Category Archives: My Blog

My blog – the right place for you to read and understand how I think about things and what all I want to say.

10 Things Hospital Waiting Rooms Showed Me

Nobody likes going to hospitals. But, you have to. The extended waiting times and the fear of disease lead to chaos in the minds. But, waiting rooms are also a source of inspiration and human kindness. Here, are the 10 things I saw in the hospital waiting room.

Sick children break your heart

As a parent, a small, listless child, held like a China Doll by a father, breaks your heart, every, single, time. I can see the red eyes, puffed up from crying, and yet, each parent will smile, and you can see their lips move closer to their child’s ears. These are words of encouragement, and love, not only for their child but also for themselves.

2. Human beings are temperamental

Despite all the civility and educational superiority humans claim to possess, a hospital is a right place to see temperaments. Whether it is the nurses, the attendants, the other medical staff or the patients themselves, it takes little for tempers to glare or angry words to be exchanged.

3. Everyone thinks they are right

Patients, doctors and the staff, all look at the waiting room from their points of view. Patient waiting for hours agonizes, a doctor is unapologetic for attending to an emergency, and the receptionists and nurses see patients as haughty. All are right, and yet each one is wronging the other.

4. Discussions are inherent to families

All families love to debate and contradict each other, but it is in a hospital waiting rooms you see the discussions. Hunched over reports they have no expertise to read, they ask each other what the doctor said, what it means and the next steps. You know the discussion will move to the home and will be endless unless a decision is reached.

5. Faith keeps us alive

Death is what we travel towards, and yet it is our faith that keeps the wheels of our lives turning. We have faith in our ability to fight a disease, a doctor to guide us out of the depths of despair or in a God to prolong our lives. Along with our faith, it is our dreams that keep us alive

6. Shattered faith is the worst

Despite the wide berth of forgiveness that doctors enjoy, some will go ahead and shatter faith. Inability to diagnose and vanity to not refer to another doctor, showing up exhausted or drunk for surgeries and in a hurry to meet, trying to attend to more than the number of patients they can examine, forgetting to share basic instructions for diseases which leads to chronic illnesses which could have been cured in the first place.

7. Doctors are interested in money

In India, patients have learned to accept the fact that they will undergo a battery of tests, unnecessary ones. Doctors today are more of money making nodules of a hospital than the healers they are meant to be. To be noble is an outdated virtue and patients with limited options, work on the premise- as long as I am healed, it’s Ok.

8. All humans are not equal

Gender, race, religion or any other classification you want divide humans with cease to exist in a hospital.waiting room. Here, the population is divided, patients and their attendees, hospitals and their staff. God created us all equal, and yet, there are divides which we exist, In real life, reel life as well as hospital life.

9. Nature thrives on interdependency
Patients are fully dependent on doctors, and doctors may not realize it, but without patients ready to line up and wait for them, their demi-God status will come crashing down. Both are dependent on each other for success in living and thriving.

10. Health is wealth
I hate to use the word, but here I have to, literally. If you are healthy, you do not need to waste money and time in hospital waiting rooms. So, an advice I hope I am able to put into practice, exercise, eat well and stay away from junk. In the long run, you will save thousands, as you will need doctors less.

Pride and Prejudice – Dialogues for a Writer

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single writer in possession of a good book (in his mind), must be in want of a publisher.”
We all know the quote, Jane Austen, in her famous work, Pride and Prejudice stated “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Published, more than 200 years ago, the dashing Mr. Darcy and the spirited Ms. Eliza, continue to make hearts throb and give inspiration to filmmakers. Look at any Hindi movie, with a sour hero and a ‘bubbly’ heroine, and you will know what I mean. But, here we are talking about writers, and how the dialogues from this writer in her acclaimed book from the 19th century, holds true for writers of the 22nd. ‘
Let’s just have a look at 10 of the quotes from the book and how they apply to writers today.
1. “Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”

Writers are proud! They are forever in awe of what they have written, and woe the person who criticizes them. If their vanity is shattered, they succumb to deep, dark thoughts, losing the inspiration to put words to paper. Writers, take a lesson from Mr. Darcy, who gave up vanity, but never hope.

1. “Oh, Lizzy! do anything rather than marry without affection.”

“Oh Writers, do anything rather than write without falling in love with or hating your characters from the core.” Nothing needs to be explained, but a writer, who does not love, sympathize or fear the characters in their stories, should rather visit a coffee shop and meditate.

2. “To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love”

“In other words, to be fond of reading is a certain step towards the path of becoming a writer”. They may have the words, and the stories, but for a writer, reading, understanding, imbibing and then adding their own steps of a journey, and intuitiveness and imagination, leads to a happy finish – a completed story!

3. “Have a little compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces.”

The nerves of a writer are no match for Mrs. Bennet, seeking compassion from all. Ask a writer to read a piece in front of an audience, there will be hesitation, followed by the explanation, this is the first step, or the first draft, something written in a hurry. The hands holding the paper shake, the voice sometimes trembles, but unlike the silly, overbearing mother, writers, don’t need smelling salts, instead they wait for appreciation from peers and other writers to pour in.

4. “I have the highest respect for your nerves, they are my old friends.”

A writer’s nerves are a publisher’s old friends. They respect them, indulging them, pushing them, cradling them and sometimes just tearing into them. The nerves stretch, and jump, and make the eye’s water, these old friends do not deter a publisher from getting their way. They are akin to Mr. Bennet, indulging the Missus and the Misses, but, knowing deep down, without him, all would be penniless, homeless and hopeless.

5. “It sometimes is a disadvantage to be so very guarded. If a woman conceals her affection from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him.”

Well, this one is pretty obvious, a writer cannot be too guarded while writing. He cannot conceal his deepest desires, wants, fears and hopes. Words have to flow from the depths of the soul, if not, they lose the opportunity of creating something memorable, something talk and write about even after 200 years.

6. “Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility.”

But, for a writer, the appearance of humility is what keeps the wheels running. Go back to point 1, writers are proud, some are even vain, but they show humility to get people to like them, read them, admire them. Is it deceitful? In the language of the teens – Hell, Yeah! But, then that is the beauty of a writer, proud from inside and humble to the rest of the world.

7. “These are the kind of little things which please her ladyship, and it is a sort of attention which I conceive myself peculiarly bound to pay. They arise chiefly from what is passing at the time, and though I sometimes amuse myself with suggesting and arranging such little elegant compliments as may be adapted to ordinary occasions, I always wish to give them as unstudied an air as possible,”

The frivolous, breezy poem from a writing mastero, may have taken hours of talking to oneself, staring at a blank piece of paper, or simply rewriting every word till the desired result is achieved. Just like Mr. Collings, elegant compliments need to be neatly arranged, for the story at the time may be easy going, but the unstudied air is paramount for its success.

8. “Mr. Bingley, how do you like my ribbons for your ball?

Who invites the writer to write? First time – no one. And, yet, they will show off their letters and words to all. Some of the audience like Mr. Bingley will be polite, and others like his best friend, Mr. Darcy will be rude. Some ready to indulge and others, looking for an escape. And, yet writers remain oblivious, and continue to ask, “How do you like my book?” or “Why haven’t you commented on my poem yet?”

9. “I do not wish to avoid the walk. The distance is nothing when one has a motive.”
“I do not wish to avoid the writing. The pages are nothing when one has a story.” How easy to write these words, and ask the teeming thousands, how difficult to implement. But, Ms. Bennet walked the distance for a sister she loved. Writers will transverse to the deepest parts of their minds, and string words while marching towards their motive – a story.

10. “There is nothing so bad as parting with one’s friends. One seems so forlorn without them.”
In the end, no parting for a writer is as bad as parting with a book and characters which have awakened nightmares and dreams in equal measure. Though the writer has initiated the parting, the fact remains, it is but natural be forlorn without them, until some other words and characters, seek refuge in the heart, mind and soul.