Early morning is the time for existential angst, especially when you are driving to work, thinking about where you are headed, which is true literally also.
One of these mornings, I happened to catch a line on the radio, “Sab Ka Maalik ek hai ”
Now, this got me thinking, what does this actually mean, how does this work on the ground.
This wasn’t surprising, as I am reading Elif Shafak’s Three Daughters of Eve these days.
This wonderful book has these lines at the beginning
“Would you come if someone called you
by the wrong name?
I wept, because for years
He did not enter my arms;
then one night I was told a secret;
perhaps the name you call God
is not really His,
maybe it’s just an alias.
-Rabia, the first woman Sufi saint, eighth century, Iraq”

Now, coming back to San Ka Maalik ek hai.
This is such an easy statement to make, and get away with, especially the times we live in, surely no one can fault you for saying this.
But what does this actually mean.
For a believer, or a non believer.
A believer, who believes in a higher being responsible for creation, it is almost impossible to get away from the fact, that God created everything, even the people who belong to a different religion, or people who don’t believe at all.
The believer must believe that all are God’s children, and therefore cannot ( emphasis cannot ) be hated, because, if my God created me, and loves me, so did he create the “other” and therefore ( my) God loves them too.
What does this translate to ? That we are all God’s children, and must love ( emphasis love ) each other at best, and NOT hate each other at the very least.
This requires effort, and the constant realisation, that the “other” is God’s creation as well, they didn’t just materialise out of thin air.
If we believe in God, and are infact so enamored by our religion, that we must take arms to “defend ” it ( absurd as it is, but that’s another story ), do we pause for one minute to think that we are rising in violence against God’s own children, our siblings ?
Does this violence benefit anyone ?
The perpetrators ? Certainly not the victim.
The very least damage that this violence dose is to the economy, our day to day survival, the rozi roti, not to mention the havoc it creates in the personal lives of those involved ?
Stop a minute to think.
Can anyone live at peace ( emphasis peace ) , be at peace, with violence, or hatred in their hearts ?
Love is the way to go, it benefits everyone.
Believe in it, if not for God’s pleasure, or other grand motives, at least to get along with the daily grind with at least some peace of mind, some stability, some dignity, some life.
And if you are a non believer, well then you already have the answer, all of us came from the same primordial soup, there is no reason to hate anyone, we are in this together, we live some years on this blue planet, and then we die, and become dust.
And while we are alive, we might as well make it worthwhile, worth the time and effort of being alive, because hate is a colossal waste of time, money, resources, and productivity.
Get along, smile more, love a little, live more.
Love, only if for the most selfish of motives, is the way to go.

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It’s a strange world.

Post truth and all.

The world seems to be under some sort of a dark veil.

The globe under cover of a grey veil of half truths and outright lies.

Everyone knows about it, even talks about it, but won’t do anything about it.

It suits them, this cover of darkness, keeps them comforted.

I dreamt of this veil last night, a grey veil with seams, covering the beautiful blue globe of ours.

I imagined I was superman, looking at this grey veiled globe from outer space.

I flew down to the globe, caught hold of the veil, tore at the seams, and started uncovering the globe, as the globe revolved past.

I was left with a heap of this grey cloth, at the edge of the earth.

I burnt it in a bonfire.

There was a huge pile of ash left, I took it with me to space.

As I was flying past, I sprinkled it into the earth’s atmosphere.

The ash created a rainbow over the blue planet, I smiled.

“Once you have anaesthetised the kid, you must leave the room?”

This is a question I frequently encounter.

What does an anaesthesiologist do? This question intrigues a lot of laypersons, in fact some doctors too, who aren’t too familiar with the OT environment.

Let me answer this question as plainly as I can, so that even laypersons can understand.

The anaesthesiologists work begins before the patient is taken up for surgery.

We make sure that before the surgery the patient is optimally prepared for surgery.

We ask for and check whether all relevant workup has been done.

We do a physical examination of the patient, particularly the “airway”, because general anesthesia often paralyses the patient, so that the patient is no longer able to breathe on his own. We must make arrangements for breathing for the patient.

We usually make the patient fast for a few hours before surgery so that when the patient loses consciousness, food doesn’t come up from the stomach and choke the patient. ( can happen when the patient is unconscious )

We usually give something to allay the patient’s anxiety, because everyone is somewhat scared and apprehensive about the surgery. And a calm patient often translates into a good outcome.

After everything is ready, and checking all the drugs and equipment in the OR, it is the anaesthesiologist who wheels the patient  into the OR, and after connecting the relevant monitors, we make the patient go to sleep.

It is the anaesthesiologists responsibility to monitor each and every vital sign of the patient, during all the time the patient is in the OR. This includes ECG, BP, temperature, urine output, among other things.

These things are monitored continuously.

We use optimum drugs, based on the  patient’s weight and age, and type of surgery, for pain relief, to keep the patient asleep, and make sure that the patient doesn’t remember anything about the surgery, and wakes up comfortable and happy.

After the surgery is over, and if conditions permit, we stop and “reverse” the anesthesia at the end of the procedure, the patient wakes up, breathing on their own, and we make sure that their is maximal pain relief.

If the surgery is such that the patient needs to kept sedated for some time after surgery, as happens in cardiac surgery, we continue the anesthesia after the surgery, and transfer the patient to the ICU.

Note that it is the anaesthesiologists who wheel the patient in, and also wheel them out, when the surgery is over.

And are continuously responsible for their care (including administering drugs, etc ) during all parts of the surgery.

The anaesthesiologists care doesn’t end here, we are also actively involved in patient care in the ICU, though the primary care giver there is the intensivist ( who may or may not be an anaesthesiologist by training )

I have never liked the idea of ” RIP”
Do we ask the person, would he have liked to RIP, or would he have wanted to live ?
This is just another way of consoling ourselves. Just as we console ourselves with statements like ” his pain is over” ” he is at a better place”
But I don’t like this, I mourn the loss. The loss of a life cut short. Of so much that could have been. Of so much that wasn’t to be.
Nadeem would have wanted to live more. He would have wanted to see his sister getting married.
He would have wanted to get married.
He would want to have a family.
He would have wanted to enjoy his work. His music , his poetry.
He would have wanted to be there for his parents in his old age.
( he would have wanted more followers on Twitter :-D. ) ( that’s how he would have said it )
I knew Nadeem for four short years.
And he got on to become one of my best friends.
Always there for me, without judgement, without condition, but always with a PJ.
Ziddi tha bohat, apni zid mein duniya se bhi chala gaya.
Always cheerful, always trying to cheer people up.
Even though he wasn’t well, he had a zest which was unparalleled.
Ek din akele bike leke  chala gaya Himachal.
He loved to explore , take photographs, and then write beautiful blogs about them.
It was he who always came up with plans to meet. To explore.
I remember the time Aaquib came to visit last year, he spent the two days with us, was exhausted, but never complained. He went along with everything that we did. With his characteristic smirk. :-D. ( or 😛 )
His passing has left a crater. The air seems too heavy to breath.
I can’t bear to look at his Twitter TL, or blog, but I keep going there again and again.
I wish we had more time together.
Naddy boi, tu changa nahin kitta.

” Tanha gaye kyun, ab raho tanha koi din aur ” .

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Children were murdered in Peshawar today.
I am sad, even crying. And angry.
I can’t even imagine what it must be like.
My mind keeps going back to those images.
And keeps asking the same questions.
Basically, one question.
Why?
And how?
How could they have planned it out, knowing that there were children involved.
How could they could point a gun at those kids?
How could they have gone ahead with the shooting?
How could they have seen them bleeding, and in pain?
How could they watch them die?
How could they have taken such a burden on their souls?
Do they even have souls?
Are they even human?
They must be.
Animals don’t kill for pleasure or revenge.
Animals don’t plan terrorist attacks.
Animals don’t have guns.
And what about the parents?
How do they deal with it?
Curse themselves for sending their kids to school?
Pray to and curse their God ?
Cry till they are hoarse?
With no one to listen to them?
The dead remain dead for ever.
Will Pakistan come to its senses?
Will the world?
Or will it try to rationalize?
Will there be apologists?
( next time I see a terror apologist/ conspiracy theorist , I am going to gut them alive.)
Will it be about “us” and “them”?
Will it be about some mistaken sense of “salvation ” and “pride “?
“Pride”. The Nemesis of our generation.
The bane of the subcontinent.
Get over it.
I wish we have the sense to rise over this.
Before it is too late.
Let us mourn together the loss.
Let us be humans together.
“Bas ki dushwar hai har kaam ka asaan hona, aadmi ko bhi muyyasar nahin insaan hona. “

The full moon. With a bat.
Creatures of the night.
That is, we can only see them at night.
They are there during the day too, but come out at night. Like the so called emo tweets.
What’s it about nights, full moon ones even more, that makes us remember it all, bare it all?
What’s it that makes us forget the mundane, like income tax returns, which during the day, seems like the end of the world?
What happens? Everyone is not an alcoholic.
Is it the dark?
Is it the moon, causing a surge in our emotions like a tidal wave?
Or is it just some kind of circadian rhythm, a instinct that causes us to have a essential catharsis.
Whatever it is, it is the story of our lives, isn’t it?

Today, I tell you about Rinku.
Who was he?
He was my kid, the love of my life, the apple of my eye, and so much more.
He was my cat.
I was 13, longing for a pet, specifically I wanted to keep chickens, and I would often tell my mom, “Mummy, I want a pet”
I hoped she would take the hint and let me keep chickens. ( I had some a few years ago)
She took the hint, but it turned out different than I had planned ( doesn’t it always? )
My mom went to her cousins one day, and guess what she got from there?
The cutest thing I ever saw, a three week old kitten, white body, grey stripes on the tail, and a similar colored “m” shaped mark on the forehead.
And those eyes. Man, so much longing there.
I knew nothing about cats, but mom’s cousin had provided the basic information.
I still remember the first day with him.
And how it broke my heart to leave him alone for the night in the “spare room ” we had.
Little did I know.
I don’t think he slept much that night, and neither could I. But i was under stict instructions not to “spoil ” him.
And the name. Ah yes.
Rinku. Some years ago, my cousin and I tried to domesticate a stray cat, and named him Rinku. He didn’t stay. But I had a name ready.
He would be Rinku.