To cut or not to cut? 

When was the last time you had a haircut? My hair stylist asked me.

Sheepishly I told him it had been over a year. Tsk. Tsk. He looked in disdain and waited for me to give him an explanation.

I didn’t know what to say. As a medico, haircuts are least important to you in your day to day work.

The look of horror on his face said it all.

And indeed as a young doctor, you are expected to make sacrifices. No tattoos , no fancy outfits, no nail polish, no makeup in college,no highlights or fancy haircuts. The list is long and nonsensical just like the people who make them.

It’s not as if young medicos don’t take care of themselves. They do. But it’s usually at the cost of either studies or sleep and I love both of them too much to give them up. Indeed all the toppers I know take little or minimal care of themselves. One girl I know, cut her hair very short just so that she wouldn’t have to maintain them and waste time. 

Old doctors, certainly derive fun in ensuring that their juniors experience the same rigid traditions that they were forced to endure never minding the fact that even medicine has changed with the years while these rules haven’t.
My stylist insisted that as a ‘young’ girl, I get a highlights or even a fun bob as I quote ‘these are your golden years’

But is it? A doctor’s golden years only start in their 30s. Till then you are expected to adhere to those rules.

When you think about it, many people spend their 20s discovering themselves, committing mistakes,going on travels and settling down in life. But me? I have to learn how to be an adult since the time I entered this field.

There is no time to do things that normal people do. I cannot take time off to take a gap year or discover myself. I’m not unhappy about my choices but merely wonder what could have been had I not been forced to grow up so soon.

We give our 20s for saving people’s lives but unfortunately no one talks about the sacrifices we make. I certainly don’t expect any one to understand them

And as I listened to my stylist ramble on about the poor way I took care of myself, I realised with a heavy heart that he, like other people would be unable to understand my side of the story. The sacrifices I make are mine alone.

So after promising that I would take better care of my hair, I went away with a new haircut wondering when my next lecture with him would be.

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Alone and Lonely have two different meanings.

She could hear the faint laughter in the background. People, her own family enjoying themselves.

Where was she? On the floor of her bathroom wondering what was wrong with her.

Through tear glistened eyes, she watches an ant crawling on the floor. An ant she thought. It just obeys orders. Without thinking too much. Exactly the opposite of her.

Loner. Misunderstood. These words she was very familiar with. They defined her life. Never fitting in anywhere.

Her first childhood memories come rushing to her. How she had trouble making friends. Untill her sister rescued her. She had amazing people skills and still did. A large bunch of her friends were only due to her sister.

It continued like that throughout her life. But she was so busy studying, she didn’t let it affect her. She was studying to be a doctor and kept herself satisfied with the thought that med school would have more people like her.

But her bad luck continued. Her intj habits made people seem she is aloof or arrogant. She found people superficial and shallow. That is not how doctors are supposed to be she thought.

She felt like the same scared school girl again. Now it was even worse. There is pressure to get liked by the opposite sex also. Fat chance she thought. I can barely make girl friends.

She wished she had someone who understood her. At times she thought she was weird or that something was wrong with her. Maybe she was a defective piece. Other people didn’t find it so hard.

Pressure of studies in med school caught up to her. But no one to talk to about it. She had a few friends but still felt an invisible barrier between which she could not cross.

Her family was supportive but also thought of her as arrogant and rude. This feature of her personality compounded by her journey in med school. So after an argument with them, where she knew she was right, she slinked away quietly to the bathroom.

The one place that was truly hers. Over the years she had learnt to cry silently without anyone knowing what she was up to. She hated showing her emotions. This was her safe space.

Wiping her tears, Tomorrow is a new day she consoled herself as she always did. Her stress was released and she was relaxed.

Putting a smile on her face, she walked out and joined her family who didn’t notice her absence but were happy to have her all the same.

Happiness: the elusive unicorn.

What does it mean to be happy?

According to dictionaries, it means to feel glad or delighted. It’s the feeling you get when you see your family after a long time or when you see the waiter bringing your food.

It’s such a pleasant feeling that people naturally ask why can’t you experience it all the time? Is it too hard to ask to be happy all the time?

Certainly being happy has health benefits like improved mood and increased productivity. The loss of happiness is also called depression. People in everyday life experience unhappiness which is different from depression. Depression is a constant state where everything in life seems difficult to do and you loose the will to live.

So you would think that people would strive to be happy all the time. And indeed everything we do in this world is for that purpose only.

Earning money to buy better things, sleeping with multiple people, or marrying. Even getting a job or a degree is equated with happiness.

But all these things are temporary and so are the feelings of happiness attached to it. Once we have what we want, we are again sad, looking for the next thing.

For me feelings of happiness come but sometimes. It’s rare and mostly ruined by over thinking stuff making me unhappy when I realise everything I do is futile.

Once after a particularly disappointing test, I noticed that while I was unhappy, the people who I considered less than, were actually happy. They were glad that the test was over rather than worry about the future affected by test scores.

Maybe that is the secret. To think less. That is why the intelligent people are seemingly less happy than others. They see something in the world that others cannot. Less thinking may be the key.

So I wondered then, is it possible to be happy and all the time?

Inside out, the movie brilliantly explains this concept. Joy the feeling thinks that people should be happy all the time. She thinks that Sadness the feeling that also lives along with her is not needed.

Only in the end of the movie does she realise that both feelings are needed. Without sadness, you cannot experience happiness or feel it’s importance.

Maybe my sad days have some function after all. They maybe there to remind me that it does get better.

The underdogs

What is something that you can never respect? I asked my sister this question that I came across on Quora.

Prostitutes came her reply.

I was shocked that someone as educated and smart as her could say something like this. She was adamant in her belief and even though she knew that most people had no choice or were even forced to do this kind of work she still wouldn’t respect them.

I attempted to prod her and know why she thinks like this and she reasoned that she thought that prostitution is like selling your dignity. When I pointed out to her that some women that no choice and some children were forced into it by pimps, she still refused to change her mind.

That got me thinking.

Is it so ingrained in our culture that sex is the only defining value of a women that by using it for monetary gain, we acknowledge them as less than?

Even though some of them are chained in a room and not allowed to escape ? My sister’s opinion was that there is always a way out even if you are locked in a room.

And therein lies the problem. The inability to understand people from a different background. Social class acts as a shield. Protecting you from showing you the harsh realities of the world. That is why we probably find politicians issuing statements like if you work hard you can reach anywhere even though it’s known that people from the lower classes face many disadvantages in life right from birth.

Prostitutes face a bad rap from every corner of the society. They have no support because just the act of selling your body is considered disgusting by many people. I say how is it any different from any other job? Why is sex given so much importance in today’s world?

A women’s dignity is defined by her purity and a man’s by his ability to be a casanova. It’s even encouraged. So my question is if women are not allowed to have sex and men are, then who is sleeping with all these men? That is where the prostitutes come in. They fulfill a void that no one talks about in society. For that alone they should be respected.

Quoting Cillian Murphy from the Dark Knight series,  “ we are all whores grace. We just sell different parts of ourselves.”  This saying is more deep than it seems.

But my main worry is that if someone like my sister whom till today I considered  well- informed can think such thoughts, what hope is there for the rest of the world?

People should realize that as long as there is demand, there will be supply. The only way to help these women is by supporting them, educating them, not shunning them. As for the way to reduce their demand, that is a topic for another day.

Introduction

I have always loved writing and sort of lost touch in the past few years. I plan on using this platform to share my innermost thoughts, ideas and issues that are important to me.
So here’s hoping that whatever I write, resonates with someone out there. It makes me happy to know that someone, somewhere out there is reading what I write.