Alive. And Kicking.

Last few days have been such a roller coaster ride. From trying to recuperate after a stressful event (which went ok) to doing another under duress (which went ok as well) to getting a painful operation surgery that was supposed to be painless (happened on the 23rd and till date there are no signs of respite), I dont think I have ever undergone these many transitions in my emotions in this short of a span. Ever.

I dont even know how I will write this. But I am still going to try. Stay patient. Will you?

Lets start with a list of thing that have been wrecking havoc in my head. In no order...

A. I turned 35.
That means I am now old. In no survey around the world I am a part of youth.

Apart from this, I was supposed to be a billionaire by the time I was 35. This is THE only truth I had known since I was a kid. I remember when I was passing out of MDI, I had told a friend that I will be a dollar millionaire and a dollar billionaire by the time I am 25 and 35 respectively. None of the two has happened and no, I dont say this lightly - if I were to die tomorrow, I will not be a happy man at all. To me, the only way I measure the impact you've had in the world is by the amount of money you've made and the number of lives you've touched / impacted / changed / touched. Money - few lakhs. Lives - fingers on a single hand will be lot more than the count.

I will come back to this. Lemme set context and talk of large themes.

B. I got my first ever evasive surgery done.
Yes I am lucky to not have had any big medical complications in these 35 years.

And if you are curious, it was a nasal polyp surgery. And it was painful. My respect for women has gone up many notches, now I know how surgeries could feel like. I dont know what makes them go through the labour pain to get a life to the world. And is this the kind of world where you want to bring a life to? Well...

Anyhow, the surgery meant that I was in the hospital for a few days and I was under a lot of pain and distress. And I was hungry. And since I was given general anaesthesia (GA) so that they cut cut the damn thing from inside of my nose, I could not even drink water (for more than 12 hours. And since I breathe through my mouth, the throat, lips and all other things were parched like a forgotten road in the damn Sahara). I dont remember much from after the surgery once I got my senses back; except that I was in the ICU and begging for water. I remember folding my hands and asking the nurse on duty to let me die if water was that toxic for my system. Again, more on this at some other stage.

Also, I realised that my capacity to tolerate physical pain is very low. And the experience has made me rethink a lot of things in life. The first one - the shot at the Everest. Thing is, while I will prepare for it, out there, you dont know what hits you and when. And unlike at home where you have doctors and medical science and money and time and nature by your side, up there, you have nothing. May be a couple of injections with adrenaline shots.

At some trek when I had hair. Lemme use this opportunity to show off. No? 

Second, I want to change the world and all that but in case I cant tolerate pain, how am I supposed to set an example?

Third, when I am in pain, I become someone else. I am often rude (to taxi guys that I use to commute from my place to the clinic, to chemists that dispense meds, even to my parents who are with me, like a rock!). I become someone that I am not. And I need to fix that.

P.S.: Whoever said Nasal Polyp surgery is painless, please do go get one. I will change my name if do not scream your lungs out. The procedure could replace those ancient torture methods. The kind of shit they make you go through, its unimaginable.

First you are suffering from a polyp - that means while the surgery happens, you would not get water for 12 hours (like I mentioned above). When you eventually get back to eating and drinking and all that, you cant feel the relief because there is this thing in your nose that makes your life uncomfortable. It is stuffed with meters of gauze, rolled into a thin tube. But thankfully, there is water and food. And btw you are still breathing from your mouth.

They remove gauze after about 3 days. When they do, you realise that all the blood and muck and other things inside of your nose has dried along with the gauze and is now stuck to the open would. Inside of your nose.

And how do they remove it? They yank it out. Simple enough.

But when they do that, it comes along with it flesh (ripping the wounds that had just started to heal) and some more blood. No, you are still not breathing. Neither from your nose because theres muck there. Nor from your mouth because you are screaming out loud.

No, its not over.

After this thing is out, they put a tiny suction pipe into the nose, goes about 3 inches inside (yes. 3 inches) and they start to literally scrape off leftovers with it. Again, nerve cells tingle so much, so bad that you are screaming. And no, you cant move your head. If you do, the drill suction pipe may damage something else.

They could give you local anaesthesia but thats another horror story altogether. Its like a spray in your nose. The first ten milliseconds are nothing. And then it starts to hurt the nose. And slowly, like a drop of water trickling down a dry surface, the pain descends to your throat. It gets "heavy" - at least you cant scream after that. If you do, I dont remember hearing it. Oh, the anaesthesia is local. Local as in millimetres local. The suction moves around so much that its actually of no use.

Also, this is where treatment for most patients end.

For me, for some reason, I had to get a silicone thing embedded in my nose. And stitched. Thankfully I was injected (not sprayed) with some more anaesthesia before that happened. I would've died otherwise. I dont know how do women get the nose pierced. While it looks gorgeous, it cant be simple. Second time when I realise that women are so much so much stronger. All this while I would think of women and men as merely equals. No they are not. They are better.

Coming back. I am not sure what are the next steps. I need to see the doc in a few days. If the nose is healing well, this silicone thing may be removed (by, I am guessing cutting the stitches and yanking it out, hoping it doesnt come along with more pain or blood, and thus no further surgery). If its not, I will have a second round. And no, I dont have it in me to go through it.

I now know of the plight of patients that need painful treatment to be able to see slim chances of survival.

To me, pain was an academic interest area at best and I would use it loosely all the time. I would write about it in my blogs, books book and other things. I would romanticize it when I would see a Rocky or a Rambo revel in it. I would think of it as a no big deal when I saw people fall down and hurt and cry. Now I know what a wound is. Now I know what pain is. And I dont know if I have hurt any sentiments ever over pain, but if I have, I apologize.

This thing has made me appreciate life a little more. Respect others a tad more. Hope the change is permanent.

C. This is probably the longest that I have gone without writing. 
More than a month now.

To the ones who meditate and the ones who pray, they would know how they feel when they are devoid of practise. I feel that something really important has been taken away from me. Some part of me has been taken away. Something has happened that makes me incomplete. After all this blog, this set of posts that I know no one reads (except Vivek and at times PD) is the thread that sort of gives meaning to my life. Like I keep saying, apart from living, this is the longest I've ever done something.

And no, I have no plans of stopping. And everytime I am away from it, I feel this void that nothing seems to fill, but a spewing of words on this blog.

And no, I am not complaining. I just wish I could do this everyday.

So, now that a broad table of contents (and a not-so-short rant on the surgery) is laid on the well, table, here are some thoughts. In no order. Lol. Why would I put a table of contents if I wasnt hoping to follow any table? Never mind.

First. My underachievement conundrum. Like I have said this a million times, I feel like a am a failure.

I mean look at any culture around the world. They would have their respective definitions of success. Most would have money, contribution to society, family, making the world a better place in varying degrees. Thing is, what I am, in no culture around the world, ever, would be considered a success.

Closer home, in Hinduism, there is this concept of Purushartha (this slideshare is a good intro). A man ought to have four types of goals - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Each has a specific reason and order. When I look at me, I am not sure if I have discharged my duties on any of the 4 counts - I have a sketchy understanding of Dharma, I have literally no Artha, there is no Kama and Moksha is anyway kinda far.

Agreed that I get things done and I am good at what I do. And agreed that I am actually paid fairly well for it but its not something that gives me satisfaction. It does make me happy and I am in the zone when I am doing it. But, the thing is, I want more. Lot more. And I dont know why I cant seem to get that. Or there. May be I am not meant to be big. May be I am not the Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezoes that I've always thought of myself as. May be I need to accept it and move on in life.

May be, in an alternate universe, I could have hit the reset button and undo a lot of things that I could've done things differently - what bits, I dont know. Sincerely. Each thing that I've done has shaped me the way I am. May be I need to let go? I could simply move to a cold country. Find a boring job in a boring place that keeps me occupied and gives me a few hours each day to chase a hobby. Think of Mark Whalberg from Shooter. Once he is retired, he lives at a cabin in the mountains, keeps to himself and stays like that. Does odd jobs. Chases his hobby of shooting.

Or look at Denzel Washintgon's character in The Equalizer. All he does is, does a stupid boring job at a hardware store. And then reads because he's an insomniac. And becomes pretty much a creature of habit like no one else is.

For me, the day job could be driving around an Uber. Allows me to gather stories. And then with whatever time I get, I could go play pool and then may be write. These two -- writing and pool -- will allow me to get unwind after a day spent behind the wheels. Any way thats all you do when you are no longer young?

Or I could be Jack Reacher for God's sake! P.S.: Have this dying need to create someone like that. Why create? Because I want to be one and I dont have the ability to be one and thus, create one. Sidenote: Hah! Jack Reacher. One small surgery made you wince like a baby and you want to be a tough guy! 

Or may be, just may be, I could give things another shot. Till the end of the financial year. Go all-in and see what I am capable of? That means the next 6 months will be hardwork, hustle and lot of effort.


Like I havent had this peptalk with me earlier. I forget the number of times I've done this. Sigh. But like I said. Time to correct course and that will happen from now. Next 6 months should be interesting.

Thing is, I have always said that I want to work on things that give me two or more of the following three...

  1. 1. Money (a lot of it)
  2. 2. Respect (from peers more than anything else)
  3. 3. Opportunity to learn (and network and make friends etc)

And on top of all of that, I have to enjoy the process / outcome.

But then because I have chased this triad, I am left as a poor man, in an industry that requires little or no expertise to pull grand things off and limited possibilities of future.

I think for the next 6 months, I need to just chase money because I have enough to be able to pay my bills, I can invest the leftover at other places. And that could give me opportunities to learn and to earn some respect. No? Guess so. Will decide and figure out the next steps soon.

Anyhow, so this longish rant is actually very long now. Time to wrap it up. Hope I did not lose the plot. I still suck at going back to the post and editing it.

Thanks for reading. Pray for me. Please.

P.S.: This is the first day of the month, lets see if I can make a post on each day of this month. Lets say yet another 30 posts in 30 days challenge?

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The Nidhi Kapoor Story

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