Medical practice today.

Today’s topic has been suggested by Padmini who apparently has been inspired by this image doing the rounds in social media.

I have little to add to what the good doctor has to say but, let me share a personal story that my readers have already read earlier here.

Let me share another story that I have never shared publicly before.

During surgery for a revision to one of my replaced hip joints I collapsed and had to be revived and looked after in an ICU for a few days post surgery. This was in one of Pune’s renown hospitals and I recovered quite satisfactorily. When the bill was presented before discharge however, I was shocked to see items that should not have been there at all. I refused to pay and when told that I would not be discharged if I did not, I volunteered to stay on there indefinitely. I informed my surgeon about this who too was appalled at this and had to intervene with the hospital’s management to get those items removed and a fresh bill prepared. In all fairness to the surgeon he did not let me down and for my next revision, he operated in another hospital where I received excellent care, and more importantly no attempts at ripping me off took place.

These two stories show both sides of the divide. The money making non caring side of one set of people involved in medicine and the the caring and ethical behaviour of another set of people in the same business.

Unfortunately, the non caring money making side of medical practice today seems to be more prevalent now than the latter.

Having said that however, I must admit that I am blessed in that I have excellent medical resources, two within my immediate family, one GP who is also a personal friend, an amazing Psychiatrist who too has now become a friend and the orthopaedic surgeon mentioned in both the stories to whom I free access whenever I need. Thanks to these wonderful people in my life, I have not been led up the garden path except for the two occasions mentioned above and now I am confident that with these resources batting for me, I will escape future rip offs.

Sadly, most of us do not have such resources and will face unprincipled behaviour from the practice and that is sad.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 8 On 1 blog post topic. The other seven bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman , Srinivas and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Padmum. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

The School Bell.

I suppose that this should really be called a gong but, this is actually a bell similar to the one used in this post.

For the past thirty years, if I over sleep, at 5.00 am, I am woken up by this bell ringing ten times. I can’t think of even one day when it did not.

My home lies directly across from a boarding school. The school existed much before our neighbourhood was colonised and residential homes came along and has a tradition going back to more than five decades. When we first moved in, we could see the buildings and the play ground as there was no wall around it as it does now. As more buildings came up around the area, the school put up a wall and on my advice to prevent drug pushers selling drugs over the wall to students, raised further by corrugated sheets. This has prevented us seeing the children play there but, at least, we are sure that corrupting influences do not operate from our side of the wall.

The bell is rung to wake up the boarders but is rung even when the school is shut down for vacations. Many years ago, I had strolled across to the Principal to ask why the bell rang even during vacations and he said that though most of the students would have gone home for the vacations a few would remain whose parents were overseas or to attend extra classes to catch up with the curricula that they would have not been able to during the regular classes. Made sense to me.

Apparently, some neighbours complained about the bell in the mornings and even tried to get a legal stay order but on finding out that the practice has been going on for much longer than the complainants moving in into the locality, the matter was dropped as other residents in the area actually welcomed the bell as it helped them either wake up themselves or their school going children.

This morning when I heard it, I was reminded of how even during the current lockdown the watchman of the hostel meticulously rings the bell every morning at exactly 5.00 am. I am in awe that he never over sleeps!

This post will be incomplete without one of my favourite poems.

For Whom The Bell Tolls.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

~ John Donne.

Considering the background that I have given in this post, I would however alter the poem to fit the context.

For Whom The Bell Rings.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s awakening enhances me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell rings,
It rings for thee.

Favourite Foods And Memorable Eating Places.


That is a typical South Indian meal served on a plantain leaf which would rank as my all time favourite food.

I hope that my fellow 6/1 bloggers Conrad and Shackman get an opportunity to try that experience.

Having been on expense account travelling jobs during my working days, I had enough opportunity to eat in some of the world’s most well known restaurants and more so within India. I have also been blessed with so many friends all over who insisted on feeding me home cooked meals that it will be impossible for me to list all those as well as choose the most memorable except for the few cases right in the beginning of my sales career in rural India when I had to visit villages and towns without restaurants and so the local customers hosted me meals in their homes. Those experiences are simply unforgettable and I can hold forth on them for hours if opportunity presents itself.

I live in Pune which is famous for its street and restaurant food and during my younger and working days, I could gorge myself on street food and never have home cooked meals for days together other than break fast of course. Here is a look at some of the food in my home town.

Those days are gone now and I don’t relish eating out any more. I prefer meeting my friends for lunch at my local club which is centrally located and convenient for all to reach with plenty of parking space too. The club serves different cuisines, many types of Indian, Continental and Chinese and so the guests have a variety of choices. I normally satisfy myself with a soup, a couple of sandwiches and an ice cream to finish off the meal. My major meal has been breakfast now for many years and lunch the only other meal that I have is a small in quantity affair.

I hope that I have generated enough curiosity and interest in my taste in food for my readers to try out some and if it is Pune that they would like to try, I would be delighted to host them.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Padmum. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Lockdown 2.

Since 1200 midnight we are back in a lockdown due to alarming rise in the number of cases of covid reported and treated in our city. We were just getting slowly back to normal and this is a googly if ever one was.

Since early this morning, we are back to the beginning of our lockdown experience of no traffic or little and hearing nature’s sounds. The three of us at home sharing houesehold chores as the help will not come during this lockdown.

The lockdown is expected to last till the 23rd of this month.

I am not looking forward to it though, this time around, the supply of newspapers will not be stopped and so I can have my mornings occupied. The first problem has cropped up with our washing machine going on the blink and the mechanic not being able to come to attend to it. He is trying to get a pass to come over and we are hoping that he will be able to.

I hope that my readers are faring better.

Relocating.

My fellow 2 on 1 Friday blogger Shackman has recently relocated to California and I was inspired to suggest this topic by that move. Please go over to Shackman’s blog to see how he tackles the topic.

My pre-marriage and the first year after that was life living out of a suitcase from the age of 16 for me. I had relocated a few times between Hyderabd and Chennai/Mumbai and also Ahmedabad before my marriage in November 1968. Relocating was simply a matter of packing my suitcase and moving to a hotel, hostel or paying guest accommodation and did not make for much effort or difficulty.

The first home we set up after marriage was in Delhi and since it was for a stay of just a few months, we had taken a barsati on rent and hired furniture and bare minimum utensils and a stove but both of us lived off suitcases.

The first proper home that we lived in was in Mumbai between 1970 and mid 1973 when we acquired furniture, cooking utensils, linen, etc and when we had to move to Kolkata, we were exposed for the first time to relocating with major packing, discarding etc but, the redeeming feature of the exercise was that we could hire professional packers and movers who did the dirty work, stored the stuff till we found accommodation at Kolkata and unpacked for us too.

From that first move, we relocated to Kerala, back to Mumbai on three occasions, Delhi and Bengaluru and finally to Pune in 1990 where we bought our home where I continue to live till date. During these relocations we moved and set up new homes on eight separate occasions till we put in our final roots.

I had to relocate on two separate occasions afterwards to Tirupur but since it was to furnished accommodation on both occasions I simply had to pack a suitcase. Whenever Urmeela came to stay with me there, she too simply had to come with a packed suitcase. So those two relocations were not really relocations in the true sense.

The only major disruption that we experienced during the relocations was in the schooling of our son Ranjan which, we once even had to solve by admitting him to a boarding school for three years. In retrospect, those three years were also the most disturbing for both of us despite frequent meetings with him at his school as well as his coming home for his vacations. Another experience that I would not wish on anyone.

I can therefore confidently assert that I am a seasoned and well-experienced relocator. I would not like to do that again though as I am now too well ensconced in my comfort zone in Pune where it will be three decades next year, since we relocated.

The Good Old Days.

“Just tonight I stood before the tavern
Nothing seemed the way it used to be
In the glass I saw a strange reflection
Was that lonely woman really me?”

How poignant! Please read on.

“Though we tend to remember bad events as well as we remember the good ones, the negative colouring of the misfortunes fades with time, particularly the ones that happened to us. We are wired for nostalgia: in human memory, time heals most wounds. Two other illusions mislead us into thinking that things are not what they used to be: we mistake the growing burdens of maturity and parenthood for a less innocent world, and we mistake a decline in our own faculties for a decline in the times. As the columnist Franklin Pierce Adams pointed out, “Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.”

~ Steven Pinker.

Pinker has got it bang on. As our faculties decline, we think that the decline is in the current times. Pune where I live is currently in the grip of a cold wave. I have lived here for the past 28 years and have experienced temperatures lower than what we have seen so far this winter. I have however been feeling the cold for the first time ever and have been wearing warm clothes round the clock. It is not that the bad new days are here. It is just that I have aged and my body is less capable of handling the cold conditions.

A dealer in antiques has regularly been contacting me to see if I have any thing that I want to dispose off and earlier this week he showed me a photograph similar to this one. This is a coal fired water heater kept in our bathrooms in the good old days before electric water heaters of either the immersion variety or the storage types became common features in our bathrooms. The dealer wanted to know if I had a piece or if I knew of anyone with one as, he had a customer for it. Every day as I take a hot water shower should I think of these old conveniences as belonging to the good old days? Leave alone the hot water aspect, those days, we did not have showers and drew water from  bucket using  mugs to pour on our head to bathe! Good Old Days?

For almost half a century of my life, I lived in a Socialist society and have experienced shortages of just about everything. When I mention this to the younger friends, they simply cannot understand how difficult it was to get milk or baby food when today, they can buy just about everything online for home delivery at a convenient time. Good Old Days?

I bet that most of my readers will remember the days of telephone booths, collect calls, waiting for connections etc.  Good Old Days?

When I hear complaints of some kind or the other about adult children treating grand children badly, I often tell grand parents of my age that there is simply a memory gap and not a generation gap as, we brought up our children in more or less the same way. I am not exactly popular particularly because, I don’t have grandchildren of my own! At least I have my memory intact.

No, I think that I prefer the Good Present Days, thank you.

I have a feeling that Shackman, the other blogger in the 2 on 1 topic plan, is likely to write differently on this topic. Please do go over to his blog to see his take. Thank you.