Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bladderful of thoughts (Thoughts full of bladder)

Note 1: If you have a weak heart or appetite that cannot bear words like bladder, urinary system etc., do not continue reading the post
Note 2: I promise not to write about health conditions or doctors in the next 3 posts
Note 3: Even as I was conceiving this post, I realized that "Three men in a boat" still has its influence on me..will soon get over it

I had been to one of my school friends' marriage last week. He is a doctor now and the bride too is a doctor. The marriage hall was full of doctors, been-doctors, soon-to-be-doctors and will-be-doctors. The bride's father is a professor and hence there were many doctors from that line too. Because of that and owing to illness, it seems as if I spent last month with more doctors than engineers.

I have not been feeling 100% bhupeshy in this one month period even after having recovered from a prolonged fever. I decided to see a doctor who had done some higher studies on medicine just to see if all that education helps him really. So, I woke up early this Saturday @9.30 and after checking with couple of sources, went to one of the big hospitals in Coimbatore. I told the doctor my symptoms. He asked me if I had fever recently and if I had shivering in the night. My answers were "yes" and "oh yes". Then he asked if I had discomfort while urinating. I told him, "slightly", now convinced that the education was really helping. He thought I might have stone formation in the bladder. He asked me to get a UltraSound scan of the abdomen and also take a urine test.

Happy that I was now getting promoted from antibiotics and syrups to Ultrasound scans and urine tests, I called my folks and told them about it. My father thought the formation of stone was due to the heat and because I was always in mother felt it was because I was married to my laptop and spent most of my time with cousin thought it was because Irfan Pathan bowled two stupid balls to Dhoni in the Kings XI Vs CSK match. Finally, my sister declared that it was because I repeatedly made fun of how relieving it is to get one's bladder empty and she referred to two of my earlier posts in this blog as examples. That seemed to be the most convincing reason of all. I thought the doctor should be able to figure all that out by seeing the reports and I went to the US scan centre first.

The notice there read: "Do not take food for 4 hours before the scan. Get the bladder full by drinking 2 litres of water or 2 tender coconuts. When the bladder is full, please let the nursing assistant know". The nursing assistant gave me the same instructions again. When it comes to urinating, I am like a dog that raises its legs at every lamp post - meaning - I could do it anytime....but I felt, my bladder wasnt full enough for the occassion at that point and took 2 glasses of water..not convinced, went out and took a glass of water-melon juice...and then one tender coconut. I felt full and went to the scan centre. The nurse asked me to come back after an hour as the doctor had not arrived yet. While I was wondering if I could it hold it that long, she suggested that I should probably get the urine test done. At the lab, I was given a small container to get sample. When I gave back the container, the attendant asked if it had enough for a sample....I said I could actually contribute for the tests of the next 3 patients in queue. She said, such an idea could only come from someone who studied management. When I said, I am an engineer, she felt that explained it even better.

I had one hour now to be passed. I called my room-mate and I told him of what happened. I asked him if he could bring the book I was reading to the hospital for time-pass. He asked me the title and I said "Go kiss the world"...he said a more apt title to read at the point would be "Go piss the world". I applied some time and travel concepts and realized that I will not be able to meet him before my scan appointment and asked him not to bother.

Anyways, I got busy filling my bladder again. I arrived at the scan centre few minutes before my scheduled time. The place had a lot of pregnant ladies for the scan. I hoped they didnt misplace the reports and declare me pregnant. The nurse was calling out names and I had to wait for my turn. It was well past my appointment time and my name hadnt been called. I would not have minded it had it not been for my bladder being full. I anxiously went to the nurse and asked when my turn would come. Then she realised that she hadnt noted down my name at all. I told her that I could not hold long and that to get my bladder filled again would be far more difficult than emptying it. She seemed to empathize with my situation and immediately called out my name. As soon as the scan was over, I ran like a mad man to the restroom.

With both reports in hand now, I went to the waiting room. Before the doctor arrived, I had to empty the bladder again twice. I must have drunk some 4 litres of water. When the doctor looked at the report he said he didnt see any stones in the report. I told him that even if there had been a diamond in my bladder, it would have dissolved in the gallons of liquid I had taken that day. Then he did the routine checks and wrote down the names of some anti-biotics. He asked me to take them for 2 days and made me sign in blood(I fancy that he might use it for some testing), that I will not make fun about emptying the bladder. Ofcourse, I got an exception for this one post.

When I returned to my room and took a tablet out, I was amazed. It was so big that, if it went undissolved to the bladder, it could increase the water levels in the bladder,like how the clever crow raises the water level by dropping stones inside.

Moral of the story: Drink 2 to 3 litres of water a day even if you are a camel, to avoid stone formations. Even though it turned out that there was no stone in my bladder, I was all the time thinking that I may have to spend the rest of my life trying to dissolve it. (On the hindsight, I was also thinking that the amount of coke I drink must be able to erode even a rock).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

சென்னை நேசனின் கோவை வாசம் - I

எட்டடி சாலையில் எண்ணற்ற சக்கரங்கள்,
முன் செல்லும் வாகனத்தை
முந்திச் செல்ல எத்தனிக்கும்;
எதிர் படும் வாகனத்தால்
பிள்ளயைப் போல்
பின் பதுங்கும்
சாலை நெரிசலில்
மெல்ல நகர்கின்றன வாகனங்கள் -
கோவையும் மா'நகர்'
குறளினும் குறுகிய சாலைகள்
உலகத்தமிழ் மாநாடு தயவில்
அதிகாரம் பெறுகின்றன;
வழிந்தோடும் பொருட்பால்
cross cut-ல் ஆரம்பித்து
சத்தி road வழி சென்று
100 feet வழி மீண்டும் cross cut-ல் முடிகிறது
என் பித்தகாரஸ் தியரம்
பொள்ளாச்சி- வால் பாறை- டாப் ஸ்லிப்- ஊட்டி
வெளியிலிருந்து ஆதரவு
சுவையூற்றாம், கற்கண்டாம்
இச்சிறு நாவில் இன்னும் படவில்லை
கோவைத்தமிழ் பேச்சிலில்லை
கோட்டம் இல்லை spencer இல்லை பீச் இல்லை
எங்கு சந்திப்பர் காதலர்கள்?
திங்கள் தெரியும் செவ்வாய் ஒளியும்
தூரத்து காட்சி மயக்கம்
பெயர் தெரியா மலைத்தொடர்
அண்ணன், அக்கா, தம்பி,
சித்தப்பா, பெரியம்மா
கோவை நகர் நடத்துனர்க்கு
எல்லோருமே உறவு

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Doc...what did you make me gulp?"

I wouldnt say this is new to me or you. You have all been there, there and there. And I wouldnt say the below is all true..I dont half remember what happened to me in real life in the last two days; to give a unadultered version of my dreams in the same period, would be impossible and boring. There are stuffs that I have made up.

On Friday evening, I, along with my friends, returned from a trip to "black thunder" (a theme park near Coimbatore). The taste of masala puri taken at black thunder was lingering in my tongue, and, so I took it for dinner too. I climbed the innumerable steps to my mansion room, took bath (to wipe off the chlorine) and scanned through my book-shelf....then scanned through the DVD collection. "Delhi 6" was inviting. I sat with my laptop. Watched the movie, then as usual, read a few facts about the movie on the net. Got reminded of "Pirates of Carribean" somehow and watched a few clips from the movie. That's the point till which my brain cells have a clear record of. Many people in the rest of the story are real life characters, but I dont know what business they had in my dream - especially Abhishek Bachchan.

I was sitting in "Lalkudi" restaurant, waiting for a table, when a guy next to me started talking in Malayalam. I noticed that his forehead had a "KL" registration. I told him, "Sorry, I dont speak Malayalam". He again said something in Malayalam - the only thamizh word being 'Time'. I told him, "Sorry, I dont understand a word of Malayalam". He showed me the TV. Anil Kumble was being interviewed by my uncle and Kumble declared that Malayalam will be Coimbatore's official language effective immediately. I was starting to feel very insecure about myself. These mallu guys already had a very streamlined body like a fresh water fish and had their way with girls with the sweet language they spoke. Now, that being the official language, I had to learn it. Abhishek Bachchan agreed to help me. After all, he had the best American accent by an Indian actor (Kamal Hasan ranking second). "What an idea sir'ji?" - I told him. There was a condition though, Amitabh would take the introductory session. I was cool with anything.

The new woodland shoes started biting. Peter said, "What is the need for a shoe in black thunder...come on, have you ever been to a water theme park?". He pushed me into the water and said "Savvy!!". I laid in the water, for how long I dont know. I was still in the water, but I knew that everyone in the world had left. They did not know that I was in black thunder drowned in the 'lazy river' which is 2 feet deep. I suddenly remembered that black thunder was for sale. May be, people just left black thunder and not the world. Even if they did leave the world, the first one to go would have been a mallu and I knew the official language in the new earth was Malayalam. So, I was happy to be left out here.

I knew I had to wake up, but could not. I felt heat all over the body. May be I was in a fire ride and not a water ride. These guys used to have something called "Volcano". I realized that I could get out of this, if I could finish one of the 3 tasks I was supposed to do.

1. How better could have "Delhi 6" ended.
2. Set up hints for a treasure hunt that we were planning to have in office.
3. Complete the blog post about "Why I am not expressive" - which I had promised to Jai that I would write about.

I had a tough time choosing between the 3. They all seemed equally tough. With my hands and legs tied, with my nose blocked and with a soar throat which made me mute, I could not do much. Suddenly, one of my friends appeared and said - "You never really care for your friends. You care for only the pretty ones". At this, I was very very deeply hurt and woke up with all my might. I picked my phone and messaged her saying "Watch 'Dog day afternoon'. Al Pacino is awesome". She replied immediately saying, "I asked you to watch 'Amelie'. Have you?". "I think I have swine flu or something. Or may be it is just because I read '3 men on a boat', the other day. Will call you when I am fully conscious".

After 10 minutes, I was a little conscious. The time was 10.30am. I had cold. I was having a bad throat - not as cute as Rani Mukherjee's though. I had fever. I searched my roommate's medical box and found a tablet that said "Crocin - Cold and Flu". Gulped it and went down to take break fast. I asked for warm water to drink and it tasted like elixir (no, I havent tasted elixir). Back to room, I had a pile of clothes to wash. I soaked them in RIN (no, they are not sponsoring this post) and surfed the net a bit. You know, I am immune, brave and all that. So, inspite of the fever, I washed the clothes. The power went off. I thought of lying down for sometime.

Peter woke me up and said - "It is already Sunday and you are not doing anything about your fever. Will Abhishek Bachchan come and fill in for you tomorrow?". But I was helpless. I was already outside of the universe. Jai had trans-ported me through digital imaging for his project. May be, I am yet to get used to the trans-porting..and hence the fever, body pain etc. He has promised to get me back to earth during the maintenance window which was on Saturday night EST (Earth Standard Time). I hoped, he remembered that due to Day Light Saving, the timings have changed.

It must have been about time, for someone was playing 'Nenjukkul peidhidum maamazhai' and I could hear it. The guitar's vibration forced me to wake up. I realized that it was my phone. My cousin was trying to reach me. I hid the phone under the pillow and mumbled "I need some oxygen or may be adrenalin. Depends". That suddenly reminded me that I had to meet the doctor.

The time was 3.30pm. I woke up in a hurry. The body started aching. I still didnt have a clue as to how better "Delhi 6" should have ended. I should probably start with the blog post. But, first, Doctor. I shaved as much as I could, for I did not want the doctor to conclude that I was just dying out of hunger and really was not sick. I walked down the 4 storey mansion. There was a clinic just opposite to my mansion. The board read "Consulting hours - 5pm to 6pm". $#*&# (I don't normally swear or curse). To hell with doctors, they dont work half the time the rest of the world works. I walked the street to see if there was any other clinic. There were 5. One was a homeopathy clinic, one for pregnant women, one was an eye-care clinic, one specialized in skin disease and the other said "Dr.X, BSc Medicine" - wait, are you kidding!!.

I had a cup of tea and climbed 4 floors back. The next thing I did was to sleep again. I set the alarm for 5pm and kept the phone far away from me, least I would hide it under the pillow again.

Myself, Peter, my cousin, some doctor and Sonam Kapoor(Peter had a crush for her, but I was Abhishek Bachchan..right? Don't tell Peter.) were running around Black Thunder to find the next hint for the treasure hunt. Peter shouted in Malayalam "Werent you the one who set the hint..why are you running with us?".
"The hints that I had set were before Black Thunder was sold off" - I shouted back in Malayalam..(Wow...did you notice accent?). He seemed confused.
My cousin sent me a message saying - "pls call me". I thought he must have got lost somewhere. But my phone was the treasure we were trying to find. Idiot, how the hell could I call him, when the very thing we were searching for was my phone. Then it occurred to me that if I could read the message, then probably the phone was somewhere near. I woke up and found the phone in my hand. My cousin had really messaged me and I had really read it. Anyways, he was getting on my nerves. Lazy guy, had no work to do on Saturdays and was probably trying to reach me to say 'Hi'. I replied saying - "Hey..I am fine. Coimbatore is equally hot. Black Thunder was disappointing. Will call later. Busy now" and switched off the phone. The time was 4.45 anyways.

Washed my face and went down again. Fever wasn't there now, throat had cleared goodness...I had atleast one reason to go to the doctor - I still had body pain. I was happy for that (!!!). The doctor had no compounder, no nurse, one fan and a poster that said "Swine Flu is curable....blah..blah".
The doc looked like he bunked his medicine classes for the 5 to 6 consulting session. I told him that I had fever. He took the thermometer. I said, "It is
not there now". I told him that I had a bad throat. He asked me to pull my tongue out. I said, "It is better now".

"Do you have blocked nose"


"Do you have cough"




He looked confused. Probably he thought I was not going to give him the consultation fees.

"But I had body pain and it is still there"..I smiled as I said that.

He checked my blood pressure. He asked me to breathe in and out, while he probed my back with his steth. (Is this guy, just using all his equipments).

"What do you do?..I mean, where do you work"
"In a private firm" (I prefer not to tell that I work in IT field...I might be robbed).

He gave me one of those looks that interview panelists give when they want to say "Could you eloborate that?".

"I am a programmer in a small company"
"Which one?"
"Cognizant" ( I will be robbed).

He scribbled the names of 3 tablets. ( I later found that one of them was paracetamol) and asked me to take rest.
"Three zero"
(Wow!!..dude, he is a good know...not all doctors are like that).

The medicines costed me 97.13 (VAT inclusive).

It was only 6pm. But I badly wanted to give myself a psychological boost. Took 4 idlies, pretending to my stomach that it was dinner and took the tablets. Ofcourse, slept off again. I started shivering after sometime. Started having cough. I had a blocked nose. "Did the doc ask me those questions, to know the symptoms or to give me those symptoms?". I decided to google and check what those tablets were for - but only after I woke up. I knew I was not asleep, but I knew I was not awake either. By the way, "How better could have 'Delhi 6' ended?".

I could sleep no more after 9pm. I felt better, like, a fresh water fish from Kerala. Called my friend and explained why I had not seen "Amelie" yet. Called
my cousin and gave him an account of the Black Thunder trip. Made sure, he didnt talk about it again. Opened the laptop and decided to write about the blog on "Being Expressive"....but switched to an earlier promise made to Arvindh, about writing a fiction and got that done.

Went to bed at 2.30am. Had a good sleep. No dreams...or may be I just dont remember them. Woke up at 6 and logged in immediately to see if there were any comments on the new post. Srikk, Seshu and Subi had declared that it was no fiction and that it was an account of my love-failure in real life. "How better could I end this story?" - I thought. Gave it a second climax..which was more bollywood types - just so that it would sound really like a fiction.

Soon, me and my Appleton friends got into a conference call - a long one. When I got off the call, the power went off. I took my morning dosage of the medicine and slept off. No dreams..or may be I just dont remember them. When I woke up, I had no body pain, no cold...but fever was still there. I was happy that I had a reason to have one more dosage of the tablets (What kind of disease is this? Is this a symptom of swine flu?). Delhi 6 climax didnt matter any more. I finished setting hints for the treasure hunt. Thought "Being expressive" needed more time for assimilation, and instead decided to write about the last 2 days of absolute laziness.

I am going to see what those tablets were meant for. I still have fever. Cheers!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

காதலாகிக் கசிந்துருகி

அலுவலகப் பேருந்தில், வைரமுத்து பற்றி ஒருவர் சிலாகித்துக் கொண்டிருக்க, முன் தினம் நண்பனின் தொலை பேசி அழைப்பு நினைவுக்கு வந்தது - "என்னடா இன்னும் கவிதை எல்லாம் எழுதுறியா?". கவிதை எழுத கோபம் வேணும், சோகம் வேணும், குறைந்த பட்சம் காதலாவது வேணும் என்று நினைத்துக் கொண்டேன். சரி சும்மா முயற்சி செய்யலாம் என்று முன்னிருக்கையில் அமர்ந்திருந்த ஒரு சுமாரான பெண்ணைத் தேர்ந்தெடுத்துக்கொண்டேன். ஒரு மெல்லிய காற்று வீச, கலைந்த கூந்தலைச் சரி செய்து கொண்டாள்.

"கலைந்த சிகையின்
அழகுக்குக் காரணம் -
காற்றா காதலா?"

என்று விறு விறுவென நண்பனுக்கு SMS அனுப்பினேன். "அட! இது work out ஆகும் போலிருக்கே!!" என்று உற்சாகம் அடைந்தேன்.


பேருந்தில் யார் யார் பயணிக்கிறார்கள் என்பதைப் பதிவு செய்வதற்காக, ஒரு ஏட்டில் அனைவரும் பெயர் எழுதி கையொப்பம் இடுவோம். அவள் பெயரை அறிந்து கொள்ளும் ஆவலில், மறு நாளும் அவள் பின்னிருக்கையில் அமர்ந்து கொண்டேன். கையொப்பம் இட்டுப் பின்னால் என் கையில் கொடுக்க, பெயரைப் பார்த்தேன் - "தென்றல்"!

"உன் பெயரை எழுதியதும்
பதிவேட்டின் பக்கங்கள்


இப்படியாக ஒரு வாரம் SMS-ல் கவிதைகள் பறந்து கொண்டிருக்க, அன்று project lead எல்லோரையும் ஒரு அறைக்கு அழைத்தார். நம்ம teamல புதுசா கொஞ்சம் பேர் சேரப்போறாங்க. அவங்கள அறிமுகம் செய்யத்தான் இந்த meeting என்றார். எங்களைக் காக்கச் சொல்லிவிட்டு, வெளியே சென்று மூவரை அழைத்து வந்தார்; எனக்கு இரத்தம் தலைக்கேறுவது தெரிந்தது..மூவரில் ஒருவர் - தென்றல். "What are the chances!!" என்று ஆச்சிரியம் அடைந்தேன். ஒவ்வொருவராக அறிமுகம் செய்து கொள்ள, என்னைப்பார்த்து ஒரு மில்லி மீட்டர் அதிகம் சிரித்தாள். இருக்கைக்குச் சென்றதும், விசைப்பலகையில் என் படபடப்பை டைப்படித்தேன்.


ஓரிரு நாட்களில் பணி நிமித்தமாக பேசிக்கொண்டோம் - அவள் அதிகமாகவும், நான் சிக்கனமாகவும். "நீங்க ரொம்ப 'reserved'-ஆ இருக்கீங்க" என்றாள். நான் சிரித்தேன் - மீண்டும் சிக்கனமாக.

"இதயத்தை முன்பதிவு செய்தவள் கூறினாள் -
' நீங்க ரொம்ப reserved'"


ஒரு நாள் காலை அவளிடமிருந்து அழைப்பு வந்தது.

"அவள் அழைக்கும் போது செல்கின்றன
vibration modeக்கு
என் செல்கள் அனைத்தும்"

' நான் வர ஒரு 5 மினிட்ஸ் ஆகும், டிரைவர கொஞ்சம் வெய்ட் பண்ணச் சொல்றீங்களா?' ' நிறையவே வெய்ட் பண்ணச் சொல்றேங்க' என்று வழிந்தேன். பேருந்து வரும் முன்னரே வந்து சேர்ந்தாள்.

"உங்க caller tone நல்லாருக்கு - என்ன படம்?" என்றாள்.

"Michael Learns to Rock ஆல்பத்துல ஒரு பாட்டு".

"ஓ! ஆங்கிலப் பாடல்கள் தான் கேப்பீங்களோ".

"இல்லைங்க, நீங்க தமிழ் பேசினாலும் கேப்பேன்".

"அட! உங்கள reservedனு தப்பா எடை போட்டுட்டேன்", என்று சிரித்தாள்.


ஒரு நாள் team-ல் அனைவரும் இரவு உணவிற்கு வெளியே சென்றோம். வெகு நேரம் ஆகியும் அவளைக்காணோம்.

"சைக்கிளுக்கு எவ்வளவு முக்கியமோ
அவ்வளவு முக்கியம் காதலுக்கும் -

என்று நண்பனுக்கு SMS அனுப்பினேன்.

கொஞ்சம் தாமதமாய் வந்தவள் என்னருகில் அமர்ந்திருந்த அரவிந்தை அடுத்த இருக்கைக்கு மாறச்சொல்லிவிட்டு என்னருகில் அமர்ந்து கொண்டாள். எல்லோரும் என்னை அர்த்தமாய்ப் பார்க்க, " நீங்க மட்டும் தான் நம்ம teamல veg..birds of same feather flock together" என்று சிரித்தாள். "அவங்க plateல இருக்கறது கூட birds of same feather தான்" என்று சமாளித்தாலும் எனக்கு உணவு இறங்கவில்லை. அன்றிரவு உறங்கவில்லை.

தேனீர் இடைவேளையில் ஒரு நாள், " நீங்க 'தண்ணீர் தேசம்' படிச்சிட்டிருந்தீங்களே,முடிச்சிட்டீங்களா? எனக்குத்தறீங்களா please?" என்றாள். அவளுக்கு வைரமுத்து பிடிக்கும் என்றும், புத்தகங்கள் படிப்பாள் என்றும் அன்று தெரிந்து கொண்டேன்.


ஒரு வேளை எல்லாம் காரணமாகத்தான் நடக்கிறதா? இவள் தான் என்னவளா? இவளுக்கு நான் ஏற்ற துணையா? என் குடும்பத்தில் இவள் மகிழ்ச்சியாய் இருப்பாளா? திருமணம் பற்றி முடிவு செய்யும் நிலையில் நான் இருக்கிறேனா?" என்றெல்லாம் ஒரு மாதத்திற்கு மண்டையைப் பிய்த்துக் கொண்டிருந்தேன். கவிதைக்காய்க் காதலிக்கப் போய் இப்படி மூளையைப் பிராண்ட வேண்டியிருக்கிறதே என்று நொந்து போனேன். முடிவெடுக்கும் தைரியம் இல்லாமல், அவளிடமிருந்து விலக ஆரம்பித்தேன்.

"அறுத்து விட்டதும்
அதிகம் துடித்தது - காதல் -
பல்லியின் வால் போல"

என்று சென்றது நண்பனுக்கு SMS.

climax 2(for international audience):
சென்ற வாரம் அவளிடமிருந்து email வந்திருந்தது - அவள் திருமண வாழ்க்கை மகிழ்வாய் இருப்பதாகவும், தான் விரும்பியது போலிருப்பதாகவும். அதோடு, என்னுடனான நட்பு வினோதமானது என்றும் - நாங்கள் தொடர்பற்று போனதில் வறுத்தம் அடைவதாகவும்.

பல்லியின் வால் கடைசியாய் ஒரு முறை துடித்தது.

climax 1(for bollywood audience):
பின்னர் கதையில் சில twistகள் வந்து, தென்றலே என் வாழ்க்கைத் துணையானாள். நேற்று திடீரென கேட்டாள் "ஏன் நீ இப்போலாம் கவிதை எழுதுறதில்ல"; "கவிதை எழுத கோபம் வேணும், சோகம் வேணும், குறைந்த பட்சம் காதல் தோல்வியாவது வேணும்"; " நீ என்னைக் கல்யாணம் பண்ணிக்கிட்டதே காதல் தோல்விதானே" என்று சிரித்தாள் - என் மனைவியாகிய தேவதை.

(Attempted a fiction, per request from Arvindh. Because of Delhi-6 effect added two climax)