Sunday, November 14, 2010

Children's Day

Unlike other parts of the world, India celebrates Children's Day on the birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, independent India's first Prime Minister, and arguably, the most debonair political leader India has ever known. That day is this day, i.e. the 14th of November every year, and it fell on a Sunday this year. As a child specialist, my clinic gets a bling decor, usually sponsored and done by one or the other pharmaceutical company. And so, this year too, like the ones before, the clinic looks as if  there is a big occasion there: for the past few days, my patients have been getting goodies in the form of gifts, toffees, and so on. They are getting their consult too, of course, but they aren't minding their stint in my rooms, as the clinic looks so unlike a doctor's consulting room.

What else? Oh, yes, I stayed away on Saturday morning, as I was attending a medical conference. Otherwise, all things considered, the last week has been so unexciting. The kids are also enjoying their Diwali holidays. Nishrin, as usual, is busier now that the rest of her family is taking a breather. Whenever holidays "strike", weddings happen too, and this means more work for her in the salon. That's always the way it has been for her. 

A college friend, Sudhir Rao, was in India from the U.S. and left early last week. Rakesh Ghildiyal and I met with him and went out on one occasion. Sans Rakesh, but with some other class mates, I had an evening out on yet another evening. For those who are interested, you can read about this party here.

That's it, for now. Have a happy Sunday, guys and girls reading this!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Meeting old friends

The past few days have seen me arranging and then meeting an old friend from the medical college. The good doctor is an orthopedic surgeon who is settled with his family in the U.S. of A. He contacted me and a mutual friend the last time he came to India earlier this year, and this was his second visit in the same calendar year. 

The experiences we shared about the past, and the bonhomie we shared in the present set me thinking about how invaluable old friendships can be. Although we always had mutual respect for each other, the friend I am talking about wasn't all that close to me during our medical college years. For example, neither of us had visited each others' homes, or met each others' parents. I did not think of inviting him when I got married, and I suspect he never thought to inform me when he left India to study and make a life for himself abroad. 

However, now, after a gap of over 25 years,  he sought me out on both the occasions, and wanted us to meet over dinner and have a nice time. Naturally, I was pleasantly surprised for I had, during the college years, not considered myself as an equal to him - either financially or in any other social sense. He put it down to a need to interact with his "partners", and I was moved to appreciate his point of view. 

Our third friend and I have been in touch off and on, but for the last several years, both of us have been involved so deeply in our own lives that we have not met each other physically. Just a few phone conversations, and that's it. Thus, our America-settled friend has become a sort of catalyst and has brought the two of us together. Indeed, the situation has been a win-win one for all of us. 

Meeting friends does something innately wonderful to one's mind and senses. It makes us better humans, as it teaches us to forgive and forget all wounds or misunderstandings of the past and enables us to become great pals, never to forget each other. I guess you could call this happy feeling to be not unlike a feeling of euphoria, a feling of something that turns out successfully in the end.