Sunday, March 28, 2010

Carrier Choices!

Dr Nandu and his wife Dr Ango have joined back after their stint all over the EHA hospitals completing their post-graduate degree.Dr.Nandu did his rural surgery whereas Dr.Ango did her family medicine.
The DNB exams are said to be as un-predictable as the english weather -the results for rural surgery are out and guess what?Dr.Nandamani was the only candidate who passed in rural surgery theory all over India.This was not surprising because having worked as Nandu's boss for the better part of three years one cannot imagine him failing exams.He is extremely meticulous,academic,bright and good at whatever he puts his mind to.
Rural surgery degree is a relatively new concept in India.It is tough because it covers all the surgical subjects applicable in a rural setting and that is a lot!
When you have a rural surgeon in the hospital you have a surgeon who is deft at laproscopic surgeries,orthopaedics,obstetric ,gynaecology and whatever challenges the rural hospitals bring forth.Nandu is amongst the first line of doctors in India who opted to specialise in this field.It had it's risks but somehow made a lot of sense.
It is up-lifting to see the youngsters make a paradigm shift in their carrier choices and ofcourse come out with flying colours as well!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Am I a hypocrite??

A strange topic to be writing an article on.Could not resist it.We do not have beggars in Mangan so the other day when I saw a lady come to my door-step asking for money I stopped short a while and tried to look at things from the other point of view.This lady was obviously not from Sikkim.She was from the adjacent state of Bihar-I locked the door a little harder ...incase!
A trend of thought that would seem dangerous to some came to me.
The topic was 'respecting the sacredness of someone else's space.
There is so much and more discussion on issues of migrants.I have often wondered where I personally stand on the issue.I have utterly detested the discussions on the TV and have naturally gravitated towards the middle path-it felt decent at that time.
I guess there are two angles to every picture.Even as I write this a picture of Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar in a Sikkemese dress accepting the traditional scarf from the local people in SIkkim comes to my mind's eye.There was something very unique and beautiful about it.It was the same feeling Mrs Indira Gandhi or Pandit Nehru evoked while visiting the north-eastern states.The people respected them immensely.
How could I possibly equate the poor beggar women to these highly educated diplomats?
Yet all of us are responsible in one way or the other. We have failed to instill that dignity and assurance in our less fortunate brethren.Have we seen a sardarji begging?Inspite of the difficult times during partition as well as the 1984 riots leaving a wake of orphans and broken families,I am yet to see a beggar from that community.I have seen a child of fourteen juggling business in the streets of Delhi with schooling but begging never!
The beauty of India lies in unity in diversity-each individual respecting the others culture,uniqueness,dignity and space instead of trampling cruelly on each other-that's when the appreciation goes out of the window ...and the endless debates start.


I came home to spend some time with Famsie who's visiting with kids from NZ and ofcourse to meet up with dear parents-but strangely enough it has been a defining time indeed.
Extension from one of our ancestral property lies a government settlement where the entire health department of the head-quarters stood.It's a hillock that consists of hospital quarters,the hospital,offices,etc.It also holds some very intricate precious memories of our growing up years.As a kid we were pampered to the dozen by the people who lived on the hillock.There were kindly doctors,heavenly nurses who ruled the hospital with an iron-grip but were one of the most kindest souls I have happened to meet in my short lifetime.It was a typical country hospital where everyone knew each other and the doctors made home visits even for slight ailments.The quarter also housed one of our doctor uncles,a colourful charecter who did fox-trots with his wife and entertained us to no end.They have both passed away since.Their youngest child was my kindred soul then.
That hill held people who were truly the salt of Mangan.With time most of them passed away ,some got transferred .Two years back the whole health zing-bang moved to a place further away leaving the place occupied but devoid the soul.Even in the new area,it never quite bounced back to it's earlier zing.
A week back, my brother told me that an eight storied multiplex worth thirty-three crores was coming up in the place.It didn't really strike me till I saw hordes of people infest the place like ants on the hill with cement mixers,photographers,plumbers and just men at work.My older sibling called up from Gangtok and put forth a request that we take a photograph of tbe place before they got down to work .
Suddenly in my mind's eye,I saw my sibling all of twelve years old bouncing down the hill ,just back from her boarding school in Kalimpong and me with my group of friends cheering her on from our lawns even as she crossed the landmark,the orange tree...
Wow!it hadn't struck me then but now it did!I was just in time to see the last fragments of an era...that is passing by-it hurts!!


This ‘Road to the Holy land’
Littered with blood
Road to the Holy land
With bullets and holocaust
Road to the Holy land
With grenades and guns.
This Road to the Holy land
Fought by countries and kings
This Road to the Holy land
This Road to the Holy land
‘On the Cross’ - price paid
This Road to the Holy land!

Jimmy Carter ,once American president ,founding chairman of the Carter foundation
and a nobel peace prize winner writes-‘The blood of Abraham,God’s father of the chosen ,still flows in the veins of Arab,Jew and Christian,and too much of it has been spilled in grasping for the inheritance of the revered patriach in the middle east.The spilled blood in the Holy land still cries out to God –an anguished cry for peace’

The question is -can we have peace even while we reject the Prince of Peace?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Commmunity Centre and a quiet corner!

Dr Colin has left the campus with his bag and baggage,everything!Suddenly we are left with that beautiful little cottage but frightfully empty!The cottage has a lovely lawn and a banyan tree right in the middle ,you could live on the tree!
It's roots are deep-seated and generously spread-out,children have been known to live their vacation birched up on one of it's branches ,coming down only for their meals!Now those kids have become parents themselves.
What do we do to the cottage?As of now we plan to convert it into a guest-house,the doctor's mess,community centre and a a beautiful quiet corner in the garden with stone benches.That will be quite a legacy to leave behind for the youngsters.
In this time and age where space is forever a problem ,the folks at NJH can enjoy this luxury very few people have here in India.Lucky guys!!.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Just finished a whole pile of report writing for a project on tuberculosis.
Never thought would be doing this in life.
This one has been a learning process for me,tough no doubt!but has been demanding ,heart-breaking but fulfilling -thank God for the challenges he throws our way,we do learn!
In the process got a lot of feedbacks on the science of advocacy,branding,etc....
Am planning to go home for a break and to meet up with Famsie who is here for a month.Feeling unusually light already.
Have had to give talks to a lot of people in the last one week-have been reading the word minutely as well.It's off to the cool hills of Sikkim for now!