Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 25, Saturday, 10th December, 2011

I began to realise for the first time, today, that my stint in this country was about to complete a month. When this thought occurred to me first, the immediate next thought was ... what a long way I had come, and not just in terms of distance. Some of you readers have already been there, done that, and still others among you are dwelling far away from your motherland, so you can understand what I am passing through.

Do I miss India? Do I miss Mumbai? Mazgaon? My home? Of course I do. Let me make a list of the things that I miss most (after the most obvious things like family, parents, practice, etc.): a) Food: batata wada, punjabi samosa, 'gila' bhel, sev puri and pani puri, dosas, McDonald's Filet-O-Fish, Khichda, sabudana wada, b) Places: my clinic, Kalbadevi and its sights and sounds, my Bhendi bazaar and J.J. locality, Love Lane, Nariyal wadi, Dockyard Road and its kabab-lamba pav, V.T. and beyond, for all the things the business district is famous for - its stationery shops, big shops like Akbarallys and Globus and others, the Jehangir Art Gallery and the NGMA, the cinemas with their own world of movies, food and fun, the hustling and bustling crowds around Flora Fountain and the Gateway of India, the Horniman Circle, whose charm is totally different once one steps inside it and gets into a quiet and different world from the one just outside, the curio shops and stalls near the Museum, the sandwich outside Kapoor Lamp Co near Kala Ghoda, the indescribable charm of walking along Marine Drive ....c) People: the icecream seller at Shiv Cream center, who has a no-nonsense attitude right from 10 a.m. to 1.00 a.m., the various shop-keepers of Matharpakhady  Lane - the grocer, the vegetable vendors, the bhel-puriwala who sets up his shop after 9.00 p.m. outside Mazgaon Rest House (he, of the thin body but a resolved mind), the thick bearded guy who sits in his hardware shop next to the chinese food restaurant just before the Mazgaon Circle, the walkers and runners at the Mazgaon Hill, some of my neighbours whose friendship and company I used to treasure, the ubiquitous traffic policemen standing around the corner with their challan books, greedy expressions and wet palms, the BEST conductors who have stopped making their snap-snap noises as they now use an electronic machine to "print" tickets, the cabbies who continue to find ways to trap you and fleece you of your money, the doctors and nurses of Masina and Saifee Hospitals, the Dholkawala Maternity Home and Saboo Siddik Gen Hospital,  the patients who used to be loyal and invaluable to me, my receptionist and the various servants in my house and the clinic, the dozens of Medical Reps who used to visit me to ply their wares, and so many more ... d) Special events: My nature walks, my bird watching just outside my own house, my movie trips, my various day and night trips to bring back and leave Nishrin, Inas and Hannah to and from wherever they wished to come from/go to, my visits to my parents' home, my calls to cousins and friends, the calls I got from close friends and well-wishers, the various people and institutions I corresponded with, the trips I undertook to the BMC offices, the meetings with old friends from school or medical college (there was one of the latter meetings in late November, and boy, I missed it so much), and more ...

A large paragraph, and many of you may not even identify with more than half of what I have written, and yet, I am sure you can all identify with the universal pain and anguish that I felt as I wrote the above, and the continuing sadness as I recall my life back in India. 

Saturday morning blues ... when I wrote this to a chat-friend on Friday evening, she wrote back "Ha ha" ... and this is exactly what it is like, here in Saudi Arabia. Friday is the last day of the week, and Saturday here is the equivalent of Monday in the non-Islamic world. I experienced this in full force today as I got up late and also reached the hospital later than the usual time of between 7.50 and 8.00 a.m. The day also marked my first on-call day. As I wrote yesterday, I was apprehensive about how my on-calls would go, but, I am happy to say, that my first day went off well. There were no calls, and I was totally free during the evening. It was while I was returning from my evening walk that I began to feel a little chill. I thought it was due to the weather, but by the time dinner time came around, I knew that the chill I was experiencing was due to my own body responding adversely to some unknown insult ... and my suspicion turned to reality when, by midnight, I began to feel distinctly hot and my nose began to run. I tossed and turned throughout the night, and before the next day dawned, I was sure I had the 'flu. 

In between, I took out the time to go out and make a few purchases, a new Mobily Internet connect being one of these. I did not have the strength to go far from my house, and returned within 15 minutes or so of leaving the house. 

That's it. Please comment about this entry and let me know how well you adjusted after leaving your homeland (applies to those of my friends who have worked overseas in the past or are still doing so).

1 comment:

drtaher said...

Dear Rudra,

What you say is so true. There is an Indian doctor here who has agreed to eat with me once a week, so, we will probably eat at each others' place on the two weekend days. About my family ... there is no chance they will come to Saudi to stay with me. If it was Paris, or New York ... perhaps, but Al Moweh has nothing for them ...so even I don't think it would be right for them to come and live here, away from the fun and enjoyment of India.

Thanks for reading and commenting.