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Monday, August 20, 2012


Apu and Kappu were very good friends. They were so close that everyone thought that perhaps they would never be able to live without each other. Then one day something happened and they ceased to be friends. Everyone said they had a misunderstanding of sorts. They accepted they had a misunderstanding of sorts, yet they never took any effort to resolve it.

When I heard of this story, I was pretty amused. Among the many things that I believe in (which includes that  The BMC had bribed the Rain Gods this year to have scanty downpour so that potholes on the roads do not create potholes in their lives and that all politicians are clean, its just the whistle blowers that make them corrupt and that UP has a future and so on and so forth) is that there can never be misunderstandings.

You always understand what you want to understand! There is a saying in medicine, "The eyes do not see, what the mind does not know". Similarly, the ears hear only what the mind wants to hear! So all this misunderstanding business is just hokum. Unless you have a distorted view and your ideas are rotten, you probably cant misunderstand anything. Bang your head on the wall if you don't know of a conversation which included,"I was joking! You got it all wrong." Seriously, how dumb could you have been to not have gotten a joke! Or perhaps, it was your own mind pulling off a dirty joke.

So, even I have friends who are or should I say were like Apu and Kappu. In fact, all of us have at some point in time been either Apu or Kappu or would know of someone in such a dilemma. But in this case, both Apu and Kappu aren't willing to admit that there may have been a misunderstanding. Neither do they hold any one else responsible for the strife. Intelligent people one would say! Yet, invariably they expect me to be the mediator and help them reach a settlement.

Two things work against this. One, my extreme noteworthy self obsession. As huge as my self obsession is, I am sure that in same remote village in India when some kid does not share his toys his mother tells him "Share beta share, nahi to JV aa jaayega!" And I have drawn a lot of flank from both Apu and Kappu for not doing my bit to make matters as rosy as before. But, I really don't see the point in this. I fail to understand how one superman's obsession can cause so much harm to two people he holds near to him.

Second, I am a bad mediator. See, I am training to be a doctor. To heal wounds. I am no lawyer that I'll be able to negotiate an arbitration. I know I have great abilities and I can do almost anything in this world, but this is one thing that is not in my hands. Perhaps wen you decide to call it off entirely or one of you gives in  and has a bruised ego, come to me, I'll heal you. But till then, I am no good.

Despite my limitations, I did try, not just once but twice. And badly failed on both occasions. And also had to bear the brunt for making matters worse. As if I hadn't warned you! It may again partly be because we usually discuss such matters over food. And given the perennial  state of inflation in this our country, the value of money has depreciated. You get that same sense of fullness  when you go out to a diner anymore. So, it is but just obvious that I would attempt to draw out some free entertainment along with the food.

Just a parting word to all Apus and Kappus, the best way out, is to not involve many people. All of them may not be truthful enough as me to acknowledge that they gain happiness out of your sticky wicket situation. Its your problem and you oughtta find a way out of it, if you want to that is!

I write this blog not because I am a stone hearted, devoid of emotions narcissist, but because I am amused at the very thought of how you have managed to get yourself in this soup!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Its been almost a year and a half since I posted a blog ‘Before the alarm goes off’. That was when my final rotation had begun. And on 17th August 2012, will begin the final posting of my life as a MBBS student. Yeah, internship is still pending, but then things will never be the same.

Even as I write this with a heap of Harrison and Ghai and Dutta and what not notes and short textbooks and MCQ books staring in my face, the butterflies seem to be multiplying like guinea pigs! In fact, wasn't I alright a few minutes ago, until I checked the calendar! Time has flown faster than I thought, I must confess.

What makes me envious are the juniors in the corridors planning their AIIMS trip, freshers in the labs marveling at the beautiful hues of hematoxilin and eosin and getting thrilled at feeling the pulse for the first time. Come-on wasn't it just yesterday that I step foot in this institute, the dream of my life finally fulfilled, and won't it be like tomorrow that it will get over and today is just hurrying away! God, make a Rowdy Rathod, so that I can rewind and replay those moments, good, bad and worst, all over again to my heart's satisfaction. But then, I doubt if I ever will be satisfied?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What the hell were you doing so long?

About two months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with a heavy bout of coughing lasting about 15-20 minutes. It was weird because I had no cold or sore throat. And again I dismissed it as insignificant as there was no expectoration and barring that paroxysm, I slept comfortably through the night. Then it recurred again the next night. This time, however there was wheezing. Loud, audible wheezing. This may be because I am a medical student, because ideally I should have run to the emergency, but as I had no dyspnoea, I was actually experimenting with myself. Initially admiring how classical, textbook description the musical sounds were! Then seeing if got accentuated on lying in a lateral position or supine or prone, etc. etc. In retrospection, it seems that we sort of get divided into two components, the doctor and the lay human. Today as I recollect and write about it, I am very astonished as to how aloof I had become with myself on that particular night. And, needless to say it recurred again the next night, with increased severity of course.

That was when my mother started worrying why I wasn't consulting someone. Partly because I had a differential in mind, and also as I had two terminal papers to appear the next two days, I wanted to get through them undisturbed.

When the papers were finished I got my CBC done. There was eosinophilia. Expected. But, the eosinophil count was 92!!! And then for a moment I was stumped. Call it final year syndrome, or just the generic ZEBRA SYNDROME that GSites have, I was almost certain that it was Non-Hodgkin's. The more plausible tropical pulmonary eosinophilia was totally ruled out, because as I have read, symptoms appear when eosinophils are in the 30s and also there was no way I could have caught a parasite. And just to confirm the count I went through the smear myself. I even got another smear made just to ensure the lab hadn't mixed up samples.

Next day was a Saturday. I ran for a senior consultant when he was on his rounds. Told him of my symptoms. He examined me and prescribed Hetrazan for 21 days. But I was a little apprehensive, so I told him that the count was 92. To that he replied, "There is never a count of 92. You should have misread the report!" I told him that I had seen the smear, but didn't mention my self diagnosis for perhaps I was too afraid that it may turn out to be true. Nonetheless, I trusted his expertise, did the course and after two months the counts have normalised.

Point being, one may say, as even I think now, how foolish of me to have stretched the initial symptoms for three days. Many a times, there are patients we see and think, 'what the hell were you doing so long?'. They have no answer, as even I have no answer. Perhaps I was busy enjoying the nocturnal symphony!

Surely, I am not going to repeat such daredevilry ever again in my life!

But what I observe in myself are two distinctly identified patient behaviour patterns - One who tries to avert consultation till he can and second, who is then submissive to his doctor. Funny, because I thought being a doctor I would make better decisions, but it turns out to be otherwise!