Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Silent love

I never believed in the concept of a special day when I was dating my would be fiance and the love of my life. We met once a week just to spend quality time with each other. Each weekend was special for us as we discovered something new about each other being in each other's company. Among all these wonderful courtship days we have one such experience which I have marked in my calendar as my " Platinum day of love." 
The simple and caring gesture  made me see another side of his which was very helpful in giving me the confidence to take one step towards marriage. 
I was quite unwell few months before our engagement and it was that time we were asked my our parents to start choosing engagement rings for each other. Since we got time only on weekends, we tried to utilize most of our time usefully. 
Seeing my fever, cold and throat infection going bad, my fiance , Yd took me to a doctor. 
I can recall vividly the experience I had with him throughout this time when I was barely able to speak because of severe throat infection. 
The doctor said, “You are supposed to be on mute mode for 48 hours.”
“Mute mode, as in?” I asked finding it hard to digest what she just said.
“Maun- vrat,” she said with a gentle smile.
I gave a helpless look while Yd laughed away to glory.
How was I supposed to stay without talking? In one moment my weekend plans got shattered.
After thanking the doctor, we left. I was upset by the treatment she had suggested for me but at the same time my intellect contradicted, “It is the best medication that could have been offered at this point so go ahead and follow it religiously.”
Suddenly there was so much to talk and I wasn’t supposed to speak. I struggled trying to use actions and facial expressions. Thanks to Yd, I got some confidence to strictly adhere to it. He spoke all while and I could do nothing but listen to his instructions and follow the same. As advised, I took a pen and paper and started writing whatever I wanted to convey. If I held the paper close to me while writing he would peer into it with an eagerness to just know what I wanted to convey. This idea was successful in the initial phase.
While walking on the streets I couldn’t keep writing on chits. Eventually I resorted to actions and facial expressions. Playing dumb charades while walking was fun. I was thoroughly enjoying watching a troubled Yd trying hard to decipher my actions. He gave complete attention to my words unlike the other days. He was certainly impressed by my hidden talent to act when he told me, “This punishment is proving useful. I am able to see your hidden talent in mute acting.” That was the only way I could express the immense joy I felt. Half a day went in this way. I was not allowed to talk to anyone.
We had to go shopping for our engagement ring.  I was unable to express my choice and specifications to the sales person in the shops. We roamed around on the street which was best suited for all the jewellery shops. We were quite skeptical in choosing which ring to buy. ( Gold or platinum). 
Yd took the pain to get the exact specifications written down from me in each shop and explained to the shopkeepers on my behalf. Each shop that we went to, the shopkeepers looked weirdly at me when they presented something nice while I in turn looked at Yd to voice my thoughts. It was an opportunity to feel confident that he was aware of my likes and dislikes. A strange yet loving feeling brought us closer.  We hardly had any arguments, disagreements or misunderstandings during the whole day. At times I did feel irritated when he didn't understand my expressions but the irritation seemed to vanish when I saw the innocent look on his face. He was giving a real attempt to understand my thoughts.
There was complete silence and there were abrupt pauses while we were together because I was the one who always started the conversation. For Yd it was always a one minute talk. He found it hard to converse beyond a point when there was nothing new to discuss. Silence did its magic and so did our expressions. We had moments when only our eyes spoke. Being with me on mute mode, he also started feeling that it were better not to talk. He conversed with me in whispers or tried copying my expressions. Before starting maun- vrat I had presumed that I would not feel comfortable but it turned out to be beneficial in many ways. I could express myself by messaging, writing and showing actions. 
We went hopping from one shop to the other and Yd doing all the work of explaining about type of ring we wanted. After searching in 5 shops we squared down to buying platinum ring. Finally, jotting down all the specification I had given through actions and what he wanted we chose our engagement ring in Orra showroom. Exquisite piece if platinum rings . It was a platinum pair and we got our names engraved inside each other's ring. 
Someone has rightly said, “Love doesn't need any language and neither does it need a specific day to be expressed. 
Each day spent with love and care for the special one is ' The Platinum Day of Love." 
Co-incidentally ours was the day when we bought platinum rings.
This post has been written for- Platinum day of love - Indiblogger.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Going the distance (The story unveils)

The soothing music was abruptly converted into noise as my earphones were pulled out. Suddenly peace transformed into chaos.
“Why do you always have to do this Manish?” I said glaring at him.
He gave a mischievous grin. Nothing had changed since the last time we met.
Before I could realize what was happening, Manish was sitting in front of me with two cups of coffee.
I wasn’t in a great state of mind to enjoy coffee but couldn’t refuse him either.
“I think I have decided what I want in life,” I said.
He seemed to have a confident look on his face. Taking a sip of coffee he asked, “That sounds interesting. What do you plan to do?”
I paused for a while. Three to four gulps of coffee went in before I felt like telling him about my plans.
“I need some time before I can get into the wedlock,” I said in a hesitant tone.
“I had asked for the same, couple of weeks back,” he said with a careless laugh.
“We all deserve our time and space. It is one life that we have and we need to live it,” he continued.
“I need more time… not just a few months,” I said with discomfort.
We might have to be away for long. I am not sure what decision we would need to take.
There was an abrupt silence between us.
He looked at me intensely. That very instant, I knew, he was deeply hurt with my decision.
We sat in silence for seconds looking at each other. We knew what was coming our way.
He got a grip on himself and asked, “Where are you going Trishna?”
I dared not spill the beans so soon.
“Please tell me Trishna,” he said in a desperate tone.
“I am going to pursue M.S. from Queensland University.”
“I cleared the online entrance examination. They have asked me to write back accepting the position after completing the application formalities,” I continued, taking the last sip of my cold coffee. “Yuck!!” Coffee was bitter and so was his expression.
“Queensland… Australia?” he asked, digesting the news.
“So, how long will you be away?” he finally managed to ask.
“Three years,” I said bluntly.
“If I am not wrong M.S. takes 2 years,” he said in a contradictory tone.
“Yes, it does but I have opted for one extra year of internship. The future prospects are good,” I replied confidently.
“When did you decide about this?” Manish asked while his expression said, “Why didn’t you care to tell me before deciding?”
“That day, when you decided to postpone the engagement and wedding,” I replied.
My words were like poisoned arrows that cut across his heart.
“Oh, so you are back to the same topic? Please stop this drama, Trishna,” he retorted.
“I did not postpone our engagement and wedding. In fact I never wanted an early engagement. It was what our families wanted,” he added.
“Didn’t you want the same thing to happen?” he asked looking at me with an expression that said just-say-you-wanted-the-same-thing-to-happen.
“No, I wanted to have our engagement and wedding at the right time. I was convinced that this was the right time,” I said firmly.
“For once, think about family Manish,” I said in a pleading manner.
“I am a family oriented man. I know what I am doing is not going to affect anyone. I know how to convince them, but I think, I can never convince you to believe in me,” he said in a dejected tone.
“You had your own selfish reasons that you are naming as career plans. If you had bothered once about my future plans you would have helped me out by guiding me,” I snapped back.
The conversation got heated up.
“Everyone is looking at you Trishna, please calm down. There’s nothing to get furious about,” Manish said trying to ease our conversation.
“I have my career plan set Trishna; I needed your help and support. I thought you could understand and try letting me out of the muddle I am in at my current workplace.”
“Your career plans are plans, what about mine?” I said in anger.
“Go ahead, who’s stopping you,” he replied in an eased out manner.
“That’s exactly what I am doing,” I smirked.
“You are taking revenge. This is not called a career plan. You never discussed about your plans to do your masters, that too from Australia.”
Abrupt silence again.
“How can you decide something like that without asking me?” the question was fired at me.
“Am I getting married to you to ask your permission?” I fired back.
“You are full of sarcasm and vengeance Trishna,” he said with disgust.
“Just because I wanted to postpone our wedding, you are doing this to me and our families. Why Trishna? Can you give me a logical explanation?” he asked.
I could read from his eyes, he had lost half the battle. He knew very well that once I had decided upon something I wouldn’t budge easily.
I was also in the same state two weeks back. The complete dilemma I was in got wiped out only when I met my professor who helped me to decide what was best for my future.
“Trishna, you are acting childish. Please don’t take such impulsive decisions. We’ll sort it out. You can have a bright future here. I’ll help you complete your masters in India,” he said.
“You just need to be near me,” he said after a pause.
I felt triumphant when I heard these words but even that could not hold me back. I calmed myself down and explained to him about my future prospects, career plans, growth and the Skype meeting I had with the professor. He heard me out in complete silence.
“It won’t be long, Manish,” I said reassuringly.
“I am not taking revenge. I am just taking out time to do something for myself.”
“You needed 6 months and I need 3 years.”
He swayed his head from side to side showing complete disagreement.
“Three years is too long. Think about our families. They have become so close,” he said in an attempt to convince me emotionally.
I had discussed about my plans with both our parents. My parents were reluctant to support me but I had to take a stand.
“Manish, I thank you for doing things against my wish. At least I am inspired to do something for my happiness and not for others,” I said with a smile.
He smiled back.
“At least you are happy about something… So when are you leaving for Australia Trishna?” he asked.
The look on his face suggested that he had reached that stage of acceptance. I knew he still loved me the same way but was also disappointed with my decision.
“Next Sunday. The flight is at 10 PM.”
“Are you coming to see me off?” I asked anxiously.
“I’ll think about it. I am not happy with your decision but if you feel it’s a good career option, I wouldn’t stop you.”
I felt relieved.
“Thanks so much for understanding,” I told him, genuinely.
He didn’t respond to anything I said. He had tried to accept the fact but hadn’t been able to come to terms with his feelings. I tried not to overdo my explanation at this point.
It was getting late so we bade each other good bye. I was hoping to regain my normal composure by the next day. Still, as I walked back, I felt a stabbing pain within. On one hand I was happy to have decided something about my future and on the other hand I wasn’t prepared to hurt him with my decision.
I went home only to find my parents sitting gloomily and also hoping at the same time that I might have changed my decision.
His parents had the same reaction when he reached home. That’s what I could make out after eavesdropping on my mother’s conversation.
Over the course of one year our parents had grown closer than us. While we seemed to be growing further apart.
He did not come to the airport. He called to say goodbye and alibis to prove that he was absolutely normal. Our parents were lamenting the fact that we were heading towards a sour relationship. They didn’t want us to give up on each other because of this distance.
The last text I received from him before leaving for Australia read, “I love you and always will.”
Tears welled up in my eyes and dried only when I landed in Australia.
The University and hostel campus were good. I had made couple of scholar friends online. It didn’t seem a strange place to me because of their presence.

Rumor had it that Indians were not treated well in Australia. I was concerned about that and so were my parents. There were frequent calls, at least twice or thrice a day in the initial few weeks.

A challenging journey was ahead of me and I somehow had to walk through it. A month got over without any hassles at the University. I had slight trouble in getting adjusted to the lifestyle of the people around. I liked sleeping early but the hectic schedule in the morning made me work harder in order to catch up with the professors’ pace. Everything else seemed normal except for my mind that couldn’t be at peace.

I wanted to share my daily experiences with someone close back in India but I had self-imposed restraints. I didn’t call Manish once I reached Australia, neither did he. He chose all other options to know about me like enquiring my parents and asking his parents to call me instead.

I felt that urge to just give him a call at random hours and tell him that I was missing his company but the time difference made me step back. I was one of those non-nagging girlfriends any boy could ever ask for. I didn’t know being that way could lead to cracks in a relationship.

I tried to convince myself that he was still not out of the deeply wounded phase. My parents were normal with me and seemed quite happy hearing of my progress at the University. There were talks about Manish in between. The same story was repeated time and again. The blame game was played occasionally, with me ending up in tears.

I was living my ambition but I was hoping this wouldn’t break our relationship apart. It wasn’t the first time we were fighting. Similar disagreements, misunderstandings had happened in the past which of course had gone unnoticed by our parents. Once our families got involved everything was out in the open. His parents were supportive and always wished for my bright future. They wished for us to patch up soon.

I read up articles on websites and tried talking to my friends online so that I could somehow stop feeling the breeze of cold feelings between us. But our egos had formed a thick wall.

I always had the urge to call him when it was past midnight in India. He was involved in his work seriously. Staying away from him, not being able to talk to him or convey my thoughts to him made me retrospect on those aspects of my behavior which he had tolerated all this while. I tried understanding his views when he was concentrating on his career move and had plainly refused to get into the wedlock. Though, he had realized later that the wedding wasn’t going to affect his work so much as he had assumed. In fact, he said he needed my presence.

Once when I had asked about his work his mother told me, “He’s not in that enthusiastic state of mind these days. He works 24/7 and occasionally hangs out with friends. We know how sad he is feeling inside after you left for Australia. The excitement of arranging a wedding isn’t there in our family anymore.”

“Please try talking to him whenever you find time,” she had added in a worried tone.

The next day had become terrible for me at the University. I couldn’t even concentrate during an important guest lecture. My roommate also noticed the dull look on my face. Thinking that I was feeling aloof in a new world, she planned a Saturday night party with friends.
I had never been to any party or concert without Manish. We had a large circle of friends. While I was getting ready I could remember the last concert of Lucky Ali which we had attended. I was wearing the same top today. However, partying revived my so called dull spirit.
I was slightly high on alcohol by the time I returned and had one night of peaceful sleep. For once, I had only memories from our happy past.
It was 4 AM when my alarm went blaring, jolting me up from my sleep.
I looked at my phone and switched the alarm off. Five minutes later I struggled to open my eyes realizing the motive of the alarm. It was past midnight and I was not the first one to call Manish on his birthday this time.
First, a deep sense of regret swiped across me, and then my heart skipped a beat when I realized that I had forgotten to add enough currency to make a long call to India. I had to manage with the amount I had. I called him. His phone was busy.
I waited for ten minutes and tried again. The phone was still busy. I felt a surge of emotions within. Manish would never talk on phone for so long with anyone except me. I stopped analyzing the situation for a while. A million thoughts crossed my mind; probably he had moved on and was busy conversing with his new girlfriends.
I didn’t feel like calling him again. I lost all courage to talk to him. The very next moment there was a call from him.
“Hello,” he said.
I was on cloud nine.
“Hiiiiiiiiii! It’s me, Trishna,” I said excitedly.
I sang the complete birthday song before he was allowed to react.
He was chuckling on the other side. His excitement was evident. Moments later he seemed to realize that I was not in India and said “So, how are you doing? Not interested in talking to Indians?”
“Who said so?” I snapped back. “I talk to Indians more frequently than you try talking to Australians”.
“How have you been Trishna? It has been over two months since we last spoke,” Manish said in a saddened tone.
Unable to talk about my current state I diverted the conversation towards my day to day activities at the University. I asked him about his work life in Hyderabad. We discussed about our parents and how anxious they were to see us together.
During this casual conversation I suddenly recalled that Manish’s phone was engaged for quite some time when I had tried his number.
“Whom were you talking to for so long Manish?” I enquired in a soft tone keeping my fingers crossed and wishing it wasn’t a girl.
“Errrrr… ummm…” he stammered before blurting out the name I didn’t want to hear.
There was a stunned silence. I could only hear the sound of the moving fan.
I regained my composure and said, “Oh! That’s nice. So how is she doing?”
I went green with jealousy. I dreaded this fact and it came true. I always hated her. My thoughts drifted to the day when I had to meet his parents for the first time and he had invited Shikha also. I was furious. The explanation I got was that he was nervous and wanted her to be around so that she could help get things moving between me and his parents. I did agree with that fact but I certainly didn’t want any other girl to act as a buffer between me and his parents. Once it was time for us to get engaged or married, Shikha drifted a bit away and gave us our time. A nice human being that she was, she never failed to make me envy the ease with which she could handle issues with Manish. She was our mentor in tough times and now that I was far away, she was the only one Manish opened up to.
My thoughts got interrupted by Manish’s reply, “She’s doing great. In fact, she might be married soon. Her parents have started looking for suitable prospects.”
I did heave a sigh of relief which wasn’t made evident to him on phone.
With marriage came thoughts that we wanted to avoid. He asked again, “Trishna, how long should we wait? I am not used to being away from you for so long.”
“We’ll work this out Manish. We must thank technology for giving us various means to communicate,” I said in an assertive tone.
“I am not comfortable as the time zone difference is difficult to maintain for three years. Shall we make some schedule sort of a thing?”he asked.
I giggled when I heard it but considered his option seriously.
We decided to talk on phone every Saturday at a time when both of us were free. It wasn’t like those five minute calls that I made at home. We had to talk for hours together and talking on Skype was the best option. It was difficult but we managed.
The initial few months weren’t good. We only complained and argued. There was nothing constructive.
Time flew by. Blame game was at the top of the list. It became so difficult to talk lovingly that I once asked myself, “Do I really need to continue with this relationship and get married to him?” I had the craziest of doubts about him as I was far away and felt I had drifted far off from his heart too.
There were exchanges of loving messages but often when we were offline.
Me:        I am really sorry; I shouldn’t have been harsh on you.
I understand your point of view.J
Have patience, just 10 more days to go, I will be in India.
These messages were sent when you were offline.
Manish: I know dear, you didn’t intend to hurt me.
Eager to meet you.

Messages like these did leave a good impact but often the essence of the conversation was lost. I wasn’t online always, as I had lot of reading up to do for my assignments and projects. Manish was busy with his work. He dedicated his time completely to it so that he could spare time for me when I would be in India.
Finally, the day had come when I got a short break to come home and spend time with my parents. It was an exquisite feeling to be with my close ones after two years.
Homecoming was wonderful. I expected Manish to be there at the airport too but my expectations didn’t get fulfilled. Unfortunately he had to go to Bangkok for a presentation.
I was happy for him but hurt with the fact that he didn’t care to inform me. I checked my mail, my chats and Whatsapp, there was no message pending from him. My mother defended him saying he had tried to call me up but I wasn’t convinced. The forgetful nature he had, he would have forgotten that I was going to be in India only for five days. I met his parents and we finally had a good interaction without any complaints. Even though I wasn’t able to explain to them in detail, they were happy about my progress. They indirectly hinted saying that Manish was doing good emotionally once we had started communicating.
To me, he was never the emotional type but I had to agree with what his parents had said. Five days went off in a jiffy and I was back again at the airport assuring my parents that it was just one more year.
I couldn’t meet Manish. He was back only after I reached Australia. He deeply regretted not keeping me informed. We were not on talking terms again for a stretch of four months. We had our chats and argument sessions which led to problems. His career was important and he shared only a few technical details with me. He never asked much about my work either. I could make out from his conversation that his work was going good but couldn’t decipher more than that.
We kept discussing petty matters that never got resolved. Sometimes I misunderstood things he spoke or messaged, and the aftereffects of such conversations left me irritated.
I was halfway through my internship and had been receiving a decent amount as scholarship. I had saved enough to buy something for my close ones. Manish had an upper hand in this. Even though I fought him like a child, I knew it was the distance and communication gap that made me go mad at him always.
I bought him an iPad which could be useful for him at work. It was to be my surprise for him when I would move back to India. My internship was completed successfully and I had been placed in a Mexican firm as a technical analyst for the research and development team.
I didn’t plan to jump to that job immediately. I put forth my wish to work in India. My VISA was also going to expire soon and I had to decide. I had a meeting with the board members of the firm and requested them to shift me to their branch in India which would help me put an end to many problems of my life.
Finally it was my graduation night, and I had saved enough money to sponsor my parents’ travel to Australia.
I went to receive them at the airport with the proud feeling of having graduated.
Finally, that moment had arrived when I received my degree.
Their eyes were gleaming with tears. They had seen their daughter emerging triumphant. Their happiness knew no bounds. The emotional atmosphere got supersaturated with the arrival of the special chief guest for the night.
When I walked back to my seat after my valedictory speech, I saw a familiar lanky figure sitting beside my parents.
There he was, my best friend, my love and my future partner, looking at me proudly. I rummaged my mind for words but my eyes answered instead. Manish’s shirt was moist with tear drizzles when I gave him a tight hug.
I packed off from Australia after informing my guide about my plan to work in India. He was reluctant to send me off so soon but he realized the importance I gave to my family. I had to live up to the promise I had made to my closest people.
While we were at the airport, Manish and I resumed our normal conversation. We discussed about our future plans which were related to only wedding. I told him that I had been offered a job in a Mexican firm which also had an office in India.
“That’s great dear. We’ll finally be together,” Manish said in a relieved tone.
“But where?” he asked inquisitively.
“Bangalore,” I said excitedly.
“But I was planning to start my new venture in Chennai and our potential client will be located there,” Manish said in desperation and turned his back after giving a can-you-really-bear-this-distance-again expression.
“Oh! No!” I screeched in dismay. (I had to decide something before the situation worsened).
“Don’t worry, I’ll find myself a new job this time,” I said taking control of the situation.

The very next moment three smiling faces turned towards me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Modern Health Care- Making life meaningful

Modern healthcare aims at improving the quality of life of the people.  With the advancement of technology, diseases are also on the prowl mainly because of a sedentary lifestyle that 80% of us lead. Health deteriorates and so does the immunity. So, here are the health care providers of the modern day who aim to make living easy. The development that technology has made in the health care industry has acted as a catalyst in making life simpler and easier.

Gone are the days of invasive surgeries, extensive waiting time for diagnosis and testing. There has been a massive advancement when technology including the electronic and the IT Industry shook hands with the health care sector. There are latest diagnostic methods, imaging technology, surgical tools, investigative methods, state of art technology, quality and standard of testing, automation, innovation and speed. Methods are developed which are less troublesome for the patients and make it easier for the clinicians. The development of the health care sector has been overall. Modern day methods have used the applications of varied fields. With quality education, automation and mechanization, modern day health care aims to touch the lives of everyone.

When the cost of affording a health care facility in the modern day has raised leaps and bounds, there are alternatives that help the lesser privileged. There are various certified and accepted insurance schemes available at a yearly investment which is bare minimum. There are special trusts and funds that provide discounts for the advantage of the needy. Though many instances appear when the needy don’t get the right help from the right person. Here’s when media and sales come into picture. They help in creating awareness to the general public about the various options they have. Education itself has helped the common man to understand about the health care. Distribution of pamphlets, online promotions and in depth detail of the ailments has helped patients take a path called preventive health care. Lifestyle associated problems are solved at ease with simple methods like counseling.

For example, at the tap of a button an instrument is guided inside the body which can remove tissues. Within seconds these tissue slices can be taken and analyzed under a microscope that can detect the results with photographs. The next moment, this reports gets uploaded onto the hospital information software, any other clinicians sitting in any other part of the hospital can view. Next click of the button the report is sent via e- mail to the patients, a copy is handed over and a text message is sent informing to the patient that the report is ready. A chain of events occur within few hours that help in the early diagnosis of the prevailing condition.
Gone are the days when health care set ups had to slog hard to generate a diagnostic test report. The transporting of samples through the pneumatic chute system which allows the easy transfer within minutes from one corner of the premises to the other corner has reduced errors in all aspects.
The moment a radiographic image is taken, it gets uploaded on to a system that is pushed into a data base. The server detects the search based on the requirement by the clinician each time he/she wants to view it.

Little things like these have overall made the life of the people approaching the health care industry better. A patient walks in with an ailment and walks home satisfied for approaching a modern day health care center.
Being from the health care industry myself, I feel we are constantly striving to provide a better living.  

This article was written for an initiative taken up by Apollo Hospitals in unison with Indiblogger-