Loh bhi tu Qalam bhi tu…


Of Lahore and Nostalgia

A lazy sunday afternoon, Nani jan reading the Quran and a baaker-khaani waala playing a tape on hi suzuki outside on the road. A very ordinary day but a very clear memory from the 90s. My khala in her mid 20s was frying fish in the kitchen. I had no care in the world and would spend most of my afternoon outside in the lawn catching earthworms back then. My friend Misbah came over from the house next door that day and I tried to impress her with all sorts of tricks on my new bicycle. In the evening I went to the rooftop with my khalaas and nani. While they had tea and discussed an episode of Drama serial Hawaain that aired the previous night,  I laid down on the char-pai and looked in awe at the Lahore sky full of colorful kites. Why did they ban kite flying?

I often think of that bright day when the air was full of angel dust,
and the earth was the color of rubies. And a boy with golden hair chased his kite down the wind.

Fine excerpt from A Long Walk To Freedom

Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm worker can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have , not what we are given , that separates one person from another – Nelson Mandela


My house job started on the 6th of January 2016. We have to complete at least 6 months in Surgery and Allied departments and another 6 months in Medicine and allied. I have been given Surgery and Allied first. The department I have to rotate in first is the much dreaded “Accidents and Emergency” or in other words “Shauba e hadsaat aur hangami imdad”  

I am working the nights these days where I have to report and 9 pm and leave at 8 am the next day. There is a fixed time to reach the hospital but no fixed time to leave as you cant leave till the morning shift arrives. Then you explain to them the the conditions and requirements of the different  patients admitted, their labs, xrays, meds etc and “handover” the patients.

Working at nights can be tiring but its an exciting experience. You cant sit much, let alone sleep, and you have to be on your toes the whole time. Its a different world altogether. With the continuous monitor beeps, and chasing lab reports all night on phone, its hard to imagine that the world outside is fast asleep. You meet lots of different people with a range of different issues: falls, poisoning, attempted suicide, road traffic accidents, MIs are few of the most common cases that we see very often and which keep us on our toes all day. And then an odd case of mania or bipolar disorder where the patient believes the world is out to get him can lighten the mood a little bit.

It took a little getting used to for me to keep up with the pace that the department required. Eventually it became a habit to such an extent that I am in that fast hyperactive mode even after few hours of coming back home where i eat sleep bath do everything so quickly like there will be an emergency in the next minute or so.

Looking at dead bodies, people dying in front of us in our hands and then breaking the news to the families and has become all so common for me. You eventually desensitize. You have to. There is no time for emotions as there is a patient fighting for his life on the next bed who really needs your attention and can still be saved.

I will be posted in the ER for one  month. For me the people working in the ER and taking this field as life long careers are the true super heroes. This is as close to Superman,Batman and Wondergirl as you can get in real life.

Karachi Recently

Karachi has seen a very welcome change in the past few months. Law and order seems to be improving and crime rate has gone down drastically. All thanks to the man of the moment General Raheel Shareef, COAS Pakistan. The recent chaand raat shopping spree and 14th August celebrations are a proof of this. I had never seen such celebrations on the 14th of August on Karachi streets my entire life. People generally feel safer and there is optimism in the air. Here’s to better and peaceful times in the city and all over the country. All the best General Sahaab!