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A very confusingly emotional voice message from a friend suggesting me to read the book , one day, made me buy this book and start a four month literary journey to a land, which I thought only existed on the world map.
A wrecking life journey of a british surgeon, Dr Thomas Stone, from his childhood in the pre independent India to the ‘Missing’ a.k.a. Mission hospital in Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia to becoming a renowned liver transplant surgeon in Boston, is not merely a journey of half a century. It involves losses of loved ones, sacrfices of lives and emotions, passion about medicine and how it changes many lives in and around the Missing. Dr Abraham Vergese has caught it all, dug deep in the past of many characters who come in each other’s lives through the Missing Hospital- the common bond of all.
This book is about a man, Thomas Stone, the heart and soul of the surgery at Missing, who meets his twin children 25 years later, after he abandons them during their birth when their mother, a nun, dies shortly thereafter. It’s about Dr Ghosh, a dedicated doctor of medicine , turned surgeon, due to circumstances and about Dr Hema ,a strong headed woman, whose transformation from a gynaecologist and obstretician to a new mother , who protects and loves them like no other, is worth reading. They both raise the twins, Marion and Shiva, as their own blood, protecting them without hiding the truth about their parents. It’s about the people of Addis, mostly the sufferers disguised as patients at Missing, most of them dying happily by putting an end to their sufferings, in the arms of Dr Ghosh and Dr Hema, who are bound together by a contract marriage on the outside and deep unfound love for each other on the inside. Some of them who heal by the doctors’ knowledge and skillful hands, become their confidantes for life. This all explained ,through the lives of the twins as they come into this world , grow up with the purpose of becoming doctors through their common seeded passion for medicine, their betrayal over a girl Genet that turns into hatred , later sewed into immortal love and their mutual internal struggle to meet their father, Dr Thomas Stone, which grows into a desire as they come of age.
It’s about the swirl your heart makes at the unheard tones of Tipitina, the watering of the mouth at the mention of the classic injera and wok , which you’ve never ever tasted or seen before.
It’s about a letter which ties the knots together, binds broken threads and memories that comes to a full circle as you close the book with a new world coming to an end inside your heart, yet , content to the fullest.
It’s about life , which we live forward, but understand it backward.
I never knew when it entered my life,
all I could sense was, the freedom from this chaotic strife.
It swirled me in the wind, holding me in it’s arms with pride,
all I could do was smile, oh, did I change my stride?
while it swayed, swinged, skipped me to it’s rhythm,
others simply wondered till now, where was it hidden.
This mersmerising bond was too strong to break,
as my heart won’t bear yet another ache.
Time walked by like a shadow, unrealized,
it had a secret which wasn’t much idealized.
the time had a companion who followed it like a dog,
no one knew when their life would be blurred again like a fog.
As the time passed by my window, it’s comrade joined it unknowingly,
it was too late when I sensed the broken bond , the scars were etched, willingly.
I opened my eyes as I lost my time,
now aware of a new ally in the mirror, frowning and all mine.
empty handed, as I looked out with the pale eyes,
the time waved me goodbye, happiness tagging along with it, still wise.
Amongst all the ongoing Comic-con hype, the excitement levels are at their peak levels. What will be the fate of our favourite superheroes? Who will win? Will all the heroes get together and have a party like the super-villians are just starting to? All this curiosity which will eventually kill the cat has reached new levels with fans coming up with their own intuitive theories and publishing it as ‘supposed spoilers’. Now, it’s not about good versus evil but about survival of the fittest. These mergers and divisions among them reminds us of big budget companies negotiating budgets, with the two big players being Marvel and DC.
With the grey-haired Batman mentoring youngsters like the Flash, I feel like a human from historic generation. Like the darkness has covered the entire earth and it is time to find a new planet to avoid the mass of the overpopulating earth to overcome the gravity and us falling in a deep, never-ending blackhole not to be found in thousands of light years. Imaginations apart, it’s no longer a kid’s play with all the mortal politics involved and one meta-human trying to kill the other over the name of empowerment. The time has come when we have to choose our favourite superhero, not on the basis of their superpowers but on their wittiness, sarcastic strength and humour- dark or subtle. Basically, we have made our superheroes just like us- megre mortals. And of course, this has changed over time.
From all the kicking and boxing and shooting lasers from the eyes, it has come down to debates, support of the political leaders and most importantly, ruling our planet. Even a hero like Superman- an alien, has been cautiously caught in this satirical, mind-moulding democratic web.
From all this, there is only one thing I can say. Live and prosper in a galaxy- far far away.
We often listen to the inspirational talks or lectures which often comes to relatively same conclusion to let go of other people as well as ourselves too. This is true selflessness.
There can be many terms to this word- love, affection, care, sacrifice, etc. But this one stands out of the box in a true sense.
When you are happy or in peace with your life, there is some sort of selfishness that persists subconsciously or unknowingly. There is a faint aroma of pride in having a good family, our own circle of friends and colleagues whom you get along with. If any of these try to leave your life for their own happiness, you hesitate, quiver for a moment. That’s because you are somewhat in disagreement with the idea of them choosing others over you. Thats where the selflessness begins to leave your soul and is eventually replaced by pride, jealousy and greediness.
The true example of leading a selfless life is of renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who lost the capability to walk, move and talk in his younger days. Yet, his wife stood by him in every stage of his struggle filled life, selflessly. That’s because she loved him and she was there when he needed her the most. But eventually, he let her go when it was time and he could no longer see her struggling to live a normal life. Even though they both loved each other, they were struggling to live a comfortable life. That’s the most selfless thing I’ve ever read.
It’s is not about protecting our loved ones for our happiness but to let them go, fly away, so that when they need shelter in the future, they’ll come back to their loved ones on their own. That’s true happiness.
The city received it’s first rain a month ago and all the mortals and also the greenery were glad that atleast The Hindu God of rains,
This year, however, when the first shower came down from the clouds, I was unusually in an unusual, special place. Who would have imagined that I would experience this amazing end of dryness inside a tent , sipping hot ginger tea, in a densely green forest? In my opinion, this made the moment special, as I experienced some extraordinary miracles of nature live that day.
As I scanned with my myopic vision through my glasses, everything and everyone around was in motion now. The cracks on the ground were on their way of extinction when the drops made their way through them to reach the deep cores of the earth which were quenching for it, like the Hindu mythological bird ‘chatak’ who awaits to see the raindrops eagerly every summer. The snails who had searched for a comparatively moist home to survive this heat were out in seconds, for the whole world was their home now. It was like a soldier in hiding, waiting for the right moment to grab that sword and fight with a full might. When some of the rain drops landed directly on and in the soil, some had to travel through a long route to reach their destination. The drops shattered and landed on the leaves who were now bathing after months, their bodies cleansed, inside out. The drops bent and curved on the edges of the leaves showing off their refractive power, through mini rainbows, which were a true pleasure at the moment. This long route was indeed an enjoyable journey for them.
As I sipped more tea which was on the verge of finishing, I heard a loud thud and squeaking, which made my attention shift from the trees to the ground. The peacocks and peahens had found their lost voices all of a sudden and were the next item of my nature bound entertainment. They ran and shouted on top of their voices, their joy, now knew no bounds. They were shouting out their happiness by opening their feathers in a hand fan like shape, which is a favorite moment of the ladies who react as if they have actually seen their favorite actor live and dancing. This made other animals and worms come out of their hiding and express their joy or anger on the peacocks otherwise for disturbing them.
As the show was going on in full swing, I realized that me, a human species , was in minority, at the moment among these nature’s true friends and instead of feeling scared or afraid, I was happy and unharmed. This musical playlist was much better and enjoyable than the one on my phone. I just stayed for the moment and grabbed it in my heart for years to come.
The cracked stone walls wore the
laminated heads of the murdered
creatures on it’s chest ,
like a broach ,with careless pride,
The chandelier hung riskily by its ever-loosening threads,
Filling the room with the echoes
that sounded far deeper than it’s empty air.
The worn out carpets still shining with the eternal richness of it’s golden threads ,
laid flat on the ground , welcoming the royal feet with it’s velvety feel.
The fungoid wooden door with rusted red- black chains hanging,
a ghastly creek heard every time it moved, echoed it’s real age.
The majestic ,oval , stained mirror,
stuck in the middle of the room ,
echoed the essence of the entire area.
It’s diamond filled frame caught the smirk of the soul peeking in it,
perfectly reflecting the hollowness.
Dear Mrs Rowling,
With the younger generation , all excited about your new Harry Potter play, ” the Cursed child”, it pretty much brings my hopes down. Just imagine our Harry, dressed in a suit, kissing his wife and children goodbyes and off to work in the ministry of magic as an Auror, with most of his days drowned in the loads of paperwork! Pretty unimaginable and well, non- magical. And to add to this babbling, bumbling band of baboons, Albus Severus Potter is the “cursed child’!! I mean calling a child , with all the privileges and fame, cursed, is a lot mudbloody, don’t you think?
Moving on, the new upcoming movie about the ‘ Fantastic Beasts’ author Newt Scamander, is pretty much hyped too, with all the popular casts and crews hired to play the characters ,along with a big budget special effects team. Yes!!! We all are very much excited , to see a wizard, with half of his life, spent chasing animals.
Is the whole thing, a feeble attempt to keep the series alive in our hearts? Well, the Harry Potter fandom is content with the original seven book series which, Mrs Rowling wrote in her sane days. The attempts to turn the whole magical world lucrative, is just going to turn back and destroy the whole essence of it. Would it be wrong if I compare your new ideas with the horcruxes? Isn’t that ironical, Mrs Rowling?
I would only advice you to not let it fade away and bask in the glory of the halo, which is still shining on you. Because its Dumbledore , who has immortalized your thoughts, ( which I ‘ve slightly modified), that ” Memories are our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it. ” So let us bend in our pensieve of memories to live them again, rather than to create more artificial , lucrative ones.
With love and pity,
Your eternal and tolerable fan.