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About us

Hey. I’m Swea. This blog is all about me and my telltales. Like listening to stories? Hi there :D. I’m not a success story you’d want to see with your kids, neither am I a story that’d hit you hard with the harsh reality going around you. I’m just me and me is just me with my brain, my thoughts and my cool headphones, telling tales on daily little things.

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Where

Where am I

A castaway comet,

In a cosmos so wide

Besieged by entities, floating towns

On a neverending quest to the relative unknown

Scouting through new universes,

Sliding through striking asteroids,

Through journeys and billion miles

Accepting the desertion and

Void a possible destination

All for an underdog to have a home

A world of one’s own.

To harmonize and conform

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To belong

a sky full of stars,
Amidst a morning hue

Something

That quite doesn’t fit,
With ease

But quite doesn’t quit,
With peace

Hiding the starry glow,
Behind the sad blue clouds,

Forgetting
the burning sun,
Is no one,
But a star

Who stood as itself.

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The end

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Twig

Swinging to the tunes of breeze,
Held with perseverance stood the tiny twig.
Just to grow be a tree, with the same perseverance, to be unshook

When would I,
Indeed become a tree and not just a twig that would not give away.

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Underneath the gloves

I’m a final year medical student, and from where I stand right now, I know medicine saves life, because that is what I see.

But… one morning, one tiring lecture hour, my professor had to remind me of the Tuskegee Syphilis study during his class on the very topic. I used to e very bright in history, recent times, my topics of interests have shifted over to medicine, my course, since naturally it is supposed to make me a better doctor.

If you don’t know the about Tuskegee syphilis study, let me give you the idea, people actually made a study during the great depression, where they told black men affected with syphilis they would be offered free healthcare, and did the exact opposite of that, just to study the course of that very long disease.

It happened during the great depression right, why are you still agitated by it? Because my friend, it continued till the 70s and I’ve been taught that history is learnt, because it shouldn’t be repeated.

Sounds bad? There was an even worser, Guatemalan study where they injected people with syphilis, for godsake.

Later that day being in obs and gyn postings, while I was wearing my gloves ready to use the Sim’s speculum I wondered, how many people has this very speculum killed. The guy who operated on black slave women without anesthesia (and obviously their consent too) because he “believed” they didn’t feel pain, killed their newborns and blamed the mothers for being “slothy” for contracting tetanus which actually owed to the bad environmental conditions their slave workers put them in, came with this very speculum.

Unfortunately, the father of modern gynecology, that didn’t see humans but indeed color they were born with.

Was it only him? Sadly, no.

Berta was a female patient in the Psychiatric Hospital… in February 1948, Berta was injected in her left arm with syphilis. A month later, she developed scabies (an itchy skin infection cause by a mite). Several weeks later, Dr. Cutler noted that she also developed red bumps where he had injected her arm, lesions on her arms and legs, and her skin was beginning to waste away from her body. Berta was not treated for syphilis until three months after her injection. Soon after, on August 23, Dr. Cutler wrote that Berta appeared as if she was going to die, but he did not specify why. That same day he put gonorrheal pus from another male subject into both of Berta’s eyes, as well as in her urethra and rectum. He also re-infected her with syphilis. Several days later, Berta’s eyes were filled with pus from the gonorrhea, and she was bleeding from her urethra. Three days later, on August 27, Berta died.An excerpt from the notes of Guaremalean study. Sounds like V for Vendetta in the worst way I would think of.

How to forget our very own, forced sterilization camps, that claimed lives owing to botched surgeries and not sp similarly recent deaths in a sterilization camp keep reminding us, that we still live under a regime that pushed for the ban of oxytocin, a life saving drug in pregnancies, because it is apparently to abuse a certain animal. And not to even start with the abuse of refugees, prisoners and minorities all over the world.

As I remove my gloves, I still see remnants of blood that these inhumane forefathers of medicine and those who had ruled has left behind

My gloves, you see, could be discarded, so could be the blood of toil that they have left. Will we?

Ps : The relevance of this whole write up is when I see hatred, communal, racial,lingual, casteist or in any damn way (which unfortunately I see more recently, than I had ever ), I fear, and on remembering the history, that fear amplifies. And if you think history and politics are not related to healthcare, kindly compare healthcare indices of states or countries with different political backgrounds and decide for yourself, I hope you see a pattern there.

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Caramel custard (a short story)

‘You would get a retirement than getting a judgement in our system.’ swinging his long, black coat, that was covering his quite plump physique and continuing his stiff walk, my lawyer A J Nabar went on motioning towards the crowded street food stalls continuing  ‘You eat and come while I go for the discussion’

And there I was standing outside the High Court, all alone. Crossing the heavy traffic, and the busy roads I looked up to see an old yellowish building, half of its paint ripped apart.
I found myself a seat. One right under it’s creaky, old and slow fan.

‘Order madam?’ The waiter popped out of nowhere.

‘Five minutes.’ Half pleadingly, half wondering if these fans are even made anymore i motioned him to go.

‘I used to bring my daughter here and she loved everything! You have no appreciation of good food at all! Kids these days!’ My grandfather yelled at me, his voice box searing high.

Mildly embarrased, heavily angered I turned my chair away from my grandpa to my dad . They were here for their case. Dad and grandpa against each other for some property, but I was concerned with things that were more important back then.

‘You promised that you would buy me food from that international food outlet. ‘ I pointed out his unkempt promise.

I was a small town kid, we didn’t have such outlets at our place, the city was the dream back then, that’s where you get everything. It was more important for me to brag that I’ve been there, than just eating good food.

A five feet me sitting at one end of the table while a slightly taller grandpa at the other end, while my tall, neutral father in seated in the middle, ironically stuck between us and a  table having all its space taken up by good food, was looking at us yearningly.

‘Arent you going to eat this or not?!’my grandpa ordered.

‘No way. I wont.’ I angrily yelled back.

‘Fine then don’t eat. This caramel custard here, is their signature, they’ve been making it since your father was a child. Atleast try a bite of that.’ He brought a spoon of that towards my mouth.

Putting it half heartedly inside my mouth, my ego acted out, thus I was gagging.

‘Ew.’ I kept gagging.

Now, my completely angry grandfather turned into a tomato, and asked my dad to take me away, my stomach was grumbling, but I ended up eating at that outlet much later that day, just like my stubborn self hoped I have and bought back half for my little brother. He hugged me happily.

‘Madam, order?’ The waiter popped back again, this time a little less patiently.

‘Caramel custard.’ A tiny smile lurked around my mouth.

‘That’s all?’

‘That would do.’ I smiled again.

I waited for a while, wondering how I have ended up here against my own brother for the same property dispute.

My caramel custard arrived, on a stainless steel plate and with a soup spoon over it. Wiping off my dusty, soup spoon with a tissue paper, I took a small piece, with some syrup and had a bite.

I felt  weird sensation over my cheeks, and my eyes tingling and that is how I started crying in the middle of a canteen, surrounded by lawyers and staffs throwing their concerned looks at me.

‘Is there anything wrong?’a lady voiced out their looks.

‘This tastes so good! ‘ I exclaimed, bursting out in tears hugging her. Looking puzzled they all turned back.

My phone buzzed.
‘You can go home. Drop by next month, for the next hearing.’ The text read.

‘Can I get one packed?’ I asked the cashier and this time he flashed a huge smile at me, nodding his head fast, giving me a tiny cardboard box to be carried in a polyethylene bag.

Searching him, eyes wandering and mind wavering, I finally found him, my little brother on the middle of the road, alone like I did, a while back.

I ran to him, this time forgetting to cross the busy roads, like I couldn’t see, for once again my vision was blurred by tears and then, I hugged him tightly.

‘Here, I got this for you.’
And that is when I spoke to him after five years of silence. We didn’t get our judgement yet, but that is when we got us ourselves back.

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To our tunes

The best gift my father had given me as a child would’ve probably been taking me for all those long drives and probably teaching me to love everything about food, not just eat but to actually looooooove it, Dad nailed it. 

Him being busy with his work quite often, we hardly spent a hour with each other a day, but these long drives that happened once a while, me and my father, that was one of the wholesome moments I’ve had.

His playlist was gold. From R D Burman to Ilayaraja, from Boney M to Ceylon radio hits, we heard everything, and we sang together, quite often the wrong lyrics, so loudly, happily, on roads that felt neverending and the horizon that felt sneakily close.

As an adult the biggest independence would be to have your own playlist. Your own goddamn beat. Every word, every tune that you love, back to back, just how mindblowing that is!

Every genre for a part of life. From pop music as a preteen, grunge rock as a rebel teenager, classical as a transition in between, and finally settling together with jazz, music has defined growing up at every point of our lives. When I think about how it could’ve started, I could only think of cavemen dancing to the beats of their feet hitting the floors, throwing stones on wall to make their rhythm.

We live by our tunes. Rather judging someone by their friends, I’d look in a person’s playlist to analyse them. (NO not like that, not creepy) A person’s playlist indeed tells a lot about someone.

If we could live as tunes, I would want to live as a jazz tune, light in the air, a spontaneous harmony yet complication of sorts, yup that’s the one, I would want to be a ‘Giant steps’ the most feared and revered piece of audio art. Buuuuut that’s only a want, and I’m probably the laziest pop song, like Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’. 🤦‍♀️ What tune are you and what do you aspire to be?

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Fate

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Shit

Shit, that’s where I lived around.

Piled up human and animal excreta at the corners of my street, surrounded by cluttering house flies. The streets were narrow and hence reeked of the stench.

Half-dressed children, scruffy and rugged playing; middle aged women babbling, giggling and doe eyed sparrows hopping around, like they couldn’t smell a thing, happily.

I never remembered the mornings, but the noons, vividly.

On the way from school to home, walking with my huge sack of what was filled with books packed in with hatred, and lunch packed in with love. Leisure walking, wide eyed, looking around at the world I lived in.

Our summertime adventure was hopping around kitchen counters when the sewage water had peeped into our houses, imagining we were sailors jumping from one ship to another to avoid falling off in a sea full of piranhas who haven’t had their breakfast, feeling victorious everytime we did so, almost estimating ourselves to be as some kind of spiderman. Being thrilled, yet never showed how exciting it was. It was a black phase in my mother’s life. But for me, that’s where I lived, I wouldn’t know how it was supposed to be bad. Everything was exciting, the insects, the sparrows, the children and the sound of laughter filling the air.

I was 7 years old, when I realized why my mother wouldn’t let me play outside or why I couldn’t invite a friend over. The reason was simple, the place I lived, was the place people scrunched their nose when they walked past.

‘Is that where you lived?’ Was a question I’ve been asked million times.

I was confused. Did that mean they thought I was poor? Was I poor?

I asked my mother.

And her reply was that we were ‘quite rich’.

For the next few days, I gleamed to everyone proudly, like I’ve found the very secret of life, that I was in fact ‘quite rich’. My understanding was that, quite rich was still, rich.

At school my actual ‘rich’ friends laughed at me, for gleaming at the fact that I was ‘poor’ so proudly. Turned out, quite rich probably meant that, you are neither rich nor poor. This was an excuse for them to drag where I lived and mock that I lived there, for many nights, I wondered if my life was actually not as beautiful as I made it out to be.

A few days later, incidentally while I was forcefully woken up for an exam, I saw my first sunrise, that day on the terrace. My house, being four floored standing above everyone else’s houses, I felt a little closer to the sun. I would never forget that day.

Sparrows and parrots that danced on my terrace, the sun half shining.

That’s when I realized, we all sleep under the same sky, how did it matter what bricks we were trapped in?

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Them

Their

Mads rambling,

Feudals gambling,

Liberals ambling,

Strident echoes to squeak,
Hopes almost always bleak

Up, the materials smoke

While our leaders lie down just stoke.