11:27 AM, Reading Freud

So yesterday, there was a lot of talk about my dissertation topic. Topics were thrown around, shot down and replaced. I realised, I’m so confused that I want to do a study on all of them. And on none of them.

There’s so much that goes into designing a study that I’d never given a thought to. I have no idea how we even pulled one off in college because now that I look back on it, we went about it in such a haphazard manner. My respect for my club’s secretary and for the officer in charge who was responsible for getting it published, it just went up by like 106 notches.

Anyway, my point is, morning after I was thinking about this entire process and about my investment in it. As my professor assured me yesterday, there will be avenues after my post-graduation if I do wish to go into research. I could, for all I care, immerse myself in the academia.

But then, a tug of my heartstrings reminded me that I like interacting with my patients, knowing their stories and helping them through whatever their mind was putting them through. As much as I can.

Suddenly, I felt myself falling into a quandary. What should I do post my post-graduation? What should be my next step? I could feel my heart beat spiking, my breath shortening and the droplets of sweat on my forehead. I had no plan!

And just as suddenly, that single thought calmed me down. I had no plan.

You see, I’ve always had a plan. A five year plan. A ten year plan. It was clear, it was detailed and it was fixed. In the last few years however, they all fell apart. My plan went awry the moment I lost my focus. But, the thing I learnt in the disaster that culminated afterwards was that, sometimes, it’s ok to not have such a clear-cut plan. It’s ok to make your decision when the decision has to be made. It’s ok to not know where you’ll be 3 years from now.

So, while I do chase down that ideal image of an independent woman that I see myself as five years from now, I don’t have to put down every single little detail of the wherefores and whenfores right now. Right now, I can just think about my dissertation, my next week’s seminar and the patients currently in my ward. So, that’s what I’ll do.

And what will I be doing three years from now? Well, why don’t hit me up in 2020 and we can find out.




The Mute Swan- Part 2

“Are you here?”

“Here I am.”

She held his hand and drew him to the edge of the water. Slowly, he put a toe in.

“It’s cold,” he shivered.

“It would be. The days are cold now,” she replied with a laugh.

He smiled at her, his face glowing, his eyes empty, “Let’s come back when they warm up then.”

She squeezed his hand and felt happy that he was blind. He couldn’t see her tears, but, he would hear her laughter.


The Mute Swan- Part 1

He wasn’t meant to see her. She wasn’t meant to be seen. But, that night, the stars aligned and he caught her in his net.

In front of his wondering eyes, white feathers flowed into arms, a graceful neck curled into delicate shoulders and the bird’s beak melted into a human face more beautiful than he had ever seen.

He had cast his net intending to catch a swan, but its latticed windows now rested on a woman.

He drew back in shock. In awe. He pulled his net off and fell to his knees.

She drew herself up slowly, warily. Her head raised first, captivating him with her gaze. Her arms fell to side, as naturally as the fall of a wing. Her body unfurled, her legs uncurled and she stood in all of her natural beauty in front of her hunter.

She wore her skin as she would wear her feathers as she walked towards the man who had tried to capture her. She knelt in front of him, stretched out her hand and wrapped it gently around his throat.

“You weren’t supposed to see me,” she said.

His eyes were wide, his mouth open. He wanted to speak, but words wouldn’t help. He wanted to ask for mercy, for forgiveness. He knew the hand around his neck may be gentle now, but it would all be over in a moment.

He hung his head, “You weren’t supposed to be seen,” he whispered.

“Is the fault with me, then?” she asked like a mother humouring her naughty child.

“No,” he lifted his head and looked straight into her eyes, “It’s of my eyes.”

No more words were spoken. The hand released his throat and a taloned finger gently scooped out his eyes. The last thing he saw was a rainbow created by the moonlight in her teardrop.



Mom, I don’t want to be like you

I was never an easy child and ours was never an easy relationship. But, somehow we made it work. Well, not like we had an option. You were my mother and I was your daughter and short of disowning me, there wasn’t a wall we didn’t rail against.

I think I fought more with you than with anybody else. You were my go-to person after all. In sickness and in health; in happiness and in sadness. I didn’t realise how much I depended on you until one day you stopped talking to me and suddenly, it was difficult to function.

You know me so well. I still get surprised every time you put words to my feelings before I can. Even though, I’ve always believed that I’ve been more careful with you; telling you the right things, taking care not to hurt you or worry you. Apparently though, being my mother has given you special access to my innermost self.

I admire you tremendously. You’ll always be the one person I trust most to be in my corner, and I love you.

But, you know what mum, I don’t think I’ll ever be like you.

You see, we were brought up differently. You were in an environment where you had to be the good little girl.

I didn’t have those restrictions.

You were an innocent child, demurely brought up, timely married and wonderfully sincere about everything.

I am your evil twin.

My curiosity has been putting my innocence to rest for a long time now. I was pampered, spoilt; I was allowed to be wild and free. I might be old enough now to be married, but my aspirations for myself interfere with such societal expectations. I want to work, earn, date and travel. I want to be more independent than I am today.

I love you, mother. But, I don’t want to be like you.

I want to be more.

After all, when you brought me up so differently, isn’t that what you meant should happen? That urgency, that ambition, that craving for something more- that’s all what you taught me. Maybe, you didn’t mean to. But, I think you did.

When you laid down different rules, when you taught me different lessons, when you focussed my life around different activities, I think you did mean that I should be different.

So, I don’t want to insult you today by saying that I want to be just like you. I don’t. I’ll become me, my own person, with my own dreams. And one day, I’ll honour you mother, by freeing my child to do the same.

07:02 AM, In Shock

I wonder what was going through his mind. Did he feel powerful? Did he feel like God, standing in that window and taking away lives with a pull of his finger? Was he unhinged or just a monster?

Questions none of us will have the answer for. And answers that most of us wouldn’t care for.

I might be halfway across the world from Las Vegas, but what does it matter? When violence that shatters the entire notion of humanity occurs, it transcends race, nationality and religion. And last night’s attack was something that none of us should have to live through.

It’s the US of A. It’s supposed to be the land where dreams come true. It’s the country people go to when they want a better life. Nobody should have to imagine a random shootout would also be included in that care package.

I know the saying- guns don’t kill, people do. But, maybe it’s high time people question the access that people who kill have to the guns that don’t kill. After all, it isn’t like they don’t play a starring role in that story. I like guns just as much as the next person, but when a person could accumulate an arsenal at his place without raising one red flag, there is something wrong, isn’t there?

Like most people in my country, I too have family there. That makes me invested in your future and that makes me worry.

My prayers to all those who survived. I hope you recover soon, mentally and physically. And may those who didn’t survive rest in peace.

08:45 AM, With My Cup Of Green Tea

There is a view of myself that I see five years down the line.

I’m living on my own. Maybe in a small one-bedroom apartment that’s just big enough for me. I cook, I clean, I work. I’m independent. I’m self-sufficient. I’ll have a car that’s paid off by then and my car and I will go on road trips. I’ll do something new once in a while. I’ll give my all when I’m at work, but work will not be my all. I’ll post regularly on my blog and if I really want to make this idealistic, I’ll even exercise every day.

The thing is, I can’t cook. I don’t exercise. I don’t have a car. Or an apartment and I don’t have the money for anything. That’s my current reality. But, I’m working on changing that.

A few days ago, I attempted my first meal by hand. I made a curry following mum’s directions and rice. It was like a home-cooked meal! And it tasted good. I mean, it could have been better. But, as I sat eating my lunch (which was actually lunch and not just mashed potatoes or something), I felt a teeny bit closer to my ideal.

I’ve always carried such ideals with me. I’ve always had my eye on “five years down the line”. And until about five years ago, they were much simpler. Like get into college. Enjoy college life. Have a lot of friends and do fun things with friends. See, for ideals like that, there’s not much effort involved. They’ll happen as a part of the flow. Of course, you’ll get into college if you were a good student in school. Of course you’ll make friends if you have a halfway decent personality. The foundations were already in place.

After that though, as adulthood catches up with you, ideals tend to change and become more complex. Responsibilities tend to get involved. Priorities tend to rearrange themselves.

When I left college, it was with a five-year view of becoming a workaholic. Work and sleep. And maybe a bedroom to sleep in. But, I had a lot of time to think in the last three years. I realized that I wanted more. I can’t be as single-minded or as focussed as that. I don’t know if that’s a good thing. But, I wanted to be more than a psychiatrist.

So, I’m learning to cook. I’m learning to clean. I’m learning to do new things. I’m learning to live my life in more ways than one. So that, five years down the line, I can sit down in front of my computer with my cup of green tea and write about the next “five years down the line”.



A Letter From This Generation To The Last


We care about fashion, about make-up and our looks

We also care about water being wasted, resources running out and fossil fuels

We talk about boys, about girls, our friends, our colleagues, all stuff and fluff

We also talk about the current political party, the nation’s foreign policy and the threatening economic crisis

We believe in our pop singers, herald our hip-hop and rap

We also jam to the rolling stones, to hotel californias and to stairways leading to heaven.

We like our cars, our bikes, our motored transports, our AC-ed comforts

We also like cycles, geared, un-geared, and walks, on a Sunday morning up the hiking trail

We spend a lot of money on things we like

We also spend the same amount on the people we like

We spend a lot of time behind our devices

We also use this time to find out about TeachIndia and CRY and the nearest school of autistic kids where we can volunteer

We might seem vacuous, superficial, insignificant and irrelevant

But, we have more going on behind the eye shadow and foundation than you could guess

So, why do you look at us like that?

Like you’ve done more with your life than we could ever accomplish?

Of course you have. You’re the generation above us. You guide us. You teach us. You share your mistakes with us so history doesn’t repeat itself

But, why do you look like you’re wishing for it then? For history to repeat itself? For your youth to return to you so you can show us youngsters how to live our lives?

Why should your past judge our present? Why is your nostalgia more relevant than our dreams?

Please, with those eyes that are in such a rush to judge, look beyond the scruffy clothes and messy hairstyles

Talk to us, reason with us, discuss with us, debate with us

Because, we want to talk to you, to reason with you, to discuss with you, to debate with you

What we want is a safe place, where your nostalgia can meet our dreams and your experience can make them reality

So, if such a place can exist,

Will you meet us there?