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Showing posts from 2015


This year I had it in my heart to share the christmas dinner with my fellowship group of all the singles in the campus.The girls who had a day off went for shopping and those of us who were working continued to work. I managed to pick up some nick nacks for all the ladies from Jabalpur when I went for my christmas shopping.The menu was a roast which incidentally came out beautifully with vegetables and the girls cooked a lovely curry with inards and a soup to warm our cold souls.The marble cake graced the occassion  beautifully both cup-cakes and a bigger one. We read the christmas message,sang some christmas hymns ,prayed especially for all our families and members of the fellowship who were away.Shared our gifts and then enjoyed our dinner. Every year,our christmas families change.Atleast that has been the case ever since I have joined the missions. I remember christmasses all the way to celebrations around bon-fires making new friends,amongst drums and tapping feets,amongst non

Give me breakfast any day…

Breakfast is a quintiessential problem whenever I travel.Eating Geeta bai’s alu-parathas hot off the pan is a healing process.She always stuffs in extra bit of potato and coriander and it is heaven with tomato sauce,I am not sure of the health benefits of it all .While in Bhopal the timing for breakfast of eight-fifteen in the morning in the pastoral centre was a tad too late because I had to go across the city to speak in a student’s conference.At   seven thirty, I started walking the roads in search of breakfast. A Haldiram’s was open and suggested I wait out another fifteen minutes for the hot samosas and kachoris .I was not tempted at the thought of the dripping oil. I hardly walked a hundred yards when I spotted teenagers in ones and twos eating something out of paper pages   with a spoon.I walked up and there were these huge utensils with a hill of poha .Ten rupees per plate, enough and more for your breakfast.I bought it,relished it and I had this secret joy of having ha

Mystery of "Catholic food" and others...

I was invited to speak in student's retreat in Bhopal on 4th and 5th of December. I was looking for a place to stay .I wanted some place quiet to gather my thoughts together and pray.Muani my colleague from Mizoram had been to Bhopal some days earlier to write an exam.She suggested I stay in the pastoral centre which she said was simple and the food was "catholic" and nice.Little perplexed by the description of the food I asked our junior doctor Max who is from a catholic background as to what was "catholic" food.He was highly embarrassed,amused and had no clue. The centre was a lesson in all things efficient and fruitful.Simple but adequate is how I describe the place .The rooms had two beds,a hard one and a soft one.The bathrooms had a wash basin and two taps with running water ,hot and cold and a western toilet.There was a dust-bin in one corner. Breakfast was at eight but the place comes alive with gospel sounds from seven onwards which includes the St J

How deep the Father's love...

Today   I was reading   a devotion in the morning   from the gospels about the woman with the alabaster jar   who demonstrated her devotion to   Christ during the dinner   Simon ,the Pharisee ,hosts for Jesus. Whenever I have read or heard   a sermon on it the stress has been always on what the woman did.Nowadays,the Lord has been showing me the other side of it which is very evident but we often skip through.The part where Simon does not do …… The event reads-‘ Then He turned toward the woman and said to Simon ,’Do you not see this woman?I came into your house .You did not give me any water for my feet,but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.You did not give me a kiss,but this woman ,from the time I have entered ,has not stopped kissing my feet.You did not put oil on my head,but she has poured perfume on my feet….’ Is the Lord asking me this question today? It poignantly touched my heart because I   have invited Christ into

The train Journey.

Almost ten days of anaesthesia haze and I am back in the wear and tear of the field as it actually is.The train journey was unexpected .I had a train ticket on a waiting list and was trying this route for the first time.Had a mind to turn back many a time and go via my usual route,that is through Delhi.So was pleasantly surprised to see an all AC train with my reservation confirmed in the first class compartment.I anticipated a good rest after boarding the train at an unearthly hour at three in the morning.The journey was allright.Each time I felt uneasy I reminded myself of the posture I was in in the station while waiting for the train to come in and it made me enjoy my berth better. Saw a father daughter drama wrapped in intercultural delimna unfold before my eyes.A lovely daughter and her father were travelling from Guwahati to Kuchbihar for the daughter's marriage to a person from UP.Bengali in origin ,father was in a last minute rustle to put in an extra dose of culture int

Joy in the mourning!

KT and Helen were here for a day visiting.I was overjoyed to know that they had made a detour from Nagpur to come down to Lakhnadon albeit briefly .They must have been here for three hours at the most but it was a time of immense blessing.As always they poured out themselves for the people they briefly met.They could have but one meal and Rajkumari,our bai insisted she wanted to be the one to host them so I reluctantly agreed. The time went by so easily and I did not even realise how it went by because my comfort level with them is high. Seeing them relate with the class four staffs was immensely encouraging.They specifically asked for Rita Bai ,the lady who keeps the campus clean.She came with her husband and they had stories gallore from the times gone by.We get a glimpse of mission as it should be.Involvement in the lives of people who God places in our plate and to think He will ask us for an account. Often we become so busy with things that have to be done that we have no time

Bidding farewell to Kamla and Lata in a span of 12 hours.

Lata and Kamla were two strong ladies I came to know in my short span of ministry in Lakhnadon . Lata had been an obstetrician here for a little less than a decade.She and her husband left the ministry for a private practise nearby.She had a strong tie with the hospital.She came from a hindu background so called the hospital her home.When I was first asked to join the ministry here in Lakhnadon she was one of the person here to fill in during the transition.When I came to Lakhnadon,the ladies around fondly remembered her and kept asking after her. Lata reiterated my belief that ladies are made of a stern stuff.She was a strong person and a brave girl to boot.While she gasped for breath within the BIPAP mask one youngster breezily entered the ICU and asked me,'Are you her sister?'I said 'Yes' and Lata smiled through her struggling gasps. Kamla was a bright nurse who was full of life.She was a friend in many ways.Everytime I saw her she had her brilliant smile and I fo

Learning to teach Alzebra.

I requested Max our junior doctor to help the children of our class four staffs with their school work post-duty hours and he was only too happy to oblige so all the little boys who live in the nearby villages come to him.Savitri Bai was not around when we started doing this so when I caught up with her I told her that if her son needed help with schoolwork doctor Max was open to helping him. She immediately asked what about my daughters?They were in classes nine and eight and apparently has problems with maths and english.So I told her to send them over to me. The older kid came with her maths text with a homework given by her teacher to solve three questions. I had not anticipated that maths would be taught in hindi.Multiple xs and ys stared at me and I had no idea about what they wanted us to do with it.I asked for help from one of the nurses who had sat through a hindi medium and she was as blank.i wondered what the children would do with the xs and ys in their life later. The

Driving to the station..

I got talking to a taxi driver ,a sikh gentleman who has ferried around a lot of my kiths and kins in the past and so seems to have a vague sketch of the family line ,that's what I got to know this time.Two days of ferrying to Gurgaon was done in silence ,I had exams to attend to and so must have looked forbidding.On my final journey to the station he suddenly got chatty.He seems to have gathered I am a doctor so he invited me to start a hospital and a school in his village,apparently in Haryana and Punjab border with the nearest good school or a hospital being some sixty kilometres away.He said the folks in his village could not send girls to school because it was very far away. He had a lot to say about Punjab and his sikh religion.According to him he is a pure sikh so avoids meat and alcohol.Most of his free time is spent helping out in a langer preparing food for the poor of Delhi.He talked about the festivals they celebrate ,how they open stalls all over the gurdwara. In th


Last but one week has been crazy to say the least.Everything seems to be moving at frantic pace and I am frankly out of breath and feel like I am walking on cloud.I was in Delhi for my BLS and ACLS accredition by the American Heart Association.I had a first day which was a challenge and second and third day went in a haze with a terrible migraine but things we do instinctively by now does not need too much of effort and by God's grace I cleared it so now I am officially allowed to resusciate patients.In the meantime visited Lata in Stephens who was on a CPAP struggling for breath and barely mantaining saturation.One thing that struck me was she was a brave girl ,I guess having three children below the age of fifteen makes you brave ,every effort was a struggle and yet she was at it looking after herself,acknowledging our prayers ,responding to our scarce queries.Apart from praying with her all I could manage was to express my appreciation of how brave she was and how people were p

Life's little surprises....

You can get surprised by life .Just the other day I had this racking headache.Mosquitoes are having a field-day biting us every now and then.In between looking after guests,running the hospital ,clinics I hastily gave blood in the lab for infective work up.The reports surprised me suddenly with a hemoglobin of 9.6.The lab person checked it twice because he knows  I mantain a steady 12gm always.I pushed aside the result from my mind because I was actually resuscitating a patient then.All work done,at midnight, I remembered I better go and check my reports.It showed significantly low mcv and mch.It was definately iron defficiency anaemia but it was through a relatively short period of two months.To my knowledge I had not bled anywhere,I could have been malnutrioned or have a hookworm.I am keeping the safer options and treading carefully.I have started taking anti-helmenthics and iron syrup ,if it persists I  will happily go for scopies. But I am ready for anything.

Losing the pillars.

Yesterday evening we lost our pastor ,I got the news today.He's been our pastor babu forever it seems.Eons ago my grandfather whom I never saw groomed him into the office.He grew up in the hills of Mangan along with my parents ,so for them it is indeed a big loss. I, for one, have never stayed at home and so have not exactly been under his jurisdiction but my family has and I never thought I would feel the loss of that unassuming shy man.He did baptise me. Slowly a generation is passing by before our eyes.They were stalwarts of all that was basic,strong and dependable not necessarily always in the right. Home to me means predictability,church,faithfullness,congregation,sweet sincere hymns sung by simple people in churches packed with families,a way of life unquestioned ,unchallenged and falling into a rythemn of it's own. I grieve acutely with my parents and the senior citizens who I am sure must be battling their own  battles with  vulnerability.

Praying with the Master.

I was overjoyed to catch Georgie over the phone the other day.Needed some help with a paediatric protocol ,had called up Vikram to confirm ,he was in Ooty of all the places and George and Susan happened to be around for their child’s admission, I think. George being George was not only thorough with the protocol I wanted he offered to pray for me over the phone.Just how many people do we know who do that.I was deeply encouraged. Bethsheba Eicher is another person who prays with me almost every month over every issue under the sun we grapple with in our respective sphere of work and life.We have been doing this I think for around   a decade now. Praying with each other over the telephone is a great way of staying connected where it matters with people.We talk to many people over the course of the days that flip by-a few witty comments stay on for sometime but the praying with each other leaves a lasting impact in ways we cannot even fathom.’ One time not so long ag

The two men..

I felt a strange sense of pain in my heart when I heard about Yakub Menon's execution in Nagpur jail.I even wept.Just the other day  another man ,a great muslim died,I was at peace. I wondered why? There is a process of restoration ,a full circle  when circle of every being's life rounds up. When president Abdul Kalam died there was an out-pouring of grief and response all over the net but there was certain amount of rounding up of his life -he had in the worldly sense lead a thoughtful life and had spent his life living intelligently ,there was a sense of having completed a journey well. In Memon's case everything about the episode reeks of opening new festering wounds in the lives of so many more,his family for one I guess will never heal. However did India have a choice ?I really do not know.I am not sure what the families of the victims of the 1993 bomb-blast feel .Do they have it in them to forgive,or have they moved on in life. I wonder if a terrorist thinks ab

Reading Nicholas Spark.

I never thouoght I would read Nicholas Spark.I thought it was too sloppy for my taste.However in the world of hundred and one paperbacks hitting the stand everyday ,I found myself picking it out from the bookshops. I bought a read from the railway station.The bookseller pushed numerous paperbacks which I promptly rejected but held on to 'A walk to remember'.New York times had written a good review on it. The book is glowing in it's altruistic intonation.The storyline revolves around a congressman's son and a bible carrying,straight-jacket preacher's daughter.The story is written from the boy's point of view and is a story about a growing love that ends albeit tragically but has  a bittersweet end to it. 'The best of me ' was another movie I saw written by Nicholas Spark.This is the fourth work of Nicholas Spark I have been through,the other two being 'The Notebook' which is supposed to be iconic and a movie ,I forget the name of ,but remember

His ways are God's way..Isn't it great though He's four days late He's always on time...

These last few days have been adventurous to say the least.The whole of last month I have all but killed myself working without counting the hours.By God's grace lot of patients have passed by our hospital healed physically,have heard the gospel and have gone home.We in the medical team have been stretching ourselves to the limit going much beyond our capabilities.I have done three vaginal hysterectomies in the recent past and so now hold the distinction of being the only doctor in the lakhnadon region who actually does it.I might also be the only physician doing it.The last one was tough,with a slightly bulky uterus and lots of adhesions.It teaches us to be extra resilant,never mind the long hours of surgery,uncertainity,lack of stamina...fear of complications...ask me how to pray through difficult situations ,,I am becoming an expert in it. Last week brought along with it a lot of sadness as well.I lost a three year old child to snake-bite. By the time she was brought to us sh

Growing pains.

At a blink of an eye years pass by .My little neice Anhaita was one year old when she used to jump up from any position when she heard any kind of music to do hip-hop.Guests who visited their house, which was most days, because they kept an open house,would be treated to a cute sight of mother and daughter dancing together. This summer she turned sixteen .She gave me several shocks.Firstly,she sweetly broke it to her mother that she wanted to take up bio-science and pursue medicine for her carreer,secondly she actually scored very well in her tenth and last but not the least she frightened everyone by travelling all alone from Siliguri to New Delhi by train alone because her maid had a family emergency.She refused to have an air-ticket bought for her. She has always been an extremely protected child thus far. When I first heard the news that she wanted to become a doctor my first reaction was ,'Why a doctor?'I felt extremely heavy and I wondered to myself if she would be abl


Palliative care patients come our way because there are no such facilities anywhere else around. They end up staying months on end and they bond well with us. ICP was the first patient to come our way.Transferred from ICU in Nagpur due to brainstem bleed he stayed with us for almost three months before we discharged him for home.Every now and then he collapses and is wheeled into our casualty. We had not seen him for seven months.His sons ,when we met them in the market would politely invite us to their place.They would tell us he is doing well.ICP could not talk ,would not respond to any of the commands when he came in .Our nurses diligently worked around him ,we counseled the sons about including him in conversations.We would take time in our morning prayers to specifically go up to his room ,sing some hymns and would share the gospel and pray.Tears would stream down ICP’s eyes.There was no knowing if we were actually reaching out to him. Yesterday the son came to our hospital a

Another sunday in lakhnadon.

It has been a difficult week correcting,tolerating,working,struggling with nagging administrative issues.I was looking forward to the sunday to bounce back.I had a restful day but for the mid--morning when I was caught up controlling the seizures of a one and a half year old child who had been reffered to Jabalpur from the government hospital seizuring.So much for the defensive medicine the health practitioners are at these days.It took sometime getting an intravenous line but by God's grace as we dilantinised her and with the benzodiazepams in,his seizure settled. This evening I had another youngster join us for the evening fellowship. We are studying the book of Mark these days and there are a few themes that keep recurring. 1)We need to really know Jesus of nazereth for who He is.The gospels is like an introduction God gives us the son of God..,Lord over nature,Lord over diseases,Lord over death,Lord over evil spirit and satan,a compassionate God,a generous God,a

Crepe, rice conjee and sewing machine.

Somewhere from the inner recesses of my mind recipes pour out as I cook on Sundays for a group of twelve or so.I am not a hoarder,although every now and then I go out shopping and stock my fridge I am learning to use every bit of food that comes in and not waste it as we normally do.I was watching the documentary ,’Just eat it’ and it was quite appalling watching so much of food being wasted in first world countries.In India even scraps are eaten in the street. This Sunday I racked my head to organize a menu that would compliment the hotter than hot weather outside.I had potatoes gallore,mayonnaise ,condiments and herb,flour ,sugar and salt and some fruits. I settled on cold mash with mayonnaise,nuts and herbs,crepe made over the hot stove but served cold ,papayas and a shake with bananas ,mangoes and milk.There was no wastage whatsoever which is actually never there and light on every ones stomach.The Crepe was paper thin and ever so light,it somehow reminded me of royalty,althoug


A and J were with me for the holidays.Bethsheba spent three days with us amidst the hullabulla of her own demanding and busy life.It was wonderful to have her's and Andy's wise presence in my disorganised life , for a short time.They left their children for a week with me. J and A were a healing presence ,a little surprising for children of their age.They would get up in the morning,have their quiet time,make the chai which J was an expert in,eat their breakfast,go for VBS in the church.The afternoons were spent on their fours on the floor colouring different posters for our wards and we would invariably end the days with stories from my growing up years,a bible reading and prayer together before we would call it a day. Yesterday by the time I reached home ,they had soaked the dal,cut potatoes,onions,tomatoes and were ready to plunge it into the hot oil even as they looked into their note-pad for their mother's recipe. We cooked the meal delicious in it's simplicity