Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday in London thus far.

I booked myself into the summer accomodation ,Prince's garden of the imperial college,comfortable room in the heart of south Kensington ,along the exhibition raod leading to Prince's consort road ,across the road from the science mueseum and the history museum.Hyde park and the Kensington park are five minutes walk along the same path.Amazing location!Breakfast went with the accomodation.A generous english breakfast.Good way to start the day.Met Dreier,a french data analyst who was on a break in the area as well.
I spent the morning walking through Hyde park,something I have wanted to do since I landed in the UK.I remembered some bits from my visit earlier.I spent the morning with flowers,ducks,a squirrel,the water and the expanse of green, memorials gallore,psalm 25 in company of a statue of a woman aiming an arrow ,held up by four people with water flowing out all around her and below the chalice that held her is a torch made of cement.It made me think a bit.
I walked to my heart's content and then took an underground to tottenham court to attend the hillsong church in the Dominion theatre.
Brian Housten was visiting from Sydney.I reached when the worship had started and the dominion theatre was packed to the hilt.I somehow found a seat in the stall.
Brian's message was short,impactful and the prayer powerful.
He spoke about taking stewardship of the changes in our lives because whether we liked it or not,changes would definately come.
He talked about Peter who after he had betrayed Jesus thrice,comes out and weeps bitterly ,in other words his betrayel of Jesus overwhelms him,but Peter's life is a life of ongoing transformation.
Same with David,when he decides to fight Goliath he talks like his life as a shepherd was already a thing of the past and there are three things that helped him to move towards his God-given destiny.
1.He knew the source of change.He knew God.
2.He had a motivation for the change-Firstly he had a cause-He pertinantly asks ,'Is there not a cause?'secondly he had a reward in mind.The reward the king had placed for anyone who defeated Goliath.
3.He embraced the change.He spoke about his past like as though it was already behind him.
The one liner that stuck out for me was,'Our lives are as powerful as the cause attatched to it.' I was blessed.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Extended weekend with a bank holiday.

I remember during my Oddanchattram days,everyday I used to start my day with this song.'One day at a time.'we led a very sheltered life there,everyone extremely caring and looking after each other.The department where I am posted at,has a wonderful set of colleagues.We all have become good friends in a short time but one hardly gets much time because the rotas are made in such a way that we get as much exposure as possible and we keep moving around .How fascinating is it when we actually realise that all of us come from extremely different backgrounds.We are from India,Egypt,Iraq,Zimbabwe and England.In one of the early weeks ,one of the senior consultants gave us a good advice-'take time off to sit and eat lunch together so that you can get to know one another.'was what he said and that advise served us in good stead. Come September I have a hot month whereby I will be doing 12 hours of calls at a stretch and will have a lot of zero days as well.As disorienting as it may be, I am looking forward to it.
This weekend is an extended weekend with a bank holiday on Monday.
I struggled trying to make up my mind as to what I should do and finally zeroed down on spending the weekend in London just wandering around which I love actually.I booked myself into a place in Central London.However ,just yesterday,outside the buckingham palace there was a terrorist scare I think.
Will it change my plans?No,life has to go on.
I hope to catch 'Evita' in the theatres.Fascinating charecters etched in the history of a continent.
I have also started doing some courses that will help me be more mobile in the future.
One year of my life-precious handful of moments-may I be able to squeeze every ounce of it,equipped to give better,live better and love better.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Psalm 115,vs 5




The river Ganges is the most worshipped river in India and yet the havoc and the devastation the river causes every monsoon is unparalleled .Bhupen Hazarika , the assamese singer-writer  in this haunting song has this quetion for the river 'Why are you silent?'Who would understand this better than a person from a state which has faced the fury of the water un-paralleled and has lost lives,stock and livelihood unaccounted for year after year.
Another thing that struck me was a picture of a missionary of charity's sister amongst the suffering in the picture.





Oh the love of God.

In beautiful moments of worship with fellow beleivers in my church ,God suddenly brings to mind people and families I have known in my short journey of life and I plead before the almighty for them.This sunday while we were worshipping ,the family that the Lord brought to my mind was Dr Sam and Sarah David.In that moment of communion with God I cried out a prayer from deep within.How the Lord loves them.
The portion we studied was from Philipians chapter 3 vs 1-14.
Philippians 3:1-14New King James Version (NKJV)

All for Christ
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit,[a] rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Pressing Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.




It was a simple illustration of the passage the pastor gave us.A child was called out to help with the sermon.Each point where Paul enumerates the reason he could boast ,the child had to put four wooden blocks one on top of the other till a tower of pride was formed and then Paul considers it all a loss , for the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus,His Lord.The pastor tumbled the tower with one stroke and it was all 'a garbage',as Paul puts it.
I had not stopped to think that Saul of Tarsus was from the tribe of Benjamin,the tribe of his namesake,the first King of Israel.He had actually been named after him.Look at God's humour,the lineage of Saul becomes the diehard servant of the lineage of David and gives his life for the former's glory.
The other verse that was stressed was 'lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me.'The pastor asked us if we knew what Christ had laid hold of us for?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Remembering the bizzare-this independance day!

Working in the UK especially in the gastro department in the past two weeks I order human albumin to be transfused to patients every day..it brings back sad memories of my time in Lakhnadon in Madhya Pradesh.Every now and then there would be a need for HAS in the hospital with variety of patients trickling in.The administrator in all earnestness would search frantically for it.I never got hold of any during my time there.Once one of the suppliers even offered to get me some in 'black'.
The other thing which appalled me to no end was getting blood for transfusion.We had patients coming in with a haemoglobin of 2mg% and each time arranging for transfusion was a mountain of a struggle.Blood transfusion was available in Jabalpur for anything from 1800Rs to Rs 4500 and there were middle men involved.There was a time when one of the patients needed blood so badly and did not have the money required so since Saneesh's (my colleague)blood group matched with the patient concerned he offered to visit the blood bank to donate the blood in Jabalpur .He just made it in time for his train home to Raipur after the donation.
Human lives in India is a big business.Investigations and lab kits would dissappear from the market overnight so as to promote equipments.I remember so many times ,when suppliers would point blank tell us such and such kits were not manufactured anymore so for one to do a particular test one would have to buy a new equipment.
The government had strict legislations for ultrasound on one hand and a doctor was sued for some pleural tap one had done blindly.This is also a country where quacks are rampant and most patients who land up at your hospital has been through multiple hands trying everything from potions to black magic before they land up ,sometimes stone cold in rigor mortis from conditions like snakebites which are completely treatable.Nobody pays for it.
My colleagues in Emmanuel Hospital Association and other mission organisations work under considerable challenges ,in these difficult areas against a tide which does not make things easier.Everyday is a new day with new challenges with an inner drive to reiterate the value of the human lives we come across,each one made in the image of almighty God,precious and beautiful..often marred but a step towards retoration to the image,God meant it to be.
Happy independance day to my country men!.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Chewing the cud..

Incidents like the ones that is happening in Gorakhpur are disasters waiting to happen in a country like India where corruption is rampant,and accountability non-existant.
Ideally what public should demand is a transparent enquiry into the incident and a look into where the system failed.The right heads need to roll,politicians from the past record are often unable to tell.
The systems need to be put in place so that it does not happen again.
The incident should not be swept under the carpet ,whether it be the media houses championing the cause or film makers looking to make a film.The idea is to contribute in what way one can to make India better.
I am not sure,if life-saving devices like oxygen ,anti-snake venoms,insulin should be monopolised by the private sector.It does sound bizarre that a government medical college was dependant on a private supplier for its oxygen supply.Do I smell a rat here?
In the hospital where I worked in central India,oxygen used to be a major issue.The staff would often wonder why I was getting so worked up over it.One would often find empty cylinders sent back from the suppliers as filled and at times there would be leaks in the cylinder.
Many a times I have had to send in an extra personal with a meter to measure the pressure at the point of receiving the cylinders.
The same year by God's grace we centralised the oxygen and bought ten large cylinders for a five bedded ACU so the alarm would keep us alert but I still found myself having to check from time to time how the flow went.
I have had similar experiences with snakebite patients with ASV prices roof high and the government hospitals for some reason not even comitted to intubating and ventilating a patient ours used to be the only hospital in the area which used to manage snakebites,
We did struggle with the logisitcs especailly initially when we were financially constrained.The government needs to remove taxes on these essential life-saving items and make sure that no extra cost is incurred by the patients for these items.
In Jharkhand one used to see adivasis from remote corners pushed into the out-patient with snake-bites with envenomation ,with no money in their pockets.For institutions like ours where we had to buy every medication there used to be a healthy tension but no patient's treatment are compromised in any way.God provides.
The normal trend in these parts is that the poor quietly pay the fees whereas the rich muscle their way and try to weild out as much charity as possible thus making institutions with good intent struggle.However the poor who quietly pay the fee often do it at a considerable added baggage to their person.A sudden sickness could set them back in their lives by a couple of years because they give themselves as bonded labourers to the rich landowners for the money that has been advanced to them.
Thus the vicious cycle goes on..
Yes this is one face of India...I have known.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A song -inspired by the psalms.

I will praise You Father
Flourish in worship
like an olive tree
in the house of God.

I trust in God's unfailing love
forever and ever
I will hope in Your name
for Your name is good.

I will praise You Lord Jesus
will always love You
my life is Yours,
for what You have done.

For from the Son comes
the theme of my praise
in the great assembly
my heartfelt song ,sublime and pure.

I praise You Holy Spirit
always adore You
welcome You
for who You are.

For You sweet Counseller
keep my lamp burning
You make known to me
the path of life.

I glorify You
Holy trinity
my true home
forever more

for You fill me
with the joy of Your presence
with eternal purpose
at Your right hand.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Lord Jesus lead us.

What a gentle spirit the spirit of the Lord is.
Today we had a challenging message in the church.It was from Philipians 1 vs 12 to 14.'Now ,I want you to know brothers.....that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel....'
Paul's cry runs on through generations of martyrs unheard,unsung ,unknown but very dear to the heavens and our Lord.
Vs 27 is a beautiful direction Paul gives for the believers,'Whatever happens ,conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of gospel of Christ....'This is where most of us fail.As soon as circumstances start becoming to the contrary,our flesh takes over.
As the pastor said 'God over-rules our circumstances for the gospel to be preached and proclaimed'. We looked at great examples from the bible of the lives of people whose lives regardless of where it was, was over-ruled by God for His glory...Paul,Joseph,Daniel,and the list goes on.
We also saw a clipping on the life of Polycarpus,a martyr,the bishop of Turkey who it was said, was the last connection to apostle John.
Paul and Timothy were slaves of Christ.It was never about comfort,never about what they wanted but how God would be glorified.
We recited a prayer in the end.
Where we are to where you need us -Jesus Lead us....

Friday, August 4, 2017

New day,a new way.

Middle of this week I changed over to gastro.It is an entirely new way of functioning but so far seems to be a much healthier option.The two months in acute medicine I got thoroughly bushed.The last but oneday I was seeing patients till eight at night.Somehow I seem to have made it over the week to the weekend.I have two whole days to rest.Thank God for that.I find working hours a lot tougher this time through.The roaster also seems kind of crazy,much like the third world ,the concept of rest put to the edge and a lot of people seem to be on the edge.one often has to repeat requests slowly and twice before one realises that one has been a bit abrupt.It is all a learning process.
Meeting new people,adjusting to their idiosyncracies,getting to know them...interesting because in these times in the UK one finds people from all sorts of community and colour,getting to know them,making friends,it is interesting.From Monday ,most of the team in gastro is going to be new,so we are more or less on our own.It is a learning process and the patients are pouring in all the time.The system seems to be understaffed.
It is also a time to learn medicine especially in these specialist postings,there is so much to see and so much to take in.I thank God for the oppurtunity I seem to have got,strangely my acute medicine boss also seemed unaware of it when it happened.
By the time I get back from work I just barely have enough energy to eat a meal and go to sleep.
I look forward to the weekend and I look forward to the church.
There have been times when I have felt physically weak to the point I have almost collapsed but the Lord has carried me through.
Since last week I picked up an iron supplement from Tesco and am regularly having it.My haemoglobin has been hovering around 9 for sometime.That could be the cause of my tiredness.Hopefully it will pick up.I am trying to avoid getting myself investigated with scopes et al because it has never really gone below 9.I was a healthy 12 till I came down to Lakhnadon ,where I cannot say for sure if it was the blood donation,unhealthy eating or something sinister that did me in.
So now I am well into August.Another season slowly but surely getting on.We have started pulling our sweaters out,our textbooks out,there is so much to learn,so much to discover,so much ahead of us....With the Lord on my side ,everything is possible.