A labour ward

source: guardian.co.uk.

(Wholly inspired by a friend’s article)

“Aren’t you excited?” Deepthi asked me as I was putting on the white coat with no much interest on my face. Genuinely I was not excited. I was plain scared. I know it is a miracle that a living being is born, fed and safely guarded inside the mother’s flesh for  nine months and it is this miracle that keeps the generations alive. But the delivery of her baby is definitely the most traumatic test a lady can ever take.

The OBG(Obstetrics and Gynecology) posting for the year started that day and I had to observe deliveries as part of my learning. Deepthi’s enthusiasm made me feel like a sissy and I entered into the much dreaded labor room with my hand clutching hers. The doctor was gently patting on the patient’s legs and yelling at the top of her voice to push the baby out. The patient was a young woman probably in her late twenties and was writhing in pain with loud screams. The screams and yells started roaring in my ears and at a point I felt my heart beat was much louder than them.

“Look the baby is coming out!” One of our classmates noticed it first. The doctor’s face lit up at its sight and she told us that it is called the crowning of the head. Each of us was asked to come forward and take a glimpse of the miracle. Deepthi finished her turn and took my hand in hers. I leaned forward deciding that I would just peek. I saw a small blood covered head that was struggling to come out. Suddenly I felt the whole room was turning upside down and I realized it was nausea.

“Take a deep breath. Relax and try again.” Deepthi whispered in my ears and I followed her. I leaned again and one of our classmates pulled me back. The last words I could hear were “Take her out of this room.” I was taken to the rest room where I threw up in the sink at every recall of the little head. Tears gushed out from my eyes and I started wailing.

“Hey, its alright. You’d be okay. You’d be a good doctor.” Deepthi comforted me with her hands on my shoulder.

I firmly decided that I wanted to be a good doctor so I pledged to myself that I wouldn’t panic again. We went back to the labor room and saw that it was not yet complete. I did not blink my eyes and whatever I saw left all weird thoughts in my mind. “Isn’t it human to pass a law that child births should be banned and adoptions be encouraged? If this how a baby is brought to this earth, how can one even think of hurting/assaulting it? Those who do infanticide should be made to deliver ten females as the penalty. How do some women deliver twins and triplets when it is so difficult to get one come out? How and Why did God get the size proportions so wrong? The baby is never going to come out. ”

The baby was almost pulled out or rather pushed out and the jubilant look on the doctor’s face confirmed that whatever has happened was not a conspiracy against woman kind. She cut the placenta and handed over the baby to one of the attendants who took it away to some other room.  Soon we dispersed from the labor ward and I called up my mom to tell her that I had successfully survived watching an obstetrical delivery for the first time.

“How was it?”

“I still cannot believe that I did not get a syncope.”

“(Chuckles) Do you remember that your grandmother bore thirteen children that way?” she reminded.

“We should build a temple in her name.” I said and I meant that. I heard my mother laugh aloud and I suddenly felt I was missing her at that moment.

“Mumma..I love you.”  I said wholeheartedly.

She smiled again and said “Love you too.” I hung up and brushed aside the tear that rolled down on my cheek.

 

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Now watching- Mr.Pellam

The plot of this movie is the simplest anyone can think of. Swapping of roles between wifey and husband. Which is actually sensible unlike the telephone exchange advt of Idea cellular mobile (thu!). Talk about a middle class family in which husband is the bread earner and the wife is a home maker. Kindly note that the term “home-maker” was not used to escape from the sandals which will rain if I say “house-wife”. The wife  here is a real home-maker. Due to unavoidable event turns, the swapping of roles happens and the real show starts.

source: 123tamilforum.com

Aamani as Jhansi is not only pretty (doesn’t need my testimony. She is Baapu’s heroine) but also great as a wife and mother. Probably

source:123tamil

what wins is the way her role is etched. Negatives first:  Jhansi feels bad that her husband doesn’t shower the same love which he did before their wedding. She gets enraged when he doesn’t treat her like his equal and so she instantly lies about her compensation when he makes fun of her. She wants to get her husband out of his trouble and unknowingly she hurts his ego in the process. There is a friend (Gopal) who she confides in for this and seeks his help to make up for the loss. The most common traits of women (IMO) are that we seek respect along with love, we keep comparing past to the present and there has to be at least one close friend who is their crying pillow and moral support. On the bright side, Jhansi as a wife is desirable. She is pretty, well read, extremely loving and loyal.

source:teluguone

Playing the husband’s role must have been a cake walk for Dr.Rajendra Prasad given his acting skills. He is one of our few actors who doesn’t have a hate-club. The husband in the film might seem chauvinistic but he cannot be blamed. Though he is egoistic, he is also very affectionate and knows when and how to apologize.  Like most men, he is possessive about his wife and the scenes that ensue are supremely cute. He cannot recollect the correct name of Gopal though he can never get him off his mind 🙂  The scenes in which he congratulates Jhansi on her job and the one in which admires that she had treasured all the letters he sent her deserve a special mention.

Baapu-Ramana are nothing less than a boon to TFI. I need not explain why. The humor in the movie is  laughs-earning not because of Brahmanandam who always gets slapped/fooled by the hero (there is no Brahmanandam in this film. Sorry folks!). It is also not because of some cheap dialogues which indirectly imply some perversion. It is because the dialogues are witty and sarcastic.  More importantly, they go with the flow.

For example:

source: teluguone

Neighbor:కాస్త కందిపప్పు ఉంటె అప్పిప్పించవూ..

RJP: ఇప్పిప్పించను.

Neighbor: ఇదే మా అమ్మడైతే కప్పులో కప్పుడిచ్చి గుప్పెట్లో గుప్పుడిచ్చేది.

Also the way RJP trolls AVS on Krishnashtami can never be forgotten. After all, అతలు కృష్ణాష్టమి అంటే కిట్టుడి బడ్డే.

Keeravani, who if you noticed or failed to notice, can give the most apt back ground music  to any scene. The songs in Mr.pellam are melodious and rightly placed if not the best. The famous Krishnashtami song is my most favorite one of the five. The word play relating Krishna’s pranks to Gopal’s actions is very cleverly done.

There are scenes in tens which bring a natural smile on viewer’s face and I think that is what makes this movie a delight to watch. My eyes bled when I saw a trailer in which they tried to imitate Pelli pustakam’s title song. I am only praying that some classics are left as-is. Mr.pellam is one such untouchable. Not because it is great, it is right. Just right.

All I need is…

Sometimes I just need a shoulder to cry over. That shoulder which puts an arm across and pats saying “You’ll be alright”.

Sometimes it is just two legs which walk along. They do not care where I’m going, they just come along to give a feeling that I am not alone.

Sometimes it is the hand which is let across for me to hold. First thing I ever want to do when in trouble is hold someone’s hand. Something which we were taught ever since we came to this world.

Sometimes it is the ear which is always open to all the nonsense I talk. An ear which doesn’t judge my stupidity.

Sometimes  just the eyes which do all the talking. World’s best feelings are not said aloud, they are shown in eyes. Love, anger, gratitude or whatsoever it might be.

Sometimes it is two lips which say a lot of words that complement the inner feelings. It is amazing to hear the words come from someone’s mouth.

I was asked to choose one for the rest of my life and I chose to win the heart to whom I do not mind losing.

letter_writi_24714_lg

Source: christianschoolstoday.com

After all, none of the above is worth looking for if it is coming from a heartless being. So dear fellow, If you really love/admire/worship/hate/despise someone, let it be heartfelt. Just heartfelt. The only thing you can do to cross the skies and reach that someone.

Prologue

So when do you know its love?

“It’s a girl Mr. Karthik. Both mom and baby are doing better now. Congratulations!” I literally sprang to my feet when I heard my doctor say that. There are some words which have the power of healing the world’s most fatal heart diseases. Those diseases which no Angiogram can detect. Those diseases whose only cure seems to be the Ctr-Z in God’s program. I wanted to say thanks but some ecstasy dint let me speak. I looked away from her to hide my tears and let out my emotions in a deep breath. I then looked at her and thanked her profusely . She was all smiles to see me smile for the first time in last 3 months.

“Can I go and see her now?”

“Who? the baby or your wife?”

What a question, I thought to myself. I wish I could answer that in a flash. Who do I want to see first? My first progeny who had just opened her eyes to this world? She was the only person who was in our prayers all these days. Or the person who brought her to this earth? Without my wife the baby is nothing absolutely.

“My wife” I said with a smile.

“Sure. Please take care of her. She is very weak.”

“I shall.”

I entered into the delivery room which seemed nothing less than a war field to me. My baby has fought here for the last 8 hours to come out alive and my wife had survived the scariest test of her life. I saw her lying on the bed with her eyes half-open. She dint speak but I could hear her. We congratulated ourselves with smiles.

“How are you feeling now?” I asked her in a low tone as I drew my chair near to her bed. What a stupid question it was! As if I didn’t know.
She smiled again and when she closed her eyes, a tear rolled down her cheek. I absolutely had nothing to talk and nothing to ask.

“I called up your parents. They are flying this afternoon.” She acknowledged and asked me something with her eyes. Probably if I saw the baby.

“I dint see her yet. Did you?”
She shook her head with difficulty.

“I don’t think we can even touch her till she is safe to be put out of her incubator.” She blinked her eyes.

“You want to see her ..don’t you? ” She blinked her eyes again.

“I’ll try to get her photo for you. Give me some time.” I stormed out of the room as I saw her not taking her eyes off me.

“Can I see the baby now?” I asked our assistant and she took me to the incubator room. All I could get from the small peep-hole was the glimpse of a tiny baby covered with tubes. She had pink cheeks and her fists were loosely closed. My wife’s tresses were envy of her friends but the little one barely had any hair on her head. Like every Indian parent, I tried a lot to figure out who she looked like. I smiled at myself for the early analysis but some insight told me that she will grow into a beautiful woman like her mother. How badly I wished I could hold her once! I managed to click a photo with my phone and the nurse smiled warmly.

Source:imagecacher2.allposters.com

“Cute baby sir.” It was certainly a courtly compliment because the baby’s features were not evident at all. I smiled at her and walked into my doctor’s room.

“Karthik, I hope you are very much aware of what was happening in your lives for the past three months.” Our doctor tried to make a conversation as I was signing some papers.

“Of course I am.”

“Your baby is literally your gift from God. We had no hopes to see her alive until last week. I was therefore being very cautious in our meetings and was trying to prepare you for the unexpected. By God’s grace, all is well now.”

“Thanks so much doctor. Thanks for everything.” I stopped my work for a second and recalled the hell we’d been through for the last 3 months.

“I know you are a gentleman but its my duty to remind you of female infanticide and the associated laws.”

“Like you said, she is a gift doctor. I’d treasure her for life time.” I knew I made a filmy statement but I meant all that I said.
She smiled and continued.”So how long have you been married for?”

“3 years.”

“Is yours a love marriage?”

“Partly.”

“Partly?”

“I wooed her a lot before our wedding. She always refused until that day when she asked me to talk to her parents. I did. And they agreed.” I bet I couldn’t have made it more uninteresting. But seriously, my love story was that plain and straight.

“Wow. You wooed her despite her not liking you?”

“Yes.” I looked at her and said that confidently.

“But what kept you going?”

“I was sure she is the one for me.”

“And how did you know that?”

“I love her doctor. Ever since I realized that I am in love with her, I was sure she is the right one.” I told her and looked into the papers again.

“So when did you know its love?”

I put my pen down and reminisced when it all started.

Moving on-3

Moving-on2 continues:
“Surya.”

“Sruthi” We shook hands and sat in the coffee lounge. As Neethu suggested, I left my past behind. I wore a black dress that Karthik hated, I booked a table on the aisle side which he disliked and I went late which used to irritate him the most.

“I am not really good at complimenting someone. But black looks good on you.”  I smiled but hated the compliment.
Surya was fidgeting in his seat in an awkward manner. I sat still but my confused mind was still wondering what was going on.  “I know how embarrassed you must be feeling. I am myself feeling uneasy at this moment.” He interrupted my thoughts cloud. I smiled again.

“Do you drink coffee? My day is never complete without one.” Every little thing in our world oddly has some memories attached to it. You can’t help but recall them every time you encounter such little things. Such was coffee to me. “You needn’t hesitate if you don’t like it.” he said.

“I don’t drink coffee at all. Will prefer some smoothie to coffee.” I replied.  Good bye coffee.

“Okay. Cool.” The waiter took our order and left.

“I heard you’re a trained classical dancer.”  He was trying to make a conversation.

“I learnt Bharatnatyam” I replied instantly. One rude acknowledgement to his statements. Some feeling from inside was not letting me be myself. He then continued to share his details and interests. I tried my best to look engaged in that conversation.

“Are you really this silent always? Or am I so boring?”

I quickly put a smile and nodded my head in denial. Surya got ready to leave as we finished our drinks. “Anyway, I wont trouble you much. Thanks for coming.”  He walked me till my bike and I came home to see my anxious parents waiting for a good news. Apparently except for my approval, the match was almost fixed. I told them I’d need more time and the phone buzzed promptly. SMS from Neethu. “Come downstairs ASAP.” Before I could text her yes, it buzzed again. This time from Surya and it read “I am not sure if I can tell you this now Sruthi. Our meeting was nothing more than a formality to me. I have made my decision already. I have always liked you ever since I came to know you. I just badly hope you’d say yes to this.” I literally ran to Neethu to tell her the news. Not because I was happy or sad. I was mixed-up. As always.

Source: livelifehappy.com

“How was the meeting?” Before I could even talk, “Did you even open your mouth?” She asked.

“How do you always get it right Neethu?”

“I am your mirror.”

True.  Probably God knows that we need a mirror to look what is inside us. One reason why he sent people for us to befriend. Mirror on the wall never judged me on how I looked and neither did Neethu on how I thought. I told her about the sms from Surya. Neethu smiled warmly.

“I brought a special gift for you. You can use it for sometime but you have to give it back and never ask for it again.”

“Is that even a gift?”

“There it is.” She pointed towards the park that was opposite our apartment. “Come back in an hour. I shall wait for you.”

It is so hard to guess what Neethu is up to sometimes. I heaved a deep sigh and went inside the park. To my wild horror, I saw Karthik there. Could this be something related to her gift? After greetings, Karthik let out the dreaded question.

“Did you like Surya?” I was startled. It was Neethu’s plan.

“I just met him once.”

“Will it take 389 days for you to make a decision?” He remembered the exact number of days we were in a relationship.

“I mean I need to talk more.”

“Does he like you?” I showed him the sms.

“No surprises here. ” He smiled and gave my phone back. “He is smart, well-read and your parents like him too. What else would certify a person to be your ideal partner?”

“But all that doesn’t mean he will keep me happy.”  I tried to reason with him how difficult it is to let someone take his place but Karthik’s argument, like always, had a point.

“Can I give you one honest advice before we disperse?”

“You needn’t ask.”

“Love him Sruthi. That will keep you both happy.” I raised my voice to interrupt. “Do not ever say love happens just once. That feeling is perennial. How do you think people are even surviving in this world? True, I was angry when we broke up.  I only detested the reasons that are not letting us be together. Go search for your lost love in Surya.”

“And what if I cant?”

“Love him more. Till you can. Actually I am very sure you will. I have known you for so long.” he smiled. I started to feel easy when he said that.

“Promise me that you wont hate me ever?” I asked like a baby as my eyes glistened.

“Never, as long as I love you.”

I held his arms and put them to my eyes.Is there a better way to say thanks to someone? You get to see the vast blueness of the sky only when the clouds clear. Such was my situation. I let out a hearty smile which was guilt-free. I ran to Neethu and hugged her tight to show what that gift meant to me.

“Now text your hero that you like him. And remember to give whatever you’re asking for. It always works when in a relationship.”

“I shall.” I said aloud firmly as I began texting Surya.

For a change, a new love story began with the title “And they lived happily thereafter.”

Moving on-2

Moving-on1 continues:

“You don’t have to like him. Just go and meet him once.” My mom was persuading me to meet someone that weekend. Both my parents liked him and very much wanted this proposal to work out.

“Please amma..I don’t want to get married.” I moved the phone away from my face for her not to hear my sobbing.  And I had been telling her the same from the time Karthik and I were together. That was no less than two long years!

“But tell me why ?”  She tried not to show her anger because I was already upset.

The terms ‘marriage’,’love’,’family’ all these  reminded me of last day’s goodbye. I was not sure if I wanted to be like this for the rest of my life but definitely my heart was not ready at that moment. Was it because I still love him? Or was it because I was sorry for him? Or was it because I was guilt-ridden? I really dint know. My thoughts ceased when I heard mom shout my name.

“Helloo Sruthi?”

“Yeah. Hello.” I acknowledged.

“Is something wrong?”  More than wrong, I said to myself.

“Sruthi, please try to understand. You’re 25 already. Your sister is 23 now. Your dad and I have this responsibility of….” She was seemingly  angry at my adamance. I told her I’d think over it and hung up. As I leant back on my bed , I saw Neethu barging into my room.

“You ok?” Her happy face instantly put on colors of anxiety after seeing me. I put up a fake smile.

“Aah..I know why. Come, lets go for a drive”

“Not now Neethu.”

“You needn’t drive. Just come along please.” She pleaded like a kid.

“I said not now.” I was firm.

“I said right now.” She was equally firm and forced me out of my room without paying heed to my lies of not being well. I gave up and we were driving on the highway with windows down.

“So, you both met again.” She said as if she had seen it with her own eyes. I was not stupid to ask her how she knew it. Neethu actually knows me inside out.

“Yeah and I told him its all over.”

“But it doesn’t seem so.” She paused and said “At least from your face.”

“I need time to get over this Neethu. Don’t expect me to be normal when the wound is still fresh.”

“It’ll remain fresh till you get normal” She gave a sharp retort.  “Who were you talking to?”

“Mom. She wants me to go and meet some stupid this weekend.” I murmured and I felt my eyes were ready to get wet any moment now.

“Hey, that is a good idea.”  She continued before I could react. “You don’t intend to remain single for the rest of your life anyways , do you?”

“You know what has been going on in my life for the past few months” I lost my patience and wanted to censure her severely.  Is life really that simple?

“I am serious. If you are certain that you have no plans of going back to Karthik, just move on.” She had a point. One contrast we both had was that Neethu had  a brain and I had a heart.

“But how Neethu..Every time I think of the past, it hurts.”

“Why do you have to recall it in the first place and get hurt ?”

I had no answer. But I had tears in my eyes.

“Do you know there is one ride in which rear view mirrors are much clear than the windshields?” She asked. She had this habit of abruptly changing topic when I was down.

“Tell me. Can you think of any?”
I tried to think. How can one even drive when one cannot see what is in front? Rear view mirrors are just meant to see what is coming along and what just went past.

“I don’t know Neethu. What is it?”

“Life.”  I was amazed. She nailed it. She paused for a while and continued.

“So Sruthi,  enough of looking into the rear view mirror. Just because it is clear unlike your windshields, staring at it wont get you anywhere. It is just meant to see what we have been through! Trust me and move on.”

***

Needless to say, I decided to move on. The decision was quick for the impact it would have but I had given enough thinking to it.  One comfort I had after making that was my parents were happy. The rendezvous  was fixed and I was going to meet someone that weekend. The white lie I told Karthik was no longer a lie.

After all, destiny is something that ought to be only accepted. It can neither be justified nor simplified.

Moving on-1

“How are you?”

What a cliched question that was. It was showing in my face that I was embarrassed to talk. It was showing in my attire that I was doing good financially. It was showing in my gait and standing posture that I was fine physically.

“I am fine.”

“Your parents?”

“Good.”

“Your sister?”

“Yeah good. How are you?” It was a matter of courtesy then to ask back. He nodded his head.

“Do you mind if we sit and talk?”

Next minute, we were seated at the corner table of the college canteen where we usually sat when we were a couple.

Our eyes never met. But I knew I was looking at him and he was looking at me. The silence that prevailed between us was new to me.  There were no sign of any chuckle or giggle or the guilty smile in his face that my heart used to crave for.

“I am not fine Sruthi.”

“What happened?” Of course I knew what happened. All I got back was a stern look which was a tight slap on my face.

“I mean.. I thought you must have moved on.” I lowered my head and said slowly.

“I tried a lot.” he said. I tried not to speak. I wanted to hear more. Why? Because I knew he loved me a lot. And it gave me a sense of pride for having “owned” his love. After a short pause he continued.

“I avoided taking that snaky route in which we used to walk. I gave up coffee because it reminds me of your obsession with the less-sugar-more-coffee. I gave up wearing checked shirts because I long to see that ‘thank-you’ smile on your face when you see me wearing them. I…”

“Try seeing another girl.” I cut the dialogue short. Because my heart couldn’t hold it any longer. I knew I ruined his life by walking out of it. At that second, I wanted him to hate me as much as he loved me.

“What did you just say?”

“I said try seeing another girl.”

“You really mean it?”

“Yeah.”

“And you wouldn’t be bothered?”

“Of course not.” I looked away. Then I continued.

“Why would I be bothered? We are not together anymore. We need to get over this. Life shouldn’t stop for any of us. When we know this won’t work out, there is no point in pondering over future of this, right? Keep yourself busy with something. I am sure you will see the change. You won’t even take my name once you are with someone else.” I paused my lecture. Did I really mean all that I said? The very thought of he being with someone else shuddered me. But that was okay.  I couldn’t have him thinking about me for the rest of his life. I was sure he wouldn’t even think of anybody else if he had me in mind. I had to make him erase all those memories somehow.

“Oh. Is this what you did? to move on.” There was both sarcasm and some melancholy when he said the last words. One question I was waiting for.

“Yes. I am going to meet a guy this weekend.” I instantly lied. And I bent my head down like I always did when I couldn’t look into his face.

“Marriage proposal?”

“Sort of.”

“Oh..” A long pause followed.

“Will you tell him that you have had a past relationship?” he smiled. I never knew his smile could pierce me so hard that it started paining inside. Both literally and even otherwise.

“There is nothing to lie/hide. I have not done a mistake by being in one.” I said firmly. First dialogue  that I truly meant that evening.

“I am very glad you don’t regret it.”

“Why will I regret it? You are a very nice person. I am sure you will get a better girl.” This time my voice shook. He smiled again.

“I don’t need a better girl. I don’t need this soothing session either.”

“I am just being honest.”

“Oh. Really?”

“Yes.”  He dint speak for a while. And my heart sensed that the calmness around was actually a prelude to a whirlpool coming.

“I never thought that one such episode would come in my life Sruthi. Not with you! I heard it is hard for girls to fall in love, but it is easy for them to come out of it.You just, just proved it again. You are no special. You’re just another girl.”  End of the conservation. And silence again set in. Silence which can actually kill. That silence so high in decibels that your ear cannot take it. I recalled his previous words. My job was done. I was no longer special to him. It meant I won the battle of separation by killing myself. I stood up and walked towards my bike like a zombie. The hand which usually used to reach out to mine when I was down was resting on the table. The one whom I had in all my heart said I did not have one. If only I could show him my broken heart. I sat on my bike and was ready to go. I could see Karthik in the mirror and it read “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear”. I broke down.