Sorry No blog today

will update tomorrow

Darn my spelling.. I have successfully managed to spell the word pregnancy in so many different ways in the comment section today..I guess today isn’t my day..Apologies for not checking the spelling!

Would you do something?

When would you act?
How many more babies like Kevin ought to die before we do something?
When will you leave your comfort zone and see what is going on?
When will you see the injustice done to innocent babies?

Yes I know India’s population is increasing by the second, but what wrong did Kevin do? How can anyone say he has been chosen not to live because our population is increasing?

Kevin and boys like him are not the only casualty in our quest to control the population.
Each day Indian mothers abort 7000 female foetuses( Unicef report)
We even outsource abortion in India.

When I was working in Malaysia and suffering from an acute case of “not my people, they would never kill their unborn child, for heaven’s sake Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India!! syndrome” I was told by a malayalee expat doctor that abortion is very common among educated Malayalee women and I, being one such (?) educated Malayalee woman protested vehemently, till I was shown proof.
My colleague showed me the letters to the Dr in Vanitha Malayalam magazine over 1 year period. There were letters after letters asking advice from the doctor regarding post abortion complications.

Unless it is a rape, each pregnancy is almost 90% preventable, the only exception being contraceptive failure. Every woman has so many choices, there are pills and injections that she can take to prevent a pregnancy. But it appears that killing a child is much easier than trying to take a pill a day.

Would anything change? Would another Kevin die on the cold cemented sink base today? Would you do something?

murder first degree

As soon as I came back from the hospital, I tried to call Sr. Margaret at the orphanage. If there was anyone who knows what to do with children like Meenakshi, it would be her. She did her master’s degree in child psychology and was trained in counselling. She wasn’t there when I called. With a heavy heart I went to attend the afternoon lectures.
2nd lecture that day was Forensic medicine and we were told earlier that a new lecturer has joined the college.
I hoped this new guy would be different from the rest of the forensic medicine staff. There was something wrong with our Forensic medicine lecturers, like the subject they are teaching, they too were morbid.
The way they acted, the way they picked on female students and the sexual overtones in topics that has nothing to do with sex were all too weird. I waited anxiously to see if the new guy would be different and as soon as I saw him walking in, I knew we were doomed.
His supposedly pristine white colour lab coat was almost brown in colour, he wore a green colour shirt and brown trousers. He didn’t even wear proper shoes. He wore bata sandals.
Ente Ammo enna velicham ee murikkathu(goodness this room is so very bright) I heard one of the malayalee boys speaking. Why did he say that? I looked at the lecturer again, only then I noticed, our friend was wearing a dark tinted glass.
There was a ruckus at the back of the gallery, because the comment was translated to tamil and Kannada and everyone was laughing.
Our gallery had two rows of seats separated by steps in the middle. I always sit on the first seat on the right side bench, so I can easily hear and be able to lip read the teacher. I watched the lecturer looking around the gallery and everyone stopped laughing. He walked towards me and asked
“What is your name?”
I got up quickly and answered
“Nina Thomas Sir”
“Ms. Thomas, Why are your friends laughing?”
“I don’t know Sir”
“Why you don’t know?”
I didn’t answer
“I say, why you don’t know?”
I kept quiet. My intuition said this isn’t going well. But how can I tell him why everyone was laughing?
“Get out of my class” He barked
“Sorry sir?”
“I say, get out of my class”
“But I didn’t do anything wrong sir”
“Get out, Get out” he was screaming like a mad man. He took my books and started to throw them towards the door.
Not my books. I worship my books, they are my friends. The rage I felt at that moment was beyond description. I didn’t do anything wrong and this new guy just walks in and try to show his power. I got off, picked up my books from the floor and walked off. He can go and fly kites for all I care! I stormed off, I didn’t even bother to close the door as I left, he can do that himself.
I checked the time on my watch. It was only 2.15pm. I could easily leave the campus without worrying about permission during day time. I walked to the main gate
Chief of security was standing near the guard station. As soon as he saw me, he looked at me from top to bottom. I had my lab coat on my shoulder and I took my id out
“Where to?” He looked at the id and asked
To buy a kilo of tomato and potato. I thought of telling him that. Why else would a medical student want to go to the hospital? You don’t have to be an Einstein to figure that out!
“To see a patient”
I knew if he asked me what patient, I would have said Orang Utan patient. I was still hopping mad with the new lecturer who threw me out of the class. I wouldn’t have minded if I was thrown out because I didn’t know the answer to a forensic medicine question. Throwing me out because I didn’t tell him why others were laughing was too dumb.
“Sign here” He pointed the ledger to me and I signed m name, took my Id from his hand and walked off.
Luck wasn’t on my side. Normally around this time, the place would be teeming with autos as most ‘out patients’ would leave the hospital after seeing the doctor around that time. Today not a single one. Where did all the autos disappear?
I bought a tender coconut from the vendor and sat on the bench near the bus stand. I wanted to go to the hospital and see Meenakshi. Her mother would have gone by now and I knew she would only be allowed back in the evening during the evening visitor’s time. This is the good time to see Meenakshi alone. I heard a very familiar bike sound. I didn’t even have to look and see who the rider would be. Being semi deaf also means I have the ability to identify the pitch of different sounds and each person rode the bike differently and I could easily identify beautiful eye’s bike. He looked at me as he turned to go inside the campus. My heart missed a beat. A part of me hoped, may be even begged that some miracle would happen and he would turn around and come back and talk to me. He didn’t and my heart ached with dejection and disappointment.
I might have waited another 10 minutes and I heard the bike sound again. This time the bike and the rider came towards me
“Where are you going?” He slowed the bike and looked at me. I waited for a moment like this. My heart started to beat fast.
“Hospital” I replied
“At this time?”
“Yeah” I replied. I wanted to tell him about the new forensic guy and Mennakshi. But the words didn’t come out of my mouth.
“You want a ride? I can drop you at the hospital”
I want a ride? Of course I want. If only he knew how long I have been waiting. Then I remembered the letter. Going out with the negro boy.
I wasn’t sure who was giving all the information to George and I didn’t want George to know about beautiful eyes.
“No, I will take an auto”
“Are you sure?”
I knew I blew my chance when I saw him starting his bike and leaving. Why am I so stupid? I cursed my own fate.

When I reached the Gynae ward there was a big commotion going on. I asked the nurse
“What is going on?”
Patient’s mother want to discharge her against medical advice”
“Which patient?”
“yesterday’s rape case”
I quickly walked to the nurses station. Two ladies were arguing with Dr.Nandita and the nurse
“Your daughter needs corrective surgery and medication.” Dr. Nandita was pleading.
“We are going back to our village, we will get our village doctor to take care of her”
Ok, if that is how you want it, so be it. Nurse get me the DAMA (discharge against medical advice)form” Dr. Nadita ordered
Amma, don’t do this. Meenakshi needs medical attention” I spoke in Tamil.
“I know doctor, but I have to go back to my village today. I promise I will take her to our village clinic” She smiled exposing her tobacco stained teeth. I felt sick seeing that smile.
“You are a Malayalee right?” Dr. Nandita asked
“Yes Doctor”
“Then how come you speak Tamil?”
“Oh I listen to everyone speaking and learned.” Only after I spoke,I realized I had long forgotten my Malaysian roots. The land of my birth was now far far away from my present world.
I watched Meenkshi’s mother placing her thumb print on the form. She and the other lady who was with her quickly walked to Meenakshi’s bed. grabbed her hands and started to walk out. Meenakshi looked at me as they left. But her stares were kind of vacant. I don’t think she recognized me. May be shutting out friends and foes would be the only way she would be able to survive.

“How can a mother do this to her daughter?” I heard one of the nurse muttering
“She is afraid that someone would file a police complaint against her brother and the police would arrest him. That is why she is in a hurry to discharge her daughter from the hospital” another one explained
“Doctor Nandita, your patient is about to deliver” One of the nurses ran out of the labour room to call Dr. Nandita.
“Do you want to assist?” Dr. Nandita asked me
“Sure” I was so thrilled. I never got a chance to assist in a delivery till now. Most of the time nurses won’t allow juniors to assist. Kind of superiority complex, medicos aren’t as good as the midwives!
I quickly followed Dr. Nandita. I could hear the patient screaming in pain. I wore the gloves quickly and went inside the labour room. I looked at the patient. She was young, very young. Probably 15 or 16 years old. She was so pretty and so thin!
I looked at Dr. Nandita
“This is a second trimester induced abortion” Dr. Nandita spoke
Patient was screaming, nurses were screaming and Dr. Nandita was screaming asking the patient to push.
“Come on Nina, come and help me” Dr. Nandita was screaming at me now.
I walked and stood next to Dr.Nandita. I had no idea what I was supposed to do.
“Increase the drip” She yelled
“Head is crowning. Come on, push” Dr. Nandita started to scream and I could see the patient arching her body and screaming in pain.
Within minutes the baby was out
“Give me your hand” Dr Nandita looked at me and yelled
She dumped the baby on my hand and proceeded to cut the cord”
I looked at the baby in my hand. It was a boy and it didn’t cry like all the other new born babies. But it sure was breathing. The whole body was covered in lanugo( fine hair on the foetus. normally disappear by the 9th month of gestation). The baby even had tiny finger nails.
“What are you doing? Why are you standing there like that and holding the baby?”
I looked at the baby in my hand and at Dr. Nandita
“Go put the baby in the sink” She showed her hands and pointed the sink to me
“What?” I asked
“Throw the baby away” Screamed Dr. Nandita
Throw the baby? This isn’t some kind of garbage is it? This baby is alive. I looked at the mother, who could do this to an innocent child.
She didn’t even bother to look at her baby.
This baby was nothing but a casualty of carnal pleasure.
One of the nurses came and took the baby from my hand. I watched her going to the sink and placing the naked child in the cold cement base of the sink.
“Dr. Nandita, May I please take the baby to paediatrics department. It is breathing, we can still save the baby, No?” I know I sounded dumb talking to a consultant like that. But I had to do it
“Are you nuts? When did Government of India legalize abortion?”
“1971” I replied
“This is 1990, how many babies do you think we have already killed?”
I didn’t know
“Is it dead yet?” I heard her asking to the nurse. I watched the nurse walking towards the sink and checking
“Yes” She said victoriously. Population of India was successfully reduced by one count.
“Nina do me a favour, Your Anatomy guy Dr. Rajesh wanted a 24 weeks foetus sample. Take it with you”
“No” I yelled
“What No? All the samples in your lab, where did it come from? You think it all grew on trees?”

As I sat in the auto, holding the cloth wrapped specimen, I asked God for forgiveness.
People like me with skills and knowledge are misusing our power in the name of female liberation, equal opportunities, female rights and murder.

Read this and this

All these years, I keep seeing that lanugo covered baby during moments of solitude. I can still see his chest moving trying to take a breath. I named him Kevin( after wonder years).
I am sure his body is still there in one of those precious jars in my alma mater.

Today someone send me a link and told me children like him are known as Murdered survivors. May be Kevin was not the ideal name for him. He need to be remembered as a murdered survivor. He tried..he really tried against all odds to live.
Truth about abortion This and this
If you can read Malayalam this would interest you

Don’t give up

In the past few days I have been getting visitors to my blog after googling key words
‘I want to kill myself ‘

I know this would sound odd, especially coming from someone who always carried 20 valium tablets.
But I want to tell you this.
You may be facing storms that are unbelievable to many around you.
You may not have anyone who understand what you are going through
You may feel there is no point in living
I felt like that a million times, but if I had given up each time when life threw a curve ball at me,
I wouldn’t be typing this blog.
I would have never got a chance to see the innocent smile on my children’s face,
I would have never known the joys of motherhood.

My grandmother had this magic manthra ” this too shall pass and the sun will surely rise tomorrow”
And when everything around you is crumbling.. Just remember that this too shall pass!


It was raining heavy all through the night and I really was not in a mood to go for the morning rounds. After a rain, it is nice and cozy to hide under a blanket and sleep, besides I didn’t fancy walking on the muddy roads in my campus.
“Hey, not going for the rounds?” Aparana asked. She was getting ready to leave. She was posted to the medical wards. I envied her. I wanted to be in the medical wards, after few weeks in the OBG department, there was no excitement. Every patient in the labour room came to give birth! Being a government hospital, patients are encouraged to give birth naturally.(funds are always limitted) If I was really lucky, there would be a forceps delivery.
“Nah, I am going to sleep. Can you do me a favour?”
“what favour?”
“Can you answer my roll call?”
Aparna looked at me and I knew she was thinking if she would get in to trouble for answering my roll call
“Don’t worry Aparna, that fellow(peon) has an IQ of a cockroach. He won’t notice that you have answered twice!, Please Aparna, I will return the favour any time you need.”
“You will answer my roll call for me?”
“Yes I will,which one are you planning to bunk?”
Aparna thought for a while and spoke
“Forensic on friday. Then I don’t have to come back from the hospital after the morning rounds”
“Ok, no problem”
“Promise?” Aparna asked again
“Do you want me to lock the door from outside?”
“Yeah, sure. please give the key to Gangamma, she will open the door at lunch time”
I watched Aparna closing my room door.
I was just about to close my eyes, When I heard Sumi asking Aparna
“Have you seen Nina?”
The next second Sumi was in the room and a smiling Aparna right behind her
“Aha, so this is how you spend your morning eh? skipping the clinical rounds eh? Wait till I let the Princy know, who is hiding behind the locked door!”
Aiyyah. Not like that, You see Sumi, I was reading a lot last night, So I am tired. It is not fair on the patients to have sleepy head examining them, is it? That is why I decided to forego todays rounds”
“What did you study last night?” Sumi asked
“Studied? She studied? Do you want to know what she was reading?” Aparna came closer to me and lifted my pillow and showed the evidence to Sumi
Discourse on the method by Rene Descartes.
“So you were reading story book, not studying!” Sumi spoke
I smiled the sweetest smile
“Nice, very nice” She nodded her head
“I have to go now, otherwise I will miss the bus, See you later Nina, Bye Sumi” Aparna walked off quickly
“Now get up and get ready”
“For what? I am not going for the rounds, Please Sumi, see Aparna left already. Now even if I hurry, I would miss the bus”
“We won’t. Please Nina, Hurry up.I need your help Nina, you are posted in the OBG right? I heard from my classmate Ravi that there is a very interesting Placenta Previa case in your hospital. I have never had a posting in your hospital. So I need you to come with me”
I owed my part 2 exam success to Sumi. She was the only person who stood by me and for her, even if she asked me to bring the moon, I would try. So I got up, quickly changed my clothes. By the time we reached the bus stop, college bus had already gone. So we took an auto.
“So how are you doing Nina? I haven’t had a chance to speak to you for a long time”
“I am doing good Sumi”
“Nina, Can I ask you a question?”
“Who send that letter?”
“I don’t know Sumi” How do I tell my good friend that my maternal uncle is the one who send the letter? I would have loved to tell her the truth, but I knew there is no chance that she would believe me.
“Why would anyone do such a thing? That too the day before your exams?”
“May be they wanted me to fail the exam?”
“What do they gain, if you fail the exam?”
“Don’t know Sumi”
“hmm” She mumbled

By the time we reached the hospital, students were already doing their morning rounds. I hoped, Aparna answered my roll call. I needed 75% attendence to be allowed to write the theory. I had already skipped quiet a few days!
There was a huge crowd outside the OBG wards
“What is going on?” I asked one of my classmates
“Rape case”
“Oh!, Why is everyone standing outside?”
“Patient won’t talk. She came in last night. She was brought in by her neighbour who said she was raped by her uncle”
A shiver ran down my spine. I looked inside the ward. Bed 1 was a placenta previa patient on observation, and on bed 2 was this child, probably 10 or 11 years old and she was staring at the ceiling. I didn’t have to even guess if she was the rape case. I knew for sure she was the victim.
“Why are you all standing here, instead of taking a case history?” Sumi asked
“Patient won’t talk. Her mother came last night and threatened her. She was asked not to open her mouth.”
“Give me the case file” Sumi asked the nurse.
I looked at the report in Sumi’s hand. Patient’s name was Meenakshi, she was a daughter of immigrant labourers from Tamil Nadu, apparently raped by her own uncle. I looked at the physical signs on the chart. Apart from all the internal injuries, Injuries on her thighs and abdomen, her nipples had been bitten off. I couldn’t even fathom the pain and the trauma this poor child has gone through
“How could any mother do such a thing. we need to talk to her, we have to convince her to talk, so we can file a police report. That guy ought to be puished” Every one of my classmates were visibly angry with the mother of the victim and the attacker. Not one person bothered to think about the girl. She was 11 years old, scarred for the rest of her life and not enough, she would be forced to go back and live in the same household and re live the whole nightmare again and again.
Most immigrant labourers in Bangalore live in small one room houses and often one can find parents, grand parents, uncles and aunties living in the same household.
“Nina, where is the placenta previa case?” Sumi asked me
“Come with me” I walked inside the ward and showed Sumi the patient and explained to her the whole case history. I could see my classmates coming one by one and cajoling Meenakshi to talk. Everyone wanted justice. Evderyone wanted Meenakshi to speak, so they can write a report and file a police complaint. Meenakshi just stared at the ceiling.
I so very badly wanted them to leave her alone. But there was no way anyone would have listened to me. Each person thinks he/she is smarter than the one before him/her. That is the way of life.
“Any other cases?” Sumi asked
“one query missed abortion and 2 eclampsia” I showed Sumi the rest of the cases and together we did the case hsitory again.
“You are pretty thorough Nina” Sumi spoke
I felt happy hearing that from a senior.”Thanks Sumi” I replied
“What time is it?”Sumi asked while checking her watch
” 11.30? Do you think I will have enough to go to the medical ward and see if Aparna has any interesting cases?”
“I think so, medical ward is on the other side” I pointed the direction
“Are you not coming?”
“In a short while. Sumi I need to see the consultant, I don’t know how long it would take. Tell you what, Don’t wait for me, if I missed the bus, I will take an Auto. Will you be ok to go to the medical ward on your own?”
“Sure” I watched Sumi leaving and soon all my classmates too started to leave the wards. Students usually go for a short tea break before going back to the campus.
“Nina are you coming?” One of them asked
“In a short while”
I waited for everyone to leave and then walked to Meenakshi’s bed. She didn’t even bother to look at me. She just stared at the ceiling. There was a tray of uppumavu and a glass of milk +water( more water, less milk) by the side table.
“Hi Meenakshi, my name is Nina” I whispered in Tamil
“Do you know something, I am hungry” I saw her looking at me for a split second and when our eyes met, she quickly went back to looking at the ceiling.
“Do you know what happend to me today?” I waited to see if she would look at me, she didn’t, but I knew she was listening
“I didn’t want to come to the hospital today, so I was in my room sleeping and because of my bad luck, my senior found me and dragged me all the way here. And I didn’t get time to eat my breakfast. Can you imagine my bad luck? I didn’t get break fast, I didn’t get to sleep and now I am speaking to a girl who is staring at the ceiling”
I watched her closing her eyes. We progressed from staring at the ceiling to pretending to sleep. But I couldn’t give up on her. I probably am the only one who would ever understand what she is going through.
My legs were hurting and I wanted to sit, but rule number 1 is never to sit on the patient’s bed. There was no place to sit and I promised myself, I will never wear high heels, during morning rounds.
I so very badly wanted to talk to Meenakshi. The easiest thing to say would be, I know what you are going through, I can understand your pain. But that would make no sense to a child. I had to find some other way to talk to her.
“Do you know who is Meenakshi?”
She didn’t reply
“Oh my goodness, your name is Meenakshi and you don’t know who is Meenakshi? My day is getting worst by the minute. How can you not know who is Meenakshi?”
“I know, Goddess” She finally mumbled.
“Good, phew! Thank you Meenakshi. I thought I am having such a terrible day today”
“What did you have for breakfast?” I asked her, then I looked at the side table
“You also didn’t eat your breakfast like me? And you got uppumavu and you didn’t eat! What is this Meenakshi? Come on, get up, eat something. The nurses tell me that they make the best uppumavu here”
“I don’t want. I am not hungry”
“Tell you what, I will tell you a story, if you eat” I thought I sounded very much like my Ammachi. She used to tell me stories to make me eat.
“Why are you not scolding me like all the others?”
“Do you want me to?” I asked her
She shook her head
“If you want me to I can.” I removed my spectacles and did the best of what I can to imitate Rajanikanth and twirled my spectacles on my finger
ennadi Meenakshi, Cholledi Meenakshi” Before I could continue any further, my spectacles dropped with a mighty thud on to the floor. I missed a heart beat. I didn’t have any money to buy a new set of spectacles. Both of us looked at the spectacles on the floor and I bend down and picked it up. Fortunately it didn’t crack
“I think my luck is changing. See? My spectacles didn’t break!” I showed her.
She smiled.
I picked up her plate and gave it to her
“Eat your food”
She was looking at me. “What?” I asked her
“Oh ok. Do you know the story of Kannagi( Silapathikaram)?”
She shook her head.
“Kannagi was a very pretty daughter of a very rich business man. She got married to a very rich guy named Kovalan. They lived happily in a town called Kaverippatinam.
Then one day at a festival Kovalan met Madavi. Madavi was a very beautiful dancer and Kovan fell in love with her. He started to buy gifts for her and follow her, where ever she went to dance. He completely forgot about his wife Kannagi. Eventually Kovalan lost all his money and came back to Kannagi. She took him back.
But now She only had a pair of anklets, because Kovalan had already sold everything they owned. Kannagi gave one of the anklets to her husband and together they went to Madurai, so Kovan can sell the anklet and they can use the money to start a new business.
Kannagi stayed back in a cottage and Kovalan went to the market to sell the anklet. Meanwhile there was an announcement that someone stole the queen’s Anklet and when the merchant saw the anklet in Kovalan’s hand, he called the royal guards and Kovalan was brought to the king, who ordered him to be killed.
Neither the king, nor the queen bothered to check the anklet in Kovalan’s hands. Queen’s anklet was similar, but it was studded with pearls, while Kannagi’s was studded with Rubies. Soon Kannagi heard about what happend to her husband and she rushed to the Royal Palace with the other half of her anklet and showed everyone how wrong they were. Kannagi cursed everyone for killing an innocent man and soon Madurai was on fire. Everything burned, houses, the palace, the temples..everything.
People started praying to Meenakshi, goddess of Madurai and she came to Kannagi and begged her to save the people of Madurai. Eventually Kannagi agreed to take back the curse.”
I was just about to tell her about how Kannagi died and then I remembered that, her breasts too were injured. So I didn’t tell her about that part of the story.
“Then what happend?” Meenakshi asked
“Kannagi went to a hill near Madurai and died. She joined Kovalan in Heaven and people who heard story about Kannagi started to build temples for her.”
“Did you like the story?” I asked her
“hmm” She mumbled
They were already serving lunch at the wards and soon the visitors would be allowed to come in the hospital. I knew Meenakshi would get in to trouble if her mother saw her talking to me.
“Meenakshi, I will have to go now, otherwise my professor will scold me and my day will go bad” I moved my hand and showed her how my professor would yakety yak and scold me.
“Will you come again?” She asked me
“I will come tomorrow morning.ok?”
I walked off quickly because visitors were already coming in to the wards, even though there were things I needed to tell Meenakshi.
I wanted her to know whatever happened wasn’t because of her fault. I wanted to teach her how she can protect herself from geting hurt again.. There was so much I need to tell her.
I also wanted to speak to the nuns at the mother Theresa’s orphange if there is any facility where an abused child can find shelter.

The laws in India doesn’t protect children like Meenakshi. There are no provisions to take them away from their homes, where they are at risk of being abused again. There are no foster parenting services for Children like her and most importantly the perpetrator never gets arrested because the victim is never allowed to lodge a complaint

Silapathikaram By Prof.Arthur Llewellyn Basham

Super man

I wanted to speak to my father. I had to talk to someone. I looked at the clock. It was almost 4pm. UAE is almost an hour and half behind, that meant Appa would be home. I took some money and walked to the phone booth. It felt strange for wanting to speak to my own biological father.
In the last few years he only existed in my life because he was sending me money. Each time I got the draft, I would get him out of the box where I hide him and remember him and each time I deposited the draft in the bank, so did my father. He too was kept back in the box, until the next letter.
I felt guilty when I realized that I haven’t even bothered to read any of the letters he has send to me. I was only interested in that little paper called draft. And now, when I don’t have anyone to talk to, I wanted my father. How did I turn out to be such a selfish brat?
I felt, I was almost becoming like Maria. I was using people. I was using my father! I felt disgusted. I thought of walking back to my room. I couldn’t do it anymore. But I was so close to the phone booth. May be, this is my chance, my chance to say sorry to my father for ignoring him all these years, for not sending him a birthday card or Christmas card. I had to tell my dad that I am sorry. There was so much I need to tell him.
I quickly walked to the phone booth. I felt apprehensive trying to figure out how my father would react when he hears my voice? Would he assume that the only reason I called him was because I wanted something from him? What am I going to tell him? Would he believe me, if I tell him that I just wanted to hear his voice and talk to him? I looked at the 50 Rs note in my hand, I knew the phone bill would be exorbitant. Would Appa be mad if I asked him to call me back? Nah, I convinced myself, this would be like the story of the prodigal son. I knew deep in my heart that my father would accept me, even when everyone around me was rejecting me.
I picked up the phone and dialled Appa’s house number. My hands trembled as I held the receiver close to my left ear. I automatically hold the receiver in the left hand, because I can’t hear with my right ear. I no longer struggled with my deafness.
I could hear the phone ringing on the other side. Any moment, I would hear my father’s voice. I felt so excited. This time I am going to make it work. I would make sure that I would do my daughterly duties and not neglect my father.
The phone stopped ringing and I heard a voice, a woman’s voice that said
I tried to say Hello, but my voice was stuck in my throat
“Hello Ara? (who is it?)” The woman asked again.
I didn’t have an answer for that. Who was I anyway?
I looked at the Phone charge meter, every few seconds the bill was increasing. I put the phone down. This can’t be happening.
May be I dialled the wrong number. Obsessively I picked up the phone and dialled the number carefully.
Again I heard a woman saying “Hello”
Then she started to cuss and swear thinking that it was a prank call. I put the phone down. I felt so numb. I knew my father wouldn’t live like a saint. But I could always hope, couldn’t I? I could always hope for a better tomorrow where we all live happily, couldn’t I?
I remembered the story of the man who built his house on sands( parable of two builders). May be I was dreaming and building my castles of hope on sand, May be I should stop dreaming.
As I walked back to my hostel, I saw beautiful eyes standing near the canteen. He was looking at me. A part of me wanted to run to him and the other part of me told him to ‘go fly kites’.
I have been treated badly by everyone around me and I wasn’t going to take it anymore. If he trusted the anonymous letter more than me, then there is no point in us being together. I walked with my head held high and spoke silently to him ‘you are not going to break my spirit my friend, I haven’t come this far to give up now’
Then I felt, may be, just may be I should let him know what is the truth. There is a way I can do it.
In the morning, I got ready, took extra money and followed the college bus to the hospital as usual. At the hospital, I waited for my roll call and when everyone was walking towards the wards for the rounds, I sneaked out, removed my apron and ran all the way to the auto rickshaw stand.
“Where to” Auto driver asked
“Dr. D.G’s clinic, Basvanagudi” I replied
When I reached the clinic, I walked straight to the reception. There were so many patients waiting in the queue. They were all looking at me in a funny kind of way. I knew odds were against me, Why would a teenager wants to see a Gynaecologist, unless she has done things that she isn’t supposed to do and now wants a quick fix?
After all this is India and we take great pride in our culture and the virginity.
I couldn’t explain to strangers that, not everyone who visits a Gynae is there for an abortion. I hated the Indian culture that always lives under assumption that women are a bane to the society. that women need to be controlled or they would stand in a queue waiting to see the Gynae to fix things up. I knew most of the people in that clinic blamed my mother for the way she raised me. If she had done her job well, then I wouldn’t be here. I felt sorry for my mother.
“yes?” The receptionist looked at me. I watched her eyes going down to my belly, looking for visible signs of pregnancy. I felt like poking her eyes.
“Hi, I had seen Dr. D.G few months ago and I lost my report. I was wondering if I could get a copy of my report”
“When did you see the Doctor?” She asked
I told her the date. She checked the register and found my name.
“Can I get a copy of the report?” I asked her
“Sure, Wait for a while, Dr is busy now, I will ask her, when she is free”
I looked at the clock, it was almost 11Am. I had to be back in the hospital be 12. I didn’t want to get in to trouble for leaving the college without permission. But I wanted to show beautiful eyes the report. I waited and waited. Finally I saw the doctor coming out of the room, she was looking around the room and then she found me. She called me to her room. I got up and walked towards her room. By the time I reached her room, she was already sitting down at her desk.
“close the door” She ordered
“I was told that you want a copy of your report.Why do you want the report?” She asked me. She looked pretty serious and I wondered why was she so mad. All I am asking is a copy of my report. Is she mad because I didn’t pay the consultation fees?
I didn’t pay because I wasn’t asking for a consultation, I was asking for a copy of my report, besides you don’t charge a medical student for consultation. Then I remembered,she actually charged me the last time I was here.
This week isn’t my lucky week. I wasted money trying to call my father and now I have to waste money to get a medical report. Never mind Nina, you won’t have to pay money to this doctor after this, I consoled myself.
“I asked why do you need the report” Dr. D.G sounded more curt
“I lost my report” I replied
“We don’t give copy of our reports” She replied
“But it is my medical file and I have a right to that report” I was really mad.
“This is my hospital and these reports are mine. If you want a copy, you need to get a court order”
“Court order? For what?”
“I won’t give a copy, unless there is a court order. I am not legally obliged to give you a copy of your report without a court order” I watched her getting up from her chair. She walked off to her examination room, holding my medical file in her hand and closed the door.
I could feel the anger rising in my head. But there was nothing I could do. I wanted to smash the examination room door and grab my report from her hand and run. There are moments in life you want the power of super man, to fight the injustice done to you. But you feel so helpless when you realize that George the super man has been winning all alone.

To Dr. D.G
If I had half the common sense I have now, then I would have sat in your clinic till you gave me a copy of my report. But I was just 18 year old ignoramus girl, who was raised in a very secluded environment, who didn’t even know what the word F&^% meant when she joined the medical college. You knew that, didn’t you? You knew that I wouldn’t know my rights, that is why you asked me to get a court order. You knew I didn’t have the funds to get a lawyer and go through all the legal hassles to get my report.
Dear Dr. D.G, I always wanted to know why you didn’t give a copy of my report. There are only two reasons I can think of.
1. You altered it and wrote that I had MTP.
2. George would have asked you not to release it, because then I can prove that I was innocent

If George made you alter my report, Did your conscience prick you when you didn’t honour your Hippocratic oath?
Especially the one that says
“Never to do deliberate harm to anyone for anyone else’s interest”
What were your answers for the part of the oath that asks you to
To keep the good of the patient as the highest priority.
Either way, I want you to know, Because of you, I could never show the man that I love the proof of my innocence. You took that away from me.

Courage under fire

Courage is the strength to stand up
When it’s easier to fall down and lose hold.

It is the conviction to explore new horizons
When it’s easier to believe what we’ve been told.

Courage is the desire to maintain our integrity
When it’s easier to look the other way.

It is feeling happy and alive, and moving forward
When it’s easier to feel sorry for ourselves and stay.

Courage is the will to shape our world
When it’s easier to let someone else do it for us.

It is the recognition that none of us are perfect
When it’s easier to criticize others and fuss.

Courage is the power to step forward and lead
When it’s easier to follow the crowd; their pleas resound.

It is the spirit that places you on top of the mountain
When it’s easier to never leave the ground.

The foundation of courage is solid,
The rock that doesn’t roll.

Courage is the freedom
Of our mind, body, and soul
author unknown


There was something about the second set of letters George send. Although I knew round 2, I won, I didn’t feel any thrill of defeating George. A part of me wanted to fight him and a part of me wanted to give up.
The purpose of living today is to make something better for tomorrow. My better tomorrows were questionable and whatever I did in the present wasn’t going to alter my future. I couldn’t change my life, but I could choose when I leave. I needed that control. I needed valium.
I convinced myself that I am not technically giving up on my life, I am just done with living and I would like to progress to the next stage of eternal rest and the thing with Valium is, I can take it when I want to! I promised myself that I will never take it unless it is absolutely necessary.
I started to steal prescription notes from the OBG clinic and I filled it in myself. I only prescribed 2 tablets of Valium because I knew, No pharmacist is going to be alarmed giving someone 2 tablets of valium, even a rat won’t die with that dose.
There were lots pharmacies around my hospital and campus and within a few days I had a stock of 20 tablets of valium, little blue pills each with 10 mg of Diazepam. I kept it inside my lab coat, so no one would ever find my treasures.
Every morning, when I wore my lab coat, I checked to make sure that my treasure is safe. I was able to live knowing that, whatever George did next, I was only hours away from further harm.
Each day I lived hoping that beautiful eyes would come back soon. There was so much I needed to tell him and the longer I waited, the frustrating it was becoming. I was so relieved to see his bike parked in the campus one afternoon when I came back from the hospital. I felt I was walking in the clouds. I was just so relieved to know that he was back.
As soon as the bus stopped, I rushed out and ran to the canteen. I knew he would wait for me in the canteen. I checked the canteen and he wasn’t there. May be he was tired after the long journey, may be he didn’t know that I was posted in the other hospital. But I knew as soon as he knew that I was back from the hospital, he would phone me or send a message through the canteen boy. I felt it was better that I skipped the afternoon class, What if he sends the message while I was at the class?
I sat on the steps leading to the 2nd floor, so that I won’t miss his phone call. I waited and waited. I couldn’t understand why it was taking so long for him to call me. I watched silently when all my classmates went to attend the theory class. The hostel was silent and time stood still. I walked to the phone room to check if the phone was working. I picked up the receiver and there was a dial tone. I placed the receiver quickly back on the cradle, what if he was trying to call me this instant and heard an engaged tone because I was stupid enough to check if the phone was working?
I waited and waited, I even pleaded the phone to ring. I could see the canteen from the phone room window. I stood leaning on the window and watched students coming and going to the canteen. Finally I saw.
I saw beautiful eyes walking in to the canteen. It wasn’t not a mirage. It was him. There was no mistake. I didn’t even wait for him to send the message through the canteen boy. I ran all the way to the canteen.
He was sitting with few other North Indian boys and he was facing the canteen door. He saw me walking in and I smiled. I was just so glad to see him. I felt my smile hitting an invisible barrier and bouncing back. He didn’t return the smile. There was a void between him and me. I refused to accept it. It can’t happen. He can’t believe what the letter said about me. Love never dies. I ordered a cup of tea and sat down. I knew he would at least look at me. But he didn’t. I was a stranger, not the girl he sung ‘I just called to say I love you’.
I wanted to peel all those lies that George wove around me and scream. I never had an abortion. I never slept with any of the professors. But I couldn’t. I watched Caroline walking in to the canteen and sitting next to him. He was laughing with her and at that moment, I wanted to kill George. What have I done to him for him to crucify me like this? He already had my mother and sister. Why did he want to torture me? Have I not suffered enough by being deaf and dumb and blind. Then I remembered my blue treasures. I had left my apron in my room. I ran back to the room. I will teach everyone a lesson
I opened my room door and entered my room. my apron was on my bed and I picked it up. There was a sense of calm the moment I held the little packet of blue pills. I sat on my bed. I had enough time. My room mates won’t be back for another 4 hours. I looked around my room. The room was too quiet. I wanted to listen to some music. I opened my cupboard to get the tapes. Appa and I shared the same interest in music. He brought or send most of the cassette tapes that I owned. He was the one who introduced me to Willie Nelson, John Denver and Tracy Huang.
He had even recorded songs for me. I looked at all the tapes. There were few i haven’t listened for such a long time. I picked up the one Appa had recorded for me few years ago. I switched on my tape recorder and started to listen to the songs. I closed my eyes and started to cry when I heard the first song.
Annie’s song.
My heart felt so heavy. I didn’t want to listen to the song and I picked up the cassette cover to see the next song. It was titled Anak and Anak in Malay means child. My father was never fond of malay songs and I was puzzled. Then I remembered Appa telling me that it was a Tagalog song and his Filipino colleauge used to listen to it all the time and finally when Appa asked him to translate the song and Appa liked the song so much that he got it recorded for me. He even got his colleague to write the english translation for me. I didn’t really fancy the song and never once bothered to read the lyrics. I opened the cover quickly, hoping I still have that piece of paper with the lyrics in English. It was still there, hand written in a soft blue airmail paper.
When you were born into this world
Your mom and dad saw a dream unfurled
A dream come true, the answer to their pray’s
You were to them a special child
You gave ’em joy every time you smiled
Each time you cried, they’re at your side to care
Child you don’t know, you’ll never know
How far they’d go to give you all their love can give
To see you through and this is true and die for you
if they must do to see you live
How many seasons came and went
So many years have now been spent
For time ran fast, and now at last you’re strong
Now what has gotten over you
Why do you hate what your parents do?
Speak out your mind why do you find them wrong
Child you don’t know, you’ll never know
How far they’d go to give you all their love can give
To see you through and this is true and die for you
if they must do to see you live
Now that your path has gone astray
Child you don’t know what to do or say
You’re so alone, no friends are on your side
Child as you now break down in tears
Let them drive away your fears
Where must you go, their arms stay open wide
Child you don’t know, you’ll never know
How far they’d go to give you all their love can give
To see you through and this is true and die for you
if they must do to see you live
Child you don’t know, you’ll never know
How far they’d go to give you all their love can give
To see you through and this is true and die for you
if they must do to see you live.

I couldn’t stifle the scream that was coming out of my throat. I picked up the pillow and closed my mouth with the pillow, so no one would hear me scream.

Another one

None of the girls congratulated me and I didn’t expect them to. I could see the disbelief in their eyes. I held my head high and walked back to my room. As I entered my room, I looked at the mirror Aparna kept by the side of her bed. I looked so different. The little girl with motta thala(bald head) had vanished. In her place I saw a very different person with almost shoulder length hair. But beyond the physical appearance, I could see something else that was different. I could see the strength that I never knew I had. It couldn’t have been a fluke of luck that I passed the exam. It was sheer determination. I couldn’t let George to defeat me. He thought he was smart and I was smarter. I looked at the woman in the mirror and told her, “
Round 1, you won. But there will be many more battles to win, remember this moment always. Remember that if you could write a public exam and pass even after facing such a calamity, you can do anything”.
On one hand I felt apprehensive that I didn’t know what George is planning to do next, on the other hand I felt I will survive. I don’t really know what made me grab Aparan’s hair brush, the next thing I knew, I was singing. My bed became Amma, Aparna’s became George and Shailaja’s became Maria. I started to jump from one bed to another and sing

Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now’cause
you’re not welcome anymore
weren’t you the one who tried
to hurt me with goodbye
you think I’d crumble
you think I’d lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as i know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
and I’ll survive
I will survive
Gloria Gaynor: I will Survive.
I visually imagined kicking the butt of my mother, Maria and the mighty George. It felt so good and I was just about to kick everyone out of my room and my life that I looked at the door. There was a crowd outside my door and I quietly kept the hair brush back and pulled the bed sheets properly. I didn’t have the courage to look at the face of all my classmates, so I quickly walked out of the room. I could hear everyone laughing, and I didn’t have much choice but to ignore them.
No one was in the room when I came back to my room. I had things to do. I had to send a copy of my marks card to Appa. My allowance is directly proportional to my marks and I hoped Appa would send me some extra money. I needed some new clothes!
I took a paper and started to write
Dear Appa, Hope this letter finds you hail and healthy. I am enclosing a copy of my marks card.
My mind went blank.
I looked at the paper. I only wrote 2 sentences. I didn’t have anything else to write. What else do I write to my father?
I added the next line, I am doing fine here, then I struck it off. If I write I am doing fine, then he might assume that I am partying and not studying. I could actually picture him saying
“I am not struggling in the desert for you to do fine. I am earning money not for you to do fine. You are supposed to study, nothing else, blah blah blah..”
The paper looked empty with just 2 lines on it. So I folded in to half and tore off the empty half.
How did this happen? How is that the relationship between a father and daughter became a two line affair?
How is that I don’t have anything to tell my own father? What happened to our relationship? What happened to the father I cherished and loved. How did he become a stranger?
There was an ache in my heart, when I realized the tomorrows I so very much dreamed about would never come. Even if my father comes home today, things will never be the same. I had to stop dreaming about my family and start to dream about my future. I thought of beautiful eyes. He hasn’t come back yet. He has already missed so many days of classes. I wondered what would his reaction be when he hears about the anonymous letter.
“Nina, phone call for you” I heard someone shouting.
Oh no, not another call. I didn’t want to take anymore phone calls after the last phone call I received.
“Nina phone”
I didn’t bother to respond
Aparna came in to the room and screamed
“Hey Nina, you have a phone call, how many times do I have to shout?” She sounded pretty annoyed.
I got up, walked slowly, very slowly up the steps and picked up the phone and put it back on the cradle. I felt pretty happy making the caller wait for such a long time and not getting a chance to harass me. 10 minutes later, again I heard someone shouting my name and saying I have a phone call. Again I walked slowly up and put the phone back on the cradle. Anyone can call me, but there is no law that says I ought to answer any calls!
My first posting was OBG posting! Seniors attended the rounds in the campus hospital Juniors had to go to another public hospital. In the morning I got ready and walked to the college bus stop and waited for the college bus. I was so excited. clinical posting is the best part of doing medicine.
Till now I was dealing with dead bodies, now for a change I see live people! Besides I won’t have to struggle with the stench of formaldehyde.
There were so many other students from my batch waiting for the bus and no one talked to me. When the bus came, I got in first and sat down by the window. I watched students from my batch getting in slowly. Boys sat at the back and the girls at the front. No one sat next to me. Anjana was the last girl from my batch who got in to the bus. I wanted her to sit next to me. There was no other girls waiting for the bus and if the seat next to me is empty, soon one of the boys will come and sit and I was afraid that I will get another letter from George. So I called her and pointed the empty seat next to me. She looked at me and I could see the disgust on her face. I watched her walking to her friends and getting them to adjust, so she can sit with them. Three of them sat in a two seat! She showed clearly that she would rather struggle and sit with her friends than sit next to me.

Dr. Nandita was our tutor.
“You guys are in luck, there is a delivery going on now. Come with me” She started walking towards the labour room. Everyone was excited to be able to see a delivery process. Few of the students were already reading up the text book as we walked!
I could hear someone screaming.
As I entered the labour room, I watched 2 nurses wearing white saree holding a young girl’s hand and she was writhing in pain. I had seen scenes in the movies that showed the woman about to give birth. This was nothing that I ever imagined it to be.
This was raw pain, with each contraction, I could see the veins on her neck bulging and she was screaming. The nurses were screaming and telling her to push and the patient was just crying.
“I can’t, I can’t, I can;t take any more” The patient started to howl
“What do you mean you can’t? You thought your mother went and vomited all of you out? We all went through this Ok? so stop whining and crying saying you can’t and start pushing” Shouted the nurse
May be it was the first time I saw someone suffering, may be it was all the screaming and shouting that got me, I started to cry. Only now did I understand the pain my mother had to endure to give birth to me. I promised myself, I may never love my mother, but I will stand by her. I will always remember that she gave birth to me.

2 days later, as I came out of the hospital one of my classmate guy came to me
“Nina I need to talk to you”
I looked at the guy. He had curly hair and I remembered his name is Avinash. Anitha and he were in the same batch and I have often overheard her calling him names and laughing at him. She used to call him ‘bird’s nest’.
“About what?” I asked curtly. I no longer trusted anyone and I didn’t enjoy anyone talking to me.
“Can we talk somewhere in private?”
“No. If you have something to say, you can say here” I looked around. Some of the students were looking at me. I wondered which one would infor George that I am now dating bird’s nest!
I watched him taking something out from his apron and I noticed that it was a letter
“What is it?” I asked immediately, almost panicking.
He handed me the letter and I quickly opened the paper to read. I could feel the whole room spinning. This letter was more damaging than the first.
“When did you get this? Where did you get this?” My hands started to shake and I leaned against the wall
“The postman and I are buddies. because there were so many letters with similar typed envelope, postman called me and showed me the letters. I opened the letter addressed to me and I realized this will destroy you. So the postman and I decided to destroy the letters. Don’t worry, as long as I am a student in this college, no one in this college will get another letter like this”
I didn’t know what to say. Gratitude I felt that moment was beyond words can say
“By the way, I saw how Anjana treated you the other day, when you asked her to sit next to you in the bus and I thought you are like the phoenix bird. You will always fly out of the ashes! I admire your courage” He had such a genuine smile on his face.

To Dr. Avinash
I always felt that, I have not thanked you enough for what you did for me. So here I am, 17 years later and still remembering what you did for me. I hope where ever life has taken you, you are doing well. I will never forget what you have done for me. Thank you for being there when I needed someone.

George: I heard that you tried to find out what happened to the letters you send the second time.. Now you know what happened.