Bad, good and getting better

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Worst Case Scenario.”

Most of the time the worst thing that could happen to me is what I imagine would happen to me if I met so-and-so. I have a long list of s0- and – so’s to avoid so I live under a constant panic about how and whom to avoid. It has gotten to such a state that I have forgotten why I want to avoid certain so-and-sos but I’m conditioned to avoid them.

A long time ago, my husband was on my ” to avoid” list especially after he proposed to me when I was 19 and still in college. I was so embarrassed and constantly worried about how I might be his intern when I started my housemanship( he was a fellow then). I spent sleepless nights wondering how I might avoid catastrophe for everyone knew a smooth internship depended largely on the fellow you were posted with. Omigosh!

These days it is my previous workplace fellow mates- I constantly pray I don’t have to meet them at malls, or in public places I go to. Another time I was avoiding my boss.It seems my entire life is spent avoiding people or planning tactics about how to avoid people.

Bad day

Now for the best- as you can see, I always keep the best for the end.

My best would be if I got a job in a prestigious medical school near here ( so I could get out of administration) and work in my own speciality. The job would be highly paying and my colleagues would be congenial and very professional- even more ethical and principled than I am. I would be able to write a lot of papers and would become a speaker of repute. Above all, I would be a doctor again and be able to minister to people.


But I am now employed in a university which is close to the place where I really want to work- so it looks like I am getting there- things could be worse.

If only wishes were horses——- !

Of Pride and Prejudice

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Proud.”-When was the last time someone said they were proud of you ?

I have often been called ” proud” and arrogant and snobbish. So it is not often that I can remember someone having said they were ” proud’ of me. Of course, I haven’t done things of which others can be proud of me. More often it is as if they are ashamed of me.

For example, when I resigned my job about two years back on a matter of principle and my personal ethics, most people called me “nuts”. Many were ashamed of me- many people did not want to know me any more. I thought it would be easy to get another job but I learnt the hard way that it was not possible to get a job, as good and as well paying as the old one. Yet, I was proud of myself- proud of standing up for what was right, standing up for the truth and standing up for myself.

I hesitatingly told my elder daughter that I had quit my job. She has often wanted me to work and stand on my own two feet and not be dependent on others’. It was with trepidation that I told her, I had stopped working. In the beginning, it seemed to me as if she was going to criticise me like many others.

I was surprised when she told me,” Ma, I am so proud of you- proud that you took a stand for the truth and proud that you were willing to throw up a good job without thinking twice about the consequences and above all, proud that you are my mother !”

From the most unexpected of sources, I felt like I was understood and that what I had done was worth it. At least someone was proud of me !

Dear co-worker(s) in time,

Today’s Assignment: publish a post you’d like your ideal audience member to read, and include a new-to-you element in it.

Dear Co-worker(s),

I would like you to read this letter, so you can understand more about me. I’m sure you must have thought me peculiar while I was with you- that is the way it often is . Let me tell you a bit more about me and perhaps you will be able to understand me from my perspective.

I came to work with you about 8 years back, a novice at administration and office work. I came from a background in medicine where the patient is foremost and nothing else matters other than his care. II  found that respecting and following orders from a person who has  been working there from the time of inception of the office is paramount to everything else, including customer care. I must admit I have found that difficult to accept and this has been the cause  of much conflict between me and the powers-that- be.

In medicine, professional ethics and medical ethics is very important and at the back of every health care provider’s mind. In our office( or perhaps I should say, the office, because I no longer belong), what matters most is petty office politics and buttering up the person who might be boss at that time. I found that I had to spend more time in polishing my social skills and visiting my neighbours in office more than my work. In fact, doing work and being professional is considered taboo here. Because the minute some one starts doing work and becomes productive, comparisons are likely to be made with other office staff and of course, performance appraisals will reflect different appraisal ratings, rather than the standard ratings of 3/5 to which every one is accustomed.

During meetings gathered to discuss the risk and benefits of research on human subject participants, discussions are likely to deviate from the agenda and lead on to personalities of the people who dared to think differently and question the way approvals are provided to research. Again the bigger picture of patient safety and patient benefit is lost in the discussions or arguments about getting researches in which members have an interest in, getting approved. I have tried to keep the discussions focused and trying to take the patients’ side because of my medical background but it has not gone well on many occasions.

I have learnt a lot from working in your team- how to create politics out of nothing, how to not work and idle time away during the working day but yet give the appearance of being hard working by grabbing more talk time during meetings, how to get promotions by playing one’s cards intelligently but calculatingly and how to simply be ‘unethical”.

After my voluntary retirement, I have once again come in touch with my inner self and my true human being- I realised I was putting up a facade while I was there. I am myself once again. Thank you for making me realise and be thankful for the small mercies in my life- to be happy where I was( at home), with my family, for giving me the opportunity to be able to work at home in peace, for making me realise my writing muse and for being a better me.

I hope you provide  other workers good  experiences in their lives’.

I have learnt how to behave better with my fellow human beings and with situations thanks to the office.

Best Regards,


PS : i sometimes wish I was back there but then I think of the huge personal toll it would take and I back off.

Blogging U.

Of routines and rituals- the clockwork of life

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Two Right Feet.”

What are the things you need to do within 30 minutes of waking up to ensure your day gets off on the right foot? What happened the last time you didn’t do one of these things?

I got up early today to see what I would do within 30 minutes of waking up. The first thing I did was to wonder why I couldn’t sleep in longer. After all my daughter had a holiday today and as miraculously, the traffic isn’t so bad these days, my husband does not have to go so early to work, I could afford a lie-in. But I couldn’t of course. Pictures of an unmade breakfast and its accompaniments shook and woke me up in a jiffy. I need to wake up fresher and readier for a new day than usual.

Once I got to the kitchen, I saw my hungry cat rubbing his tummy as though he had a rumbly. This reminded me to feed him. I tried to remind him that we were running out of cat food and he needed to economize but of course, it didn’t work. He needed his food all the same.

I tried to think of what would happen if I started off from home a half hour late- would the traffic be too bad, would I be late for work, or would it be okay?

After cooking breakfast and ensuring my family of four ate it, I went to shower and lazed in the hot water for a good 10 minutes after my bath was over. It was bliss- again, I was wondering about many things and one of the things that I thought about was- how different animals were from human beings- they would never ever contemplate taking their own lives. They were grateful for whatever small life they had and they lived them to the fullest. I imagined my three out door kittens- whose very days were numbered. I never knew if I would see them the next day when I went to bed. But each of them seemed happy in his/her own worlds. All they needed was some food and a good belly-rub. A leg to head bonk would be good too.

So it seems most of my first 30 minutes of waking is spent in wondering and in dreaming about things that cannot happen and things I wished would happen.

It seems as if there wasn’t a day in recent years that I haven’t done any of these things but I can imagine what would happen if I didn’t wake up early or make breakfast or feed the indoor cat or forget to feed the outdoor cats or water the plants on the roof. It doesn’t happen at all because I do all these things as if by clockwork but if I stopped doing these things, what would happen.

For instance, if I stopped waking up at 4 am and making food, my family would remain hungry. If I did not feed the cats or the flowers, they would dry up or die. So with so many lives dependent on me, I would not dare to stop doing the things I usually did within 30 minutes of waking up.

I realize that our lives go on with amazing regularity and with preciseness and that lives around us are dependent on our own clockwork mechanisms. If any of us stops, the entire machinery may collapse, and perhaps even lives may be lost.

So I dare not ” not perform” the rituals I usually do.

My pet peeves : how to make drivers safe

Manifesto of my pet peeves

Pet Peeve 1 : Why are people allowed to buy/use more cars than one ?

  Every day on the roads, I have to wait in line to get to work. Why ? Because the roads, wide as they can be, are clogged , with  cars  driving to work. Most of the shifts in government offices start at 7 am- so the rush hour in the morning is between 6:30 am to 7:00 am.And why are the roads of the city so clogged ? An average household has 2 cars – sometimes more. Even though many family members work at the same place, they prefer to drive there separately. Where has the sharing mentality gone ? Why can’t more people car pool ? Why can’t the government ban car agencies from selling more than one car to a family ? Why can’t there be safe roads with wide sidewalks for people to walk to work ? Any why can’t big organizations provide buses to bring people from designated places to work ? Is it such a privilege to have a car and drive to work ?

Pet Peeve 2 : Driving using two lanes at once

I find this ridiculous and I think this constitutes dangerous driving. People drive with the right set of wheels on the faster track and the left set of wheels on the slower track. The dangers of this situation, cannot be elaborated. The driver at the back needs to horn and let the driver in front know and this leads to unnecessary noise. Accidents can occur if the car at the back wants to move ahead and it finds the double lane moving car in front.

Pet Peeve 3 : Driving with the radio on

I do not understand the need for a radio in the car especially ones with a lot of channels to choose from. I believe we need to concentrate and drive and not listen to a RJ talk while driving. Many channels have competitions where drivers call up to answer questions asked by RJs.  During the time of their telephonic conversation with the RJ,  I dread to think of how the driver would be driving. Where would his concentration be ? What price the passengers in his car and the other cars on the road at that time ?

Pet Peeve 4 : Flashing headlights and driving  too close,  to intimidate drivers

Sometimes we are blinded by flashing headlights from the back  in our eyes, while we are driving at our own pace. It seems we are driving too slow for the driver behind, even though the speed limit is 80 kph and we are driving at near that. speed The driver behind wants us to move out of the way, as though they are police cars or ambulances, and in order to scare the daylights out of us leisurely drivers, they use blinding headlights.