Sunday, December 14, 2014

The article on 'cats can sleep anywhere'...

I saw this article on cats can sleep anywhere....and that brought back memories.I have also slept in strangest of places in my life and as I go back the memory lane it sure does make me nostalgic. I have slept on stone benches in Satbarwa awaiting another call on hot summer night enjoying the cool summer breeze.I have slept on the stone parapet on my way home from a call near the badminton court.What do you do when the temperature touches the forties and your fan moves at the speed of the wall clock? I have slept on my head on top of a cemetry at four in the morning,that was Sheba and me in one of our quiet times in Oddanchattram.I have slept on a bench with just the frames and the wiring all given away ,when friends were visiting and I just had a two room accomodation. I have slept on top of newspapers,on cold winter nights....and I am not homeless as yet. One memory I hold dear to my heart and often recollect was travelling from Vellore to Oddanchattram in the general compartment with Dr Annie Jacob.We managed to occupy one sleeper and two window seats.I gave the sleeper to Dr Annie .I slept in between the two window seats with the mid-portion of my body hanging in the air.I could do that in those days...I remember Dr Annie lifting her head every fifteen minutes to ask me if I was okay till I stopped hearing her. Not to forget I have slept with a skull on my face ,femur by my side ....coffee in my hand.... I have also slept on the roof-top with aurion,the galaxy and the great bear for company..... .. I have slept under the bed hiding from my mother after a chilhood prank ....I have also slept on operation theatre floors.. Don't misunderstand me,I do use the bed occasionally.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Psalm 25 vs3

I had but come back from the village and was just about getting a wink ,my junior was at the door.A local lady who had visited us the last week and had decided to deliver in our hospital and the EDD was a week away, had come with a history of fall from a ladder and pain abdomen with fluctuating foetal heart sound in foetal distress. We immediately called the operation theatre team. There was no bleed in the abdomen but anaesthetizing her was a problem-nothing was working and if it was ,it was for a very short while.When we opened her uterus a gush of blood greeted us .She had bled into her placenta.It was a face presentation and the baby was huge.Somehow the baby and the placenta was out but we had a very restless lady on the table with an open abdomen. Wherever we put in sutures it was bleeding. The bystanders were insistant we do a tubectomy although we were not too keen. By the time we had finished suturing her uterus we had a very flabby uterus in our hands which was not responding to a massage or any of the medication. We called the husband inside the theatre,the mother-in law came instead,she immediately gave us the consent for hysterectomy.On the second thought I was not too keen on doing hysterectomy because she was young and extremely restless,so I called over my colleague from her leave and we decided to try out suturing the uterus.We ended up doing the Pereire suture and much to our relief and heart-felt gratitude to God the bleeding seemed in control. We prayed before we opened her up,in the middle of the surgery and with gratitude when we finally closed the abdomen. We had started at one thirty in the afternoon and we were finally out of the OT at seven.we gave her a pint of fresh blood.By God's grace she remained hemodynamically stable. It was to be a crucial night.She was on syntocinon drip .By nine she had had some bleeding -her pad was soaked and so was the linen but she was hemodynamically stable.We increased her syntocinon and decided to wait another two hours. The time till the morning was uneventful and she was bright and awake at the middle of the night apologising for her bad behavior.She told me,'Didi I don't know what happened to me?' The next morning anticipating a fragile recovery stage and a possible need for more transfusions I talked to the bystanders about taking her to a higher centre to avoid any kind of risk. They obliged immediately and on the passing the mother-in law who was well educated informed us that the lady had had problems with her uterus from the onset.They had anticipated the problem. We were left extremely drained but grateful at what could have happened had things gone the other way. Somehow the Lord has ALWAYS covered us..and He has never let our faces be ashamed not because of our merit but because of His abundant grace.

meeting malti

Yesterday was a ripper. Celebrating the spiritual week ,it was my turn to go to the village. I visited one of the villages near Chapara. Eight of us went excluding the driver,we divided into groups of two to do a prayer walk. Scenically beautiful village in the interiors,most of the village apparently has bonded labourers. Both sides of the village are flanked by temples. Myself and Nisha walked into the first house on a hill-top. The family was around for lunch break.The men were mending their wooden yoke whereas the women were lounging around. They were overjoyed to see us and immediately sent the daughter-in-law to make some tea for us.We sat with them ,played with the little child ,took photographs,gave some consultation ,got invited to lunch which we politely refused. Each house we went to the folks wanted us to sit down for tea. We were walking the road which ran down the middle of the village when suddenly a man carrying a load of wood on the head greeted us and enquired if we had come to visit Malti.I must have given him a dumb look because he clarified. Malti was a young girl of around eighteen who had come to us with scizophrenia. She would howl intermittantly and would refuse to be examined. Her vociferous uncle and a docile father had brought her to our hospital. Having never been very confident in managing psychiatry patient I called up Dr Rajah,who generously gave me detailed instruction and offered to be available for her whenever I needed a consult.I put her on olanzepine and by the next day she was sleeping like a child and looked better. A month after that she came to meet us full of joy. Eversince she has been a regular in the OPD .The last visit her father told us that she would read the literature we had given her all the time. We walked up the hill to malti's house.The entire household greeted us with a lot of joy.we had another bout of tea which Malti prepared with her own hands.After that Malti's uncle wanted us to visit their house.We prayed in both the houses and left the village thoughtful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Different strokes.

I was attending the diamond jubillee celebration of one of my alma-maters.As different people went forward and shared their unique experiences one genteel lady got up ,apologised for the absence of her husband who was actually one of the alumnis but was occupied otherwise and thus had asked her to attend instead. She gave a humorous account of incidences from her husband's time in the institution.Suddenly something clicked and my memory took me to a place long ago when as uncertain medical students in a government medical college the couple used to visit us and perhaps for the only time in my life I remember travelling on the rooftop of a bus singing our lungs off with worship song to make a trip between Bankura and Purulia and were received with such warmth into their home.There must have easily been a dozen of us. As I gathered she could not place me.Brought to memory Mathew 25,vs 36-37.....Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you ..... Stalwarts who in obedience to the Lord do small and big things are the sign boards God places on our path to whisper to us ..'This is the way....walk in it.' Incidences like these help us to understand the impact of our obedience in the lives of other people.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Will India's contradictions ever meet?

Manikram came to us with a rotting leg.There were ulcers down the front of the shank to the dorsum of the foot.Maggots were having a field day feeding off his flesh. My junior did a good debridement along with the senior nurse. I saw Manik Ram in the ward accompanied by his wife they were simple village folks.They had come from a faraway place and there was no way they could have managed to come for dressings so they decided to stay back in the hospital. Anticipating a big bill, we decided to discharge the patient in our software but never the less keep him back in the hospital free of charge while we did his dressing. At the end of the second week his perky daughter-in law appeared out of nowhere. Maniklal seemed to have made up his mind to go home. I thought he might have been home-sick so I agreed to let him go and offered to teach the bystanders how to do the dressing at home They could come back to us for further management. Meena bai,our nurse assistant , matter of factly enlightened me as to why Manikram was to go home. Apparently in their society whenever someone has maggots growing in any part of the body,their society's norm is that the person has to feed the whole community to a meal or else they are ostracized from the community. His daughter-in-law had come all the way to take the father-in-law to fulfill that bit of formality back home. They had no money to foot the hospital bill,they had no relatives or the people from their village visiting them while he was sick .To be accepted back into their community ,none of whom had showed up when he was sick, he had to buy his way back with a meal.What kind of poverty is this? in the meantime India's mission on mars has just been successfully launched.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Where less is more…

In my three months of tenure in Lakhnadon I have but lost one patient truly .There were two young kids with aluminium phosphide poisoning and one lady who was brought in decerebrtating ,a case of hanging which I would not count because they were expected to die anyways,we do get extremely sick patients reffered to higher units by our colleagues from the government hospital and local nursing homes. I have been severely restricted in my patient management due to lack of equipments. In my earlier tenures I have seen aweful iatrogenic faux-pas in well-equiped places which have given me restless nights. Having talked to a physician colleague who works in a critical care unit in a research institute and her observation that patients actually do better in a peripheral set up because we are less invasive ,I wonder if she is right.She was talking about how elective intubations expose patients to nosocomial infections and the pneumonia resulting greatly increases the cost for the patient because of need for higher antibiotics ,etc.Often the bystanders choose to take the patient home. Most of our centres do not have a good microbiology back up so less might actually be more in our set-ups. Thank you Lord for the small mercies.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Uncomfortably comfortable.

Today,I stand in a strange place. I do my rounds of the hospital ward and I wonder where I am . I have two ladies who have undergone total abdominal hysterectomies,one gentleman who has undergone resection anastomosis who has just started liquid diet,one gentleman who had his obstructed herniae released and underwent a herniorhaphy with a mesh insertion,two ladies who delivered by caeserian section,one lady with a breast abscess who underwent incision and drainage,one patient post-snake-bite who underwent skin grafting,one patient who has come for exploration of the sole of his feet for probable foreign body.One gentleman who has presented with a bad wound infection post-electrocution for wound debridement. I also happen to have a lady with unstable angina,a young kid on ambu ventilation for snake-bite ,a few patients with fevers and acute gastr-enterites. By the grace of God they all are doing well. These past few weeks I have seen a lady with a haemoglobin of 1.7 gm% with a GCS of 6/15,stranded in the village for two whole days in that state for a lack of vehicle recover and go home.I have seen a tiny baby rejected by the government hospital brought in gasping for breathe sheet white,slowly coming back to life while all of us awaited for the life to go out of him.The same baby the next day during the morning prayers sat on his knees with his hands folded together while we prayed .He was all of two and a half years. I have seen a young boy in his late teens pushed away by a local nursing home in acute respiratory distress and septic shock saying in between gasps of breath that he did not want to leave our hospital.We safely transported him to a higher centre in Jabalpur in our ambulance and a nurse-aid for a PEEP. I stand here ...suspended....,it seems in mid-air,uncomfortably comfortable in Lord Jesus' grace.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

CAN YOU HEAR ?

Malti was brought in with snakebite. A tribal from a village in Seoni ,was not talking,drowsy and had labored breathing. We pumped in ten vials of anti-snake venom ,gave her neostigmine and atropine, intubated her and taught the relatives to ventilate her with an ambu-bag. She needed ten vials more but financial constraints on the part of the hospital and the relatives did not make it possible. At ten in the morning the nurse anaesthetic after consulting me decided to extubate her.However, on extubation, her breathing stopped.I was busy attending to another patient ,so the nurse anaesthetist intubated her and she was back on ambu bag.The whole village it seems were keeping a vigil in the vicinity of the hospital so there were no dearth of hands to bag her. We had given them some tips about watching the saturation et,al. At around ten–thirty at night I received a phone call from the nurse asking me to attend to the patient immediately as she was bloating everywhere.I rushed to the emergency care to see her struggling frantically and four big men holding her down as an enthusiaistic man was happily bagging her into a balloon. I asked the relatives to vacate,silently prayed that she had recovered spontaneuos respiration and extubated her.The tube was blocked with secretions completely.Her saturation dropped down to forty.I was worried but opted for oxygen mask and put her on a full flow oxygen and waited as her saturation picked up to above 95%.I got one of the nurses to get a suturing set and put small nicks in the subcutaneous tissue and milked out the air.It was half an hour before she was truly settled and I was confident enough to leave the emergency unit. Next morning when I went for rounds I saw that she was spiking a fever. She was already on antibiotics and if I had had to hike the antibiotic they would not have been able to cover the cost.I talked to the father who by now had been won over after the initial hostility they had showed the staff about the cost of the anti-snake venom.I shared my delimna with him but told him that we would wait and watch. He gratefully consented.In the evening when I went for my rounds there was no fever.The patient remained afebrile after that. Next morning she started talking to us and smiling at us but would not eat beyond a few spoons we coaxed her to during the rounds. It took another day before we could get the catheter out and get her to finish a whole bowl of porridge and with much joy in my heart I could bid farewell to what seemed like an entire village . She should be coming for her follow up in a week’s time. A few questions remained in my mind. 1)If we had had a ventilator it would have run an alarm and we would not have had the ordeal we had at that time. 2)In this day and age in a country like India should financial constraint be a reason for compromising on optimal quality care for a patient? The last forty thousand of our money went towards paying for forty vials of ASV on that day.The suppliers refused to send us the vials without the payment. 3)Did the patient have an option ,I am not sure considering the status of the patient at the time of presentation,I guess not. Malti survived by God’s grace,but what about other Maltis ?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sacrifice.

Today I got talking to Suresh our chowkidar.His only child had had fever so he had brought him for evaluation. I saw that the little kid had pierced one of the ears and had put a ring in it.I asked Suresh, ‘Is it a girl or a boy?’ He answered, ‘it is a boy’. Why have you pierced his ears? Sahab,if I don’t then they will take my child. I asked ,who and where? To use as a sacrifice for building dams,etc. Open mouthed by now I asked ,so if he pierces his ears they will not take him? Yes sahib ,it means that the ear is already cut so he will not serve as a sacrifice. This is India,in the 21st century. I guess nobody has told them that the sacrifice has already been made.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Where have we lost the plot!

I have been in Madhya pradesh for barely a little less than a month.Looking at the spectra of patients who enter my out-patient I must say I am impressed. Seoni district is supposed to be the poorest district in the state.The first thing that I had to face as soon as I started working was predictably in the field of tuberculosis. Anti-tuberculous drugs were just not available over the counter.This was a dream we had been dreaming of all those days when I was working with the tuberculosis programme earlier in Jharkhand and later in HCH and had thought would never happen in India.There have been forums which have waxed eloquent in this but practically I thought it would never happen in India,but this state has done it.Even though grudgingly,I had to give kudos to the government here. However the flipside was when a patient of miliary tb presented to us and would not give a sputum and so apart from the CXR we really did not have anything to fall back on.The bystander had to make the rounds of the government hospital thrice in the next three days before a decision could be made about whether anti-TB drugs could be procurred for her.At the end I had to refer the patient to Jabalpur medical college. Quietly ,ethically people are trying to do their best and that is the India I have secretly admired and often shared about with some of my colleagues. We,the community we belong to and the community we profess to support ,leave a lot to be desired as far as practical aspect of things are concerned. We need to do a good soul searching,whenever we become irrelevant in any way. It means we are not where we are supposed to be. Like a senior often used to tell us and has left that indelible lesson with me,'the poor and the needy will come if you are pure hearted'. Isn't the whole humanity poor and needy? Didn't they come to Christ in droves? Do we need an integrity check? Where did we lose the plot?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

You turned my wailing into dancing…Psalm 30:11.

Sumitra was thirty five ,gave a history of being four month’s pregnant, came wailing into the casualty with a back pain.She was pointing to her spine ,was more than hundred kilograms in weight. Her husband ,a handicapped person was emphathetic enough while the rest of the family watched the drama from a distance.She had a whole lot of complaints ,a lot of which could be attributed to depression. I was asking her the history and the staff was taking the FHS which could be heard clear and loud through a Doppler.I was talking to the husband and when we asked her for a history of discharge PV she said she had had it for the past two days. We decided to do a PV examination.Much to our chagrin ,she was fully dilated and the membrane was bulging.She had no USG with her but she and her husband were absolutely confident about the dates although her uterus looked almost term. We shared all the possibilities with them. We decided to induce labour with all the necessary warnings that should the baby be premature ,the baby would not survive.There was mourning in the facial expression of the husband whereas the wife seemed to be fatalistic by then. The lady was hypertensive,had swelling in the feet which could hardly be distinguished with the amount of fat she had on her. While we tried to encourage her on the labour table she was almost collapsing and would just not push. She refused to put in any effort at all. Considering the risks involved,we gave them the option of a caeserian section.They complied after a time of haggling and discussion. We operated on her and by the grace of God a healthy baby girl was born to Sumitra. Sumitra,who had been ostrasized by her siblings who had all married rich.Had no one on the maternal side to support her because she had lost a mother,father and a brother. She had been chucked out from her husband’s family’s house ,considered barren.After fifteen years into marriage and a hundred kgs later she had conceived only to have labour pains so early in pregnancy as per their calculation .There was pain,struggle and mourning all over and within that half an hour “the Lord made us partakers in her rejoicing”. Even as we thanked the Lord for his grace upon all of us in equal measures we were weeping with joy. Continue to pray fpr Suneeta,her husband ,the little baby girl who is yet to be named.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Treating Malti

Malti is eighteen .She was reffered in by one of our community nurses as having headache and fever of one month duration.Her feisty uncle and her docile father had brought her in. When she was brought to the casualty,she gave me a blank look ,hardly spoke.She seemed terrified of being examined.She read abuse all over her. When I asked her for the history of fever as written in her referral sheet she shook her head definitely to indicate she had none. It was difficult to get history from her since she looked badly. I diagnosed her as having early schizophrenia but never the less screened her for organic problems. I put in a word to Dr.Rajah our clinical psychologist in Herbertpur.Rajah as helpful as ever was effusive in his response and gave me a detailed guideline as to how I could manage her. I remembered many a day when Dr.Rajah had futilely tried to hammer in psychiatry into our medicinified brains.I had sat through his talks taking in the lighter aspects and thought, had not taken the heavier portions too seriously but now I discovered I had not done too badly or rather Rajah’s effort had paid off.I was actually considering treating her myself instead of shunting her to the nearest psychiatrist in town. The nurse on duty tried to put in an intravenous cannula and much to the chagrin of everyone concerned she started wailing loudly like a little child. The first night she was a little restless.We had to send her relatives to another town to buy her medicines. After the second night she slept well and started behaving better. On the third day I decided to send her home on medication to follow her up after two weeks. Since she looked a lot better I thought I would talk to her and try and get a little history. She denied having episodes of hallucination,thought insertion,etc. I gave her a few bible tracts to read.As I do with most patients I made her read aloud the text to make sure that she could make sense of it. At the end of the tenure she smiled and asked me for my phone number which I duly gave her. That was the first initiative she had taken on her own to connect. A dark shadow covers her even now . It is a step forward…. Do accompany us in this journey of walking with Lord Jesus into these foreign territories. Do pray for Malti and do pray for us.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Getting to know Meenabai.

Meena Bai was nineteen years ,seven months in the family way.She worked as a daily labourer in the road and earned all of one rupee and twenty five paise. She became unwell so came to the mission hospital for treatment. The mission people had an unusual way of treating patients .They not only gave medicines and examined ,they also spent a long time talking to patients. Sister Barbara was one such lady who counselled her for a long time.She specifically remembers being told not to keep too many things in mind or worry too much. Life was difficult.Her husband had an erratic work.When there was work there was enough to eat. The hospital ,when she was about getting discharged ,conducted a camp for surgical patients.The doctor asked her to help out in the camp.She still remembers she was employed for fifteen days at a stretch . They gave her all of sixty-five rupees at the end of it. She had never seen so much of money in her life. That is how she started working in the mission. That was forty odd years ago. She still continues to work in the hospital. She remembers the dedication of the doctor sahab then. Every patient who used to come to the hospital gasping used to get mouth to mouth resuscitation. One such patient was rabid. According to her the doctor contracted the disease and became mad himself and so was taken away to Scotland for treatment. She tells me once he recovered he came back to serve again. I express my doubt about it having been rabies in the first place, and she tells me,'ask Ramabai she also remembers.' Off hand she adds, she has a son and a daughter-in-law,she is going to retire in 2015 so she plans to take a premature retirement so that her daughter-in-law can replace her because she needs to feed her kids. I am touched by her naivette and her simple calculation.I just smile.

Monday, April 28, 2014

These days....

I am yet to venture out from the four walls of the hospital.Being the lone doctor for the moment,I cannot really move out of the campus. While walking back from the hospital I unconciously walk past my quarters.I have no attatchment to the place whatsoever. Lakhnadon in many ways feels surreal to me. I look forward to an extra hand ,hopefully at the beginning of next month.I would like to move out into the villages more often. Late last night one of the bystanders of one of the patient walked up to my out-patient just to talk to me.She belonged to an Assembly of God background.She lives nearby.She was telling me how her family had single-handedly reached out to three hundred villages in town. This is a strange place where a lot of work has gone in ,people are surprisingly receptive but they still need to walk in through the gate. In the meantime we wait....and we pray.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Amazing Lord,you never fail to surprise me.

Although the out-patient opens at eight in the morning, patients do not trickle in until well past ten thirty.It is a little frightening sitting around waiting for them to come through the door. The last four days I have been here I have not seen too many medicine cases but for a few hypertensives and diabetics who have come to repeat medicines and a single young boy in sickle cell crisis whose pain was so severe that because of the need for narcotics to control the pain we had to send him to Nagpur because we do not have the license. I had just discharged my last IP patient that morning a lady with normal delivary who had had a tubectomy and was occupying the private room and had dragged her feet about going home. I was a little discouraged so I called a colleague and sat behind closed doors to pray. We had not finished praying when an old lady in her sixties and an old man ,simple village folks walked into my clinic with chest pain.She had a MI.Even as we attended to her I was filled with a deep sense of concern because they looked dirt poor.This was followed by a dumb girl who had unresolved fever who was brought in by her brother. As I sat in the out-patient,I was deeply touched to see the sort of patient the Lord had chosen to encourage me with. In my need to be affirmed the Lord had chosen to remind me why I was there.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

...and so it all begins.

It is exactly three days since I started working here. Being a lone doctor amongst a staff of 40 in the hospital and another 60 in the field is nerve-wrecking.Everybody is watching,everybody is waiting. In the forty who are in the hospital almost twenty are support staffs. I wonder if it is the 'Big' ministry the Lord has kept at our doorstep. They have been in the hospital for more than twenty years.My assistant tells me she has seen the ED come in as a youngster,do his post-grad,and then now he is incharge of the organisation. I share tea with Meena bai,she is just too shy to sit with me and sits behind the curtain watching me .She does not forget to say,'thank you Dr jee'. Yesterday she suggested I use a pessary for a lady who had a grade 2 cystocoele and had a certain amount of discomfort due to it.She even ran all the way to the OT to get it. They are there everywhere,sitting around,chatting but they immediately get into an alert mode as soon as they see me,I wonder how long this will go on? Some days are eeriely quiet and some days are a handful.It is almost divinely timed to give me enough work and enough rest. I am still to shift into my quarter,the bungalow is what they call it but to me it looks like a very badly modelled big house with compartments.It needs a lot of work and I am not sure I am the one to do it. I have a feeling I will finish my life in Lakhnadon in the living room,knowing me. It is the room which seems to have enough space to allow me to breathe.Am I caustrophobic?,I wonder. In the meantime ,the medicine I am practising here continues to take me away from my comfort zone.I am yet to see the common medicine cases.I am doing everything but.... Clear my mind Lord of the clutter that pre-conceived, well intended advises seem to occupy ...and help me to listen to your most Holy spirit.After all we all are only human but you most High have your way of doing things.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The last but one week.

Here starts my last but one week in Herbertpur. The last of my packing handed over to the movers and packers I look forward to seeing the back of it on tuesday. I wanted to meet up with Alem but that does not look like it is going to happen.She has gone off to Nagaland on a family commitment. In the mean time I look forward to my new responsibility as formidable as it seems from a distance.It does not seem formidable at all when I look up to Jesus. I remember attending a meeting in Ranchi of the RNTCP .The secretary then of the state who incidentally was a friend of my late cousin and had visited my home, turned to me and asked 'what is your strategy?'.I remember replying -'We have no strategy but we will do what has been alloted to us sincerely'. For me looking at what is ahead of me at a distance my constant query to the Lord is ,'Why do you want me there?' ..and yet there is a certainity that 'He wants me there.' I rest deep in that assurance. May your will be done in my life.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Book reading.

Molly suggested we start a reading club together towards the lattter part of the OPD since most of us are free just hanging around. We chose a book that encourages self introspection.Over the weeks Molly,Anu,I and Silus were the regular attenders.Reading the book around in circles has been a time of learning,bonding,letting down our gaurds and honest self introspection.I,for one am enjoying the experience throughly. We have been reading about the concept of being in the box, and self betrayal resulting in a whole lot of harmful wrong conclusions about situations and individuals. I, for one, suggest everyone try it. When we are willing to let our gaurds down and be willing to be vulnerable with each other, we edify and help each other grow as individuals.Isn't it what community is supposed to be all about?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

'There is time for everything under the sun..'

These past few days have been strangely hectic.
I have been trying to catch my breath in between cooking with the youngsters .
I move to Lakhnadown next month.The Lord has been good ,helping me along the way with my umpteen questions.
Was talking to a youngster even as I stirred my pot about life in general.Answering queries about my life and trying to understand hers and she came up with this statement..'Mam ,you are an institution in yourself.' Strange ,I thought.This was the second one this day.
One of my colleagues way-laid me today and asked me about the move.Out of the blue he suddenly said,'I told my wife that your going to Lakhnadown was like an army going there.'I just smiled and laughed away what he said.
It left me thoughtful about a lot of things.
What do I anticipate in the move ?Another colleague way-laid me and asked me ,'Are you sure you want to go?'Why what's wrong with Herbertpur?
I guess my anticipation is summarised in the answer I gave her, 'It is not about  'wanting to go', but rather  'it's time to go'.


 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Reading Tozer.

Reading Tozer inspires me a lot.I picked up this book in CMC the last time I was there.Tozer writes about the mystery of the Holy Spirit.
I was absolutely touched by the illustration he makes from the Noah's ark about the raven and the dove being let out to test for the receding of waters.
The water was the judgement of God on the earth.The raven when released ,thrives on the floating corpses,desolation and the civilisation that was built on the floating dead.
Noah releases the Dove ,she could not stand the judgement of God which was everywhere,she came back,so Noah pulled her back in.
When the water receded,Noah releases the dove and when she finds a dry land where she can light upon she does not come back .
What is the judgement of God?
Judgement of God is everything that the Holy spirit would find distasteful in our lives.
Just how important is the role of repentance in our lives if we want a clean slate.
Tozer distinguishes between the Holy spirit 'residing in a believer' and Holy spirit lighting down as seen during revivals.The Holy spirit yearns to light down upon believers,cities ,countrys and town.
A clean slate before the spirit can only come with repentance and repentance is costly

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The last few days.

A lot of things have happened in the past few days.
I have been anticipating a move and now I understand I go to Lakhnadown.I don't know too much about the place apart from the few gossips that come in now and then.
I am surprised at myself at the way I am not all curious about the place.I need to pick up my phone and dial a few numbers which I am too lazy to do.I am curiously neutral ,neither nervous nor excited just perturbed,praying and wondering why the Lord wants me there,for how long and why!
I make it a point when I am in HCH to walk up to the map of India outside the HCH OPD put my hands over the land marked Lakhnadown and pray over it.
In the mean time my cousin dear has contracted this deadly cancer.
Squamous cell ca of the gullet.Fit as can be,keeping himself in the straight and narrow he thought he had everything under control ,he was exercising everyday for two hours till the radio and the chemotherapy started simultanaeously last week.God had other plans.
We all are matter of fact about the whole matter.
I was telling him,'all of us have cancer,yours is diagnosed so take it one day at a time' and I meant it.



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The first cut is the deepest...remembering NJH.

I spent the evening with folks from Satbarwa.
Senior nurses come away for six months ,difficult times to be away from the family.
The eyes whelled up even as they saw me.
I remembered so many times in my younger days I had been impatient with some of them hoping against hope that they could be more efficient.Now I see them almost after three years- older, tired ,lost,in a new situation and they look beautiful to me,every line in their face telling me stories.
I drank tea and made some pan-cakes for them even as they up-dated me on the news of their family and old friends from Satbarwa.
Jeevan had sent me NJH calenders and I was deeply touched to see the format,the verses,the pictures.
All the saints engraving their signatures in the Book of life,some getting justification on earth and some faithfully giving their best in difficult circumstances for the Lord because human beings sell us short.
Thank you Lord for the testimony of Navjivan,I take heart from it every now and then.
 

Monday, February 3, 2014

I do,my Lord and my God

I travelled around the central India.I spent two full days behind my friend Grace's pallu in Champa.
Years just fade away when one is with friends.We chatted and chatted and chatted .....reminiscing,remembering,laughing.
These are friends who have seen me through literal rain and sun-shine.
Met Mr Jone Wills who was our Christmas father in Satbarwa.
Again laughed through the memories of  those learning days ...
I travelled through the heat and dust to Jagdeeshpur..met some old friends there too.
I did not travel to Lakhnadown although I wanted to meet Muani and was wondering what she was up to.
I have been praying on this movement thing.
Everytime I plan a move I get a clear leading from the Lord.
This time my call is to 'faithfulness' and whenever I close my eyes I see the Lord asking me 'Do you trust me?'
 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pondi notes.

Pondicherry it is.I reach at six o'clock to a guest house owned by a French couple at six in the evening and am reassured to be greeted by a family with a little daughter.
I have a splitting headache so I decide I want to eat a quick bite before I hit the sack.
Little down the street I walk into a tibetain shop and gulp down a plate of badly made momos.
The girl serves me in a traditionally sikkimese way,with that sign of respect which touches a chord.
I do manage a quick walk to the beach after the lady behind the counter assures me that Pondi is safe.I understand why when I run into police cars,police bikes and personals every ten steps.The beach looks ferocious,and beautiful at night but is overcrowded to say the least.I see a few works of different handwork potraits of Rajnikant,MGR,and I don't know who.One of them is even made of paper roses.
I walk briskly back to the hotel and hit  the sack.
Next morning I get up early and walk to the ashram.The streets around the ashram are quiet ,peaceful and clean.People are cordial.I see people from all walks of life walking barefeet ,prostrating before the lady's Samadhi or just sitting quietly,I guess meditating.I walk briefly through the ashram,look around,absorb the scenario,see a few notices for classical music concerts stuck to the board,pass through the hawk-eyed glare of the disciples perhaps wondering why I have come to visit the place at all.
I walk out of the ashram and start walking briefly through the French quarters.The place is clean  and cordial.I stop for a breakfast at a place .
I open my facebook on my phone to see a terrible status of a colleague and his wife passing away in an accident and the child fighting for his life.
That's it.That is life.
I walk to the church of immaculate conception hoping for a little time of peace, quiet and  mourning.The place is overcrowded .I walk on through the tamil quarters with their neat ,short traditional houses.
Unknowingly,I have hit the street and have reached somewhere near the place where I live.
I am walking through the sidewalks.....I suddenly find myself on my knees,my ankles at an acute angle.Three gentlemen rush towards me to help me up.
Extremely grateful and touched I thank them,sit down on the step of a shop when an old lady rushes up to me and enquires,'would you like some water?'I can't help smiling even as I say,I am fine.
What a wonderful species of people ,what a wonderful place,comfortable...very comfortable with having us around.
I hope to make a quick visit to Auroville before I travel back to Vellore.
Perhaps I will be able to meet Upasana after all.
Goodbye Pondicherry,God willing I will come again.
 

Coming South.

Strange to be back in the south after quite a long gap.My friend asks me ,'are you back from Dehradun?'We were together in Tamil Nadu more than a decade ago.Slightly confused I say ,'back to where?'

I was born in Mangan,educated in Gangtok,graduated in Bengal,post-graduated in Tamil Nadu,worked in Satbarwa,Herbertpur,England,Herbertpur and now am ready for the next bout of adventure .

Even as I reach Chennai I meet Sheba after a little over a year,her parents after a decade.Uncle says I have grown fatter.

I hear Dr Manoj's familiar voice over the phone.....into CMC there is Dolly,Deepak,Beulah ,Alex,Emmanuel,Jayanti,Susheel,Shalom,Ashita,Deepak,Dr Hansdak,Judy,..then there are the Satbarwa folks...Sishir,Suman....and then more Oddanchattram...Abraham.,Meghala....and then even as Abraham dials the phone and hands the set to me I am greeted by intermittant stunned silence and giggle on the other side of the phone....seriously I,think Anand has forgotten who I am.Anand used to be a dentist in Oddanchattram when I was doing my post-graduation and was the kindest tamil teacher I had.The first few months of my post-graduate year,Dr KV was keen that someone teach me Tamil and he had volunteered.He was a wonderful teacher and I was an exceptionally indisciplined learner.

I try to schedule a meet with Upasana ,one of the staff kids from Satbarwa and I desperately fail.I have a day in hand so I decide I want to make a quick trip to Pondicherry.Even as I am in a reverie on the roads ,I wonder where all my other good friends have dissappeared to.I would have liked to meet Nithila,Malini,Bala,Zhimi,Ally...and ofcourse ,Dr KV.

This is the best part about moving around .I realise I have become so much richer by just having them in my life.

Even as I look to moving to a new place I also look forward to sharing my life with a lot more people,little treasures in my little life giving it a lot of substance and memories.

Now why did I come to Pondicherry?

Apart from the fact that It was a last minute plan since my onward journey was from Vellore and an enthusiatic well-wisher whispered ,'go to Pondicherry',I actually came to see the crystal ball once a friend of mine likened me to.....hoping I will be able to capture back a fraction of that quality , whatever that meant..... that I will be able to do some reading ,praying and thinking.... before I catch the next train to Bilaspur.....

 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Notes to myself.

It's been a little over two months since I last scribbled a post.
In the comfort of having the parent's around one's mind stops functioning and you give in to the pampering .
However ,over the last few months,I have watched it all through close quarters and the technical eye ,the saga of Tehelka....and now Shashi Tharoor being beaten to the pulp ,two human institutions I had looked up to .........for their transient glimpses of brilliance.I don't denounce them ,I understand them perfectly well, as I do myself and every human being on earth,fragile ,frial, and sinful.
I hold on to what is good and accept the failings.
In the meantime I take great joy in small surprises that the Lord blesses us with.
I had the pleasure of having dinner with a young kid yesterday.
She could not be more than twenty three.
I called her over with a certain sense of responsibility.
The thought crossed my mind but I wasn't sure I would meet her before she left the campus.
I would not have met her otherwise had I not scheduled  a meet but just as I remembered for the second time that I should invite her over, she crossed my path.Invite her I did and thank God for that.
A convert from a hindu background ,born to a schizophrenic father ,separated from her mother,she was a delight to talk to.
She had decided to take up psychology so that she could help out people from a similar background.I was deeply touched to see such wisdom and a quiet resolution in one so young.
I was blessed.
On Monday,I travel to Vellore for  a three day conference on critical care and also look forward to meeting up with my friend Sheba and perhaps Beaulah.Post-Vellore ,I plan to take a detour to the heart of India to Champa and the adjacent hospitals .
I am looking towards relocating soon.
As I take a second plunge into a needy area...I wonder how different it is from the first time I plunged into Palaumu,as a fresh post-graduate ,straight out from the halloed grounds of Oddanchattram.
One thing I remember about my first few years in Palaumu was that I always had my bags packed, ready to run away, if and when I felt like I could not take it anymore.
I still have my bags packed ,albeit the reason differs.