Musings From The OT: The Surgeon. (Housejob Diaries)

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Sleight of hand, sharpness of wits. Blood stained, sweaty browed, stiff necked, he stands. Yet he stands upright. Stance firm, piloting up to four instruments at a time.

The surgeon, almost arrogantly confident, always a little too loud, always sure of himself. So much so, that you can’t help but wonder whether it is in fact blind certainty, or a facade to mask any lingering doubts. His decision is absolute.

Hands plunged deep inside an cavity, searching, rearranging. The vibrations of the operating table jolt me back to my senses. A reminder that that’s in fact a human being, under the drapery and bloodstains. A realisation, that what he’s doing is no less than assisting the work of God himself.

 

“As a surgeon you have to have a controlled arrogance. If it’s uncontrolled, you kill people, but you have to be pretty arrogant to saw through a person’s chest, take out their heart and believe you can fix it. Then, when you succeed and the patient survives, you pray, because it’s only by the grace of God that you get there.”
– Mehmet

Reflections from the ER 1: Housejob Diaries

Short and somewhat fragmented, much like my thought processes these days. 

 

Twice a week we are banished to the purgatory of the ER. A place where it is neither night nor day, summer nor winter; yet everything all at once. Bright lights rob us of any true orientation, disconcerting after a certain number of waking hours. The ER doesn’t play by the rules of other places. Things never come to a stop, but merely slow down, then speed up. An irregularly irregular pulse of activity. Time follows a similar pattern. It would be foolish to associate night with rest, or any other time for that matter. Rest, for the fortunate, is always stolen from within duties.

Here in the accident and emergency department, we juggle the accidental emergencies and tackle the emerging accidents. We main sharp-witted, shrewd, and often sure of ourselves, even when we are not.
The walls absorb as many prayers and curses as the floor does blood, sweat and tears. Wails and yells pierce the air intermittently, an argument dotted here and there. But that’s all routine.

 

 

Five People In My Life I’m Grateful For

 

…and what I learned from them.

 

The Unexpected Companion. 

The person who you’re lucky enough to cross paths with at the outset of an adventure and who sticks by you throughout the journey. They help coax you out of your shell, by their mere example and just the thing you need to push you out of your comfort zone. A person who, by virtue of their inner strength, show that an emotional display isn’t necessarily emotional vulnerability. You learn to read them, and they, you. Having weathered the same struggles, you remain allies for long after you’ve parted ways.

 

The Teacher.

The person whose logic and calming presence puts you back in the right place. A person who is a place to recalibrate your thoughts and feelings, almost slightly scaring you with the accuracy of their perception. A person whose silence speaks louder than their words, the volumes of which, astound you. They give you the patience and dedication that you didn’t know you deserved, and in turn, teach you to do the same for those who matter.

 

The Confidante.

The person with whom you don’t discuss the frivolous day to day, but things with depth and intertwined with such emotion that you would never dare to air in from to anyone else. Someone in front of whom your flaws are safe, and openness is the only way you know how to communicate. The person who teaches you acceptance, most importantly of yourself. Trust is key, and you can lay out your deepest darkest secrets, without hesitation or fear of judgment.

 

The Foil.

The person who isn’t quite like you, but in being different teach you to be a little more yourself. Or rather who unlock parts of you that you  never knew you had and just let it be. Who oil the hinges on your squeaky, awkward and let things move easily. They see the lighter side of things. Their strength lies in the fact that they’re someone for whom companionship matters, reminding you it matter for you too.

 

The Cheerleader.

The person who teaches you that to love and to rejoice in life are not outfits to be saved for special occasions, but something to bask in such that it shines through your being. They show you the importance of acknowledging your emotions, but greater still, to put up a smiling face against what the world throws at you.

 

 

 

Long time, no post!

This is a piece I wrote a while back, sort of a moment captured, which I once imagined would be the beginning or middle of a story.

~

She flaunted her flaws unapologetically. She wore no make up, save a touch of her usual red lipstick and the smudges of last night’s kohl below her eyes. Absentminded, She fingered the rim of her cup, the foam long since having cleared.

The café was rarely more than a third full just past 10 am on a weekday morning, and the peace was welcoming. Perks of working irregular hours, she thought, before catching herself. Perks of not working at all, she corrected herself bitterly.

She stared at the empty chair across from her. It was unoccupied, as it often was, but today she felt the emptiness. Biting the inside of her cheek, she tried to clear the vague displeasure from her mind. It brought an irksome discomfort; though the solitude that she embraced once before had returned abruptly, it wasn’t wholly unwelcome.

So caught up was she in the nothingness of her current existence, that she didn’t notice the waiter approaching her, until there was a clink of china as he set her breakfast gingerly down before her.

With one sweeping movement, she transferred her hair from the nape of her neck to the side, the tumble of curls obscuring her face from the window she sat adjacent to. Giving her food a sideways glance, she knew that despite her sour mood, she was ravenous.

English and Urdu: An etymological and historical look at the similarities between the two languages

Buffetkhor

To the majority of us, English and Urdu are two completely different languages with almost no correlation with one another. In Pakistan, aside from being the de facto and de jure languages of the state, there is absolutely nothing in common between the two languages in the eyes of the layman.

However, this is not entirely true. Aside from the 200 years of British colonialism which subsequently led Pakistan to adopt English as the official language of the state, the relationship between the two languages stretches back hundreds of years and upon close inspection using etymology juxtapositioning we can see a lot of lexical and historic similarities between the two languages and how they emerged. This article is meant to be taken with a pinch of salt and not as a guide to comparative linguistics. Additionally, this will be an objective piece looking at the correlation between the two languages…

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Guest Post: An Open Letter to the Dearly Departed

Well, my friends, as you know, I’m big on expressing emotions and what better medium to paint such a picture than to build it up word by word. This post was sent to me by a shy acquaintance, who wished to have their voice heard, albeit anonymously. Feedback and words of encouragement are welcome, as always. 🙂

 

 

Dear Ma and Abba.

I miss you. So much! Every day, every minute, every second. I need you, more than ever now. I’m in pain, so much pain that for the first time in my life since you left, I feel like I cant take it anymore. It’s bleeding me to death, which is a good thing, but the worst part is, I’m not dying quicker. I’m standing exactly where you left me. Ever since you’ve been gone, I have been trying to move forward. I’m running as fast as I can, but I haven’t moved an inch. I have done everything I could think of, to fill the bottomless pit you left in my gut when you left. But it’s getting deeper and hollower. I know there’s nothing in the world that would fill it. I don’t have the strength in me to move forward.

I’m so lonely I don’t even feel like God is watching over me anymore. I don’t feel like you can hear me call out your name in the middle of the night when I tire myself from crying to sleep. I need someone to hug me til I cry myself to oblivion in their embrace. I don’t have anyone I could think of who’d do that for me. I don’t have anything left in my heart, in my soul. I would just quit but I don’t even have the strength left in me to do that, either. The ones you left me with, left me behind and moved on. Ma, when they see me, they don’t see that I’m in pain. All they see is why the hell am I in pain, when I shouldn’t be. They can’t understand why I’m doing this to myself. They don’t hear me even when I scream for help. They can’t hear me! I know you couldn’t bear the sight of me crying, I wonder if dying has made you stronger. That could be the only explanation for me calling out to you in pain and you not answering. I’m in pain, Abu ji, I can’t take it anymore, Amma! Please save me! Please make it stop, somehow!

                      _______________________

Dear Ma and Abba,

I’m better now. Much better, even happier. I still cry, almost every day, I still wake up in the middle of the night, unable to breathe and then unable to go back to sleep; but that doesn’t happen every night, anymore. I still feel lonely, utterly and completely alone in this big world; but that’s ok, I found God and He IS watching over me! I still feel like everyone is sprinting while I’m going at the speed of snail; but even that’s ok, because I found a few winning flags on my way up. I’m still in a lot of pain; but it doesn’t make me wanna quit anymore. It makes me feel stronger and prouder of myself for having lived through it. I still miss you both, so much, every day, every minute, every second; but that’s ok, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I can still feel you around me, watching over me. I still have scars all over me and my soul still hurts; but that’s ok, because the wounds are healed and I’m grateful that at least it’s over. I still feel like giving up sometimes; but I don’t, because I know the only way I can make you two proud is if I keep going. Ma, they ones you left me with, still can’t hear me cry or see me hurting; but that’s ok, I have learned to tend to my own wounds, all by myself. I’m better now, Abu ji, I feel happier now, Amma! Thank you for watching over me, always. Thank you for giving me strength to keep going, because I wouldn’t wanna see you again, without having done anything to make you proud of me!

 

Birth and Rebirth

 

I found myself in the later hours of my maternity night duty, around 3 am. A lull in the workload served no purpose except to make me acutely aware, how in the timeless disorientation of the well lit emergency, my exhaustion was paradoxical. No matter how I tried, I could not rest.

I lay my head down on the table outside the labour room, closing my eyes slowly. Some half an hour later, I let the fatigue wash over me, begin to pull me under. But then. A piercing cry rang through the air. A heart wrenching wail. How could I have thought to sleep, when new life was coming into our world, merely a few feet away?

We enter the world, bare and crying, alone but sometimes not; vulnerable and small. Posed to protext ourselves against the elements. Shivering, guarded, unsure and dependent. If we are lucky, already loved.

I could barely keep my eyes open, as I mulled over the wonder in this seemingly ordinary fact. But then, I thought, isn’t that the case with every new stage of life? Our first day of school, or work, married life, a new neighborhood. Are we not eternally verging out from a self created womb and diving headfirst into strange and new surroundings? Are we not vulnerable, our lack of experience seemingly a lack of survival skills?

But we learn. We grow. Our bodies ease, our guarded stance uncurling, as we stretch, extend and finally learn to stand tall. Alone, but sometimes not. If we’re lucky, not just loved, but respected. Birth is a cycle that repeats itself, with less vigour, less trauma; but with infinitely more meaning.