Zen And The Art Of Suturing Life….


Zen And The Art Of Suturing Life….

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I spend a lot of my time suturing, a fact of my working life which i accept gracefully. The reason i say this is, most surgeons when they reach my age or level of experience hand over the suture needle to their assistants and leave the operation theatre to attend a case elsewhere. They consider their job done as soon as the last tissue has been cut and the bleeding stopped. But as someone who does cosmetic surgeries for a living I prefer to do my own suturing- not only because I believe l that I can do a better job than a newbie assistant- better in this instance being a stronger suture with less scarring, but also because as a conscientious surgeon it is my job to stay with my patient till the patient recovers completely.  And also because i love suturing- something which i have realized quite late in my life. Now the reason why i love to do surgical suturing- cause you wouldn’t catch me dead trying to darn my worn socks at home, is that the act of suturing, the kind of repetitive motion it involves gives us time for food for thought and teaches a lot of lessons. If you would also like to hear what my sutures tell me, do read on

  • The Straight Path Is Not Always The Best : For those who haven’t seen a suture needle- its shaped like a semi-circle. Unlike a regular needle where you go directly across the tear, with a suture needle you go in on one side, you go deep in following the path of the needle as it leads and come out on the other side. The circular shape guides you automatically in its path from one side to the other. Just like when you fret you are going nowhere with your life but going deeper and deeper into shit and ergo, you emerge out into the glorious sunshine just where you want to be, because life has taken you in the path of least resistance to where you belong. Of course it feel like you are lost when you were halfway down and you might start panicking but trust me if there is one thing the suture needle teaches you, its that what goes down curves up and comes back out, you just have to keep pushing it in with belief. Its that blind belief in a buried needle which you cannot see passing through the deep flesh but coming out at just the right spot at just the right time which leaves you with a sense of all’s well with the world if only you have enough faith to trust in yourself.

suture curve

  • Probing Bleeding Wounds Is A No-No: Whenever we suture we always, always leave a margin of healthy tissue between the cut edges- never ever we suture near the edge because, face it, its already traumatized tissue, why the heck would you wound it further by pushing a needle inside the bleeding wound margin? Similarly in life, sometimes you just have to step back a bit, bite your words and let things progress to a stage where its healthy enough to start bringing things together. Never try to join up or heal already traumatized wounds without giving sufficient time for them to stop bleeding on their own. Only healthy wounds can be sutured. Torn wounds? They will tear further if you use force, even if its from the best intentions.
  • Persistence Pays- The number of sutures matters. It isn’t enough to put a single suture in and say the wounds are sufficiently close together, let it heal by itself now. No way. It doesn’t work that way at all. There are umpteen number of times when even a best placed suture would unravel. There is strength in numbers – so suture and sutire and suture again till you feel there is enough strength in the sutures-collectively- to hold the two separated wounds together- however much the two wounds wish to pull away and maintain a distance between them. Persistence matters when it comes to healing rifts. The first attempt might not always be successful or enough- you have to stick with it till it holds together.

suture knot

 

  • Holding On Too Tight Vs Giving Enough Space- when you suture you have to pull the knot just right, too tight and you are going to strangulate the wounded tissue making it difficult to heal, too loose and they are going to stay apart and never have that close intimate touch required to join together, but just right and the two become one as if they were never apart. Which is a very apt description for giving space in relationships i think. Trying to hold on too tight to someone is the best way to make sure that they get repelled, a fact which is lost on too many people in relationships starting from parents, friends to spouses, everyone making the same mistake of trying to be too close without giving enough space for individuality.
  • A Time To Hold And A Time To Cut – The last and most important lesson suturing teaches you is when to let go. Some suure require to be cut off at 5 days, some at 7 days, the wisdom lying in knowing when to cut them off once they are no more relevant and to prevent further damage. A lot of times we hang into relationships merely because we are afraid to cut loose, even when we know its served its time afraid that cutting off might make it worse. Suturing teaches you to be brave and cut it off and face consequences. A mere thread is not going to hold anything indefinitely if the underlying wound has not healed properly and its better to cut it off cleanly and start afresh.

 

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Ask And You Shall Be Denied


Ask And You Shall Be Denied

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Are you a man? A manly man? Have you ever bungee jumped from the high mountains? Have you ever gone deep sea diving amid a school of  great white sharks? Have you ever wrestled hand to hand with The Rock and Hulk Hogan? And do you think these are scary? You are wrong. There are things even more scarier than getting your maths exam marks. Like, romance as an example? Romance in the view of a single brown male for instance There are few things in this world as terrifying as asking a woman out on a date. Ask any man and he will immediately agree unless he is already married and pussy-whipped into submission. Then he will pretend he never dated anyone at all prior to meeting the one who said yes. The hardest question any male has ever faced in his life is asking a girl he fancies “do you want to go out sometime?” the answer means more than passing IIT and getting a H1B visa job. Its putting your fragile ego on the line to get crushed. Its being vulnerable to rejection on a most personal level- getting hit where it hurts.

Unless you are man who has been there, done that and got crushed you cant possible understand in its entirety that  internal struggle which every male  faces when he tries to be romantically bold with someone he’s just met and had a few words with in a social setting.  In most mens experiences, everything, every prior experience, every particle fiber in your mind is yelling “Just go the fuck home already, lock your room doors, put some sunny leone on and just shag off. Save your heart  from total damage, just don’t do this dude, run when you can”. But being a man means you close your eyes, harden your heart and do it anyway because there is an infinitesimally small chance (say like once in a million) theres a possiblity that she’ll say “yes, ok, i will have a coffee with you”. But chances are that nine times out of ten she’ll say no.  And that can feel like a kick up your balls just on the day you forgot to wear any undies.

The easiest way to deal with the pain of being turned down for a first date is to go get drunk with your friends. Its quite educative, especially if you are teatotaler and your friends like to drink theirs straight up on the rocks. Buy them a couple of drinks and watch how they philosophize it all away. Chill dude, it’s her loss, they  will assure you with a straight face “the bitch just doesntt realize what an awesome catch you are. She must have her own issues that have nothing to do with you. Just forget her and order us another beer”  and which is the cue to ring in that “tasmac song” in gana bala’s lyrics. Come to think of it, its not just your friends telling you that same shit- its not you, its her, everyone is saying it online. People who spend their lives creating and sharing memes on facebook and watsapp – memes analyzing all about love rejection and heartbreak keep saying the same thing that if a woman didnt straight up tell you why she wont even have a coffee with you, assume it’s because of her issues rather than because of any deficiency of yours. Its just not possible for any woman to weigh you up in seconds and make up her mind dismissing you as a possible longterm partner based on such a short scrutiny. And yeah, you might believe such love pundits at first. But then it’s late night and you’re wide awake, staring at the ceiling and wondering how you ended up becoming  such an unlovable person,the beast from the “beauty and the beast”series.

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And deep down in some part of your brain you know there’s not a lot you can do to change whether women do or don’t find you attractive. Your hit ratio, or to put it more crudely the hit-on ratio is very random and arbitrary and doesnt make sense at all. Not when you succeed and not when you fail. No one is going to share the real reason why they liked you or why they unlike you. Only that  the reason people are attracted to us  or not is for all sorts for reasons that are way beyond our control.  There is no need to worry about finding the the right words to spell it out, the right way to approach them to ask out, all that externalizing shit we use to convince ourselves as the the perfect way to impress and get that first date for attraction- doesn’t work that way.  In the authors experience there is no single right move at all . Some women like guys whom other women abhor at first glance and vice versa. One women’s hrithik roshan is another’s tushar kapoor.

Then there are those who offer  a quick fix solution (something which you’re probably tired of hearing a lot)- to be more self-confident. How many times have you heard that advice? It’s not about how you look, it’s whether you exude self-confidence. But what the hell does that actually mean? How can you exude self-confidence if you’re not, in fact, all that self-confident? And how can you be self confident after getting beat up all those many times on asking and facing rejection after rejection. Beats me. The only person who can be self confident in such a situation is a ghajini-type with total and instant short term memory loss.  In fact more than self confidence what you need is masochism (a form of sadism where you inflict pain on yourself) when you are about to ask out an insanely hot woman who you are damn sure is way out of your league.  Masochists never take no for an answer because they love getting slapped again and again – even when the opposite party makes clear that she is not interested at all- becuase they never believe that they are not desirable. They think they are the cats whiskers, the axe ad men and gods gift to women.  And you know what? Sometimes they get lucky as some women prefer the the persistent pests to the more suave gentleman who believes a clear “no” is a real “no” and moves on with their life. So being a bit of a bastard who doesnt take no for an answer often gets you that girl who would otherwise  brush you off at  first hit.

So to conclude its pretty much given that girls will say no and it hurts if they dont want you to. But you cant stop looking and stop asking and allow yourself to wallow at home in self pity, licking your wounds. You just have to go out there and keep asking- hoping the right woman says yes, the woman who feels lucky that she found you and vice versa. Good luck asking…

 

The Desperate and The Doormat.


The Desperate and The Doormat.

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Love is a beautiful emotion and falling in love is one of the most exciting things which can happen in any person’s life. But. As you give love make sure that you recieve love too. If the love you are giving is being taken for granted and worse being completely unacknowledged and accepted as a matter of right, does that seem right to you? What do you do when the love you are sharing is not appreciated in the least and all you are left with is the feeling that you have been completely taken advantage of?

I would be the first one to argue that love is selfless and with true love you can keep on giving. But there is also the little matter of personal dignity and self pride (which is a far cry from ego). Everyone has a right to look into the mirror and feel proud of themselves for they alone know their own stories and struggles to reach where they are. But to have that struggle, that story, being sublimated to the wants of another person- all the time- and not just once or twice- then it becomes a matter for retrieving your persona from an uncaring recipient of all your love largesse.

Three things define such relationships-

  1. You are constantly playing second fiddle and putting your own happiness behind the other persons- merely because you have a big heart which is accommodating all their whims and fancies despite your personal dislikes,
  2. Secondly you tend to take the longer view of the picture and don’t mind any immediate sacrifices as you feel at some point or other this will not matter and they will reciprocate in turn with time
  3. And finally you spend all the time picking up their slack and making up credible excuses – to yourself – explaining the other persons unkind treatment of you- despite the longest rope you can possibly give them to realize their high handed dismissal of your legitimate concerns.

I agree that unconditional love is all about loving with all your heart unconditionally and without any expectations in return. But a relationship is not unconditional- it has its own set of rules and guides. Like every other human relationship, love too requires sympathy, empathy, respect and value for all the unconditional love you are pouring out there at the other person’s feet. If they don ‘give anything back then all your sacrifices are in vain as they prove themselves to be merely selfish in their pursuit of their own goals and it becomes crystal clear that they are in it for what they can get out of you and never ever change their behavior. Such parasitism is not love and clearly doesn’t deserve the unconditional love we are talking about. Receiving unconditional love is just as important as giving it otherwise that beautiful gesture turns into disappointment, doubts and anger and most often sounds the death knell of the relationship

The point about loving unconditionally is also doing the same for yourself- putting your needs and wants at par with your loved ones. If they deserve all the happiness they get from you- remember, you deserve no less. Your needs, wants and desires are as important as theirs and you can’t be used and abused for the sake of love. When you end up giving too much of yourself without the slightest reciprocity – you feel drained of everything important in your life and it’s as if you got the dementors kiss (the soul sucking one from harry potter?)

You can give and give and give but ultimately you have to stop somewhere and point out the obvious- that if you are a self respecting person- basic decency, courtesy and selfless are all required part of a relationship on both sides. You deserve to receive an equal part of the love and sacrifice you are putting out there for the other person- if they don’t reciprocate it shows their unkind nature and unsuitability for the kind of unconditional love we are talking about here.

I am not talking about keeping score here- it doesn’t matter a damn if they reciprocate equally or not, but they do have to show some way to prove that they are not egocentric. Its normal- you cant help but notice that you are giving more and more and the are giving back less and less and that you are trying too hard to just keep it going despite their uncaring. Does this imply that you are the desperate one who will do anything just anything to keep it going rather than face the truth, confront them and explain to them what you want them to do about the things that hurt you?

So it becomes desperately necessary to reevaluate such a relationship, to put yourself first and stop being such a doormat. Remember it’s the desperate people who get walked all over. Those who love themselves and are self confident and realize that their own happiness comes second to none will take no BS- even if it’s from a loved one. In the end it boils down to this if you have the slightest iota of self pride and confidence in yourself it becomes the wisest course to walk out of relationships which suck everything you give and give back nothing in return. You, we, I, can do definitely better than such people, right friends?

My New Year Resolution(s) – Make That One


My New Year Resolution(S) – Make That One.

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After a shitty 2014 when I went through all the emotional upheavals you associate with being caught complacent in life and then being kicked on the ass by destiny/fate, I have rebounded back to attain some degree of mental equilibrium. It’s so easy to say shit happens and life throws lemons at you- even more easier to share it as internet memes- but when it comes to accepting it in the real world it takes a lot more than you thought you had in you- to deal with the vicissitudes of life in all its darker shades. But like everyone who goes through the shadowed valley and comes out the other end alive, I too hope to make a fresh start this New Year after conquering the demons which plagued my recent past. And to carry that forward I have made a new year resolution- yes, I said “a/one/single” and its simple in itself- to be more out there- there in public.

To explain in detail (and here comes the boring part dear reader- self psychoanalysis alert) every time I am traumatized by events I tend to withdraw into myself a good deal- just imagine a hurt animal retreating into a darkened cave to lick its wounds and there’s me. I have over the years tried to reduce the time period for such self-imposed seclusion but I have found out (through trial and error) that the process takes its own time and I can’t hurry it along without re-lapsing back into a feeling of solitude. So this time I have made the deliberate decision to go out there and socialize more as a way of showing fate that “keep throwing those lemons and see if I care”. This is my way of showing bravery, my way of showing that whatever happens to disrupt the normal peaceful routine of my life, I will not withdraw myself away from public gaze (and from the company of my friends) but would fight to remain normal and social.

Having made this my new year- 2015 – resolution, I have decided to invite more of my friends for meet and greets. Especially my online friends from twitter and Facebook with who I have interacted for many years online; but haven’t really met face to face. I am planing to invite all such friends for a coffee or a high tea and just sit across from them- a real person across the table and talk to them like I normally do online. This is my New Year resolution – to talk in person with all my online friends.

So wait for that invite dear friends- this year we will definitely be meeting face to face. Please join me for a coffee, tea, beer, lunch or dinner. And don’t worry- we need not discuss my life or yours- we can keep it simple and gossip about celebrities. Do join me, will you?

Déjà- You? Based On A True Story.


Déjà- You?  – Based On A True Story.

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And so this happened a few minutes ago.

Standing alone at one (hidden) corner of a rocking anniversary party of a famous institution, my seventh sense alerts me to someone else standing alone in an opposite corner. The sight of a well endowed backside encased in a tight and short mini skirt drags me over almost involuntarily and so I sidle up there to strike up a conversation. And as she turns over to face me, it’s a déjà vu moment…

Me: Hi, you look familiar. Have I dated you before?

She: Uh, no…I am a famous actress. My name is Ca….

Me: Really? Famous uh? Sorry I don’t remember you …

And I carefully sidle out of there.

P.S. If it looks like an ex, talks like an ex, it probably is an ex and a sign for you to make a fast ex-it….

End of story

Moral of the story:  If you keep dating enough women, you are bound to forget one or two as time passes and start asking them out again. Its just age related senility and loss of memory- no insult meant to the ladies.

Does Getting Angry Helps?


Does Getting Angry Helps?

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I have always considered myself as a patient man. Someone who is seldom if never seen to be angry. One of the proudest boasts of my dear mum – especially when we go bride hunting/girl seeing- is that she has never seen her son, never ever, get angry. Which is true to an extent (only)- I am pretty slow to get angry (a very, very slow burning fuse) and even if I do get irritated its almost always strictly under control- I never express my anger in an ungainly manner, or throw temper tantrums or use the anger as an excuse to throw harsh words at others as a way to get things done my way. I mean, I get the concept of what the heck does this moment matter in the big picture of life without waiting to count the mandatory 1 to 10 recommended as anger-control measure. But lately I find that this is turning out to be a pretty big disadvantage in my day to day life.

 Those who are considered short tempered people, those who throw temper tantrums and other things at people’s heads when provoked get more things done easily than reasonable ones like me who try to deal with issues in a more nuanced manner. After watching numerous colleagues get things done more easily by raising their voices and throwing a temper tantrum at the drop of a hat, I am tempted to indulge in one too. Especially given the feedback I get from people when I ask why I am not served but made to wait while the angry ones get precedence and the matter of fact explanation I am given is that “sir you are an understanding person and will wait but he/she is a very angry person and hence we want to get rid of them fast by doing their work first”. Which shows that being calm has now turned into a very big disadvantage as it ensures your work keeps getting postponed indefinitely while the angry ones get served immediately.

And I am reminded of the old Indian folk saying of the “the child which does not cry does not get fed” and am sorely tempted to do something completely unexpected of me next time I want things done- raise my voice, throw things or shout hysterically and rant and rave. But the problem is how to stimulate anger when I don’t feel it really? Can I be that good an actor? Remains to be seen…watch out for more news on this page.

P.S. On reflection, do I really want to join the gang of the foaming at the mouth brigade? Can’t I be a calm and reasonable person and still get things done on time? Does our society really want to oblige only the beasts who lose their temper rather than serve reasonable and calm persons? Is this my fault or society’s fault? Do you have any suggestions or views on this, gentle reader?

May the Best Man Win


May the Best Man Win

challengeSo yesterday I was coming home in a bus from Tirupati (a city in South India) and I happened to get into a conversation with a girl on the seat next to me. after exchanging various pleasantries over the course of the next two hours we finally got to the meat of the matter in the final ten minutes when we were about to get down at Koyambedu bus stop.

As we were about to part soon, we exchanged facebook ids, twitter handles and mobile phone nos. and promised to stay in constant touch and catch up over a weekend soon. And then as a casual aside she told me

She : You know that i have a boyfriend, right?

Me: Yeah, i guessed as much from the constant way you were texting all through the time you were talking to me.

She: Oops, so you guessed from that?

Me: It doesn’t take a genius to guess that. Nowadays everyone has a boyfriend. No one is single anymore. Anyway it matters not.

She: What matters not?

Me : The fact that you have a boyfriend. I don’t mind if you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. It’s all the same to me and it won’t stop me from flirting with the right person if she comes along.

She : Really? Isn’t that wrong?

Me: Hell no, it isn’t wrong at all. No one knows the future. Who knows if your current boyfriend is your life partner or just a passing cloud? Fate can play strange tricks right? And it’s always better to have a crying shoulder all ready in advance.

She : You are strange.

Me: I am just practical. I don’t mind if a girl has a boyfriend or a girlfriend or even a husband or two tucked away somewhere. As long as i find her interesting and think i have a chance with her, i am ready to get into a contest with her guy to show her who is the better man for her. And may the best man win.

And she laughed and laughed and laughed at that till the whole bus was looking at us two trying to guess what the joke was.

And that’s my philosophy of life- if I am better and if destiny decides i will win. Who cares if there’s another guy already there? Not me. In my view he is just a bench warmer before I get into the ring. All I need is a fighting chance to show who I am. That’s all.

P.S. This post might sound incredibly arrogant to some of you. But those who know me/read me regularly will understand the sense in which I am writing this – my weird sense of humor and the oft-lamented fact that “nobody gets me”