Groovy Goa

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Goa is dream destination for most of the Indians. I decided to visit the smallest state of India on my honeymoon. It was purely for relaxing and unwinding after having a long and stressful Indian marriage. I had heard so much about it, that I just wanted to enjoy it as an experience. I was in for a surprise.

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Sunset in Goa

The entire state is a tourist attraction and attracts tourists from all over the world. For ease of exploration, divide the state into north and south goa. North goa is famous for beaches, parties, shopping markets. This is THE destination for the party animals as it hosts some of the most exciting parties. South Goa is more of calm and peacfeul area. You can relax and unwind while enjoying the beautiful beaches and scenic beauty here. We decided to do a bit of both.

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Although goa has numerous hotels to stay and villas for rent, me and my husband, being the hard core rock and roll fans decided to stay at Hard rock hotel. Even though goa has a rocking nightlife, the hotel hosts private parties, events and shows for the guests. We would wake up to rock music every morning. We attended one or the other event every night in the hotel and the hotel made our stay more memorable. The easiest and best way of transport in goa is by bikes. You can rent a bike or a car and set out to explore Goa in your own way.

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Some of the popular beaches in goa are baga beach, vagator beach, anjuna beach, chapora beach, colva beach, palolem beach, Agonda beach and Bogmalo beach, butterfly beach. I found Sinquerim beach and candolim beach to be the best beaches by far. Both the beaches have clear water, lesser crowd and a fantastic view. You can try several water sports like water skiing, paragliding, surfing, snorkeling in these beaches. The Aguada fort right next to the Sinquerim beach is an awesome sunset point. It has Portuguese architecture and has a well preserved lighthouse which is a tourist attraction. The restaurants along side the beaches have wide variety of delicacies which can be enjoyed along with drinks. There are various resorts like taj vivanta nearby.

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View from Aguada Fort

Goa has strong roots in Portuguese culture. The state was a major Portuguese colony and its influence can be seen in their architecture. It is famous for temples, churches and convents. The architecture and history of goa is so rich that it is a part of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. Even though Konkani, Marathi and Portuguese are the most comman languages spokon here one can easily communicate in English and hindi.

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View from Chapora fort

 

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Chapora beach

Chapora fort dates back to pre-Portuguese era. The fort in itself is in ruins and does not have much architectural beauty. The scenic view although is excellent. It has chapora beach on one side and vagator beach on the other side. The beauty of the beach, the ocean and the nature is captivating in itself. Vagator is a quiet beach and is glorious in itself where as chapora beach has black soil and isn’t as clean or quiet as the vagator beach.

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Basilica of BOM JESUS

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Relics of St. Francis Xavier

During our stay we started our day by exploring Goa during the day time and would wind up at beaches in the evening. One of my favorites heritage site is the Basilica of BOM JESUS. It is one of the oldest churches of Goa and India. It is very beautiful and famous for placement of the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. It is huge tourist destination. St. Xavier was believed to possess miraculous healing powers. It is said that his body is still in the same condition as it was when he was buried. It is kept open for public display once every ten years.

 

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Dudh Sagar

Dudh sagar is another one of the famous destination spot of Goa. It is one of India’s tallest waterfalls and has a beauty of its own. The easiest way to travel is through a thick forest using the cab service provided by the locals. The rail road to the waterfall has been closed by the government. The journey to dudhsagar was more memorable than the actual waterfall. The biggest drawback was the unavailability of clean restrooms and scarcity of drinking water in the entire area. A classic liquor of goa called Feni is sold be locals here [we bought a cashew feni]. It is expensive but at the same time it is said that it cure ailments. It is normally mixed with ice.

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The food in goa mimics the lifestyle here and hence different types of cuisines are available here. Goa is fun as well as culturally rich place. As it is influenced by western culture to a high degree you will find that both Indian and western festivals are celebrated here with the same zeal. And if you feel lucky you can even try your luck at the local casinos. The nightlife and parties are out of the world. It is the most preferred destination for New Year celebration across the country. Goa is a mixture of fun and culture. And the most beautiful part of the trip to goa is it always makes you crave for more.

 

Chef therapy

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Personally i consider cooking as therapeutic in nature. I totally love to make something new and i love to cook food which is both healthy and delicious. The only problem was that i grew up being independent and few times that i used to visit home, my family used to love what i cooked. Contrary to it, after marriage cooking became more like a chore. In the last one year i have been given so many cooking tips to cook the way my in-laws liked their food cooked, that i snapped and told them to cook their food themselves, if they wanted it their way. I would love to learn new dishes but not be dictated like a robot on how to do it. They have always been worried that if what i cook isn’t good enough they will be forced to eat it. So the distrust of my cooking skills made them dictate me and took all the fun out of cooking.

My husband loves my cooking. I used to cook for him when no one was around. Although he was surprised that i could actually cook in the beginning, he always loved my recipes. Saturdays are our date nights, but on account of being tired and having an exhausting week he asked me to cook something delicious at home and he just wanted to binge on it and stay in for the night. Off course my mother-in-law added few more items to the list that she wanted to eat and then decided to monitor my cooking. I literally had to push my in-laws out of the kitchen. I told them that i would only cook if no one would come around and disturb me while cooking. I told them that they would get to eat my style of cooking for a change and not their regular food.

After successfully kicking everyone out of the kitchen, I switched some music on. It always gets me in my zone and trust me if you don’t enjoy cooking much, spend sometime doing it with your favourite music on, it will make you smile. I took one and half hour to cook chicken nuggets, dosa with chutney and potato masala, zeera rice and dal fry. When the time of unveiling came, we were joined by our relatives too [as it was a saturday and everyone wanted to catch up]. The date night ended up being a family get together with me cooking extra meal for everyone else too.

The best part about the entire charade was that everyone loved the food that i had cooked. My in-laws were told how lucky they are that i can cook so well. My in-laws realised that different style of cooking doesn’t always mean bad cooking and its always good to try new things. As for me, i finally realised that i didn’t have to change my style and that if i have more faith in my own abilities, people will slowly learn to accept and love it. I don’t need to change. All i need is a healthy dose of trust.

God complex

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When I was growing up, I saw people respecting doctors a lot. They always said that doctors are like gods. They take away the misery and save lives. They cure sickness and restore back the health. Its God’s work. It always made me wonder whether it was as divine a profession as people made it sound. Latest verdict is, its not quite so.

Doctors tend to needs of others and try to help them but at the end of the day every life cannot be saved. Instead of patting ourselves in the back and calling ourselves heroes we feel sad and on times hopeless for the lives we lost. Its never enriching, yes it makes doctors rich but it even hardens them and sometimes breaks them up.

We had a doctor’s strike in the city yesterday. The members of IMA were on strike for god knows what reasons. So the doctors who were members of the IMA were supposed to not attend work and cancel their consultations for half a day. It was also a chance for the non-member doctors to enjoy some free time. On the pretext of strike no one attended his or her patients on time.

A patient walked into out patient unit of the hospital. The patient complained of chest pain and wanted to get admitted. The junior doctor asked the patient to wait till the consultant would arrive and check the patient. No one attended the patient. The patient who walked in at 9 am was still waiting for the doctor’s arrival at 4 pm. By 4, he was serious and couldn’t breathe. While being shifted to the emergency on a gurney, he expired.

He expired in a tertiary healthcare hospital which is well known for its multi-speciality set up. His family was inconsolable and they screamed at the staff around them. At this point the doctor came in. The incidence shook me up because the patient was sitting in the out patient unit throughout the day. I had crossed him every time I was in and out of the unit. The thread of life is so fragile and how in the world do doctors have a right to play with it.

The fault in this case solely lies with the consulting doctor and the hospital per se. Hospital needed to divert the patients and inform them about the strike so that the patient could seek medical attention elsewhere. The doctor was at fault because she wasn’t a part of the strike. She just wanted a lazy payday at the expense of patient. She isn’t even a member of IMA. She had a professional responsibility of informing the staff under her about her absence or delay in attending the patient when she was called repeatedly.

The entire matter was covered up and a person lost his life in between this mess. Somewhere between studying on dead bodies to seeing patients die during initial years of practice, I believe the doctors get too immuned to death. It doesn’t affect them. It is part and parcel of their jobs. If the doctor tries his best to save a patient and the patient dies, its understandable but when it is due to pure negligence, how do you punish a person for it? How can lethargy be punished? Can stripping the doctor of her license console the grieving family?

Doctors can never be gods. The lack of empathy over a period of time is necessary to retain their sanity but at the same time it makes them workers with good hand skills. It can never make them gods and their burgeoning ego does no good to the cause either. It just tips the scale against them and makes the people lose their faith in healthcare system.

 

 

This won’t hurt a bit.

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One of our subjects in the college is Oral and maxillofacial surgery. I used to love studying it. It somehow made me feel a step closer to surgery. I used to relentlessly study and try to remember every nerve, vein, artery and musculature in the head and neck region. Studying in a government college we had tons of patients and fewer doctors and students, so we had a lot of patients to practise on. There is a time when you are naive and think doctors are virtuous. You think that sooner or later you are going to be a part of this honourable society. Surgery broke that bubble for me.

Our post graduate exam going seniors needed ideal cases [read easy cases] for the practical part of the exam. As these kind of easy cases were very few, they started asking for students to come in as patients. As the history of any Govt college goes, students who were selected and refused to go in as patients had to face dire consequences. I was one of the selected students. I had lower mesio-angular impactions. In easy words, my wisdom teeth were stuck and twisted in such a manner that they could be easily removed, in case of pain or infection.

Reluctantly i agreed to get my tooth removed and the student, lets called him Dr. D decided that lower right wisdom tooth was the easiest to remove. I was just informed to come to college early on the day of his exam. I had no idea what the procedure would be or any instructions regarding the same as impactions were a part of our our final year curriculum. I was so nervous about the entire charade.

I was taken into the minor surgical OT along with the other scared group of students. I remember being told that it wouldn’t hurt. Dr. D and his assistant began to cover me with green cloth and wiping betadine over my face. Dr. D was so nervous about his exam that he forgot he was working on an actual living human being. While injecting the anasthesia, doctors aspirate the syringe to check whether the needle is placed in a nerve or a blood vessel. Even though he knew and saw that he was in a blood vessel he injected the anaesthesia in as he did not want to use an extra syringe and needle in front of the examiner. Almost immediately it caused a huge swelling in the mouth on the right side which blocked a decent vision of the area. To reduce the swelling he applied a little pressure and had to inject again as the anesthesia didn’t set in.

Once the procedure started he was unable to remove the entire tooth and decided to break it into two or three pieces and remove it piece by piece. He needed to cut the bone [my precious bone] for which i wasn’t even asked a consent. He placed the drill in my mouth and stepped back to rethink his surgical plan, all the while the drill was running and placed on my lip. The end result was a burnt lower lip which was swollen. Dr D being the man of the hour poked and peeled a layer of my freshly cut and burned skin saying it was just the chapped lip covered by blood. Then while continuing he let the drill slide from his hand while it was running, mangling the entire right check on the inside. An assistant professor had to step in while the examiner was busy with others to remove the so called easy tooth of mine. I was shocked and shivering by the time the entire procedure ended.

The worst part of it was that the professors and teachers tried to cover the mistake up and the assistant TO Dr. D irrigated the traumatised tissue with hydrogen peroxide which in turn burnt the tissue more. Once it was done i was the first one to be whisked off as they did not want examiner to talk to me or have a detailed look at me. I was only told to have some juice and given painkillers and let go. The examiner being the smart man he was understood the cover up. Dr. D was given a chance to convince me to go say how smoothly he performed the entire procedure. I did what any traumatised person would do. I hid in my room and cried for days. I refused to go to college and Dr D failed the examination.

All i got to learn from this experience was that never say yes to something you do not want to do and never ever under any circumstance be an exam patient [ kidding]. It taught me what dentistry was, from a patient point of view. It made me realise what happens when a doctor screws up in front of a patient. Its comparatively easier for other specialities as the patients are lying unconscious in front of them. But dentistry is a different game ball. You not only have to be excellent at what you do but also work on an awake patient who is petrified at the sight of you. Eight years in the practise, i still feel the shiver run down by spine before i start my surgical cases and all i know is that i never want my patients to feel even a bit of trauma that i underwent as a patient. Empathy is the key to being a good doctor.

Mismanagement in healthcare

 

I am a dentist by profession. And just like most of the doctors, i am a terrible patient. As i have been a healthcare provider its very difficult for me not to panic when i get myself treated. Its for the simple reason that as a doctor, i have seen doctors screw up. Doctors are humans too. They make mistakes too. But normally those mistakes are covered up which in future leads to complications.

I have been practising in different hospitals for more than eight years now. I have normally seen that patients are clueless when it comes to whats happening to them. Doctors just tell them in brief that you need these medicines and have to visit me for this many times and you will be cured. Some people do question and google about their condition and read articles about it. Everything present in internet isn’t true. Many a times there are methods and details mentioned which have no scientific support to it.

I was admitted to hospital few months ago. The treating doctor did not know that i was a doctor too. She did not enquire about any history related to the present condition. She just asked the symptoms and diagnosed me. I was admitted under her care and medicines were started. The medicines prescribed to me were complete antagonists to the medicines i needed. When questioned, she told me that my condition would worsen before getting better. After three days to giving me wrong intravenous medicines my condition worsened and thats when i decided to take matters in my own hands. I self medicated and was fine overnight. The first thing i did was take a discharge and get home to feel better.

The general mindset of many general practitioners is that dentists don’t understand medicine. They think that just because we are specialising in a particular field we must be ignorant about everything else. I just had to suffer through different tests and medicines because of her mindset. It made me wonder that when people of same fraternity are treated in this manner, the plight of layman must be questionable. He will have no idea whether the right medicines are prescribed and to what extent do they work and the side-effects of the medicines. All that is said is this is for your own good. Due to the presence of such doctors, the entire fraternity is shamed. Just like me, most of my colleagues are scared of falling sick too. No one wants to be a guinea pig.

So lets sort things out a little. Let us educate ourselves in details to everything that is being tried and experimented on us. I have realised that when a patient is educated and explained about his treatment protocol in detail, it is easier to treat him and gain his trust. I am planning on blogging about dental treatments and what patients can expect regarding it. Hopefully it will help some people around. And maybe just maybe take away little bit of fear from their heart.

 

Story of every girl

 

As i told in my earlier blog, i migrated from one corner of the country to the other. There are genuine differences in people belonging to these two areas [because of their habitat]. I was taller with broad shoulders in comparison to most of my classmates. It was just because of my genes. Everyone in my family is tall with broad shoulders. They even have long wavy hairs. As i was different i was body shamed. It doesn’t matter whether you are fat or thin every girl is body shamed. It has become a trend.

I never knew what any of that meant while in primary school. I never understood why i was fat. I actually wasn’t. I was a sprinter and won many races and metals for the same. I was always called fat however good i was at studies and sports. It started affecting me when i entered my middle school. Even i wanted to be pretty like every other girl. But i wasn’t good  enough. I would dress up gorgeously, top my classes and be excellent at sports but i was always branded fat because i was taller and gangly than the rest. I never understood why but gangly girls used to be considered huge.

It made me shy and embarrassed. I wouldn’t even have an opinion or answer a question because other kids used to say the fat kid is a know-it-all. I became the worse critic of myself. I don’t think anyone has ever judged me as harshly as i began judging myself. All because of taunts of kids, i don’t think knew any better. The time passed and the same happened when i entered college. I was still different in colour and nature and was still judged. I started disliking myself so much that i wanted to become like anyone else other than me. I stopped eating, drinking, worked my arse off. I lost so much weight. But along with the weight i even lost the charm on my face, my hairs [oh god. i lost so much hairs]. The worst part was whatever i did i was still not a part of their group or culture. There still stood a difference.

I think i might even have had an eating disorder if i didn’t finish my college at the right time. Work life was a little better. This was because people belonged to different regions and it was a blend. There still were few who were into the size zero business, but i even met people who were less critical or judgemental about the looks. Your ability to perform and your knowledge mattered. But somewhere deep down the self hatred never left me. It was etched through school and college years. It slowly stopped being an external force and started being something that was self inflicted. I was so used to disliking and criticising the way i looked that i thought people were making fun of me when they complimented me. There even came a time that i only judged myself based on what others said. I ended up becoming a doormat.

Coming out of such a habit is very difficult. You have practically taught yourself so much hate towards your body that in no way are you going to change those thoughts anytime soon. It is still a journey. But somewhere down the line i have learnt that i don’t want my next generation to go through this. I don’t want them to feel this way or make someone else go through it. I do love myself more and more as the days pass by and loving your own self and taking care of your body is something we need to teach everyone especially the kids. Thats the way it can be nipped in a bud.

 

 

BULLY

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Ok, lets face it. You are good. You are excellent at whatever you do. You are just amazing. You work hard and reap good rewards for it too. It is all perfect except for one thing, a person who is like a black spot in your sunny life. It can be a classmate, colleague or your boss. They take credit for you creation, make you work extra hard and still embarrass you and make fun of you in front of others. In a single word they are a ‘BULLY’.

Bully doesn’t come with horns like a mad bull. He normally is disguised as a human being. They hunt for the timid ones, prey and feast on them. They are like parasites and just grow with time. You can do everything to avoid them but they will find you one way or another. There are times when you try to convince yourself that they may be going through a phase and thats the reason for their behaviour. But that particular behaviour needs to change in sometime. If it doesn’t, then you are foolish to think it as a phase. maybe they are enjoying themselves too much bullying you.

Stopping a bullying takes courage. Bullying can happen to anyone. You need to remember that in no way are you responsible for causing it.

  1. It is an external cause. You are not at fault. It is done by someone else. You donot need to be scared.
  2. The bully can be a good person to others but that doesn’t give him a right to boss you around, physically or emotionally.
  3. If a person does it for fun, walk away from them. There is no point wasting your time around such people. Cut your ties with them.
  4. Try talking about it with a friend. You need an emotional support through it.
  5. If it continues, go to a person with authority whether a parent, teacher, boss or police.
  6. Be confident and tell the bully to stop. Sometimes they realise their mistake and step back.
  7. Learn self defence. You need to know how to defend yourself. It will also increase your self confidence. It does not mean you go around beating people up. It will just  help you to defend yourself.
  8. Help other people who are getting bullied. Always stick up for people in need of help.

Just because you are timid, shy or an introvert, it does not give anyone a right to bully you. You need to learn to stand up for yourself and even for others. You can set an example by doing so. Bullies just try to feel powerful by making others feel weak. You donot need such people around. Ignore them or face them, choice is always yours. But never turn into a bully.