Tag Archives: Growingup

The Colour Of Blessings

The Colour Of Blessings

© Dr Rajas Deshpande

Carefully calculating the dose and mixing it with the intravenous fluid with precision, I told the kind old lady: “I am starting the medicine drip now. If you feel anything unpleasant, please tell me.”

Through her pain, she smiled in reply. Her son, my lecturer Dr. SK, stood beside us and reassured her too. He had to leave for the OPD, there already was a rush today. “Please take care of her and call me if you feel anything is wrong” he said and left.

Dr. SK’s mom was advised chemotherapy of a cancer. It was quite difficult to calculate its doses and prepare the right concentration for the intravenous drip. Just a month ago, my guide Dr. Pradeep (PY) Muley had taught me how to accurately prepare and administer it, so when Dr. SK’s mom was admitted, he requested me to do it for her too.

The drip started. After a few hours, I noticed that her urine bag needed emptying. The ‘mausi’ supposed to do it was already out for some work. Any resident doctor in India naturally replaces whoever is absent. So I wore gloves, requested a bucket from the nurse, and emptied the urobag into it. Just as I carried the bucket with urine towards the ward bathrooms, Dr. SK returned, and offered to carry it himself, but I told him it was okay and went on to keep the bucket near the bathroom where the ‘mausi’ would later clean it. © Dr Rajas Deshpande

Once the drip was over, Dr. SK invited me for a tea at a small stall outside the campus. He appeared disturbed. He said awkwardly: “Listen, please don’t misunderstand, but when I saw you carrying my mother’s urine in the bucket, I was amazed. You are a Brahmin, right? When you were away, my mom even scolded me why I allowed you to do it, she felt it was embarrassing, as we hail from the Bahujan community. I am myself a leader of our association, as you already know”.

I knew it, to be honest. His was a feared name in most circles.He was a kindly but aggressive leader of their community, but always ready to help anyone from any caste or religion, to stand by anyone oppressed, especially from the poor and discriminated backgrounds.

“I didn’t think of it Sir! She is a patient, besides that she’s your mother, and I am your student, it is my duty to do whatever is necessary. Otherwise too, my parents have always insisted that I never entertain any such differences”. I replied. © Dr Rajas Deshpande

“That’s okay, but I admit my prejudice about you has changed,” he said. “If you ever face any trouble, consider me your elder brother and let me know if I can do anything for you”. What an honest, courageous admission! Unless every Indian who thinks he / she is superior or different than any other Indian actually faces the hateful racist in the West who ill-treats them both as “browns or blacks”, they will never understand the pain of discrimination!

As fate would have it, in a few months, I had an argument with a professor about some posting. The professor then called me and said “So long as I am an examiner, don’t expect to pass your MD exams.”

I was quite worried. My parents were waiting for me to finish PG and finally start life near them, I already had a few months old son, and our financial status wasn’t robust. I could not afford to waste six months. © Dr Rajas Deshpande

I went to Dr. SK. He asked all details. Then he came with me to the threatening professor. He first asked me to apologise to the professor for having argued, which I did. Then he told the professor: “Rajas is my younger brother. Please don’t threaten him ever. Pass him if he deserves, fail him if he performs poor. But don’t fail him if he performs well. I will ask other examiners”.

The professor then told me that he had threatened me “in a fit of rage”, and it was all over.

With the grace of God, good teachers and hard work, I did pass my MD in first attempt. When I went to touch his feet, Dr. SK took me to his mom, who showered her loving blessings upon me once again, and gifted me a Hundred rupee note from her secret pouch. © Dr Rajas Deshpande

Like most other students, I’ve had friends from all social folds at all times in school and colleges. I had excellent relations with the leaders of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Association, and twice in my life they have jumped in to help me in my fight against injustice when everyone else had refused. I love the most fierce weapon of all that Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar himself carried: the fountain pen!

No amount of fights will ever resolve any problems between any two communities, the only way forward is to respectfully walk together and find solutions. Fortunately, no doctor, even in India, thinks about any patient in the terms of their religion or caste. (© Dr Rajas Deshpande). Just like the Judge in the court premises, humanity is the single supreme authority in any medical premises. Blood or heart, brain or breathing are not exclusive to any religion or community. Just like the bigger brain, a bigger heart is also the sign of evolution.

I so much wish that the black clouds of disharmony between different communities are forever gone. The only hope is that our students can open any doors and break any walls, so long as they do not grow up into egoistic stiffs. © Dr Rajas Deshpande

I am proud to belong to the medical cult of those who never entertain any discrimination. A patient’s blessing has no coloured flags attached! Even outside my profession, I deeply believe that the very God I pray exists in every single human being I meet. If at all anyone asks me, I am happy to say that:

My religion, my caste and my duty as a doctor are all one: Humanity first!

© Dr Rajas Deshpande



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Do we have a “Parenting IQ” ?

Do we have a “Parenting IQ” ?
Parenting is the most difficult career, don’t know when it became unfashionable for some who claim success “outside” parenting.
However successful one may have been otherwise, if they have neglected growing kids for want of money/ fame / career they have committed a crime.
There is no greater insult to childhood than a parent NOT having time to spend with kids. The only exceptions may be Military services, or Selfless (not for any personal gain) sacrifice in the larger interest of humanity.
Equally guilty are parents who carry home the fatigue, stress and irritation related to their work and claim the family has to bear it as they are earning.Or expect the non-working parent to cover for both.
Childhood is a magical, most enjoyable phase in life, and to me any parent who has sacrificed his / her career for growing up children is more respectable (even if less literate) than the ones who sacrificed parenting duties for a better material life.
Providing for family’s needs is essential, but the “greedy” options of earning more to give them best (which is never enough, and best for kids is never material) and in the process killing the option of spending time with the kids is so unintelligent!
One should consider and discuss with their proposed match before marriage about their individual ” Parenting IQ”, and the distribution of career choices/ duties so that one parent at most times and both for many times are available for attending the children. Only mother or only father are NOT the options, neither are guilt ridden compensatory annual family vacations.
Children are happiest when both parents are with them together, it is so sad that the grown-ups rarely understand this. Most working parents would argue that this is so “impractical”. Hence the title of this article.
© Rajas Deshpande

Time doesn’t fly!

Time doesn’t fly!
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

“How time flies!” meeting after a long time, a friend exclaimed. “You have not changed much.” she added.

I am usually dumbstruck when someone from remote past meets enthusiastically and presumes you are the same person. If at all I remember the name and reference from the past, I do ask some “safe” questions, but mostly remain a poor communicator compared to the hyper-dramatic “hug and hold and be ecstatic” types. As she went away apparently amused and with a promise to keep in touch, my mind lifted the curtain upon a full blown orchestra in waiting within it.

Did time fly?
No. It walked very slowly, laboriously, and made me older than I ought to have been. It ate into my youth like a tyrant, laughing aloud, meaning to humiliate openly, as if asking “You wanted this life, so pay for it. You couldn’t choose to do what most do. You had to listen to yourself”.

Time showed me the irony: that nothing good gets rewards in life, unless you learn the language of spiritual satisfaction. It showed me the compromises lurking on every nook and corner leading to success, fame and riches. It taught me that the price of being right is loneliness. It made me look skywards every other day, seeking intervention and justice from the divine, for things not only my own, but those suffering around me too. It also taught me patience.

Patience that must outlast its own being meaningful, patience that must last beyond life itself.

Time took away the innocence, the faith, the trust that I came with to life. It made heavy each bit of each moment when the rolling tears had a reflection of laughing friends in it, they didn’t turn away then, they just denied those tears! The margins between friends, enemies and strangers were blurred by the mysterious paintings of that eternal artist: time.

Time taught me the songs of hurt in the notes of happiness.

Not everyone lives in truth. Most who compromise and tell themselves “I am Happy” never get to know true happiness. There are rare truly happy people, with one common quality: they have less desire, less interaction and acceptance of themselves not being understood or accepted.
Otherwise in most cases true happiness is inversely proportional to the product of intelligence and sensitivity.

It is a sin, now I have started feeling, that we live among so many lies, afraid to fight them, scared to even think about things that are wrong just because of a persistent social phobia. In an attempt to forget the slow onslaught upon our very being by the passing time, we have chosen to find respite in food and entertainment, in words that please and amuse, and in running away from ourselves and home and even reality to distant destinations, only to return and find the old man ticking slowly.

Awareness of the genuine negativity in the world can be labeled depression only by the slow witted, slower by centuries!

Time doesn’t fly. It makes you pay for each moment. These moments are mostly so painful and filthy, so filled with labour and envy of the undeserving having it all, that we choose to only remember the “Good Bits”, hopping over the bad, hoping it will die away before us. It does not.

The quest for enlightenment comes only after one garners the ability to survive the truth. Of all pains in the world, of all difficulties in life, truth is the worst to bear. One starts to understand Lord Buddha only after that courage.

Next time I meet my friend, I will tell her that time didn’t fly. Also that I have changed, become a different person than the one she knew. Just to keep the books clean. One more stranger will be added to our list of acquaintances. She won’t care, nobody does about these things.

One more piece of life will so die.

Time doesn’t fly. Life does, in the opposite direction.

© Dr. Rajas Deshpande.

I have to walk my life alone. Always.

I have to walk my life alone. Always.

I can deceive myself and others by pretending to understand.. Hold hands and falsely reassure myself and someone else of things being shared, but then we both choose to close our eyes to the reality: that no pain ever can be shared. No happiness, no personal achievement, no mental evolution, even peace cannot be shared. We cannot divide anything that’s not physical, anything in mind/ heart is not often understood even by ourselves.
The only thing that can be shared is Love.
I can depend upon no one. I can use people, and they can use me for mutual gains. This is growth, but at the cost of either’s freedom to grow alone, and the speed of growth of the faster one among the two. Friends and family can help me in tasks I specify, but then again, I can’t depend upon anyone if I want things done when I want them done. No one is born for the purpose of helping me achieve.
The only person I can depend upon is myself.
I have to pursue my dreams. I have to stand up to my aims. I cannot expect anyone to push or pull me. No one can motivate anyone. Those who need to learn and move ahead do so by their own will power. Those who need help need it all their life. Those who blame others, circumstances, and situations are in fact declaring their own submission to these all. One may fall due to someone else’s fault, but getting up is always a personal choice.
I am the only guardian alive for my dreams.
There are no guarantees of any future. Nobody is expected to follow rules to suit you. Everyone will ultimately choose what suits them most and that too, materialistically. I am, and you too are selfish to the core, that being the human nature. Some of us learn to overcome this for love in different forms. This is a personal choice, not mandatory for others because you chose to be unselfish. No one dances to your tune, and you do not dance to anyone’s.

I can only choose what I do, not people.
Relationships between two where one is superior are fake to the core. That is slavery by definition. Be it between two humans or that between a human and an institute or society: respecting each other equally is the definition of a relationship, all else is financial / legal / professional contract. A relationship where both are not equally happy and satisfied (words may lie) from within is useless and redundant. It is amazing, the length to which we may deceive ourselves before realizing that the other was just using us, and our imagination of them was a mistake all along!
A relationship is only possible with true equality and mutual respect.
There is immense pain in loneliness, but there is cheap compromise in accepting a deceitful relationship. There is no meaning in a bond between two if there is no true love. Complete understanding and acceptance, no deceit, mutual respect of each other’s choices, and also a willing, caring attitude towards solving the differences are an essential part of any mixture of minds. We often deceive ourselves for the people we like, and realize over time that Nature / God / Prudence / Wisdom / Intuition had all warned us again and again about compromising for petty gains. If to avoid looking down upon ourselves in future, we need to be more careful in choosing who we trust. This is the brain put to one of its best uses.
Love is only blind, we should not make it deaf and dumb too.

Rajas Deshpande