Sunday, April 19, 2015
Its Time To Take A Reality Check.
So last Friday my last case for the day was a bit of a challenge for me- not professionally but ethically. The patient was a 17 year old make who was dragged in by his mother- as he said he had been home sleeping on the couch when she had woken him up and brought him straight to the hospital for a consult. The boys sister is a current patient of mine and so is the mother- in fact we had just finished the treatment for the daughter and sent her home that evening when the mother had turned up after an hour with the son and wanted him to get treated too. I examined the boy and found him to be perfectly normal and healthy and I thought they would be happy to hear this. Boy was I wrong.
The patient’s mother argued with me for the next forty minutes or so on all the points she found defective in her son while the kid sat there squirming in embarrassment. But the boy was clear on one thing- he did not want any treatment if I found him healthy- which I did. And I explained firmly to the mother that I don’t treat healthy patients but only sick patients whatever the pressure put on me and that’s that. After they left my cabin my colleague who had been eavesdropping the whole thing, wandered up to me shaking with suppressed laughter and asked wouldn’t it have been easier to make a show of agreeing and doing some minor procedure or other just to get the mother off the back rather than losing such valuable paying customers?
I shrugged and smiled and walked away- I just couldn’t explain to him in a few minutes how ever since I got into medicine it’s always been more than a way of making money for me. When I was young and in college I had always thought that I would be somewhere running a free clinic treating patients for free- never turning away anyone who came to me for help. In fact I had often fantasized about heading off to Sierra Leone or the Congo or the deepest darkest parts of the African rain forest where they had never seen a doctor and take to them the benefits of a doctor in the house. And after so many years when I look back at the path I have traversed and seen where I am now I am ashamed of myself. Where has that idealistic young doctor gone?
Like everyone else I have compromised for the sake of a good life, for ease of living, for savings for a future family which till now is a non-starter and might never even take place. And this incident reminded me once again of the man I might have been if only I didn’t fall prey to the temptations of leading an everyday life- of falling in love with a girl, marrying her, starting a family and having kids etc. I have let myself be seduced by the routine family life dream and forgot all the high ideals I once possessed and was so passionate about that I even got my parents reluctant permission to head off to the remote places once I graduated from college. And you know what? In the end the joke’s been on me- for the girls who I have abandoned the poor and needy for- every single one of them I have proposed to- have turned me down and some have even laughed at my audacity for aspiring so high.
I think in retrospect that I have deserved this- for abandoning my higher purpose for baser emotions. God intended me for one thing- he made me a damn good surgeon just for one thing- to help those in pain, those who need me and I have completely turned away from that purpose to rush off after my own baser instincts. So maybe its time now for me to re-evaluate where I am and what I intend to do. As I type this I have simultaneously sent off my resume to medicines sans frontiers – that society of doctors who go into war zones to help the wounded – with a caveat that they send me where the fighting’s hardest and the need for doctors most desperate. If they pick me up then I am off to Afghanistan or Iraq or Syria and maybe I will have a purpose in life again and be respected by other people rather than be laughed at by silly girls for setting my sights so high.
P.S For those who think this is a knee jerk reaction to my latest rejection – it is not. I have thought it through all evening and come to this decision. Leaving aside my heartbreak, one thing it has brought to my notice is that I am not really fit for a normal marital life if so many diverse girls keep finding something wrong with me and keep rejecting me. Can they all be wrong? Heck No, they can’t be. So, its not them- its me and it definitely does mean its time I went off into the jungle of equatorial Africa where I can be a giant among pygmies rather than be a guy who gets laughed at when proposing.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
That Sphinx factor
You know what they say about men never “get”ing women? Lately I am finding it’s the cent per cent truth- atleat wher I am concerned. I am finding it far more difficult to understand what women mean when they speak or send me a message on chat or even when they just stay silent than say that I am in understanding how the big bang theory is reconcoled with the unified string theory. The older I grow the more convinced I am that I just don’t get women- no not at all- even after knowing someone for ages. I keep making blunders in conversations and chats and the only way I realize I have tripped up is when I see that little ticked arrow which shows – last seen at but not replied thingie. Lately I I keep thinking all the time “What is this girl saying? Why doesn’t she come out- right out and say it in simple english?” and then I realize its probably lost in translation- maybe she is saying it out loud- but I am tone deaf to her voice and the fault is in me. Or maybe not. Its all quite confusing.
The thing is, I don’t mean that I want to decipher the secret language of women or anything like that – that would be far beyond my limited mental capacity. I simply want to understand what it’s like to BE her as a person- to get to know her likes and dislikes and maybe even her moods (over the longterm). The fact that women end up being so remote and mysterious from us humble men makes us forget that they too are fellow human beings and have the same set of problems we face too on a daily basis. Women are probably afraid, scared, anxious, worried, depressed and go through all those emotional turmoils from time to time just like we do and in the end all they desire is to find happiness and avoid pain like all human beings do. That I get. But what I cant get is why they cant just come out and tell this straight out- instead of leaving me to blunder about blindly and trying to second guess what they mean with all their silences and smileys and emoticons and hmmm, hmmm’s.
I understand that women have their own feelings, thoughts and opinions which they are disinclined to share to anyone but themsleves but it boils down to trust . Trusting someone and sharing your thoughts with them may make the average women uncomfortable because of their vulnerability but if you want us to get you- you should consider doing this. Accept it from me that men are short sighted and cant really think long term. If you want us to understand you- do please come forward and spell it out to us in single syllables – anything else is beyond our EQ levels. So do take pity on us poor men and say it out loud- in 3 feet words. Please. Pretty please.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Relationship Status- Jump off the Precipice.
So, yesterday I got a forward message on Watsapp which I shared on my Facebook wall – it went something like this- My Relationship Status: In-between heartbreak. I felt it was funny then (still do) and thought sharing it on my wall would bring my friends a few laughs. But when a friend asked me do I really believe in that, my answer was “Hell No”. Let me explain myself fully dear reader, so show some patience and read on to the end.
Every time we get into a new relationship, scratch that we, and let’s begin again. Every time I get into a new relationship I do it with the full hope that this is it- this person is going to be my soul mate, this girl is who I am going to get old with and share memories with and all kinds of crazy adventures. Never, ever would I go in with the dreadful doubt that “oh god, this is also going to end soon isn’t it?” If we really do think like that when entering into a new relationship we would never be able to open up to the other person simply because we know we cant trust them not to hurt us. And we are not sure they are worthy of our trust.
Those two words – trust and worth are the major players in any relationship- at least at the beginning- so let me go into a wee bit of detailed explanation on my take of those two. Do we need to trust only the worthy? And how do we judge someone’s worth? Everyday we trust people whose worth we don’t know and can’t assess personally- your bus driver for instance – everyday we take a bit of chance with people we don’t know. And can someone earn our trust perfectly? I am not sure. We are all distracted, diverted and flawed persons who even if unintentionally, can still hurt those we love with all our heart. Simply said- we all hurt each other all the time and to expect someone to never hurt us all our lives is to expect an angel to come down from heaven and live with us- lovely in concept but not practical.
So it becomes a choice- a choice to see who we give our trust to, our loyalty to, in the clear and perfect knowledge that though it may not get us an equal response but at least that person will not willfully hurt us. If on the other hand we keep waiting for people to earn our trust by showing their loyalty to us first- then I guess we have to wait for a million years- all alone. If we accept that people are human we should also be ready to accept that they are apt to mess up at times and hurt us too.
And despite those hurts still give them our trust and respect their worth- because as a flawed human being myself I am graceful when accepting others flaws and despite being hurt by their actions and words- I still feel that they are worth my overcoming all my doubts, uncertainties and anxieties about giving away my entire trust on the hope that the other person would turn out to be the right one. For me trust is not earned but given first and if the other person chooses to squander my trust it proves that though my judgment was wrong my heart was in the right place and I am still open for miracles to occur in my life.
I realize this is easier said than done but it has to be done if we need to get into that one relationship which will end up truly rewarding for all our blind belief. In the end its better – in relationships – to close our eyes and take a leap rather than stand on the edge all our lives afraid to take that single step over the precipice.
So there you have it- I am ready to open my heart and trust someone new – even at the risk of being betrayed and made a fool of - in the hope that they prove they are worthy of my trust and will turn out to be the one who completes me. It’s a risk I am willing to take. Are you?