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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

101 questions ( 101 chodyangal ) movie review

Siddhartha Siva is an young Malayalam actor and  Director whose first movie in Malayalam fetched him a  National  Award
 The film won the award for Best First Film of a Director and Best Child Artist (Minon) for the small boy who enacted its main role .It also won the Silver Crow Pheasant Award for Best Feature Film (Audience Prize) at the 18th International Film Festival of Kerala.
I have known Siddharth for long and knew his sense of humour even under dire situations he went through and won over .


story and script is also by him


 Its about a small boy of around 8 to 10 years born in a workers family with a disabled special child as his sister ,the boys name Anil Kumar Bokharo becomes the butt of jokes in his class because of that name
his father a factory worker had named him after the legendary industrialist Bokharo hoping his son would rise one day to become an entrepreneur like his namesake had
his father loses his job in the factory where he had worked for years ,he is  loyal sincere and honest but becomes the scapegoat for the strike organised by  the local trade union  while others get back to the job ,everyone knows about this injustice  including the factory CEO  but circumstances make them helpless to take him back .
The family falls into very difficult conditions where even a meal a day becomes a challenge
Sivanandan the loving father is a gentle person who never blames anyone for his misfortunes he neither rants nor despairs but pours his love to his children ,his wife works hard as a coolie to make the fires burn in her house taking the disabled child with her
 she often gets angry with hers sons dreamy ways as he is their only hope .


A new school master ( Indrajith ) joins and he is a bright young man with concern for his students ,he on hearing that the free midday meal would be stopped shortly devises an idea of children who can to bring two packets of food every day one for themselves and other for those who cannot bring that
Bokharo asks his mother for the food packet ,her despair is shown as anger to her son while the father hugs the boy and consoles him feeling sad he could be of no use for his children
Both actress Lena who is the mother and Murugan as the father have really lived their roles and bring tears to our eyes in every scene ,
she does manage to give her son the coveted food packet one day but when he needs it every day to school like his friends she shows her frustration on him .
she happens to meet the master and tells him the situation in the house and asks him to spare Bokharo from  the new rule .
The master visits their home and tells Bokharo he had never insisted and it was only for those who could bring the packet  to benefit those who could not .
He now has a special eye on the boy who is a hope for his poor parents ,he also realises that Bokharo is bright and very observant child .
One day he gives him a job of compiling 101 questions for a small general knowledge booklet he planned to publish and he would promise Bokhara one rupee for every question which would be given only on completion ,his motive was to encourage the boy to start enquiring and also to make his first earning with sincere work .
to Bokhara the quest diverts his mind from his knawing hunger and despair in his home as he open eyed watches the world and its small wonders while questions and answers tumble in his creative mind which he dutifully compiles in his meticulous hand
when 50 questions were completed and on the day when there is no money even to buy medicines for fits for his sick sister he desperately pleads to his master for the fifty rupees to be given immediately as he desperately needs it his master gives him that and nothing more so that he would know the value of money .
the story meanders with their life sunk in poverty and hope receding ,the final scene comes when Bokharo puts his one hundred and first question to his master touching our hearts .
A simple story through an unfortunate child's mind directed with finesse and enacted by brilliant actors
Dr V.P Gangadharan the well known medical oncologist has a single stellar scene in the movie the significance  would be known by its end
please see the film as we need to encourage such good films but be prepared to be touched .

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lingual Amnesia



 Some are very quick in learning new languages but I have always been deficient in this department.
 Directions, names and languages have been my Achilles heel (not much left out right ? )
 Though by birth a Malayalee having spent my childhood in Tamilnadu I could converse read and write in Tamil but can only speak well and manage to read in my mother tongue Malayalam !
 I have always regretted this for I have missed out the rich lore of Malayalam literature and also am not able to write in it and thus unable to communicate to many in the local language .
 Hindi was another handicap for me ,again the Tamilnadu childhood and extreme antipathy to Hindi during those days there days was the cause ,
 we never had a third language of Hindi unlike in Kerala and hence the heavily accented mallu Hindi was also not my prerogative .
 So in fact my language capabilities were reduced to a meagre three Tamil, English and spoken Malayalam, that borders on the intellectually challenged level of linguistics!

 In the Gulf luckily I worked for eight years in a hospital with interpreters to help us translate to Arabic for patients who needed that .and many did ,because even educated Arabs were more comfortable in their language rather than in English .
 I even attended an Arabic course but after more than a month succeeded in learning nothing and quietly removed myself from the scene.
 In Brunei too where one could manage with English knowing Malay and Chinese is a real advantage
 Nurses here act as interpreters
 The interpreters I feel are a strange species
 Once they start their translation they get absorbed in their conversation with the patient so much so they forget there is a third person around and that’s me.
 In UAE based on the local culture one could never get to a point abruptly,
 That would be an insult
 generally it would go like this
 For example if I wanted a bone marrow done on a patient the interpreter would start off with
 Salaam maale khum and reach out to shake hands
 Maalekhum Aslam shaking hands for 2 minutes or hugging for 3 minutes or kissing on cheeks which would take 5 minutes as the case may be
 Keff halik ( how are you ? )
 Hum dulha ( fine ) this from the other side
 And then the litany of enquiry would begin!!
 How’s your family,
 How’s your wife or wives,
 How are your Children your cats goats camels fields palm trees your servants
 And if you are unlucky the patient would be courteous to ask the same questions not to you but to the interpreter
 This juncture often would create a trance situation in me and I would be transported to a nether world
 Slowly in measured slowness the topic for which the interpretation was needed would be touched up on with great finesse with a spiritual sprinkling in between ,

 This opportune moment of great importance may involve some more shaking hands or even hugging and kissing
 Then one could add another 15 minutes
 Everyone happy
 Then the topic
 can we do a bone marrow would slowly emerge from the interpreter
 this would raise some eyebrows and some questions
 finally the man would remember that somebody else called me was existing in the vicinity and would ask what the patient wanted to know
 the answer would come out crisp and clear and quick as trained to do by me then the whole process would begin again between the two important people ignoring me again
 Generally I used the time to browse FB or post a couple of pictures in it or I would quietly slip out for a cuppa coffee and time my re-entry when the mono dialogues were finished a couple of times I even wrote a blog post in the gap once.

 In Brunei things were little faster but still at times the interpreters just forget the person who needs it
 This is termed as Lingual amnesia.
 This is described in Oxford dictionary as the person who needs the language is forgotten
 (in truth its not that bad as many patients know excellent English in both countries and many also understand well ,
 just a reason for me for another blog post !)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

LAST JEW OF COCHIN

Solomon was dying 
it was early in the morning in the relief centre 
Solomons eyes were closed but he saw his messiah his white mane flowing in the wind and the etched features .
The  long silver beard thick and curled ,   tall and muscular  arms outstretched he could clearly see the saviour of Jews leading into the deep blue thundering sea
The waves were huge and crashing the coast dipped deep into the sea  as  lightening flashed and heavy rain lashed
Nothing deterred them now as they followed their chosen one who led them with no fear  into the deep sea
Faith removes fear
The thundering hooves of the Egyptians were heard closely now as they followed in haste
 Moses stopped with his raised hands looked at the dark sky and hailed his lord to save his people
His cries were sepulchral and reached the skies
The dark clouds erupted into roaring rains
The sky turned blood red and dark and foreboding
and the  deep sea parted its way
Moses  strove forwards descending into the deep ocean
the waters were towering on the sides like glass waterfalls glistening and hurtling  but not making one of them wet as they followed him into the deep waters ,
Huge fish could be seen on the sides like an aquarium
Ships stood like figurines in glass
The sea remained  parted till every Jew was on the other side and as the Egyptians  in their horses followed them it crashed on them
It  sunk them like match boxes their huge chariots led by white steeds fumbled and sunk with no trace as hordes of Egyptians and their pharaoh were lost into the ocean and snuffed out of existence
It was all quiet
Solomon was dead
The last Jew in Cochin had left the world
The relief home was sombre in its silence
it was dawn and the inmates were slowly waking up into another day of destituteness ,
a few looked at Solomon as he lay there  with a beatific smile on his face
the smile on seeing his  saviour at last .
he had been in the centre  for the last decade
Age had caught up on Solomon and the lonely existence in the deserted synagogue  was denied to him
He had persisted to stay there even when his people had left one by one to the Promised Land
To Israel where their saviour had led them from the chasing pharaohs and his soldiers it was eons after which Israel as a state could come into existence
Solomon was an young man when Hitler exterminated Jews like rats gassing them in multitudes in the most horrible holocaust and racial snuffing the world had ever seen
Jews anywhere in the world had always been persecuted as Hitler .drove them out of Europe
 Those with skills could manage to reach the shores of the US of A where they made a mark and became a powerful community
But during all this the Jews in Cochin were never in trouble
 They had always been treated like they were part of the land
And how they were
Many could speak Malayalam well and they knew all the local customs
They were good business men and were prosperous
But they never abandoned their faith or their traditions
To them their community was above all their language their customs their holy books their God and their synagogue were above anything else
They never married outside the community and maintained purity of their race
They were very particular on this
It was long long back when  a group of Jews had migrated from Europe fearing the persecution of the Spanish
They had met the maharaja of Cochin and asked him refuge
The maharaja asked for a glass of milk to be brought to him
He took some small pebbles and put it in the milk
He looked at the Jewish leader and said  “you would be like the pebbles here and can never be part of us “
The Jewish leader was wise he asked for another glass of milk and some sugar he stirred the sugar in the milk and gave it to the maharaja and said
“Your highness we would melt like sugar in this milk and make it only sweeter  “.
The Maharaja was impressed
He gave them a large piece of land and allowed them to carry on their business in peace and practice their religion with total freedom
Probably India and Kerala were the only place where Jews were not persecuted
And thus the Jewish community in Cochin grew around the synagogue.


Solomon was the fourth child of Yehuda and pearl
His dad was a tombstone maker
Strange job but he was in it from childhood as an apprentice slowly learning the art of creating tombstones with their epitaphs and most of the tombstones that adorned the Jewish cemetery were made by him
He was a busy man too as young and old died in the community making it smaller and smaller over time
He too left early and an epitaph went up over his tomb which said
“Here lies Yehuda the one who wrote for the dead” ,
And some Hebrew hieroglyphics
Alas he too was gone.
Solomon was just a child when it happened,
He had seen his dad bending over the stones in the cemetery working in pouring rain or hot suns,
He used to tag alone as he liked the quite of the cemetery
People rarely came there even though it was just off the Jewish settlement
They came there only when dead or with the dead
But for Solomon it was a dear place a place where he felt his dad’s presence
With time he could hardly remember his dad
 His face had faded away but he could still feel his presence as a wispy memory
He could see the knurled hands as they worked the clicking sounds as he chipped away the stones and cleared the weeds
It was his mother he remembered well for she died when he was in his sixties by then she was eighty two and was just planning to fly to Israel when it happened.
All his brothers and sisters all eight of them had flown one by one and settled down in Tel Aviv and so many other places
 They wrote back tales of the Promised Land asking him to join them but Solomon knew in his heart he would never leave his Cochin
He would never leave his tombstones where he could feel his dad in the stones
 During the monsoon it rained for days in Cochin
The incessant downpours would hammer into the tombstones creating strange sounds
He would sit under one of the awnings listening to its fall as it was music to him
He would light an occasional cigarette cupping his hands to prevent the match from going off in the gusts of the rain
During rains the electric current would often go off and Solomon would sit in the dark hooded and bearded and the people found him strange
It was then he would think of her
She was always in his mind all the time day and night
But she would become alive in such lonely moments
He would hear the tinkle of her anklets in the dark
He could smell the jasmine adorning her black hair
He could see the colour of the jacket and skirt she wore
He felt happy to see her almond eyes looking at him fleetingly
Solomon too then had lovely blue eyes with brown freckles
He was a handsome man in his youth  
He was then working in Deborah’s shop
Deborah and Benjamin were the richest in the community
They owned many shops but the one where Solomon worked was their earliest   started with the money  Benjamin had got as a present from Deborah’s dad who was working in Malaysia in an estate  and was reasonably rich ,
Benjamin had started it as an all-purpose shop and it had flourished
Young Solomon was one of the many who worked there
The Jews in Cochin always had a closeness to their own
The shop was near pazhayarakavu  Bagavathy temple
The Devi temple was housed in the Dutch palace
Cochin is one place with history every where
All one needed was to scratch it anywhere and rich lore’s would start flowing like a river
Over the years Cochin had the Dutch the Portuguese and the British ruling its pockets
The maharaja too had his fiefdom
The Dutch had given away the palace to the maharaja as a gift and he had made a temple in it
This was where Solomon first saw her
His Lakshmi
She came from the Brahmana samooham in Mattancherry a colony of houses with many Brahmin households speaking a mixture of Malayalam and Tamil.
The Brahmins of Cochin added to its variety
They had their own small temple inside but still the girls would come to pazhayarakavil in the evenings adorned with jasmine flowers their anklets twinkling
They were pretty and most of them knew classical singing and dancing and hence walked with grace
Lakshmi was the only daughter of Kailas Iyer and Mani mammi
 To Kailas Iyer and his wife mammi   Lakshmi was everything
Kailas Iyer was the manager of the cooperative Bank
Lakshmi  was the most good looking girl in the colony and many young men  in the neighbourhood looked at here with a sigh
Solomon too fell for her the day he saw her
On that day she had come to the temple with her friends walking daintily  lifting her skirt as the road was wet after the rains
He couldn’t take his eyes off her
It happens that if there are intense feelings to someone it is felt unseen by the person.
Suddenly Lakshmi looked back as she had an uncanny feel that someone was looking at her
And she looked into the brown flecked blue eyes of the Jew
Their eyes locked for a  second before she willingly looked elsewhere but Solomon knew she had noticed him
He felt happy and did not know why
By then he heard Deborah calling him and he went away
But he looked out for Lakshmi since that day
His mother asked him to continue his studies and go to college so that he would get a good job in Israel as there was no doubt that sooner or later they would go there but Solomon was never good at studies he was not good in his father’s job too
He managed to do his job in the shop and was happy about that
Finally his mother too stopped telling him
His eldest brother David would call him a wastrel but his sister in law Sarah was kind to him and would protect him from David’s hard words
 it was to Sarah he would tell all is secrets and his problems
And it was to Sarah he told of how he had fallen for a Brahmin girl!
By now Lakshmi too had started searching for Solomon when she came to the temple they looked at each other with a gentle smile
During the festival in the temple Solomon managed to go near her in the crowd and pass a letter to her
He had pored over it for days and wrote it with great heartache and he felt happy that Lakshmi took it from him he never expected a reply but the next day Suppini the slightly hare brained boy in the Brahmins colony walked into his shop and handed over a letter from Lakshmi he was stunned
He rushed inside the small store room and opened it to read it
His Lakshmi had written that she too liked him but felt they had no future as her dad would never allow her to marry a Jewish boy so better to forget things earlier and carry on
She was a realist but Solomon would not take this as an answer
He was going to get his Lakshmi whatever
Years rolled on with their furtive glances graduating to hurried whispers under dusky corridors in the Dutch palace where Solomon would declare his unparalleled love to his girl
By then David had found a Jewish lass for Solomon and was planning to arrange their wedding
Leora was studying in college but liked Solomon and had agreed for the match.
Solomon knew her well as they had all played together as children
She was a nice girl cute to look at but not for being his wife
To him that could be only Lakshmi
He met Leora near her college one day and told the truth of his love for Lakshmi
Leora laughed a bit sad initially but promised she would tell her father that she was not happy on getting married to Solomon on some pretext
she knew her dad would agree for anything and they were also in the verge of travelling to Israel so it really wouldn’t matter much as her choice there would be wider .
David was furious at the turn of events and looked at Solomon with suspicion he knew his brother had an eye for an Indian girl
Sarah who knew all just kept her secret
Time was passing and Laxmis dad had started looking for a match for her
It would be now or never
Solomon was ready to run away with her but she wanted nothing of the sort
Solomon dared to do the unbelievable
He strode straight into Lakshmi’s house one day and met her dad
Kailas Iyer was reading the newspaper with a cup of coffee in a steel glass and the radio was belting out a Carnatic classical when he knocked the door
“Yes what can I do for you? “
asked Kailas Iyer as he opened the door
“Aren’t you working in Deborah’s shop?
 Iyer had seen the boy there .
“Yes sir I am “
 “Ok anything you want to tell?
He stood like a rock and Solomon was not called inside
“May I sit sir? “
Kailas Iyer did not like the tone
“Ok sit in the veranda “saying this he offered a chair to the visitor and he himself sat on an easy reclining chair
Yes
Well sir Iam a Jew living near the synagogue and my name is Solomon
I know I know Kailas Iyer was a bit impatient
He prided himself in knowing most of the people in and around the area
“I knew your dad he was the one who  made those tombstones right ?
 died years back I remember  “
Yes sir
“Ok  what brings  you here now “
“Sir, Lakshmi “
“Lakshmi!  what about Lakshmi  “
Kailas Iyer found it strange this fellow could name his daughter in a conversation
“What does Lakshmi have to do with you? “
“Lakshmi your daughter “
“Of course Lakshmi is my daughter……. What? “
“Well sir I like her, can I marry her  ? “
Kailas Iyer sat like a stone
It was unbelievable
This this Jew fellow could come up to him and ask for his daughter just like that
He was shocked and stunned at the audacity
“Get up
Get out
Before I go mad
What do you think you are
How dare you ask for Lakshmi’s hand?
Get lost “
 “Sir don’t get angry
I can look after her well
My passage to Israel is assured and as my wife she will come along we will lead a happier life
 Abroad “.
“You go to Israel or Nigeria for all I care “
“You thought I will give my daughter because you can take her to Israel you idiot I will kill you
get out now how dare you could ask me the question  “
Solomon was angry now
“Sir I did no wrong Lakshmi too likes me ask her if you want  
I just asked for her hand like a man “
“Well I don’t want some shop attendants coming here asking for my only daughters hand
So off “
By now kailas Iyers neighbours had smelt trouble and had slowly come there
“What’s the  problem Kailas a  ? “
“This fellow wants to marry my Lakshmi it seems he will take her to Israel “
 “No wonder these Jews were driven off from everywhere “this from a rotund neighbour
Solomon drew himself tall
“Don’t you curse us Jews
We are  brave people and the best
If you don’t want to give your daughter so be it but if you touch on my community I would become a different person “
“Look look he is threatening us now get out or I will call the police  
He could hear Lakshmi whimpering inside “
She knew it would end up like this
Solomon had tried to meet her and tell her that they could run away but kailas Iyer had his hawk eyes on him
He also put in a word to David and Benjamin who had taken loans from his bank and Solomon was strictly told to lay off Lakshmi .
One fine day Lakshmi had got married and gone off leaving a giant vacuum in his heart
Solomon turned dour and mostly never smiled
His age was catching up he was in his late forties
He moved into the synagogue as its caretaker and would sit long hours in the evening in the cemetery thinking of his Lakshmi
He heard she was now in Bombay in Matunga where most of the Iyers lived married to what else another banker and she had two children too
The Jewish Romeo still pined for her
His mother had stopped asking him to get married
She knew it would never happen
David and Sarah and all the others had left to Israel
And his mother had died just before she could leave
She never was very keen and was happy to be with Solomon but David wanted her there
Having   a senior citizen in the house could get a   lot of advantages for the whole family in Israel
But the day she was to leave his mother too died of a broken heart
Solomon was truly alone now
More than sixty years he had aged and looked different from the blue eyed boy he was earlier
Kailas iyer had died and Solomon had even gone to the house hoping to get a glimpse of his Lakshmi he saw her with her greying hairs in distress crying over her dad
Her feelings for the Jewish boy had all disappeared as an infatuation.
But to Solomon it would never go
To the people around he was like a relic
Once The local daily published an article on the last Jew which made him popular
Tourists would ask for taking photographs with him and he would get paid
He lived like this
The synagogue too was becoming old and faded
The government maintained it now as a heritage property
Newly appointed clerks collected ticket money for seeing the place and a lot of tourists visited it
There were numerous handicrafts shops strewn around the synagogue
Solomon was in his late seventies and was officially jobless but was allowed to stay in a small alcove in the synagogue
One day he became sick and was admitted in the local government hospital
Solomon had a stroke and had right sided weakness he could no longer walk by his own
Hence his food became a problem as he could not walk to the small tea shops where he had his food
The police one day shifted him to the relief centre full of beggars and destitute
His last days as a Jew in Cochin would end there
And finally the day had come a
  Moses the messiah  who took him at last to the promised land came to him  in his last dream

Thus This is the story of the last Jew in Cochin .


Note : having lived for more than two decades in Cochin I had always been fascinated on the Jewish settlement and their synagogue


his story sprung off purely on my imagination and has no relation to anyone who lived there or are still living there .





Monday, January 06, 2014

NIGHT ( MARES ) DUTIES OF A DOCTOR

Many  people accuse doctors of wallowing in luxury not being as noble as they profess to be .
having been fed over the ages on the nobility of this profession they tend to forget that it is also practiced by the same humans belonging to  other professions and not Martians .
 no special moral superiority is granted to medical doctors on graduation ,like any other person they have a life to lead have their pains and pleasures and families to look after and dreams to fulfil so the expectation that every doctor should sacrife his all for the sake of society would not go much beyond idealistic stories or in movies .
Having said this it is also known that there are many among doctors  who conduct their profession with utmost decorum and within their ethical boundaries if not one cannot see the merits accrued to the state of health over the years .
Becoming a doctor by itself is also not a small joke ,to get through the rat race of getting a coveted seat ( Iam mentioning by merit of course  ) it requires years of drudgery and hard work of cramming up millions of facts attending classes ,dissecting the dead and spending hours in crummy pathology laboratories with bottled specimens or in anaesthetised operation theatres cutting and stitching human tissues .
food and sleep generally is priority number two those times and mostly so for many throughout their profession .
commitments to time can hardly be given by any doctor as the unexpected could turn up at any time and cancellations could well be the order of the day leading to stress and frustrations .the obvious question is after all after choosing the profession why complain ,true nobody does that but at the same time no physician needs to be defensive to any critic of his time he has earned it well !

Over the years I had more unslept  nights than slept ones !

During internship if at all we slept it was the sleep of the dead as working continuously sometimes for four days we could get a few winks and a quick grabs of food ,so busy were government hospitals those days and so crowded ,

I still remember the crowded wards of Kilpauk medical college hospital where I studied, it  had patients on the floor and under the beds and in the corridors like many government hospitals even today do ,
house surgeons or interns as were called had to administer all injections for the patients which would amount to more than hundred ,we used glass syringes boiling in a steriliser as this was before the disposable era ,armed with a long list we used to fill the hot syringes with the medicines from their vials ,break th glass ampoules with a click of our fingers not even using a cutter many times injuring ourselves and then walk to the patients in ill lit corridors and give them the injections sitting on the floor ,we would be interrupted with all sorts of emergencies and admissions from the casualties and if there was a sudden surgery due to an RTA or an emergency situation we would run helter skelter before the chief or his assistants  arrived  ,many times I had eagerly scrubbed and entered the theatre for getting a chance to be part of a surgery was a coveted thing for interns as there was tough competition in a teaching medical college from senior house surgeons ,post graduates junior assistants etc and invariably they would ward us off to the far lying blood bank to cross match and collect blood for the patient ,those days there were no blood components and one had to draw blood from patient take it an a vial  go to the remote blood bank area open the locks and enter the frigid rooms switching on the lights opening the huge refrigerators take the blood bottle and cross match the sample and hug it and run back to the theatre sometimes in pouring rain and after reaching the OT with so much effort would  be yelled at by the big men there for being late .

we were attenders nurses room boys and junior doctors all together but this is how we learned .
the duty room itself was like a tiny ward with the same beds in the ward  rusted and with dirty bedsheets but we slept their like kings when we were permitted ,
we awaited with dread every time the attender knocked the door and called out for a doctor from a speciality praying that it was not us and many a time no prayers were answered in internship .
it was like the knock of the gestapo in Hitlers Germany
 Our teachers were strict but  had a fondness for us unrivalled in any profession
they had this feeling of us being part of the family as children who needed to learn the hard way and they were protective and taught us their greatness slowly .
internship is more like an Army base camp for a doctor .


During my post graduation days too night calls were there but relatively lighter as it was only speciality concerned and we had some junior helps
later during early days of private family practice in kochi I never stopped people from ringing the bell or seeing them during nights ,most of the nights would be interrupted by patients many times over some were really genuine needs many were absurd as they could have come during daytime but would give silly excuses like we were busy etc,
many would come in rickety auto rickshaws or cars to take me into distant house ,
I had walked through slush and mud and heavy rain for long distances to see patients over the years ,
some would just take us to homes to confirm death which would have been evident hours before so that they could get a convenient death certificate needed for property dealings later and invariably no fee were collected from death houses and hence they would get it all free ,

over time I would get wise and stop the 24 hours open clinic as there were lot of hospitals around to serve at all hours ,I would restrict myself to strict timings and appointments .

 I would lock the gates still at times some would jump over the wall and shout out till I opened the doors some would give their piece of mind at the doctor who was selfish and not bothered about the poor sick society ,
this kind of ranklings were  a kerala speciality coming out of their brainwashed militant socialistic attitudes  but many  also understood the hardship of doctors and the work involved and were ever grateful ,many of them still remember us .
After drifting into oncology I continued night duties in lakeshore hospital where it was as busy as it could come but I used to enjoy those days as I had a passion for my speciality and I felt I could really do my mite for reducing the sufferings of cancer patients ,many nights were spent over long talks with colleagues in the casualty or in the wards in between patients and strong tea from neighbouring hotels .
In UAE too I continued with night calls which were quite tough as it was a very busy tertiary referral centre and our on calls were highly stressed up at times with no time to breathe but there was lot of fun too ,late in the nights specially during winter we night owls used to meet up in the ground floors for a cuppa tea and at times a relieving smoke and spin our yarns till our mobiles shrilled ,
I remember I even put the hospital contact name in my mobile as shalliyam which in Malayalam w meant Trouble ! so every time I had a call from hospital it used to say shalliyam shalliyam
on call Rotas also used to create lot of irritations  with colleagues specially during long holidays like Ramadhan days ,
it was generally accepted that if one does on call during the small id one could be free during the big one or vice versa as each had approximately more than a week
once unfairly I was continued to be put on call during both and this was I felt was for favouring someone
 I protested and naturally the mediator suggested we toss a coin ,up went the coin and landed to my luck on my choice but both mediator and the other would not agree and said the coin should not roll over but should be caught in hand ,for which I just kept quite as I knew how the wind swayed this time the coin this time fell against my choice  and I did the calls ,
the funny end of the incident was the public hugging that the benefited friend gave to an offended me after a month of silence from my side !
today it all looks so childish and I remembered this over a conversation with another dear friend
Iam narrating all this as an experience most doctors go through at some time  of their life
yes it is their job and they chose it but it is also a job that requires a lot of sacrifices

At 55 today I am free of night mares ( calls )





but for the real one s! of course

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