Saturday, April 25, 2015

From Where I See- Book Review

I finished reading ‘From Where I See’ by Dr Ajay Yadav this morning and let out a sigh. When I closed it and read the back cover, something which I usually do only after I finish a book in the fear of  getting to know the turn of events, well this time I couldn’t help but smirk.

“It’s not only a book; it’s the path to revolution, a journey towards a utopian world. Accepting the truth is the toughest job in the world. If you feel that you are open minded, have the courage to accept the truth and a desire to change the world. Be a part of the change and take the first step to build a road to the ideal world

The story begins with a doctor being interrogated at a typical Bollywood style <imagine while you read> police station for his friends death , a friend who was struggling with intrapersonal, interpersonal, inter-social and inter-religious conflicts which eventually  kills her. Soon after which he is in flashback. What follows after that is 'Point A to point B to point D to point G to point Y to point A to point S to point Z to point E...'. The writer in my frank opinion has opened a Pandora's Box; the consequences are for the reader who opens the book. A plethora of issues are discussed in the pretext of conversations between family and friends, and not to forget the in depth seminars which run in pages. The idea although is quite new, this for me as a reader terribly fails, terribly.

My dilemma with the book is plain and simple:

To build the plot with the characters or to put a across a hundred of those pragmatic opinions?

The research with the social, national, religious issues interspersed in massive amount in between is completely laudable. What fails is the connect; the discussion is a pain to read not because it is revolving the truth but because they are extremely longish. At more than one instance I admit I forgot where, why, how and who was talking to whom! I had no issues with the facts and data put across; they just seemed to be in the wrong place. The characters speaking so much over tea or dinner about varied topics appear only simulated. It is mostly the authors point of view talking, as he himself says, this book is his effort to find the root cause and probable remedies of conflicts, and a try at exploring hundreds of pertinent questions. Thumbs up!

Thumbs down for the structure, if this was a little different maybe the story had some chance of keeping me hooked, the issues raised are very much relevant to the world of today. Humanity indeed has to be our only religion. At the end of all the colloquy, all of a sudden out of nowhere the police do find out the killer, and then the discussion gets back to the journey towards ‘The Utopian World’. This story is no chiclet novel material, nor based on corporate intrigues involving mega millions or political chicanery as the foreword says, it is written with a valid intent but falls short of a decent composition. It needs an editor. Period.

Title: From Where I See
Author: Dr Ajay Yadav
ISBN-13: 9789382536819
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Lifi Publications Pvt. Ltd.
Number of pages:401
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
Price: Rs.300

My rating: 1.5/5

PS: This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Strange Case of 'Open Letters'

The purpose of this post is an unsettling query about a strange trend I see these days, tell me when you see this in the title “An Open Letter To…” what do you do? Well, I out of great curiosity read it. Most of us do because it is human nature to do so. And of course what follows is the likes, shares and tweets all over the social media. Quite a nice way to put a point across or become famous ain’t it? And that would depend on what exactly is the intention. Most of the letters I read end up making me feel the case is the latter. One of my friends over coffee today asked “Did you read that open letter of….too good right?”

“Actions speak louder than words” I replied.

Old saying, but true. If someone feels so strongly for a cause he or she would rather contribute in some way towards it, not by merely raising a voice with a surfeit of words and strong emotions. But there is another angle to it. Is it important to share an opinion that you have, irrespective of whether you are a celebrity or not? To a certain extent it is, but what after that? What makes someone write an open letter to someone? What are the chances that your “Dear so and so…” reads it and not just one large audience. Words do flow at the heat of the moment when everyone is talking about an issue, particularly when the media is all over and about it. On most occasions there is more hullabaloo over the letter more the matter itself! I don’t have to quote any of the famous open letters for that here, that would amount to publicity.

I have a few questions for all those who have written those open letters “So what did you do apart from the letter?” Anything that you did about the matter you felt so much, did it bring a change that you want?” Considering the risk of seeming snooty I dropped the idea of starting this post “An Open Letter To Those Who Write Open Letters’ .  I just did not want this to be another one. This is for all of us, including the people like me who are pretty bad it. The more uncomfortable part while reading all these letters is whether do we really deal with these problems at ground level. This thought struggles inside my head with much restlessness, the next time I find an open letter on my timeline or in my inbox I am definitely going to throw up saying 'Oh no! Not Again!” If only we take the weight of responsibility and the burden of guilt tad differently and seriously.

Picture Courtesy

 Calvin has a point!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Miles To Go Before I Sleep

“You really want to do this?” asked Amma.

“I feel I should…” I replied quite earnestly. 

It was that time during my life, the one which most of us doctors go through, that critical period when we have to choose an area of specialization. Trust me when I say this, if getting a Medicinae Baccalaureus, Baccalaureus Chirurgiae (MBBS) degree, mind you ‘the one that you deserve’ is like scaling the Mount Everest, I tell this because there are a hundred other ways in this country, getting through a Medicinae Doctor (MD) is like scaling Mauna Kea underwater! And I made an unusual attempt, while some people who found it absurd and not so clinical asked me:

“Why Microbiology?”

“Why you? Such a good student!”

“Is that a medical subject?”

“So you don’t see patients? Poor you!”

What do ‘you’ get to do in the lab?”

“Don’t you miss the stethoscope?”

 These and hundred more, of course I have reached a point in life where I feel answering these questions is like nailing jelly to the wall. Diagnostics is beyond the four walls of a clinic, treating a patient and healing a person are two different things. I value my perspective and share it with those who do, like my Amma. Through my journey of learning Medical Microbiology if there was one person who stood by me, through thick and thin right from the time I made this decision, and even before that it was her, she is my special someone. I remember her words even to this day:

“If there is one thing that will help a girl all her not her father, neither her husband, not her brother neither her friend, not even her mother…it is her EDUCATION”

Her opinion is the mantra of my life, and she knows this is one of the million reasons why I feel special about her.

 “If you feel you should, then GO AHEAD!” she had remarked without a second thought and encouraged me to strike a. I remember how relieved she was  on that particular day. I knew I had to make her proud. I had finally decided where I would be heading with my career. I was up to becoming a Medical Microbiologist, a doctor who chose to become one. And right since the first day in my medical college where I did my post grad it has been an exceptional journey. Those three years have taught me all the science and medicine, all the dreams and aspirations that I know of. 

The days when I processed a fifty and more samples of patients in the bio safety cabinet in the laboratory, the nights when I rang up my other clinical postgraduates and helped them diagnose a tuberculosis or a meningitis case, the seminars which I presented after all the blood, sweat and tears and received  a pat on my back, the hours I spent with my books in the library , the hundreds of bacteria and viruses and parasites and fungi and antigens and antibodies and antibiotics I studied, the thousands of situations when I had to decide how much and why they mattered in my patients; the thank you that they said when I collected a sample or handed them a lab report, well these were a few things that brought all the magic. Mind you again, magic is in something we create for ourselves, in the choices that we make and the decisions that we take. I had listened to my heart’s calling and the results turned out to be perfect. Ask why?

 A picture indeed speaks a thousand words. I had received the best outgoing post graduate student award a couple of months ago, and if you can imagine a place somewhere higher up than cloud nine, that is where exactly my parents were, look at my Amma! :-) 

Coming to the kind of questions people ask me today:

“Which lab test do you recommend?”

“Which antibiotic do you think will work?”

“When will I get my report?”

“Which test is more sensitive?”

And most importantly:

What is your opinion?

I love my microscope ;-)

Which is…’No matter what you chose to do, do it with all your heart’

I did a 
 You do too!

PS: I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal activity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.”

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Way Of Words

"What happened?" asked a lady who was sitting beside me.

"Nothing" I replied and I wiped my tears.

What prompted that question was this poem in a book I was reading on the journey back home in the bus this evening.I have gone back to this page at least a twenty times since I finished this book. I read and re read. It is  incredible to think of the way of words, the power that they have especially on people like me. Well, no good bottle of wine or a cup of ice cream matches that. The happiness or pain that one can relate to is proportional to how much one wants to open up to the book. There is a reason why books are the best friends of some people, I belong to that category. Sometimes I end up imagining the characters living around me! It is not spooky at all. Sometimes getting over a relationship is easier than getting over a book!

Anyone there like me?