Trapped by stuff


Traps are not easy to identify….

Once I earned enough money to buy

A house, shiny car, some quality stuff

I thought that would be enough

That counted as success, and being perceived

As successful in life was important, I believed

It felt good to be able to afford things nice

Satisfaction seemed to have a relationship with price…


Deeper pockets seemed to quench my desires

So more and more stuff I began to acquire

It was liberating to not have to care

About spending money almost anywhere

Every new (costly) purchase felt like a treasure

My acquisitions did give me (short-lived) pleasure


Leisure time dwindled, responsibilities grew

I continued to acquire objects new

Sometimes not realizing it was a duplicate

The original lost in the chaotic state

Of my beautiful house that had more vacant space

Than I could use, but I was not yet ready to face

The truth- my  possessions had me trapped

Maintaining them left my energy sapped…


Over time I have come to realize

That spending money wisely implies

Spending it on experiences that stay 

On as memories to be savored another day

Acquiring objects was just weighing me down

Until the concept of minimalism I found

I now have less stuff, but I have the luxury

Of time- owning less has set me free!



















How do we, again and again

Defy logic, simple and plain

How do our brains, self-aggrandized

Something so straightforward not realize-

That the archaic second amendment

Should not over human lives be precedent

There is freedom to own any type of gun

But living freely under the sun

Is no longer a freedom we can for granted take

When innocent lives of children are at stake

Why is it that some of us do not see

The debate in all its absurdity

Truth has been colored, cloaked, revised

So many misleading arguments devised

To deviate from the truth, the actual issue

Creating divisions even deeper, it’s true..


In anger I pen these lines, painfully aware

That no matter how much I might care

If part of the solution I cannot be

My outrage is an exercise in futility

Let me, my anger towards action steer

For we need a world without fear..

Image source










Twenty-four hours I have in a day

Surely they are plenty for work and play

I need to work ten hours, anything less

Might make me appear lazy, I confess

But what is the point of working all day

If work is not followed by evident display

Of activities of leisure, that showcase

My disposable income, my refined tastes

So dining out, parties, and travel to places exotic and mundane

Jostle for space in my over-scheduled life,

barely leaving me sane

Ownership of expensive objects is so out of date

I need novel experiences to expand my discerning palate

Posting an instagram picture of the perfect mountaintop view

Is as satisfying as the vista itself, I tell you…

So what if all the travel has worn me out

Surely a little less sleep I can do without

Then there is caffeine to help me go the extra mile

And endure my fuller than full life with a smile…


Just when I am wondering if all the boxes usual

Have been checked in every fashion possible

I get a reality check from who else but my son

Who, when asked about his idea of fun

Replies that flying paper airplanes with his cousins

Trumps all the travel, all the luxury trappings..


Trust a child to throw you in to a state of introspection

Re-evaluate priorities, perform an honest dissection

Of your life- that is where I am at right now

Thinking of scaling back on activities to allow

Myself breathing space, and time to see

How a fulfilling life ought to be…

Silent rage


She screamed silently, yet again

At the sexist allusion to her brain

Spoken in a tone of condescension

Quite clear was the insinuation

Her competence was being questioned, without

Knowledge of the situation, no doubt

Because of her gender…

As if being a woman, petite, slender

Was enough for a man to discredit

Her qualifications, disregard her merit

As a physician in a field competitive 

With instances like this daily she had to live

She could feel the rage building up each day

Knowing there was nothing that she could say

To improve, for herself, this situation

Any retort would be subject to misinterpretation

Being labeled difficult would just make matters worse

For her in the professional universe…


Like women around her, she had learnt to ignore

Being called “sweetie”, “honey”, “cutie” and more

Yet each time this happened there was a surge

Of rage within her- it would be on the verge

Of overt manifestation, until it was restrained 

By years of conditioning, she had been trained

To disregard such words, totally inappropriate

To address a doctor, a colleague or a subordinate-

She had been referred to as such by everyone-

Patients, seniors, staff, mentors- ad nauseum

Each time, though, she resented how these words undermined

Her professional status- disrespected her capable mind.


Then there were those remarks, snarky and snide

When being a competent doctor and a “good” mother she tried

Enraged her, though once again she cried out

In private, further criticism she could do without..


Working in a misogynistic world, she seethes inside

Works even harder to prove herself, her anger she hides

Accomplished women everywhere face similar predicament

They scream quietly, rage is their driving sentiment..












Dilemma and decision

I know the situation is grim, the prognosis not good at all-

There is yet another procedure, which gives a chance, albeit small

For improvement in your condition, I cannot but offer it to you

There is no guarantee it would work, could be harmful too

It could give you some longevity, but simultaneously compromise

The quality of your life- I believe that comes as no surprise

I know  everything we have done so far has kept you

Alive, but bouncing from hospital to  rehabilitation and home too…

You agree to the procedure because you have a will

To survive, which trumps quality of life still


I am the one who suggested this “n”th procedure

Whether this is the best thing to offer, I am not sure

I must admit I have serious doubts it would work for you

In the long-term- I’m afraid my fears would come true

Then, the other part of my brain chides me on my doubt

Because my duty is to offer every possible way out

Of this illness, how can a treatment option I not present

If it exists for this condition, these options are meant

To help you make a fully informed decision

But I know you rely on my judgment as your physician..


There is the part of me that wants to present outright

Options to do nothing more to fight

A losing battle against your disease process

Hanging on to the meager odds of success

Focus on palliation, and find ways to measure

Quality not quantity, help you do things to treasure

The remaining moments of your life with your family

Spend resources on keeping you comfortable, pain-free…

If I do that, however, a part of me believes I have failed

What is the point of the collective heights we have scaled

In treating illnesses that even two decades ago

Left us with no options except to let a patient go

It is hard to pull back when an option does exist

The possibility of improved survival is hard to resist..


Then I try the ultimate decision-making tool

What if I were the patient- I know I cannot fool

Myself- In my heart I know I would choose

To forego this procedure, I would rather lose

Months of my life than spend them in pain

With this clarity, I go back to my patient again

To talk to them about the less invasive option

I present to them the idea of palliation…

Mind your adjectives

As a child, to me adjectives were just words

Used to qualify people and objects in the world

I thought adjectives had a purpose singular

To serve as vehicles of description- it did not occur

To me that adjectives could serve as instruments

Of bias, bigotry, and pronunciation of judgment

Some adjectives were obvious, others more nuanced

Around deep-seated prejudices, some seemed to dance 

In the real world they were labels that had been assigned 

By the privileged to those they considered inferior in their mind…


When I was naive, I used adjectives to adorn my language

To appear more erudite, or precocious for my age

I chose words carelessly,  oblivious that they were derived

From preconceived notions that I carried inside

I never even thought about the impact of my words

I thought anyway that I was insignificant in the world


As a newly minted physician I had to describe every day

People- their  behavior, their complaints, their pain in different ways

Unthinking, one day I called a patient hysterical

She was in the throes of delirium- a diagnosis clinical

I am grateful to my mentor for calling me out-

The word “hysterical” showed gender prejudice, no doubt

Moreover, it was judgmental and inaccurate

And did not help in treating her clinical state..


As the grip of social media gets stronger every day

Polarized opinions come to light in different ways

Filters disappear behind the cloak of the internet

Describing people/ things to those we have never met

Makes the use of stronger adjectives easier still

Without meaning to, our words can kill

Someone’s morale, pride or sentiments

Unknowingly, we could come across as vehement..


Wise men have said- you cannot take back words once spoken

(Or released into the world wide web, or for me, in a patient chart written)

Therefore a conscious effort I now make in my choice

Of adjectives, sometimes at the cost of losing my unique voice..


On a lighter note, my favorite adjective I shall share here

On social media, everything is “awesome”, but I do not care!

Demonized, demoralized

This verse is in light of recent events in India regarding violence towards doctors.

You placed me on a pedestal, but God I was not..


Yes I recall the day when before you I stood

My sterile gown caked with blood, giving news good

In the operating room, I had passed a grueling night

My team had emerged victorious in the fight

To save your child-  from a touch and go situation

We had finally achieved stabilization

Do you know while you showered praises on me

Comparing me to a celestial being in some galaxy

I felt relief powerful, and fatigue profound

Drained of adrenaline, I longed for sleep sound.

For God I am not, and after being awake

For 36 hours, enthusiasm I could not fake

I was grateful to a higher power for the opportunity

To be a part of your child’s journey


You demonized me, but a demon I am not..


I lie on the hospital bed in excruciating pain

Flashbacks of your face contorted with fury and disdain

Torment me as I recall the blows that you showered on me

I never expected assault even in dreams of nightmarish quality

I know you don’t believe me, but hard I tried

To saved your loved one’s life, but against him was the tide

I am not God, I do not possess

The elixir of eternal life- I do confess

The disease was advanced, age was against him too

My team left no stone unturned , nothing more we could do

Isn’t everyone mortal, placed on earth to eventually die?

Then why do you hold me alone responsible, why?

I was never God, nor am I the demon that you call me

What do you aim to achieve by the violence against me?

My bones are broken, my heart even more

This experience has shaken me to the core

I am an ordinary human being, trying to earn

An honest living, like most folks under the sun

I know my profession demands some sacrifice

But senseless violence is too unfair a price…


I have neither the powers nor designs

Of either God or a demonic mind

A human am I with skills acquired

Through years of study and training required

I provide service and if you are dissatisfied

You may seek redress in legal ways nationwide

For fear of my life, I plead to you,

I am but a human being too…