Painfully yours (4)

A recovery which just a few months ago seemed impossible was shaping up. Samar had never felt better in the past year and a half after his surgery. The electrical stimulation, exercises and his own doggedness lead to him being relatively pain free.

The nerves had responded to his agonizing cries and his repeated benedictions. The misfiring nerves had suddenly stopped firing altogether. Their impish behavior had transformed into one of sudden calm.

Nerves are under constant tutelage of the brain. If the brain commands, the nerves respond. If the brain stops commanding, the nerves stop responding. The nerves are essentially conduits of the brain, which reach every part of the body. Had Samar’s mental agony and impudence caused his brain to perceive a more severe form of the pain, than he was actually feeling?  Was Samar unwilling to let go of the pain till he realized that the time had come to do so?

The brain is such an amazing conglomeration of uncertainties, that science has still not been able to fully explore. A transcendent part of the human anatomy, which never ceases to amaze.

Samar’s progress did amaze Geet and the doctors, who were beginning to lose hope gradually. The recovery started when Geet was beginning to lose patience with Samar’s attitude and behavior. Maybe Samar had realized that it was time to move on, otherwise he’d have to pay the cost.

The pain relieving medications, the marijuana, the electrical stimulation packs were being phased out from his life. He planned to kick them out within the next year. He yearned for a pain free existence without any dependence and was working towards it.

The weight gain was the next problem to be worked upon. Samar had gained 15 kilograms of weight over the past year, primarily owing to his lack of physical activity and laziness. The exercise regimes became more stringent as he recovered and Samar was eager to comply with all of them.

He wanted to be a fitter, better person. The pain had all but disappeared and left behind a numbness. An area of no sensation over the course of the nerve, a problem that didn’t bother him as much.

Samar had planned to marry Geet in the following year. He planned an elaborate proposal and wedding with her. Would she agree? He had no doubt in his mind. But before he could do any of that, he wanted to show her, his true self. A pain free, physically fit Samar. He wanted to prove himself worthy of her. And he had a year to do so.

Samar went from strength to strength in the following year, working diligently and exercising rigorously. This helped keep his pain at bay and also helped him lose the excess weight that he was carrying.

A year later, Samar proposed to Geet. It was not as elaborate as he’d planned. But it surely was romantic. An open field, the night sky, a carpet on the grass, some champagne and the ring.

Samar’s life had seen all the ebbs and flows over time post his surgery. Having endured chronic pain for that period of time and then helping himself find a cure, was an arduous task, one which seemed even more grueling owing to the lack of social support.

The entrance of an old friend who’d eventually became his wife proved to be the catalyst for a change. His impervious nature had softened over the course of time, to eventually give rise to a never-say-die attitude that he held onto for a long time.

[This is the fourth in a series of 5 blog posts (may be extended depending on feedback and responses) that follow Samar’s journey in dealing with his chronically acute pain.

Chronic pain is one of the leading causes of depression and anxiety, eventually causing the sufferers to contemplate or attempt to commit suicide. This series is dedicated to all those suffering from chronic pain.]

Painfully yours (3)

There were rehabilitation exercises and then there were electrotherapy sessions. Samar was determined to bid adieu to the pain that had plagued him for that long. Thrice a week, Samar would visit the physiotherapists office, unfailingly, to undergo the rigorous exercise regimes that were prescribed to him.

Samar’s pain had become persistent now. The regenerating nerves were punishing him for having been severed in the first place. However, the intensity of the pain had reduced. It was a constant pain of a lower intensity, a fact that bothered him more than the kind of pain that would oscillate between periods of no pain and those of impassionate pain.

Exercising and using electrical impulses to fool his misfiring nerves was his last resort. While Geet would help Samar forget the pain and focus on other things, there were still times when there was a recrudescence of the that severe pain and he’d spiral downwards.

Samar had thought about committing suicide more than once. However, Geet’s chirpiness and positive outlook made him want to give life a second chance.

His physiotherapist always told him, “Samar, your pain is never going to vanish, but with the right mix of therapy, we can certainly manage it better.”

Her words of encouragement and Geet’s constant support helped Samar get past an important psychological barrier, one where no matter what happened, he just didn’t want to get better.

And then one day, it happened. The day that Samar’s physiotherapist, Geet and Samar himself had never imagined would arrive.

On a bright sunny Wednesday afternoon, when Samar was being driven to his therapist by Geet, Samar spoke out.

“I think I need to get a job now. My pain is manageable, my health has improved leaps and bounds, I feel good about myself. What do you say?”

Geet welled up. For the past three months, she had been juggling between her work, her parents and Samar. She’d tell him to go and work even if it was only for himself and not for the  money. Samar always refused. Staying at home and being alone all day was not doing him any good.

Samar was not confident, then, that he could pull off working even for smaller durations. He had a handsome inheritance from his family. He would survive on that for the foreseeable future, at least.

He had come to realize though, that money was not the reason why he needed to work. There was something more to it. He needed a job to feel important again, to make new friends and instill some confidence in himself.

Using the connections, he had established in his heyday, Samar got himself a part time job as an attorney at a non-profit organization.

Samar was doing two things he had always coveted, practice law and volunteer. This coupled with the re-emergence of Geet in his life was the perfect tonic for all his problems.

Samar regained all his lost confidence and was dealing with his disease in a mature manner. Geet, who had been doubling up as a nurse for Samar was thrilled to see this transformation.

His days started with work, with his physiotherapy sessions interspersed in the midst of his working day, which was followed by an early evening trip to the clubhouse and ended with him talking to Geet about how each of their days were spent.

Samar had never been happier. The pain which had been an annoyance to him for so long, was not as bothersome any more. He had just started leading the perfect life and was atingle with enthusiasm for the road ahead. Who would’ve known! Samar had just defeated his own demons, both physical and mental.

He was now focussing on the present with an eye towards the future. Marriage, raising kids, all the things that had seemed impossible a few months ago, seemed realistic now.

Looking at Geet, he knew he’d found the perfect girl. One who stayed by his side not only in health but in sickness as well. He saw his future in her eyes, and it seemed perfect. Or was it?

[This is the third in a series of 5 blog posts (may be extended depending on feedback and responses) that follow Samar’s journey in dealing with his chronically acute pain.

Chronic pain is one of the leading causes of depression and anxiety, eventually causing the sufferers to contemplate or attempt to commit suicide. This series is dedicated to all those suffering from chronic pain.]

Painfully yours (2)

“Hello, is it Geet?” Samar’s voice almost choked, as he asked to speak with Geet. Two years and ten months had flown by, since he had last spoken to her.

“Samar, is it you? I can’t believe this! Is everything all right? It’s 2:30 am,” Geet chirped, not as mindful of the time as she wanted to sound. After all, it had been so long. She wanted to speak with him too.

Geet and Samar were inseparable during college days. They attended classes, ate meals, watched movies and went for drives together. They interned at the same firm too, often working on the same projects. It was obvious that they were meant to be, but still somehow it wasn’t. Inspite of their proximity, they’d never dated, never thought of their relationship as anything but friendship, a chaste and pure one.

After graduating, Samar got busy with preparations for interviews and planning for his future. Geet would try to call and text him, but he’d rarely respond. Life caught up with the both of them and they drifted apart.

Tall and slim, but by no means lanky, she was naturally gifted with beautiful looks and endearing eyes. Her claim to fame was the perfect jawline, endorsed by her sister who was a cosmetologist.

Geet was the quintessential chatterbox, blabbering her way through every situation. Her mouth stayed open so often, that she had now forgotten how it felt to keep it shut. Opportunities to talk with Geet around were limited, and if one was wise, he’d take the opportunity and make the most out of it. If Geet allowed you to talk, it was either because she was tired of talking, or that she had no interest whatsoever in listening to you speak and would switch off.

But early that morning, not only did Geet keep shut, but also listened intently to what was being said. The backache and swelling, the surgery, the unbearable pain post surgery, which continued to get worse as the days went by, incapacitating him.

“Gosh, Samar, I didn’t know about all this. I wish I could’ve been there to help you through this,” she exclaimed, after patiently listening to him.

Samar’s pain had worsened. A month had passed by since the surgery. He’d tried every legally available painkiller both alone and in combination, but to no avail.

The knife piercing had now turned into a pins and needles pain, one where he felt as if some one was poking multiple needles into his back and right thigh. While the earlier pain was temporary with spells of numbness in the interim, this most recent form of pain was more like a silhouette. It had no form and shape, it remained in the backdrop, only to emerge akin to a pestilence in an unpredictable fashion.

Frustrated, he eventually turned to illegally obtained marijuana, something that offered him solace and comfort from the pain. The loneliness did not help and Samar needed to talk to someone about his troubles. He was facing depression and he knew that the only drug that would work, was social interaction. It was then that he thought about Geet and called her.

It was his fault that Geet and he had drifted apart. He had an agenda and was rigorously pursuing it, only to lose someone that he now realized he valued so much.

Few months after internship ended, he met Sanya and forgot about Geet altogether.

The next day he met Geet for dinner. His gait still exhibited a limp and his demeanor reeked of discomfort, but it disappeared when he met her. Geet was so effervescent.

Not once did she talk about his illness. Neither did she tell him what people had been telling him all the time, that it was all in his mind. She never told him that it will be ‘okay’. She knew it would never be okay, she knew that she could do nothing about it, but by talking to him and diverting his mind from the illness and the pain, she was helping him cope.

Samar was averse to socializing for the same reasons. He despised people telling him that the pain would subside, that he just had to stop thinking about it and then he would be fine.

“Try living with this pain and then tell me to take my mind off it. I wish all these so called well wishers have to go through his same thing. Only then, will they realize,” Samar often thought to himself.

In Geet’s calculated snub to his illness, he found a reasonable chance at redemption. Maybe not from the pain, but from the associated depression.

Samar and Geet started where they had left off after college, like nothing had changed. The winds of time and the maturity they’d gathered over the years hadn’t changed their affection towards each other. Without the associated depression the pain seemed tamable. Samar found some meaning in life and Geet had rediscovered her long lost friend.

[This is the second in a series of 5 blog posts (may be extended depending on feedback and responses) that follow Samar’s journey in dealing with his chronically acute pain.

Chronic pain is one of the leading causes of depression and anxiety, eventually causing the sufferers to contemplate or attempt to commit suicide. This series is dedicated to all those suffering from chronic pain.]

Painfully Yours

Samar woke up in a haze. His mind was wandering as he could hear muffled sounds all around him.

Suddenly, some one came up to him and screamed into his ears,”Samar, are you awake? Your surgery has been successfully completed. Are you experiencing any pain?”

His immediate response was, “Oh, its so unbearable.”

“Don’t worry, we will give you something for it. Get some rest.”

Almost immediately, Samar felt a gush of cold saline surging through the veins in his arms. Before he could feel it reach beyond his shoulder and into the major veins in the body, Samar fell asleep again. There are some events in life which are eerily intimate, happenings that can’t be shared with anyone, surely this was one of them.

The atmosphere around Samar was chaotic. The recovery room of the Operating theater complex was replete with patients, recovering from the recent controlled, legal assault on their bodies by the ‘demigods’. Some had undergone complex cardiac surgeries, some were recovering from procedures performed on their brains whilst the others were clutching their belly, indicating that they had undergone gastrointestinal surgery.

Samar, however, proved to be the exception amongst the lot. Amongst a room full of middle aged or elderly men, Samar was just twenty seven years of age. At that tender age, this was the third surgery he had to endure. The transition from adolescence to adulthood had been a particularly difficult period, one where he had endured family troubles, break ups and diseases.

The latest health problem was a fracture in his spine, a sequale of an infective process that had chewed into the bony structures supporting the spine, the vertebrae, leaving him with an abscess that extended form his spinal cord to his right thigh. These abscesses had a notoriety of tracking along the most superficial nerves i.e the nerves that supplied the skin, thus presenting with a swelling over the back and the thigh.

Samar had undergone surgery to remove the infected and subsequently fractured bits of his vertebral column and drain the abscess tracking down to his right thigh. A procedure of such complexity, that it required multiple surgeons form different specialties to perform the surgery, in conjunction with one another.

Samar regained full consciousness only in the evening, following which he was allowed to start drinking some water. The effect of the anesthesia and sedation had worn off.

The following morning was when Samar experienced that severe pain. Exercises were meant to do more good than harm, but that morning, while trying to walk, Samar felt that weird sensation for the first time.

As he walked, a sharp shooting sensation emanated from his back and ended near his right knee. It felt as if someone had pierced a dagger into his spine and viciously dragged it downwards. His back and right thigh felt as if they had been cut open with the kind of surgical precision that had been on display during the assault on the previous day. He wanted to scream out in pain, but couldn’t. The agony made him numb, listless and incapable of thinking about anything else. He lay down and didn’t venture to get up on his two feet for a while.

On discharge, three days later, his friends were kind enough to transport him back to his apartment. Samar lived alone. He had no family, his parents having suffered a premature death in a car accident, years ago and his girlfriend having broken up with him a month ago, for reasons that were unknown.

His weight was down by a couple of kilos, his eyes sunken in and his hand was permanently clutching his right thigh in a gesture that probably classified it as a no touch zone.

There was numbness and then there was pain. Sharp, shooting, like a knife piercing his body. Then it went numb again. Over the ensuing weeks, not once did Samar experience normal sensations in his thigh. The physicians told him it was temporary, a sign of regenerating nerves, the pain specialists told him that it was all in his head, the psychiatrists prescribed him some medications to get over the pain and the support groups that he went to just added to his misery.

Tests revealed that the surgeon had accidentally injured one of the nerves while performing the procedure and that this nerve was misfiring. Every once in a while, this nerve developed a mind of its own and tormented its master, firing away at an unimaginable rate. Between such episodes, the nerve would lie dormant, as if it were dead, killed by the surgeon while operating, resurrecting itself at its own whim.

Samar was a lawyer, one who had come through the ranks, studied at the best law schools and interned at some of the most successful law companies. What he lacked in stature or family background, he made up with hard work. His stocky framework and his coarse features were devious. They didn’t reveal his softer inside, his love for prose, music and art, his passion for playing the drums and his zest for life.

Two years ago, he had met the girl of his dreams, or so he thought. Sanya, a fair skinned, light eyed petite girl, whose passion to study the human body had translated into her becoming a physician, one who was completing her training in pediatrics. The initial period of attraction translated into love and led to a tumultuous relationship, which ended just a month before he underwent surgery. Sanya left without giving him a reason. That seemed like the toughest thing he had to deal with, not knowing what fate had in store for him. No sooner had Sanya left, than the backache commenced. It started as a nagging pain which soon turned into a swelling that spread from his back to his right thigh. Then the surgery, following which ‘the pain’.

Life would never be the same for Samar. The pain had become a constant companion, almost like a nagging wife, bursting out every once in a while, whilst laying lucidly in between these outbursts.

[This is the introductory and first in a series of 5 blog posts (may be extended depending on feedback and responses) that follow Samar’s journey in dealing with his chronically acute pain.

Chronic pain is one of the leading causes of depression and anxiety, eventually causing the sufferers to contemplate or attempt to commit suicide. This series is dedicated to all those suffering from chronic pain.

When there’s no pain ,there isn’t any gain, but when there’s nothing to gain, why endure that pain? ]

The Assault’s (almost!)

Being a doctor in India, or specifically in the institute I was working in, not only required skill, but also strength. Skill to manage the heavy burden of patients unleashed upon you, whilst you’re still the unsuspecting, naive, freshly graduated intern. And strength, to manage the rowdy, almost obstreperous relatives of the poor patients, who couldn’t afford to go anywhere else.  One of the former Deans of the institute famously stated, “When you signed up for your residency program, you have signed up for everything that comes along with it, including being beaten up by angry mobs.”

There have been a number of near misses during my residency years, not only with me, but also my colleagues. However, a couple of these incidents stood out as a memorable ones.

The First Incident:

Rakhi (name changed to protect identity), was a 45 year old sweeper, who came to the hospital with severe abdominal pain and a continuous fever for a couple of days. Suspecting dengue, the medicine resident on call followed the routine pathway and sent her to the medicine ward for an admission. Her drunk husband, Manoj accompanied her that evening.

Two days after she had been admitted, we received a written call for a surgical reference, stating that her abdominal radiographs indicated gas under the diaphragm. Gas under the diaphragm is a commonly used term amongst surgical specialties to indicate a perforated bowel. However, considering her history it seemed implausible.

Clinical examinations and further tests confirmed their suspicion. She needed immediate surgery. Transfer protocols were initiated and the patient was shifted to the Operating Room (OR). It turned out that she was suffering from Typhoid, which caused her small bowel (ileum) to perforate and let loose the feculent matter into her abdominal cavity. It took us three hours and countless lavages to clear out her abdomen and suture the perforated bowel.

Manoj stayed around for most of these proceedings, volunteering to help in any possible manner. However, his countenance changed when he saw us shifting her to the intensive care unit on ventilatory support. Having seen his mother going through surgery and later being treated in the intensive care unit in the same hospital, a few years ago, his hopes of seeing Rakhi recover diminished.

He confronted us after we shifted her to the ICU, letting loose a tirade of profanities, “You ba*****s, what have you done to my wife? She would’ve recovered well without the need of the machine had she not been operated upon. All you doctors are scumbags.”

We were taken aback with this rant and tried to calm him down, explaining that this was just a temporary phase and that she would be off the ventilator in a day or two. He was assured of a reasonably good recovery.

He would have none of it. His ranting and expletives continued, until finally he broke down, sobbing uncontrollably.

Seconds later, he darted towards the exit. He was going to abandon his wife, leaving her at the mercy of the staff in the hospital.

Every resident is responsible for his patients, whether they have relatives or not. And if her husband would run away, the responsibility of her care would be thrust upon us. It wasn’t a particularly pleasing situation to be in. We were already running on a tight schedule. On a good day, we would get close to four hours of sleep, and we’d had a dearth of such good days. We weren’t willing to shoulder the additional burden of a critically ill patient without relatives.

In a split second, my colleague and I decided to give chase. At that point in time, we thought it’d be worth it. In hindsight, maybe not.

With stethoscopes hung around our shoulders and a white coat to differentiate us from the laymen around, we gave chase, running down the crowded corridors of the hospital and across the bridge, connecting the main structure to its sister concern, across the gates and onto the streets. We somehow managed to keep a visual track of Manoj’s route. Seeing two doctors giving chase, the security guards at the gate of the hospital also volunteered. The chasing party soon expanded from a mere two people (my colleague and I) to a formidable size. Amongst the new members were security guards from the hospital, relatives of patients, who were admitted under our care and were loitering around on the streets and some random bystanders who joined in for the fun of it. Neither of them knowing the reason of their indulgence.

For a relatively older man, Manoj seemed extremely fit. It took us a while to catch up with him. Seeing the chase party following him, Manoj tried to speed up. But we were close enough and I grabbed hold of his shirt by then. He freed himself from my grasp and decided to take matters into his own hands.

Turning around with a menacing look, he quickly shifted to his left. A colossal stone was lying on the street and Manoj lifted it over his head with the seasoned expertise, as if he’d hurl it over us and crush us with it.

In hindsight, I wish I’d never chased Manoj down. I wish I’d stayed on, in that wretched intensive care unit and let him escape. But then, hindsight always gives you a very obvious biased view of your quandaries.

A comical scene ensued. The chaser had now reversed roles and was chasing our company with a giant stone lifted over his head. The ten brave men who gave chase so valiantly, dispersed into the mob of surrounding people to escape Manoj’s wrath. That was the last we saw of Manoj, who dropped the stone, as we scattered around and fled with unimaginable pace.

Rekha was now our responsibility and we took care of her reasonably well. She recovered well, barring few minor complications and was discharged into a social welfare setup soon after. Manoj had disappeared and was nowhere to be found.

The Second Incident:

Just a few weeks after the ‘Great Chase’ and being the butt of every joke cracked in the hospital, came another incident. One which was more serious and had dire consequences.

The mornings in the emergency ward were usually very hectic. Partly, because most of the unit doctors would be managing the out patient services and partly because the patients, who came in late for the out patient services, would end up in the emergency ward, seeking a quick fix to their problems. These requests were rampant on almost all days. A strict diktat had been issued to service every patient that turned up for treatment in the emergency wards, causing formation of unmanageable crowds and a lack of dedicated time to the actual emergencies.

The only protection that a doctor had from being assaulted in such circumstances was a security guard (or two, if the doctor on duty was lucky). What would a lone security guard do against a crowd of a hundred people queued up outside the emergency wards?

A company of four men and a woman came to the emergency ward, on one such morning, while I was on duty. Being from the area and speaking the local language, they were surprised to find an on duty doctor who fumbled with the local language. The nurses volunteered that I belonged to a different community. The discord started there.

I had no control whatsoever on the local language, but spoke reasonably well in the national language. After examining the patient and prescribing some injectable medications, I went back to the desk to fill out the requisition forms for the investigations. I simply suspected a urinary tract infection along with a renal stone and advised an ultrasound and a urinalysis (a test to check for bacteria in the urine sample). I doled out all the instruction in the national language, only to be told to repeat them in the regional language (they understood both languages reasonably well).

Not knowing the language was irksome enough for the group. When I told them to get the urinalysis done from a private laboratory (the laboratory in the hospital was for some reason not performing the test at that time), it got them really wound up.

Communalism stems form age old practices and a legacy that has passed down through generations. Being a part of that city and state, I had never experienced a communal attack (verbal or otherwise) thus far. It changed that day.

Some expletives and raised voices asking me to go back to my parent state, were followed by the group throwing the glass bottle (that I had handed over to collect the urine sample), at me. Reflexly, I ducked and the security guard (the single man) shielded me from any further assault. The group was forced to leave the emergency ward, but that wasn’t the last of it.

The local community and the politicians got wind of the incident and lodged several complaints against me, alleging negligent treatment. How could a doctor working at this prestigious government hospital not know how to speak in the local language? How could an ‘outsider’ get admitted to such a reputed medical school, meant only for the locals? How could he order an investigation from a private laboratory outside the premises of the institution?

Questions poured out from almost every direction. Thankfully, I was shielded from most of these questions by the senior surgeons working in the same unit. Every question was answered tactfully and every answer written down and re-scrutinised.

We are all Indians. We are all expected to know the national language, Hindi. The constitution recognizes 18 regional languages, but the actual number far exceeds that. How can one possibly learn every regional language to cater to every community in different parts of the country!

Our constitution also proposes to provide every citizen with basic rights. Isn’t right to education without a bias towards caste, community and religion a part of these fundamental rights.

As for the investigations being ordered from a private laboratory. I wasn’t a part of the administration or the pathology department. If a particular investigation wasn’t being performed and was vital to patient diagnoses, should I have avoided it? Would that be negligent practice?

Eventually, when the answers were presented to the authorities, their case lapsed and normal service resumed.

The final diagnosis of the patient was: Urinary tract infection with a solitary ureteral stone, size 4 mm. I stood vindicated.

World Cup 2011 Finals- An experience to cherish!

The journey began at 11:45 am.. A long wait for the fellowship, which comprised 2 kids and 4 adults, to arrive and then we were off! Walking all the way from Napean Sea road to Grant road station. The walk in the scorching sun had a weirdly calming influence on my grey matter which had not rested even a minute since morning. Was India really going to win the cup? Was it worth going to the stadium? Am i being a fool for not selling my ticket for a LAC plus INR?

 

All the questions somehow were answered by the amazing confidence that every by passer exuded. And with every step i took towards the station, i somehow stopped thinking as much and started enjoying the sheer craziness that cricket brings out in us Indians!

The roads were choc-a-bloc with cars honking, cutting lanes, trying every possible manouvre to get to the Wankhede stadium as quickly as possible.

Every passer by seemed to take notice of our company, what with each of us (besides me) dressed in the Indian jersey. A few known faces too emerged from amongst the unknown to wish us ‘good luck’ as we were going to a place that 1.2 billion Indians would kill to be in.

 

After a 15 minute walk we reached the station, where a few shady customers tried to bully the kids for tickets to the game. A train to Churchgate almost immediately roared into the station and we managed to get into it. 10 more minutes to churgate station and we were almost there! The unofficial MECCA of cricket- the WANKHEDE stadium. The Churchgate station resembled a fortress with heavy security, blocked exits et al. We managed to find an exit eventually and proceeded towards the entrance gate for the Pavillion stand, encountering a lot of ‘ INDIAAAA, INDIAAAA’ chants. Its amazing how cricket manages to galvanise the very people who are divided by petty politicians with vested interests!

A few known faces and a little bit of luck got us into the stadium in no time and even then waiting in the line wasn’t futile cause all of us got a glimpse of the DEMI-GODS entering the stadium in their spacious Volvo’s.

Into the stadium and the crowd had started screaming an hour before the match even started. The mood was set, people were confident, so it seemed nothing could go wrong!!

The drama started with the toss! Neither the home team captain nor the match refree heard the opposing team captain call for the toss! There was a huge mutter around the ground that the toss was fixed. But before those rumors gathered momentum, the coin was re-tossed and SriLanka won the toss! India had to chase to win a Final on home soil! To top it all the team composition for the match seemed suspect, picking Sreesanth, a pacer ahead of R. Ashwin, a spinner on a Bombay wicket which is usually a turner.. It couldn’t get any worse! The crowd was groaning and rightly so.

India have never been good chasers and SriLanka had a strong lineup both batting and bowling.

 

Eventually the match got underway in an amazing manner. The indian bowling, barring the erratic Sreesanth bowled very well, picking up wickets at regular intervals and limting the run rate. It was a feast for the crowds, who cheered loudly after each maiden over and went ballistic every time a wicket fell.

But, somehow there was the feeling that something will go wrong.. And it did!

A silent crowd witnessed the brutal hitting force of the SriLankan batsmen in the batting powerplay. It was time for the Lankan fans to go all out. And that’s exactly what they did, as silent Indian fans looked on. The match seemed to have tilted in Lanka’s favor.

The Indian run chase got off to the worst possible start, losing the 2 openers in the first 7 overs! The SACHIN TENDULKAR wicket silenced the very crowd that had revved up the decibels just moments ago. What was heartening to see, though, was the standing ovation The Man got for playing what could’ve possibly been his last match on His home ground.

Time went by, a few wickets fell, but this Indian team was different from the others. No target was unchaseable, no team was unbeatable. With that same conviction, Dhoni, the captain, Gautam and Yuvraj kept the scoreboard ticking. Every dot ball was dreaded, every single was cheered as if it was a boundary and when the boundaries were hit the 30,000 plus crowd in the stadium, be it the Ambanis, the Mallayas or the common man in the east stand, roared in appreciation and delight.

Victory seemed nearer when all of a sudden Dhoni went ballistic smashing a couple of boundaries. Confidence grew and everyone awaited the winning moment.

 

One of the greatest bowlers in World cricket today was up against one of the smartest batsmen. 3 runs were required in 1 and a half overs. Lasith Malinga stormed into bowl at Dhoni at 150 kmph.

Dhoni, not having a care for reputations heaved him for a SIX over long-off. THAT WAS THE MOMENT. 30,000 anxious Indians in the crowd jumped up in celebration of the one cup that had eluded India for the past 28 years. Dhoni stood at the centre of it all, absorbing the atmosphere created by his heroics. Sachin & Yuvraj were in tears, Harbhajan and Virat were jumping and Raina and Sehwag were just absorbing the fact that they were the WORLD CHAMPIONS.

 

“For the past 21 years Mr. Sachin Tendulkar has shouldered the burden of Indian cricket, it’s about time we carried him on our shoulders.” Virat Kohli, barely a few years old when Sachin started playing cricket put his words into action and carried Sachin all around the stadium! Gary Kirsten, who played one of the most understated role in the success was also carried around. The humble captain stood away from the limelight.

The World cup was ours!! A walk through Marine drive signified how Sport unites the un-united. There was dancing, singing, people sitting on the roofs of cars, firecrackers and a lot more. And rightly so.

Not only was it a feather in the illustrious cap of Sachin Tendulkar, it was also the defining moment for a certain man named MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI.

A small town boy from Ranchi, Jharkhand has won all the titles that there are to win, the IPL, the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, the WORLD CUP T20, the limited overs WORLD CUP, the BEST TEST TEAM & with this win the best limited overs team!

What a night, what atmosphere, what a stage to deliver.

Him and Her

They met through common connections. She was dating someone else and so was he. They became friends. She would call him for favors every now and then. He would gladly oblige, as he would for any friend.

As time passed, they severed ties with their respective partners and began spending a lot of time together. Movies, pubs, restaurants and even heritage tours. She fell in love with him. He wasn’t so sure. She repeatedly asked him for an answer. He was confused.

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He started working, she was still studying. He had 16 hour work days, she had a lot of free time. He was always tired and busy. She always wanted to meet him and spend time with him. She went to his work place and waited hours at an end, so that she could steal him for a quick snack. He wasn’t there for her, at most times. There were days when they didn’t speak at all.

She still persevered. He wasn’t so sure. They trudged along. Soon, he couldn’t do without her presence around him. He fell in love with her. Not because she was beautiful or because she waited for him, but because he had come to realize that she was a delightful person.

By that time, she was frustrated with his inconsistencies. He was always overworked and under-rested. He’d always get angry and frustrated. He didn’t want to work this hard. She pushed him to work harder. She told him she understood.

Soon after, she was busy preparing for her exams and completely shut him out. He felt lost without her, but knew it was necessary. Nothing remained the same after her exams.

He was now madly in love with her. She was in love with him too. But, maybe the intensity had reduced. He wanted her attention all the time. She was busy with her own life. And it all added up.

Finally, one day she told him that she wanted to part ways. He thought, “I’ll fight for us.” She thought, “If I continue this, I will lose my sanity.” She wondered what life would be without having him around. He didn’t even want to think of the possibility.

Somehow, he managed to pull her back into his life. That was probably his first mistake in that relationship. He didn’t realize that by pulling her back, he was pushing her further away. She thought, “I’ll help him through this phase and then leave before he can say anything.” He thought, “I’ll  shower her with so much love, that she won’t think of leaving me.”

They had their ups and downs. They dove deeper into the abyss of love, or so he thought. She completely shut herself out. He was too busy to notice. She always spoke about him and his day and his insecurities and his feelings, never mentioning how she felt. He was too busy to notice.

She celebrated every birthday, anniversary and special occasion with him. She knew that she had to get him through this phase. As he grew closer to her, she became even more distant.

They had such starkly contrasting personalities. He never thought out of the box, she was always being creative, he  had no sense of humor, she was always laughing and joking, he was a certified pessimist, she loved being optimistic. And still, they’d fallen in love with each other.

He had finished the difficult period in his life. She had just entered hers. He was finally ready to give the relationship his all. He felt energized. He thought he knew how he’d make it work.

She was having none of it. She thought, “This is it. I have been unhappy for long enough. Not anymore.” He thought, “I haven’t paid any attention to her for so long and she’s been so fabulous. I’m going to set everything straight.” Maybe he was too late.

She said, “I don’t love you anymore.” He said, “That’s not true! That can’t be true.” She told him, “Believe it or not, it is. Please let me go.”

He thought, “How can I let you go. This can’t be it.” She said, “It is.”

She walked away. He tried to pull her back again. She was adamant. He was heart-broken.

He tried to enter her life again. He helped her whenever she needed help. He was always there for her, when she needed him. This time around, they spoke only about her. He didn’t tell her how he felt. That he wanted to kiss her every time he saw her and straighten things out. She never asked.

She’d done the same for him. She suppressed her feelings for years altogether. He did it for a few months. Eventually, relinquishing to her wishes. He had travelled a full circle.

He had an urge to travel back in time and straighten things out. Unfortunately it was too late…