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Showing posts from December, 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

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!!

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 .. 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?

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


‘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 li


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.

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!

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

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 !


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 Ma


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'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 law

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 th

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 ho