Friday, February 18, 2011

I miss the beach

"Do you know where your heart is?
Do you think you can find it?
Or did you trade it for something somewhere
Better just to have it..."
- OneRepublic, Say (All I Need).

About this photo: Clicked on a crowded evening at Kovalam beach, Kerala, India, just before sunset.

These ladies were having a great time, the beach seemed to be crowded with them and their white sarees and their golden borders wherever I looked...probably a group visiting from somewhere...

Initially I was irritated with them because there was hardly any breathing space on the beach, but then the waves and the sunset finally did have their effect on me.

I calmed down quite a bit and started smiling aimlessly and staring at people unabashedly (top favourite hobby).

In this photo, I was happy to capture the pensive look on the face of the woman who's closest to camera... (hope you can make out which one I am talking about, she's sort of in the middle). She inspired the quote which goes with the photo (though I am pretty sure she wasn't thinking of any such things;).

EDIT: Okay, I am adding more photos to this post, because they're there, and they're nice.

This shows a close-up of the pensive lady, my muse, though not as pensive in this shot. Extreme left (or outermost) in the photo.

She was happy, laughing and dancing in the water, very child-like. Don't you see her laughing?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Doctors: The Origins

So, how do people decide that they will become Doctors? Do they even decide that at all? What drives them, what inspires them? Ever wondered? I'll tell you how.

When you first thought about becoming a doctor, you must have been a bespectacled (or not) school kid bent under the weight of your school bag, who wrote an essay about "What do I want to become when I grow up?" (Obviously, everyone wrote that they wanted to become a doctor, it was the noblest profession of all, and the teachers and parents loved it!). However you may have ended up being one of the few who actually remember that essay from your school notebook, and then actually follow it in real life. You actually tried to become a Doctor after you got out of school. You remembered what you'd written.

Or you may have been a teenager who had lots doctors in the family, and it was always understood and assumed that you would carry on the tradition. Hell, you don't even have to think about it! It's in your genes. And, if your family's rich enough, you don't even have to get the marks for it! One way, or another, you find your way into a medical college.

It could have been your parents' biggest dream, you've heard them say, all your life: "Mera beta bada hoke Doctor banega" -  to the neighbour, to the relatives in the U.S., to your Daadima,  to the postman, to the God in that tiny roadside temple, to your friends' mothers, and anyone else who happened to listen. After hearing it being repeated to you for umpteen times everyday for 17 years of your life, how could you even have thought of anything else but to be a Doctor?

Another scenario would be that you had a life altering experience. Your loved one, a family member, a friend, or even a perfect stranger, could have suffered from a disease, borne a loss, could have died. You watched them go through it. There was nothing you could do. You decided, that day, you would change the world. You would not let that happen to someone else. You would become a Doctor.

It could have been that you were sailing through your life, carefree and clueless, as to where you were headed, you know, just enjoying the ride. One fine day, someone (could be absolutely anyone) happened to mention: "Hey, why don't you become a Doctor?" and you sat and wondered, "Yeah, why not?" And so you went about becoming a Doctor.

You could have been one of those hardworking, sincere competitive people. The ones who gave all the exams that came their way, because they loved to. It was their birthright to give exams. So, they ended up giving the entrance test for MBBS, and voila, they got admission (coincidentally or not), and then they puffed out their chests, and proudly, went on to become Doctors, and gave loads and loads more of exams.

Then there are some who are just plain masochistic. They see someone who's a doctor, slogging, working hard all the time, buried in books and patients, with no signs of a life, and they think: "I want that! Looks like so much fun! I'll torture myself, and one day I'll become a Doctor, and it will be awesome!" There goes.

Others get drawn in by the glamour. Their Doctor charges in four digit numbers for a 15 minute consultation, lives in a duplex flat, has bungalows in all the nearby hill stations, plays golf on the weekend, hob-nobs all across the world like he's taking an evening walk, and drives sports cars. Hell, who wouldn't want that?  So they decided to become a Doctor, and get that.

And then there are the few who actually develop an interest in science and medicine, they wonder about the sound of the heart beating through the stethoscope, the feel of the pulse thumping under their fingertips, the cold handle of the scalpel on their palm, the mystery of the shapes they see on the X-ray. They wanted to know more, they wanted to learn more. They were curious, and eager, and excited, and passionate. So, they became Doctors.

These stories are how most Doctors originate, that's how take birth. And then, provided they have the IQ, or the monetary power, they enter a medical college, and begin their journey.

What is my story? Well, I was a confused teenager, who didn't seem to have any particular interest in any vocation. My mom said, "You're intelligent, you should become a Doctor" (like all Moms should tell their kids). A Vocational Guidance Counsellor told me, "You're a lazy bum, incapable of studying for 8-10 hours a day, and slogging. I strongly advise you against becoming a Doctor." I looked at her with hatred, joined coaching classes for the medical entrance test, made it through with difficulty (the difficult part was altering my 'I never study' lifestyle) and managed to get admission into a medical college.

And then, all hell broke loose! But that story is for another post...

So. If you're reading this, and if you're a Doctor, tell me your story. How did you end up becoming a Doctor? What was your origin? Do you know other interesting stories I may have missed out? Or do you not agree that this is how Doctors are born? Let me know.
If you're not a Doctor, tell me what do you think about this. Is this why people should become Doctors? Or are these reasons not good enough? What's your opinion? Let me know.

Till later.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

TV Show: The Vampire Diaries

This is a post dedicated to the best part of my vacations, after final year MBBS...
Yes, The Vampire Diaries.

I finished watching all the episodes which have been aired till date, within one week, so yeah, my brain's kind of stuffed with Vampire Diaries. Expect a bias.

Talking about the show, it's great, and not just because of the obvious romanticism associated with vampires these days and the whole new meaning they lend to the word "eternity" (though I don't deny the role these factors may have played in my reaction to the show;)), but because it has been the most entertaining, meaningful, and addicting show I have seen in a long, long time(first one after Grey's Anatomy).

It's basically a teenage drama/romance/attempted horror show, with an exceptionally good-looking and talented cast. The story revolves around Elena Gilbert, a 17-year old residing in a town called Mystic Falls, and how her life changes when Stefan Salvator (the good brother) shifts to the same town and joins her school. And then there's Damon Salvator, the bad brother (he totally kicks ass). The story then unfolds over the remaining episodes with lots of complexities and twists and turns, into details of which I won't enter.

One thing I have noticed, though, is that way too many people drop dead in a flicker of a second throughout the show. And the other living people on the show just forget them as well, too easily. Another thing I have noticed is the brilliant soundtrack the show has - the icing on the cake.Okay, one more thing - in the initial episodes, they try real hard to make it look like a horror show with the sound and visuals and people dropping dead. Thankfully, they give up all pretenses as the show advances and just stick to true - blue, supernatural drama. Also the initial episodes are kind of wobbly, and at times unintentionally funny, but if you stick with it, it gets much, much better with every episode, and the end result is very, very rewarding.

At the end of 35 episodes, I can safely say that I have lost my heart to Damon Salvator. His character on the show steals the thunder in terms of personality and complexity. Ian Somerhalder who plays Damon displays immense charm with the perfect attitude, expressions, and body language. It's truly difficult to not love him.

Stefan Salvator, playing the perfect eternal vampire boyfriend for most part, is definitely everything good girls dream about. And the parts where he turns shades of grey, on the show, display his acting prowess even better. The intensity of his emotions is weirdly haunting. One scene I will mention is the one where Elena breaks up with Stefan, on Season 2, Episode 6. All the three leads give great performances in this shot, but Stefan...well, suffice to say, of all the times I have seen people cry on screen, ever, this was the most convincing. The look on his face, when Elena walks away, is so heartbreaking, you can't help but stare at the screen teary-eyed, and feel some of the pain yourself.

Elena Gilbert, and Katherine, both parts are played by Nina Dobrev. I have to say, she is so good-looking, I sometimes feel jealous, and so talented, I'm left with my jaw hanging open in awe. The role of Katherine, especially, she plays with much chutzpah. I mean when you see Elena, you can't imagine even a hint of anything non-good or non-ideal in her, and then there comes Katherine, reeking of wickedness and evilness and oomph. Talk about portraying polar opposites with equal conviction.

The other characters on the show - Bonnie, Jeremy, Tyler, Caroline, Matt, Jenna... all of them give great performances. The show is packed with drama and touching moments and tears and eternal love and heartbreak and friendship, and some creeps.

And oh, I love the vampire effect they use on the show, the way they portray vampires, totally gross, of course, but then vampires are supposed to be inhuman monsters, so kudos to them for sticking to that rather than toning it down!

So anyways, though I could go on and on, I think I'll stop and just go watch another episode, writing about VD has made me nostalgic.

Also, after writing this entry, while looking for pictures to post with it, I noticed that all posters of this show are hilarious (seriously!). I don't know what they're trying to portray on the posters, but whatever it is, that's definitely not there on the show.

So, if you'd like to add some drama, angst, teenage romance, family fueds, eternal love, smoking hot men, friendship, girl bonding, great music, along with, of course, vampires, werewolves, and witches, to your otherwise boring everyday life, go watch Vampire Diaries, and go watch it now. Definitely recommended.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"I'm living again, awake and alive,
I'm dying to breathe in these abundant skies." 
 - Switchfoot, Learning to Breathe.