I decided to help the worker's seperate the cardomom fruits from the pod.It can be a pretty meditative process.Each pod has around thirty fruits in them-it's a perfect division of labour as baskets are filled and they are taken away for air-drying before they go into a drier.One lady who actually is involved in the process is a case of chronic depression and a destitute but as she gets to work, the concentration is so intense and focussed I wondered if it was actually healing her.
My dad was overjoyed to see me take interest and took me through the entire process-theoretically as well as practically,giving me intricate tips which only experience brings with it.
I don't really know when these practical tips will come to use !-
The process itself was restful and healing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Random thoughts-for you Famsie!

My cousin's been talking to me about writing randomly so here i am without an agenda in hand typing away on my pc ....
It's been a day of hectic activity and concern ,seeing a dear aunt indisposed for bit and a wrecking head-ache that had descended on me on stepping into the portals of Ganktok ,the capital.My sister had some knick-knacks to buy and I had to cart it to Mangan in a hired car with the driver for company who talked non-stop about God knows what?I could just about be polite.
The moment I stepped into Mangan ,the ache was gone.My brother had a great time making cracks about my very devout christian uncle's home!Even my uncle had a good laugh over it.
On reaching home the news about Rajashekharan's disappearance seemed to have caught eveyone's attention.My brother-in- law ,a journalist was in the office doing over-time covering the news bit by bit.
My little neice in Delhi, who is barely ten, is going out of town for the first time for an excursion with her school mates to Punjab which includes a stint in Amritsar and perhaps the Wagha border.She is rung up her grand-parent's for the umpteenth time ,the last being from the taxi to the station-almost a vocal reminder to uphold her in prayers.
All of us are anxious naturally since it is her first step towards a bit of independance.Her mother,a wonderful mother is there gently plodding her forward -what a joy it is to be a part of this wonderful process of fledgelings stepping out of their comfort zone,.....
At home in Mangan ,my brother is busy drawing out plans for renovation and up-keeping of various heritage sites in the region-As for me I have my head buried deep into a book I am trying to make sense of -it was meant for my brother-'OUTLIERS' by Malcolm Gladwell-i am just borrowing it incase it puts some sense into me.
My eldest sister is magically appeared in the facebook along with her son,thanks to my neice!I immediately put her in my profile page .
In the mean-time my other sister's dug out an encyclopedia with the Sikkim history from one of the old libraries in gangtok,which seems to have laid out the role my father had played during the monarchy days and she is off and on the phone confirming the facts from my dad whose head is occupied otherwise by the cardamom harvesting and the construction workers from the site-he does have the energy even in the late seventies multi-tasking away.
But where is my mother???-she is everywhere making life a lot more easier for all of us so that we can continue to do what we are at, blissfully.
and ofcourse i was on the skype today chatting you and Monda up for sometime.
How's that for being spontanaeous!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Remembered and forgotten!!

Trying hard to recollect a poem I read long ago -cannot recall the writer or the poem exactly.....hopefully my rusty brain will catch up sometime...

I am no Mary
to sit quietly at your feet and dream,

I am she ,
who runs wild and fleet,
I am the Magdalene

How do I then love you lord?
Supreme.
To the extreme-
like the Magdalene!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's Christ alone!

It's Christ alone in majesty,
It's Christ alone in purity,
It's Christ alone in righteousness,
In Christ alone ,I clearly see,
It begins with Him to eternity...
It flows from Him,the grace gently,
It's Christ and Christ and Christ only,
The measure,the scale-
and the Christ in me!.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hello Kalimpong!

Travelled to Kalimpong for the week-end.I remember visiting the place when I was six.Had been there for an interview in SJC and to meet up with my sibling who was in the boarding school then.Allthough a stone's throw away from my state, never got around to climbing the hill to visit the place again.
There was a surpressed air of anticipation and excitement as we climbed and did the rounds of the multiple hills-it almost felt like Mandrake's xanadu.The town on the hill-top seemed to be a meek town caught somewhere in a time warp.It had it's old world charm in parts-very much Kalimpongish!!-nothing new or shiny about the place-the baker's shop selling the gigantic buns,little wooden houses with tiny gardens,dirty-market place,the famous mela ground where the 15th august celebration is supposed to be second to none in India and ofcourse the very old Gompus and their momos.A typically company humour doing the rounds during the gorkhaland agitation went something like this-,during the struggle, tourism was one of the main casualties.Apparently Gompus had to stow away a lot of pork momos due to lack of customers-some live porks, when sniffing through the bins ,apparently saw the momos in the bin and wondered aloud-'It looks like our demand for the free state has been agreed upon!'
That's Kalimpong for you!
Didn't regret the visit.
It's onwards to Darjeeling next-it's been even longer!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Digging through the rituals of Sikkim for the principles of 'THE WORD'.

I remember one of my friends commenting breezily-Sikkimese people are ritualistic .Born in a christian family and being brought up away from most of these rituals I wondered if he was right.
Going through several works of research done by contemparary journalists on the origin and the rituals of Sikkim ,I realised he had got it right and yet there were several admirable things to be learnt from this land of rituals.
1) Budhism was brought to Sikkim by Guru Padhmasambhava(budhists believe him to be a reincarnation of Gautama Budha, born in a lotus ).He is said to have addressed Sikkim as 'Bayul Demazong'-'a hidden land of sacred treasures'.(a hidden life of sacred treasures!-blessing people and the land !-if internalised how powerfull!)
2)There is this common act of offering traditional scarves as a mark of respect on different occasions-this white scarf known as khada is supposed to be a mark of intent which says I honour you with the purity of flower and yet with the permanence which goes beyond the flower which is but to wilt.When someone accepts the khada it is a mark of acceptance of the genuineness of the person who is offering it.(An act of restoration).
3)Kanchendzonga,the gaurdian deity of the Sikkimese budhists is worshipped because it is supposed to be that, literally, a guardian of the land.Apparently one of the lama incarnates from Tibet was on his way to Sikkim when he came across considerable opposition to his journey in the form of snow-storms,etc-he is said to have sat on a hill of snow and meditated following which a white duck is said to have approached him asking him why he wanted across-he is said to have been allowed entry into Sikkim .The mountain was to be a guardian which was to keep out all untoward elements from the sacred land of hidden treasures.(Protection of all that is sacred,holy and pure).
4)There is the saga dawa-a month long period of( Prayer,fasting and devotion).
5)Tendong Lho rhum faat-falls on a third lunar month each year is a festival of thanksgiving and prayers are offered for peace,protection and long-life for all beings.The prayer is offered to the Mt.Tendong(Reminds one of the golden calf of the Exodus days!!!)(Looking at the brighter side-An act of cooperate thanksgiving and prayers).
Intent in these cases look to me like a trove of treasures but how far has an average Sikkimese really owned the treasures that were to be a part of their inheritance from the days of the yore or are they lost somewhere in the rituals of the day as my friend has aptly put.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Living it up the Mangan way!

Mangan is getting ready to celebrate the 15th of August.
My cousin an ex-beaurocrat observes rather sardonically-why does this place celebrate the occasion with such pomp?It's bigger than any festival.There are series of school putting up their annual performances ,there is the football tournament which starts a fortnight ahead.This year the stars of the tournament are couple of black players from clubs in Kolkotta who are representing some of the teams.
Every year we observe with increasing sense of amusement and wonder the workers ask for allowance to stitch new clothes for the occasion as well as ask for leave to attend the programmes.
Everyone is involved.There are the local gentries pushing each other beyond the rules of the game putting their best foot forward in the football and the basketball matches .We remember with a lot of fondness our dad and mom playing these matches when we were kids.Dad's nearing eighty but he doesn't miss the matches even now.
There is my cousin Monda trying out her dictions -she is the compere.
There are stalls gallore selling all types of cuisines-there is the official lunch and then there is the mangan-united(Man- united) team captained by my brother ,who every year lose the first match.The team comprises of fit,semi-fit and unfit locals sweating it out in the field to be part of the spirit of the game.My brother an avid and a star football player during his school days never seem to get enough of the game-but on the other hand he never gets enough of doing things for the common good.
Mangan is at it again body ,mind and soul celebrating life whether it be Mangan's very own annual woodstock, the country's independance or the environmental lobbying,there is no half ways here.
Vive la Mangan!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lingering thoughts and up-dates.


It’s good to be home.The familiar sounds of the morning and my mother’s voice excitedly waking us up with a warm cup of tea to be a part of the moment,the solar eclipse.My brother’s been all over the compound looking for the best view of the thing to come.Dad’s busy with his chicken even this early in the morning.Sherry,the tibetain apso looking like my puppy Bead in the foopets ,after a much needed hair-cut ,tilts his head ,whines and cuddles up to me.Monu,my mom’s girl Friday’s daughter is cooing in her crib.’Here it is’- my mom declares,beyond the over-cast skies suddenly it is night again.There is silence ,absolute silence , the nature is itself paying homage to this once in a life-time affair.

This is my mom ,always involved with wonder in every occasion in our lives.She was describing the two cobras who had been walking the grounds.They have been apparently flourishing and have become so sure of themselves that they walk around the garden bobbing their heads in utter abandon in stately walks regardless of the fact that human beings are around.

I love the mornings at home.Dad, having his quiet time on the verandah ,mom ,happy and relaxed taking her time out to be with her flowers-the hands, at it cleaning ,sweeping ,and snipping-my brother,with the tea in hand and the newspaper in the other ,walking around looking for that funny tryst that could very well haunt us for the rest of the day.I sip my Darjeeling in leisure,soaking it all ,just resting.

Yesterday my little neice received a phone-call from home in Sydney.she looked a little sad and pre-occupied so I asked her if everything was all right?Her nan apparently had been diagnosed to have ca of the tongue with lymph node involvement and needed a radical dissection.She would lose two-thirds of her tongue.

I have met nan briefly when I went to be with my sister when she was in Delhi..Nan,of the golden tongue,eloquent to the hilt-her conversation ,descriptive ,gripping and beautiful.You could listen to her language and expressions forever .It’s like reading and living a well-written book –rich ,classy and tasteful.She is eighty and has led a fruitful life and is so important a part of the three children’s life.How do you share their pain?I asked her if she had said her prayers-she said she had and she lay down to sleep.

The youngest in the mean-time had typed out –‘I will lie down and sleep in peace for you O Lord make me dwell in safety- Psalms 4:8. goodnight facebook!- in the net.

Praise God.

Friday, July 10, 2009

MANGAN-Yours truly!

Mangan,-'Mon'-'gaon' -,which means a place where people meet or a place where you should not be when a war strikes,is a quaint little town in Sikkim and yet so dear to many of our hearts.It's placed strategically in a valley between mountain and hills.This town ,where most people know each other and yet now when I go home I am a stranger amidst the kids who have grown up and the migrants who have settled in.
Just as you enter Mangan ,down below in the valley there is a red-roofed elephantine house that has always made many of our hearts beat faster,it was the place where I was born,it was the country homestead where all our town cousins used to congregate during the holidays-oh what memories I have of it!It was this place where all of us siblings wove our fantasies around the large antique mirror that hung on the wall-told each other fancy stories to dozen,hero-worshipped our elder sister,wrote soppy but innocent letters to our mother who was away for a short-while,narrated stories about our school life to our father who listened with rapt attention and an element of pride-it was also the place where my brother a bookworm literally had to be chased out of the house to play in the open-field,chased ponies to dozen in the paddy field,played bang-bang ,hide and seek amidst hay-stacks,watched the handy-men literally gulp down their meal after a long day at work, in fascination.Watched chitty and chatty ,the swan-ducks chase strangers away with indifference and watched Timmy,our alsation do acrobatics in the air with it's muscles rippling,but a 'gentle oh so gentle 'expression on her face.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

farewell MJ

Saw MJ's funeral on TV.Felt sad,sad,sad.Especially the final moment when they picked up the casket to exit-it felt like the show was over and the final curtains were down.
The funeral itself was touching made more so by so many christian songs sung.MJ on the retrospect, comes across as an extremely vulnerable and a fragile personality inspite of the heights of success he attained .When he was around-he seemed to be wacko-jacko,making news but barely registering in the recent past although he seemed to be everywhere during the 'thriller' days.His music was something else though.In his death he seems to be larger than life-farewell MJ-you packed quite a punch in life as in death!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Healing-an enigma!

I can see Jodie Foster mouth the words-You never recover!!you just become someone else-
this is a line from a hollywood flick-it is not the bible.
Do we actually recover from the incidents and accidents in our lives I wonder?
Life with all our tragedies and pain,
Life with all the sun-shine and rain.
How can something that has been only so real in our lives suddenly go back to being never was?
Does time heal?Is healing getting back to the absolute whole or is it just getting back a sense of balance?
Healing, assessed physically(def), is the process by which the cells in the body regenerate and repair to reduce the size of a damaged or nechrotic area.
This does not sound absolute does it?
Healing incorporates both the removal of necrotic tissue (demolition)-this might be easy, and the replacement of this tissue.
The replacement can happen in two ways:
by regeneration: the necrotic cells are replaced by the same tissue as was originally there-Do tissues ever remain the same??sounds impossible metaphorically.

by repair: injured tissue is replaced with scar tissue-sounds like Jodie foster was right after all!-Once again that is just a lesson from life some guy has worded-it is not the word of God!



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

farewell and hello during cholera times!

What a strange day it has been!One of our senior colleagues said adieu to the world .Loads and loads of cholera patients flooded the hospital.We had a farewell party for one of our oldest staffs.
Decided today to film our own documentaries for advocacy and IEC.Felt happy after the decision was made.Received the TB Alert's 10th anniversary magazine-saw pictures of old timers all over.....life goes on...tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Frustrating India???

One of the responsiilties I hold is in the public-private sector of RNTCP.As a boost to the existant programme one of the donor agencies have donated a van inorder to dissipate information to the public on TB.I have been desperately trying to knock all doors to lay my hands on a decent movie on tubercculosis inorder to use it for IEC activities and I draw a complete blank from every corner.The RNTCP in it's web-site talks about all sorts of TB material available but we find a gap.There are no movies in the CTC as well.
Hello!why put up exotic promises in the web-site when we have no intention of following it up with action??Besides what are we really doing ?We are really doing the government's job for them with no help whatsoever from them.
The new NGO scheme came into practise from the October of last year but the government is still sitting on it without any MOUs being signed.
RNTCP used to be a department that actually used to work in Palamu and within a span of one year it has become just another run of the mill government department obsessed with paper work and paper work alone.
God help the programme !and the people involved including us.
God help the poverty-stricken tuberculosis patients in Palamu and India.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Climb every mountain


The lady was in her mid-twenties-a tribal from a place called Mahuadar.Mahua-is a fruit from which the local beer is brewed and dar is a hill.The place is predominantly a mixture of catholics,protestants with some animists.It's famous for it's waterfalls amongst the locals-it's a picnic spot.They also have a convent cum a clinic there-sick patients are often reffered to our hospital.
This lady obviously had an acute abdominal pathology which needed immediate exploration.They had come to us as a last resort .She had bled into the abdomen with symptoms of what looked like a ruptured ectopic pregnancy-it's when the baby is concieved in places other then the womb.She had lost a lot of blood,her haemoglobin was down to 2 gm%.I called Dulari our nurse anaesthetist-she agreed to give anaesthesia if two pints of blood could be arranged.
They had no donors but somehow the blood was arranged and the case posted.
I had never done a laparotomy before but after opening umpteen number of abdomen one tends to be more stable at the propect of exploring.The bystanders looked absolutely at peace.As we prayed before the surgery all of us felt that same sense of God being in control.
We opened up the abdomen and there was blood every where gushing out like a burst dam.As we sucked old blood out ,the nurse started the pint we had in hand.Next I started the exploration and in the fallopian tube on the right side was the product sticking out from a rent hardly 4cms long.I emptied the product ,sutured the rent and cleaned the abdomen with normal saline,put in a drain and her abdomen was as good as new.
There were a few reflections after the surgery was done.
A small rent ,almost less than 4cms could create such a havoc and would have cost the lady her life,secondly- absolute sense of camadarie and a spirit of one-ness that is most evident when God is doing things that are absolutely beyond us ,it is in a sense a worship of Him who is in control.
I had ,in absolute trust,broken one more barrier in my life.
I thank the lord who helps me climb every mountain even as I rest in Him.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

A halpless senior citizen walks into the OPD with a classical complaint of aches and pains all over.She has apparently been to the local ojha and has been told that a thief has entered her spine and needs to be chased out.How? I asked.She says it can be done in two ways-by kicking the back-side or by blowing some mantras into the spine-I thought the ojha sure had a sense of humour.
In the mean-time there is a silent revolution going on through the net,signature campaigns,etc to support Dr Binayak Sen’s cause.There are two sides to every story –so I understand, from the discussions from different forums,write-ups and opinions.I fully sympathise with Dr.Sen in the matter .I don’t agree with the naxal philosophy of declaring war against the state.I find it painful that in this day and age in India- voices of reason ,of concern ,voices that support the cause of the weak can be clamped down by state machinaries.Who is Dr.Binayak Sen ?What is his case?The government of India owes it’s citizens an explanation.
Going back to the issue of naxalism in Palaumu,I am told that the philosophy and this way of life became prevalent here in and around 1998.That is as recent as 10 years back.Why was this philosophy adopted by the people here so easily.You don’t have to be a genious to figure that out.Fifty years after independence and the state of Jharkhand which is supposed to be a rich state in terms of minerals and resources has been exploited to the hilt.
The villages here are primitive to say the least.It’s not fair to blame the naxallites alone for non-development of the area-what was the issue 10 years ago??Corruption,non-accountabilty,….There is a fall-out for every wrong –someone has to pay the price for it,sooner or later-we cannot wish the problem away-it will hit us in the face sometime .
It would be wrong on my part if I failed to mention I have been seeing glimmer of hope in the public sector in the recent past.
The government has been talking about NREGA and the loan waiver-I am referring to the NRHM ,since it is more in line with my area.The facilities are all there for people with the right intent.It gives me hope to see the sahiyas take up the cause of the villagers ,village health committees make their own health plans-this is happening in Satbarwa block of Palaumu.It wouldn’t have happened though.
When the whole project came through from the government ,the responsibility was hastily put through to an NGO who did a slip-shod job and had finished it in paper.
ARPAN project of Nav-jivan Hospital (EHA)started a parallel RCH project in the area funded by SIMAVI.The intent was to work with the government to strenghthen the NRHM project but the government had their own agenda and the responsibilities had been allocated to other NGOs.Frequenting the corridors of power in Ranchi to understand the whole process proved futile as we visited rows and rows of impotent bueurocrats who looked on helplessly apparently nailing the blame on the uncertain politics and the ministers concerned.
We didn’t meet the ministers .
ARPAN started from the scratch.The first step was to dig out the list of village health comittees and sahiyas the government had on paper.This done the next step was to inform the members.Needless to say that most of them had no idea about it or as to what VHC’s roles were.Sahiyas were slightly better informed .
The VHCs were next educated about their roles and responsibility.ARPAN got involved in helping the VHCs make a village health plan.’The village health plan made applications’ were put forward to the appropriate government departments.Another positive sign in all this was the fact that the government is acknowledging the role of NJH which gives me hope that their intent is right.My staffs inform me that there is a definite movement happening from the government’s side in spurts.What worries me is the culture of corruption which is so prevalent in the government hierarchy.
In the meantime the concept of sahiyas have picked up in a big way in the villages.If there is a sustained support given to the village functionaries ,if they are empowered and if the people involved can somehow inculcate a culture of accountability-I forsee the winds of change blow through these villages.
I take hope in the hope I see in the eyes of our field workers who sweat it out day and night to make that iota of difference even while they run with the aims and objectives of the project we run.I also take hope in the fact that the line they take now is not ‘nothing happens’ but ‘something is happening’.
Praise the lord!We serve Him- who takes up the cause of the weak..

Friday, May 22, 2009

The flavour of the season!


The lights in Palamu have been hijacked-I literally mean that.I believe a group of MCC cadres actually walked up to the power house from where our lights are supplied and have locked it .They have demanded guns AK-47 in place of electricity.The best part is that the only places where the power is supplied from the point is, our hospital and the town of Satbarwa.
So the nights are literally spent walking around like a zombie in the campus looking for a drift of stray gale -or sleeping under the stars in the stone benches chatting with Sona Devi about the mosquitoes,the heat,all in dehati-which I love the sound of.
Wow!even as I write this I can hear the skies tear apart allowing a torrent of Norwesters through.Come the baisakhi,there is a rush for green mangoes all over the campus.You find them in all sizes,the mangoes and the people who run for them.They make a cool drink to beat the heat with it and it is just so delicious.The green mangoes have to be roasted over the firewood to get the right flavour after which the crushed pulp is run through the mixer with ice,water ,a bit of salt and sugar to taste-a sprigg of mint.It sure does beat the heat and tastes heavenly.
Every one around mentions the smell of the wet earth around the place.It is heady and gets to you.It must be the rains after a spell of intense heat that gets your senses alive!and I thought 'mitti ka khusboo' was just another bollywood dialogue.

The flavour of the season in these parts is definately the heat,the green mangoes,the naxallites ,the prime-minister and not necessarily in that order.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A heart-beat away

A badly mucked up case of ruptured uterus came in from Chattarpur.The lady was in serious distress, the foetal product seemed to be in the abdominal cavity.There was no foetal heart sound.An emergency call was given for anaesthesia and the case posted.On opening the abdomen there was blood all over ,the placenta was outside the ruptured uterus and the baby,still and lifeless -half in and half out but within the gestational-sac.I extracted the baby,no breathing,no heart-beat but suddenly it coughed.The anaesthetist and the floor nurse pounced on the baby and with vigourous resuscitation the baby was soon pink and breathing on it’s own.It was a strange experience,but for the grace of God and the thin membrane which had protected the baby he would have been just another statistic .He was the first male offspring after two female children-they had apparently been to the local dai,who had done everything from a massage to injecting pitrocin to speed up the delivary and ensure the complication.
We had prepared the bystander for the worse ,we had believed the inevitable but the lord in his sovereignity had other plans .
Simultaneusly a badly beaten up man was brought to the emergency.He was the assistant to the driver who drove the daily van from Satbarwa to the adjacent villages.On his way back from delivering the children to school he had over-loaded his van as usual and had had an accident.One person had a spot death and all the others were injured,the driver apparently ran away.A whole village had congregated and had dragged this person to the road-side and had beaten him black and blue and burnt down the vehicle.No bones were broken but he was badly bruised and in a state of shock.
Behind him walked in the state congress general secretary and the superintendent of police-(election time-no surprise!)the boy recovered pretty well and looked as good as new the next morning.He had had a bad day but the predominant thought was how fortunate he had been,(not for being beaten up) but for what could have been but did not.
These were two incidences in a single morning reminding us just how fragile human lives really are!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Slice of Creation

The quintessential dawn,
Tip-toeing past the dark of the night,
Unvealing ,reverent,
eternal moment
waiting and watching
the genteel of the creation
enjoy the morn.
Chirping,singing,hooting,
Dripping,sparkling,
Cleansing,
Resting –
Is this Eden?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The crux of the matter

I have been fascinated by the naxal movement due to the sheer drama that is enacted in and around Palaumu often-times.Initially when I started working in Palaumu,every body attributed everything to the naxals.It was ‘Dr Jee ,don’t venture out so early in the morning(walks),it’s dangerous out-side.Do not go to the villages,you never know when they will attack-don’t go for field visits…it used to go on and on….I shared it with the founder missionary and he laughed it off-there are no naxals around.He had worked in that area in the sixties and had been involved with the villages around-attending weddings,going hunting,fishing,sitting on the village porch talking to the villagers in the evenings ….When had the change come?Now when I say I work in Palumu,people think we walk around with guns.
As you tend to settle down, it all becomes a part of your life and you tend to live the gap between the fear and the event.
The naxal movement was started on certain principles but over the years,the principles have corroded and there are compromises gallore.Now when I see the word naxal I sense the word ‘poor’.The movement has caused a havoc in the district.No good roads,no electricity,no bridges ,people living in judgement literally.Working in the area,I feel watched all the time-by who?God knows.
It was started for social justice and the people who join in do so for the same.
For a poor man,if he joins the movement, his children’s education,his family’s health even their enemies are taken care of,I hear..What about the government?Corruption everywhere not only kills the morals and the faith of the people it also kills the soul-if there were no corruption and the tax money really filtered down to the grass-roots
,if the basic needs of the people were met in a fair manner would there be a need for a parallel system promising social justice?
I don’t know whether the way I look at things have become jaded ,I see a lot less corruption at lower levels(Bengal ofcourse is an exception or may even be a contradiction) and a lot more at the level of governance. Everyday people making ends meet have become millionaires as soon as they have come into office through election..We hear of vague CBI cases off and on,This is especially true at the state level –what is the catch here?There is a hearing and then there is another hearing and they will keep hearing ‘to their graves’.
This sort of rottenness is become a done thing in the government corridors-people who aren’t part of it are called fools .This has terrible implications in every which ways and yet it is hard to believe that accountability at all levels will be a way of life here soon.
The power mongers lose credibility,there are scattered signs of it every where now(case in point ,shoe-throwing episodes)-there will be uprisings-there will be movements ,let’s keep our fingers crossed and pray that should it happen,it should in the mainstream and not create some more faction groups.
Lord have mercy on my country and it’s people!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

MUSINGS

I sit in the out-patient on a light Wednesday afternoon and the patients attribute the thin attendance to the ‘lagan’ .Lagan is the season of wedding in the area.All the private vehicles are booked ,if not for the wedding then certainly for the elections and we also have the added excitement of the anti-establishment groups trying to make their presence felt in the area.

Elections,are an occasion in the family.We have the whole clan descending on the family bastion Mangan to caste their ballot.Every member with a mind of their own,even the spouses are uninformed as to which button their partner has pressed behind the curtain.However,it is an occasion to celebrate so there are hosts of dinners in different houses everyday for the week.It’s one of the two regular occasions when the family gets together. My brother,a seismologist had a very weird answer for the candidate who came to our house to ask for vote.He told the person very seriously that he would vote for whichever party his mother would ask him to vote for.He meant it.Knowing my brother ,that does not speak too well about the election process or the hyped results.He is an idealist ,I hope not turned cynic.As compared to that, Tumbagara is really uncomplicated.The chaiwala ,Raju will loudly declare his loyalty to a particular party and so will all the staffs.

I got talking to one particular gentleman from Bihar.,a rustic but a little different from the usual lot.I asked him what party he would cast his vote for?Without batting his eye-lid he said congress-I decided to probe a little further and the flood-gates opened.he was actually voting for Nitish’s party.Apparently,they had fielded a handicapped person from his region.Sharad Yadav had ,under Nitish’s advice, given the first timer the ticket The next line he worded was what interested me.He said all the harijans and the tribals would definitely vote for the congress –they were an adamant lot!This gave me a food for thought.Why congress?If I had gone out to vote ,which I did not because my name is in the voter’s list 2000 kms away and I am not Amir Khan that I can fly back the kms to dirty my fore-finger(just kidding)-if I had I would have voted for Manmohan Singh because I think he hasn’t compromised the way the other national party has.I still ask why congress?Especially when it comes to the marginalsed,why the general idea?.The legacy has to be the magic formula because otherwise the party is studded with well-meaning elites-I find something else more intriguing- how can that party full of intelligent,conscious(not dead),well-educated individuals so haplessly toe the line of one family of now average individuals-Rahul?....Priyanka?.......Sonia???.....even Rajiv…..with his sauveness ,et.al..Nehru was another cup-cake altogether,Indira also put up and won her own fights.

Coming back to the OPD ,during my regular rounds of advices I ask a lady to drink milk daily for her bones.She promptly responds ‘ no milk is available’ .This is the second person this week who has given me the same rebuttal,so I generally snoop further.They tell me it’s a wedding season so all the available milk is taken,they tell me it’s the heat which is to blame-‘Loo’,to be exact, the cows are dehydrated so they hardly give much milk and the third reason they give is that there is no grass in the jungle.Am I really job-less or is it just me who finds these small exchanges fascinating.

Even as I write this, there is a small newsline in the CNN-IBN ?It says the Dy.DC,SP and the DIG Palamu have been transferred out of Palamu in lieu of the fake Latehar encounter case where eight villagers were killed.Although ,I am happy that the authorities have noted and addressed the issue-I wondered at the nature of the punishment.I am sure the officers concerned must be thanking their stars that they are out of Palamu but who is to blame really?The heads of the officers may role on moral grounds but…..I don’t know.

I was listening in to the interview that Prabhu Chawla was conducting with Narendra Modi, (I think Prabhu Chawla likes BJP guys-his eyes were gleaming as he prodded Modi).Modi was trying to dodge awkward questions –he almost looked like Amitabh Bacchan with the same patronizing expression ‘Vijay’ dons each time he has to deliver a dialogue or a wise-crack till Prabhu asked him that awkward question.Point to be noted ,Prabhu fumbled on the question and Modi just gave Prabhu a cold,cold stare…..and no response.

The question was -do you have any reason to repent about?The obvious pointer being ‘the carnage in Godhra’.He just stared coldly at Prabhu for a full minute and the interview was over.I have never seen an interview of that kind –was it staged?was it what actually happened ,if so, it looked eerie.My first thought was I wish I could laser through Modi’s mind and read it.

Another character that has really caught my fancy is that of Teesta Setalvad-her name has been going around for sometime now but I had never had the opppurtunity to put a face to the name.She was on TV.I wouldn’t like to have her for my enemy.She sounded dogmatic,absolutely clear but most of all I really did admire the sort of commitment it might require of her to get involved with people who are in such dire straits-it must be costly ,pretty costly…..

”Free

Saturday, April 25, 2009

To The Artist In You

You paint life's picture
With myriads of emotion.
You started work
With an object in mind.
Unaware, unknowingly
You've portrayed your persona
In colours of feeling
And sentiments
That filtered throughYour mind
While you were at work.
That extra stroke . . .. . . that excess shade
Reeks of you
As the words you speak
Don't
And perhaps will never do.
Chering Tenzing
Copyright ©2009 Chering Tenzing

A forgotten poetry.

Alone
by: Chering Choden Tenzing
I stand alone here
amidst cannon balls and gunshots
that whizz past me.
screams that defy reason and
people unable to see.
"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy
and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."
Oh lord why did you have compassion on me???

Copyright ©2009 Chering Choden Tenzing

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Who's to blame and who's to bless?

Eversince I have come to Jharkhand ,I have been in the middle of an exciting poutpourie of events ,sometimes too stark even to entertain for too long.I come from Sikkim where a single murder gets discussed for generations,the pot-boiler for the season would be a group of children entering a shop at an odd hour to do away with the hard-boiled sweets from the vendors.
Here in Palamu.every other day , some kind of anti-social activity goes on.There are several takes to it-that is what I found out over the years and so now I take special pains to get an opinion from everyone I come across,whether it be the poor villager who walks into the hospital, our drivers or my maid and then there is the local paper which has it’s own take –the TV channels seldom give us the in-depth ground reality-it’s just ‘bomb blast in Chiaki railway station in Dto by the naxals’,etc.
Take for instance the now existent indefinite bundh in Palamu.Nothing moves when there is a naxal bundh here.
Why was there a call for the bundh?This is the take I got from the informal chats around.Apparently some anti-social elements planted a bomb in one of the jungle roads which took the lives of some police personals .The police in a fit of madness entered the jungle,got hold of some local villagers who were tending to their cattle and killed them in cold blood.Is this the truth and the whole truth?Who is to blame and who is to bless?These were, I believe, some simple local tribal CNI youths-sad,sad,sad.
On my way to Delhi from Dto I came across two CRPF jawans from UP.They were doing their duty in the train but I got down to talking to them.They had worked in the adjacent district of Garhwa-when I said I worked in Palamu,I thought I saw a shadow fall across one of the faces-I wondered what memories that had brought him-was it of some narrow scrape with death at close quarters,was it good friends lost…was it endless days of adrenalin pumping in the various raids and night vigils he had conducted?I wondered .It’s a tough life for them.
I went around to discussing the elections in UP and Benaras in particular .One of them mentioned the don the BSP had put forward as their candidate from the holy city.
They asked me two questions that told me their story.
How often do you get leave to go home?
How much do you get paid?

Elections in India.

It's election time in India-you listen to the news and you shudder to think what kind of governance we'll be looking at in a month's time!Everyone predicts a hung parliament-everyone is making the wrong type of noises-noone sounds sane anymore.
Indian democracy-the largest democracy but must be the maddest too.
Here in JKD,the place is in the news for sure,albeit for all wrong reasons.My school friend in Doha sends a message asking about my well-being-she is relatively new to the idea of my being in the middle of all the chaos.
The district has been in a state of freeze for a month now.
My heart-felt prayer for the moment is -'Oh lord,please restore some kind of sanity to this entire electoral process and for once let everyone when they say- "country first"-truly mean it'.
We do not want to end up like our neighbouring states.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Left,Right.....,Above!!

Second year into the leadership at Nav-jivan,the audit is over.I scan the reports of the various departments-criss-cross of figures formally put across professional account's lingo.I am learning and have learnt to interpret it quite well.I am not a left dominated person by nature-I am a dreamer,a poet and I am more comfortable with the fuzzy things in life.
The auditor sits across the table and beams a bright smile and says -good job!!
Who is he talking to I wonder for a moment!.
I see a trail of faces in the canvas of my memory of the past two years-Albert,Colin,Jone Wills,Augustine,Emmanuel...and now Pramoth.All administrating to the best of their abilities under extremely difficult,difficult circumstances.
I was the one who had it easy-I had that deep,deep assurance , I just had to stand in obedience.
Thank you lord-for making us a part of this process.

Friday, April 10, 2009

For Nithila,Malini,Ally….and the gang.

Was it yesterday? We walked the streets like vagabonds,
Eating half-crushed samosas over sweetened cold-drinks,
Between procedures and gallons of patients literally.
Sat by the road-side dhaba drinking coffee from tumblers,
The vendor mixing the coffee from one feet high
As the froths settled on the surface,steaming sweet.
Dragging our beddings to the roof-top ,counting stars in the night.
Aurion,dog-star,venus…..endless sparks in the dark,dark sky.
Voices of our culture,background,individuality….all melting
…into that single quest we had for discovering our humanity.
Was I different then?I thought not-
till I saw people who looked exactly like everyone else
stop at whatever they were doing
-to stare at me.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Paradox called India

Epil is a colleague who has worked with me in the hospital where I am now.A conceintiuos doctor,involved to the point of taking responsibilities much beyond her duty.She is a good doctor.She had to shift base after marriage to be with her husband.She stopped working for almost a year.When she visited us after marriage she seemed to have lost touch with medicine so I suggested she join up some hospital near her home.
She gave a serious thought to it and she called me up to give me the news that she had got a job in the government primary health care centre ,fifteen minutes walk away from her home.I was glad that she would be in touch with medicine again.
After being at work for a month she called me up again.
The first day she joined the set-up she got a word of advice from the doctor who had already been there for umpteen number of years.-‘Don’t do a good job of the work you are doing-don’t spend too much of time with the patients or else everyone will want to see you and you will end up carrying all the load.’
Wow!that was certainly a great advice for the starters.
What’s with the government set-up in India?Most people,atleast the ones I have seen around the areas I work, seem to have this mind-set.The paper work and the statistics are all there ,the actual work in the field leaves much to be desired.
She says she sees around sixty to seventy patients everyday and has exactly five variety of medicines she can choose from to treat them with because noone is willing to buy medicines from the drug-store.The choice of drugs at her disposal are septran,tetracycline,chloroquine ,folic acid and paracetamol.
She prescribes a permutation and combination of these drugs for every kind of patients and says she finishes writing the prescription of the patient even before they have finished narrating their problem.
The fact that she is aware of what’s happening and she is upset gives me a lot of hope.
In the next month the PHC apparently is starting obstetric work.She is also running around to get some anti-Hanson’s medicines in the stock.
Hopefully she will be able to stand up to the system,over-ride the peer pressur and will make a difference in the area.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Faltering prince of Egypt and the actual realisation of his prince-hood.

Moses was chosen of God for a very special task.Even as the spotlight falls on him in the word,one sees the hand of God in the troughs and crests of his life all the time .Each time ,rubbing into his character, traits which were of use to the lord for the task he had set before this man.His life although extraordinary goes through the rigours of changes that take place in most ordinary lives.The process through which it occurs although is extra-ordinary no doubt.
This Hebrew child has to be abandoned so his life can be saved.He grows up in the palace of the Pharoah with the best that the world can provide and yet he does not forget his roots .In the process he rejects the best the world has to provide to claim what the Jehovah had promised his ancesters.The promise was not tangible then.He is called by God,this faltering man and he obeys.His obedience takes it’s pound of flesh.
Every step of the way he has to depend on God and his providence.The people he is called to lead are ignorant,shallow,fickle,and rebellious.Forty years in the desert with such companions under normal circumstances would do havoc to the soul and yet the lord provides manna in the desert for his people.The physical manna satisfied the physical and the spiritual need of the people.For Moses and the few faithfuls with him, they saw the hand of God at work even as they walked with him in obedience,it must have lifted their spirit to no end to be so much in tune with the lord in such an unlikely place.’The desert’ to be exact.
To be ‘the chosen one’ was not an easy task-any leader of the world who has not compromised can tell you that .Yet in the strict sense of the word all of us are chosen and called apart by God for a purpose .This chosen man of God chose to claim his princehood by obeying God’s call ,he did it almost to perfection,at all times but once.A man who was hesistant to take the mantle of a leader ,get’s transformed to a man who pleads for these very people who do not think twice before rebelling against him.He was called to lead a nation of people who disobeyed God at most times but was reconciled and forgiven again and again and yet he, who leads God’s people through the desert, never made it to the promised land for just one act of omission.Strange justice, one would think.
Yet from the heart of this man whose life was sold out to God came a praise we often sing in our worship sessions ,-
‘Ascribe greatness to our lord the God ,
His work is perfect and all his ways are just.
A God of Faithfulness and without injustice
Good and Upright is He .
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Good and upright is He.
The man Moses knew what he was singing about.