Sunday, August 27, 2017

Writing after a long time

It is true that I have been very busy the entire last month. Just last week, I had to rush home to India to help my family look after my mum who took suddenly and critically ill and was admitted to the ICU. She came down with sepsis secondary to infection in a bed-sore. With treatment, during the three or four days that I was there, she managed to pull out of the critical stage and has gradually improved over the last 10-12 days that have elapsed since. 

In other news, I am trying to get a visa to visit the U.S. to present a paper (a poster, actually) in Orlando, Florida, in mid-October. This would be at the World Congress of Gastroenterology. Towards this end, I went for an interview at the US Embassy in London. The interview went off well, I think, and I should be granted a visa to go there. 

Now, I am shifting to new rented premises outside the hospital. It's bye-bye to the rooms I resided in for the last over 20 months. It will be a bitter-sweet parting, as these 1 1/2 years have taught me a lot ... and not just about my work, but also about living alone in a developed country, where one can have anything one wants by ordering it online or buying it in a store. I have hoarded so much stuff that when the van-renter came to pick up my things to transport it to my new premises, he simply gawked and said he had never seen as much luggage with a bro! Well, my luggage was phenomenal in volume - stretching to over 300 kg by his estimate. It consisted of several cardboard boxes and literally dozens upon dozens of plastic bags. As I write this, I have shifted all my luggage to the new premises, but a lot is still to be unpacked and put away in its proper place. 

In the afternoon, I visited the Furniture shop of the British Heart Foundation and bought several used pieces of furniture that will be delivered to my new place tomorrow. These include a dining table, two chairs, a glass display case, a computer table, and several other smaller items. Once they are all set-up, I should be ready to live in my new place.

So, where is it? It is a mere 5 minutes' walk away from the hospital in what is known as Victoria Mansions. Hopefully, I will complete my move within the next 36 hours. HERE is a map showing my new place. It is only 300 meters away from my current location (and the hospital) as the crow flies, but translates to about half a km if you follow the roads.

In quite other news, I went to the Blackpool Livewire 2017 event at the Promenade yesterday. The event organisers had offered free passes to the concert as well as to the after-dinner party for the first two days of the event, viz. on Friday and Saturday. I had requested passes for two people only for the Saturday, and the passes were waiting for me in my inbox when I returned from India. They had upgraded my pass to a VIP pass. This pass enabled me to access the VIP area on the promenade. This was an elevated shamiana facing the large stage where singers and performers came, traipsing in a line, to entertain the crowds. 

Is anything else happening? Yes. I did a few registrar locums now. One was at Whiston last month and the second was just a few nights ago at Oldham. Both of them were in Paediatrics and I guess they went reasonably well. 

At my own trust, I am now a person that is increasingly entrusted with tasks done by middle-grade doctors, and I guess my progression is just about at par with my expectations. I should be looking at better prospects once my current tenure expires in February 2018. Whether it will mean a proper middle-grade job in Blackpool, or whether I will have to look elsewhere, I do not know. We will have to wait and see. 

And that brings me to the end of the post. Do let me know your reactions to this post and comment on what you think. Thank you.


  1. Doc, I am glad that you are happy where you live and work.

    But, I found one particular statement puzzling.

    "... living alone in a developed country, where one can have anything one wants by ordering it online or buying it in a store."

    I India is not unknown to you, how come you feel this situation doesn't exist there? I stayed alone in Mumbai for the five plus years in the last six, in Bengaluru thereafter.

    We have stores within easy walking distance, even malls. My general/grocery store delivers within ten minutes, at a phone call.
    We have Greencart, Localbaniya, and even Amazon Now for delivery in preferred time slots, with express delivery within 90 minutes.

    Flipkart/eBay/Amazon/Pepperfry/UrbanLadder for books, gifts, electronics, furniture etc.

    So, is India in the developed category?

  2. You are right. We have everything in India. I think I worded it slightly wrong. It is not about the fact that you get so much in India, it is about better choices and more stuff that is unique to developed countries. I meant that. I certainly think that India is a developed country in the retail sector. However, so much of the stuff that you get in our retail sector is commonplace. The unique stuff is sold privately or within circles. In the UK, you can find the unique stuff in the common market place. There is tremendous respect for the customer here. It is not so in India. I can write a lot on this, but leave it for now. Perhaps when we meet, I can discuss this further.