October 01, 2012

Joys of Paris in India ?

On our recent visit to India, we were driving on the almost empty noida expressway. Pranav was looking out of the window, excitedly, taking in the sights. In Singapore, long drive is a rarity. In fact, the joke goes that 'Do not run too fast else you might find yourself in Malaysia'. 

We were all quietly lost in our thoughts when suddenly Pranav exclaimed, with a deja vu kind of excitement in his voice. "Look, Look, we are in Paris !" His face lit up and had an expression of bewilderment and excitement of discovering something.

We looked around, puzzled, trying to decipher what he was referring to. It took us a while to understand that he was pointing to the following.

                                                                                                                   Photo from here

The omnipresent power towers which we seldom give a second look. 

Our immediate reaction was to burst into a hearty laughter. Ya Ya !  I know it wasn't a display of mature parenting... more so because Pranav just hates anyone laughing at something he has said. But sometimes it becomes unavoidable :-)

I hated breaking the truth to him.... but it had to be done. Pranav just reacted with a little 'Oh !'
Later, he decided to make it into a little joke and tried fooling his grandparents in Ahemadabad by pointing towards these towers and exclaiming - "Look Dada... so many Eiffel Towers !"

August 29, 2012

Dental Woes


The Pain
I ignored the tingling sensation and the sweet pain in the jaw when a small part of my wisdom tooth chipped off, and avoided seeing a dentist. With almost 4 filings in my teeth and an extraction, I am wise enough to know that it means another painful extraction.

As luck would have it, I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I was literally praying to let the nurse be rude and say that there is no appointment available for a month. My prayers went unheard. She was all ears and promptly asked me to see the doctor the very next day.

The Dental Surgery clinics in Singapore are akin to the Paan shops in India… you will find one in every neighbourhood. As I entered the clinic, which is just across the road from my house, there was no queue and I was directly ushered in. The doctor turned around in his revolving chair and asked, “Hello Ms, What can we do for you today?”  Umm.. how do you answer such a question J plus I immediately doubted his skills…a dentist who talks so politely to you with his 100% attention … is it some gimmick!. Aren’t good dentists supposed to make you wait and act pricey?

After the routine examination, I was whisked in adjacent room for an X-Ray. As I entered back in like 10 seconds, the doctor was already studying my jaw on his computer. He again revolved in his chair, explained about the required extraction and still expected some questions from me. Once he was convinced that I had run out of questions, he said, “So, do you want to go ahead with the surgery now?“

Now…as in Now ??

Almost 5 years back, when I got my wisdom tooth extracted, in India, I had almost fainted. The pain and swelling that lasted a few days…. The feel of stitches in mouth….the khichdi and porridge meals…. The ice packs….all came back to haunt me!

The Decision
I made some enquiries on whether it is safe to get something as big as a tooth extraction done at a neighbourhood clinic where the dentist talks to you nicely, explains what exactly is happening and encourages you to ask questions ! Shouldn’t I be going to a big hospital or something? Well, I got positive feedback on neighbourhood clinics and finally decided to go ahead with it.

All prepared to have painful four days of Chinese New Year holidays ahead (bye bye Tiger, welcome Dragon), I announced to everyone who called up for Birthday party invitations / plan of an early morning nature trail / a potluck dinner etc. that I am going to be in bad pain and wouldn’t be able to join in anything.

The Surgery
The next evening I heard the doctor say, “Raise your hand if you have any discomfort during the surgery”. I felt as if I was going on a diving expedition.

The injection for the anaesthesia hurt. As soon as a tool was inserted in the teeth, I shouted and simultaneously raised my hand. The Doctor had to give another shot in the nerve. I cursed the moment I decided to go ahead with this.
Soon after that I could not feel anything but knew that the tooth was being drilled and cut and pulled. Actually while writing this.. I realized how amazing the local anaesthesia is…and decided to do a little reading about its history. Interestingly, the first usage was with cocaine and because it is addictive other “-aine” drugs are now used like idocaine, novocaine or tetracaine!

Doctor kept asking me in between – “Are you feeling ok?” and surprisingly I was actually feeling quite comfortable. Before I realised, the doctor announced that the surgery was over.
He showed me 3 pieces of blood stained tooth…and explained that the whole tooth has been extracted and the surgery went quite well with minimal cutting of bone.

Happiness that Money can’t buy
I walked home taking small steps…expecting the fainting sensation to come anytime – it didn’t.
Next day, I kept waiting for the swelling and pain to come – it didn’t.
The next to next day, I stopped pain killers and waited for the pain –nothing!

I called everyone back to announce that I had no pain and would join in all activities.

By the second day I almost forgot that I had a surgery. Only when I laughed too much while playing Pictionary over potluck dinner, my jaw pained a bit.

On the seventh day, I went to get my stitches cut and dared to tell the doctor,  that because I had no pain at all and no swelling, I doubt if the teeth was pulled out fully ! He asked me jokingly – did you do the surgery or me?

Well … HE did… but in this whole episode I experienced the sort of happiness that money cannot buy.
(Well…it did make me poorer by 800+ dollars but the fact that the cost was fully taken care of by insurance did contribute in the above mentioned feeling!)

PS: Some gathered Gyan: Wisdom tooth is actually a vestigial organ…an organ which has become redundant. With change in eating habits (more processed food instead of raw) the jaw does not expand enough and so doesn’t have enough space to accommodate this late arrival. As a result, the wisdom teeth grow tilted and put pressure on neighbouring molars to create space for itself. In some policies, the government actually encourages people to get rid of the wisdom teeth at a young age to have less of such hassles in old age.

May 03, 2012

What's your Weakness?


Pranav got an assignment from school for listing down his strengths and weaknesses. We decided to make it fun and each of us started to state a strength and a weakness for Pranav. For weakness, I began by saying ‘Lack of….’ and paused a second to think of a suitable word. Pranav, without thinking twice, completed the phrase for me, with – ‘MONEY’!! 

After the laughter subsided, we saw he was still perplexed and defended himself by saying .. "of course ! Lack of money is my weakness !" 

How to argue that ? 

January 12, 2012

Filing woes


The article mentioned how to identify which documents should be stored in fire safe places or lockers. A picture of a beautiful file organizer with all neatly organized and labled papers mocked at me.

Uhh ha...I thought ! High time I took control of my paper life.

Itching to organize all my 'difficult to replace' certificates, so to say, and get that NEAT look, I bought a new clear A4 file with 30 leaves. Next, I gathered all my certificates from birth till marriage which were currently dumped in a folder.

Oh my birth certificate is on the verge of tearing off..and woa..my name was 'Rachna' at that time !

Why did MCA have 6 semesters..now I have to take care of all of these all my life !

Can I throw away the provisional degree, now that I have the real one ?

Battling these thoughts, I arranged them in chronological order and started placing them in the clear leaves one by one.

Sounds easy ?

I guess those catalogue pictures of neatly filed papers never faced the problem of no two papers being of the same size ! I mean even the mark sheets of same course from same insti are of awkwardly different sizes. Either  longer than A4 or just a bit wider !

So the puzzling question of the day is - why can't everyone follow the same standard of using A4 (or whatever ...as long as you get files of those sizes!) for certificates and all sort of other documents.

Well...even if that happens.....I will have to live with the ones I have...in this life....!

But I am no quitter....I folded or cut the ends to make each one of them fit into the A4 file... and finally got a neatly organized catalogue look.

Yes... I am happy about it.
No.. I don't know if there will be any consequences. Only time will tell !