Tuesday, 27 May 2014

CRUELER THAN DEATH

The wait had already been long enough. Gopalrao's back was beginning to hurt. There were a lot of other patients waiting with him, and he had been forced to contort his body into a painfully compressed form in order to let a seventh person occupy a bench meant for six. 'Why do people have to get their entire families along to such a morbid place?' he thought to himself. That the kid seated next to him - grandson of the patient after him, he assumed - was making faces at him was not helping lift his spirits at all. He had already been in a terrible frame of mind, much beforre he had entered the clinic.

A week ago, Dr.Bapat who practised from the village in which Gopalrao lived had referred him to Dr.Anil, a well-known Oncologist in Mumbai city. The signs had gotten increasingly worrying - rapid weight loss, lumps in the armpit, warts on his neck and groin area, frequent bouts of headache and nausea - Dr.Bapat feared there was more than met the eye. A biopsy on some of the skin lesions showed symptoms that were compatible with lymphoma. Hence, he thought Gopalrao needed to get some tests done by an Oncologist to determine whether he was okay or not, and for further treatment if necessary.

Gopalrao had never heard about Oncologists. He thought his condition might be rare, and he'd finish with his appointment in no time. The huge crowd at the clinic was therefore a big shock for him.

Finally, after more than 90 minutes of waiting, his turn arrived. He pushed the door open, without knocking. He saw a grey-haired, pot-bellied man, wearing a white coat, with a stethoscope around his neck, seated at a desk, staring at a computer screen. The man did not turn once to look at who had entered.

Gopalrao quietly stepped forward and sat down without being asked to.

After 5 minutes of screen-gawking, all Dr.Anil could say was, "Yes?"

"Doctor Saheb, my village doctor sent me to you. He says you can see me and tell me whether I have cancer"

"Hmm", he hummed, "What do you do?"

"I'm a humble farmer back in my village"

"Hmm. Show me your file"

Gopalrao handed over his file.

It took hardly 20 seconds for Dr.Anil to scan the file and come to a quick solution.

"Okay, lie down on this bed."

The doctor plugged his stethoscope into his ears and moved the scope around his patients body real quick.

"You can get up now."

After they were seated again, the doctor was out with his verdict.

"We will need to run a few tests on you. We will need to take a few blood samples. The test results will come in about 14 days. Okay?"

"Okay saheb."

"Alright. Go outside and make your payments at the reception table. After you make your payment, you will be taken to the lab for your blood samples." Having made his point clear, the doctor went back to his monitor-gazing state,

"Thank you Saheb", Gopalrao said, without eliciting a response.

He walked towards the reception counter and asked feebly, "How much?"

The receptionist met his sullen gaze with a cold one and said, "Consultation fees and blood test charges". She then handed him a receipt.

What he saw left him dumb-founded - Rs.3000 for consultation fees and Rs.20000 for the blood test.

He felt a sudden shot of pain in his chest, that quickly spread to his arm and up to his jaw. He collapsed on the floor, gasping for breath.

As he took in his last few breaths, he wished for instant death instead of burdening his poor family with treatment costs and debt that would last for a lifetime.

He got his wish.

Death is a bitch...but sometimes it's a little less cruel than some doctors.

Friday, 16 May 2014

SEVEN

It's a blogger's biggest nightmare when he spends hours putting his thoughts on webspace with all the works - images, paragraphs, indentations, bullets, et al - and no one takes notice. So there you are, ready with your post, beaming with pride, sending out teasers and feelers through links on various blogging communities, group pages on FB, tweets and sometimes even through email. And after all this, all you end up with is three comments. Scary, no?

After deep thought, I have come up with seven unique ways to boost the comments tally on your blog. Here they are:-

1) Write something that will really piss off a large section of people
It need not be something controversial. It just needs to be something about someone/something that's really popular. For example, writing a list of NaMo jokes will surely diss a lot of his supporters. Needless to say, you are likely to end up with more than you bargained for - you might get a death threat or two - but what the heck, you want comments and you're guaranteed to get them.

A word of caution though. Writing something on someone unpopular will not reap the desired effect. That way, you might attract a lot of readership, but all that'll happen is that the post will get shared and might go viral if it really is that good...but people will be too excited to comment. Try writing a Rahul Gandhi joke and see what happens.

2) Set up traps
You'll know what I mean if you've watched the SAW series of movies. Make it impossible for the unfortunate suckers who visited to leave without commenting. You could threaten them a virus attack or unsolicited malware, or repeated playing of some Himesh song in the background till they left a comment.



3) Start a rewards scheme
Make an announcement of a readership loyalty reward scheme. Give points to visitors based on number of comments made. Know that  this one's gonna need hard work, MS-Excel, and loads of vela time. But as the adage goes, 'No pain, no gain'.



4) The mutual admiration club
Fail-proof  method to fetch you loyal readers. Stalk a few bloggers and comment on each and every blog post that comes from them. Let the comments be nice and utterly-butterly. And voila, in a few weeks your blog will have unsolicited readership and will fetch the best of comments. A more systematic and concerted effort will make your blog the toast of blogosphere.
5) Emotional blackmail
An illustration for the uninitiated - "I visit your blog so many times...but you've never visited even once. Not fair man." Unless someone's a cold-hearted freak, everyone falls for this trick.


6) Spam
If you can't get em to do it the right way, then spam spam spam till you succeed.

7) Self-help / split-personality mode
Finally, if nothing seems to help, drop a bit of self-respect, create fake blog profiles and comment on your own blog posts. This way you can show off your blog's 'popularity' and hope that it catches on.

There you go then. Hope these work for you. I'll try these out too ;)

Staying on the number SEVEN, my blog turned 7 today. It's come a long way I guess. It can't possibly live longer than I will, but I hope it lives to be 50 at least.

So here's wishing SCRIPTED IN SANITY a very happy 7th birthday.


Cheers

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY TO AN INTROVERT


I'm an introvert of the highest degree...or close. I hate attending parties, feel extremely awkward at places where I don't know anyone, sometimes even hate entering a gathering where I know everyone else. I love spending a lot of time alone, sometimes doing absolutely nothing. I can sometimes spend a lot of time talking, and then suddenly switch off and say nothing for hours. I get upset when I don't get recognition for good work, but also feel extremely uncomfortable when I'm suddenly in the limelight. A lot of people might find this behaviour weird. However, my close friends and family understand that this is my personality trait and that there's nothing unusual about it.

There are certain things that you should avoid saying to an introvert. If it's your spouse, you should NEVER EVER say these things. If you do, you should be prepared to see him/her clam up, at least for the rest of the day...if not longer.

Never say something like:-


  • "Why are you so quiet?" - An introvert is already self-conscious about his lack of verbal prowess. Asking him something like this will only blur out any hopes of making him more confident of speaking. A big no-no.
  • "Why are you so shy? Behave like an adult" - This will only make him feel like pulling on the garb of arrogance. Better to look arrogant and snobbish like an 'adult' than look shy like a 'kid'...no?
  • "Let's go out na" - We might indulge you once in a while. But make this a daily routine and we'll start going missing.
  • "My friends think you hate them" - They're your friends. It's not that I hate them, but I'm already exhausted knowing the people I do. Also, I'm not exactly in the mood to carry extra emotional and sentimental baggage.
  • "Why didn't you say hi / why didn't you smile at him / her?" - Very often, we introverts are in a hurry to end conversations with strangers. Hence, we might not pay attention to people's faces or names during first encounters. Consequently, the likelihood of us not remembering faces is close to a 100%. It's our fault, we admit. But then again, we're slaves to our personalities, and there's not much we can do to rectify this.
  • "You should learn to live a little" - Well, why don't YOU go get a life??
  • "You're so much more lively on Whatsapp and Facebook. Why not in real life?" - Well, social media gives us the time to measure our words and responses. Also, you tend to get the chance to stay anonymous on social media. Best of all, people on social media tend to judge you a little less than in real life, or so we think. Hence, we're much more confident in the virtual world than we are in person. If you can't live with that, then it's your problem.
  • "What's wrong? Is something wrong? Tell me please" - Okay, I admit I was staring at the wall / floor with my mouth slightly ajar. I must have suddenly gone quiet. It's only because I'm recharging my batteries after spending a lot of time talking or doing things I completely abhor. If something's wrong, it's me...not you honey. Now please chill and stop judging me.
  • "Aren't you happy? You didn't smile" - Well, now that you've pointed it out so blatantly, forget about it.
  • "I think you don't love me anymore" - This is the ultimate heart-breaker for an introvert. Maybe I was a little more expressive about my feelings in the beginning. Over time, I only became more comfortable with you and hoped you'd understand that I've found stability with you and felt you'd feel my love without me having to shout it out from the roof tops. Just because I now don't express my feelings as explicitly as you'd want me to doesn't mean I don't love you. Just the fact that I open up to you should have been enough for you to understand that you mean the world to me.





Image courtesy: www.hypeorlando.com

Friday, 9 May 2014

WICKED, WICKED RHYMES

My son Nigel will be six months old in a little over a week. He recognises a few faces and voices, especially his Mumma's and Dadda's.

The wife loves singing to him, whether while feeding or while putting him to bed. I promised to chip in, but I reckon my voice is far from soothing, and so I'm yet to keep my promise. Wifey loves singing the numerals and the alphabet to him. Sometimes, it's hymns and Konkani lullabies. Most of the time though, like most first-time parents would, she falls back on nursery rhymes.

Maybe I never paid too much heed previously, but ever since becoming a father, I've become a lil extra careful about what I say in front of the kid. Which is why I squirm and flinch while reciting nursery rhymes to him. Almost all the nursery rhymes that we've been brought up on are absolutely morbid, wicked and ghastly sets of words that should never be uttered in front of innocent toddlers...ever. Some nursery rhymes should be rated PG-13 or A. Some might even be in the running for the dreaded R rating.

Sample these:-


1) Rock-a-Bye Baby On The Tree Top
When The Wind Blows The Cradle Will Rock
When The Bough Breaks The Cradle Will Fall
And Down Will Come Baby, Bough, Cradle and All

What a HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE thing to say to your own baby.


2) Jack And Jill Went Up The Hill
To Fetch A Pail Of Water
Jack Fell Down And Broke His Crown
And Jill Came Tumbling After

Do you really think your child enjoys visualising grotesque scenes of beheadings and breaking necks?


3) Sing A Song of Sixpence, Pocket Full Of Rye
Four And Twenty Blackbirds Baked In A Pie...

Grosse! Not just for vegetarians and Vegans!


4) Humpty Dumpty Sat On A Wall
Humpty Dumpty Had A Great Fall
All The King's Horses, And All The King's Men
Could Not Put Humpty Dumpty Together Again

May Monsieur Dumpty's soul Rest In Peace. Your child is really disturbed now.


5) Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater
Had A Wife But Couldn't Keep Her...

Do you really want kids to learn about cheating wives and cuckolds, or vice-versa?

Filmi songs aren't better. So, No! DON'T bring on the Sheelas, Munnis, Jalebi Bais, Bubblys, Baby Dolls and other scum either.

Really tough being a parent these days.

Cheers




Image: http://ahurleypointofview.wordpress.com/

This post was selected by BlogAdda as one of the Spicy Saturday Picks of the Week on 10th May 2014.

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