Monday, 26 May 2014

My Superstar ....the Real Hero: My Tribute

       
Selfie with the Star

       He's done it all in real life that actors in films portray on screen and collect accolades from the global audience ! Yet, he remains behind the curtains all the time, continuing doing things nonchalantly,  always armed with a with a joke or two !! It's high time that I bring this person to the forefront , and showcase him as the iron-man behind all the success es that me, Dr. Titas Kar, have achieved ....and yes, I'm talking here of my role model, my Dad, Dr. Tarun Kanti Kar , an ENT surgeon based in Kolkata !! 



Dad, the surgeon ( right) before starting his work
Dad has been a pillar of strength , shaping my career! He has been the beacon, who has guided the radar-less ship of my life through stormy nights , directing it to safer shores! When I lost the plot in my Higher secondary classes, for my weakness in Biology, he was there to cheer me up with words that could encourage me all the time, infusing me with positive vibe, that people can conquer much more difficult hurdles in life....so I just needed a little bit of extra effort to scale the peak of Biology! Indeed, it was his never-say-die approach to a problem that emboldened me & enabled me to finally master Biology, cracking my state Joint entrance examinations , and here I am today, as a Doctor in one of Kolkata's Governement hospitals.

One of the best qualities of Dad is his ability to keep promises, and the earliest episode that I can remember was when I was about 3-4 years old, and had been ill for a few days. Dad had promised me one day,that after coming back from the hospital that day, he'd take me to the zoo! Unfortunately , he got stuck up at his hospital that day, but desperate to keep his word, he overcame all of that, and took me to the zoo that day itself, rushing back from the hospital! 

Dad has been the sports enthusiast always, who has fought off 'vicious' challenges from Mom , as to why he was staying up late at night with me and my kid brother for World Cup cricket and football matches, thus signalling the ruining of our studies!! As Mom continued with her indignant comments, Dad coolly continued explaining the 'Offside' rule , or Front Foot No-ball to us, maintaining to Mom, that 'all work and no play would make my sons dull boys' !

                                                                       

Not to be left behind when he saw us practicing or playing on the ground, he was always the one to walk up to the batsman, 
and demand a bat , and urge the bowler to bowl fast! Even though his ugly hoicks resulted in missing the ball quite often , he'd look around for some appreciation the moment he connected sweetly !! On one such occasion, I was bowling slowly to him and he was continuously taunting me over the lack of speed in my ball! Flustered by his sledging, I unleashed one venomous bouncer , getting high on Adrenaline! It struck dad hard behind the ear, his specs fell off, and blood started oozing out ! Alarmed , we rushed forward, ashamed that I had given in to his taunts ....but the white haired guy on the wrong side of Fifty years, simply picked up the specs , wiped off the blood , commented "Well Bowled" , and took stance for the next ball, leaving us speechless! That's the courage of a man who has never learnt to give up on challenges! Even though he's not the fittest person going around, he often challenges his own abilities , and does successful Head Stands (something that I can't even think of doing) , prompting Mom to pray away !! 






The Head Stand

Dad is a protestor by default and it's not in his habit to accept wrongdoings , without speaking up about it! He had told us one story , when he was examining patients in the OPD of his hospital , and there was a huge queue outside, when a man jumped the queue, introduced himself as the Local MLA , and asked to be examined earlier ! As the other patients stood , looking on dejectedly , but couldn't speak up to a political leader, Dad folded his hands, and curtly told him," you're the People's Representative here....would it be nice of you to deprive your own people , and take advantage of your position?" The leader had to swallow the humble pie, and shamefully went back to his position !! This shows the apt sense of humour, that Dad could deliver with the right dosage of sarcasm!! 








One can never aim to become a better nature lover than Dad!! While being an asthmatic forbids him from keeping pets, he has always cuddled puppies and kittens on the road, feeding them bits and pieces of food! Keeping in mind the scorching heat in Kolkata, he maintains a large bowl of water at the corner of our balcony , so that thirsty birds never fail to have a drink! It amazes me as to how he never forgets putting fresh water in the bowl regularly, even if he's in the middle of a busy schedule!!



                           

    

This bird was struggling to see with an eye infection, and got stuck in our balcony, but Dad helped him get back to his healthy self with Eye drops, before letting him fly away next day!!
             



      I have never seen a person with a better aptitude in Mathematics, than Dad ! Although being a Doctor had lead to him severing ties with Maths long back, he was the one who built my foundation in the subject , breezing through calculations mentally faster than I could ever imagine! Despite his proficiency in the subject, he had one major grief, that he had never managed to score a 100 in maths , and he rued it always, begging of me , to gift him a 100 at least once in my career! When I finally did it after a number of near misses in the 90s, he was over the moon with joy! This reflected the intense love that he had for the subject, and that he could fight off his inner demons , through my scoring of 100!! 



When I was a kid, I never understood what kind of work he did in hospital, and for me , being a doctor was a very easy job! Now that I work at a government hospital myself, I come to realise the troubles that one has to fight off at work everyday , and managing to keep a joke ready every moment even after that is no mean job!
    Dad has been prolific with his intricate handicraft on the human skin, once suturing up the gash on my finger that I had mistakenly got with a blade, while still being in his Badminton attire, from where he had been called up in the middle of the game to attend to my bleeding finger! 
          But,the height of his skill was witnessed a few years ago, when I had passed out in front of the bathroom , due to severe illness,collapsed to the floor unconscious, and had a gash in my forehead! Dad had sat in his pyjamas on the floor, taken my head in his lap, and stitched me up , there itself in front of the bathroom, after reviving the unconscious me , as Mom looked on aghast !! So much for the skills , and nerve of the man , who didn't flinch at the sight of his son lying in a pool of blood ....or even if he did, he was excellent in controlling his emotions! 

The Singer On The Stage
Dad has never had any formal training in singing, but at every event involving our family members, or his medical college reunions, he's a star when it comes to belting out one hit number after another, in Hindi and Bengali ! I'm a trained singer myself, but I do get stage frights, when I'm asked to perform, but the word probably doesn't exist in Dad's dictionary! I know not how he remembers so many lyrics, but they come out fluently at all times, sending his peers into a tizzy!
The voice that spells magic

When I was a kid, I was taken by dad to visit the famous Puja Pandals around Kolkata , where thousands thronged to see the idols! At the famous College Square , Mohammder Ali parks in Kolkata , it was almost impossible for the tiny me to look up at the decorations around, so he made it a point to carry me on his shoulders all around Kolkata, teaching me how to admire Bengal's real heritage , and pieces of art! When in my Higher classes, I got to become a Student Judge of these Pujas ,(a rather prestigious post , considering the honour that was associated with it), I realised that it was my Dad's efforts to make me understand Bengal's beautiful Durga Puja even through huge crowds , that had culminated in me cracking a tough interview , and earning a coveted post as a Judge!! 

Even though Dad has many many qualities, he has always insisted in pointing out his own mistakes, and telling me not to imbibe them! He confesses that he is short tempered , and he has always maintained that I should not lose my temper like he did at times, and I have tried following his advice to this date! 

When I was a small kid, once during a power cut in Kolkata, I was looking up at the starry night sky! Dad saw it , and showed me the Orion constellation, telling me that there existed many other shapes and structures in the sky, and if I could start seeking them, I would develop a very good hobby! This turned out to be an excellent idea, and I got hooked onto Astronomy and Sky watching ! I enrolled myself for astronomy classes in my spare time, and Dad also joined me in them , with full enthusiasm after his hospital duties! However , in many of the classes, he failed to cope up with the lectures, and dozed off, but never failed to attend them! Also, he attended all astronomy camps with me , desperately trying to learn the handling of Telescopes, but getting stuck at the basics for years! At the post-camp speeches, he was candid enough to confess that he's the worst student in the camp , but he was the most sincere one, always turning up for the next camps!!

This goes the story of my Dad, a man of inner steel, who has put his family before material gains, all his life! He is a self made man, hailing from a very poor family, making it big in life via his proficiency in studies, but for him, family matters took precedence in every case! He has lead by example, and stood through testing times with his head held high!! A multi-faceted genius in his own rights, he is an exception amongst Doctors, being interested in all things around him!! Proud to have him as my role model, the real superstar in my life! 

The active participant at all family meets , here, he serves the food



Saturday, 24 May 2014

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Crazy Kannas: who can't Keep Calm during IPL !!

We the Crazy KKR fans at the Eden Gardens , kolkata

"A treat at the Golden gate restaurant, in exchange of doing my evening shift in Medicine, on Saturday?? ", I was trying to lure Aritra into an agreement for giving my replacement in a scheduled duty during my internship.

"One treat ?? ONE???? ", Aritra sneered! "Huh, one won't do!"

"OK... Another one next month!" , I was pleading, out of desperation!!

Aritra looked satisfied,"Fine! But remember, no going back on your promises!"

And there was me, the hapless soul,left poorer by a couple of thousand bucks ,courtesy my promise of treating my co-internee at the costliest restaurant near our medical college. All this, because the Kolkata Knight Riders had a crucial match slated against RCB on the Saturday evening, and as luck would have it, it coincided with my duty hours at the hospital!! Aritra knew fully well , that he could arm twist me into promising two treats at the restaurant , considering my fanaticism for KKR's matches, and he utilised his opportunity ! The cricket freak in me had willingly volunteered to part with a substantial percentage of the meagre monthly stipend that a desi medical intern is entitled to, since he couldn't afford to miss the tie played at the Eden gardens, whose tickets he had managed to procure somehow!!

This sort of sums up my addiction for IPL, which has become the yearly bonanza for us cricket fans !! The fact that a team , representing the city you live in, is striving out every time to fight on a national level to uphold the city's pride, in front of a global television audience , makes the adrenaline go bonkers , that is reflected in our enthusiasm in cheering for every single home run !!

In the locality I live in,there's a community of die hard KKR fans,who've stuck with the team through thick and thin, right from the time of inception of KKR!!

We've organised Pujas and a few other rituals to ensure victory for the knights !! 
We have put curfew hours around the TV on match days .....marking the calendar beside the TV set in bold RED ink to notify match dates! 

We've made the KKR flag a part of our room decor !! Srinjoy was smart enough to drape his dad's new car's seats in the KKR flag!!
                             
                                      

There's this Facebook community that my friends have set up that details the heroics of KKR !! 

We've made multiple appearances in the Kolkata newspapers , courtesy our antics for KKR , that range from struggling through a thunderstorm to reach the ground despite no chance of play, to celebrating vigorously when KKR won the IPL !!

                             


                             

On the days of big matches, we take command of the community hall of our housing , and sit together in huge batches , crouched in front of a small TV , with superstitions flying left , right and centre! People aren't usually around to swap places if the team is doing well!!

I personally have sneaked in my mobile phone into the pages of my study books , if I happened to have my exams during IPL , refreshing the live scores pages every five minutes or so....when I wasn't allowed to watch the TV.

I've jostled with strangers on the road , to vie for my share of the view of the TVs inside electronics stores , to see a particularly riveting sequence of an IPLmatch ....of any team!! 


Here's a sneak peak into how my KKRAZY ( crazy for KKR) pals spent some of the past few seasons , believing in the team's abilities:

                                             

we even managed to get access to meet the Knights in person in our city!!
                                                                                                                                                          
   
That's us, Meeting the Knights in person ...........
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Nowadays ....I often miss out on viewing the matches live on TV because of the hours I put in the hospital where I'm employed , but www.starsports.com has become a messiah ,aiding me in keeping myself up to date with the happenings on the ground ! 

Zip Clips on my phone 
                                                                                                                                                       I really adore the ZIP CLIPS section , that helps me actually see the best bits of a match in real short clips, that are suited for the mobile phone, and it has become a personal favourite , when i'm out of home !  The Zip Clips act as a rejuvenator at all times, when the duty hours get dreary, and I'm slogging it out , all alone in the wards , or am seated in the doctors' room for a breather !  Well done , Kanna Star Sports !!




     
Sorry Kanna....but when it's the IPL , we just cannot keep calm....we go Crazy!!!!