Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Busy doing ... nothing!

During my first three years in KSA, I had much to look forward to. Even though I was alone and had to manage my life completely on my own, I had certain aims ... aims that now stand fulfilled to a large extent. My evenings were filled with walks, social media surfing on the net, downloading and watching movies, and studying for the MRCPCH. On off weekends, I would plan a trip to Makkah to perform Umrahs, or a recreational trip to Taif, or even farther ... such as my trip to the Abha region in 2013, or my two car trips to Riyadh (each one for a specific purpose). I also Skyped with friends, slept at odd hours when there wasn't much to do, watched Times Now (the ubiquitous Arnab) or Colors (especially Comedy Nights with Kapil) or other channels when in the mood to watch movies or international news or music.

Now, in Zalm, I do few of those things. I am grounded by the fact that Zalm is extremely hot and dusty during the day; I have no car; and I have no Asian friends among doctors, or outside in the community. Zalm is also not my home-town. There are hardly any interesting restaurants or even supermarkets where one may go just to kill time. I miss my TV and my Pehla TV subscriptions, as these are disconnected. The internet here is also not much to talk about. I cannot go to Makkah to perform Umrah as I am on substitute duty. I finished my academic studies for all practical purposes. So, as you, my dear readers can see, I am, sort of, rudderless and feeling bored and empty ... 

I know that this, too, shall pass. Happy days will return, as they must in the cycle of life. It isn't that I am unhappy, but there is not much to look forward to. Zalm lacks the patient flow of Al Muwayh, so professionally, it is down in the pits where I feel. No acute emergencies, no calls, and hardly a smattering of out-patient cases. No deliveries have taken place either, in all the six days that I have spent here. 

So, what AM I doing? I watch movies, of course. Either on my laptop, or on the TV that sits outside in the lobby. I still manage to surf the net and connect with social media friends whenever I can (read as = whenever I can connect). I sleep ... but not excessively, only about 8 hours in 24. I read a little ... currently, I have picked up "The Catcher in the Rye" by J. D. Salinger. I am simultaneously reading Dr. David Drew's book "Little Stories of Life and Death" on my Kindle. Dr. Drew is a whistleblower who blew the whistle on the NHS (the UK government National Healthcare System) and was summarily dismissed from service and forced to stop professional practice on account of cancellation of his practising license.

Among movies, I watched "American Beauty", "The Lady of the House" and a few other commercial movies. The latter is produced by Anupam Kher and stars his wife Kirron Kher in the lead role. It is a Bengali movie dubbed in English and portrays the life of a widow who lives in a huge, ancestral house all alone with servants. A film production unit seeks permission to shoot at her house, and she, being a recluse, refuses to do so, until the main director approaches her with sensitivity and persuades her to allow them to shoot. This is a story with a deeper meaning, and I recommend that you go and see this movie ... even if you must illegally download it! 

That's it for now ... Do send your comments as I eagerly await your input. Thanks.

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