Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The needle of the eye

Late night drama on the family front once again; this time my niece provided much of the revelry.

Circa 11 p.m., the wife and I about to call it a night after a constructive debate (I can’t get into details here). Hark! A panic call from the niece….one of her contact lenses won’t come out. As most keen readers of my writing know by now, the missus dons many hats – judge, jury, match-fixer, and of course doctor. Yesterday, it was a combination of a doctor, trauma specialist and an ophthalmologist.

The first suggestion from her to my niece was to use a finger from each hand and spread the eyelids apart and take out the lens. No succour there.  The next advice to was to bulge out the eye by some drastic hand actions. That wasn’t received with much enthusiasm. Finally, she suggested that cupping some water in your hand and dipping your face (with the intact eye) would do the trick.

Satisfied with her recommendations and me being more of a go-between for the phone conversation, my lady settled down for a comfortable night’s sleep. A text message within the next 40 seconds put any plans for retiring on hold. A follow up call  and hysterics on the other end of the line made us realize that hard action was required so off we drove to pick up my niece and take her to a REAL doctor.

Never one to give up easy, my wife once again tried to prise out the stubborn lens one last time before the doctor’s visit. We actually couldn’t see the damn thing in the eye despite the amazing brightness of a cell-phone AMOLED screen lighting. As is usual in such cases, the situation caused much mirth, especially to the self made don of many hats.

First stop – Malathi Manipal Hospital at Jayanagar. We were met by two male doctors who had probably graduated the day before and had been shunted to the graveyard shift. Again, the enterprising one, the better half grabbed a flashlight and peered intently into my niece’s eye while the young doctors looked on in bafflement.

Finally, the doctors were allowed to see the patient. Both the young guns declared that the lens was not in the eye. Violent protests ensued from the victim who insisted it was in there.

Still in the ER, and in front of the bathroom mirror, a long tête-à-tête followed between the two girls. Our ‘family doctor’ declared that contact lenses have often dissolved in her eyes which was met by disbelief by the eye patient. A theory on lens disintegration also didn’t make a mark. One of the real doctors hesitantly intervened to tell us that his friend works the night shift at a nearby eye clinic. Of course, the only way we knew where this eye clinic was by a restaurant landmark.

Efficient driving to the eye clinic proved fruitless. The damn place was closed. We then drove back to Manipal Hospital where there was more prodding of the eye which refused to show any signs of a contact lens in it. Once more, the doctor ventured to tell us that we need to go to a different eye clinic where another of his friends worked. Our first response was to ask if it was next to a well known Ice Cream store. The ER doctor got really exasperated now and said with some disgust ‘Do you people only know restaurants and food places?’ My wife bristled at the unprovoked judgement and said ‘Of course! And I don’t believe you have any friends who are ophthalmologists!’ So, there you have it. A total impasse.

As we come hot off the presses with this report,  the story hasn’t ended. We still don’t know if the lens is in the eye or not but the lady in question is feeling a bit better though with a swollen eye. Hoping to get to the bottom of the mystery today. After all, eye can’t take much more…

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Testing Windows Live Writer

Any excuse to write I guess. Been putting it off too long. Windows has this cool feature called Live Writer which allows you to write to your blog directly from your PC. Just thought I’d try it out and get back to writing.

Longest break between blog articles! Lots of things happening in my life including a cancelled trip to Prague due to Eyjafjallajokull! Man, what a name! It just kinda rolls off the tongue doesn’t it? I’m sure the volcano is protesting against such a name. Why can’t they call it something simple like Etna or Vesuvius! Ok fine, it’s not a mountain but a glacier, or is it a mountain glacier? Anyway, you get my point…

Ok, more later. Remember this is just a test of Live Writer (with Andalus font & Teal color)….

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Auroville Run (Feb 14, 2010)

Every time I run, the butterflies in the stomach stay intact, pretty much. The first run of the year is always a cause for much nervousness and self inflicted mind games.

Auroville is a peaceful ashram a short hop from the rumble and bustle of Pondicherry; an ideal setting for a lope in the woods.

Bright and early for a 6 a.m. start of the half marathon, I gingerly flexed my legs and hands making sure I don’t overdo the warm-up. Advice on how to prepare for a long run are chock a block but the only thing that matters is what works best for you. ‘Drink lots of water the previous day’, ‘Don’t exercise too much the week of the marathon’ are some of the pearls of wisdom I have heard. All I can say is that everything is irrelevant other than what makes you comfortable.

I for one hardly drank too much water the previous day and I ran about 30 km that week.

Okay, back to the event. The full marathon kicked off at 5 a.m. and the runners were given flashlights to run in the pitch black surroundings.

The half marathon started off on the dot an hour later and a huge contingent (probably about 200+ similarly inclined folk) nudged and made its way on the arduous journey to the goal.

The first 3 km are always easy (relatively speaking). The weather was perfect, with a perfunctory amount of humidity (being right next to the ocean and all) and a light breeze. I passed a few cottages belonging to Auroville and then a small village. Very scenic and serene all!

The going usually gets a bit tough for me around the 6-7 km mark as I reach my threshold of 45 minutes. The path got narrower as I slipped in and out of the jungle and the quietness combined with the incessant beat of feet on the soil kept me good company.

Somewhere around 8 km, I heard distant drumrolls and thought it to be some village festival. However, a few minutes later, I was pleasantly surprised to see two white men with huge drums patterning a beat to the rhythm of the runners sitting on the side of the path. For some reason, this gave me added strength to go on and with a smile on my lips I hammered away on the ground. My breath starting evening out as I hit my plateau around 9 km and I knew I had survived one of the tougher moments of endurance. More forest paths, more beauty in everything around me as the sun was well on its way up the horizon; I was loving every minute of it.

I finally made my first stop at the 12 km mark and after about 90 minutes of non-stop running. Quite a feat and my own personal conquest!

The road became a bit more uneven after that and it looked like it was under construction. I really had to watch my step here and after running for an hour, it sometimes becomes tough to focus on the path.

The next stop was at 18 km and again this was for less than 30 seconds as I was on a roll. For some reason, the last few kilometers always seem to be an insurmountable challenge and this time was no different. 19-21 is unending. The final hundred yards is a lifetime. I could see the finish line banner but it just wasn’t getting closer.

The timing according to my trusted phone was clocked at 2 hr and 36 mins a vast improvement (in my mind) of 28 minutes over my last half marathon timing of 3 hr and 4 mins.

The end of the race is always a magnificent feeling. Fortunately, I get no aches or pains ever and as I sat down on one of the chairs, the first call went out to the love of my life…

A wedding in Chennai

It's been a while since we had a massive wedding on the wife's side of the family. This one was especially important as it was the...