So you’re a doc, a foreign cuisine and Corona happened (After vaccinations)

As you may know, I have been a strong advocate for COVID vaccination throughout the pandemic.  On 8th December 2020, a 90 year old from Coventry became the first person to be vaccinated in the NHS. Following that, the campaign for mass vaccination was gradually rolled out to everyone in the UK and with a huge success rate. 

Collectively, we let out a big sigh of relief when the vaccine was introduced to us, following its clinical approval by WHO. It came as a ‘first break,’ from the crunching back pain we were starting to struggle with from the physical and emotional burdens of various sorts that were piling one after another over us. I applaud each of my colleagues and all the essential workers for holding their face up and showing up to work diligently despite those struggles gripping them on their backs. 

In my daily practice, without fail, I have encouraged all of my patients to get vaccinated.  I would say the same for my colleagues. We got vaccinated first ourselves, as we were the primary line of defense between an infected individual and the rest of the community. As I may have mentioned, some of us did have some degree of reservations, as the nature of urgency by which the vaccine had to be developed meant it probably didn’t go through enough rigorous examinations for the risks it might potentially cause versus the curative aspect the drug was providing. At the time, it was important that we kept the faith in our scientists, the field experts and this miracle drug, ‘the vaccine’ they had invented. History says, faith in them saved thousands of us from death, disabilities and deformities.  

Amidst the first wave of pandemic, we were desperate to take control of the situation. From the dreadful outlook charted by the steeply rising death tolls. Morgues couldn’t hold enough corpses. Deaths in communities were slow to report, as some had passed away, alone in their homes while trying to stay away in isolation from clasps of Covid. We didn’t know anything about it, for what felt like ages in the beginning. A lot of things we did learn were picked up from watching vigilantly around us. As it happens in the world of medicine, tallying symptoms, signs and parameters of one patient with another.  Unfortunately in most cases those that died. Why did that patient die? What can we avoid, what can we do to prevent it, how do we know if someone is heading towards a late stage, at what point do we embrace ourselves for it and notify the family? What can we learn from this case so we can save another. 

Only later when they discovered COVID transmission was mainly air borne, it confirmed the suspicion my colleague was raising, why two unrelated wards were having covid outbreaks. The air vents were connected. 

We have come to a time now where we no longer fear COVID to an extent we did in the first wave. We have learned as many of the variants as we could have, about this constantly mutating virus itself and the changing vaccinations combinations we had been administered in the period.    Outbreaks of flu are getting more common and causing more admissions of the aging population now and as clinicians, for COVID we are more focused on infection precautions like personal protection measures & isolation for 10 days. 

We have entered phase 4 of the trial in a sense. Like that for most medicines available out there in the market. Phase 4 trial for any drug means, this is a period where the drug that has proven its efficacy, has been licensed for use by relevant control boards for intended purpose will now be studied on its effects- mainly long term risks and benefits. This is the period where data will be coming in and collected in mass about the minor/major adverse effects/ side effects experienced, complications and sequelae secondary to it. A drug may have completed its phase 4 on research however one can assume phase 4 in the clinical world runs forever. A drug may have certain side effects for a small duration period but may have a completely different adverse effect after years of use on the same patient. By virtue of collective toxicity over prolonged use or by modifying effect of some other medication he might be using concurrently or by adaptation in some forms by his genetics or as his function of organs changes. For example with age our kidney function deteriorates physiologically. That is why our guidelines even for first line drugs after many years of use often changes. When the data collected after long years maybe even decades, prove that the harm outweighs benefits in the contrary of beliefs, it has to be. The drug will either be taken off the market then, used in other diseases where success has been crucial for patients or as a specialist prescription. Every medicine you take comes with a leaflet of  its intended use and series of effects. 

There had been uproars about violation of individual liberties in many instances. Including government mandated vaccinations that was rolled out for frontline workers with patient facing jobs, with risk of dismissal in most cases and possible redeployment if there was resistance. Legal enforcement of activities as such have led and continues to lead communities marching against protest for breach of their human rights. I must say, although I had never been a big supporter of those marches, especially if it meant less vaccinations in the community at the time of outbreak, mandation by law with no redundancy plans for those who wish to leave spoke volumes of where we stood in roles in the scheme of big picture. In world war one, 97% of British soldiers were inoculated with anti typhoid vaccination. Articles I have read infers that most did not know they had the right to refuse it. And although it prevented deaths and infection by typhoid at the time of sanitary status of the wars; military approaches for domination, affirmation, experimentation without consideration of individual choice and rationale for refusing it in the name of greater glory for the service of mankind, is unacceptable. How many have been trialed since? Ideal candidates of the right age in full physical fitness in a controlled environment. The risk here is reinstallment and propagation of the same behaviour in future, mass human trials, without a second of thought for ethical implications of it? 

Most of us experienced local pain, fever, headache and general myalgia with our vaccinations. Similarly, some people had allergic reactions. It is important to remember these vaccines act by modulating your immune system so these effects were to be expected. Most effects were noted in the first few months as that is when immune system is maximally activated against the insult. The later effects, if any because of these insults,  may take time to show. There have been circulating reports of various adverse effects experienced attributed to Covid vaccine although the argument is, they could possibly be related to covid 19 infection itself or subclinical infection prior to vaccination as well that he/she did not demonstrate any symptoms of. Blood clots were detected quite early. Studies are now showing, there has been an increased incidence of neurological conditions like guillain barre syndrome, bell’s palsy. Some reports of inflammation in the muscles of the heart. People’s story of their own experiences with vaccinations are coming forward. Like its impact on fertility after experiencing menstrual irregularities, generalised fatigues, recurrent headaches etc. Accounts from brave whistle blowers are coming forward. There is ongoing world wide surveillance and reporting of the adverse reactions, which I hope will be duly studied before dismissing as mass hysteria.

It is important to be transparent, now more than ever, to keep communities’ faith in our profession, and our continuing faith in scientific advances, pharmacological companies, world leader platforms and the government. And most importantly, it is vital that people standing in power including the government work on their approach to reinforcing the means of ‘greater good’ with respect to individual’s liberty in mind. Endemic, epidemics and pandemics are part of human history. Like seasons have their cycle and place in nature, unless there are outbreaks of bio hazards due to human errors, we should expect nature will find us surprises along our course.

So you’re a doc, a foreign cuisine and Corona happened ( Fight for your independence)

‘I wonder if as you grow older you start seeking out more for your family. I mean, look at our dad and mom’. My sister commented one evening seeing how happy our parents seemed together at dinner. For better or for worse they did decide to stay together and we are and were indeed always grateful for that. Over a long run, I feel, they found their ways to let go, work through or found ways to compromise in their problems.

Hot blood. Young parents. Endless possibilities. New worlds. Looking at them even at my age now, I don’t dare imagine facing those obstacles and coming out the other way as a whole person. I empathise with their feelings, concerns and frustration much better now than I did as a child or a teenager. And although I had always been a protective sibling, I kind of felt guilty hearing my sister’s comment, realising I had never thought the effect of relationship dynamic our family had on them as well.

We have our tales that we laugh about. Tales where our parents can appear a little villainous. Don’t know how much of dramatic scenes are torched into their memories but I hope it only appears funnier as time goes by. As it does to me now. As a child you are susceptible to being easily triggered with emotions and are more impressionable. Only looking at the scene from your perspective, a child’s perspective, the problem naturally appears magnified. Not having ability to judge the situation also worsens the scenario. ‘Why is dad always with his friends when he is only back for holidays?’. ‘Why does Mom make a scene when Dad comes home late?’.

I was post partum 2 weeks. We had house under construction. Everyday work was costing us expensive labor charge. Finally husband is home, he will be helping me I thought. Ran out of cement to mix while laying down the pillars, so I asked him to go and buy. He wasted the whole evening sitting down with his boys and playing cards while I was at home with the workers waiting for him’. Mom still can’t forgive what happened about 30 odd years ago. Brings it out every time they have a major fight. Dad cannot let go of how Mom wouldn’t often let him enjoy finally some free time off duty back in the country.

Standing in position, asked to choose one, honestly I never really felt they belonged together. Mom was too good to be my dad’s wife. She was loyal to him and very devoted to us. Young. Could have found herself a family man. But chose to be with my dad, who was still very boyish in his heart and mind, with no sense of responsibility. Dad, quite charming at his age, still young as well could have left home and gone off on his search for finding himself, instead grounded himself with us showing up often in front of our door. Unfortunately for the pair, Mom had quick temper and sadly with his complex personality ‘Dad’ was her main trigger.

Standing today, I don’t blame either of them. They were both right in their own ways. Mom felt trapped and Dad felt overwhelmed. They were naive and the world around them was changing ever so much and moving so fast. But despite how worse it got we did see them try very hard individually to keep us ‘their children’ in their lives. And ‘trying your best’ is all you can do sometimes.’Would it have been nice if we had a normal family too?’. Well we were not even sure what we were asking for back then. Everything is forgotten and forgiven now. From our end.

I don’t judge. At least I try not to judge when my patient’s children refuse to make amends with them even in their death beds, do not make time to come to hospital when they are critically unwell, refuse to participate in any decision making for them and leave them in hospital beds for christmas holidays. In same ways, I try, try not to judge my patient’s decisions to be emotionally distant from their family members. It would be nice though for everyone to have someone to support them in their difficult times. But, when relationships are broken and are left broken at the time when both parties are rationally able to think from both perspectives, chances are they will never be reformed again and, by choice.

‘I cannot leave, watching faces of you and your brothers and sister’, Mom would say tearful. She couldn’t. She was dependent on my dad financially at the time, ‘and children need their father’. ‘I cannot leave’, Dad would say, knowing if he didn’t provide financially we were in trouble. In very knitted close society where they both grew up in, ‘divorce’ wasn’t an option.

It is important for women to be financially independent,’ I will always emphasise that statement over and over again to every generation of girls out there. Would you rather not be in a relationship where you had many choices but you chose to be with your partner than being strapped to one because you had no options? By nature, we as humans appreciate things more when we know our pick was the best in the slot. Individually my parents were great people, were they right pick for each other though? Married in their early teens, what did they know, how various influences in their maturing brains was going to impact their view of their partners 5 or 10 years down the line?

I get distraught at the idea of so many women choosing to not have careers. Especially young women. Sold at idea of marrying rich and living comfortable lives at earning of their husband. Doesn’t matter if he is married with 2,3, 4 or 5 wives. As long as he spends on you and you don’t need to clock in your time working for anybody right? Being a housewife to fulfil parental responsibilities/ care duties I understand, it is a full time job on its own, better to save than paying a stranger for hours. But what about other times? When one is fully dependent on another person every day of ones life, you are giving them full control and power over you. And that is a dangerous thing, because power and control eventually follows violence and abuse. When you are choosing to be stay at home wife, there is money being spent on you, irrespective of what you choose to believe. Money that comes out of his bank account as a proof of how much it is costing to have you with him, in a condition that you provide absolute loyalty and undivided attention. When the relation dynamic changes for any reason, your loyalty that he perceives as bought which he has full transactions for, will be used to prove that you had no input, asset invested or loss incurred in this relationship. There is no ledger to display emotional support you have invested on him, hours you have waited on dinner table to serve home cooked food, doing household chores etc. So, with the dissolution of relationship, you have lost time , mental peace while he has walked out with no repercussions to another one. If you are lucky hopefully he left you a little alimony money to get you started again with education or career. Who is to blame? His feelings changed so he changed.

Just work. If you are not the one willing to share your husband either. Where he is providing for you and his singular control on your life is disseminated among his other partners so you are ascertained a degree of freedom for yourself. We didn’t fight for our rights for equality for women to be victims. If you made an active decision to have it easy, you must have thought about the consequences of it. You can’t have both ways.

‘Women will always be in advantage to men no matter how they want to subdue her.’ My mom says. ‘Look at animals & birds, its always the males seeking for attention, fighting amongst themselves for the winning the mating rights with females. Nature made us weak but important in our roles to give off springs. Only the toughest, healthiest and skilled male were to have the privilege to shire next generation. Given a choice you had to put down a rooster or a hen, a bull or a cow, a dog or a bitch; what would you choose? Men didn’t want those rules because that would mean many would not have that privilege. So it was essential they conquered us and reduced our status so we were forced to pair and reproduce with them. Women are now educated, have reached powerful positions, can speak up and are levelling their fields of mating games. You would see why patriarchal values would have problems with that, don’t you? That’s why women should always marry at or above their levels. A man who wants an upper hand and does not pose a challenge, should not be worth her time. She should keep her standards high. People say, a woman increases the value of a man. They forget, just as much the dress or jewellery she wears, a man needs to complement her status. For a woman, a man is her biggest prize. Naturally she is picky. If you are wealthy- you are a hard worker, a leader ‘quality attributes’, if you are smart- you are adaptive, survival traits ‘quality attributes’ , if you are good looking, well built, fit -good genetic attributes. In the end, no matter how it pans out, physically we may be disadvantaged but remember, men need us and they will be killing themselves and prize would still be us, the women. So rather than fearing us, men should accept us, to live and to let live, in peace and harmony.’

Greatest achievement we as women had in our history was development of contraceptives. Because this meant we were now in control of our fertility. Snatched from us again, no autonomy over our own wombs anymore, no abortion rights; I am thinking about my mom’s statements ‘women are levelling’, ‘they will always want upper hand’. I read some controversial articles a few days ago about brain dead women patients being able to deliver baby vaginally or via c-section, their body acting like a hatchery of some sort for the fetus till its complete development… What does ethical committee have to say about that? What about uterine transplants? The ethical implications of it from live donors? To avoid legal obstructions of surrogacy and third party related effects, would it be the favourable path in future for childless parents to conceive? What will be done to prevent human exploitation of our genders to benefit society in name of religion, politics and science?

I wonder if it is really true that society does start moving backwards when it has reached its maximum potential. While I see girls and women in east working hard to fight for their independence to gain personal, religious and financial freedom; I feel young women in west are willingly giving up on those rights oblivious to struggles and oppression faced in the east in absence of these rights. Young generation of girls and women there in east are now very motivated , pursuing education, jobs and careers. And they have done remarkably well. I suppose in a society, when you see your value as a commodity to be easily auctioned or replaced, the only way out for us as women was to outbid those buyers. So if we don’t want to be traded like cattle again, we have to work for our freedom, maintain our standards and teach next generation of our children to value and keep it as well.

So you’re a doc, a foreign cuisine and Corona happened. (Why the beginning? )

Hey doctor, did you forget to change your face mask?’ Our nurse in charge stopped me before hopping from one cubicle to another cubicle to see COVID patients. ‘Oh, sorry’, I replied immediately, laughing at my forgetfulness. Remembering the time, in the midst of a pandemic when I splashed water in my face without realising I had a mask on.

It is February 28th/2023 today and ‘No, COVID hasn’t gone away yet’. But as I have claimed before, it isn’t as intimidating as it used to be. Juggling your memory again, ‘remember that time? December 2019? When city of Wuhan in China first went into lock down to control the deadly virus from spreading elsewhere.’

I started writing amidst of pandemic waves. Overtime I have talked about lots of things. The beginning of all these parrot tale was a silly story which I have mentioned before. Basically I had a dream. I don’t remember the details of it now, but I do recall ‘sort of being instructed to write’ and ‘sort of being introduced to this title’ and, ‘feeling good about scribbling something in my dream that I have no clue what it was.’ The memory of it is all vague, it has been more than a year. But I do remember mentioning to my ex saying, ‘I feel like I need to write about this, about this pandemic’, that morning. I don’t know if he has any recollection of it. People have all sort of dreams. My friend mentioned once she had a dream where she was a flying ninja fighting crime in the city. Like who sees that? Is that normal? Something about this one though, it planted a sincere and undying motivation, almost like a promise to myself, to sit in front of laptop and start hitting the keys every chance I get, no matter how tired or lazy I felt. I didn’t know where to start but I had to. Am I religious? I don’t know. Is there God? I believe there is. In that case, do I think it’s God’s message then? Certainly not, I wouldn’t go that far. Bonkers! Experts believe, ‘dreams are revelations of your subconscious minds.’ Maybe, somehow I found a way to tap into mine that night.

It was a work at first. I didn’t want to jot the bleak situation of hospital capacities, circumstances of deaths with the virus infection, forlorn eyes of mourning individuals, resentful words of grief stricken families, hateful comments with racial slurs, fears for own health & families safety and physical/emotional burnouts; but those were the realities. Re-living the emotional experience whilst writing when I could push it and shove it down, like an adult, never to be spoken about; may have been an option but I chose not to do so. 12- 13 posts down the line, writing became more easier, sort of a way of venting to express myself and I suppose at that point, it started becoming a selfish endeavour to save myself.

My intention in some ways was also to give ‘the readers’, a peek of life of a medic. A glimpse away to lives inside hospital walls, the ups and downs we face in our career living up to our responsibilities and in our personal lives; in a hope that you see these individuals not just as a professionals but also as a son or a daughter, your friend or your colleague, your uncles or aunts or your father or mother. That you are kind to them. ‘Yes every profession deserves a kindness’, I am not here requesting any more ‘just at a level you would give any individual at your standing.’ The world seems to have forgotten that as a medic in our profession, ‘we deserve some humility and respect too’.

No, it is not right that you curse the nurse in front of zillion other patients when she is not answering your call. She is looking after 9 more patients on her own and, is currently on a drug round. ‘

‘Yes, he does have right to not forgive you after the temper tantrum you have shown for your quote *had a bad sleep*’.

‘We do have every right to refuse to treat you as a doctor as you have a right to be refused being treated by us’.

‘Please cover yourself. It is basic human decency. Not to flash your breasts or penises when we are specifically not examining those parts’.

‘We will attend you, however there are long list of patients waiting before you, unless it is a life threatening emergency. We need not tolerate emotional or physical intimidation because you want to jump the queue’.

And most importantly. ‘No you do not get any excuse to rain down on another individual just because you are sad, lonely, angry or in pain.‘ Would you have tolerated it, if it happened to you in your profession? Why are we any different?

I ask you, would you kindly see me or my colleagues beyond our stethescope on our necks and our badges reading ‘doctors’ and accept us like any other individuals in society with running clocks of our own private lives? Just as you? We are men and women in careers, each one of us with our own personalities and a background of running commentary. Would you see us as humans too? Yes we have certainly adapted to restraining our emotions but we still feel. Your expressions whether its happiness or anger, affects our days. At the end of the day, we do take a lot of emotions back to our homes. We do need a period to switch off, unwind, hit the power button and recaliberate ourselves. It is not fair to be expected to be available 24/7 like movie industries portrays our commitment to profession should be like. It is not fashionable, as it seems. Please don’t expect us to stay another hour individually for your service especially to vent about receiving minimal service and threatening to leave.

The number of hospital admission have sky rocketed compared to 10 years ago in the NHS, I am sure so is the case all around the world. Quality of life has improved on various domains of people’s lives including work environment but I am not sure if that has been the case in our profession. My seniors could argue ‘our lives is much better now’ but, that would be like me arguing ‘quality of children’s lives is much better now’. Children now don’t even know if they are humans or goats. And schools are entertaining drag shows to kindergartners. Look where we are standing in human history.

On 13th March, Doctors in England are doing a 72 hour mass walk out as an industrial action for pay restoration. In the past, I had commented in my post that doctors and nurses were being paid less in significant percentage than they were being paid in these profession, years prior. My phone is blinking continuously now from constant messages posted on junior doctor’s forums, mainly sharing information from different trusts that are releasing intimidating messages to their employees suggesting their will be consequences for their actions. Disciplinary actions, loss of pays. So, everyone including me who has just joined a new hospital in a new rotation are basically sitting on hot seats now.

I came across a very interesting post on tiktok. (Oh yes, since I have returned from Nepal. Now I have started using tiktok. hahahaha). The post (Huw Corness) on 02/Jan 2023 reads ‘When I qualified as a nurse in 2010 my basic hourly wage was £10.83 and freddos were 10p so I was paid 108 freddos an hour. The nurses who qualify now start on £13.84 an hour and freddos are 25p so they are paid 55 freddos an hour’. I hope this gives you some idea of why it is necessary to stand in unity for support. Not to forget, our profession undoubtedly is a big chunk where tax revenue comes from.

You don’t have to necessarily support the cause. I will agree there are plenty jobs which deserves more limelight than us. That I have utmost respect for. But I hope, you will keep in mind when you enter the hospital premises next time that these are the professionals that are trying their best to their jobs, to provide you with help that you came seeking for, at their doors. You are not a prisoner unless of course you were brought in handcuffs by the police. As much as we treat you individually and with respect, please’ remember to reciprocate.

So you’re a doc, a foreign cuisine, heading thirties and Corona happened (Dilemmas) ;)

So you aren’t marrying any time soon?‘, one of my aunts asked quite perplexed. Studying my face closely for answers, trying to decipher any hidden secrets my expressions might give away that she was sure I was not telling her. ‘I will. Eventually. Don’t think I am in right position to marry yet. And quite frankly don’t think I have met a person to make a husband.’ Her eyes became huge as if they would pop out soon and she said, ‘You are a doctor in UK! You make 4 lakh a month on your salary. You are getting old. Of course you are in the position to marry. What? What are you saying? There are but men everywhere to be married. Look at you. Who will say no to you?‘. ‘Aunty. Stop it’, I replied laughing, a little shy, but feeling somewhat boosted in my ego. ‘We will find a handsome Nepalese man for you. Within our ethnicity. Khas(Native Nepalese) speakers don’t understand value of our families and communities’. ‘There we go again’, I said in my head, ‘the same thing I talk with my Mom over and over’. Its good enough I am agreeing to marry Nepalese, why go hunting deeper into a pond of only few available eligible choices right? 😉

I have many cousins and friends travelling to Nepal to marry into their ethnicities. Surprisingly most that I know, brought up and raised in UK also married within the same or similar characteristics. Primary reasoning factor being, trust therefore the security it came with but also they felt, partnership was much better built on foundation where they both knew what there backgrounds were. Aunts and cousins play big role being matchmakers in asian communities. Love stories are great, but modern arrange marriages are topping the competitions for fulfilling marriages; thanks to them! Bless my aunts they are keen but here is glitch, I have a british citizenship.

Let me explain. Undoubtedly there is a big hype of wanting to live in the western developed nations in Asia. There is a myth that as soon as you enter the country, you become rich! Of course there is conversion factor of pound to Nepalese equivalent that plays a role. And ‘yes’ UK is better in infrastructure, and facilities but the mindset of Nepalese community is such that, they put these countries at high pedestal. And only goals most of youngsters and working population of our generation is focused is on finding a gate away from there. So I can’t be sure if a guy I am choosing to be with is, with me because of my merits or because he wants the citizenship? If he is compatible, honourable, trustworthy, hardworking that is fine. As his partner I will help him learn the ways, but I have heard stories from my cousins or cousin’s friends (you know how it goes) that some of these men they married were lazy, egoistic and refused to work when their bachelor’s degree on specific fields were not recognised by the UK. Stating they will not be working minimum wage job and it was humiliating for them; whilst boasting to his friends back home his wife owns a house in the UK. He selectively chooses not to believe there is mortgage she is paying and will be paying for 19/20 years. Meanwhile he doesn’t mind depending on her fully to support him. Worst story I have heard so far was, a woman falling in love with this amazing guy with a great personality who was always well dressed with smart attire, full shirt and full pants. Only to realise after marriage, he was an IV drug user with needle marks everywhere who eventually died of heroin overdose, here. Mom has had enough of these stories of men. For someone who is insisting, I am running out of my choices, she seemed glad to see me in one person with no one’s arm around me, following my trip to Nepal.

Similar story was other way around. Although to much lesser extent in numbers. With wives of my related cousins and friends. Women were being brainwashed by sudden exposure to these huge influences on medias, all sorts of information overload; eventually causing them to break away from her family & personal commitments and leaving their partner with children, eloping with their lovers. For some reason, my mom seems super conscious of the inevitabilty of the second one , therefore is actively looking for a suitable Nepalese woman ‘here’ in UK for arrange marriage for both of my brothers. Good luck finding that! I guess it is a hard pill to swallow, if you think about it. When you actively seek the person, travel overseas to bring them to you, to make them a part of your life and then to feel betrayed.

There have been worse circumstances including kidnapping, forgery and scamming people to obtain the blue pass. Some so traumatic that I am unable to write the detail here. It would baffle anyone with a good heart to know, people will go to any length to take advantage of others. So yes, in a way holding the british citizenship makes me eligible and ineligible at the same time in the community overseas. Don’t get me wrong, there are men and women out there more qualified than me, good individuals who are also looking for right life partners. But one needs to be aware of these situations, than to regret later. Our concerns comes from situations that has happened to our own.

My mother used to say, in some villages, in her times, women would trap the gurkha men in the room with themselves in purpose to later claim they have been violated therefore he needs to marry her. The events happened in masses when the men came back to their homes for holidays. And some women didnot care that they were already married or had children. It was sort of ‘a mad hype’ as mom stated, as gurkha men were considered very eligible bachelors and, most of theses women wanted their way out to the west. On finishing her tale, mom looked at us and said, ‘You are tickets out for some men out there. Be careful’.

I did introduce my Italian ex to my parents. Yes I’d say 5-6 months was too soon. But he was certainly cheeky with it, got me in a position where I had to breech the topic of me dating him. And second, after my previous relationship, I felt, maybe I did take too long time to introduce Joey. I have now broken up with him but when one of my parents asks ‘how is he doing?‘. I can’t help but to reply ‘Yeah. All good’. They wouldn’t believe if I said, ‘we have moved on’. ‘That’s what we talked about dating men of the west’ mom would have said and rolled her eyes at me.

I don’t know if it is really a thing, but I have picked up on social medias that men in USA and European countries now are going to asian countries to bring back home a wife/partner from those countries. I guess in asian communities, we were raised in a very closely knitted family values so ultimately, culturally and socially we are programmed to choose men who have that readiness and values we are looking for to have our own starts. Asian men we know in most instances came from those setups. When western men show up and express those commitment in genuine ways, it wouldn’t be surprise for women to accept them as potential suitors as well. I don’t know what the verdict on it is, but having seen the both ends, I will tell you this, ‘an asian woman, especially her friends and family, will have lot of reservations and resistance to just pick a bag, leave a country and marry a man of the west. Until and unless of course she knows him a lot better and is willing to take a chance. A big chance‘. You could be a trafficker, for god sake! Take for instance, my friends absolutely admired Joey. He was amazing person but on every chance they get, being the family they are to me, with 100% good intention they would still always ask me ‘are you sure?’. And we were together for 3 years! As much as I believe, world is a free ticket and you are allowed to marry where you find love. Please do not forget you need to be a man or woman of high value yourself to expect a man or woman of high value. I won’t lie to you. ‘Yes’ the perception is ‘because they could not find the right partners in their countries’. Same for me, when I am choosing to go back and be arranged in Nepal. People will have perceptions of all sorts. It may sound negative but it is true to an extent. It doesn’t mean there are no high values partners in the west, maybe you haven’t met one. You felt there are more chances and you took the chances, you did the right thing for you. Only thing to suggest is, do evaluate, spend some time, find out ‘does your potential partner have the virtues you are looking for or have they got more ulterior motives?’ before you fly them over across the continent. God bless, you have found your right match and a wholesome partner for life.

One of my Nepalese colleague from a different department approached me at my work one time and asked, ‘You are still single right doctor?’ . ‘No. I am seeing someone’. ‘Nepalese?’ she then asked. ‘English‘.I answered. ‘Married?’she questioned. ‘No’, I replied. ‘Great!’, she suddenly then gleamed excitedly and said to me, ‘Would you be interested in my brother. I will give you his number’. ‘But I am already on a relationship’, I stuttered. ‘Yes. But he is white. It won’t last’.

I wonder, if my Asian mom and friends have been watching too much of James Bond movies? Candy eyes and a player. And they think all men in the west or any other countries apart from ours are like that. Or whether there is a secret message, they want me to decipher without having to tell me. My parents were fine with my ex, I would go as far as to say, they like him enough to ask about him. But looking at how chill Mom has been, all about it, I have been wondering whether she believes she knows the eventual outcome, which is ‘it really doesn’t matter?’. It is hard enough to be judged in a stereotypical way, ‘you are asian, why are you not choosing our kind?’. But to be met with a silent stare and tight pursed lips that shouts, ‘I told you so,’ is again whole another thing. Honestly, there is no winning. Welcome to life on single immigrant woman in thirties!

So you’re a doc, a foreign cuisine and Corona happened. (Bye bye 2022. With love. Part 6)

There was a time when thinking about attending social functions like dinner, birthday parties, weddings; I had to gauge ‘is it worth it for the loss of my day for laundry, netflix and personal time.  Should I catch up on my sleep till late morning or make arrangements for the trip? Would the day be better spent catching up to my emails? Darn, my exam is only a few weeks away. I feel quite tired, I don’t think I will be able to enjoy it even if I made a show.’  Only a few absolutes were in my list that I wouldn’t allow myself to talk out of; everything else was secondary to the job/career. No thoughts were involved. ‘Thinking, then overthinking’ that was a downhill slope I was trying to avoid. 

A friend of mine who has been back to training from her career break went awol on us for a few days recently on whatsapp. Very unlike her. When we caught up, she said, she felt she was starting to experience burn out again. Good thing is, she was recognising the signs early. We didn’t mind. Amongst us, all of us have been in that place. Where we are trying to focus just on the task forward, a step at a time, everyone else & everything else will have to wait for us to have that space. The other said, she has been assessed. Would need at least 16-24 private sessions with psych to help her through it ‘depression and burnouts’. 60£ an hour. ‘Nhs waiting list is long. I had to go private. But even if it is around 1K, which will be more expensive with additional sessions, I don’t have the time’. All of us knew it was going to be hard when we entered the profession. All of us felt it would be manageable. Sometimes, it’s evidently proving more difficult than we expected. I feel blessed to have this support network of friends in the same profession as I am. Someone to speak our minds clearly with, someone who understands when one of us quotes, ‘I just feel bitter sometimes. Sometimes I feel I hate my job’. 

 ‘Easy things that I shouldn’t even be stressing about like the thought of waking early and not being on time for work stresses me out,’ my roommate said. ‘Even in my dreams I am chasing after the bus. I feel sad at the thought of it.’ Again, I can completely relate to her. Sometimes I wake up from sleep having heard the oncall bleep go off, at home, when I am off duty! Sharing  experiences like that to one another, trust me, earns you good long term friends. If you haven’t yet found it, there you go. One of the main advantages of our profession. I am soon going to be a bridesmaid for a beautiful bride-to-be, who I met first as colleague 5 years ago, 2 hospital jobs prior. 

Lots of lives changed due to the pandemic. In many ways mine too. I feel like, had it not pushed me to the edge, I would have still been a foolhardy person trying day & night to soak up all the stress, suppress all the frustrations and continue. I would have tried to put on a brave face as well and signed up to more hospital  training for ‘resilience, time management, working under stressful environment’ perhaps while losing internal integrity of myself. We all have read, friends of the deceased say ‘we didn’t have a clue. He was always on time, smiling and cheerful at work’. There are always subtle hints, I think, but we are too busy looking more into them.

I completely unrooted myself from one country to integrate into the society of a different country, navigating through my life while accepting English will be my tongue from here forward. In a profession of learned and intellectual individuals with graduates from Oxford, Harvard  when language fails, it is hard to avoid the first judgement. Inevitable, I would say. ‘So we push ourselves way harder, maybe to prove our worth’ I seem to agree with Dr Gabor Mate on this. Confidence overtime feels dimming down slowly, trying to fit in, in all the boxes.

I don’t think it was ever about resilience; the world I have seen, things I have been through, the degree of patience I had to have to be here where I am. I know the word very well. I have pinned the main issue  now; for me problem was  losing my head space to think, feeling trapped in a continuum and losing my own identity. Coming from a family where my parents were; farmers then into the military, trust me when I said ‘I am stressed’ I was swallowing my pride asking for that help. I wouldn’t have. If I hadn’t realised, everything that was inside me was manifesting around me. I think the pandemic did do me a big favor in that sense. And looking back I only take that experience as a big learning phase about finding myself. As my friend did, I am now able to recognise the early signs.

Of course, NHS is ever so busy. And the job is stressful as 99% of my colleagues would agree. Here is the catch, hadn’t it been so stressful, would everyone around us not have pursued it? What I mean when I say it, being an eye opener, was finding out where my limit of stress tolerance was, what are the red lights for me, what do I need to watch out from here forward? And having been through it now, what could I have done, what can be done to avoid similar in future. 

I managed to get the support I needed from my superiors and the training programme director in time. This is why choosing a region to train was very important to me and I advise, should be the main thing a graduate should be looking into. I doubt if I was a trainee in the West Midlands, I would have got the same level of help. With a lot of trainees deferring themselves from the system, hospital trusts are trying to be more accommodating now to trainee’s needs but it often seems to be optional, not necessarily the case with the system being in pressure to run 24/7. Nevertheless I would advise, please reach out, one would never know where and what help you can get unless you ask. Hopefully you will at least find someone to signpost you.

My returning objective now back to work and to training  is to protect my headspace at any cost. Of course to pass the exam, pass the year but also to aim to completely segregate my professional from personal life. It can be difficult, unfortunately we are not computers to hit the refresh button, but knowing this is a ‘must to do’ is helpful.  One thing I have done to secure this is, I am returning back as a trainee at 80% part time. 20% ‘out’ is to work on my personal goals. I am a person outside of my career with lots of roles; as a daughter, a sister, a friend, a girlfriend, a neighbor. To have what I want to keep while making sure I maintain at top of my productivity, cutting down on my hours was a necessary sacrifice. Particularly because this is also the time I have chosen to work on being a better version of me. Carve out those gaps that makes me feel insecure about myself. Like culinary skills. I may not become a chef but at least be able to cook a few healthy lunches/dinners to invite friends over right? Instead of ordering takeaways every time? How am I Nepalese without knowing how to make dumplings? Definitely, this year I will be investing in driving.  Then I could just drive myself anywhere, take myself to beaches, sightseeing, for the long drives, my family to picnic, road trips.  Moving around and packing my life into boxes wouldn’t be so much hassle anymore. And then there are lots of travel plans. 

I follow Jim Rohn’s motivational speeches on various topics relating to achieving success and living a better life on Youtube. The man speaks of nothing but golden words. Even his random utterance is probably worth a thousand dollar bill for commoners like me, filled with life changing advice. Just the other day I was tuned to one of his videos where I heard him say, ‘the major question to ask on a job is not what are you getting but what you are becoming?’  ‘Focus on your personal development. The major key to your better future is you’. He had emphasised.  ‘Work on your attitude, philosophy, personality, language, gift of communication, work on all your abilities’. 

There are hours of brilliant speeches out there from him. Here are other quotes from his talk called ‘Recharge your mind’, that I have copied here which I will use as mantras to guide my future.

You can’t change the winters, you can’t change the seasons but you can change yourself. You can get wiser, stronger and better’. 

Learn to take advantage of the spring. You got to seize it with your own two hands. There is a sense of urgency here. Don’t waste your springs, don’t just let them pass, pass, pass hoping time will pass.’ 

And in summer learn to protect, nourish and to do battles with your enemies. Some of the enemies are outside, some of them are inside’. 

I feel confident about continuing to sail my life to a positive direction. No babies in the plan for another year, no rings in the finger, paying salary, yeah I can buy myself flowers… I feel more accepting of myself ‘as a whole’. I appreciate the concoction I have become with fusion of both the worlds, absorbing best of the both countries across the globe. I don’t feel threatened anymore thinking my uniqueness as my weakness, like my ex used to say ‘exotic’, I have discovered in my eccentricity there is in fact power. Overall standing here in 2023,  the picture forward looks amazing. This is definitely a year for me, to march forward and conquer. Be the queen I was born to be.

So you’re a doc, a foreign cuisine and Corona happened. (Bye bye 2022. With love. Part 5)

So, I had a chance to visit Nepal during my 6 month break. The trip was short but had an amazing time. Met family and friends, went around for small trips to my favorite places. Good to know those places hadn’t changed much, kind of gives a stability to one’s memories for flashbacks. Like saying, ‘remember Mangalbazar where we used to sit down around durbar square for local tea? Yeah let’s go there’. Had momos ‘nepalese dumplings’. Lots of them everyday as much as I could. Anything else could wait another year or so if I didn’t get to stuff in this time! Cousins and related brothers & sisters had all grown up. Most of them were taller than me, some of them I couldn’t even recognise at first instance. Boys were all husky & hoarse with one or two sprouts of beard and moustache here and there. As for most mongolian asian men, that will be the most any of them will grow. But Omg their skins were clearer than mine! Girls that were once very much tomboyish now were very feminine with curvy bodies, long hairs and nail polishes & acrylic paints. Made me laugh and almost choke on my food at a party when I heard one of those boys now training to compete for Gurkha recruitment saying to his other mates, who are also his cousins, about the girls he was interested in. A couple of them! Particularly one he wished to court around to get attention and his plans for marrying her. Basically locking her into a relationship before going away! The way these boys think! Hahahaha. I am rooting for him but at the same time, a part of me also doesn’t want the girl to fall for him because I know where this route most often ends. Not uncommon for boys being head & heels in teens, jumping into marriage and then on his late 20’s or even 30’s sprouting other half of their brain; developing maturity and saying, ‘That was a foolish decision. We have nothing in common (after having children!). I have met the right woman now whom I want to marry’.  All good if he had the guts to come out open and be honest, but he thinks ‘as long as two women don’t meet’, he might be able to wing it off as long as it lasts. 2 wives in 2 different countries. Not just tragic for women, trust me, often tragic for men too.

Watched my girls all grown up, be adult women with their babies on laps. Got a ‘baby fever’, I think my hormones really got a good kick from my ovaries, protesting my stand against ‘overload of cuteness’ production. Feels like the instincts are kicking in now slowly, I didn’t think that would ever be the situation when I was growing up as a full fledged tomboy. Only ever held babies by choice in the past couple of years. Before that, I always had excuses. Don’t know how I ever got through pediatric rotation staying at least a meter away from them. I guess the trick was, always to pair up with a colleague who had powerful maternal skills and let them handle the baby while you chatted to their parents, do the charts and other things. 

They are wonderful moms. It boosts up a slight confidence in me now observing them. They tell me they don’t know anything about taking care of him or her but it seems to me they are doing a fine job. A little panicky now and then, a little anxious but all fine. Each one of them married great partners, all of whom seem to be wonderful dads. Most of my girls  met their husbands in medical school, others while in training and one pair since high school. So, knowing their husbands as friends since when I was a teen myself is very reassuring. It was an even more wonderful feeling in a sense that not only did I watch my girls be mothers and take these roles as adults but, I also had the opportunity to see colleagues/ friends assume their roles as fathers. Those girls were crazy, innocent at the same time, smart but a little socially challenged compared to other girls our age. And we did oh so many many stupid things. Did many happy dances, had cold wars… The list goes on and on. School was fun, thanks to the girls. Didn’t matter how tough it was, we pulled each other, shared notes together, covered for each other’s absences and when we passed each year we celebrated hard. Our big celebration being, sitting down with a few bottles of alcohol, drinking and dancing. Locking down the main girls dorm so that none of the crazy hens got out in the middle of night. Sometimes we’d go out for fancy dinners burrowing eachothers clothes, each one of us working on the other’s hair straightening or curling it. Oh my friends are definitely still crazy!  They still got those eyes but now, they have learnt to camouflage it better. A part of me was a little worried, they might have changed, but nah! We just got more babies in the picture. 

A twang of mild jealousy sure! Genuinely very happy for them but reminded me of my own little heartbreaks, bites away from my self worth and began questioning each one of my decisions. Took some days to reevaluate where I stand and,  I have come to the conclusion that, ‘I am actually glad I did not achieve some of these milestones. I will reach there when I am meant to get there and honestly, I don’t feel ready now at all. I don’t doubt anymore I will make a good mother. The world feels a better place having met amazing new parents who are genuinely great humans’.

‘When I made those goals, I was young. I didn’t account for my circumstances, for the hurdles I was going to encounter, the faded lines of the lanes that would cross on one and the other, here and there. I didn’t account for the times I had to stop to rest, to redirect myself, to self-talk and to keep pushing forward. There is no reason for me to feel that way, my friends’ journeys are not mine. We had different beginnings, throughout lives we have different paths and we will have different endings. Had to knock my head a little to tell myself ‘Don’t be a loser like that. Jealous of your own friends? Did I hear you were a little jealous of your own ex as well? Why? No, no, don’t be one of those losers. Passing time gossiping about others, catching on each other’s legs. Don’t waste time like that. Be happy for them. Work on your own insecurities so, you don’t give yourself a reason to feel that way’. 

And that’s the thing. ‘Working on my insecurities.’ As I have confessed many times before, I felt, my mind was all fogged, jumbled in a mess. It was like a cluttered room where I collected one more thing, dumped it there and just closed the door behind. Anxious that the room existed, even more anxious at the idea of sorting it out. Being back in the place where I previously was, with my friends who are very much the same;  reminded me where I came from and who I was. It helps, doesn’t matter what the mess looks like or the extent of it, but to know where at least the start of the mess is, because all you then do is follow the string and untangle it slowly. I see the problems here, here and here. What can I do for the solutions? What is my priority? What am I willing to lose for what I have to gain? What is it that I want? 

It’s okay, if you don’t know what you want for yourself yet. I will advise you to follow a route, keep track, rather than being absent minded and being nowhere. At least that way, by rule of exclusion, you will know whether the route you are following is definitely what you want to pursue. Goal at the end is finding happiness. To each of us, our definition of happiness is very different.

So you’re a doc, a foreign cuisine and Corona happened. (Bye bye 2022. With love. Part 4)

So I’m going back to training soon in about a week’s time. A bit anxious about starting in a new place, new colleagues and moving et cetera et cetera. Haven’t found the right place yet.  Started searching about  2 months earlier. I suppose I am being picky but with only a 6 months contract on hand and with landlords rejecting most applications under 1 year tenancy contract I doubt it’s just me.  I have found with my past experiences it helps immensely with my anxiety knowing the neighborhood, nearest grocery corner, bus stops and stations beforehand. Thankfully there seem to be a number of options for spare rooms too. Hopefully if not a bedroom apartment,  I am able to land a decent ensuite room with working professionals. It may be a whole new level of experience to share then. To think of it, I only have a couple of friends who are not medical! Like I must have mentioned before, you realize at some point it is really not okay to talk about malena, colour of vomit, traumatic catheter insertion inside someone’s pee hole and the deceased (of course with respect to confidentiality) in a Christmas celebration day! It can’t be normal right? 

As I have previously admitted before, I have had a good 6 months career break. I have had plenty of opportunities to self reflect. A combination of good days and bad days. But I wouldn’t trade back, not in a million years if someone said to me, ‘here, I give you 6 months on your career progression but don’t take career leave’. I would advise everyone to take it if you have been working continuously for 3-4 years or more.  It’s a different world out here with full control of your own time! You sleep when you want, you wake up when you want, you choose the days you work and make arrangements for your own leave! Without having to call the medical coordinator and your colleagues to discuss and lock down the possible dates 6 weeks in advance and bombarding the consultant’s email for authorizing swapsies.  And here is the thing, you get paid even more for the days you work!  Would it shock you when I say working locum  in this career break by picking up a few shifts, my 8 days normal hour shifts was equivalent to a month’s pay as a trainee (including out of hour night and day on call shifts) while picking my own dates to work! When I didn’t work, I was with my friends, with my family, pursuing hobbies, doing all sorts of things! Of course you do have to think about the deterrent; of choosing your freedom. Which is, you will stay stagnant in your career progression. Part time careers and  career breaks are a bit hit & miss when you enter the cycle but hey, if your objectives and goals in life align near to mine, it is only a minor setback. I can work for 6 months on a contract at a time as long as I know I am still on the route!

Do remember training in the UK as a doctor is long. Longer than anywhere else in the world. There is a big gap in the junior level workforce. Well I don’t doubt training may be made longer in the future to cover these gaps. Oh well, meanwhile a choice of life ‘working locums’ seems to be getting quite popular. And from my experience now, I say for the right reasons. If I am going to be in my late 30s or 40s by the time I become a consultant with the same or even more work load and, with additional responsibilities with a paycheck only a few hundred pounds more than a registrar in training, am I in a hurry to be a consultant anymore? Bearing in mind, I would now have worked almost a decade in training (odd hours, odd shifts, bank holidays and with a lot of sacrifices from my personal life) . The whole system shifting to consultant lead practices will not help the situation either. As it will mean another decades of intensive life  back in the system again like a trainee with bedside and out of hours works. And  with minimal training opportunities for the juniors to practice independently and develop their confidence. Which means more and more secretaries for the ward rounds, none practicing. Like my consultant says, ‘Secretaries can do your jobs better in documenting the ward round word by word then why do we need you people? Learn and practice’. Medicine is all about practice, practice and practice.

Another reason to say ‘of course’ to this lifestyle of locuming is, most of us are at that age, where we do want to travel, create memories of our lives while we still look good in pictures with full set of teeth, full hair on our heads and no incessant tic to filter our crow feet eyes. We want to have at least a small fund to afford deposit on our mortgages and have a start on the property ladder. Pay cuts are continuing to get bigger with increasing workloads. Job is getting more demanding by the day and honestly, getting through the day without sacrificing one’s personal life and mental health has become impossible. Prospect of a career seems like following a  never ending pursuit. Failing training because your training days are swapped with service provision is not acceptable? Doctors on strike, nurses on strike, medical staff on strike. What is an alternative out? With the rate some of us are experiencing burnouts, we won’t reach 66 to get our pensions. Actually by the time we reach 60s who knows what the pension age will be.

I was ambitious when I was young. There were certain time scales by which I was expecting to achieve certain things. These milestones were to gauge myself in respect to my family, friends, peers and the society. I believed back then very naively  life peaks at 30 and that’s it. My race was till 30. I had to be at the height of my career by 30, financially secure and be starting my family…  30 was the time I had to settle and slow down, having worked hard all my teens and twenties. I am in my thirties now! So from here where do I go? 

Policemen, military life; I would never dispute their life is harder than ours. No questions about it. Not even thinking about it. Only respect, respect. But then looking at the other job list, nothing else seems to be popping out of the adverts with 9am-5pm work hours and reasonable pay. Time is money. Value of money is getting smaller every second. Do you ever think, what is your time worth to you versus your employer? At this point of life, I am sure I speak for everybody when I say, we know we are the sheep. Meant to grind all our lives for our bread & butter. 5-6 years of medical school and 4-5 years of training. I am kind of disappointed  that I am restricted with my choices. I am not skilled in any equipment, any machineries, any specific traits for the jobs. I have a degree and that is it. Not that I don’t love the work I do, but wouldn’t it be a good thing to have a talent in something or a skill set? Not necessarily just or for a primary source of earning but also to have a degree of independence, a break of monotonous routine? Brilliant if it also becomes a small stream of  revenue. In the future, I will most certainly encourage my kids to learn building skills, sewing/tailoring skills, electrical/plumbing/ carpentry  or any skills that are universal and are handy in personal lives as well.  I learned how to change a bulb a year ago, taught by a friend. Usually I would have to call the maintenance guy or pay for that. Imagine it is that simple.  I was told all my life to focus on my studies alone, everything else was met by a comment either by Dad/ or Mom ‘If you are not going to be professional on it. There is no point learning it’. I suppose that’s how most Asian parents are. Anyways, should I have the determination and capacity to take the next career break I will most certainly invest it on one of the above. They say you are never old to learn new things. Professionals are really not that far away when You tube is exploding with them. Being in my thirties now makes me realise, even as adults we are still learning new things everyday. This acceptance of reality amplifies respect for the adults I had and have in my life. ‘There are uncertainties. We don’t know everything but we are trying our best’. Kudos to my millennial friends teaching financial freedoms and new ways of life to remaining of us and Gen Z. Thank you Gen X for sharing your life experinces, hacks for daily routines and motivational speeches to us.

It is important for every generations to have mentors and for every child to grow with positive mentors in their life.

Thousands ways to make life simpler and easier, all one click away. Had I looked, had I searched. I felt lost putting down my Stethoscope and going to bed watching same programs on repeat on Netflix, you know. This was definitely a needed break and an eye opener. I don’t feel we appreciate the value of mental and emotional freedom for our personal growths.

So you’re a doc, a foreign cuisine and Corona happened. (Bye bye 2022. With love. Part 1 )

Hello year 2023! I hope you bring health and happiness to everyone around the world. I am grateful to year 2022 for amazing memories with friends and families, for my emotional well being & mental space; to be able to  recuperate and find myself again. As I filled in the diary with a list of resolutions yesterday, I realised I was getting bolder with my ambitions and positively confident of the future; there was almost a moment of ecstasy when I felt for the first time in many years the haze in mind had completely gone. For the past few years, I had been feeling like I was walking just on muscle memories following a repeated routine, like there was a fog in my vision, there was a mental block in my clarity. And irrespective of the days and hours I took to repair my thoughts, to put them in words, to study myself under a magnifying glass, to self heal, to be in-charge again; it felt as though I was patching a leak over and over again. Waking up in the morning of 2023, I feel like a fresh new tire, ready to roll. 

At some point in my life, I started to develop this tradition of reflecting on the last days of the year. Looking back at my last post on the blog, I recalled some conversation I recently had with my parents about the rights of women. ‘It is wrong’, I had said while watching another news report of an Iranian activist walking on the street in protest for abuse against women. ‘You shouldn’t concern yourself with this’, my dad had said. ‘It is wrong. Yes. We all agree there is a culture of domination against women in certain countries but you also have to understand that these women are used to wearing hijabs and to their places at home, mosques and in society. For years. They were in acceptance of the restrictions implied to them. If it is in their religion, you and all people should learn to respect it.’ I didn’t understand why there was a question of respect raised here. I didn’t personally agree I was disrespecting anyone or their religion. So I was commenting to my dad ‘No, I didn’t mean…’

But in the middle of the conversation, my mom stopped me. She said, ‘I hope it works out for them. But compare an arabic woman, Iranian lets say to a western woman here. Decently dressed to one with a piece of rope between their bottoms and walking on the street. She may say, she didn’t intend to grab attention but oh she will. Dressing provocatively like that. Too much freedom, a dress like that if it’s even a dress speaks for itself speaks for her attitude. It makes a woman lose her values. Between those two women, who do you think has my respect? Who do you think I will stop to think again before I say anything or speak to? Religion is respect, it grounds you to society and its values’.Mom I understand that, I am not saying walking naked down in public is okay, I am saying…’ ‘Stop’. Both of my parents  made a face which over the years I have come to understand means ‘no further discussion from here’. When I was a kid, any further from this would have got me some whooping, now I am an adult woman. Still, I keep quiet. 

It’s hard to explain the frustration I felt, the discrepancies I felt of women’s value there, in parts of my country and here. There I used to feel like saying, ‘Oh come on, step up, fight for yourself’; here I feel like saying ‘Oh come on notch it down a little’. I was not surprised mom shut me down, but a little disappointed that she did. When she taught me my whole life, never back down what you believe in. Without saying, ofcourse, how you dress matters. But one should be able to wear whatever one is comfortable with. It would be nice to walk in shorts without having 1000 eyes on you when it’s hot and sweaty and sticky inside pants and it’s 29/30 degrees outside. Everyone has legs, it is only legs. I have just recently got back from my holiday in Nepal. Not that I didn’t know, but it hits different. Re-acknowledging the truth of how different people’s attitudes are in the world there and here. I wouldn’t feel safe walking alone at 8pm there. Here with our work rota, I used to have to walk 2am in the middle of night at home. And it still felt safer than there honestly.

Half an hour down 2023, Ukraine has been attacked by Russia, miles and miles away. While most people in most countries are at home enjoying a feast, young adults are hanging out at pubs and teens are partying at the clubs; nuclear weapons are being tested and military troops are getting organised somewhere else. An impending doom is looming over everyone’s head ,‘world war 3 is coming’ like Trump says. It has been a constant hum on the background in our routine lives for most part of 2022 I suppose. I hate what these world leaders are doing but again, wasn’t it inevitable? Looking at how the world was running for many years? There was a power play, mostly on one side. Scavenging for resources. Like every force in nature, balance needs to be restored and eventually nature will find a way.  It is sad, for humans, they are their own predators. Knives, Bombs and guns. Only humans can slaughter millions of themselves in one go. A rampaging elephant could have only murdered 5-6 people at most. She has found her perfect tool. Although wouldn’t you say, did hail plenty fury on us this year? With floods & droughts, wildfires, earthquakes and storms. Videos of the great blizzard of 2022, Buffalo New york are still circulating. Hope and pray, she calms down. And 2023 will see none of those.

AS for the war, it should not be the way to go ahead. But I salute men who have lost their lives for their countries. I salute even Putin for standing in his corner. There is honour and pride. Maybe this is military blood on me. But the world will hate him and Zelenskyy like I will, if we lose our lives & our loved ones all around the world because countries of 2 leaders could not come to an agreement in their dispute of a territory and could not shake their backs off & free their hands off the puppet masters. Ego is not the same as pride. Especially after the years we had in 2020 and 2021!

Restrictions are again being imposed by numerous countries on international travellers from China where cases of COVID have rapidly risen again after Covid quarantine & rules were lifted in the country. After 3 years of lockdown. Cannot believe how people there were coping with it? If you have followed my diary, without a doubt you know, I was in shambles.  It was sad watching updates on social media platforms showing people screaming out from their windows in apartments from one block to another, the drones constantly hovering around on the watch, people being forced to still remain inside. Thought finally it was getting over and here we go… Good news is ‘living with covid policy’ seems to be working here in the UK. Even with patients in hospital admission, most of those who have tested positive are usually incidental. I am more worried of a flu than COVID now. Honestly 🙂

So you’re a doc, a foreign cuisine and Corona happened (2 faces of same coin)

People are scared of the word ‘feminist’. They find the word to be very political and tend to stay away as much as they can. To be honest, I was no where near comfortable with the word myself in the beginning, till I started understanding it and embracing it myself. Yes, people might use the word variably implying different meanings, some are positive and some are negative. My understanding of it remains, that I, a woman, be treated in equal standings as to my male counterpart/ counter sex in my roles as an employee, at home and in my contributions to the community. That ‘I’ be not confided in my station as a house keeper, a wife or a mother and, be given equal opportunities as my brothers and male friends to showcase my talent, to prove my worth in world out there to be able to earn for myself my name, my honour and my status; irrespective of the name I inherited from my family or added by virtue of my marriage.

We were designed specifically by nature as men and women to be different in our capabilities and that is a solid scientific truth. We differ in our physical builds, physical stamina & strengths, emotional & nurturing attributes and many other things by make of our variance in our chromosomes; as XY for males and XX for females. I am petite and of small frame. If I even utter a single word called a ‘feminist’ my brothers and my male friends laugh jokingly, ‘Here’ they say, ‘lift these weight‘ pointing to 30kg dumbells ‘equality at work, work division’. Now, if I try hard, I can definitely lift those on occasions but not everyday, it definitely would not be a job suited for me. There are exceptional women out there who do it with no problem but I am speaking about majority of us. And I guess, here is where everyone is missing the point. Equality is putting someone at a platform where one is adjusted to a position keeping in consideration of all the abilities and skill set one possess while also keeping in mind where they might lack. In this case of dumb bells, I lack on physical strength. My skill would perhaps be more useful in other areas. Like hospitality. By virtue of nature, women are blessed with more comforting appeal. Most companies, on their front row for their customer service prefer women for this reason.

Some of my strong feminist friends may have a problem when I state, ‘I feel comfort & security at my father, brothers or boyfriend’s presence’. ‘You are independent woman, you should be able to defend yourself. Look after yourself, you don’t need a man’, they might say. ‘We don’t need a man’, that is correct. ‘In life one doesn’t need to need anyone. One chooses to have one. Family, a society’. There are people living out there all alone by themselves choosing to have no one. I will not deny for the sake of it, to my hardcore feminist friends, who I feel have clouded the definition; that I do have a natural predilection to feel safe in a masculine presence. Not necessarily a beast of a person, but someone who is stronger than me. And as far as I know, this is a joint feeling of most girls/women I have come across including my educated, self sufficient, strong headed, women in career friends.

For what we lack in physical strengths, we as women contribute as more emphatic individuals, as resilient other halves and on fostering emotional securities with our partners, with our children and in our communities. There are jobs where we are able to contribute equally and there are jobs where our counterparts might outperform us or we might out perform them. Feminism is understanding these differences, receiving equal treatment in terms of ‘the equality’ I talked about earlier.

When I talk about feminism, I am requesting to be equally valued for the sweat I put on the table like my male colleagues. That I be paid equally for equally valued work. That I be considered for career opportunities as well without someone whispering ‘oh shite’ learning that I am at prime reproductive age and knowing my plans for pregnancy. That I be not treated as ‘no good deal’, when I try to come back to work having lost months/years on child care. That I am at least given an opportunity to hone again on my skills, to prove myself and to be back on my career track. That my husband listens and respects my decision as much as I respect his and my contributions to our economic stability is as considered as important as his. That he values our times and our effort together in raising our children with no fuss on who does the dishes and who cooks food every night. And that in community, I am respected for my beliefs, for my values and I am allowed to exercise my freedom/ my rights as I see fit just as my other half is entitled to. That I be treated as equal citizen like the equal tax contribution I make every year.

Researches have shown men have higher suicide rates than women in majority of countries. By exercising domain over women culturally and religiously, our societies fails to see the pressure it is putting in our men. On our fathers, husbands, bothers and sons; who are expected to be the providers of the family. Working beyond hours, their muscles aching with fatigue, sleepless nights. There is no where else for them to vent their problems. They are expected to portray these strong characters at all times like they have it all under control, when inside they are falling apart. Needless to say, domestic violence is one of the consequences of these outburst of emotions, of failures of their unmet personal needs and compulsion to meets with standards of expectations the society outlines for them. Sharing that responsibility of economic burden and the decision would help them ease on their duties while making us ‘the women’ feel more empowered and more liable for our decisions. Would it not be a win-win situation.

‘A woman that is not happy, is a home that is broken’, the saying goes. I won’t say there aren’t women living in comfort of their lavish life style given by their husbands, only a minority; at the same time, there are women out there who want to read, to work and find their independence. To each their own. I will certainly say, a woman that works has less problem to discuss when you are home from work. Hahahaha 😉 . Same goes for a man, by the way. ‘Idle mind is a devil’s workshop.’ Anyways, my point is ‘Feminism’ is power that gives women a choice to make their own decision about themselves, about their life. To be and to stand as an equal in eye of law, in her position in the family, in the community and in the world. It is not about dominance or exercising power, or saying I am genetically superior than you, it is about accepting that we are equal halves. That we should contribute equally, that our problems are shared and not yours alone. That we are two wheels of same cart or the two faces on one coin. So we belong together not on division.

So you’re a doc, a foreign cuisine and Corona happened (Never ending)

My heart bleeds out watching footages of what is happening in Iran right now. Watching news of thousands of women, men and children brutally murdered in their fights for basic human rights of gender equality. #MahsaAmini (hashtag) is now circulating all over the internet with people from all over the world voicing their solidarity for the ongoing revolution. The wake of the movement that now floods the mountains & deserts , every nooks and corners of Iran began with death of a young woman named ‘Mahsa Amini’, allegedly whilst in custody of morality police who enforce a ‘dress code’ of wearing a veil; having found her hijab did not cover enough of her hair! Can you believe it?

Here I was discussing about rights of women to abortion a few posts earlier. Forget about rights of abortion. There are 2 persons involved in making of the embryo. If the product in your womb is a contribution of emotionally immature sexist bigot, even in today’s day and age, you are destined to lose that fight. You no longer have autonomy of control to what happens to your womb anymore in some countries. According to The New York times published on 08/11/22, at least 13 states have now banned the law of the constitutional rights to abortion in US… As women, we have lost so much control to our basic rights that even hair? Like letting down your hair down and not keeping it covered is a crime? That you could be sentenced to death for it? What can be so atrocious and sexually promiscuous about one’s hair? How can a woman be indecent on just showing it? I don’t understand.

I have grown up in belief that hair is a woman’s ornament. My grandmother used to say, ‘thick black and long hair, that is all you need to feel beautiful.’ A fresh flower in her hair bun at least every other day, is my memory of her face. ‘Do not ever cut it’, she used to tell me. You can trim it but do not cut it’. She wasn’t happy when my mom cut off my curls of rough rusty blackish brown hair when I was little, in a hope to grow it black. ‘Hair is woman’s ornament’ she said ‘you have taken that away from her’. Is it that all Iranian women now need to shave their heads and walk bald to make sure that their beautiful lushes don’t fall off on a show from their hijabs? What’s the next step. Do not keep your nails as well? One should be given a choice at least. Hair is a part of woman’s beauty. Compelling it to be forcefully hidden, I feel, is an ultimate dominance upon women kind. Does Iranian law have these restriction for men as well? Not just scalp, but beard and moustache included? In western world, hair industry is multi million business!

I donot think what is now happening in Iran is getting enough international coverage. I feel it is at these times our social celebrities like desperate house wives of wherever and kardashians, that the world looks up at as goddesses of feminine energy should step up. Step up their games, with their thousands of the followers to get the attention it deserves. Would really help instead of catty dramas 😅🙄 World now needs these women of influence and power. To stand at the platform to speak for women who have no voice.

It seems like a never ending circle. I don’t know how the world comes around to it again and again. You need your other half to complete your family, a part of circle of your life. A woman gave you birth. I am sorry if you never received a nurturing woman’s love as a mother, a sister or a wife. Had you have it, you would have understood their pain. And now your taking it out against every woman out there, driving terror and acting on madness. I am a spiritualist, not a religious person per se. But I know there is a name in every book of faith and religion for a beings like that, that is restless, in rage and lustful in bloods & vengeance against humanity; they are called ‘demons’. And there is a special place for them I am told, in the place of justice that sees right from wrong, a wolf from the sheeps and I hope, I pray for all the lives lost in these revolutions, for peace of their souls; that you rot in there, that you burn in never ending fire of eternal flame and you feel in each fibre in your body the pain you have inflicted to those you have depraved of love, family and even basic minimal rights of freedom a human born in this earth is entitled to.

#Mahsa Amini

Reign of the Queen ( so you’re a doc, a foreign cuisine and Corona happened)

After more than 70 years of reign on the throne, Elizabethan era has now come to an end with demise of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96, on September 8th 2022. Her successor Prince Charles has been crowned the new monarch with the title King Charles III as the head figure of the United kingdom and 14 other common wealth countries.

King Charles III has been stated to be the oldest king to ascend the throne in British history, which reflects well on late Queen’s good health, enthusiasm and dedication to her duties of the crown. 10 days of mourning period was announced for the nations to grieve their loss and bid their farewells. In good words. In words where her subjects sang of the pride and elegance she held herself with, of the smiles she brought in each of their homes supporting and encouraging them to stand for unity, with a face of a mother in soft spoken & polite voice but never faltering addresses to the world representing her people and the crown; as a force to be reckoned with.

She did well’, my mom said. And I nodded my head. In some ways, for us, she is a loss not only of a monarch of the lands but of a figure ‘the women in us’ look up to. In a world where we know how little our lives as women can make an impact and is valued, she stood like a burning flame of a mythical bird phoenix. Had their been a male heir on line of descent, she would have never succeeded the throne either at the time. She embraced her role. Needless to say, did it very well.

Prince Charles III does seem to have a big shoe to fill in with his royal image. Especially with his history with late Princess Diana and Prince Andrew still on public image as sex offender. ‘That happened under her rule. Can she have done something more?’, my friend is not so impressed of the hymns being sung . ‘I don’t know,’ is my answer. ‘Not every criminals are born to felons. Sometimes despite nurturing homes, despite royal status’. There is a big public scrutiny over every royal family members of the link. On that note, I am impressed by District court of New York. ‘No one should be above the law. ‘

‘Why are you in the kitchen? You are going to burn it down’. My mom used to say every time she saw me in our kitchen. To be fair in her part, I am someone who even burns tea. As in I’ll put something in stove, half an hour down the line, there is no sight of me and the vapour has evaporated, the residues of tea has stained yet another pot and I am on scrub duty for another half an hour.‘You have other things to do’, she would say. Always.

To this day I don’t know how to cook properly. I swear, until now when I go home, my sister packs me food of 3-4 days worth and sometimes, even takes days off or clears her schedule to grind in the kitchen for me. Hey! I can cook some things. But they just wouldn’t have me in the kitchen and, it has sort of become a tradition now to ‘scare’ me away as soon as I am spotted. Like they do to crows in my country when one spots in veranda as a bad omen.

‘You don’t need to learn this’, mom often said watching me paying attention to how she knits. ‘These are for people who don’t have work’. Used to watch grandma make mats out of maize corn covers. Imagine how cool it would have been, had I learnt. ‘Shoo shoo’ mom would flap her hands about motioning me to go away.

A woman’s life is very hard. You need to be able to stand up for yourself, go out in the world and make yourself a name & money. Go study. I am sure you have lot to do’- Mom

‘For you to be a successful my dear’ said one of my aunts. ‘Either you have to be a very beautiful or a very smart girl. Nothing in the middle would work. Anything average, you have to commit to average life of marriage & family. Days goes by and aspirations too then. To rise from it, you have to hustle everyday from now.’

Dad supported moms decisions. Coming from the environment they were raised where girls worked mostly on fields and were spoken for, for their first cousins by the age of 12 or 13. Their support was enormous. They prioritised our educations. ‘Anything that is best’, he used to say. One can never underestimate an image of a father in a patriarchal society. Having a husband, a presence of masculine energy in the household; name alone despite physical absentee offers a big emotional security to a woman and her family to plough through their days. This is a society where identity of a man grounds her & her children’s into a box that labels ‘socially acceptable.’ And this was a harsh reality both my dad and mom ensured ‘me and my sister’ knew from the very beginning.


When you seek husbands remember -A character of a man comes from virtues he was taught & from the environment he was raised at. Same is with girls. There is a saying in our village, a poor man’s daughter looks good by her face. A wealthy man’s daughter is good by her name. Choose the right man.’

It is confusing at times. The emphasis Mom seems to be putting now, on our success to be determined by the husband we’d land for ourselves when they raised us since we were kids as though we were boys, being reminded on multiple occasions our femininity makes us weak and we had to fight to be strong & independent to defend our lives and our rights as a human, as a wife and a mother someday. Shouldn’t our value be determined by what we have achieved so far than our partner’s social status? I am a little disappointed.

Nobody chooses a wrong partner because they want to. Mistakes happen. Divorce is okay. Single mom can raise children as well and do it right. You raised us almost by yourself you should know’. I speak gently trying to slowly ease her biggest fear that we might become single mothers and a ridicule target of society. ‘A house needs a man’s roof, protection & decision. I am not saying a woman is not capable but …’, Mom says.

Being raised under roof of strong men and women, I will not argue gender roles. A child needs both. By nature, we simply don’t have amenities to stand up to being both dad and mom in one. However, my mom comes from days when women endured a lot, including domestic violence and abuse from their partners because they were financially dependent on their husbands, had no means to get away and were forced to persist in loveless marriage by society. As strong headed as she is, she does have a unconscious bias having seen it as a norm that to an extent it is still normal and it is acceptable. Why?

‘Commitment speaks of your values, establishes you as a person of your word. That means something’. She says.

Ofcourse. And won’t we be lucky then. But there is a word called toxic relationship’.

In many parts of world including where I was raised, women are underprivileged solely because of the gender bias. A dowry is higher for a daughter who has more education and a job than those without. I would not be able to afford a husband in those communities. What good is relationship and partnership when it is signed before its birth with money?

‘It’s not easy. A woman’s life. And they will never let you have it easy either. So you should be your biggest ally. Only accept help when you need to. No shame in asking others for help. But a favour received is favour owed. Always hold your head high. If you have your reasons, if you are right, you hold your grounds no matter what.’

I do hope I have inherited some of my mother’s strengths and pray, none of her peculiarities. I do hope I also find a partner who supports & respects my decisions and stands for our ground together even though it meant turning down /fighting against the privilege he was blessed with. In my eyes, that would be a biggest sacrifice. I watch my dad cook and clean and it warms my heart. His friends would tease him saying ‘here you are being a house wife again’, but he never let it go to his head. I won’t say, he is an ideal of what every woman should expect but a quality in a person, who is thoughtful enough to say, ‘I can share the work and this is both our job’ is something everyone of us, every woman wants. There is a word called ‘conformity’ I came across in psychology. It is tendency of an individual to try to fit in the society. Not necessarily a bad thing, we are after all social animals. But I feel this nature drives a majority of men to believe that they are inherently superior beings to the other sex, authority and violence is therefore acceptable; and women to believe, they are condemned to this treatment.

Anyways, steering back to role of Queen in my life… In some ways, I have always been thankful to my dad’s recruitment into the army under her reign ; with her face in every coins they held in their hands. These weren’t silver coins alas that they traded for freshly pressed razor sharp bank notes in a bamboo woven trays. But, these were keys. To every locked door my mom closed down because of her insecurities. These were keys to her confidence in a new era where her daughters would indeed work shoulder to shoulder with men and be accepted not just for how they look or how much handy they were with household chores but for their skills & talents. Their heels here would never be sorely cracked or the palms be dry and roughened working on fields/labouring in factories trying to put food on table for the young. These were the keys she was always praying for, to the world of the Queen where she saw no daughters will ever be caged of their dreams and of the opportunities they wished they had. No, it wasn’t perfect. Oh the world is so far from being perfect for her daughters, but at least here she had strong hope. ‘My daughters will some day work in an office with people on fancy white shirts, they will have enough money to pay their own bills & buy their own houses. They will walk down the halls, down the roads with their heads held in pride while the world looks at them with respect, ‘look those are Mrs … daughters’, they will say. And they will be married to these men with most beautiful souls who will always keep them happy. ‘


Oh dear… (So you’re a doc, a foreign cuisine and Corona happened)

So, my mom just recently returned from Nepal. She had flew off to the country as soon as the borders were open to travelling following COVID shut down and managed to secure herself a long awaited vacation by herself in peace without dad and us constantly nagging her in the background. As a souvenir she had brought us some waiwai noodles that we absolutely love and 4 gutted water frogs with their half open mouths and outstretched hands & legs that were completely sun roasted with their skin melted to their skeletons. She appeared very smug as she showed it to us holding them by legs almost as one would hold hot dog on a stick and passed it to me. I will be honest, they did appear crispier than a pork jerky but still had quite raw expressions of horrifying moment of death they were preserved at. Not realising in her moment of triumph that we have never seen this, she looked at us in disbelief and said ‘its hard to get these!’.

I had always wanted to try frog legs ever since I saw it in one of the episodes on ‘Travel and living’ channel. Apparently it is one of the French delicacies and is quite popular too as street foods in Asia like in Vietnam. YouTube bloggers who had it for first time compare it to being close to chicken but more juicy and delicious. Unfortunately this memory of mom showcasing her mummified frogs might have put me off from attempting to have that experience. I am pretty sure she was the hunter herself. Mom is opportunistic. Four is just too less of a number for her to buy. Makes me wonder, what kind of other adventures did she have in the village. She promises, they will never end up on our meals. I doubt so. There seems to be one for each one of us. I wouldn’t trust her words. It took me a couple of weeks to find out she has been filling my water bottles with snail water drinks. Apparently some one told her, ‘it is very healthy for gut’. She is the woman who was trying to buy 1 litre bottle of rhino pee from the Zoo determined to bribe the keepers having heard ‘it is being sold’ and ‘it has great health benefits’.

I remember once, coming home and finding grandma standing on our veranda also sun roasting one of the biggest slugs I ever seen in my life. It was pierced in so many directions with tooth picks, god bless, because she couldn’t find bigger skewers… Doesn’t surprise me, my mom is this way. Although it would be great not to have frogs, snail water as drinking water or rhino pee on a soup but hey what can one do right? But again if one of the chefs from lets say one of the high end French restaurants served me ‘would I say No?’. I don’t know.

No. I haven’t had slugs. I have had snails- as a cuisine. And honestly that was great. Hadn’t tried sea foods before until I came to the UK as Nepal is a landlocked country and, some other things. On that note, you never ask for a ‘beef momo’, you ask for ‘buff momo’ in Nepal. ‘Buff’ as in ‘Buffalo meat’ is quite commonly consumed. Please don’t ever ask for cow meat there.

We were laughing one day talking about these experiences about my mom’s weird habit with my close friend when her mom too admitted to her that when her and her sister were little and suffered from constipation, she would go to the old palace ruins to pick up slugs in Nepal. That would later be dried and their powder mixed into their soups. ‘It worked‘, she said. I guess it is not just my mom then, looking for home remedies. Similar to that story, one of my patients in her 80’s recently told me, when she was young and suffered from terrible constipation her mom would tear a cotton cloth, put a soap in it, soak it in the water and give her an enema. ‘It worked’, she said too.

I don’t know what works and what doesn’t to be honest. We can’t go on researching every myths they have out there, can we? Have you heard of all the things people have been doing for home remedy of COVID past years? My uncle and aunt apparently turmeric drinks were great to get rid of the virus. Listening to their story coming from Mom, I am not sure whether their COVID symptoms was severe diarrhoea or it was the concentrated turmeric drink they were taking for their symptoms that was making them go back and forth? Honey drink, tea and hot drinks I can understand. They have soothing effect on sore throat and help expectorate cough. Advised the same to my siblings when they had COVID and I could literally hear my mom roll her eyes in its bony vaults over the phone all the way from Nepal. ‘You don’t know what you are talking about’ she remarked. I wonder if it is a shared problem with every doctor’s in the world or just mine, my family members never seem to take my medical advice. If they did, mom wouldn’t be carrying dead frogs across the oceans in her luggage right?

Anyways, ‘People are drinking alcohol to fight with COVID. It is an antiseptic. So… ‘ A small glass of whiskey everyday on a supposedly based medical recommendation? I know where she is going with it. ‘There are herbal sprays and powders that you put in nose that gets rid of COVID even when you are just starting to develop symptoms’. ‘I don’t want you stuffing anything in your nose again Mom’, I tell her off appearing stern, reminding her of the time when I came back home to find her puffed with a swollen face- nose, mouth and eyelids salivating from one end of her mouth. There was a herbal product called ‘Nos’ in Nepal, I don’t know if it is still circulating around. Both my mom and aunt trialled it to help with their sinusitis problems. You take a sniff of it (reminded me of cocaine addicts they showed on TVs when they did it) and after some time, you start having excess nasal drainage. I don’t know what happened after few days, I swear she looked like the frozen sun-roasted toad she is showing me now.

I feel for people who are now suffering from long COVID symptoms who are desperate to try anything including and not limited to complementary medicines. A lot of our modern day antibiotics and treatment are a discovery or at least in part a derivative of these ancient practices. They have proven benefits in many cases however I would advise caution with any use. I read there are extensive frauds going on trying to sell a miracle cure for COVID, scamming thousands of people. One needs to be really careful in today’s day and age. My dad was at the bank while on the phone with a scammer about to transfer money!! From our last conversation about COVID medications, monoclonal antibodies called Ronapreve (casirivimab & imdevimab combination) has been now removed from treatment guidelines since it was found to be less effective against omicron variant which remains the dominant variant today with its BA.5 variant leading in numbers and some BA.4 variant cropping here and there. Paxlovid has been introduced a while ago which is a combination of Nirmatrelvir & Ritonavir in oral formulation. And I read, both Molnupiravir and Paxlovid are both being studied now under RECOVERY trial. Similarly stem cell therapies is other avenue that is being looked into.

I have now come out of training and do only part time shifts now and then to keep afloat on my rent and expenses. So I have to be honest, I have not and will no longer be keeping track of COVID while on my ‘career break’. I haven’t yet travelled. Thanks to my poor judgement on expenses on romantic and life decisions. Hahaha. Finally got myself a ticket. ‘Is covid still going around in Nepal?’ I asked her as soon as I got the confirmation email. ‘No one is scared of Corona anymore. Its Dengue in Kathmandu all over now. Make sure you are fully clothed top to bottom and carry insect repellents’.

‘Oh dear…’

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