Search my WHIMS n WISHES!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

HAPPINESS is no more

An email which left me sitting still on my chair for I dont know how long. An email about a little girl of 11 years. An email about the girl called 'HAPPINESS'**.
HAPPINESS is no more.....
She was my ex-colleague's only child.

One day of fever....normal at any age
Consulation with doctors the next day....normal routine whenever someone isnt well
Declared dead within 15 minutes of 'checkup' (the staff tried to give oxygen followed by administration of IVF) by the doctor's team where parents were not allowed, despite the child yelling for them ...Abnormal
Death Certificate claiming it to be Dengue....Abnormal

As a mother who has had the misfortune of seeing her 11 month child suffer in dengue, I know for sure that Dengue cannot be detected in a day and cannot be confirmed without specific bloodtests.

A wrong treatment resulting in a death. Who do we blame?
A system gaping with loopholes ?
Callous, incompetent and mercernary doctors ?
Or destiny?

A case can be filed against the hospital and doctor. And ought to be.
But who will do it?
-The shocked and traumatised father who still hasnt come to terms with his tragedy and still walks around talking to the daughter he had taken walking, to the doctor's clinic?
-Or the mother who sits silent and dazed ...her eyes devoid of any emotion?

HAPPINESS is dead. Her parents' lives have come to a standstill.
But the hospital and doctors continue to do their 'business' of licensed killing.

**-The child's name meant HAPPINESS in Sanskrit

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The new whim....

I've been busy! Not the busy busy, but silly busy, but still busy!!

Confused? Of course you are.....
I started a new blog on COOKING!
Ma was pleasantly surprised as I was never famous for my LOVE for cooking like she or most women of my family are.
But the idea was triggered when I had to make a particular dish which I had made only once before but couldnt find the recipe when I needed it the most....
So I thought why not just maintain an online diary and make a blog out of it!
But who would know that a normal blog and a food blog were not the same ball game!!!
A food blog required detailed photographs of ingredients, pics of the in-process activies and of course, of the end product in a well presented way!
So while cooking, I had my faithful camera with me in the kitchen, right by the side of the vegetables-spices-knife-wok and was clicking away furiously while cooking and chopping! SD found it hilarious and called it my new craze. AD was perplexed and asked 'Ma, are you cooking the camera?'
Today dinner was served an hour late as my simultaneous activity of chopping-mixing-clicking-cooking took a tad bit long! And to add to the self-inflicted woe, M has gone off to Kolkata for ten days on an emergency visit to her village.
So pandemonium reigns supreme at home and more particularly in my kitchen as the new whim is on in full swing....let's see how long this lasts!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pricks and Pain

AD is down with fever since yesterday evening. So I am at home today trying to keep a physically down but high spirited 3 year old entertained. When I realised that it may be a bit more than just fever as she was throwing up whatever she was eating, took her to the Paediatrician who apart from prescribing a few medicines, prescribed some blood tests. A petrified me shuddered while remembering the several nightmarish incidents of taking blood samples from AD in past 22 months that we've been in this city at the so-called reputed and much frequented clinics and diagnostic labs of the city. As I drove to the recommended lab, I said a silent prayer to the ALL-POWERFUL-UP-THERE, to let the blood drawing be fast and smooth and let the already sick baby not be troubled further.

As it turned out, GOD, I guess, was busy or my prayers were not weighty enough....

As I entered the clinic AD bombarded me with questions as to why we were-where-we-were and I tried to calmly explain that to cure her tummy ache and fever, some tests had to be done. She screamed a loud NOOOO and I had to almost drag a suspended-in-air kid to the reception counter where the uniformed people gave us a bright smile and a candy to my AD. To avoid recurrences of the past, I enquired whether the lab technicians were experienced to draw blood samples from kids whose veins were too fine to be detected easily. They verbally assured me of their expertise and busied themselves in preparing the bill. As an uniformed employee of the clinic accompanied me to the 'Sample Room' and explained in the local language (which I am ashamed to say I dont understand but my daughter does and hence started bawling!) about the test, I repeated my query regarding his expertise. He looked blankly at me for a second and mumbled something unintelligible and took the rubber tying band and tied it on the left arm of an almost hysterically howling child. No soft words of reassurance, no mild handling of her arm. I kept my temper in wraps. He pressed here and poked there to decipher a vein but his incompetence was too evident to be ignored. I firmly put a stop and repeated (this time sternly) whether any competent person was around , otherwise I would prefer to go to another clinic. Hearing my raised voice (probably), a confident and very busy looking lady-in-a-white coat entered the room. Without giving me a glance, she once again tied the rubber band of AD's arm. Took out a disposable syringe and got down to work, oozing confidence. I was assured. (That appearances can be deceptive, I realised much later.) Deciding not to interfere further, I tried to do my part of the work by soothing AD and distracting her from the morbid going ons.

In the next few seconds (or was it minute I dont know!) what happened shocked me at the insensitivity and lack of professionalism. The lady pricked AD deftly (it was pseudo deftness) and when no blood would come out (as it wasnt a vein at all), she continued twiggling and turning the needle under the skin making the child scream in pain. She took it out and was about to prick it at another point to continue with her trial and error mode of extracting blood, when I hollered and hollered out LOUD...thus making her stop short. I yanked the band off AD's arm and asked her to just let us go. We did not want HER or the bl***y clinic's services. I walked off with a howling, child running a temperature and in (inflicted) pain due to the incompetence and sheer callousness of a bunch of people who open fancy clinics to mint money. As I was about to exit from the premises, the receptionist returned the money I had paid. I was too angry to care ....

I went to another clinic. AD again was hysterical fearing a probable repeat act of the horrendous experience! This time luck was on our side. An expert nurse was on duty. And the whole process of blood drawing was over even before AD could fill enough air into her lungs to scream out loud! I thanked her profusely with tears in my eyes. She was too taken aback to receive my sincere gratitude for a mundane task she probably does countless times a day...

Well, God finally found the time, I guess, to receive my SOS and act upon it!!!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Adieu Babyhood!

Adieu Babyhood, Welcome Girlhood!
Today I'm a wee bit sad. Yet happy. Strange we are and strange are our mixed feelings which more often than not defy logic!
Today my baby shed the last remnant of her babyhood. The thrill was there indeed but a twinge of sadness enveloped it.
AD has been an early talker and a coherent and logical one at that. At the age of three years four months, she not only speaks fluently but often (to my utter amazement and at times shock & despair) argues vehemently, and often cracks jokes. But despite these precocious tendencies, the babyhood was firmly in its place due to the lisping of the ‘R’s into ‘L’s. Like a Rose would be a Lose, a Rabbit would be a Labbit and so on.
In her make believe world, where she’s the perennial Hanuman (and sometimes Mowgli), and SD oscillates between ‘Ram’ - ‘Ravana’ (and ‘Sher Khan’-'Baloo'), the battles between Hanuman (or Mowgli) and Ravana (or Sher Khan) are fought valiantly during many a bedtime with the pillows and bedsheets doubling up as the pseudo-killer weapons, the war cry of Lavana” (or SHEL Khan)!!! would have us into splits.
Today during one such bedtime ritual between father-daughter, I stopped in my steps when I heard a distinct RAVANA instead of the usual LAVANA!
I couldn’t believe my ears.
I turned to AD and asked her to name her favourite flower and crystal clear came her reply “ROSE” and not the expected “LOSE”.
Thrilled instantly that the baby lisp was cured, the mother in me suddenly descended into gloom…my baby’s growing up and growing up too fast.
I was already missing the lovable lilting "Ling-a-ling-a-loses…” and "Lound and Lound the Mulbelly bush....."
Goodbye babytalk! Welcome girlietalk!
Hanuman, Ram, Ravan - Characters in the Indian Epic RAMANAYA.
Mowgli, Baloo, Sher Khan-Characters in Jungle Book.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Mommification-Part 1

A mundane activity like an enrollment into an online community 'Mom Bloggers Club' brought back a rush of memories...

I was never the maternal kind though I always loved babies. Others' babies... My cousins' kids, friends' kids, the neighbours' kids. Till I was well into my twenties, the thought never occured to me as to how I would react to being a mother myself. However, contradictory though it may sound, that I would have a child was never even a question in my mind. Call it social conditioning or a latent feminine instinct, I knew I would.
So when I conceived, elation, excitement and happiness were the prevailing emotions during the whole tenure of 9 months. Maybe the pampering and love & care I received from all my loved ones and well wishers contributed greatly to my consistent positive state of mind througout the period.

Well there was a short break in this uniformly hunky-dory state of affairs!
Just a day prior to my scheduled Caesarian Operation, the day after the Doc gave the verdict that Caesarian it would be, the fact hit me that life wouldnt be the same anymore.
All of a sudden a black cloud eclipsed the excitement, the nervous-anticipation, the euphoria of planning, that had been the flavour of the past nine months. A claustrophobic fear gripped me, assaulting me almost physically, terrifying me at the thought of a cataclysmic change creating havoc in my usual orderly life. The gargantuan responsibility of a human being would be on me. Just as I ran to my Mom at the slightest hint of a problem, to the tiny scrap of a human being who would be arriving the next day, I would be expected to be the SuperMom with all the answers. I shuddered involuntarily......
Believe me, that one day was sheer torture. SD took me on a long drive to calm my nerves, and followed it up with a nonsensical movie to distract me. He was only partially successful.

The long, depressing day ended. Like the new dawn, I woke up...refreshed, rejuvenated and happy. My change of mood surprised me the most. The depression of the day before seemed like a forgettable nightmare. The day began on a beautiful and auspicious note. The autumn weather was at its best. The Kaash Phool swaying in the wind, the azure blue sky and the fleecy white clouds bathed in the soft golden sunlight were sending out a cheerful note of optimism all around as if nature was all geared up to welcome the DEVI in all its splendour. What better day to welcome the life within me to Planet Earth? That beautiful Autumn Day transformed my life forever...with a change of status...from a Woman/Wife/Daughter/Sister to MOTHER of my princess!

I was MOMMIFIED for life!

Bibliography :

Devi - Devi is the Sanskrit of Goddess. Here it means Devi Durga, a manifestation of Shakti, who is worshipped during September-October.

Kaash Phool - A seasonal grass with white flowers which bloom during Autumn. A common sight in Bengal and signals that Durga Pujas are just a few days away.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Myriad Interpretations

We humans are a complex lot! But that is exactly why we are interesting. Human psychology or the way our mind functions is a fascinating and infinite subject.

You would wonder whether this again is a new whim of study the human psyche! Mysterious, fascinating and tempting as the prospect may be, I am well aware of my limitations and I do not think I'm cut up for such a mammoth task. True, I like observing the various nuances of my family, friends, acquaintances or those I interact with. I'm an observer. Period.
This post is almost an extension of my previous post. To be more precise, it is actually in response to some reactions I received from a few friends and well wishers. When I thought of replying to them explaining and clarifying, my thought process was triggered and I marvelled at the way each individual's mind works...
My previous post was just cyber-blabbering, for want of a better term! I did not have any inherently deep subject matter to write about. Being a nocturnal being, I am normally awake after the whole world (an 'when my family') goes to sleep. I, the family owl, love to stay up and indulge in a bit of ME-TIME. It may be actually reading the (previous) day's newspaper (which I had just glanced through 17-18 hours back), catching up on some reading, replying to mails or just blogging! My previous post was such a product which was written well past midnight, without any serious thought in my mind. But what drew my attention was the different interpretations the ordinary bit of rambling evoked! These myriad interpretations made me think. Was I really trying to convey my angst and trepidation at growing old? Or was my subconscious doing it? Frankly, neither me nor my subconscious had any profound thought to share. Both of us were just expressing random thoughts in a semi-slumberous state at the ungodly hour of 1 am.
But again, the interpretations were thought provoking. If my little, non-descriptive piece could evoke responses I hadnt contemplated, no wonder the literary works, art and movies evoke such strong emotions, controversies, such detailed analyses and so forth. The creator may not envisage the various fascinating interpretations his creation is about to generate. These myriad interpretations are what add a different dimension to the original creation. And these myriad interpretations are various individuals' unique impression on a particular subject..a manifestation of the wonder that is our human brain!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


A writer's block we've heard of!! But a blogger's block? What's that?? Well....When bloggers like me, who have nothing earth shattering to write about, who just blabber away whatever comes to mind, who love indulging their latest whim of blogging, are at a loss of things to say, that is, I guess, a BLOGGERS' BLOCK!! The problem is I want to blog but my grey cells up there arent co-operating...hence bear with me..indulge me please!!!!

Life has been terribly boring of late. Well, not quite. Friday - Saturday were quite different - exciting, if I may say so. Saturday was spent celebrating
Saraswati Puja and especially AD’s ‘Haathe Khori’ or formal initiation into education with the blessings of the Goddess of Learning. Friday evening was spent in doing the preparation and groundwork for the religious fervour we were subjected to the next day.
Realisation dawned on me that I was growing old. How else could I explain, why all of a sudden I had become such a sucker for tradition and ritual!! Agreed, I never was an atheist or the ridiculously rebellious kind. But I don’t remember being a stickler for the intricate rituals associated with our Pujas and Prasad preparations. In the past I was quite happy being the onlooker. Was it the parenting bug within me which was making me do all this under its spell? Just to ensure that AD grows up with bits and pieces of tradition....who knows?

Well, all went well...except the fact that the three hour long puja ritual during which it was mandatory to sit on the floor cross-legged left my legs and feet numb and subsequently aching! Another proof of my advancing years!!!

Though winter was conspicuous by its total absence from this city, at least the last few months were pleasant. With February just having begun, one would expect a few more weeks of pleasant evenings. But Global Warming or sheer callousness of the weather Gods, whichever way one looks at it, Summer has set in!! Fans and Air-conditioners have begun their round the clock duties!!
Wonder if this trailer to the scorching summer months ahead, has anything to do with my dysfunctional brain cells!!


I am tired of writing 'my daughter' and 'my husband' whenever I mention them in any of my posts.

Hereafter, I'll call them AD and SD respectively. These are nothing but the initials of their names!