Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

bilateral maxillary sinusitis

I had a headache. And it wasn’t a sort of headache you get when you hear the ranting of an agony aunt. I had it for the past 2 years. A mild heaviness that I suffered 24/7, until 3 days ago when I realised that it isn’t normal to have this inconvenience for this long. So I underwent a lot of tests – x-rays, MRIs , eye checkups, even a session with a psychiatrist! And when the x-ray result came out, it turns out that I have ‘bilateral maxillary sinusitis’ – pus had accumulated in my left antrum, in a layman tongue. My mom was amazed, so was my doc, as to how I managed to suffer as long as I did and not realise that it wasn’t normal! She even joked that had I told her earlier, I’d have done better in IIT-JEE. Well! So I had an appointment today – I was going to be ‘operated’ on, at least this is what I was led to believe. So I took my toddy to the clinic where I was injected with a local anesthesia in my nostril. And notwithstanding the pain of the needle prick, it was awesome. Better than any marijuana! And as I was contemplating the state of moksha I was ushered into the OT where the doctor stretched my nostrils apart, shoved a pipe up the left one, and squirted some liquid through it and voila! Down came the yellow gel mixed with the white liquid and blood. I’m sure Calvin would have loved it, and packed it in a plastic bag for his show and tell. After repeating the process with the right nostril, I was done – it was all over in 5 minutes. So you see it wasn’t really an operation. and how light headed I feel!

By the way, ward elections are on in Patna. As a result of which we are forced to hear the loud speakers chanting the patriotic songs and the election propaganda of the candidates, which are really the same for every party, with very subtle differences.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Simple Joys

Without getting into preliminaries, i'll just state what comes to my mind...feel free to make additions:

1. smell of rain on dry ground
2. morning coffee while listening to shiv kumar sharma
3. long, leisurely walk with your friends after dinner
4. sitting by a river, lake, or a sea
5. reading sunday newspapers
6. lying in arms of your mother
7. pink floyd
8. walking bare feet on dew covered grass
9. looking at the stars on a clear night

10. Looking at the gulmohar trees in spring
11. Sleeping on the cool country grass in summer under the stars
12. Running the senior cross country with your best friend
13. Standing on a peak and taking in the panoramic view
14. Getting wet in the rain
15. Taking a walk in a zephyr
16. Buntiks and house drinks after boxing workouts


The evening was beautiful. As I stood at my balcony gazing at the gulmohar tree across the street while sipping at my tea, I couldn’t help but notice a pair of squirrels playfully jumping the branches and chasing one another through the flaming red flowers, when an eagle scooped away one of them. The survivour was perplexed for sometime, but presently it was joined by another, and they continued with their play.


It is all very poetic to dream of utopia – a world that knows only happiness and no sorrow. But is it practical? Certainly not! Duality is the basis of the universe. Without light there is no meaning of darkness. Without love there can be no hatred. Lies exist because there are truths, sorrow because there is happiness. Black can only be contrasted with white, violence with peace. Death makes life meaningful. Even God needed Lucifer to make Himself complete.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Whoever leads a lonely life and yet now and then wants to attach himself somewhere, where according to the changes in the time of the day, the weather, the state of his business and the like, suddenly wishes to see any arm at all to which he might cling – he will not be able to manage for long without a window looking on to the street. And if he is in the mood of not desiring anything and only goes to his window still a tired man, with eyes turning from his public to heaven and back again, not wanting to look out and having thrown his head up a little, even then the cars below will draw him down into their convoy and tumult, and so cast him into the human harmony.


Her eyes are grey

Her hair is straggly and wet

Her fingers are stubby

The nails are chewed and broken

Her teeth are crooked, jagged things

There is a vacancy in her gaze,

A feeling of absence when you are

Near her that is impossible

To put down into words

Her sigil is the broken ring

Loneliness of a long distance runner

There is this sudden emptiness surrounding me. I can’t express it in words. Then again, one word is sufficient to explain it – nostalgia.

The school has been my home for six years. In those six years I have cried, laughed, made friends, and made a few enemies. Had moments that I never wanted to end, had those I wish never happened. I won, I lost. I discovered, and I learnt. Life can never be the same again.

How short it is! I realized that when I crossed the finish line of the 68th inter-house cross-country competition. With that I crossed the finish line of my school life. No longer will I be part of the school. No longer will I be responsible to the HM or the HSM. I’m a nobody to them – a person who just eats, and sleeps there. And occasionally writes a paper or to which is mandatory. A luggage.

How relevant it is to have this ‘crossie comp’ right at the end of the year. For me it was doubly significant. It not only marked the end of the race and the year, but my tenure. And now that I look back and reflect on the last six years, and the competition, I can’t help but find the similarities between the two.

When you start the run, you jump into the battlefield with the typical ‘josh’ and enthusiasm of someone starting on a new adventure. Doon was an adventure. But soon the josh wanes, and in its place comes pain, agony, breathlessness – temptation to give up. Many do. Many fight pain with pain. Their will is strong.

And soon the pain is forgotten. Your limbs take you forward effortlessly. You start enjoying the run. You take notice of your surroundings – the trees, the road, the bikes whizzing past and the lazy cyclist, the people running behind you and those in the front. Though we started together, half way through we are on our own. No two persons have the same will power, speed or stamina. So we run alone, towards the common end. Most have only one aim – to beat the person ahead of him. That is a strong motivation, but not good enough, because then you’re running someone else’s race. I run for the sake of running. I enjoy it. My aim is to beat myself. To conquer my mind and body with my will.

Running alone has an advantage. It gives you time for some introspection. I have always been a loner. I am happy to be one. It is a choice that I have made.

However, you can’t run the entire race alone. A few catch up with you, while you do the same with others. You run with them for sometime, then either you leave them or are left behind. There are those who help others on the way to the finish line. A few words of encouragement, a gentle pat on the back. Life isn’t about winning only. It’s about sharing. It’s about human bonding.

You approach the finish line. You remember the pain and agony you endured throughout the race. Once you cross that line, it’ll be an end to all. This anticipation sends a sudden rush of adrenalin through your blood. You act as if in a frenzy. You increase your pace. You fly in the air. You feel light, almost weightless. And it’s all over. The race is over. So is the most memorable phase of your life, yet. Now what?

Now what? This is the question that bothers me. Chase other dreams, achieve different goals? Your entire life is ahead of you, beckoning you. But what do you do after you have fulfilled those fleeting dreams as well?

Puneet Verma
Ex 400-OA