Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Long ago, I remember my first encounter with Harrison’s principles of internal medicine. I was in 2nd year, it was a wintry December evening and I was in the library. I opened this textbook for the first time and started reading symptomatology. I was so absorbed by the book in no time. The first chapter I read was ‘pain’. “What a beginning”! I remember thinking.

I was intrigued by pain thanks to Harrison.

A large part of pain is psychological as most of us know. Just the suggestion of pain and attention to the pain-causing stimulus adds to the agony. Come on, didn’t the dull stinging in your heel turn into a full- blown, tantrum- throwing, howling when you SAW the thorn in your heel? Yes you poor baby, I know you were in pain, but your pain increased when you paid attention to what caused it.

The concept of fear of pain was what caught my fancy the most. Sample this,MOST of the neuronal projections carrying the sensation of pain project to the areas in your brain that sub serve unpleasant emotions like suffering, crying, and the sheer dread/ fear of pain. To explain better the fear of pain- consider the Chinese water torture where the victim dreads the next drop of water falling on his forehead or worse still, the small of his back. Drops of water fall in undetermined although frequent intervals on the small of his back or his forehead. The part becomes stiff and frozen after some time. The victim is in constant fear of the next drop falling on that painful, stiff area and the drops do not fall in regular intervals. The next drop could be seconds later or minutes later or the steady dripping may resume hours later. YEAARRGH! Frustration, pain, lord! Enough to drive anyone to insanity.

Pain modulation- soldiers don’t feel pain even when they suffer major fractures, thanks to their adrenaline charged states. Remember Rudy Youngblood a.k.a.’ jaguar paw’ running miles and miles to escape being caught by his captors even after being stabbed through and through in his abdomen? On the other hand, normally, you’d grimace even before the needle pricks your precious bum. Thanks to pain modulation, it’s theoretically possible to induce pain without any external stimulus. Think voodoo! I mean just expecting pain does weird things with your brain and you appreciate the pain more.

Pain tolerance is fascinating. Some women howl and howl in labour from the very beginning, while some clench their teeth and fists and get it over with without a single cry escaping them.
What’s a mild stinging for someone is a chest crushing tractor for someone else.

Pain is also addictive, think of those getting multiple tattoos or even self- mutilating ‘cutters’. Beyond a point, nothing is painful enough for that high they get after self harm. Scary! Fact is, the body’s defense mechanism is to release endorphins after sometime of suffering pain which alleviate it a little. People strive for that endorphin rush. Endorphin is an opioid after all. Err... Like morphine and heroine.

No, I am not a masochist, thrilled and turned on by the idea of pain. I just happen to have a certain innocent fascination for it.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Remember the time

He is god. God picked him and imbued him with His essence and sent him on earth to live among ordinary mortals. This great man was born to a father who beat him, terrorized him, teased him about his looks, and gave him nightmares about kidnap by turning up in his room with a scary mask in the dead of the night. The father also hung him upside down and beat him repeatedly. The boy would feel nauseous with fear and start to regurgitate just at the sight of his father entering his room. He wasn’t allowed to play like the other kids. He was forced to work for hours at end and he would cry alone. He would cry silently even when the other people, the outside world clamoured for him.

He suffered because he had a talent. No. talent is too small a word. He suffered because he was blessed with a divine power.

He was five when he started singing and showcasing his talent. He sang ‘baby baby baby’ and the world listened enthralled at this prodigy.

He grew up and was destined to suffer for all his internal demons. But when he danced, he created a tumult in everyone’s hearts. He made kids of maybe every nationality break dance and moon walk in their rooms in front of their mirrors. He made women gasp and men envious of his dancer’s body which was sexy to say the least. Many can ‘pop and lock’ but when you watched him, you knew he was inimitable, untouchable. It seemed like god resided in his every move. It was god when he isolated parts of his body, as if they didn’t belong there, but yet all of his body was in perfect harmony with his mind and the music to which his body flowed easily like water.

He was too perfect. He delivered hit after hit, each different from the last. His videos were other- worldly, born in the mind of someone alarmingly creative and shrewd. Through his songs and videos he talked of women stalkers, old love, the occult, criminal gangs, racism and world peace in the same catchy, feet tapping, mind boggling vein, enough to drive both young and old into a frenzied love for him.

Along came the time when he began to change, for all the raging conflicts so common to all creative geniuses. The conflicts in him burst forth in the form of chimps for pets and body dysmorphic disorder, forcing him to make the plastic surgeon his constant companion. He could never look into the mirror without being disgusted by his face, thanks to his father calling him ugly repeatedly when he was growing up. He would cover his face and quail at the sight of his own face. He changed from being a handsome young man to something gruesome in the following years. People associated his name with the height of weirdness. They mocked him, ridiculed him. They reviled him when he was discovered to be a pedophile.

He took it all. He continued giving us music. There is no way divine talent can be curbed. He continued his music, his charity, his amusement park and all that he stood for.

People reviled him to no end. He was the butt of all jokes about weirdness. They stopped thinking of all his genius, his works of amazing creativity. His stage presence, his entertaining capabilities were all forgotten. All they saw was a bleached man with a face falling to pieces and a reputation that no miracle could revive.

But all he wanted from life probably was to be loved. But the world abused him just like his father had. It was nobody’s business how he wanted to look or live. And yet, voyeuristic mortals that we all are, we wanted the dirty details to satisfy our curiosity.

He could take it no more. God had sent him to uplift the world’s knowledge of what can be pure, unadulterated talent. But we chose to look at his other side. And so, he was taken back because even god was saddened by our treatment of him.
When he died, the world has truly realized what a symbol of greatness it had truly lost.

Love you MJ.

MJ forever. Our grief only deepens as the days pass. Hope you are in a much better place. We will always remember the time you were here and enriched our lives.

Fair and lovely, bikini babes

The bored in bikinis hotties. I love this stuff. I think that shitty show called G talk in M TV with those bimbettes, shambhavi and anmol was based on this, although they weren’t wearing bikinis of course.

Theses air-brained bikini models have nothing for brains but make up for it with their amazingly toned, white face and bodies. It’s crazy how obsessed we are with looks and outward appearances. When I ask my male friends how they want their women to be, its maddening to hear “oh well, she should be hot of course, must be wearing a little black/red dress with her cleavage showing, her hair should be straight and shiny, she must be capable of holding a conversation, if not, she should just be ultra feminine, well- groomed, beautiful blah blah blah” Basically everyone wants to date a bikini model. And of course it doesn’t matter that the men in question are sloppy, either over-weight or stick thin, awkward- around -women and oh are they well groomed?. Yeah, right. They are not.

So when I watch these videos, I lament at the standards our society has created which everyone is expected to follow. It has come down to make-up, being size-zero and wearing skimpy clothes. Deny it all you want, but I do not think that it’s the age of the woman. It has in fact regressed more. In the name of surging ahead, the demure, sari- clad women who get picked by men as wives have been replaced by size zero models that prance. . I say it’s regressed because it has gone from describing women as ‘weddable’ to’ beddable‘. All women are expected to be perfect with no flaw in sight. A little extra fat is blasphemous and girls with pimples or any other skin affliction are just written off. I recently read a blog where this guy stated coolly that he was eyeing a hottie and didn’t realize until later that there was another girl with her. It seems he and his friends thought she was a ‘dark cloud’ but later realized that she was a girl. And oh don’t even get me started on the age-old ‘fair and lovely’ image. *barfs at the word ‘fair’*

I have often been called a staunch feminist who can never ever call anyone ugly even if she is actually ‘a cow’... Seriously, I cringe at such derogatory terms used for women. I strongly believe that every woman is beautiful. If you don’t care enough to spot her beauty, you probably haven’t matured enough.

Enough idealistic talk. Enjoy the video and laugh at the supposed joke ‘we girls needn’t have brains, only a good figure is enough’.

You are right. I do not love this stuff although I said I do in the first line.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The dynamics of my vacations

I study, study and study some more when my exams are nearing. I solemnly swear to myself that I’ll never study this last minute and swear once more that I’ll spend my holidays diligently poring over my books. I curse myself for wasting even a minute fooling around with my friends rather than coining mnemonics for the eye signs in primary thyrotoxicosis. I curse my obscene weight- gain, thanks to long hours spent cramming and not lifting my butt off the chair for fifteen hours or more a day, think to myself that I look 5 months pregnant. The deal is that basically curse all my ‘enviable’ time management skills which led to the pathetic state of affairs a month or two before exams which leads to a downhill course of my health, (I get this hacking, tuberculosis patient cough from too much tension that does not let me sleep) appearance (I told you about the weight gain) and my high strung, will- start-hearing- voices- anytime-now-from- cracking-up state of mind.

So the exams get over, I think I’ve done pretty well, I come home. Then it starts all over again, I slack off again completely. All my plans to start reading for my next exam, go right out of the window. I study for like four hours a day, think to myself that I have studied so much when I am supposed to be enjoying my vacations and slack off some more, reducing the time to three hours the next day. I withdraw into a shell, brood over my life’s innumerable mistakes, obsess over my friendships, family, relationships and would-have-been relationships and pick out one day of my vacation to continuously text a certain someone and bore him with my still not- so- extinguished feelings. If the vacay is short, the rest of it is over brooding over it some more. I also cut off contact with my friends for a few days till they frantically come banging on my door, threatening to break it down. Even then, I refuse to open up. I sleep at 2 in the night watching movies, get up at 12 or 11 (if I am lucky), read some book, eat, gain some more weight, i check my email a few hundred times a day and log in to facebook not less than thirty thousand times a day. But beneath all the laziness, my aggressive type- A personality which formerly used to consider any minute not spent studying as a minute wasted, howls in agony. For that side of me, holidays are the pits. I wonder why on earth our college has to give procrastinating people like me more time to procrastinate.

So there, that’s my holidays, in a nutshell. But since these holidays have begun, I’ve noticed some change in the godforsaken pattern. I find myself being proactive for a change. Why, yesterday I went to the government hospital to see a few cases, I am studying a bit and today I actually went running when it was raining! Talk about being motivated! But it’s been only 4 days really, since the holidays have begun and it’s definitely too early to comment on how the days ahead are going to take shape. Also, there is the fact that I have cut off contact with friends to be a recluse. So there are signs of this too turning into a stereotype vacay. There are good signs and bad. Let’s see how it turns out.

*fingers crossed*. Please pray that I do something productive.