Saturday, August 22, 2009

Swine Flu!

Swine flu, a killer virus... it has hogged media headlines like no other disease would have ever done!! 48 people have been "officialy" declared dead and 2539 confirmed cases in the country have been reported as of 21Aug2009 (source: http://mohfw.nic.in/Status%20as%20on%2021st%20August,%202009.doc). Unfortunately, 1 in these 2539 cases (rather more, its one day old!!) turned out to be my wife... fortunately she recuperrated from the deadly virus, thanks to timely steps, and really to the media for actually creating so much awareness amongst the commoners.

But all doesnt seem to be good with this whole thing, here is her story... 8th august saturady, we decided to go to chandigarh, early morning she(vidhi, my wife :)) drove us towards it, on the way, decided to have our breakfast, Haveli, Karnal seemed good to us, beautiful washrooms they had... in the washrooms vidhi saw some foreigners but that's normal right, in such kindaa place. Had a nice breakfast, started next leg of our journey, drove to chandigarh(again her)... and yeah, the highways to chandigarh from delhi are really well done job :) But as soon as we got out of car in chandigarh, she started feeling dizzy, and feverish... soon her condition started to deteriorate, we thought its the heat of chandigarh... so booked a room in parwanoo and stayed overnight there, as we thought it to be a heat stroke, and decided to rest it off rather then drive back. Next day morning, drove back to delhi... contacted her doctor. He told that its unlikely to be swine flu(no travel history, no contact history) but to be more sure, goto the nearest government hospital, which was Lal Bahadur Shastri hospital in mayur vihar... so somewhere around 8 in the evening, on 9th august, we went to this hospital... which seemed like ready to fight the menace... active staff, proper signboards, helpfull attitude... less then 15 minutes, and we were through with her Throat Swab and on our way back, with a strip of "Tamiflu" as a precautionary measure. We were told reports will be out in 4 days... and you will be contacted only if found positive. Our first reaction, 4 days is so long, what if she is really positive? So we decided to dig deeper, and what we found out was, there is no other option but to wait, as no private facility is available for these tests.

Next few days, vidhi stayed in bed, and as advised she cut contacts with any outsiders... she was in a lot of pain, and unfortunately not much could be done, as doctor couldnt even give her antibiotics! Fortunately, her symptoms started to recede in a couple of days... and by the time it was really time for reports to come, she was already out of fever, left with just some congestion of throat and bodyaches. On the fourth day, I decided to visit the hospital again, to collect the reports... but the reply I got was really shocking, no reports yet!!! Till when can you expect?? Dont expect before a week, can take even 10 days... a reply that was agonising to say the least. I collected the rest of her reports(some more tests as suggested by her doctor at the private hospital), next day we met her doc. On seeing the reports, he found some bacterial infection in her throat, so started treatment for the same, as anyways the swine flu reports were nowhere visible. Meanwhile, I called up swine flu helpline, where I was helped by a really nice person, who told me the helplesness in giving reports due to large number of tests happening. So left with no option, and due to her improving conditions, and suggestions by the doctor at the government hospital, that your symptoms will increase if it is actually swine flu, we decided to move on and continue with normal routines. On monday(17th august), she joined back her office... by wednesday, her medication for throat infection got over, and her cough also subsided considerably. Just some weakness, but a normal healthy life had started to follow, when suddenly on saturday, at 9pm, her phone rang... its been 14 days since her first symptoms, and 13 days since her tests... we had all but forgot everything about swine flu... and the person on the other end, informs her, that her reports have come positive!!! She has been diagnosed positive for swine flu. Diagnosed, after disease got killed long ago... diagnosis... after cure!! Shock, anger, frustration, suspicious, worried, traumatised... I never felt so short of words in describing my state of mind! Well, fortunately she is cured, we visited the hospital again, and they say no need to worry... but...

What if she wouldnt have reacted positively to the precautionary medication? What if people around her had actually contracted the dreaded virus?? What about those innocent people, who came in contact with her during the virulent period, and would never know that they actually might have contracted the virus? What about those who she met after more then a week, feeling she actually never had the virus?? Are we seriously serious about stopping this virus from spreading any further?

We asked some of these questions at various stages to various "concerned" people... the people who have been given the responsibility of fighting this menace... Some of the answers we got might actually shock you...

Reports generally do not come before a week, just carry on with your Tamiflu, and hope for the best. What to do, just one lab in the whole of north India. Actually, more then awareness, people are panicky, so rush to the testing centres is causing delay in reports. Our lab just has a capacity of 150 tests a day, and that's the only lab in whole of north India, so what more can you expect?

Well, what more can we expect in this country, which spends the lowest per capita on health care?? Do we really feel, that we will be able to contain this pandemic by just creating one centre for testing in the whole of northern India(havent really researched more on the rest of the country yet... but thats the scenario in national capital, so cant expect any better!!)?

We have been hearing a lot about the government being hyper active, but statistics seems to be baffling... http://mohfw-h1n1.nic.in/stats.html is the place, where the government of Indias, ministry of health website points you for statistics on swine flu... I have been checking this link, since the day honorable minister for health said that all the statistics will be available on our site... its been more then 10 days, and still you only see Under Construction on all the stats links. According to the daily press release by ministry, "13,364 persons have been tested so far out of which 2539 are positive for Influenza A H1N1 [Swine]. 819 out of the 13,364 persons have been identified through entry screening, 1826 through contact tracing and the rest were self reported. " While reading this, I just got reminded of the hoopla being created around the great contacting system devised by the delhi government and respective teams for containing the spread of this virus... out of 13K ppl tested, just 1800 were tested using this contact system... thats less then 1 per 10 ppl tested... and even less then 1 per person tested positive for the whole country... I would be seriously interested in knowing the exact figures for delhi.

All in all, seriously, are we ready to fight this pandemic?? Are we serious about fighting it?? Is our healthcare system stung by bigger viruses then this one already?? Are we already in a bigger pandemic... of laxity, corruption, and worse as it seems in this case, ignorance, negligence and over confidence??

I seriously am in a traumatic state of mind, at the state of affairs... just prayers are what's left... still clueless how our country still survives these "PANDEMICS".

Wishing all those suffering from any disease a speedy recovery, may God Bless All!

p.s.: Here's her story, in her own words...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

just a day!

a day comes when we all realize, the realization which was always their probably, but something or someone makes you feel, the importance of it all... the worth, that it brings to you life, the impact, it is having on you and your future. glaring in your eyes, it agonisingly at times, reminds you, the bitter truths... or sweetly describes to you, the sweet possibilities.

its the days like these, which define your future, which stamp the success or failure of you pasts... its the days like these, when you feel like you have conquered the world, its the days like these, when you are made to accept defeat!!

its the days like these, when either you give up, all the hope, all the reasons, to get to another day of conquer or defeat, or you just get up, and change the course forever, and reach the place, which is designated to you by destiny, but is achieved by you through perseverance and dedication!

its the days like these, when you either become too arrogant, and spoil it all... or you take it nicely in your stride, learn a few things more, and move towards a bigger, a better and a brighter goal!!

its the days like these, which segregate winners from whimpers, and decide what some people call... fate!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


she was running frantically, her heart pacing to keep up with the blood flow... she was sweating heavy, all her clothes wet by sweat, her blue slippers had turned red, blood trail from the injury on left feet she suffered on course of this escape was making it a cakewalk to trace her... the dark on this stretch was particularly frightening, it was becoming harder for her to run any further, she was feeling weak in knees, her brain was not responding to anything... horrified, she had even stopped looking up to the heavens, the dark cloudy sky was making her even more petrified... all her prayers were begging for one angel soul!!

from a distance, she could hear some voices, with all the energy she was left with, she ran towards the voices... the air was clearing, she could hear some familiar words, the dialect was also like her own... a bit of an accent, but very local... she could now see a group of youths walking on the road, probably coming back from some party... all were looking like those familiar people, the ones she is so comfortable hanging out with...she thanked god, and shouted out to them... angels, she would have thought, guys she said at the top of her voice, before falling flat on the ground... the one with dimple on right cheek resembled so much to her cute friend, the one who once professed having a crush on her... she felt in safe hands, she was relieved, still breathing frantically, trying to control her heart beats, slowly coming back in shape! shadow of a bearded, frail man was looming from the dark... she got scared again, pointing her fingers in the direction she was coming from... they were quick, immediately sat in the car, and moved her away from the dangerous shadow!

she opened her eyes, dull walls, a weird smell surrounded her... it was a familiar smell, probably of a hospital? and it was paining badly also, she felt like she had been asleep for days, but whats this pain, she never felt it before!! good morning, said someone... yeah, its the hospital, the voice from the nurse... "dont worry, you will be alright, they have been arrested, such animals, god will punish them!", the nurse told her, sympathetically... and handed a letter to her, it was her boyfriends! she was dumbfounded, crying badly after reading it... Goodbye, forever! but why would he leave me, what did I do? her thoughts oscillating b/w her boyfriend, the guy with cute smile and the bearded goon... when suddenly, the nurse put on the TV, and she saw the images of the bearded goon, being flashed all over... the pain was getting unbearable, she was bleeding... she shouted, amidst realization, that she had gone through the worst she couldn't even had imagined, that bloody night... he is dead, told the news reporter, adding that police chief termed him as the real hero!! simultaneous shock waves trembled her, but before she could react any further, she saw image of that cute guy, along with the rest of the gang, being taken away... she froze!

a police officer came to pay visit to her, he had that small paper, the reason for her getting late that night... her appointment letter, which she was clinging to so dearly, but somehow she dropped it in the metro... and that poor illiterate guy, he thought it was very important for her!! ahhh, she thought, and I was running scared of him... poor fellow, and hero, coz he was the one, who saved her, from those decent looking creeps, he followed them too, on foot... saved her, a weird thought ran through, they didnt succeed in their nasty intentions, he saved her... but bleeding? it was him, who got injured, just a small cut she suffered!!

her thoughts were not clear, the bearded goon, that cute guy, her boyfriend...

she talks to them all, beards, dimples, but not to people anymore, she doesnt recognize anyone... the doctor at the rehab she is in, says she would be fine one day, but even she cant tell when!!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Life is a bitch!!

Ahhh, I know... that was never my idea of life!! and believe me, its not, even now ;) Its just a plain dumb question I am asking, do u really feel life is a bitch?

We go through life, looking out for ways to overcome the difficulties it brings along, trying to shake off the jitters it gives us, reasoning out the sudden shocks it presents us with. We try to live by the moment, or some of us, try to plan out things, to ensure a smooth life... but the end goal, always is to live life to the fullest, in a way that best suits our thoughts, our philosophies. But, more often then not, life has its own ideas, its own goals for you, its own paths and its own ways... which, we probably never discount for, when deciding our own goals for life!!

How many times, have you decided, that this is what I want to achieve... and how many times, have you realized that your goals have been tossed out and you are completely in a new, different territory, a different thought process, and are forced in a direction, which you probably never looked into... at times, completely opposite to your planned path towards your set goals?

How many times, you felt that you got a new lease thanks to the sudden event that happened, or an unexpected thing that forced you to go in probably a better direction than you ever thought?

Well, an old saying goes,"Man proposes, God disposes", how many times in life you felt this to be a true statement?

Have you ever sat down, and compared what you planned for your career, and where is it headed? Have you ever sat down and analysed, what you asked for, as your life partner, and the one you got? Have you ever, stood up, and revolted, against the way you are forced to live your life, as it doesnt match to what you once promised yourself, or the loved one?

Well, probably at times you would really have done most of this, and even more... but how many times, you really think you actually realized, that what you even fought for, is not what exactly you wanted?? How many times you felt, the best effort you put in, was for balancing what life presented you, rather then what you wanted it to do for you??

A plethora of questions, overwhelming emotions, due to situations, that life presents you with... surprises, shocks and what not... life decides its own course for you, and you, just keep on following... sensing victories in defeats of your ideas, your wishes... celebrations of victories, life had over your plans...

But, have you ever really felt bad about it?? Not me, for sure, for all the decisions, of life for me, tend to fall in place... for all the new directions it give, seems to take me ahead!! Life's a bitch, but alas... I love her :)