Month: February 2014

An open letter to the man who is going to snatch my gold chain/diamond earring.

In India robbery is a day to day thing, like taking a bath maybe. Just as rare for a poor man living in a water scarce area and just as abundant for a rich man, who indulges in spas.    Earlier thieves would come over as house guests and would use the locker to retrieve what they thought was of value to them, whilst you snored in the bedroom. Nowadays, thieves, who are considerate people realise that the working class have very little time to rest at home and so robbery too has the option of being “express robbed”. Like the ease of using the ATM to draw money rather than going to the bank. One has the option of being robbed off jewellery on the roads, all while you shop. Plain, quick and simple.

 

An open letter to the man who is going to snatch my gold chain/diamond earring.

 

Dear Mr.Snatcher,

I have come from a distant part of India and am currently vacationing at my grandparent’s place, or to put it better I am currently a guest in your jurisdiction of thievery. My grandfather speaks highly about you. He has warned each one of us and has specifically asked us to remove all gold articles of show like earrings, necklaces and rings before going out. He told me about your unique style of snatching wherein you cut the entire ear in one go, what impressed me even more was that all this you have to do in a matter of a few seconds and then you flee on your motorbike. What a noble profession you have, honourable sir. I have often wondered how women roam around with kilos of gold on their body, so burdening it must be and you sir relieve them of this burden. Your place is fixed in heaven.

I understand that I have no idea of your modus operandi. I do not know whether you work alone or as a part of a team. What I do know is that you have impeccable skills, the combo of a goldsmith and a runner. How unfortunate that you are called a thief.

I must thank you sir, for ensuring work for petty doctors. You feed the starving medics in this town. Had it not been for you, who would have a bleeding ear and a scarred soul due to the lack of pounds of jewellery?

And then sir, you propagate the values of exercise on good health. Little kids all over the town, know how you have amassed so much wealth. Snatch and run, for a good health and wealth. Just the right message for tiny tots.

I have not written this letter just to flatter you sir. I have something to enquire actually. I wanted to know the mechanism of earring snatching. When you grab the earring, do you just pull and the injury inflicted on the ear is coincidental or do you have a pair of scissors handy to cut the ear with earring and all?

Sir, I would like to state that I am yet to be married. It would be better if you could just snatch my earring rather than cutting. This is because.

  1. I have a recurrent ear infection, if you take my ear along with you. It may just pollute the other ears you have in your collection. (Dear sir, do you sell the surplus ear to medical schools or do you have some collecting fetish?)
  2. Also, sir it will be very difficult for me to find a groom with just one ear. It could delay and even destroy my prospect of getting married. Sir, I assure you that if you leave my ear intact, I will invite you to my wedding. Indian weddings as you know are the ultimate occasion for show off, I am sure you will find plenty of gold and diamonds available for snatching there. See, sir I shall help you if you help me.

 

 Also, have you ever been to the theatre? Have you ever had the chance to look at a movie’s teaser, one which is rich with drama, action and romance. Doesn’t it incite the feeling that the movie would also be just as lavish considering the exciting introduction it has? But when you actually go to see the film, you realise how wrong you were, the movie turns out to be dull and boring. Sir, my gold chain and diamond earrings are but mere exciting teasers, to give the impression that my life as a film dabbles with golden drama. Believe me,  my life is just as boring as the film we were talking about, no gold sir, and diamonds even talking about them is expensive for me.  why would you rob a girl of the one good teaser she has in her life?

Sir, since we have become so close now, I want to warn you that if you meet me, I will be wearing a huge diamond and gold earring. I know you will be tempted. But please sir, let good sense prevail. You should wonder, how can a little girl wear such a huge earring in my jurisdiction? Haven’t her parents told her about me? And then sir, you shall have the answer. Why the earring is fake! Do not waste your time over it. My cousin, though I shall get her to wear the biggest diamond of her collection. That you must take. My parents are poor, plus sir I shall be going to the distant land of the Queen, I need all the money I have but she, don’t ask! Too much money her parents have, that you deserve. I pray sir, take it with you.

I am glad we got a chance to talk. How brief the encounter would be on the streets.  I hope you have a bright “golden” future ahead.

Looking forward to hearing more from you,

Yours sincerely,

The girl with two ears and no money and fake jewellery.

 

 

What my shoes mean to me: Two Cent Tuesday Challenge.

Maybe in the first world country, before a baby is born the social services people give a checklist of things which a good parent may require for parenting, in India we get no such checklist but what we lack in social structure we make up for in advice from fellow Indians. Parents flock in huge numbers to meet the would be parents and give their hard earned advice to them. Always keeping a pair of shoes handy is one such advice, the one essential thing to maintaining a good obedience level in the house. Ask any child brought up in India, they shall reminsesce about their encounters with their parent’ shoes. How any insolent remark or excessive tantrums earned them a  sharp blow on their mortal body with the classic shoes . Over time, this mode of disciplining the kid has also undergone industrialization  . For example, shoes with spiky soles that leave a greater blow and scar on the child, as a reminder for life have long replaced the simple flip-flops, which to the child’s relief used to be less exacting and more tolerable. Even now, the terror on a child’s face can be discerned easily when their parents point towards their shoes, in a moment of truth, their entire life flashes before their eyes and most children alter their lifestyle in an attempt to stop the shoe from rising and landing with a thud on their cheeks.

Or better still, there is the act of reverence which involves touching the feet of our elders, more than direct touching of the feet, it involves touching their dirt ridden shoes, in order to show our love from them, with mud, dirt and all. Such fond, dirty memories of shoes.

I digress from the topic. What do my shoes tell about me? That I take no care of my feet, or they may complain that I sometimes jump into rain water puddles just for the fun of it, with no regard for the lizard’s skin that makes up my shoes and also I let my cat chew on it just to let her have the taste of an exotic lizard or crocodile’s skin.

Some corner of my sole, yearns for flashy stilletos and beautiful boots, just to exhibit the feminine aura a girl should have but truth be told, after an hour of walking in high heeled horrors I always kick them away to walk barefoot, lest my toes should fracture and split apart. My daily wear, however is a pair of flats, part boyish and yet wearable. The boyish ruggedness ensures that I can slip it on easily and go on my adventure and these shoes are indifferent to the mud and sand that coats over it, it gets this attitude from its wearer, who cares not for the social dirt flowing over it,whilst outdoors.

As a short statured girl, I have to wear heeled shoes, in order to join the ranks of the long legged lasses. Heels come in a variety of lengths and in the shoe shop, with one look at me, the shopkeeper invariably suggests the higher side of the heel spectrum. However, even though such long heels look uber cool, my shoe cupboard represents a compromise between me and my parents, a mid way between my desire to way long heels and my parents lack of confidence in my ability to walk without tripping in those heels. So, like my life my shoes are always medium heeled, and like the occasional highs of happiness in life, there are a few high heeled shoes and like the bouts of depression which makes me feel low, there are flats in my closet. Like my life, so my shoes.

As a devout follower of the Hindu culture, it becomes imperative for me to describe the “khadaaon” that even our Lord Rama, wore in days of yore. Till date, it is worn by ascetics and monks to demonstrate the simplicity life can have. It involves holding the wooden slippers between the toe and the next finger of the foot. Hobbling along, holding the slipper against the sole, which demonstrates to me, the essence of life in India. The practice of consciously keeping the footwear against the foot, is like the constant conscious labor that we do in order to ensure that our life is shrouded with comforts.

So, this piece of our fashion has basically risen to a height where it has now become a representative of the lives we lead. It may seem that I have become extra sensitive towards my shoes but no this does not in any way mean that I am cleaning that sticky mess from my shoes.

Motivation: the thing that keeps me from kicking the bucket….

‘Motivation’ can be broken down into ‘Moti’, which in Hindi means fat and ‘vation’ which means well, nothing, I admit to having a gluttony for all things fatty. The tendency to splurge on butter rich fatty items is evident from my body mass index, which is rising steadily every single day. So, how can I resist writing on a topic which starts with fat .I need motivation for all those things which need to be done but often I end up ignoring it for something far more desirable and less toiling . 

I admit that I am a “praise-loving, criticism hating” creature and I love it when people tell me how good I am. That is definitely one thing that makes me do things. As a child, I would often cut my play time short and study, tidy my things up just to hear my mom call me a “good girl”. If I were a drug addict, praise would be my Marijuana.  The day God decided to give me a vagina in place of a freaking penis, it was determined that I would be subject to certain stigmas which are absolute essentials for women (atleast in my society). So, I remain motivated to fight for a better future, not only because that would be my vendetta but also because that could be a much deserved gift to my vagina, which like its sisters across women, remains shrouded in prejudice inspite of being as faithful and useful as any penis could ever be. 

And most importantly, my Wish List. This is my bucket list of to-do things which I have to complete before I kick the bucket, most notably I want my childhood crush (read Shahrukh Khan, the Indian Tom Cruise, go google him. He might have wrinkles now but his smile melted my heart years ago) to dance at my wedding (I understand that he might not be in a position to dance then, considering he is already around 50 now, I could settle for a few pics with me in different poses) and I want to be able to buy real jewels and become the devil that wears the Prada. As you can see, all of my dreams are really expensive and so not being motivated is not an option.

So, this was how I remain motivated.  Now for some things that require my unfaltering zealous motivation

You must have heard about child marriages in India, as a child, I was married to the “eat less, eat healthy” philosophy, I even remember celebrating my 10th marriage anniversary through a huge celebration and a cake made of air and imagination. Everything was running smoothly but in the 14th year of our marriage, we had a big row over a cupcake. I do admit to having a bit of craving for that dashing piece of cupcake but trust me I had tried to remain faithful in the marriage for a very long time. So, unfortunately, I had this massive break up an year later. After which like all newly single people, I have had a roller coaster ride through the lanes of pizzas, cupcakes and savouries. Indulging in everything that tickles my taste buds. Anyways, I have heard my ex-husband fell in love with a 20 something supermodel and they both live in the posh “no-carb land”. The psychological effect on me of this break up was that for several years, I have lived with an expanding waist.  Now, in an attempt to join the neighbourhood of anorexic beauties, I have gone on a DIET, now this is something I need motivation for.  

Then on the other hand ,is the need to stay sane during this eternal gap year. The constant need to stay focussed on the shining scalpel at the end of the lane, a long lane which travels past interview experiences, the feeling of having messed it all up, the long wait for the much anticipated good news just like a constipated person waits for the familiar rumble in the stomach, the worst part being that there is no laxative to relax the stress of one’s career. This needs the constant zeal of a fanatic which unfortunately I don’t have.Sometimes, I even need motivation to take a bath. The incessant obligation one has towards the society to maintain a decent level of hygiene, forces me to leave my warm bed and soak myself, infact now on introspection, I think my whole existence is marked by my parent’s never ending  motivation to ‘let live’ no matter how worthless the life in question may be.

 

Last but not the least, the motivation to write this blog. Why, it most certainly is you! You, who had the patience and so much spare time to read through and reach the last paragraph. I admire you for your tenacity and would love to acquire your patience but I pray to God to give you the sense to work more and read less blogs for at the end of the day what matters is not just passive reading but also some action, for starters you could just click on the ‘like’ button below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I may just become the world’s youngest grandmother…..

Right, I am officially going to become the world’s youngest grandmother I think . Dear Ms. Cat is pregnant, and she tells me only when her stomach has grown to the size of a melon. Here, I was worrying about my interview and there she gave me the worst shock, the parent of any teenager can have! I know fellow internet addicts love lists and so just for them here is my list of  reasons why this situation has bowled me over.

  1. To think I could in a couple of days become a grandmother to 5-6 kittens is deeply disturbing, to think my cat found her soulmate before me is horrendous even worse what if it was a one night thing, to think she has such standards being an Indian!
  1. She has shaken my faith from children, she is after all 7 months old and has the word “baby” written all over her. I can still remember her being born and now this, it basically shows one cannot even leave children alone nowadays.
  1. The father is nowhere to be seen, I guess responsibility and men are miles apart. But that basically means I am a single grandmother supporting a single mother with multiple children.
  1. The 2 other male cats in my house come nowhere near this would be mom. Is it because even in cat society a large oversized woman is considered unattractive (hypocrites!) or is the father right in front and trying to hide from the spotlight?
  1. My budget is now going to be non-existent, 3 cats+5-6 kittens in a third world country basically hints at an impending financial crisis.
  1. Are there any takers for Indian feral kittens? Are they taken up just as easily as Persian kittens would be? Specially because I take no guarantee for their behaviour, they might just kick, scratch and even steal your money ( we live in the area where Indian politicians live, the father of these kittens could well be a part of a major money laundering scheme that is pushing India towards the status of the 4th world country)
  1. I have watched back to back episodes of ’16 and pregnant’ and ‘teen mom’ to gain an understanding of the role of the mum of  the teenage pregnant cat, however, rather than becoming more experienced, I guess I have earned my father’s suspicions. Why on Earth was his daughter watching about teenage pregnancies?
  1. What if my grand children ask “granny, what do you do?” I don’t think blogging counts for much in the cat society (or for that matter even in human society) and do I hide my application to medical school.
  1. When I was born my grandmother gave me loads of gold and this has continued even till date. I remember telling this to Ms. Cat, shit! Is that why I saw her cleaning her box today. I really don’t have the money to buy her a golden catnip.
  1. Am I supposed to stand right beside Ms.Cat and wipe her face when she goes into labour? I have had no particular experience with labour pain and delivery, all I know about it is from those glitzy movies, where the father is supposed to stand right beside and scream “push, push”. I really am not sure if this would be the right thing to say to her provided I have no idea of cat physiology and I may turn up screaming “push,push” when the right call would be “pull, pull”. Thus, leading to further complications.

Do not get me wrong, I was actually fed up of these mature cats in my house, trying to prove how outdated I am and the prospect of having these little kitties in my house seems enchanting but then becoming a grandmother is an exhausting thing, don’t shake your head granny, I wasn’t half as bad!

You want to know me better? So do I…….

I got a wonderful comment yesterday, what made it great (apart from the fact that this wonderful person called me “incredibly talented”) was the fact that they expressed an interest in knowing who I actually am. Yes, I have my doubts, since this is the first time somebody wants to know who I am *weeps silently*, but I realised how important it was to let people know who I think I am.

So, Here is a list of a few things which I believe every reader of mine should know about me.

1. When you enter my room (not that I am asking you to) there is one particular spot on the wall which is of historical importance in my life. I would say it is the Peepal tree in the process of my enlightenment. Years later, when tour guides take people around my house, they will definitely point at this spot and say
” This is where Winky Spider used to scribble on the wall” and there will be some story of the genius I was even as a child. but like all tour guides and there stories, they will be mistaken. For that is the place where my parents got me to stand every summer for measuring my height. For the first decade or so, I was a wonder growing in huge increments but to the shock of my parents, I think it was around my 14th birthday that the Gods decided to make me a living example of “Good things come in Small packages.” After scratching the wall for several years at the same mark of 5 feet 2 inches, my parents decided to start a fund in my name, for the purchase of the essential high heeled shoes.

2. I have the unique talent of figuring in controversies without saying or even typing a word. If you meet any person of my family from my ancient grandfather to my little cousin brother, do not ask them about Winky Spider because I don’t think they even remember me. One little tip, ask them about the person who they “think” led to the most recent fight in the family. Voila! they will direct you right to me.

3. I am so bad at sports that I gave it up for the sake of humanity. My parents tried a number of sports because they were optimistic that every person is good at something (they still believe that, they have just stopped counting me as a person)

a. Anything to do with a ball – I have a weird problem, I close my eyes whenever a ball is thrown towards me. I think in my previous life I must have been killed in a freak ball accident, so my eyes just close, so that I don’t have to witness my own death. I wonder why my instincts couldn’t have taught me to catch a ball with precision?

b. Anything to do with running- No, I trip on my own feet and have been proclaimed to be a public hazard. So that ended my career there.

c. Swimming- Absolutely failed at that one, when I refused to budge from the children’s pool to the main one, the instructor gently explained to my mother how all kids were special but that I didn’t seem to be really special in swimming.

4. I make silly choices sometimes- Like years ago I had a pet rabbit and I wanted to get a sibling for it. What I didn’t know was that there is a thing called “food chain” and so I got a neighbourhood cat as a big sister for it. That ended badly and all I can say is that I was left with a single child and a scarred conscience.

5. I come from a long line of killjoys, spirit dampening ancestors, who would have 3 heart attacks in a row if they knew that a “girl” in their family was blogging away in the dark world. And knowing how fatal this can be to their oil and butter soaked heart, I prefer to remain anonymous.

Okay I think I have pulled out enough skeletons from my closet for one day.I think you know enough about me now, right?

Mr. Cat, is this why you have an english accent?

Look what i found....

Don’t whine about the quality of the pic, when one has a heartbreak, pic resolutions do not matter.

Yesterday, I had my interview at the medical school I have been talking about. How that went is a different story, but right now I have far more pressing issues to deal with. Namely the picture above. I found this pasted onto a pole in the middle of the road and I had a heartbreak just by looking at it. Have I told you about Mr.Cat, the “only” man (oops,sorry Dad) in my life?

He turned up at my door and life on a fateful night in September. It was pouring outside and I was sitting by the windowsill sipping a hot cup of coffee and then there was a thud on the door, followed by another and yet another. I went up and opened the door and there in the black night I saw two white, partially yellow, oblique eyes standing in front of me.

24876900-cat-eyes-in-darkness

Me: “Yes, Mr.Eyes how may I help you?”

Mr.Cat: “Milady, I am a feline and I have come from a distant land. Can I get some shelter in your home?”

Me:”Oh, sir, pardon me, now I can see your golden whiskers glittering in the bleak night. I welcome thee inside my little abode.”

Mr.Cat:” Thank you for the courtesy, but one last question you do have Catnip, Cat milk, Litterbox and playthings for me, right?”

Me:” Sir, I shall get them in no time!.”

So, this is where he had come from. Is he really a citizen of Her Majesty’s land? and he did not have the courtesy to tell me when I was frantically running from one visa office to another, just to enter this land. All those times when I had to put a “No” in the visa form declaring that I had no friend/relative in the UK, he had just put on a stiff upper lip and gazed ahead. Also, now I know how he gets us to follow his commands, after all he belongs to the tribe of our ancient colonizers, the white who colonized India. Now it is coming all back to me. He does hiss and curse at the picture of my great grand uncle, who was after all a great freedom fighter of India and all this while I thought it was because of his ugly face.

“Mr.Cat, he is one strange fellow!”, Ms.Cat had once remarked. Ms.Cat is my beautiful white feline friend, who is the envy of all other she cats in the neighbourhood. She chose my companionship because as she says ” Only one beauty can reside in a home”,  Alas, Mr.Cat has never set his eyes on her. I had cajoled her, said “Maybe, he has taken up some oath of singularity, you know” but she had indignantly remarked “Haven’t you seen my white tail, you oaf, does it look like somebody can continue with their stupid oath in front of this, I tell you there is something wrong with your Mr.Cat.”

And she had been right, It seems the Indian white was not white enough for him. Maybe he just couldn’t stoop to the third world level.

He is after all too quite for India. All Indian households for cats do not provide attached toilets but he absolutely refused to walk even a step to the loo, he has to have his litter box right beside his bedroom. And he often brings tissue papers to me after his tour to the loo. Just because I am an Indian, no way Jose! I am not wiping your butt.

What better time to have a heartbreak than near Valentine’s day, He could have told me know, which Indian would not harbour a British cat? There are a few things he could tell me though, like how did he end up in India all the way from “There”, and if there is some secret route, it could actually help me save money on freaking tickets for interview trips. Or maybe he could help me with my accent, it is time I changed from Appuish(Simpson style) English to British English.

Anyhow, Mr.Cat is my Valentine this year actually the only one I could manage and with that huge surplus of catnip and the attached toilet in his bedroom, it seems I am quite happy harbouring this runaway cat with me, I know he is going to find this cheesy but yet ” I think I am in love with you, my funny valentine!”

How to brush your teeth when at Heathrow Airport.

* This post should ideally have been posted about 2 days ago, when I actually had to brush at Heathrow, but never mind here it is now*

My flight from India was an “Overnight” flight (No, no do not get me started about the idiotic time zone thing, I cannot for the world of it figure out how I start in the morning from India and land here at noon, see the flight is an 8 hour thing and so the confusion, never mind, I slept through it, woke up with a bad breath and so it had to be overnight)

STEPS TO SUCCESSFULLY BRUSHING YOUR TEETH (SPECIALLY FOR NON-WHITE PEOPLE)

1. Now when the day dawns bright, the airhostesses hand over a one-time use toothbrush and toothpaste tube to every passenger and they spray some fragrance in the flight to ensure that bad breath from one passenger does not kill the other (however, they are quite subtle about it, they say it is according to WHO regulations and stuff like that and rightly so, for I did not pay them to say that my bad breath is fatal)

2. So, ideally you should brush your teeth in the flight before you land in Her Majesty’s Land but usually there is a long line of people with small bladders waiting for a chance to meet the aircraft toilet. The scene is just like kids waiting in queue for Santa Claus, the one evident difference- people leave gifts for the aircraft toilet and not the other way around. So after one person deposits their gift there, you would rather let the toilet have some alone time with it than disturb it.

3.Right if you are an incoming visa holding fellow from another country like me, you will be interrogated by a strict fellow at the airport asking for reasons why you want to enter the country, see they do not have any faith in the fact that their land is worth a visit so one needs to have the right reasons and the right appearance to impress them. A brown skin with bad breath isn’t the right combo at all so make sure to brush your teeth in the toilet at the airport as soon as you land.

4. Now you are in the toilet, you shall find atleast 1 skinny girl/muscular boy, 1 middle aged person who feigns ignorance but yet scrutinises your every move and 1 old lady/man who trust me is the one who you have to work your way through. Now in my case I had a lady who was putting on makeup, she had white skin and yellow teeth while I had yellow skin and white teeth, but still I was the one getting the “look”. See the right order of colours is really important. Trust me, those people are really not going to like the fact that you are brushing your Asian teeth while Asian saliva flows through your mouth. So it is really important to follow the next step.

5.So there are 2 ways I have mastered over the years.

a. the “I-DON’T-CARE-A-BIT” THING- let the foam roll, do the brushing and leave the lump of toothpaste in the basin, you don’t care do you?

b. the Better way- how about closing the toothbrush in the mouth and turning towards the wall, never make eye contact with the other people, rinse your mouth as soon as the smell of last night’s dinner is out of the way and never think about packing the cute little bottle of toothpaste in your bag, even if there is another dose left in it for tomorrow, in Rome do as Rome does, make waste, throw waste.

6. So now finish the brushing, take your luggage and go right out. Never turn around and this is me telling you from experience, if you do, you are not going to like the “look”.
So now you have successfully brushed at Heathrow and you are ready to face your interrogator and even if you are deported back or at the least even if you face a grilling encounter, hold your head high, you have brushed at Heathrow and How!

A biology student facing an economic issue spells “S-H-I-T”…..

 A typical conversation I have with my parents when on a vacation in India.

Me: I really want to go the beach/forest/hillside, the resort is organizing a tour in the morning for families, about 100 rupees per person. Are you guys coming?

Mom: The beach/forest/hillside? Too many/much fish/insects/snow in there, book a package but I don’t think I will go, you two can go.

Dad: Actually we could go, they have wonderful snacks/snacks/snacks there. We could have some tea and snacks you know.

Me: Well, they charge an extra 100 per person for snacks and tea, you want me to book it as well?

Dad: I mean, we are going so far, we might as well have something to eat, right?

Mom: Do they have shops nearby? I could buy something while you people roam….

Dad: No they don’t, only the really cheap ones, I don’t think they are worth visiting.

Okay so now I am in the United Kingdom and below is the conversation I have  with my parents in Her Majesty’s land:

Dad: 1 pound = 100 rupees, say that atleast 5 times a day

Me:  I really want to go the beach/forest/hillside, the resort is organizing a tour in the morning for families, about 100 pounds  per person. Are you guys coming?

Mom: Mom: The beach/forest/hillside? Too many/much fish/insects/snow in there, book a package but I don’t think I will go.

Dad: 1 pound= 100 rupees. Actually none of us are going. After all they charge extra for Snacks there. And like I said 1 pound= 100 rupees.

Me: They charge an extra 10 pound for snacks and tea, I could book it you know..

Dad: You don’t understand do you 1 pound= 100 rupees. After all have we come so far only to eat?

Mom: Do they have shops nearby? I could buy something while you people roam….

Dad: No they don’t, only the really costly  ones, I don’t think they are worth visiting after all 1 pound= 100 rupees.

So, yesterday I had to explore the city (where I have come for my interview) on my mortal legs, more than the exploration of the city, what I really explored was the limits of the pieces of flesh that I call “legs”.  Not there fault, after all when God created them, he didn’t know that 1 pound = 100 rupees. So, there I was dragging my wooden legs on the roads of a city which might reject me in one go. Ruining my chances of ever coming there again as an undergraduate. So with that bleak prospect looming above my head, did I enjoy my first ever stint at ” tourism on legs”? Not really!

There are two things I learnt from yesterday,

1. A biology student like me facing an economic crisis of the order of “1 pound= 100 rupees” does not fare well- To say that I thought about hiring a taxi or getting on a bus every 10 seconds, is but a huge understatement. Our ancestors made wheels, the least we can do for them is to use it.  Every tourist site is but a comma in the sentence of a tourist’s journey, pause there, gulp some water, have something to eat and start again. The message Darwin left behind for biologists was ” The fittest shall survive” ( actually Herbert Spencer said that, but I am sure he doesn’t mind),  but who actually is the fittest? not the one who drags wooden legs on the road for sure. As a good enough biologist trudging in the chilly cold weather, the only crisis I was thinking about was the fatal hypothermic shock I was bound to have thanks to the pound-rupee conversion ratio.

2. Industrialisation can be really mean- In my tour around the city, I encountered numerous eateries selling hot pizzas and soups. All of them blatantly advertising their rates in pounds, did anyone there know that 1 pound = 100 rupees or did they care enough to close their windows whilst the girl with the wooden leg dragged herself on the road? No, they didn’t. Trust me the one thing worst than passing a hotel with a hungry stomach is passing the hotel with a hungry stomach with the aroma of food wafting through your nose.I tell you the dogs in these first world countries are really hyped, imagine them galloping through the streets in cars while a two legged bitch with wooden legs drags herself on the road. 

No don’t get me wrong, this city is picturesque, the kind where things seem to be drowsy and slow and yet life paces swiftly ahead. To savour it is one good thing that could come out of this interview trip. The only problem with me is that I have the soul of an 80 year old monk, remotely connected to all things urban. Aah, my soul deserves another blog post but for now I think it suffices to say that the “gawk and walk” policy of holidaying is not meant for me and dear parents, if you are reading this let me tell you that 1 pound is not just 100 rupees but also 100 bruises and cramps.

 

Always happy to help ma’am………

Yeah, this wonderful post titled “Hello, excuse me?” got me thinking and I set out to write about how the person on the other side of the line would respond. I urge you to read the first post at http://iambeggingmymothernottoreadthisblog.com/2014/01/31/hello-excuse-me/ and then my response below…….

 

Hello Ma’am, thank you for calling;

I am glad to be of some help to you

your question though strange

is of great feedback value.

I understand you worry about the feelings that abound

and your nerves that coil and go all round

no ma’am don’t you worry, those feelings will never run out.

we will replace those worn with more passion, no doubt.

With an extra 10 pound, I could refer you to our departmental shrink

happy to help those with emotions to the brink

he has dealt with bloggers many a times,

especially those that commit word crimes.

He will help you in dealing with those

that ask “what happened to her?” and other questions of that kind,

because no matter how frequent, you will always mind.

the one who made your nerves, has long since retired.

his speciality was tight knots, which was why he was hired.

aah, right to information is what you invoke.

to know about the meeting in which we made guns, booze and coke,

Ma’am, why waste your time in things you can’t help.

why not eat a donut, the one on your shelf.

Something’s come under human behaviour,

alas, we can’t alter.

but don’t you worry ma’am for our services never falter.

Thank you for calling ma’am, I hope you have a good day,

yes, you could like this post. Why ofcourse, you may…….

 

Why I want to be a doctor anyway?

 

I could simply say “ because I want to help people and I am interested in biology” but that would make this a lousy blog post (plus this answer, you can always get in the classic ISC interview book ), so let me elaborate on the real reason.

This tale starts almost 2 decades ago. When I was born my grandmother decided to take me under her wing as her “most ambitious project”.  She swore on my diapers to make me a really kind hearted soul, with empathy and love for all.  She took on this project with great zeal, most probably because her previous such endeavours with my father and uncles had failed miserably (Thank God, for blogger anonymity!)  All I can remember about the first 3 years of my life, is the great abundance of moral books and prayers around me. Every 10 minutes or so, she would ask a million dollar question to me “What are you going to become when you grow up?” and I, her well trained parrot would reply “ a good girl, nan.” So, that is why when the time came to take up a career, I was shell-struck. There in the real world was no such thing as being a good girl!

 Where I come from, there are 3 classes of children and 1 class of well “those children”.

  1. The “mathematics” type 1- The most respected and admired lot. The moment they decide to dedicate their lives to finding the value of x, our entire society applauds.  Since I am an  anonymous blogger, you might never find out who I am, yet I did not create this blog to say that I was pretty bad at maths, I was good enough.  The only problem was that I had far too many problems in life to solve, let alone solving problems for  x , y or z.

 

  1. The “biology” type2- Okay, you did not take up maths, you do biology. The face saver subject for people, who weren’t among the chosen few who had what it took to study mathematics. Imagine, you are a world renowned surgeon and your father’s friend is on the surgical table in front of you, I bet the moment he looks at you he is going to say, “Hey, you are Mr.X’s son/daughter, the one who couldn’t do maths? Right”.

 

  1. The “economics” type3-  These people could not even cram up names like “magnifera indica”, duramater and arachnoid membrane. They land even lower in the societal standing of students.  Parents do introduce these kids to their guest, but only for a moment or so. The rest of the hospitality is showered upon the Engineers and the doctors.

 

  1. The last tier of the caste system. The humanities type.  It is ironical that parents, at this point in their child’s life, do not want him/her to be associated with humanity.  If you ever meet such a fellow from my country (especially a girl), give her a salute. She has seen enough in life . It takes courage to become a “humanitarian”.

 

 

This background information was necessary because when you choose a career, I think more than “peer” pressure what affected me was the “near” and “dear” pressure. So, yes, in part being a doctor was what worked both for me and my family. 

 Why medicine worked for my family?

a.  I think they understand the importance of having a doctor in the family. Imagine if (by some miracle) I become a doctor, no more 911 calls, no more waiting lists and no more fee giving.

b. Well, I think they realize that it could have been worse. What if I insisted on becoming a lawyer? Who would want their own child to become a shark, plus what if I filed a legal suit against them the next time they call me a “good-for-nothing”.

c. My family brochure has professionals from all sectors of the society (except maybe an astronaut , but they knew I could not have been that, motion sickness you know), the one piece left in the jigsaw puzzle is that of  a doctor. So it kind of fits (pun always intended).

  1. Studying in med school would keep me busy for a really long time, out of sight out of mind.

So, almost 2 years back when I finally thought “doctor, bingo!” I was miles away from the entire application process. Now halfway through the process,  I sometimes ask myself if I would change my decision, if given another chance, considering that almost all uni’s have courses that pop up in clearing. But, strangely I don’t think that would happen. Because if there is anything that I have learnt from watching back-to-back episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy”, it is that when your application is in V-Fib (whatever the hell that is!) the only right thing to do would be to charge those paddles and give it a huge shock! Revive the application, as long as possible.

 

But on a more serious note, I think Medicine was the one thing that really seemed to fit. All through my work experience at local hospitals and GP clinics, I was really excited by the prospect of so much patient contact.  I am interested in Gynaecology and have attended seminars and workshops on related topics, all this only re-enforced my interest in this field. Plus, if you meet me you will find out how incredibly boring I am and Medical journals could be the true friends I had been longing for.