Monday, September 30, 2013

The Journey Back . . .

Snaps from the journey back to NJH from Kerala . . . Of course, it was the good old Alleppey-Dhanbad express . . .

The western ghats.

Seeing videos was the major way of spending time


(This post was written on 25th Sept, 2013. It could not be posted as there was no internet)

As I write this, I’m almost at the fag end of a holiday which we never expected to take. And looking back, I’m thankful.

To start off, after the end of our last vacation in June 2013, we had planned a break during the Puja vacation starting October first week.

Since the last 3 years, we were well aware that the Christian Medical Fellowship, Kerala was celebrating 50 years of it’s being a part of the lives of medical students in Kerala, including ours. We had been silently praying about it. But, the odds were stacked against us being there at the Annual Conference, which routinely falls in the month of September. The reasons were many. The major being that September is usually the busiest month in the hospital.

When I received the invitation of be part of the conference this year, there was one more hurdle in the form of Shalom’s midterm examination.

Then, sometime in the middle of August, we received information that Shalom’s examinations were postponed to the middle of October. And it meant that the chance of our going for a break in October was out of question.

And by now, we very well aware that to not take a break at least once in 3 months was very much detrimental for our spiritual and professional life. Therefore, we had to plan a break.

The best choice was to go off for the CMF Annual Conference.But, there was the major issue of getting tickets all the way to Kerala. I was sure that there would not be any tickets considering into fact that it was Onam during that part of the year. Onam is the major festival of Kerala. And it was only 3 weeks away.

I was playing around with the ticket availability on the internet, when I noticed that there was a handful of seats available in the Delhi Rajadhani for a particular date in September. The tickets in all trains during the same duration were waitlisted. In fact, the tickets for the Trivandrum Rajadhani also were heavily waitlisted on either side of this particular date.

I went ahead and booked the tickets. It was a miracle to get confirmed tickets to Kerala and that too on the Rajadhani just 3 weeks away from Onam. It looked as if the vacant seats were kept just for us.

And to make things easy for us at the hospital, Dr. Nandamani and Dr. Ango had planned to be here during the same time. 

However, we were in for more surprises.

The first surprise being of course was our being there at the CMF Annual Conference at Nicholson School, Tiruvalla.

The second is something personal. We found my mom nursing a bad paronychia (infection of the toe/finger) in her big toe without telling anybody. It turned out that we diagnosed her to be diabetic and got surgery done on the paronychia while we were in Kerala. It was amazing because if we had turned up only in October, we would not have been able to get her the best treatment possible. And maybe, she would have worsened by then. And we would not have been at peace facilitating her treatment over the phone. By God’s grace, the sugars got controlled within the period while we were in Trivandrum.

The third was something really amazing. We had been wishing for a CPAP machine for our acute care unit. It was quite expensive for us (about 1500 USD) and we had more pressing needs.

Dr Manoj who came to Tampanoor bus
stand with the machine
Couple of days before we were to come back, I got a message from Dr. Manoj Job, former medical officer at Premjyothi Hospital which was one of our sister institutions, about a bilevel CPAP machine which someone wanted to donate. And to my greatest joy, I found out that the machine was in Marthandom, about 30 miles from our house in Trivandrum.

I lost no time and in a matter of hours, the machine was with me. And I could bring it to NJH.

And then, we had the home-calling of one of our granduncles during our very short time in Kerala. We were so privileged to be part of the funeral and be able to meet quite a many of our relatives over a short span of time.

And it was also the first time, we journeyed via Delhi. The kids had a whale of a time being with their granduncle and aunty and later visiting the Train Museum and the Delhi Zoo. And the train journey to Kerala from Delhi an eye-soothing experience

As I journeyed back, I wondered at how many times in our lives, we make plans and the good Lord just wipes them away and brings plans which turn out to be life-changing.

I’m glad and privileged that the Lord loves us and plans for us much better than us. I wish I could completely put my trust in Him and turn my life hundred percent over to Him.

The bilevel CPAP machine at my home

Saturday, September 28, 2013

And they rode a horse

Charis was quite lucky this time during our visit to Kerala.

After the elephant ride, the kids got an opportunity to ride a horse in Shangumukham beach.

Later, we saw horses waiting to give rides in Veli tourist village.

Snaps of the ride. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Second Hand Books - Nehru Place

After my post about second hand books for children in Daryaganj, Delhi, I got few queries about the location of another place which I mentioned in my post which was in Nehru Place. 

There were couple of more people who wrote saying that they could not spot the exact place in Daryaganj where we got the books for children. 

I had put couple of snaps in one of my previous posts about the place. 

I've also got a google map of the place. When you go from the Daryaganj Police station side towards Jama Masjid, it is midway between the 2 bus stands. Of course, on the left side. 

The other place where you can get these books, although a bit more costly is at Nehru Place. Attached is a snap of the place as well as the spot marked out in google map. 

The red spot marks the place where the street vendor who sells the second hand books sits.
The blue line shows the walking route from the Nehru Place Metro
And the joy on the faces of the children on seeing these books is so precious . . .

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


'Bandhoora kanchana koottilanengilum

Bandhanam bandhanam thanne paaril'

Vallathol, Malayalam poet

Translated it means 'Although you may be in a golden cage, you are caged; bereft of freedom'

A parrot snapped in the Delhi Zoo

Boating at Veli

After our visit to Veli during our previous visit to Trivandrum, I was determined to take take the children on a boat ride the next time we visited provided there was no rain. 

We did it this time . . . Few snaps from the ride . . . 

The boat jetty . . .

The KTDC floating restaurant

The lake meets the sea . . . 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Unsung . . .

This post is just an attempt to bring to all of your notice about quite applaud-able efforts by a section of medical students and fraternity to maintain distance from the pharmaceutical industry when it came to a conference on medical research

It is quite well accepted that drug companies offer incentives varying from pens and letter pads to tours abroad in the garb of attending conferences. In fact, the popularity of a doctor is gauged from the number of medical representatives who visit him or her.  

I know of my colleagues who try quite a lot to keep medical representatives in good humor lest they spoil his/her practice. And when it came to research, most of the companies fall head over heels to placate doctors and their families. 

What startled me was the very little publicity that this conference got in terms of media coverage both print and electronic. I could only find one newspaper who reported about this.

I remember that there were 3 such stories including this, which I highlighted in my blog and it was disturbing that all 3 of them were reported in only one newspaper (each time a different one). The media falls head over heels to report misdemeanors in healthcare but remain largely mum when there are heroes who work silently without any applaud or rewards. 

And all the more when a National Conference is run without any pharmaceutical funding . .. ... 

Don't you think so? 

Eagles . .. ...

One song that was quite often sung in our fellowship days at the Christian Medical Fellowship, Trivandrum was the song based on Isaiah 40: 31. 

The verses are as follows . . . 

They that wait upon the Lord
Shall renew their strength
They shall mount up with wings as eagles
They shall run and not be weary 
They shall walk and not faint
Teach me Lord, teach me Lord to wait

Teach me Lord to wait
Down on my knees
Tell in your own good time
You answer my plea
Teach me not to rely on what others do
But to wait in prayer
For an answer from you . . . They that wait

I searched for a clip of the song in YouTube but could not find one with the tune we learnt. 

Last week, I had someone send me a clip of a eagle in flight. The amazing thing was that the clip was from a camera mounted on the body of the flying eagle. 

Later, as I searched YouTube I found one more clip of a similar experiment. 

The view is amazing . . . and it sort of shows us the possibilities we can be part of if we are ready to wait on the Lord. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Swimming against the tide

During a time, when we get quite a lot of news on how evil the medical profession is and how fast the healthcare industry is becoming one of the most preferred when it comes to profiteering, I was quite relieved to find a story in the national press about a young doctor who has been making quite a lot of change in a remote region of Jharkhand. 

Photo from The Hindu article
Garu PHC is one of the most remote Primary Health Centres in the country. I know it well since the place is quite near to NJH. We get quite a lot of our poor patients from this region. 

The area is quite picturesque and I've written about it some time earlier. In fact, there is quite a beautiful waterfall in this area. 

The local press has been writing quite a lot about the work that Dr. Amresh has been doing in Garu. Our friends serving in the schools and dispensaries has also been telling about the good things that Dr. Amresh has done in that region. 

I hope that Dr. Amresh's story will be passed around and more people would know and appreciate the work that he is doing. And of course, a word of encouragement and praise would do a lot of good. 

May his tribe increase. And I wish that stories similar to that of Dr. Amresh be passed around and appreciated.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Snakes - Fallacies and Facts (English)

The English version of the signboard in the Delhi Zoo . . .

However, I found out a new fallacy during one of my village visits last month. 

The belief is that big rat snakes tie up the legs of cows with its body and tail and drinks milk from the cow's udders. Quite a lot of villagers I encountered believed this so much that they ensured that the big rat snakes are killed. 

Click here for the Hindi version of this post . .. ...

Snakes- Fallacies and facts (Hindi)

A signboard about the fallacies (and facts) associated with snakes is in display in the snake enclosure of the Delhi Zoo. I thought I shall put it here for general information. 

It is true that all these fallacies are very much believed in almost the whole of the country. 

I wish that my friends in the communities around NJH would read this. 

In addition to the signboard inside the facility, there was one more signboard just outside the snake enclosure.

The English version is in my next post. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Teak Plantation, Konni

My better half hails from Konni. A town in the fringes of a heavily forested region of Kerala. The place is really beautiful. 

Few snaps of a teak plantation very near to her grandfather's place . . .

The icing of the cake was an elephant which was on it's way for a bath . . .
If you liked this you will also enjoy -

1. Konni Elephant Cage
2. Elephant Ride

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


More snaps from the Trivandrum Rajadhani journey . . . This time, it's the rivers . . . And they were taken as the train neared Madgao.

This fleet of fishing boats was really eye-catching
If you liked this post, you'll also like -

1. Creeks and a water fall.
2. Hills and rivers
3. Hills and fields

Monday, September 16, 2013