Tag Archives: Stress

A Calmer You: Hey doc, I’ve been waiting

Of all the people, doctors can’t be the ones adding to our stress. All those who scolded me left, right and centre for not writing the column last week, please note that medical leave is allowed even in the prison camps of Guatemala. Areey, I was down with a terrible bout of viral infection that caused bad cough and cold.

calmness-tips-doctors-stress

Bekaar mein beemar ko daant diya. Aap dekh lena if Kejriwal comes to power, we may even start getting special cough-leave per month. Anyway, I promised some of you on Twitter that this week, I would recount the stress one faces when one has to visit a doctor.

Especially during the viral infection season, which now lasts twelve months in a year.  I toh have a standard line if I see someone unwell, no matter what season or month it is. I make a wise, grim face, shake my head and say ‘Changing-weather hai. You must take special care these days.’ I swear by Mayawati that I don’t know what ‘changing weather’ technically means but people buy this remark with all seriousness any time of the year. Anyway, so here’s what happened when I went under the weather last week. True story, no exaggeration.

 Me: I have fever and bad cold since morning. I think I should see a doctor.

Colleague 1: Viral hoga. Antibiotic le lo. Augmentin 625 mg. Do gargles and inhale steam.

Colleague 2: Don’t take such strong medicines. Take ginger and honey and black pepper.

Colleague 3: Homeopathy works like magic in this viral. Hum toh preventive bhi le lete hain. No side effects, you see.

Me (Next morning): The cough has worsened. Let me see a doctor today.
Colleague 1: I know the best physician. It’s a bit crowded at his clinic. Let me know when you’re going, I’d give him a call.

Me: That’s okay. Just give me the number, I’ll fix an appointment.
So I call up at the doc’s clinic and ask for a 6:30 pm appointment
Receptionist: Sorry, 6:30 slot is booked. I can give you 7:18pm.

Me (pleased with the professionalism): Okay, that’s fine.
I reach at 7:10 for my 7:18pm appointment and see at least 40 patients, all at various degrees of distress and coughing at various volumes. I go up to the receptionist.

Me: I have a 7:18pm appointment.
Receptionist (notes down my name): Please wait. The doctor is about to reach from his other clinic.

Me: When will my turn come? I’m on time for my appointment.

Receptionist: When he comes, we’ll start with the patients from the 5:30pm slot first. You are at Number 42.

Me: What’s the point in giving me an appointment for a certain time then?

Receptionist: Yawwwwn. Aap meri TV screen ke aage aa rahe ho. Please sit and wait. Dr saab will reach anytime now.

The good doctor comes in at 7:30, and suddenly the coughing in the waiting lounge becomes louder. Mr Verma and Mr Kapoor, both with the 5:30 appointment are, by then, fighting with the receptionist on who will go inside first. ‘Hum Noida se aaye hain,’ says Verma. ‘Noida koi America hai,’ argues Kapoor. Meanwhile the receptionist calls out for Mrs Malhotra out of turn and sends her inside. Suddenly Verma ji and Kapoor ji are united-in-victimisation and question the receptionist. ‘Woh Dr Saab ko personally jaanti hain. She only has to show her reports,’ the highly irritated, and highly irritating receptionist replies. ‘Isiliye Kejriwal rota hai. Everywhere corruption hai ji,’ Verma ji shakes his head. Finally my turn comes at 9:40pm, and exactly 22 seconds later, I emerge with a prescription that  advises: Augmentin 625, do gargles and inhale steam. ‘700 rupees’, the receptionist says. ‘Please give change,’ she adds. “Please change,” I tell her, while dishing out 700 bucks. She doesn’t get the sarcasm.

I don’t really know what calmness tips to give in the situation I described above. By no means can we undermine the importance or value of doctors and the significant role they play in our well being. Having some close friends in the medical profession, I also know the stress and challenges doctors have to face everyday – the biggest one being having to deal with the ‘Internet doctors’ all patients have become these days. We google our symptoms, we google medicine names, we google test reports. This awareness can sometimes be a blessing, but is more often a tool to question a doctor’s advice with cynicism. But that said, the doctors also need to see if the entire experience of visiting them is reducing, or adding stress to their patient’s condition. In this season of manifestos, may I put forward these demands to our doctor friends….

[stextbox id=”info”]Calmness Tips when Doctors are the reasons for your stress.[/stextbox]

Please schedule your day in such a way that you reach your clinics on time. An exceptional emergency is perfectly understandable in your profession, but having a room full of sick and already stressed people constantly staring at the clock and sighing, everyday, is not.
Please do not take up more patients than you can practically see, and pay attention to, on any given day. I know this means less money, but it also means getting a life. Reaching home at midnight everyday with stacks of cash still means reaching home to family members who are asleep.

Please fix a separate time during your day, if possible, for pharmaceutical representatives and influential patients who come with sifarish. To a patient who is in a bad condition and waiting for two hours, it isn’t easy to digest another person cutting the queue and breezing in, just because you wanted to oblige someone. They’ll not say it on your face because yours is a noble profession (?) and you are a life saver, but it hurts the respect that should naturally come for you.

Please hire polite and cheerful receptionists. Please.

Sonal Kalra just googled her symptoms and realised that she might be suffering from lymphocercoma of the brain due to changing weather. Please suggest some specialist.

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A Calmer You: I am in love with Board Exams

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Stand up. Don’t think just stand up. Walk up to the nearest mirror. Look at the face that stares back at you. Does he or she seem like a dimwit moron? No? Then, why does life treat you like one, yaar? Note: All the lazy ones who have now sat down in the washroom to continue reading the paper among, err… other activities, have lost the right to answer this question.

Competition, they say, is one of the foundations on which human race thrives. We need to compete with each other to bring out the best in us, and grow in life. Fair enough. But that sounds like a good, happy reason, while the manifestation of competition in our lives is such that it brings bucketloads of stress and tension from an early age. Ab mujhe hi dekh lo. At such a young age (ha!), I’ve been buried under this stress that my column constantly needs to compete with others, and to prove its worth, it has to focus on — no, not what I want to write about— but topical issues, like board exams, and that too in a ‘positive’ light. Arrey bhaad mein gaye board exams. They used to give me grief several years back, and they are giving me grief even now.

a calmer you column in board exams ki tou calmness tips fight stress

Just realising that my brief is to talk about things in a positive light, I must add that despite the minor irritants of depression, nervous breakdown etc, board exams are indeed a great way to judge our capabilities in life. So much so that human race may just cease to evolve and grow if we didn’t have them.

[stextbox id=”info”]Calmness Tips To Fight the Stress of Board Examinations[/stextbox]

In fact, I demand that we have board exams every five years in our lives, till we turn 65, after which they could be held every two years, because, you know, life expectancy etc. Why should the pleasure of this life changing concept be restricted to the 17-year-old brats who don’t even value its worth and insult its inherent goodness by endlessly calling helplines to seek psychological counselling. Morons. Here, let me give you psychological counselling.

Do this.
1. Go up to three people you admire in life and ask…. Oye, I don’t mean ‘admire’ in that sense, you idiot. It’s not the Valentine’s Day column, we are talking serious stuff here. You actually deserve to give boards every year. Okay, coming back to the point I was trying to make. Go up to three people you admire and idolize. Could be your parents. Should be your parents.

Ask them to rattle off their subject wise marks in board exams. They wouldn’t know. Some of them may boast of an aggregate percentage etc, in which case you have my sympathies. This is just to tell you a simple fact. To become such a person in life that someone would admire, idolize and might want to emulate — you don’t necessarily need a mark sheet with A1 written in the column on the right.

You just need to be good at who you are. Yes, that A1 helps, it gets you further when it comes to admissions etc and I’m not denying its importance. I’m just denying its status as sole criterion to judge your worth in life. Itna toh banta hai.

2. Stop making a monster out of a simple thing: You have been put through examinations ever since you took admission in school and still used to pee your pants. So what’s so big and bothersome about board exams? It’s just that the question paper has been set centrally and that you have to go to a school other than yours to take them. Achha hai. In your own school, your reputation precedes you. So even if you’ve been behaving the way readers of this column are known to behave in public life, the invigilator at the examination center won’t know and would treat you with respect.

Isn’t that great? And as far as the question paper is concerned, the fact that it’s meant for a wide range of students with varying intelligence levels actually makes it comparatively easier to tackle, as compared to the one being set by a teacher who knows the strengths and weaknesses of the class she’s taught through the year. Think positive.

3. Promise me — whether you are taking board exams or are 58 years old — that you’ll see forward in life and not crib about whatever’s already done and over with. Which means that I strictly forbid you from minutely dissecting the question paper once you’ve given that exam… and trying to compare how you’ve done vis a vis that drama queen in the class who has a crush on the same guy as you.

You know, when God was making the human body, everything was decided after a lot of thought. There’s a reason why we have eyes and hands in the front, and they can’t revolve 180 degrees to turn backwards. Because God always intended us to look ahead. So the physics paper sucked? Well, for once, physics is now history! What’s done is done. Deal with the devils when they confront you, not the ones that reside in your imagination. Based on the marks you ultimately get, sit in peace and figure out options for your future course of action. Trust me, there are plenty of them, for all kinds of results.

Finally, an ode to the creators of the board exams.

Sir, ma’am
— you’ve been great thinkers. We wouldn’t have figured out a way to evolve, had you not come up with this beautiful, well justified, thoroughly proper system, of judging what course a 17-year-old’s life should take. It’s vital to channelise them in this age itself. They wouldn’t have known what to pursue in life, and would have wasted time trying out new things. At least these marks don’t leave them with much choice, hence avoiding confusion.

And of course, competition thrives a society. So in order to identify the stronger ones among us, it’s important that those who are weak at grasping the nuances of certain subjects be handed over a documented proof that they are losers. They should take it in their stride. And surely, you’ve ensured that there are enough helplines for psychological guidance.

Please, do consider my suggestion that we all take board exams through our lives. It’ll be healthy. A humble thank you from me and the 17-year-olds.

Sincerely.

Sonal Kalra is fondly remembering her board exam days. Mom would make coffee all night, dad would cancel official tours. The whole family was united in tension. Is yours too?

A Calmer You: Kisi ke paas charger hai?

I know what some Einsteins among you must be thinking right now. Cell phone toh likha nahi, charger likh diya. Hai nah? Bolo, bolo. Look at my photo above. Bewakoof lagti hoon? Some things in life are understood yaar. Phone toh hai hi by default, but tell me, hand on heart, how many of you get stressed about how much charge your cellphone battery has or doesn’t, several times during the day. So many nah? That’s why a charger has rightfully made it to the list of our basic needs. And when there is need, there is also stress if it doesn’t get met.

A Calmer You Kisi ke paas charger hai

 Aur charger na hone ka stress toh khatarnaak hai. The same desperation and frequency with which you hear shout-outs in the college or office saying, ‘So who’s coming to the loo?’ can be now sensed when you hear ‘kisi ke paas iPhone ka charger hai?’. Earlier the good’ol traffic signal vendors would sell the humble cotton candy, now they sell phone chargers of all sizes. Vaise this size bit reminds me, what an unfair thing by the telecom ­companies that they can spend ­millions on launching newer, sleeker phone models but can’t come up with the option of using the same charger on every make, every model of a cell phone.

This half-eaten Apple wala company is the worst tease. They changed the charger slot itself when they moved from iPhone4 to iPhone5. Such an ­encouragement for the ­show-offs… where you’d earlier say, ‘does anyone have an iPhone charger’, now you have to declare in a shamelessly capitalistic way that you need a ‘chhota pin wala iPhone 5 charger’. Imagine the extent to which universal ­brotherhood would have got a boost if, along with caste, creed and colour, we all could shed our Nokia, Samsung, Blackberry, iPhone, Micromax biases and use the same charger for phones whether they cost 2K or 50K.

I think I’m the only one who is thinking of patriotism at this high level on Republic Day, no? Aap log toh baithe hoge rajai mein, with five different phones in the family, plugged with five different kind of chargers on the switch board. Sigh. Anyway, this whole charger obsession also made me observe a few varied…and weird kinds of behaviour some people display when it comes to feeding their phone ­batteries. Let’s analyse these breeds…

The charge hunters: For these people, the biggest quest doesn’t relate to finding the true meaning of life, it begins and ends at finding a point to plug in their phone charger. They’ll check into a hotel for a vacation, and before keeping the luggage down, would hunt down the charging point and plug in their phone. All the souls ­wandering around an airport lounge, looking highly confused and lost, are also the ones not looking for their boarding gate, but for a phone charging point. Whether in the office of the ­college canteen, or in their fancy cars, their phone would be plugged to the wall, much like a leashed and tied dog, and I’m sure, cursing its owner in ­telecom language. These people are so obsessed that their phone battery should be fully charged all the time, that the besharam of the lot would not even think twice before removing someone else’s phone getting charged and plugging in their own. The ­identifying traits of this breed – 100% phone battery… and high blood pressure.

The charge-less: This is the other end of the rainbow. These people do not wake up to the hunger pangs and cries of their phone battery till the charge reaches 1%, or passes away. Their friends and family are by now are used to listening to the ‘The number you are ­trying to reach has been switched off’ message in the beautiful voice of Airtel or Vodafone ­aunties. Their wives and girlfriends and bosses shout at them everyday, but somehow they can’t remember to carry the phone charger. Identifying traits – 0% phone battery… and high blood pressure.

The charge savers: Yeh intelligent log hainPadhe likhe…with too much time at hand to read up on the various ways you can save your phone battery. They’ll be too happy to give you tips on how to increase ­battery life. If they are close to you, they might just snatch your phone and switch off some background applications so that your battery gets more life. They are the same people who are always ready with ­naturopathy cures for all your diseases and tell you to eat healthy and exercise everyday. They are also savvy enough to save their hard earned money in buying phone covers that come in-built with extra batteries, and portable battery backups. Identifying traits – two batteries for every phone… 0% blood ­pressure problems.

The charge ­borrowers: Shameless morons who are either too ­kanjoos to buy their own ­chargers or too forgetful to bring them from home. So they are always seen begging for a ­charger. Banks should come up for easy ­instalment schemes for this breed. I also proudly sit in this category and my work day begins with bowing my head down before a Ganpati idol in my office, followed by a ‘kisi ke paas charger hai?’ query. During appraisal times, my query is ­­­met with a prompt and willing response by my team, but in other months, I can hear them mutter ‘Apna kyun nahi laati?’ under their breath. Samarth, the music editor in my team curses the day he and I ended up buying the same phone models… now he hands over the charger as soon as I reach, without me even ­asking for it. AND cries helplessly when I sometimes even take it home with me. Identifying traits: Blood pressure problems – Borrower 0%, lender 100%!

So which breed are you? Dekho whatever it is, some stress about charger stays… right? Join me in this cause to promote national integration and harmony by demanding a universal phone charger. Modi or Rahul or Kejriwal or anyone else – whoever makes it their first manifesto promise is getting my vote. Yours?

Sonal Kalra just cleaned up her drawers and found 7 phone ­chargers. None of it works with her current cell phone. Is Red Cross interested in a donation?

Shun that competition with your own buddies, you TOXIC FRIENDS!!

THE ONLY COMPETITION WORTHY OF A WISE MAN IS WITH HIMSELF – WASHINGTON ALLSTON QUOTES.
How does it feel when one of your best friends cries when the exam results of both of you are out? It hurts if he ( instead of writing he/she again again, I am using only the pronoun ‘he’ for convenience ) has scored low. The meaning of this word ‘low’ is subject to variation in context to different people and situations as well as depend on the kind of scale-mark used for measuring the achievements one has so laboriously made. But , it literally ‘SUCKS’ when your dear pal has scored fairly good marks , as measured from a general scale-mark of scores and…. is still sulking like hell just because damn you, his own sukh-dukh ka saathi has scored two or five marks more than him.

competition-with-friendsCompeting with your own Buddies

Now, this piece of writing doesn’t refer to you , poor soul!! It contains nothing to console you guys. I promise I shall do that in my successive article. This is my big helping hand that I lend out today to restore peace in the lives of all those TOXIC FRIENDS on earth (Baat ko samjho na yaar!! I am starting with solving the root cause of your problem).
So, this write-up calls out to all those who often commit the ethical offence of creating stress in others lives (Ha! Don’t you know competition is one of the top ten stress- causing things. Moreover, you drag your friend into the race without asking his willingness and he suffers involuntarily ). The ultimate jealous friends of some genuine people! Read on what follows, it’s specially written for you who fit more as a rival than a friend in your buddy’s life.

Give yourself some time to grasp the wisdom words written below and do apply the ‘gyaaan’ drawn out from it in ‘unmiserablising ‘(so what?? who said you cannot invent a term of your own??) lives- both of your own as well as of your friends)-

1. Behave like a mature adult– Stop sulking, you idiot. Behave sensibly next time such an occasion greets you. You are friends and not rival runner-ups of a million-dollar reality show. If your buddy gets good scores, its good na! Remember he is your friend. How you react really matters to him- your smile and even your tears. Don’t spoil his happiness , your own and the moment in comparisons.
2.Value the bond of friendship– Understand what value friends hold in life. Place yourself in their shoes and think for once, how it feels. It may sound rude but such an insensitive behavior may cost you your friendship. Of course, you are being insensitive to his hard-work and success if you are sulking due to his achievements. Make sure you don’t lose a loved friend in your race to win. Else, be ready to be the biggest loser.
3.Promote Healthy Competition in every aspect of your life– Healthy competition not only means that you analyse your weaknesses and try to improve them, but also that you respect and appreciate other party’s efforts irrespective of who comes out more successful.
4. Its just marks- Stop re-reading the title again again. Yes, you read it right. Yes, it does contain the word ‘just’ just before ‘marks’. As every other thing on this diverse planet, marks are just a part, not the whole, not everything. Trust me, you will despise your own such actions, ten or twenty years henceforth. And, more so if such habits would have affected your million-dollar friendship.
5. Avoid Die-hard competition– Puhleeeez, DO NOT spoil your calmness in comparing exam scores, number of girlfriends/dresses/shoes owned, job salary, etc with your friend’s. It provides amusement to none. There is much more to life and if you indeed need to compare , go ahead compare with yourself only. Compete with yourself and you will definitely be amused.
6. Convince your family-If your parents or family be the reason behind your such competitive attitude and jealousy, and you actually do not want to repeat those offenses , make them understand that you are happy with your position in life and convince them that you do not want to compete with anyone but yourself. Else, the next time they vex you by starting a comparison between you and your friend, hand them the paper and make them read this write-up.
Believe me, earth would be a calmer place to live in if you go by above five rules to let go your impulsive competitive attitude. For all those who are still not ready to believe that competition is NOT ‘an inevitable human nature’, let’s hold a ‘SLAP-YOURSELF COMPETITION’ for all of you.

Finding yourself again

Any kind of experience in life either comes as a blessing, or as a lesson. The breaking up of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, a family problem, or any such experience can be really harsh on you. Even day to day stress piles up to make you forget who you really are. And although you somehow deal with the situation at that time, the aftermath is much worse. It affects you much more than you think. You get stuck in a rut.

have-you-lost-in-life

Denial and acceptance

How often do you feel like you’ve lost yourself? As if you don’t remember how you used to be, what you used to do, what you used to love? And if you haven’t realized it yet, you’re pretty far gone. The first step to getting out of this vicious circle, is accepting the fact that you are stuck in a rut.

The only way you can help yourself is by consciously making an effort. No fairy godmother is going to wave her magic wand and make all the bad things go away! It’s only you who can get yourself to be fine again. You can’t just sit there in denial, surrounded by your own negativity. You need to get out and fix yourself. See, other people will never really care about you. No, they won’t. They’ll show that they do, and some might genuinely care – but not for long. In the end, it’s you on your own.

Don’t procrastinate, but if you really want to, do something crazy instead

After acceptance, the next step is to prioritize things and get to work as soon as possible. Don’t procrastinate. Putting off work will only make you feel useless. If you really want to put off work, then get out and do something crazy and fun. Do something that you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to doing.

Venting your overloaded frustrations can only give way to a lighter and newer start. But don’t get ahead of yourself and do something that you might regret later. That would only ensure that your mission of getting out of this rut is never accomplished. So, keep in mind that you want to find yourself, not lose yourself again.

Change And Renewal

Change what you don’t like. Stick up for yourself and your standards, and don’t ever settle for less. Yes, you should always make an effort from your side to make things work, but it shouldn’t reach the extent of being dragged. When we reach a certain age and stage in life, we stop introducing any kind of “new” to our life. Maybe it’s comfortable to have that kind of steadiness but maybe that’s what the problem is.

Anything new – be it a habit, a hobby, haircut or anything at all, has the power to make you feel or experience something which you have never experienced before.  Just think about it – even trying out a new dish is good for you – because even if you don’t like it, you not only expanded your taste palate but also gained exposure to a whole new variety of food!

From a very optimistic point of view, anything new will always do you good in some way or the other. And it’s never too late to try something new! Trying out something new will give you a completely different insight about yourself.

So go ahead, get out of that rut and find yourself again.