Saturday, February 28, 2009

A month ends and a lot of stuff to narrate

As readers will have observed, I am returning to this blog at the end of the month ... my previous post was on the 1st of February. A lot of things have happened in the past month, the most important of these being the fact that time was always short. Let me first list the main things that have livened up my life:
  1. Global economy  continued to deteriorate: not that this is news, but the fact is that this decline has affected my practice considerably. I am sure that everyone else has also been affected likewise - businesses, professionals, salaried class, and so on. 
  2. In Mumbai, for a whole week, culture ruled as the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival got under way during the second week of February. I visited the main center three times, saw and photographed many artifacts, installations and sights. Also, I went to three heritage walks - one at Ballard Pier, one at  D.N. Road, and one at Gateway of India. I also  recited a few poems at an open-mic on one of the days at the lawns of the David Sassoon Library. Finally, I also participated in three contests run by Caferati: the SMS poem, the 55-word story and the Theme poetry slam. While I got disqualified in the first two, I was selected to be a finalist in the slam onthe basis of my poem on "Paper". More about this slam later.
  3. p4poetry.com had its monthly poetry reading at the residence of Raj/Renuka at Juhu on the 24th. The  theme  was "LOVE" and I recited two poems. 
  4. Inas got selected for her industrial training at the Taj  Palace and Tower.
  5. We completed six years in Mazgaon on the 8th of February.
  6. I started gymming again, joining the gym Mission Fitness near Noor Baug. Nishrin paid half of the fees, while I pitched in with the rest. The total fees for 1 year were 10000 INR. Since the day I joined, I have not missed a single one of the nine-odd days. I am already feeling better - both physically and mentally.
Having listed these events and occasions, I am already feeling bored to write more. Hence, I am going to end here. More in another entry.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Bangalore Visit, January 21-25, 2009: Background

This year, after a three year gap, I decided to once again attend the annual national pediatricians' gathering. This, the 46th Pedicon, would be held at Bangalore, or Bengaluru as it is now called by the government of Karnataka, from the 22nd to the 25th of January, 2009. I registered as a delegate some time in August, and received a confirmation receipt a month later.

I was excited to go, and even suggested to my wife Nishrin that she should accompany me, since I would be returning to this city after exactly 19 years - we had gone there together for our honeymoon in 1990. It would be a sort of romantic return - but as was expected, Nish could not come owing to the fact that her salon practice would be on in full swing. Therefore, I decided to go alone. I asked some of my colleagues as to who would be going - and eventually, Praful - my friend and colleague from Masina - officially Dr. Praful Shanbhag - and I - coordinated as much as possible - and decided to explore the Pedicon together.

I booked my onward flight journey for the 21st morning, as I would also be attending a workshop on early recognition and management of cerebral palsy; Praful would come to B'lore on the next morning, and he booked his flight with his own agent. However, it fell upon me to book a hotel room for the two of us, and to book a common flight for the return journey on Sunday the 26th of January. Both these bookings I did with my credit card, and later on, Praful reimbursed me his share of the flight ticket AND ALSO PAID THE FULL ROOM CHARGES FOR BOTH OF US. I think he will get someone from some pharma company to sponsor the room charges, but even so, that was awfully nice of him.  

The theme of the conference was "Redefining Child Care". I was in intermittent touch with some of the B'lore pediatricians who were on the organising panel, the chief one being Dr. R. Nisarga, the main organising secretary.

For booking the hotel, I called upon a dear friend from Writing.com who is  staying in the same city - viz. Vikramadith Raman. He was kind to point me to this site (which is only for Bangalore), from where I finally arranged the booking for both Praful and myself in a double Delux room, the hotel being about 2 km from the conference venue and very reasonably priced. It was called Hotel Atlaantic Inn and it is located at J C Nagar opposite "Fun World". The room rates were Rs. 1500/= per night plus 12% luxury tax. I even requested Vikram to go to the hotel and check it out. Which he did. Wasn't that really sweet of him? I kept in touch with him, and later, also got in touch with another Writing.com friend from B'lore, one Mr. B.A. Satish. More about these two friends in a later post.

To replace me at the clinic, I requested my senior registrar at Masina Dr. Sandeep to visit and see my patients daily in the evenings. He complied with this very nicely. At Dholkawala Hospital, Dr. Munira Khambati filled in for me and at Masina, Dr. Avinash Desai. 

In the last few months, one pharma co. reimbursed me the entire flight charges, while another  sponsored my entire registration package. Thus, the trip became a reality.

Returning after a long gap

While I plead guilty to not writing anything in any of the blogs that I currently own, I must say that I was a bit distracted by real-world events; also, for about 5-6 days in the fourth week of January, I was out of town and without a connection to the net. In addition to these "excuses", I was also a bit despirited as I am out of touch with my physical exercises, have put on weight and need to do something strongly to get back into shape.

Okay, enough of that. To read more about my state of mind, visit my other blog: Click here!

Now, on to a little more news. January was bad - practice was dull, I missed those six days when I went to Banagalore to participate in the Annual Pediatric Conference (Pedicon 2009). I had registered for the conference way back in August 2008, having paid INR 6000/= for the same. One of my colleagues and a personal friend, Dr. Praful Shanbhag was with me: we stayed in the same room in a hotel, stayed almost together during the entire five days of the conference and returned together as well. But a lot of other things occurred too, and I am going to write that out as a separate entry right after this one. 

In other news, India started its ties with Sri Lanka in the Cricket One dayers with 2 consecutive victories; Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza moved to the semi-finals of the Australian Open Tennis tourney; our beloved PM Sardar Manmohan Singh underwent a complicated 5-vessel cardiac bypass surgery and is none the worse for it ... in fact, he is "positively better"!

In my home, Hannah had her annual sports and a few other school functions; she made me run to school with her on so many days, I have lost count. Inas continues to have projects and work that is driving all the rest of us mad; my brother Murtuza finally purchased his own house and has just announced that his old house also got sold; mom went to her physician and has been asked to rest and take more medicines; Inas and I went to Lonavala on the occasion of the 40th day observation of my cousin Dr. Altaf's untimely demise (see this); Dad celebrated his 77th coconut birthday and Nish, her 44th cake birthday on the evening of the 31st of January in a dinner meet at my residence - and wonder of wonders - my bro Kaizar also came this time with his entire family!

That's about it for now. Let me rest awhile and then begin my post on my Bangalore visit.

And, if you are bored by all the above, click here for some fun.