Monkton Mondays!

Today is Holi – The Festival of Colors! Like all things Indian, there are myriad stories that surround one festival 😉 My favourite of the ones surrounding Holi, is the story of Prahlad, son of the Demon-king Hiranyakashyapu. How’s that for a tongue-twister eh? 😉

Well, in manner of all Demons – old & new, this one too got so full of himself, that he declared that the World should worship only Him and none of the 36 million odd Gods that were around. However he harboured a fervent devotee of the Lord Vishnu (The Protector), in his own home, a fact that was like a humungous thorn in his demon-hide! The young prince Prahlad was pious and steadfast and under The Lord’s protection – a fact that saved him from several attempts on his Life. I think his Dad once tried to have him trampled to death by a mad bull elephant – NOT cool! Finally King H called on his evil sister (I wonder if she was a twin), conveniently named Holika (you see where this is going?) for help in killing his son. This is why I say – Family is overrated much 😛

Holika had a magical cloak (move over Harry!), that protected her from Fire. Supercool methinks! So anyway, she sat on a burning pyre, and on her lap sat Prince Prahlad, calmly meditating on The Lord’s name. I’m telling you – Meditation is the way to go People! And Lo and Behold (God, I’ve been dying to use that expression!), the cloak miraculously flew off her and onto the Prince, saving him. Meanwhile Holika was Toast! I must confess I feel a little sad for her, but then I’ve always enjoyed the Demon in me 😉 But for the rest of the goody goody World – All’s Well that Ends Well! Good once again conquers Evil and one more festival is added to the ever-lengthening list 🙂 And for those of you who are interested in the end of the story – The Lord Vishnu appears in the form of a lion-man, grabs the evil King, sits on the threshold and literally tears his heart out!! Oh yeah – Beware the Vengeful God People 😛 Then the good Prince P becomes the good King P and everyone is happy except the dead and we all know they don’t count!

The purpose of the tale, other than it took me down memory lane and was fun to write 😉 is to explain why we light a huge Bonfire on the night before Holi, and call it Holika! It signifies as always the triumph of Good and a phoenix-like renewal from the ashes of loss. I wonder if Rowling ever read this story? 😛 Last night we witnessed our very own Holika and she was pretty fiery 🙂 And although playing with colours traditionally follows the Holika, times they are a-changing my friends. We played with colours yesterday morning, because it was a Sunday and so – convenient 🙂 It was fabulously fun though and Junior who’s been terrified of playing before, was happy to smear colours on us and himself and even willing to be drenched by water guns 😀 some of which by the way, could easily be mistaken for army-issue! He’s growing up and it makes me a little teary, but well – c’est la vie. 

In other weekend news – finally began Steinbeck’s East of Eden and am already half-living in the Salinas valley 🙂 I’m just about a 50 pages in and already I know this is going to be an unforgettable saga of gargantuan proportions. Sorry for the floweriness 😛 Have been wanting to use ‘gargantuan’ for ages too 😉 And so on to Mr. Monkton…I chose this image because it reminded me of how ‘In the Groove’ we were yesterday – dancing to the latest Bollywood numbers, coloured faces grinning maniacally, carefree and happy! It was a good feeling! A Wonderful feeling 😀 I FELT it! And it’s very clear that  Ms. Bunny feels it too 😀


Happy Monday People!

May you always find COLOUR when you need it 😀

M.A.M – Memorable Mayhem!

So, here I am again…after 3 hectic months of work, fun and more work! March, April and May were hectic, chaotic and HOT, HOT, HOT!!! What with planning Ishaan’s birthday in April, a return to Pediatrics and a wedding in the family…I’ve hardly had time to breathe or think, let alone write! And the break is telling…I can feel it…in the intermittent flow of words, in the interminable pauses I have to take as I think of how best to proceed – the smooth flow that comes from writing regularly is missing, although hopefully, not for long.

June offers solace in terms of work & weddings, although NOT in terms of heat, which continues to reduce me to a wet, stinky, sticky glob of sweat!! If the monsoons don’t arrive soon, there’s no telling what might happen!  And so without further ado, here is a snapshot of the last 3 months for those interested…

March began with a thoroughly enjoyable Holi celebration at home with Ishaan – our first together 🙂 He wasn’t into the colours and ‘pichkaris’ at first, but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like that stand in our way 😉 So he was duly smeared with ‘natural’ non-toxic colours and drenched with streams of coloured-water, much to his chagrin and our amusement 🙂 It’s really quite different – celebrating festivals for and with kids – it adds a whole new dimension of enjoyment – one that you don’t know you’re missing (well, I didn’t), until you experience it. They have a wholesome, transparent  joy and happiness that makes any pretense impossible! It was a whole new experience for me, one that I relished and will treasure always 🙂

Also in March I began my journey back to medicine! Those of you who know me well, know my feelings about my chosen career – so you will understand when I say that no one was surprised more than me when I decided to give Pediatrics a shot again! My dear, dear friend Sushma, also my mentor in Pediatrics and a dedicated Pediatrician herself (she’s one of the top Pediatricians in Goa), must receive due credit – if that seems indicated 😛 She’s been needling me to get back ever since I set foot in Goa, appealing to my ego, through alternate  flattery & blackmail, an exercise in futility, since I have no illusions as to my abilities and have very definite ideas about what I will and will not do – even for friendships as dear as ours!  Her long lectures on my ‘long latent but supposedly considerable’ skills as a doctor, notwithstanding, I finally capitulated, only when I was well and truly ready 😉 In retrospect – I’m glad and thankful to Sushma, you must understand though – firmly in retrospect 😉

So, mid-March through May, saw me ensconced in her clinic every morning, (while she vacationed in the US) attending to those of her patients brave enough to allow a novice like me ‘see’ their precious kids. Coughs, colds, diarrhea, the Flu, urine infections, worms…I saw them all and learnt from every one of them – kids and of course their parents! Another unique experience that will stay with me for all time 🙂 I think what I enjoyed most about the whole exercise was the feeling of purpose I felt every morning. The need to get out of bed, shower, get dressed and leave – and that was by far the best part of all – the leaving – I got to be away from home and the eternal buzzing chaos of household chores that was beginning to seriously frazzle my poor nerves 😛 Better a child crying than a servant yelling, I say 😉

April is Birthday time in the family menage – son, hubby, grandma in that order. We had a big B’day shindig for Ishaan this year. A celebration of the joy and laughter & a testament to the hope he brought us when Life seemed dark & bleak. Although I was exhausted with the planning and organizing – it all seemed worth it, and a wonderful time was had by all 🙂 Ishaan played cricket, enjoyed the puppet show, ate fish and was terrified of the life-sized Pooh! I’m glad the trip to Disney is still many years away 😛  April was also a time of socializing with cousins, eating out and general enjoyment amidst work. And so on to May – when the heat got worse and with it my temper 😉 My cousin chose to get married in this – the hottest May in Goa’s history and Goan weddings (or should I say Indian?) being what they are, there was NO ESCAPE!! None at all – from wearing silk saris for 3 days (although I got away with my cotton ‘Gadhwal’ once!), from donning jewelery (though Mom and I kept it to the minimum, unlike the rest of the family, who oblivious to the furnace-like conditions, seemed to derive immense pride and dare I say pleasure in wearing every piece of jewelery they owned, all at once :P), from then sweating like a pig in said saris and jewels, from eating insipid vegetarian food, from drinking lukewarm soft drinks (you KNOW those are the worst kind!) and making incessant, meaningless chit-chat with nosy acquaintances and long-lost family members,  whom you haven’t seen in years and have no interest in whatsoever!! There – have been wanting to get that off my chest for a while 😉 Feel so much lighter now 😛

To perk me up (no pun intended) after what was undeniably the hottest wedding  in our family’s history (again, no pun intended) – came a Pediatric CME (Continuing Medical Education) program that I helped organize. I edited the Souvenir for the program. (Note to the uninitiated – A Souvenir is a compilation of scientific articles, advertisements from sponsors and any interesting tidbits to do with the relevant subject matter that must be printed but is NEVER read, unless by the seriously crazy or seriously dedicated!). I learned a lot while making this particular one – mostly that Doctors need mandatory lessons in English grammar every year, they need to write their own or at least read through their ghost-written articles before sending them off to impressionable novices like myself who may actually hope to ‘learn’ from them (what WAS I thinking?!) and hard though this last may be, acknowledge the possibility of Life beyond Medicine! So, all in all, an illuminating experience in many ways 😉 The highlight of the said CME was the ‘Banquet’, on board the Casino Royale (No Daniel Craig, more’s the pity!) – uh huh – a rocking time was had by one and all – with unlimited food, Russian dancers and MOST importantly – unlimited alcohol…sigh…You tell me – what CAN be better? I indulged in my favorite tipple and danced the night away 😀 Groovy!

So, May ended on a high – heat and otherwise, and that brings me to the end of this necessarily (feel free to think otherwise) long post…I promise the next one will be short…hopefully sweet too…although I’ve never been one for sweets 😛

Toodles then…until next  time 🙂