I've been maintaining this blog (for better or for worse) over the last eight years. Over these years, its natural evolution has led it into becoming something of a niche place for discussion of music in general and Qawwali in particular. Rather than trying to return my existing blog to its pre-Qawwali eclectic roots, I decided I’d start anew on Tumblr. So if you’re interested in music, Qawwali and subcontinental culture, keep reading/listening/watching/commenting here. For all of the above and everything else under the sun, head on over to my Tumblr page .

Saturday, May 15, 2010

....Of A More Circuitous Route

It's taken a night in a rat-infested, AC-less room and 24 straight hours of work to finally jolt my mind enough to make me sit down and actually write something.

I'd like to get something off my chest at the outset. The hullabaloo at the recent banning of a number of websites by PTA in response to the "Everybody Draw Mohammad" competition has made two things quite clear.

1) The polarity between the pro and anti ban camps is pretty wide, with very few suggesting any middle ground.
2)I am completely, utterly ambivalent about the whole thing.

Whatever the ultimate implications of the ban may be, I'm not going to use up a whole post on something that a lot of people have expressed themselves pretty eloquently about. A lot of people have asked me what my feelings are, and I can quote Rhett Butler to summarize, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" I've been meaning to quit Facebook and rush over to *Diaspora for ages anyway.

It's been exactly one month since i began my housejob. It's an extremely encouraging sign that I'm actually enjoying my work and that, contrary to what I feared when I left PMA, I actually do remember most of what I learned in med school. I had received a lot of half-cynical,half-congratulatory comments when people found out that I was starting off on a "pwopah" job after 6 years of moseying around in med school, mostly humorous warnings about years of drudgery,clock-punching and Charlie Chaplin style hard labour hat await me; but if the initial one month is any kind of indicator, I might be on to something good here.There had been times when I had doubts about putting up Lahore as my choice for my housejob, but most of them have thankfully been resolved. Despite the heat, the distances and the initial feeling of alienation; I'm enjoying it immensely.

One thing I've noticed on the wards this past month that is quite frightening is that we have a full-blown Hepatitis epidemic on our hands. Patients of hepatitis B and C make up approximately 60-70% of the patients admitted in my ward, including quite a large number who are admitted for other diseases and discover they have Hepatitis during routine post-admission blood testing. And considering I'm in a female ward where most of the patients are married ladies with an average of two children each, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Speaking of working in a female ward, I was mockingly accused of sexism by a friend earlier today when I told her what I think is the main difference in dealing with male and female patients. The difference can be summed up in one word; somatization. Where a male patient with pain in his abdomen will tell me where it hurts, how long it's been hurting and how it has affected his daily activities, a lady with the same symptoms will complain about the pain for a fleeting moment, and then wander off to explore wholly different trains of thought wholly unrelated to the actual problem. the interesting thing is that the long stream-of-consciousness ramblings contain many subconscious clues about the actual complaint, but it's a more circuitous route to diagnosis.

Since this post is also a stream-of-consciousness ramble, I was thinking today of some things that really annoy me. I'm not prone to anger, preferring to simmer rather than boil over, but there are some things that really get my goat.I managed to write some of them down in no particular order as follows;

The soul-numbingly inane keyboards played in Pakistani music,especially where they're not needed.
Sahir Goshdarned Lodhi.
The stream of terrible news emanating from The-Place-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named.
The fact that people are burning tires close to where I live because apparently, that's the sanest, most logical response to somebody's house being burgled.

I'll cut this post short right here because there's something I need to get off my mind right now that doesn't quite fit in with what I've written here.


  1. Deep breaths my friend. Deep, deep breaths.
    Music. Some Coke and a dash of delusion along the tune of 'All iz Well'.
    For some reason, it continues to do the trick.

  2. As an afterthought, I cant believe Sami Shah got the 'pretty' waala tag and I got 'themselves'. Or was that a pun on my many me's or was there no thought behind it? Still I wanted 'pretty', it was the trit-est of the lot. :)

  3. You certainly were, and there was prolly a thought behind it. But yeah I see your point. It shall be corrected.