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The custard apples and new life



The April showers did not fail
The new custard apples have appeared
The pink moon came and went
A tree fell down and blocked the road
The flowers are in full bloom
The ants are hard at work
The coolness and freshness of the morning
Tells us that the world has not stopped the seasons have not changed
There is new life and freshness in every day

The bus rolls along
Empty streets in the centre of the town
Night duty staff returning
Corona leave is the discussion
It is quiet
It is calm
The straggling two wheelers
A few homeless not wearing masks

Not everything is in our control
Rights are trampled
Death is a number in the morning paper
A detail in government statistics
How do we live in these troubled times

COVID calls us to be stronger
And wiser
To live every day well
To live every day safely
To love when it costs
To be thankful for small things
Be humble
Put our pride aside
In giving we receive
Dying, we are born again
Corona teaches us to love again.

- Dr. Anand Zachariah, Professor & Head,

Department of Medicine Unit-I

An Ode to The Surgical Mask


Bits of fabric, blue and white,
Sashes four, that hold you tight,
Filters that which smites my health,
But let in air that turns to breath.
Disposable, they called you, then and now,
Caste away, in ignoble heaps of waste,
Torn asunder, plucked away and flung,
When a knot too tight is torn in haste.
Two at a time was a fanciful fad,
When TB, flu, diphtheria they had,
Pawns in a bigger game, you sacrificed and fell,
Yet unrecognised and unsung, to be replaced again
And yet on that fateful day Corona came,
The artful Dodger, you played your endgame.
Disappearing from hospitals and shops all at once,
Oh surgical mask, without you we are undone!
Cruel and ungrateful, avaricious and blind,
Hoarding and plundering through the ages of this world,
As a people we have failed to be stewards of worth,
Dear mask, we have failed you, just like our good earth.
Remember, dear mask, if it weren’t for you,
I’d never realise the world’s bid us adieu!

- Reflections by a Postgraduate student


Would it come so close?
Who would have thought?
But it’s almost here now
Let’s face it
I just don’t know
I have to know
I must know

Scarcity Is it a word?
That was meant to be
Lack of PPE, surgical masks N95s
Hand rubs, not enough to go around
How do I protect my students?
And my staff
Can I ask them to work?
Frayed tempers, long phone calls, arguments
They are trying, they have allotted more
But they never reach
What do we do?

It is Time to train, time to prepare
All our PG’s and staff
Protocols simulations, practice sessions
When it happens
We have to be ready
The first case, is the test case
We have to be ready

The roads are empty
The hospital has a vacuous look
Admission lists are contracted
The open corridors sans relatives
Tells we are in bandh time
Only patients remain who need to stay
The teams on duty are trying to
cheer each other up

What does surviving mean
At this time I mean
Not just surviving, physically
But in our minds
And thoughts and emotions
In the frontlines and in our homes
We have to draw from the deep end
Stay calm,pull together, love each other

The captain, has to lead from the front
Or so i think
Put fear aside
After all is that not what medicine
Is all about?

Hold strong team
We are by your side
This is once in century event
If we don’t have the experience
to handle this
We are not physicians in the
first place

So close your eyes, relax
Think of the person you love
Think of what you would do for them
Do that for the patient you see today
That is love and compassion and
We are your teachers
We are next to you
We will walk by your side

- Dr. Anand Zachariah, Professor & Head
Department of Medicine Unit -I

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