Monday, December 19, 2011

Days 33 and 34, Sunday, the 18th, and Monday, the 19th of December, 2011

Dear Readers,

It is time to take stock of my writing. I feel I have done quite well. I have had a lot of help from dedicated readers like you, who do not need a post on facebook to visit this blog, and from Facebook, where I keep plugging this blog the moment I have added an entry. Truly, in the digital age, it is quite easy to let others know what you are up to, if you are willing to take some trouble to write and let them know; also, it is easier to maintain relationships and friendships through the comments columns here. There are some of my regular readers whom I have never met in my entire life, and yet, I feel close to them because they write back so encouragingly. On the other hand, there are several of my regular readers who do not want to/like to/remember to comment, and yet, they pray for me silently, and I am equally grateful to them. 

Through the agency of this blog, I have also realised that it is possible to share stuff that we would otherwise, in the course of a normal one-to-one conversation, never talk about. It is possible to be public about private matters without taking or giving offense. It is possible to share one's innermost fears and ventilate these with hope of a therapeutic letting off of steam or fear. This is a great achievement of a blog, and I am really thankful for this medium of sharing as I feel greatly unburdened or relieved after writing about my concerns/fears/doubts ... even if there is no feedback or suggestion from you all. 

I have, through this blog, garnered some new friends too, and they have accepted me as I am - open, sincere, truthful and honest in my writing. It is not as if I wasn't open in my real life in India. I was, and I think, as a result, I rubbed several of my friends/colleagues and relatives too the wrong way. Now, as I sit several thousand miles away, I am metamorphosing into a calmer, more understanding person, with dividends of goodness and warmer relationships to collect in future from those who did not exactly like my way of working/behaving/talking etc.

In addition, I have learned to observe things more closely, and many of my entries are a result of this calm observation of people and events around me. The wealth of detail may seem trivial at times, but it is sure to enable me to be a better chronicler and writer. 

Okay, so coming to the last two days ... Sunday was a routine day. The silver lining was that my backache is finally going away. From a regimen of 3-4 tablets, I was able to come down to just two today. In the evening, I had to take help from Dr. Narendra to go to the local gas agency to change my empty cylinder and get a new one (SR 16/cylinder). 

On Monday, that is today, I crossed one more milestone in my march towards full acceptance in this country. I attended and cleared the Basic Life Support course (CPR) today, along with many other doctors and nurses. Clearing BLS is a requirement to practice in this country and it cost me SR 200 to take the course, but I am glad that I am finally done with that. I would have to take this course every 2 years to re-certify myself, and hence, I will have to take it again sometime in December 2013 or so. The re-certification cost would be SR 150 as per today's rates. The other thing I did today was to take the annual Influenza vaccine, which is given free by the administration to anyone who cares to take it or ask for it. This will be an annual feature, by the way. I thought this to be a prudent thing to do, as I keep seeing kids with respiratory symptoms.

I went to a local Kerala restaurant for dinner today after Ishaa prayers, and to tell you honestly, it was a great feeling to have Kerala style fish curry with a few slices of bread, followed by rice. I don't think I am going to skip this in future ... at least one such meal every week should get me over the blues for another four or five days. They not only served two fairly larges pieces of fish, they also supplied free gravy twice, so as to enable me to finish off the bread/rice. And, wallah, this meal cost me just SR 6.00 - including the cost of a bottle of water and a milk tea. Only the bread was mine.

That's all for now ... will return for more conversations with you in a day or so. Thank you for reading.

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