My children’s Uni has cancelled all in person classes and exams and made everything online.

At this moment, I think it is very unlikely that Yaya’s graduation ceremony will go ahead in June. ( Wuhan has been in Quarantine for well over 7 weeks and the potential for reemergence is still high… hence the continuous quarantine)

Australia is already lagging behind testing and tracking potential cases (Meanwhile, India is doing a pretty good job at the moment)

My kids have just enough food to last the next couple of days. ( Food items are sold out in the groceries near them and Costco has a queue that is 2 hours long, which increase the risk of exposure)

I need to bring them home before Australia imposes further travel restrictions.

I don’t want them to have a stopover in a third country, because if they as much as have a slight fever, they won’t be allowed to fly …

My son had a very bad pneumonia when he was young which has resulted in lung scarring… and I am not willing to take any more chances.

Just when I thought my life is all settled, here we are.. more stressed than needed.

PS. As a public safety announcement… please wash your hands. I was taught by the head nurse at my hospital to sing the full twinkle twinkle little star twice ( which will make it around 45 seconds) when I was doing the hand wash routine before surgery

You really don’t need to worry about hand sanitiser. ..Good old soap and good scrubbing is all you need. Wash your hands, scrubbing for 45 seconds, don’t put your hands in your eyes, nose and mouth. And if you can, stay away from the elderly.

Stay safe

Irregularly Irregular

One of the things I learned in med school was the funny terms we used to describe things. One such thing was irregularly irregular. the pule could be regular, regularly irregular and irregularly irregular.

The next few months will be rather chaotic. I need to get my life in order before I am deployed to the field. I also teach at two Unis. ( three kids in Uni and need plenty of money) and I am doing my PhD,

Now, let me talk about my PhD, which I am doing it full time. I have to provide regular updates and usually 24 hours prior to update time, I work like there is no tomorrow.. it is sort of like putting out the fire for a while. So although I am on a full time work load, I only work on my PhD when I need to put out the fire. During the Christmas break, I wrote the confirmation document, which was approved 🙂 The point I am trying to make here is, PhD is not a big thing.. if you can cope under enormous pressure ( this regular report back you need to do) and are not overtly ambitious to be the recipient of the next Nobel prize, you can do it. I just want a PhD and at the rate in which I am going, I should have it 24 months from today. Not bad eh? (also, if you are an Aussie, make full use of citizenship and do your PhD. You don’t have to pay tuition fees and can do it for free. You can also apply for Scholarships, which I didn’t because there is a restriction for the number of hours you can work)

Ah, the irregularly irregular bit.. with so much going on personally, professionally and all other ‘lly’ blogging won’t be that frequent. unlike the previous time, I am not taking a hiatus. I will try to blog at least once a week. As many of you know I am a creature of habit.. I work on a schedule and don’t do well if things are not planned. Because the teaching schedule varies, there is no one day I can set aside for blogging. But this is only for a short while. When I am deployed, I will only have one job and don’t have to run between two unis.

Keep trying

How long should you try for something you really want?

Years ago, I was sitting outside and reading the newspaper. We had a small sit out in the middle of the house with a metal pole as a support. I was leaning on the pole while reading and Amma was sitting on one of the two cane chairs we owned ( two similar ones for Appa and Amma). There was an article in the paper about someone getting Rhodes scholarship.

I distinctly remember telling Amma that even I would one day like to get a Rhodes Scholarship and become famous.

Amma responded in her typical style.. ” You must only dream achievable dreams”

Over the past 3 decades, I had often wondered if I was being over ambitious and if Amma was right.. Was I asking for more than I deserve?

When I graduated with my medical degree, I had hoped to work for WHO. I had no idea where to look for a job and had no one to guide me. Besides in those days my primary goal was to get out of my house before my mother and my older sister destroyed my life. So I ran.. as far as I could.

The next 25 years was nothing but a struggle for survival. While in Canada, I applied for so many jobs.. so many.. I never heard back from anyone. I remember someone from the church getting me an interview for an assistant job in a charity.. even that job I didn’t get. And I wondered again, if my mother was right..perhaps I was not good enough. Perhaps I was really useless. To survive, I started my own catering company and people laughed at me.. Doctor cooking food for others.

A cousin of mine works as a GP here in a group practice and I begged him for a job when I arrived here. His group practice was looking for a clinic receptionist. He told me to take off all my medical qualifications and apply for the job as a clinic manager at his clinic.. I was so desperate for a job, so I did. The thing is once you take off all my medical qualifications, I only have a pre-degree.. which was not enough to be a clinic receptionist.

A classmate of mine who did MPH with me, who passed both AMC 1 and 2 and still didn’t get a job as a doctor once told me, he stopped applying for jobs because he was afraid of opening his email inbox and seeing yet another rejection letter from prospective employers. Very rarely, I meet people who are incredibly smart and he is one of them. And I remember thinking, perhaps my mother was right.. even a brilliant doctor who passed the qualifying exams here has quit.

After I completed MPH, I applied for jobs.. never heard from any employers.. again I wondered if Amma was right.

The teaching job I finally got.. was the one I applied earlier and didn’t get.. the only reason I got the job was that the people the Uni hired quit and they were desperate for someone. I was at the right place at the right time. Technically, I got the job that I initially was not considered as suitable … again I wondered if Amma was right.

Years ago, while attending to a patient who attempted suicide and eventually died.. She killed herself because she was afraid that her parents won’t allow her to get married to her boyfriend..and while I was intubating her, I heard her parents wailing outside.. why didn’t she talk to us.. we would have never stopped her from getting married to who she wanted to marry.. and the chief consultant who had come to check my progress too heard the commotion outside and said something like this “sometimes people quit just when they are so close to achieving their dreams”
I didn’t want to quit applying for jobs. What if I was so close to achieving my dreams and will not get to fulfil my dreams because I quit too soon?..On an average, I apply for 12 jobs each month.. It is a time consuming endeavour. Having to suit the cover letter and selection criteria to position description. Each time I received a rejection letter, I wondered if Amma was right and I considered quitting.

I am a member of a Public Health organization and I thought I would try to attend one of their monthly meeting to network. It was boring and I googled the organization website to identify the people in the room by looking at the ‘about us’ section in the website..This was after I played two online scrabble games and won both rounds. I was that bored. While scrolling through the website, I noticed a job ad by CDC and the application deadline was the very next day. The application asked for a great deal of stuff and one requirement was that the resume should be 2 pages long. Mine is a professionally written resume with a great deal of different fonts and annoying formats.. much as I tried, I just couldn’t fix it and create a two page resume. So I called my son and asked for his help. It was midnight for him and he still did. Application was due at 12 noon Australian time and I sent it in by 11:50 a.m.

Few weeks later I received an email. I assumed it was the rejection letter.. didn’t even open the email to read it. (If you get a job interview, they usually call you)

That weekend, I was cleaning out my email inbox, So decided to read the unread email. Turned out that I was short listed. 200 people applied, 11 got short listed. Out of the 11, only 5 will be selected by the CDC after the interview.

The interview was in early January and I did not hear from them again. As I am so used to rejections, it did not bother me.

Last Friday, I received an email offering me the job.

It took 25 years..

My mother was wrong. All dreams are achievable.. all it takes is hard-work.

If you have wanted something, even if the world is against you, if you truly want it, don’t give it a deadline. Don’t stop because you have been rejected many times. Don’t stop. Just don’t stop.