Young Nostalgia

The half broken false ceiling in the kitchen of our “tharavad” (read ancestral house), became a little too good reason to plan the day’s breakfast from the nearest restaurant. The “marappatikal” (read civet cats) that stayed atop the ceiling for quite some time, proved to be a burden during the last night, when they tried hopping over the kitchen ceiling, which ultimately caused it to break with a loud thud, covering a portion of the kitchen with dust and dirt from the ceiling. The incident added to the ever-increasing views of the elder members of my family, including my uncle. “This is the 5th or 6th incident this year”, my uncle recollected swiftly, noting signs of old age that showed up in and around the house.  Standing still at the heart of the city of Koch,I since some 50 odd years, the house has seen 3 generations of my family, starting from my paternal grandparents, my grandmother being the senior most members alive. The same old doors crafted out of ET tree painted sky blue, roof tiles which proudly bore the letters  “1943 model”, old-fashioned dull electric switches., the house had its own identity that peeked out from every nook and corner. Yet, our tharavad had been perfectly habitable and had this aura of nostalgic feelings surrounding it. I spent most of my childhood here, same is the case with the previous generation of my family.

 Upon my return from the restaurant with food packets, my uncle decided the half broken ceiling to be removed completely. Of course he couldn’t do it all by himself and required help. The recent Malayalam movie “Ustad Hotel” which dealt with the tried and tested theme of grandfather-grandson relationship,  but, that centered around an old hotel, inspired me to offer my share of assistance in getting the kitchen fixed, in spite of myself being sick for the last couple of days. “Mel mel mel vinnile, chekeraam kilikal naam. . . . (A song from Ustad Hotel Original Sound Track) ” was the song that matched this new sensation that i felt. New sensations were usually incomplete with a sheepish grin that seemed to flow from my face without my knowledge. It happened this time as well, and the work began instantly without wasting even a millisecond, with my uncle getting ready with all necessary tools and his own custom-made cleaning kit. The sudden commotion and chaos that came with “Mission Kitchen Fixing” gave us a visitor – Paru. Paru was my little cousin, a 6th grader, multi talented brilliant girl. She could sing, dance, draw, the list goes on and on. Because everyone loves to be in the company of kids, we happily let her join “Mission Kitchen Fixing”.

 Being the tallest, I volunteered to remove the remaining ceiling, which hung carelessly from the roof. One or two hard pulls, and the entire ceiling came down, along with 17 years of dirt and dust, all over my clothes and well-combed hair, ultimately blacking out my vision. The ceiling had been up there since uncle got married. That was a good 17 years back. This realization struck all of us at the same instant, as if triggered simultaneously by the dirt that fell on me. I washed my eyes and decided to use my helmet to guard me off any dust that remained elsewhere. In the meantime, Paru had her own share of fun, offering live commentary on whatever she saw. Her style of speaking and voice fluctuations reminded me of reality television hosts, who sometimes scared the good life out of dumb viewers like you and me, with sudden and untimely spikes of energy that came from still unknown places in their bodies.

 I saw my uncle, a senior government pleader, explaining to Paru, the reason behind “Mission Kitchen Fixing”. The FAQ machine inside her seemed to work quite right; i assumed, and continued with my duty of tidying up the kitchen floor. He further elaborated on his plans of constructing a new house in place of the existing one. Questions and answered poured in one after and another, and I listened to this nice, neat conversation that was happening. Out of the blue, Paru asked my uncle, if he would take up a case on her behalf and present it at the high court, that was located within our neighborhood. I was all curious as to how the conversation was shaping up and asked Paru whom the opposite party was. She replied in a snap, “You know him well, very well”. Clues poured in and we had to surrender. It turned out that the opposite party was my uncle himself. The reason for the accusation? Intention to destroy the old house and build a new one in its place! “I love this house, and I love coming here everyday to see my grandmother. That makes me happy, very happy , and so I don’t want to lose this house”, Paru asserted. The reply puts my uncle and myself in a loop; one that was saturated with thoughts of all kinds. After a second or two, uncle countered with his trademark “Edi bhayankari!” (A slang in Malayalam language which is a rather funny way of saying “You got me this time!”). That was when I realized that whatever I heard and saw today could be of some use to someone, ultimately deciding to present the same as my first independent write-up, straight from the soul.

 Footnote: There is an old saying in Malayalam language which goes like “Pilla manassil kallamilla” (read Kids are too innocent at heart). I don’t intend to redefine nostalgia or the way it is perceived by others. The little girl who knew nothing about nostalgia ended up connecting well with the same house which seemed nostalgic to me. Implies, nothing comes to you when you seem to know everything, and everything comes to you when you seem to know nothing. This is the very essence of my first write-up. Cheers!

PS: Young Nostalgia is a guest post written by my friend Avinash Kumar as a part of his quest for the making of a separate space in our blogosphere. Hope you all will enjoy reading it and sincerely support this newbie fella’s entry into our family.

Proud to be known as a Nurse

Initially I felt like running away; neglects and abuse at work is difficult to digest. It is brutally, physically, mentally and emotionally an exhausting work. Dangerous pastime! Don’t care what happens, who does, and what’re the causes; but a nurse gets blamed for their work. Not just at work, even when I attend a wedding or any society ceremony, people come to me asking for remedies for arthritis, swollen leg, menopause and so on… My parents are excited and looking for a perfect one go answer. The situation is embarrassing, if my solution didn’t cure them, it obviously disappointed me.

 A slow pace was another drawback! Talking personally  with critically ill patients made them cry and I again experienced guilt for allowing them to shed tears instead of making them happy. Sometimes patients are so rude and demanding, treating us like peons. Seriously, we couldn’t bare it.
Why can’t I share these experiences with someone? What are friends for? So, I would call them up telling my nightmares. Worst of all, most of my pre University friends and schoolmates had got into Engineering. Everyone had a question on their mind why I chose nursing? Instead of helping me out, all they would say is why on earth did you choose nursing and not Engineering like us? In fact nursing was not on my list.But finally I graduated as a nurse with a great enthusiasm.
I kept on thinking why is this happening in nursing. I love my profession, I love the atmosphere am working, then why is this happening? I kept on thinking. Dream, dream and dream and if you sincerely work on it you’ll surely earn it. Then I soon  realized if something had to change and it was me. Yeah! The only person or system that can fix the problem is myself.
Soon got my hands off my hips. I realized, my job is more complex than any job and I am responsible for patients’ lives. Working in dialysis has made me more complex. Most of the time its nurses who provide the care and implement life saving interventions before doctors arrive.
Yes, nursing is versatile, not limited to hospitals. There is more to nursing and nurses than anyone will ever know. It is very clear now that I’ve to update my knowledge and help when people come to me asking for health solutions.
It is clear that I had to grow two more sets of arms, like a goddess, run faster than a marathon runner, work on telepathy, empathetic abilities. Smile when you greet a patient however tragic your life is. Being a newbie I insisted to be trained well about things in the department and how to  handle it.
Now I’ve learnt those who appear ruder and demanding are in reality just scared stiff, trying to cope with unbelievable stress. I learn not to feel bad to hold their hand and share their tears. Am happy that they allow me the privilege of sharing their tears.
Nursing has taken me to a place I never expected! Gained experience and wisdom that are invaluable and have only made me more passionate about nursing.
“Every single day, absolutely without fail, at least one person looks me in the eye and says a heartfelt ”thank you”. That is all the job satisfaction one needs.”
-Anusha Thaikad
PS: Well, this is a guest post written by my closest sister-friend, Anusha Thaikad who is currently residing in Bangalore, India and looking forward to spend the rest of her life as a nurse in Australia by beginning of next month onwards. I’m really glad to update this very heartfelt-comprehensive piece written by her over here and feeling so impressed to see the dedication and stability in her profession. May the glory of your peaceful mind spread to others through the profession ya own, Superb gal. All the very best for your bright future coming ahead! God bless. 🙂 🙂

I hope ya people also would find this post as an interesting one! Have a good day. xoxo