Friday, September 11, 2009

A note of thanks to prof. Sugantha
On a bright, glass-clear day, I got ready with half-saree on and hair plaited. It was that period of time when the idea of attending college and staying away from parents for three whole years was yet to sink in.
Just before lunch, when my hunger pangs ticked off and I stooped over the desk to have a better look of my new college-mates, prof. Sugantha made a nonchalant entry carelessly slinging her pallu that hitherto precariously clung to her shoulders.
"A very quick introduction and then let's get on with the lessons" is how she set off her English lessons For the next two years, I sat amazed by the way she slipped out new words that I used to feverishly jot down.
Physics classes turned dreary and I began to look forward for her gyans. But advices are not something that would easily slip out of her tongue. Her sarcasm-laden one-liners will do the job of hour-long sermons instead.
Classes, to her, meant business. There had never been time when she slumped on the chair, asking us to "revise the lessons." From the chain of teachers who peeped out every half an hour as if to give that stern look at the sleepy watchman who, they hoped, will get his acts together and ring the bell much ahead of the time, she clearly stood apart.
For us, her classes meant pure fun. We were grouped in fours but every time we were asked to do an activity, I would whet my ears to eavesdrop her conversation with other students. There had been instances where I had gone green with envy whenever she shared something funny with my British-English-speaking friend.
For someone who was eyeing on M.B.A. and a masters in astrophysics as my postgraduate options, I became so much fascinated with English that the rest soon walked out of my mind. Prof.Sugantha once lent me a tattered P.G.Wodehouse book and asked me to try that instead of R.K.N. Soon after that, his books became my staple diet.
When English became a priority, journalism was seen as the best option. ACJ then happened and it has taken me to where I am now.
But if it was not for prof.Sugantha and if it were some other professor whose mind gets occupied with thoughts of chronically ill mother-in-law at home and highly spoilt teen-daughter, I might probably be relapsing into a state of coma - perturbed by the heart-wrenching story of the heroine in that popular tele serial.
Not that I mind watching them. But I prefer watching film stars real. And get paid for it too ;)
Thanks mam, for all that you have taught me and for all that I have learnt from you (there is a difference, mind you!)
With great respects,

Sunday, June 07, 2009

When my mother-in-law retold what the doctor had said, I can't help but think of professor Trelawney in Harry Potter and her life-at-danger predictions. The doctor was no different. Bile salts accumulation in Gal bladder, Biliary tract disease, stones in kidney... his guessing list was a lot longer this when she visited him with a complaint of ulcer pain. She was advised to take scans to diagnose the problem.
So it wasn't surprising when my MiL came back, visibly shaken by his frightening prophecies. After a day of silent prayers and mental agony, she reluctantly went to the testing centre, which was overfed with deadpan-looking people.
An hour or two later, she returned back and thank God, with a relieved smile. "The results are normal. I wonder why the doctor asked me to go for a scan?" Before I got time to ponder over her question, a call from my sister-in-law brought back the gloomy ambience at home. Apparently, another doctor had suggested to her to get her five-year-old daughter's digestive system scanned.
Prayers resumed, grim mood was set again and we all waited to know what was in store for her. Results were normal for her too. Thank God again! Mentally drained SiL was frustrated and cursed all the medicos she knew under sun.
Good to know their biological system function perfectly. But who is to take responsibility for their undue mental stress? Okay, the doctors can't assure the patients before knowing what went wrong. But isn't it only human to resist blurting out probable diseases?
For obvious reasons, scans are only to be taken at a centre suggested by them. Scan reports that are printed in any other letter head will not enjoy as much attention as the one that the docs suggest.
Being journo doesn't really help you at this point of time. In fact, they make matters worse and the frustration level shoots up to dangerous heights. These are tagged as sensitive issues and we need solid evidence before putting them on paper. So all I could do was to sigh (twice!). And yeah, vent it out in my hardly read blog :p