All Over Down Under – Melbourne

Today was such a tiring day at school. Nobody realises how stressfull life is for an 8 year old! We have class after class with hardly any play break in between. On top of it I have to deal with a few bullies in class who want to have a part of my lunch packed by mom. And then to add to it there is so much homework! That is why I think the perfect song for an 8 year old would be “saari umar hum, marr marr ke jee liye, ek pal toh ab humein,jeene doh

As I came home searching for my sunshine and rain, I over heard mom talking to dad about something which really got me excited! They were discussing about us taking a trip to Melbourne, Australia to visit my uncle and aunt. I ran into the living room to be a part of the discussion and planning! They told me about some of the places in Melbourne we would be visiting. Some of them I already knew because my uncle and aunt had told me about it and also because I had written about them in my scrapbook.

I quickly had my tea, finished off my homework and decided to find out more about Australia! I have never gone anywhere beyond my state so to actually visit a whole new country was really exciting. I have heard from my aunt that Australia is far….very far. I remember asking her if we could get there by our car but she said that we would have to fly there! I don’t exactly know what she meant by fly though. But if it is anything like how it is in the superman movie then I just cant wait to do it!

I opened my scrap book to see all the places that my aunt had told me about. I started planning how I would want the trip to be and where I would take my parents. Since I had my scrapbook and knew so much about Melbourne from my aunt, teachers and friends I could be their guide because I was sure I knew more than them about the place.

The first thing that I would do after landing in Australia is to pack up my cape and mask and keep them in a safe place. My teacher tells me that one can’t be too careful these days! PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE she always preaches. Because if something happens to my cape and mask, we would find it very hard to get back to India. I have a lesson in English textbook which says the moment you land in Melbourne you are greeted by a nice smell and hardly any noise pollution both of which I would want to experience.Then we would be checking into a hotel there. My aunt tells me that there are hotels there which makes you feel like a king! I want the one which has the bathtubs in which the water jets from all sides and forms a whirlpool.After I’m fresh I would then start my tour of Melbourne along with my parents.

1. City Laneways
There is a heading in my scrapbook which says beautiful City Laneways. So I’m assuming that the moment we step out of the hotel we would be in these laneways. I heard that it can be a mystical like Hogwarts. Wouldn’t it be so cool to see animals in neon lights and roads made up of interlocking tiles like in the fairy tales. I heard that the streets can be endless and many of them have graffiti and art all over the walls! My teacher tells me that Canberra is the capital of Australia but Melbourne is called the Coffee Capital. I’m not allowed to have coffee at home, only horlicks but I’m sure my parents would make an exception when we are on a holiday. I especially want to visit the coffee shop where my aunt says that a dead man will serve me an espresso! (Dead Man Espresso). Till now only living people have served me drinks so this would be a first!

2. Melbourne Cricket Ground
Without doubt, this would be the second place that I would want to visit. I love sports especially cricket. I recently watched an India vs Australia test match held at the MCG on TV. Virat Kohli superb century in it and then blew a kiss to his actress girlfriend in the stands. Dad calls it the G, the ground not the girlfriend. Dhoni retired from test cricket on that very ground! Mom says that test cricket I boring. Dad told me that both cricket and football are played at the MCG which I don’t think is true because it would be very distracting for the batsman if the football kept coming in the way. It happens all the time in my school though, so I think I can manage. Also he says the stadium is 4 times the size of my school ground that would mean that I would not like to be a fielder there. I hope there is match there when we go, probably the WORLD CUP 2015!


3. St Kilda
My aunt has told me so many times that if I come to Melbourne, this is one of the places that I shouldn’t miss because it is a perfect family vacation spot. I love beaches and this would be the perfect place to visit! There would be live music, good food and she says sometimes we can even spot penguins around! That would be so cool. Here I would also want to try my hand out or rather my legs out at surfing. Uncle says that he would rather sit in the heated spa or on the beach and do some bird watching. I think even he likes penguins.

4. Fishing, Cycling and Water Sports
I cycle a lot in my neighbourhood with my friends but its no fun as we are not allowed onto the streets as my parents say it is not safe. But in Melbourne with its own cycling trails like the Bayside trail and the Main Yarra trail I can do all the cycling I want, at my own pace and with all the necessary safety equipments! So I’m sure my parents wouldn’t mind
As I am anyways along the Yarra trail, I would also then try my hand at the water sports there especially the banana boat, the one in which dad always falls off and finds it so hard to get back on. Its so funny!
And I would end the day fishing with my dad. We would try to catch the famous snapper fish in the Yarra river(This Yarra river seems to be everywhere) After that we will tawa fry the fish and eat it.


5. Melbourne Zoo, Wonderland Fun park and Fairy Park
After a good night’s sleep, I would want to spend the entire next day in these 3 places. I don’t know how far these places are from each other but I hope we can fit it all into one day. I always visit our local zoo and watch the monkeys there throw banana peals on the floor. But the one’s inside the cage are better behaved. Hence I would love to visit a zoo in Melbourne. My friend who’s dad lives in Melbourne tells me that there are more than 250 species of animals at the Melbourne Zoo! That’s probably 200 more than in our zoo.
After the visit to the Zoo, I would run to the fun park and play in the dashing cars and the ride on the Whacky Worm Coaster though I don’t exactly know what it means. It just sounds Whacky!
And wouldn’t be a fun end with a story telling session at the Fairy Park! This place looks exactly like I imagined hogwarts to be. So I would have a Harry Potter story narrated to me. This would be entirely my day!

6. Ballooning and scenic Flights
This is something dad told me a year ago. He said that in Australia there are these balloon rides, where we are taken all over the city in the morning, in a balloon! Somewhat like how Tom does it in Tom and Jerry! We would get to see the sunrise from high above. I just hope it doesn’t take too long because then probably my arms would hurt holding the balloon! It’s probably why they call Australia down under, because from the balloon Melbourne would be down and under us.


7. Chinatown
I really like Chinese food, especially the wantons and also the Chinese movies with all the karate kicks. So instead of going all the way to China, which anyways wont be possible because dad would’ve exhausted his money in Australia, I would visit Chinatown in Australia! Not only would I get to see the Chinese culture with lanterns and dragons, I would also get to experience the Chinese food. And my scrapbook says that there is a Chinese museum there too. So that would be a learning experience. I hope I get to see Bruce Lee there and maybe Danny Morrison too coz he is a funny man and lives close by in New Zealand


8. Federation Square
Along with cricket, I even watch Tennis and my favourite is Roger Federer. I want to visit the Federation Square because I want to know if its named after him. Maybe it is because he has won the Australian Open 4 times. Mom says that some of the biggest events are organised there and I hope there is a One Direction concert when we visit.


9. For Dad
So far I’ve planned places based on what I want to see. But I have to think of my parents as well. After all I’m their guide and they will be depending on me! They too need to visit the places they like. I asked my uncle which of the places I should show dad and he said the 1st place I should take him to is the ROOFTOP BAR  which is set atop the Curtin house. He says that the view from there is amazing and what is served there would be even more amazing for dad.
Also dad keeps watching the news channel complaining about how our ministers behave badly in our Parliament. So I found an Australian Parliament for him called the Parliament of Victoria. The picture looks amazing in a postcard that I have! He would probably be happier in that parliament than ours!


10. For mom
Mom loves shopping and TV serials. So I have found the perfect combination. I would take her to visit the shopping boutiuqes in Collingwood(because it reminds me of the English cricketer Paul Collingwood). She can do all the shopping she wants or as much as dad will let her. I hope I get some toys and chocolates there for my friends back in India.
I would then take her to LA Mama, in Carlton Victoria. As the name suggests its a place probably for all the mama’s. She loves her shows and this place hosts many theatre shows or so I’m told. It seems it has produced some great actors. This should make her happy. Since we are there anyways I’d take her around the Queen Victoria Market too! Even I want to see this Australian Market which is supposed to be one of the biggest!

This would be my little tour to Melbourne. My parents say that I should never miss Sunday church and also when I visit a new church for the 1st time they say that if I prayed for something it would come true. So I would end our tour by visiting the Scott’s Church, in the corner of Collins street. Uncle says that Dad would probably be impressed by its stone work. I will go there are pray for the wonderful trip and also ask God to give dad more money so that he can take us on more of such trips

Authors Note:

1. This post is an entry to “Come Alive in Melbourne” contest organised by Tourism Victoria in association with Indiblogger

2. Since this post basically expresses the views of an 8 year old forgive the grammar mistakes(if any) and the geographical discrepancies (if any) 😛

3. The author has never been to Australia till date

4. The Author is an 8 year old only by heart


Answer this question and the best answer chosen by me will win a gift voucher.

“Which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why?”.

And the winner of the BEST COMMENT is Meghana Hassan. You can visit her blog here



He came, He saw…I shaved!

Before I begin, I would like to thank my good friend Kunal Borah – The Kaleidoscopic Kanvas for tagging me and pushing me to write this post. He is someone whom I can genuinely call my Blogging Friend because I have never met him but we seem to somehow tag each other in our blogs!

So here’s my story………………………………….

I was passing by the room named TREATMENT ROOM in the hospital when I saw an intern bent over a patient. It was the surgery wing of the hospital, my favourite subject and I couldn’t help but peep in through the half open door of the room to get a better view. What I found very curious and rather disturbing was that the intern was bent over a patient’s mid section with his back turned towards me. As I got closer I could hear a sort of scraping sound. He heard me approach and turned to me, gave me a disinterested look and got back to his work. “What are you doing?” I asked timidly. “What does it look like I’m doing.” he said seriously. I couldn’t exactly tell him what I was thinking, Could I? “I’m preparing the patient for surgery by shaving his parts” he said rather rudely. It was then that I saw him using a razor to shave off the patients genital areas. “You have to shave the parts too?” I asked bewildered. “Of course dude…. We have to prepare the patient from shaving parts to pre op medications and everything “ he said. “And aren’t you late for your classes? ” he added grumpily clearly not very happy with my questions.

I was a 2nd year medical student back then. Up until the 1st year we had to only sit in classrooms without having to venture into the wards and talk to patients. Now that I was in the 2nd year we had the experience to interact with the patients. It was the time when we actually felt like doctors and we would be curious about anything and everything in the hospital. And here I was ,watching an intern prepare a patient for a hydrocele surgery, dreading having to do the same work 3 years later.

I decided to head back to the wards as the intern didn’t seem to be too interested in telling me about the surgery. At least he wasn’t doing what I thought he was doing. As I was going to attend the clinics, I shivered thinking about today’s class which was to be conducted by the Head Of the Department of the medicine department. To say that he was a strict disciplinarian would be an understatement.

I joined my batch mates around one of the patient’s bed. I looked around. There were 3 of my batch mates, 4 second years, 4 final years and 3 interns. So it was a party of 15 people. We were expected to take the case and present it to the HOD. I was always fascinated by surgery rather than medicine and so honestly I didn’t know what exactly today’s case discussion was about. After about 10 minutes, an aging man, with a shiny bald pate except for greying hair around his ears, gold rimmed glasses and dressed impeccably in a blue shirt, black trousers, dark blue tie and shiny black shoes made his way towards us. All of us froze, he was one of those who could make you feel you have done something wrong even if you hadn’t. We all wished him a loud good morning. He acknowledged us with a nod and stood in front of us.

There were 4 boys and the rest were all girls in our group. He looked at the 1st one and said “Have you come for a class or sports meet? Have you ever polished your shoes in your life? Is this the way you come to the wards? Ill give you 5 minutes, just 5. Polish them and come or else you’ll be marked absent for a month” The boy ran away. I looked down at my shoes and smiled inwardly looking at my shiny, freshly polished shoes. If he wanted, he could see his face in them.

His eyes then fell on the boy next to me and said “ Even our ward boy wears cleaner clothes than you, look at your apron, looks like you are a manual labourer, not a future doctor. Come back with a different apron in 5 minutes.” I knew my apron would be as white as the TIDE ad since mom looked after my laundry.

He next looked at me. I was waiting for him to praise my apron and my shoes. But rather his face became even more serious. I was wondering when he would look at my apron and shoes but his eyes never left my face. “You are a doctor” he said in a deep baritone stating the obvious. “You expect patients to come to you when you look like this?” I was wondering where this was going. “Back when I was a medical student if I came unshaven, our HOD would give us 2 rupees and ask us to shave.” That’s when I realised that I had totally forgotten about my weekend stubble. He just hated anyone who came to the hospital without a shave. According to him, it not only showed a person’s shabbiness, it also implied that they were lazy and he hated both of those. He then handed me a 5 rupee note and said “Buy a blade and shave and come in 10 minutes. If not you are kicked out for the next one month

My mind was racing.I wouldn’t mind shaving and coming but to do it in 10 minutes was a joke. To reach the ground floor from the 5th floor of the hospital itself would take 5 minutes considering the crowded lifts! And what the hell was I supposed to do with a 5 rupee note?!! Forget a shave, getting a blade for 5 bucks would be a wonder. It was a gesture probably done to just add to the insult. I did the next best thing I could think of. I ran to the surgery TREATMENT ROOM and found the intern leaving.

Can I urgently borrow the razor” I asked hurriedly
He looked up at me with an eyebrow raised “Why , students are not allowed to prepare patients
No, its for me.” I said and explained to him what had just happened in the wards.
Are you out of your mind? Do you know the places that razor has been to? Its used to shave arm pits, private parts and even buttock areas?” he exclaimed.
Ill change the blade,dip the razor in cidex and then use it” I said even though I didn’t like the idea at all!
He snickered. He seemed to like the idea just to go back and narrate the story to his friends in the hostel.
I went into the room, picked the razor, removed the blade, dipped it in Cidex, and found a new blade. I gulped and picked up the razor and began shaving myself without thinking about all the places the razor must’ve been to. I double checked to see that I hadn’t missed a spot. After that I attended class which was incident free.

It was my only shave related experience to date! And no, I still haven’t gotten any infection on my face and I’m always clean shaven even now when I’m a staff in the hospital!

This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette

Authors Note: I thank BlogAdda for motivating to post a blog on this topic along with Kunal Borah

                         I nominate the following bloggers to take up the challenge-

1. Farida Rizwan




Different Strokes Of Pre-Marital Sex

It was our first night. We both were on our bed and looked at each other. She looked into my eyes and I could see that she really wanted me to know what she had in mind. But I did know exactly what she wanted and I wanted the same too!

Do you know exactly how it is done?” my wife asked me.
Of course!”  I said. “I have done it plenty of times earlier” I added.
She looked at me surprised. I looked at her through the corner of my eye.
You know me since 3 years but you never told me that you knew how to do it“ she said bewildered.
What is there to tell, don’t you know how to do it?” I asked her
Of course I know, I am not so dumb” she said irritated.
Can I help the fact that you never gave me a chance to do it before marriage and show you that I can” I grinned.
Bah… Ok… Is it ready?”  She asked.
Yes…. It is!” I said and passed her the tuna sandwich that I had just prepared  and asked her to tell me how it tasted, it was obviously good considering that we both were hungry after the wedding reception!

So this was not exactly what you expected it to be, I am pretty sure about that. Even if it was, don’t even a for minute think that I would agree!

Talking about sex in India is a taboo. Whether you are married or not, it is not something to be written or spoken or discussed about. It is something that is confined to the bedroom between you and your partner. If by chance you are caught talking or discussing about it, especially if you are a woman, or you are a man discussing about it in front of other women , then you will probably be termed as one with loose character. Someone once said A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after. Whether the saying is right or wrong, one thing for sure is that its exactly the opposite in our culture. It’s our Indian mindset where from the time we are young our thoughts about sex are suppressed.

As you watch the shows on Star World or the Hollywood movies, you often come across scenes where the parents think about advising their young children about sex. They often call it the “birds and bees” talk. How many of you have actually had that talk with your children or have had the talk given to you by your parents. In India the talk of birds and bees probably will end up with the explanation of different kinds of birds and bees so that their children top their class in the exams.

Courtesy: Dr Nishita Fernandes

Courtesy: Dr Nishita Fernandes

So when sex itself is sometimes looked upon as a sin, discussing about pre-marital sex will probably wake up the moral police around! But before passing a judgement on the rights and wrongs of pre-marital sex lets just go through different scenarios that come into play. In true medical style lets divide the different scenarios into case reports and then decide for ourselves what should the possible conclusion be.

Case 1
A 21 year old girl is in love with a guy who is 24 and wants to marry him. They have been together for about 2 years now without getting into a physical relationship. The guy tells her that he wants to have sex with her and promises to marry her if she does so. “We’ll anyways be doing it after marriage, so whats the harm in trying it now” he says.She really loves him and gives in to his demand. Whether he will go on to marry her or not, we will never know. What do you think? Is she right in fulfilling his demands even though she has absolute faith in him? Put yourself in both the guy’s as well as the girl’s place and think from their point of view.

Case 2
A guy aged 35 and lady aged 32 are in a live in relationship. They have known each other for 4 months and now have decided to move in together. It’s been a week since they started sharing their living space. Both are open to the idea of having sex without thinking about the future. The girl thinks to herself “It cant be called pre-marital sex if you don’t intend to get married” and doesn’t mind having such an opinion at all.  So should they go ahead with it. Is it right or wrong to think this way?

Case 3
Two young guys are in a relationship. Obviously not many people around know about them except for their very close friends. They want to get into a physical relationship. They are open to the idea of getting married and then doing it but in India will gay marriage ever be legalized? What should they do? Don’t homosexuals have the desires as well or are you someone who feels that there is no place for homosexuals in our society? Wont this be categorized as pre-marital sex or does the gay community come under a whole different category.

Case 4
Teenagers these days get carried away easily. Its not shocking to know that they want to experience sex even when in school without having to think about the consequences about it later. They feel that it is an experience they SHOULD have before they get anywhere close to marriage years later without which their friends will call them saints. Watch any of the english TV shows and that is all the teenagers talk about in them. Do you think on the same lines?

Courtesy: Dr Nishita Fernandes

Courtesy: Dr Nishita Fernandes

So as you can see,when you think about it this way pre-marital sex gains a whole new meaning or rather a different perspective. Its not just a question about right and wrong. Its more about whether you would like to do it or not. It is a personal choice. If I belonged to case 3, I would definitely have had no objection to pre-marital sex. Its probably the only sex that one can have, especially in India if one belonged to that case scenario! Case 2 too would be a totally personal opinion rather than applying a norm. You cant force someone to get married, of course it does happen here but once someone has made up their mind to stay away from the bond of marriage you can do nothing about it. Nor can you stop them from having sex, can you? But after all this, if they do decide to someday change their mind and tie the knot either with their live in partner or someone else, then you would call it pre-marital sex, wouldn’t you? And would that be right or wrong? It’s an absolute personal decision

But when it comes to case 1 and case 4 and also if someone asked me whether I would advocate pre-marital sex, I would definitely and emphatically say a NO. Pre-marital sex has no place in my opinion because personally for me sex acquires more meaning after marriage. Yes it is something very personal which unites two people even more. I don’t want to do it just for the sake of it before marriage nor for  the experience. Also I think it would be grossly unfair to the girl because by chance if the relationship doesn’t work out, it would mean more harm to her because whether you like it or not, Indian mindset is such that they will judge a woman based on her virginity but never the man.I would be very angry with the guy in case 1 and also the teenagers involved in case 4, not because they go against my opinion but more because of the definite risks and problems involved with pre-marital sex. We tend to forget that kids these days especially here, acquire half knowledge through the internet (mainly because their parents refused to have the talk with them) and then get into a physical relationship. Teenage pregnancies are on a high which can be traumatic both to the girl and the parents which then leads to the killing of an unborn child or abandoning them after birth. I have seen about 3 cases myself where unmarried teenagers are brought by their parents with pain abdomen suspecting appendicitis when in fact they are pregnant. When at one end there are couples striving to get a child, at the other extreme are those who don’t let a child come into the world or abandon them because of their stupidity. And what about STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). Yes they are a reality. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to sex. One nights pleasure can make you suffer for the rest of your life if you get infected be it HIV, Hepatitis or for that matter even syphilis. A big price to pay isn’t it?

Whether one is married or not, the strength of one’s relationship definitely decides whether one would want to get into a physical relationship with his/her partner or not.So as you can see, the answer to the question is not a straight forward one. And I still think its a personal decision to which norms shouldn’t be applied.  What is most important is that one is responsible, knowledgeable and mature enough to have the RIGHT opinion.

Authors Note:

This blogpost is an entry for Indiblogger’s “Yes or No to Pre-marital Sex” contest with Poonaam Uppal’s True Love – A Mystical True Love Story.

All the sketches in the post are provided by Dr Nishita Fernandes, my only wife!

Darr ke aage JEETHU Hai!

Jeethender Singh was my classmate since we were in class 1. We were childhood aquantainces, not really friends because we weren’t that close. He was fondly known as Jeethu. We didn’t know much about each other except that I always felt he was a nice quiet boy who hardly spoke to anyone. Most of the time when we were in a group he would only smile or contribute an occasional word or two to the conversation.But that didn’t stop me from having a healthy rivalry with him when it came to studies.He was damn hard working and so was I. If he stood 1st in one exam, I would beat him in the next. Both of us would enjoy the moment when our names were read out as the class toppers though he would do it more quietly than me.

But if there was one thing that I always beat him at was the elocution competition held in our school year after year. It was a big affair in our school and every year a few students who dared to go in front of the entire school and speak on a topic that was decided one day earlier. Once we got into high school, things were made even tougher because the topics were given on the spot!. Every year I would participate and be in the top 3 in my class. Jeethu participated too. Year after year he would go on stage and fumble for words while I would breeze through my topics. It’s not that he didn’t make the effort or wasn’t good at it. It was just that when the moment came he would freeze! He wouldn’t last on the stage for more than a few seconds.

Over the years, I had seen him grow with me and now we were in class 10. While I was bold and confident and always was up for a challenge, taking up leadership responsibilities, he was still quiet and shy but very hard working and determined. There was something about his silence that made you curious about him. We called him the silent assassin because he would stand 1st in class without making a hue and cry about it, he would go about his work quietly always.

Every time there was a public speaking competition, he would practice for hours all by himself in the corner of the classroom but somehow do miserably when he got on stage. I always wondered why he would want to make a fool of himself in front of the whole school when he knew that he couldn’t speak in front of an audience. But what I did admire about him was that even though his public speaking was ridiculed, he never gave up. And this year would be his last chance to speak in front of the school because we were now in class 10. I was all excited and very determined to do well and leave a lasting image in everyone’s minds

The day finally arrived. I had practiced on various topics to be prepared for whatever I get. Jeethu was called on stage. There was a box kept in front of him with various topics written in pieces on paper inside it. He picked one up and handed to the teacher. She read out the topic on the microphone “FEAR….Jeethu will speak about fear” she said in a deep voice. He went to the microphone with a grim expression on his face.

“G…G..Good morning respected students and my co teachers” he stuttered
The crowd burst into laughter. I could see a lot of back slapping and pointing of fingers going on in the audience. Jeethu looked around, beads of sweat trickling down his forehead onto his neck and soaking his shirt which was now turning transparent from white. I saw him hold his breath.

“S..Sorry …I mean, good morning my respected teachers and my friends. Fear is something I know a lot about. Since years you all have seen me come on stage in fear and leave without saying a word. That’s because fear has been a part and parcel of my life so far. Someone once told me that fear is a false evidence that appears real. But what if the evidence was real? What if something happened in front of your eyes which made you scared? When I was in class 1, I would wonder why I wouldn’t see my father around the house much but on the days that he did come, I would wake up and see him beat up my wailing mother. He would almost always smell of alcohol on those days. I would hide behind the door and watch the scene in horror all the while not making a sound lest he hear me and beat me up too. The only escape from that fear was school where I felt safe. When he was sober, I would go over to talk to him and he would ask me to shut up. I would not speak. My mother always told me to study hard and that if I did, someday I could give her a better life. So I studied very hard. When my father abused at home I would close my ears and read my books aloud so that I could drown out his voice and my fears along with it. I tried my best to stand 1st in class just for my mother. If my father saw me reading he would come and yell at me saying that I was wasting my time. If I tried telling him that I stood 1st in class he would ask me to shut up. I was scared to speak, at home, at school, with friends. Year after year I participated in these competitions just to somehow overcome my fear but always failed…..miserably. Today ironically the topic FEAR seems to have driven the fear out of me. I’m not bothered about winning this competition, I’m just happy that I manged to speak in front of all of you without running away after the first few words! Thank you “

The students were all stunned. Some of them didn’t realize that it was over as they were still soaking in his words. A small group started to clap which grew into rapturous applause. He had tears in his eyes, so did many in the audience. He had finally conquered his fears. We hugged and all he said was thank you……

Someone in the audience screamed ‘Darr ke aage jeethu hai” and everyone cheered!

Authors Notes:

This blog post is a submission to RISE ABOVE FEAR challenge by Mountain Dew in association with Indiblogger.

To visit their Facebook page click –

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to a person living or dead is purely co-incidental.

A Walk To Remember!

Courtesy : Dr Nishita Fernandes

Courtesy : Dr Nishita Fernandes

ROAD RASH was a game which was a rage in the late 90’s and early 2000’s until the X-box’s and Play stations erased their fond memories. It is  a simple violent game which involved 2 motorists racing each other illegally with them hitting and kicking each other on their way to victory. We spent hours playing the game. I still have it on my PC and play it once in a while and today was just one of those days. It is probably the best way to take your frustrations out without hurting anyone other than your keyboad!

After an hour of gaming, I decided to take an evening walk. Nothing to shake off the post gaming laziness like a nice long walk. It’s 6 PM and the cool December evening is just beginning to take its effect. I step outside on the road and take a deep breath with a smile to feel the cool air within my system. Halfway through my breath an autorickshaw passes by blowing its dark fumes on my face which leaves me gasping for air. So much for fresh air! “You bloody a****** “ I cuss and immediately chide myself for losing my temper this Christmas season. I take a better look at the auto, with its black fumes, worn out tyres and dangling mud guard, it looked like it would fall apart the moment someone stepped into it. Deciding to ignore the bad start to my walk I continued.

I walk slowly but steadily soaking the festive spirit of the evening. Soon I reach the main road and glance at the Cineplex. It was running a movie the name of which I couldn’t see. So I try to cross the road to get a better look at the hoarding. I look to the right and left at the traffic and then straight for the …..err zebra crossing. Is it just me or have these zebra crossings reduced drastically? I think they are now more often seen in the class 1 text books rather than our streets. With no traffic policeman to direct the traffic and amidst the honking ruckus of the traffic and definitely no zebra crossing, I somehow manage to get to the other side in one piece! This walk is already turning into a bad decision. Why didn’t I just stay at home and enjoy my road rash game rather than be a road kill here!

Courtesy: Dr Nishita Fernandes

Courtesy: Dr Nishita Fernandes

HAPPY NEW YEAR said the Cineplex hoarding. I groaned. Not this one! I thought that movie had run out of the theatres after the premiere show! I immediately regret taking the trouble to cross the busy street. As I continue my walk contemplating where to head to next, I see a crowd gathered around 2 motorists who are yelling at each other. We Indians love a little tamasha, don’t we? I joined them to see what the fuss was all about. Apparently one bike guy had overtaken the other bike guy from the wrong side resulting in both of them colliding. The crowd seemed to have divided themselves into 2 teams and urging the 2 guys on who looked like they would anytime turn into a real life road rash game.. But isn’t it just a simple issue? Always overtake from the right!!!! That’s all! Added to that was the traditional honking of all the vehicles around which made the area unbearable to stand in.

All this was getting a bit too much for me, so I thought I would retrace my steps and head back home. Just then my eyes fell on the newspaper stand at the corner of the street. I couldn’t resist grabbing the Evening Newspaper and reading a bit of local news. The headlines read “Ministers caught watching a female leader picture in parliament” Well, not much can be expected from them anyways. The news below it caught my attention. “Drunk driver rams his car into pedestrian” and then it went onto to explain how the incident claimed the life of the pedestrian while the driver sustained head injuries because he wasn’t wearing a seat belt. Does anyone here bother to wear a seat belt I wondered and just as an afterthought looked up from my newspaper to scan the cars that were on the streets. The taxi driver honking wildly wasn’t wearing a seat belt. The sauve looking gentleman driving a Mercedes behind him certainly wasn’t wearing one either. He was in fact on his cellphone in one hand while maneuvering his car with the other. Education definitely doesn’t make you wise! There was truck driver behind them with the door on the drivers side hanging from its hinges so I didn’t even bother to look inside if the driver was wearing a seat belt. He probably was under the impression that in case of a mishap he could just jump off the truck. The two wheelers weren’t better off either. Most of them wore helmets which looked like Virat Kohli’s fielding cap. I folded the newspaper and continued my walk wary of the fact that I could be run over by any of these reckless drivers.

By now it was getting dark and the lights in the various shops by the side of the road were taking their full effect. Being the Christmas season, there were rows of shops selling santa costumes, christmas trees and stars of all shapes and sizes. I walked around watching all of them bedazzled. As I shifted my gaze from the bright lights to the streets all I could see was darkness with specks of moving vehicle headlights. The overhead street lights seemed to have forgotten what they had been installed for. Added to that, with no reflectors on the road or the dividers, it all seemed like a recipe for disaster. My thoughts immediately went to the truck without the door and wondered if he had any headlights!

I shifted my gaze back to the shops and continued my walk. Time flew and I realized that it was getting late! Suddenly a craving for another game of Road rash began and I decided to take a shorter route home. On the way I saw a group of men busy working on concretizing a stretch of road. They were wearing hard hats with lights on them. The work area was well illuminated with bright MEN AT WORK sign boards for the oncoming vehicles and perfectly visible diversion boards. Wow! Finally something to cheer about, I thought and smiled to myself. In the corner of my eye I saw the unmistakable white and black markings on the road – A ZEBRA CROSSING! Wow again! I was mighty impressed and relieved at the same time.

Courtesy : Dr Nishita Fernandes

Courtesy : Dr Nishita Fernandes

I rushed towards the crossing and looked at the traffic lights. It was on red with the countdown timer on 12. I made a mental note of the time left to cross the road- 12 to 1 plus orange. So there was enough time to cross the road twice!. I looked right and left and began crossing. Halfway through my path, I saw a car hurtling towards me at break neck speed. I don’t know why I looked into the car to see if the driver was wearing a seat belt, he wasn’t! I was pretty sure that the traffic lights hadn’t changed colors. He was inches away from me without even slowing down.

I froze…………..

AUTHORS NOTE – This post is an entry to NISSAN SAFETY DRIVING FORUM  – ” Safety begins with me ” in association with Indiblogger.

                            – To know more about safety on the road, click – The Nissan Safety Driving Forum.

                           – All the sketches in the post are a work of Dr. Nishita Fernandes, who along with being my wife also strangely happens to be a safe driver!

Cleanliness – A path towards Godliness!

Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” This is probably one of the most abused sayings not only because of it being used so much especially in schools but also because it is rarely respected.This along with the “A friend in need is a friend indeed” were probably two of my most favourite quotes right until I reached college.So why is it that the concept of cleanliness and hygiene which is taught to us probably in class 1 is forgotten in our adulthood? Which is why I want to take this journey of hygiene and sanitation right from our ‘naive‘ childhood to us being ‘responsible‘ adults.

Schools Days

Courtesy: Dr Nishita Fernandes

Courtesy: Dr Nishita Fernandes

When I talk about school days, I refer to classes mainly up to 7th grade. It’s a time when a lot of importance is given to cleanliness by everyone around by both parents and teachers. It is also the time when what our parents say means the world to us. And we follow each and everything they say! Some of the things that we are constantly reminded at home are:

1.”Brush your teeth twice a day or else all your teeth with fall off by the time you get to be our age” and then they flash their shiny white teeth as a proof and you are in awe of them.
2. “Cut your nails regularly or else dirt will get stuck under them and you will eat it.
3. In the same breath they will also remind you to “wash your hands for 5 minutes with dettol soap before food or else germs will enter your stomach and build a house there and you will fall sick.” Its not the falling sick part that you are afraid of, rather its the injection given by your ‘friendly’ neighbourhood doctor uncle that frightens you the most.
4. “After playing with friends (especially in the mud) have a nice bath or else you will smell like the gutter and rats will come to sleep with you.”
5. “Always throw paper in the dustbin because that way you will do good for your country.” And you would do it even though you didn’t know what progress our country would make by us throwing something into the dustbin
6.”Never dip your finger in the water that you drink”(even if you cut your nails or wash your hands)
7. “Never pee on the side of the road.” I always thought that it was because the street dog might come and bite you.
8. “Don’t eat ice candy sold on the street, because the ice candy man licks them when he gets thirsty “– Ok this was probably only for my wife!
But you have to admit it, that we religiously follow everything that is taught to us at that age. And these are valuable lessons which we SHOULD keep in mind throughout our lives.

High School
High school leading into college is a difficult time as it usually is a very confusing phase in one’s life. Here you are slowly exposed to the outside world and not everything about it can be good. Its also a time when doubts start creeping up in one’s mind about the thoughts imbibed in us by our parents and teachers. Friends take precedence and all of them cant be a good influence. The beliefs that we lived by until then slowly give way to overconfidence and sometimes brashness.

1. It’s a time when laziness puts cleanliness in the back burner. Brush twice a day? Why? When we do it once with so much of difficulty!
2. Hand washing takes a backseat – Especially at those cricket matches at the local maidans after which we run to the paani puri fellow at the corner and gulp down the watery treats with muddy hands all the while wondering where the extra salty taste that came from.
3. And when you play with your friends and want to relieve yourself you don’t mind going to the side of the road and checking out who has the most powerful stream of them all.
4. You see people spitting paan on the road and don’t mind spitting out your gum the same way which you bought to increase your cricket and pokemon card collection. Worse is when you see the boards DO NOT SPIT HERE or DO NOT URINATE HERE and people spit and urinate on the boards!

Courtesy : Dr Nishita Fernandes

Courtesy : Dr Nishita Fernandes

Yes it’s a time when guidance is very important. We think we know everything and probably we do but without the constant reminders we forget the basics of sanitation and cleanliness which we had learnt when we were kids.

Medical College
Medical college was a long & arduous journey spread over 8 and half years, which included first 5 and half years of MBBS and 3 years of Masters in Surgery. During this time there is no hiding away from hygiene or the lack of it. The wards are filled with patients coughing and sneezing(most of the time in your face), wounds with pus draining from various sites. Washing hands or wearing masks is not an option but a compulsion more to protect yourself than your patients.

Added to that we had the ‘house visits’ as a part of community medicine in rural areas where we learn about hygiene , waste management, facilities in the villages and then are expected to teach the right way to go about it.The fact that the houses don’t have toilets and we have to advice them about the same is in itself appalling! We , in groups of 3 or 4 would advice them about hand washing, waste disposal , boiling drinking water which though have been taught to us since schools seems alien to them! That is when you realise that what you had be taught years back is actually paying off! A major concern is water stagnation which causes vector borne diseases like malaria. Till then you just read about it in books, this was where we actually got to see them. Then again don’t we see the same in our cities too? So much for being educated but not implementing what we learn (Are we still living in high school?)!

The 3 years in surgery took everything to another level. Having suffered a severe eye infection within the first 3 months of joining the course which was found to be hospital acquired made me even more vigilant when it comes to hand washing. Handwashing acquired a new meaning because if we didn’t follow it , it would mean a difference between a clean wound and an infected wound. The difference which made an enormous impact on the patient both affecting the hospital stay as well as the cost.

Courtesy : Indian Journal of Medicine

Courtesy : Indian Journal of Medicine

And Now….
Done with studies, now working and been blessed with a son who is now 2 months old. This has obviously taken personal hygiene up by a couple of notches. Our nails are always cut short so that we don’t accidentally hurt him, his milk bottles are always sterilized, we as well as the visitors are not allowed to touch him without washing our hands. He doesn’t have to brush his teeth right now because he doesn’t have any. We make sure there is no stagnant water anywhere near the house because I know what it can lead to from our house visits few years back. We definitely don’t dip our fingers into drinking water to check if it is warm!
I go to hospital and teach the students about the same so that our patients don’t suffer. Its like a dual responsibility and I realise that most of it is what I have been taught right from my childhood.

Probably in a year or two Ill be showing my little one my shiny white teeth and telling him to brush twice a day!

Cleanliness is a journey to Godliness!

Courtesy: Dr Nishita Fernandes

Courtesy: Dr Nishita Fernandes

Authors Note : This post is a submission to NDTV’s #SwachhIndia contest in association with Dettol and Indiblogger

                         To know more about the initiative click –

                         The sketches in the post have been created by Dr Nishita Fernandes who co -incidentally also happens to be my only wife. The images have been reproduced with her permission with a deal to split the prize if I win

2015 DUMPlings


At the end of every year we all have a tendency to look at the events gone by in retrospect. At the end of it, all that we want to know is, has the year been a good one for me and how can I make the coming year a better one. This year has been an amazing one for me with me clearing my MS exams, joining work at our hospital as a staff and the icing on the cake at the being when my wife and me became first time parents having been blessed with our son in September. So there is not much I could’ve have for. But as always human tendency is to have that little extra and which is why I sat and analyzed what I would like to do differently next year.

10 commandments for the year 2015 –
1. Eat healthy : I have made resolutions galore over the years to work out hard in the gym and gain that lean, mean (formerly John Abraham) look. Every time I’ve ended up not going for more than 3 weeks and being the butt of jokes within the family. So rather than going down the same old path, this year I would rather try something different and eat healthy instead. Less of junk food and more of healthy, home made food along with everyday exercises like taking the stairs at work or malls and a lot more walks! The occasional KFC or Domino’s will certainly not hurt. Nor will dinner with friends outside, Or lunch with family at restaurants, or birthday treats at resorts *evil grin*

2. Say NO : Yes ….Time to say NO. Sounds weird I know but it is something I badly need to learn to do or else I’ll soon turn into a push over. Will you do this presentation for me?…NO, Will you take extra classes?NO. Looks so damn easy on paper…doesn’t it? The Yes’s next year will be only for those who genuinely need my help.

3. Stop Procrastinating: This is one thing I am sure I’m not alone in doing. Too many times I’ve left things too late thinking that there is plenty of time remaining. And then when the deadline is fast approaching I would be struggling to complete the assigned work. It also means that I’ll probably end up participating in more blog contests next year so watch out you guys! 😀

4. Learn to play new sport : For long I’ve been wanting to learn and play either tennis or squash both of which I’ve never played in my life mainly due to point number 3. So its time to buck up. Also since Roger Federer’s form is dipping and Rafael Nadal is injury prone, its a good time for me to make a mark in the sport 😛

5. Stop Worrying : There are so many occasions we waste time worrying about things which we have no control over. Instead I would like to concentrate on the present and try not to think too much into the future. Its good to plan for the future but altogether a different thing to worry based on what problems your planned future holds for you. So now on I’ll dream of making as much money as the Ambanis without worrying about how I’m gonna do it!

6. Work on my Blog : I started my blog more than 6 years back but have never managed to sustain the frequency of posts. 93 posts spread over 6 years is downright dismal. I have somehow managed to get the best out of my blog in the last 6 months and hope to better it in the coming year. You can help me by promoting my posts too. Maybe you should add that into your bucket list 😛

7. Concentrate on Family : Now that I’ve been blessed with a son who at the time of writing this post Is 2 months old, I want to spend more and more time with him a at least till he becomes a teenager when he would rather spend time with his girl friends than with me. Im done with studying and exams and hence I would try to give as much time as possible to my wife and son along with my parents and be an integral part in his growth. Since i also have to work, you can help me in this endeavour of mine by sending me donations 😀

8. Publish my writing : My wife keeps insisting that I submit posts for different publications but I’ve always shied away from them saying that the posts weren’t good enough. Next year I will try and publish as many posts of mine as possible. Once I do, I will spam your timelines with links to my posts and beg you to read them.

9. Travel more: Last 2 years have been a real drab in terms of travel. Have been hardly away from home due to studies basically. This year I would love to travel and visit a few new places with family. Plan a roadtrip to Goa with friends too. The last one was before marriage and it was amazing. Now 3 out the 5 of us are married and so Goa 2.0 is a must!

10. Read more: Enough of surgery books. The last 3 years have been all about them. Start reading novels and autobiographies again which i used to read so much earlier. If you want your books reviewed send a free copy and they will be given an honest review.

This is my 10 point agenda for the year 2015. Watch this space next year to know if I’ve religiously followed what I’ve planned or if I’ve done a U-turn on them like most of our governments!

Losing My Religion – Book Review



Title : Losing My Religion
Author : Vishwas Mudagal
Publisher : FingerPrint
Release : 2014
Pages : 350
Genre : Adventure

Losing My Religion is a tale of Rishi Rai, a gamer and entrepreneur and his adventurous journey after deciding to quit his ‘regular life.’

Spoiler Alert
Rishi Rai is a young, probably in his late twenties entrepreneur who dreams of revolutionizing the gaming industry and has already tasted great success and is a popular figure amongst the circle of hardcore gamers. He resides in namma Bengaluru .He devices a game which can’t be beaten and this very fact leads him to his downfall when in fact it should’ve taken him to the league of gaming legends. In a flash (which in fact is over a period of 3 years)he loses everything that he has created and his whole world is ripped apart.

That’s when he makes a life changing decision to leave everything behind and go on a road trip without a plan and without a time frame. And who would accompany him on this path breaking journey? Would it be his best friend or girl friend or his mother? No it would be an American junkie who went by the name Alex whom he met accidentally in the outskirts of Bengaluru.

The journey is a really an unusual one which starts from Rishi’s hometown in Bengaluru, proceeds north to Malana in the Himalayas, comes straight down to Om beach in Gokarna, an unexpected turn to the Kumbh Mela and ends in….any guesses?…..errrr the USA. Yeah you all guessed wrong. A little farfetched I know! Along the way Rishi discovers new things about these places, learns new things about himself and realizes what he really wants in life. He somehow discovers true love too!

The story is very young! The characters, the gaming lingo, the locations, the situations …… all are chosen to arouse interest in probably teenagers and early twenty somethings who haven’t yet traveled or who dream of a journey themselves without looking into the practicality. I found the very premise on which Rishi takes the journey very silly. It would be more believable if someone in their forties was portrayed this way. But somehow you would still relate to his character. His chemistry with Alex, the junkie is intriguing and at times hilarious. There are some sensuous descriptions of his escapades with his girlfriend too.

I found the choice of places laughable. Of the 4 locations in the story Malana is the best where the protagonists find themselves in delicate situations mainly because they are high on weed most of the times. Its fast paced and keeps the reader hooked even though at times not believable. Gokarna is nice too and those who have been to the shacks in OM Beach would relate to it. But Kumbh Mela was a let down and the part in the US was downright dismal. Somehow he salvages the story by giving it a great and unexpected ending.
All in all LMR is a good read. If you leave your brains behind, do not analyze every bit of the story, you will probably enjoy it more.
Rating : 6/10

Its definitely not a bird – Lufthansa A380

India is a country of over 1.2 billion people and lets face it, its evident all around. We spend most of our adult lives thinking ways to avoid most of those billion people so that we can be on time to school, college or work. If a crowded dance floor thrills you, the same crowd on the streets or shopping malls makes you want to pull your hair out in frustration. Every morning scores of people like you & me head out onto the streets after a hearty breakfast & head to work. Everyone seems to be in a hurry to reach their their destination & somehow almost no one reaches on time. Auto rickshaws are filled with school going children packed like sardines, so much for safety. As I drive towards hospital on the highway I see people brush against my car hanging onto the sidebars on the door of buses. If they get any closer they would be probably riding on my rooftop. The taxis are still around with 3 passengers crammed in the front seat with the driver and God knows how many in the back! The only saving grace (if you can call it that) is that I am not living in a city like Mumbai where everything is three to four times or probably 10 times what I see here. And I don’t need to describe the crowds in trains there, do I? In the words of Barney Stinson….Its Legendary! We Indians are adept at adjusting. We can adjust to almost anything and everything. No power supply, we’ll adjust. No water….No problem, we’ll wake up early and fill the buckets. No room in the bus….No problem, we’ll just “hang around” the window. Body odour and foot stamping are no issues at all!

Courtesy : Google Images

Courtesy : Google Images

So when you ask “Why bigger is better?” The answer simply would be BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE! And just not enough facilities.

Well… size does matter and hence tongas were replaced by autos rickshaws, auto’s by cars, cars by buses, buses by trains, trains by airplanes. And airplanes…..well for now by even bigger airplanes! Indian air space is studded with both domestic & international flights which have grown exponentially over the past few years. While the focus has been on smaller planes & hence reduced air fares, the quality of service provided is highly questionable and at some point so were the safety norms. At such a time Lufthansa has brought its biggest airplane, the A380 to India. Its great news to both the frequent and not so frequent travelers. Indian flyers are on the rise with businessmen, young professionals & for that matter even families willing to shell out a little extra for a better and safer experience. With growing number of air travelers (with of course our PM leading the way) bigger indeed is better.

Now when we buy a phone, the first thing we do is look up the specifications. I am no expert on planes but the A380 seems like a monster compared to the rest. Add to that it has the Indian delight of being a double decker(I loved double decker buses, don’t know about you!) its like the icing on the cake. Here is an in depth look at the  specifications of the A380 thanks to

Its one thing being big. but its a whole other thing being worth it. That’s where Lufthansa’s A380 stands out. With the double deck being divided into the Business & Economy class, it has something for everyone. I got to know about exactly what they provide through which I have posted below.

Courtesy :

Courtesy :


But with great power comes great responsibility. While it is exciting times for Indian aviation, it should also be equipped to handle such big planes. Such a statement might be laughable to some, but has great significance from where I come. A few years back there was an air crash in our airport, the investigation of which revealed that the airstrip was too narrow and dangerous to airplanes. The fact that the realisation came after such a tragedy is a tragedy in itself. That has long been rectified now with a new International airport. A lesson learnt. So let this always be a reminder before such a venture.

All in all this is fantastic news for Indian air travelers. And a much needed one. Or else a day is not far when people will be jostling for space even in an airplane.

PicsArt_1417624708035Author’s Note: This post is for Lufthansa’s WHY BIGGER IS BETTER FOR INDIAN AVIATION contest hosted by

For a virtual tour of the Lufthansa A380 visit their website here – The Lufthansa India Website

The Time Lapse video :

Read more posts with the hashtag – #LufthansaA380

Love Thy Father!

Top Post on IndiBlogger

Image Courtesy -

Image Courtesy –

He sat there on his wheelchair all by himself, so frail and lonely. He looked at the calendar for the umpteenth time to make really sure of the date. It was 2nd December indeed. It only seemed to make him more depressed. Back in the day, he was a jovial and friendly guy, a loving husband and father who would go to any lengths to keep his family happy. But time hadn’t been so kind to him. At 55 years of age his muscular legs of yesteryear seemed to have lost their strength and he now needed a wheelchair to carry him around.

He watched her enter the living room and walk around without a care in the world. He adjusted his black rimmed large spectacles to get a better look at her. At 22 she could afford to strut around with that devil may care attitude. He saw her look at him and turn away without a greeting as if he didn’t even exist. He closed his eyes unable to bear the pain. He ran his hand through his receding hairline which also plucked out a few of the remaining strands. What was it that had driven them apart?

He remembered the day she was born and how his world had changed in an instant. Carrying her for the first time made him feel like he had been blessed for some great deed he had done in his previous life. He remembered those sleepless nights where he would carry her in his arms until dawn humming every tune he knew & somehow putting her to sleep.

He could still picture her 1st day at school where she just refused to let go off his hand, her teary eyes pleading him to stay without saying a word. “Ill be right outside” he had promised her and sat the entire day in the veranda where she could see him. From then on dropping & picking her from school had become a ritual which lasted right until she finished her schooling. She would fling herself on him, the moment he would arrive from work and ask him to solve all her math problems. Once the homework was done, he would lift her on his shoulders & they both would do a victory dance together which would roll in a fit of laughter. He would then put her to sleep by reciting stories most of which were made up but she loved them all nonetheless. He was her hero and she was his world.

He didn’t know when things changed.What was it that had driven her away from him. She seemed so distant now. He sometimes felt like she was ashamed to be seen around him now.

He saw her friends arrive one by one. Soon there were about 15 of them but not one them acknowledged him. Looked like they were having some kind of a party in his house without informing him. But he didn’t mind. He didn’t mind anything she did. He loved her so much. He rolled the wheelchair into the next room.

Where are you going papa?” She asked gently.
To the next room, so that you youngsters can enjoy” He said with a fake smile.
But we youngsters have gathered for you papa” She smiled.
He looked confused not knowing what she was saying.
Happy birthday papa” She said with a big smile on her face
SURPRISE UNCLE!!!” Her friends screamed in unison
His eyes grew moist. He couldn’t speak.
I…I…I don’t know that to say beta, THANK YOU! ” He managed to say somehow
You thought I forgot, didn’t you? How can I forget the 2nd of December, the birthday of the best dad in the whole wild world, I love you Papa” she said and hugged him tight.
I love you too beta” he said and began sobbing in her embrace

Author’s Note : Its not just enough to say you love your parents. Sometimes you need to show them the love too.