Reliving life's lessons the easy way.

by - April 29, 2009

"What a bunch of p**** hair !!" he screamed in our mother tongue.
I stared at the kid in front of me. I didn't know what shocked me more - the fact that he was using such language at the age of 6 or the fact that his annoyance was directed at a religious serial going on a local channel where a certain famous 10 headed foreign demon was fighting a monkey army as God watched."How can you say that ?" I asked him, my complaint directed at his language. He mistook my intentions apparently. He found nothing wrong with the language. He instead, felt the need, to defend a greater issue in his mind.
"What ? You expect me to believe that this actually happened - multi headed men, flying chariots, shape changers, monkeys making a bridge and fighting demons and winning ? Aren't you a doctor ? Shouldn't you have some sense ? If all that existed then, why can't it happen now ?"
I stared at him blankly. He'd beaten me on several counts - language, logic, science, my shaky faith... and yet I felt sad for him and his parents who stared open mouthed at him.


The last few months have been hard. Terrible would be a more apt adjective perhaps. The double teaming by sacroiliitis and sciatica, missing out on work and it's far reaching consequences, being a burden on my family even at this age... it was a harrowing cocktail of suffering. At the worst of it, I was totally immobilised because the sciatica wouldn't allow me to move my leg even a centimetre either way. Simple things like moving in bed were impossible and I could only watch as mosquitoes had their fill late at night, preferring their bite to the horrifying pain.

People who know me ( or who've read this blog ) know fully well my relationship with the Big Guy is at best weird. Yet, at the peak of this pain, when a well meaning woman adviced me to turn to religion for the answers, I listened. Pain will do that to you. It will make you do things you never thought you'd do.
Anyway, she told me that I will find all the answers I need in the religious books she had and offered me her own. She told me she could feel in me a lack of belief and adviced me to read this particular book end to end to get clarity on life.
You want to know something funny ? She was right. You see, I did take up her word. I did choose to go through with this immobile adventure. Over the course of the 3 weeks as the pain shot through me everytime I tried to move my limb, I persevered with this activity. I went through each chapter, each moment - turning and retracing my steps through the pages when I felt the need to walk through a lesson of life again.

And I learnt a lot of valuable lessons. Flipping randomly now, I present these :

"Sometimes the only way to take a really good look at yourself is through someone else's eyes.. if you're lucky, you'll like what you see... or you'll learn from it."

"It's funny how our perceptions can be so off.. like when you're searching for a place to fit in and you don't even realise you've been there the wholetime."


"No matter how alone you feel, how painful it may be... with the help of those around you, you'll get though this too."


"Maybe it's not about being the best. Maybe it's about finding the little things that get you through the day... whether its the support of someone close to you... or letting yourself feel overwhelmed, if only for a moment.. or being selfless every once in awhile."


"I guess in the end, things seldom work out the way you expect...sometimes fate is on your side. Other times ,well, you've kind of sealed your own fate. Either way, you have to trust that whatever is supposed to happen will happen. Besides, somehow you always seem to end up with the person you're meant to be with."


"It's important not to take life for granted.. whether it's appreciating your relationships... or renewing your friendships... just get out and start living life."

These and all the other lessons on love, life and dealing with sorrow didn't heal my leg. But they got me through a dark period of mental anguish. It helped that there were so many anecdotes along the way to keep the book interesting. And that is why I’d recommend it to anyone going through a period of loss of faith or self doubt. There's just one thing... you see, I lied a wee bit to you.
There was no religious book.
I finished reading the Big three religion's books before I even left college. ( Here's the big secret, fanatics and busybodies - they all preach the same thing in a gazillion words - "Love everyone and do good. Like Santa Claus, God’s watching and he’s got a list of who’s naughty and nice." )


I instead learnt a lot about facing life and it's challenges from my new collection of sermons... or should I say episodes, of an unassuming severely flawed man trying to get through in life himself.. Dr John Dorian from the Tv Sitcom SCRUBS. As I waded through a 100 episodes and more over the course of the disease, I realised a lot about my own flaws ( besides being a couch potato, or in this case - a bed potato. ) I realised a lot of life lessons were coming back to me. You see, this show wasn't telling me things I didn't know already. It was reminding me of lessons I'd known all along, but forgotten as I'd travelled along the rocky path called life ( And I’m guessing the same applies to us all ).
There was enough humour to keep the easily bored Aquarian in me interested, while teaching me a valuable lesson I would have otherwise shut my ears to if they'd been delivered from an elder's mouth.
The funniest part of life’s mysteries is that the answers are hidden in the most unlikeliest of places, if you're willing to accept them.

We're living in a day and age where logic and science are the basis of everything. Access to knowledge and porn, God and atheism is literally at our fingertips side by side. In such an atmosphere, no matter how hard you try to instil values in children in their formative years, the day will arise when they will question the beliefs you instilled in them... whether it's the benefit of praying 5 times a day or the reason to believe a book that claims a child carried a mountain on his little finger for days. If you don't have the right answer, unlike in generations past, the child will always have other avenues to seek answers in this day and age. And the sad part is, if he does find a satisfactory answer elsewhere, he may figure that every value he's been taught till date needs to be questioned. In doing so, he’ll forget the very reason the religious books and Gods were there in the first place - to help us become a better person.

And suddenly, one fine day, the kid you raised in a pure vegetarian, Brahmin home will call the religious characters you pray to “a abunch of p**** hair” in front of a perfect stranger. And you’ll be left speechless and ashamed.

In the end, it's always helpful to have another means to get the message through.
Even if you're God, I guess.



The above video is an example of just that - a lesson in life about family and how you can count on them. It's a scene where the younger doctors are taking turns watching over their senior Doc who's in a state of silent drunken shock and considering giving up his career/?life because he believes his medical decision killed 3 patients. Surprisingly, the one resident who considers him God, John Dorian doesn't come to offer him moral support.. till the end. This is the conversation they had.
Why does J.D. smile at the end of this video ? Because it's the first time in 5 years of working together ( and 5 years of TV serial history ) - going from intern to resident to coworker - that his mentor Dr Cox does two things - give him an appreciative pat on his back... and call him by his real name.

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21 comments

  1. A long post but i could see myself agreeing with every bit of it.And that video is really nice.

    Hope you are better now.Get well soon :)

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  2. Roshan,
    Hope u are much better now..Where are u these days? At home or are u back to pune?
    Cheers
    preeti

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  3. Thanks, you all. Still at home presently.. slowly recovering.

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  4. tat was really beautiful. and i know its the hardest to believe that 'the bad' tat is happening could in some wierd way be good. but i am a firm beliver of that.. prolly thats how i have preserved my sanity.
    i luv scrubs... watched every single episode of it. i think i will watch them all over again in a new perspective. THANKS!
    wishing u a speedy recovery!

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  5. Still in pain huh, dear?? shucks...

    i was abt to comment that i just read abt another character who relies on the Religious books to go abt even his daily chores... but then u said NO book... lolzzz...

    and yeah u find lessons at d least likely places n persons... d first lesson i learnt at my ex-office was from a worker and those are d only words i remember even after my long charade there..

    and hey yeah.. wen ll u be back to pune.. think i ll be in pune in june.. lemme know.. i hope u still have my no.. message me..

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  6. Hey, tough luck on your leg! Catch you when we come around to kannur next time. Take care.

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  7. Hi Roshan, Nice video !.. Get well soon.. !:)

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  8. mariam, thanx for the wishes.. enjoy yer scrubs :)

    Rat, long time, eh ? will return godwilling to pune this month sometime.

    Sumz,as I said above, will be in kannur a couple of weeks more.. have to get back to work someday rt :)

    Thanks Veena

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  9. We all have our 'wierd' ways of connecting with the big G.Finally when we have to we do find a route and in the end the route really doesnt matter....

    yes pain and suffering makes us do things we would have never otherwise.
    get well soon....

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  10. thats really what i hope to get through.. that thre are so many things in plain sight which can help you connect to the big Guy...

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  11. Nice post. Got me thinking and nodding my head most of the way.

    I love SCRUBS too, catch an episode here and there whenever I can.
    The subtle life messages and underlying lessons on all their comic episodes are mostly ignored..because we like not to bother abot the not-so-fun part. :)

    Very impressed by the way you picked those and put it down here so beautifully.

    Get well soon dear boy.

    [ P.s : Sorry, really dont like this layout, why is it so dark and flashy? I need to copy the contents on a notepad a read now:( ]

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  12. thanks aishu... this was a fun post to write cos its exactly the type i like writing honestly - telling a story with a moral, and breaking accepted norms ( equating holy teachings with a lowly Tv serial :D ).. ya, I guess it went too long, but I cant think of anything to shorten either.

    Hopefully I git my message thru.

    And as for color, well.. I chose this one cos it actually appealed to me :D yes, yes.. I know. It may not be the best, but I kinda like it

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  13. u know, i was kinda impressed by the religious book u claimed (in the beginning) and wanted to ask u for its name..because it had simple fact of life so sorted out...and then gradually i realised, that no religious book can ever put day to day facts soo simply :)

    wonderful write..it does make u sit up and ponder!

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  14. hey tc man...can understand the pain ur going through:)...it really makes u depressing...

    and thanks for the serial..will def dwnd it!!..:)

    p.s-nice post

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  15. thats the sad part Pri.. day to day events and dealing with them also need to be factored in when teaching someone how to deal with life rather than going back to shlokas and verses... a simpler way of teaching is a must.

    brocas, trust me. do download it.. totally recommend it.

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  16. hey R,
    i got into ur blog and scrolled down not readin a single word, i saw scrubs and thot yet naother post abt his fav serial... i did this few times this week and then now i jsut got into the blog again i was bored to be honest that was the reason why i logged on and then started readin. somethin made me smile.
    i am glad ur own reason and manner to see where stregth lies. books dont always give u the answers. i wld never advoacte a book for a perfect circle

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  18. so true anu.. not all the answers lie in books

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  19. Scrubs is one of the best sitcoms.. unique and one of its kind..

    I see myself when I see JD in many situations and see whether I am wrong or right. Its good that protagonist is a normal man and makes mistakes here too

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  20. Get well soon, Doc! Faith - whether it is in religion or in SOME power, we need something to tell us we are in good hands.... right?

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