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OK it's the end of the month and I think I'll put in my personal Music Chart for the month of July - based on music blaring out of my 10 year old 80 watt boombox with loose wires, scratched speakers and a dusty cabinet and connected to my laptop and CD player that play a variety of CDs which I bought at ELS, ebay, were gifts or just copied and also a range of radio stations from air1, KLove, Acaza, CMradio and Youthfire. So friends - here we go.

Top 10 Songs for July
1. One day at a time - Jeremy Camp
2. Praise you in the storm - Casting Crowns
3. My Saviour - Aaron Shurst
4. The more - Downhere
5. Beyond Belief - Petra
6. Everyday - Jessie Daniels
7. Sing to me - Krystal Meyers
8. Stay - Jeremy Camp
9. You'll Never let go - Matt Redman
10. Since I met you - DC talk

Top 5 albums for July
1. Stay - Jeremy Camp
2. Farewell - Petra
3. Krystal Meyers -Krystal Meyers
4. Supernatural - DC Talk
5. Root - By the Tree

OK thats it - Next month will see a completely new set. I'm awaiting a few CDs I bought on ebay and there are a couple of CDs I havent listened to as yet ... and also the radio sure that they will play some new songs too!
Till then.....

Disjoint? That would probably describe my day.
1. Midnight saw me drinking coffee, aimlessly surfing the internet and making small attempts at studying. What is it that repulses me from these textbooks that are my hope to pass exams??!!
2. I had planned to leave to Chennai and surprise my parents at 3AM and had arranged with Vinu to stop me at the unearthly hour. At 4 AM I was still awake in my room and somehow felt too lazy to make the trip.
3. I went to sleep at 5 AM - what??!! Is my biological clock out of sync??!!
4. I MISSED CHURCH. Why? I woke up at 8 AM and then re-slept all the way to 11AM. That meant no church, no hometrip and no breakfast. Ugh.... I need to retune my biological clock.
5. Fried rice and Chicken with a load of chips filled my stomach at 2 PM - lunch!!!
6. I got around to reading all the mail sent through my website in the last 2 months. I finally updated the scrawlwall - http://www.addicted2jesus.com/a2jscrawlwall.html ; it's now got some cool new statements in some weird fonts!
7. Searched for a new mobile on.... ebay (ouch!). All the good deals were not ending soon and I'll have to recheck in a couple of days. Maybe I'll just walk down the street and buy a new one. But oh... the joy of bidding online and getting something cheaper - maybe I'll get addicted to it!
8. Arpudh dropped in after tea and we had a loooong chat about Christian music and he borrowed a few CDs from me. Hope he likes 'em. I also noticed that his mobile was more scratched and less functional than mine (except for the battery which lasted a longer time). Am I getting desperate for a new mobile?
9. At 8 PM - Dinner. Just dinner. Food, water, period.
10. Coffee at 10.30. Coincidentally, bumped into Cynthia. Unfortunately felt too randomised to really enjoy a good conversation.
11. BEHIND ENEMY LINES: Probably the most exciting part of the day. I actually watched the whole movie! It was thrilling, action-packed and interrupted by long ad-breaks (Gotta complain to AXN), but I loved the movie. It's been a long time since I sat through a whole movie.... awesome movie!
12. back in my room, back to randomness and then dozed off at 2 AM

Is there a method to this madness? A plan in this randomness? Or am I just muddling it up all by myself? The basic problem is that I dont seem to be able to study and that leaves me with a lot of time during these study leave that seems to fill my mind with random thoughts and ideas. I've been praying a lot and actually having longer quiet times. But something leaves me empty.....
God..... fill me more - I hate that emptiness in me!

Last night I'd gotten some chicken curry stain onto my shirt sleeve. It was a nice shirt and the stain was large and messy. After finishing dinner I came up to my room and soaked it in soap water. Today as soon as I woke up I rinsed it and bingo..... no stain! Lol... iszzat magic or what?
I continued my confused quest to learn for my exams and made multiple trips to the lib, back to my room, the mess, to my bed etc etc. I ran a spyware scan on my comp (ad-aware) after a very long time and luckily there werent any serious threats detected - took 3 hours for the scan though!
10 PM saw a timid knock (or rather a loud thud) on my door. I opened it to find Vinu who requested (ordered?!) me to tune his guitar. I did it - better to listen to him playing a tuned warped guitar than an untuned warped guitar for the night. I also loaned him a Big Tent Revival CD (and secretly hoped that it would discourage him from jamming on the guitar for the night!)
Although eventful, today will fade away just like another day I guess. ..... lost in the whirlpool of yesterdays that I may never remember a few days from now. Time is precious I guess. It's 11:56 PM now and 4 minutes from this post, today will be gone forever and I cant get it back. I cant cram more for the day. I cant reverse anything.

I did the awefullest thing you could ever imagine - forgot that today was Amma's birthday. OK - it's like this. I've never use my watch in the last 2 months as we dont use it in the nursery and hence it showed today as 25th July. And being on study leave totally disengaged me from the day and date of life. So much for excuses.... I felt bad. At 10 PM Appa sent me a gentle SMS reminder. After struggling with a congested network, I scooted back to my room and called them up from my landline. as expected - she wasn't surprised. It wasn't the first time I was doing this. Had a pretty long chat with appa and Amma.
Amma's always been a source of inspiration to me and her inner strength and love for Christ have been instrumental in moulding me.
Appa recently scanned an photograph of Amma garlanding Indira Gandhi (the ex-prime minister of India) and mailed it to all of us. He also wrote this note
I am attaching the photo of Amma garlanding Indira Gandhi when later made her 1st visit to Sri Lanka as Prime Minister of India. This is one of the photos shown to me by her father through Jean aunty in 1973, when I was in a hurried trip to Mauritius as Indian deligate(my first foreign visit). I immediately accepted her even without seeing her! I saw her only few hours before our engagement function!! Even now I feel I made the best choice.
Appa
Lol... and my memory - why do I forget names and dates so easily. Is my mind clogged? Am I getting old? Do I need someone to remind me regularly? Do I need one of those hi-tech organisers that will remind me? Or maybe just a wife!!!??
I guess I tend to be preoccupied. Not realising...... LOL!!

Started today on a blurry note - got up late and just goofed around the room. I felt very distracted today. I opened my Nelson's Textbook but couldn't read. Had a flight of ideas screaming through my mind and I was getting nowhere. Music zipped out of my boombox and was lost before it even hit me. I dozed, I ate, i dozed and gave in again to thoughts that drifted.....
I went to library where cramming was painful and I couldn't progress beyond a few paragraphs. A tea-break, a hunger-break and I was back in MIQ basement and soon was watching a movie - aptly called Crash-Landin which seemed to be what I was heading for. The only thing to look forward to was a music concert by Living Waters at the auditorium. Luckily I bumped into Vinu and Gladwin and we decided to go (I would have definitely skipped it if it weren't for them). It was the best part of the day!
The music was softer than what I expected, but full of meaning. It was entitled "The Potter's Hand" and the highlight was Cynthia singing the theme song with her testimony. It brought back memories of Sheba singing it at EMC when I first played the guitar for her. I think Sheba's voice is a touch better than Cynthia's, but maybe I'm biased!!!! They also sang "Power of Your Love" - a song Sheba Jitto and I informally sang at a family get-together. It definitely was very uplifting and encouraging.
We walked out of the auditorium and were greeted by a heavy drizzle. Vinu and I decided to visit a couple of people at CHAD and after getting a little drenched we couldn't locate Saravanan, but had some great coffee With Vinay and Anu, before I rode the bike back on wet roads. It was 'largely' uneventful with just one epsiode of stalling and a couple of sudden brakes etc. All's well that ends well. Had a long chat with Vinu as we parked the bike and walked back for dinner.
I had another short session with my Nelson's textbook and then came back to my room.
it's been a tipsy day - bad start followed by God's wonderful way of putting back joy in my heart - He knows that I love music!
So here I am - it's almost midnight and I'm blogging in a rather cheerful mood. I've noticed a lot of empty spaces in my blog and will try to fill 'em up.

Gladwin was leading worship today and although we had met yesterday for practice, we were still underprepared musically and had lots of loose chords and starts. As usual God took charge and although we did hit a few wrong chords, the church truly worshipped the Lord. The songs came out well and we were quite happy. At the end Peter Dailey met us and offered to help smoothen out our worship. He noticed the lack of proper practice and coordination and was willing get set things better organised.
I realise that we tend to be quite haphazard in our approach to leading worship. Part of the reason is the busy and varied schedules each of us have making co-ordination of practice, chords and stuff quite difficult. But everytime we find that God takes care of all the inadequacies and the singing and worship come out OK.... great.... enjoyable.... awesome. Got me thinking - is depending on God's power an excuse for being disorganised. Can we blame it all on busy schedules and lack of time. Maybe not. Just like we spend hours on paper-readings, academic activities, theses, exams I guess we need to be more structured in our approach to leading worship. Over the next few weeks, I hope that things get clearer and we get better.
Worship, and Leading Worship, is a serious but enjoyable interaction with God and we cannot be slipshod or haphazard.
God, help us coordinate better to exalt your name more!

Finally all the tests were over. I'll post Sheba's mail here so you can get an idea of what it means:
Thank you for your constant prayers. Luke was discharged last night fromthe Cleveland Children's hospital with the following brief diagnosis. All tests point to a metabolic disorder. They havent told if the condition existed at birth, but his symptoms definitely started early as he used to be allergic to protein from about 3 months. The ophthalmologists confirmed that this has affected his optic nerve which is why he currently has limited vision. This might also explain why he sometimes blinks for a few minutes when he first wakes up and sees light. ButNo explanation has been given for:
1. His significant improvement since June 2005. His eyes have started tracking objects and he responds very well to sound.
2. His blinking stops if Lisa puts her hand over his eyes.
3. His motor skills have improved dramatically over the past three months, where he has started grasping Lisa's (or mine ;) hair when hel ies on the shoulder, uses his hands more and has controlled leg movements
4. His balance has improved. His neck does not slouch and his head control is much better. he can sit, stand and walk with a little support.
5. So much more,..you have to see him!
I dont know if you can see it, but from our side, we know thateverything that cannot be explained finds perfect reason in our Jesus.The doctors did acknowledge that there is much hope in his treatmen tsince all his skills and faculties have improved after he turned six months old. While they can't explain the improvement, they can see it. No vital organs have been affected by God's grace. This is where man's power ends and our Faith begins. All through the diagnosis, the only thing that Lisa kept saying in her mind is " But God did not promise me that". To better explain that, let me share the story behind their son being named "Luke Daniel Ross".
When Arun and Lisa came to know that they were having a boy, they prayed about the name and decided that his first name would be "Luke". But they had a different name in mind for his second name, till Arun wasd riving Lisa to the hospital for delivery. On Dec 28th, the verse that Lisa read was:"Then was the king exceeding glad, and commanded that they should takeDaniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found on him, because he had trusted in his God." Daniel 6:23
At that time she felt that the Lord was telling her that the child she was about to bring into this world would definitely go through times that she cannot control. But she could feel God promising that His protection would prevail. That is why they named him Luke Daniel Ross.
If you are in their house and you wake up anytime in the middle of the night, you will see Lisa keeping Luke's hands on the pages of the Bible where these promises are mentioned and crying out to God. Arun has displayed tremendous peace and calmness, constantly acknowledging that the Lord is at work. (You can tell how much we love and respect them!) We hope you can continue to join us in prayer as we wait for the Lord'sdeliverance.
From the book: Praying with women of the bible"We must not fix our eyes on our prayer or its answer; we must fix oureyes on the Lord. We wait for Him. Waiting, then is not burdensome because we wait for God Himself, the One who meets all my needs andnever late or incomplete in his coming."And that is why they call this peace that we all have...a peace that passeth all understanding.
Because He lives,
Luke's favourite Athai and Mama (okay,..self-proclaimed)
Jitto and Sheba

Sometimes I wish I werent a doctor. I had a chat with Lisa at 2 AM and she clearly knew the reality that the doctors told her and the hope that we have in Christ. I wish I didnt know the endless possibilities or rather the endless limitations that a 'metabolic' disorder in a child means. How many parents have I spoken to saying "There's nothing much we can do other than hope for the best" ... and tonight I understood the meaning of FAITH. I need to believe in something that no textbook or professor has taught me. I've been listening to Jeremy Camp and everytime I listen to "One day at a time", I feel like Luke is singing out the song for us.....

One day at a time i will walk this road i've traveled so far
One day at a time well i know i will carry on
One day at a time i can see you took my life this far
One day at a time I will take this faith along

All this hope i breathe is given by the hand that carries me
Until I'm complete

And i'll take all i will
To understand this plan you have for me, for me

I've been shut up shut down held out held down
In ways i never knew i would
I CAN feel your fullness in my life
Well i've been burned out broken torn out torn down
In ways i never knew i would
I CAN feel your fullness in my life

One day at a time I will take these words you've given me
One day at a time I will rest in knowing you
One day at a time I will share this gift you've given me
One day at a time I will walk these valleys through

All I know is that I see how much my heart
Is longing to be cradled by your side
And i'll give all i can to one day soon
Be held by your hand, by your hand


I've been shut up shut down held out held down
In ways i never knew i would
I CAN feel your fullness in my life
Well i've been burned out broken torn out torn down
In ways i never knew i would
I CAN feel your fullness in my life


In all these things i will press on
I'll be with you i know it wont be long

This is probably the longest post in my blog.... but my mind is so full of thoughts; thoughts that go beyond the knowledge I have and strive to learn as a doctor and soar into the endless possiblities of God's wondrous powers and mysteries.
I know Luke is safe in God's care and His plans for Luke are the best.
If you have got this far on this blog entry - please spend a couple of minutes praying for Luke.
Thanks for your time.

Farewell by PetraJust as I was about to go off for lunch Joyce called up and said she had a little gift for me. We met and she handed me my 'gift' - The 'Petra -Farewell' VCD. Awesome!! I was pretty excited and decided to spend the weekend listening to it. I finally saw/listened to it on sunday and it brought back a flood of memories: Petra was one of the first Christian bands I ever listened to when I was in school and i know that their music was intrumental in getting me off secular and rock music that I was wading into! Remembered the few Petra songs we sang at church, the concert I attened in Bangalore and all the cassettes I bought which unfortunately lie warped in my room!
I'll treasure this CD.... a lot. Especially that it came in as a gift!
If you're reading this Joyce.... thanx a zillion. If you're not reading this - anyway I messaged you my thoughts by SMS!!!

My nephew Luke (aka Lukie/Lutie) is a very special child. He's more than one-and-a-half years and still can't see very well or sit. Doctors have been grappling for a diagnosis. He's special because he always defies what the doctors predict. Arun and Lisa (and all of us) have been hoping to get a diagnosis for him and finally it was decided to run a special battery of tests and get him seen by some experts at the Cleveland Hospital.
Today I received this email from Sheba and it put in place what we were hoping for;

Dear family,
You might know that my precious nephew Luke will be undergoing someimportant tests at the Cleveland Children's hospital starting today, the18th upto 20th July. The last one year has probably been the most significant days in ourspiritual journeys as we have spent many many hours on our knees andpraying for a miracle. We feel that the timing of this hospital visit isperfect as on January 17th we started a "Luke prayer wall" in Arun's house where we listed all areas that needed the Lord's healing touch. All of us distinctly got promises that we were in for a big miracle inJuly and we are very excited to see the Lord unravel His sovereignty inLuke. Two verses that have filled our hearts during these prayer battles are:

Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.These events will bring great honor to the LORD's name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love." - Isaiah55:13
The LORD gave me this message:
"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations." - Jeremiah1:4,5
This email is to request prayer and we are hoping that we can all joinin prayer at the same time and express our faith in the Lord. We've comeup with a few timings and hope you can join us:July 18th - 20th : 11:00 a.m. EST/ 8:30 p.m. IST 10:30 p.m. EST / 8:00 a.m. IST
A few prayer points:
1. Luke: He should be awake during significant tests. Hope he will notfeel any pain.
2. Joel: He is staying with Rao Uncle and Aunty...hope he doesnt miss lisa at night
3. Arun and Lisa: The peace that they show at this time is contagious! Please pray for strength and endurance. Lisa will be staying at thehospital at night. We will keep you updated as we hear from them.
We are confident that the Lord is in control...Lets knock all heaven's doors!
Because He lives,
Jitto and Sheba

The next few days are going to be tense, full of hope, tiring, full of prayer, eye-opening. If you do read this - say a short prayer for little Luke - I hope that he will be a miracle child...

After a nearly-sleepless friday night, rounds and the nursery were well-behaved on saturday. Dr. Anil was on call this weekend and I was s'posed to lead worship on sunday at church. We couldnt meet for practice on saturday evening like we usually do as I hadnt yet chosen the songs and also Dr. Anil was at a meeting till 6 PM. I finally handed over the pager at 7 PM to him and set to work putting things together for the worship session. I called up people - Jyothi said she would make it and Sara and Sonia confirmed their availability. Abu and Kenny were not there, so there was noone to play the keys. I managed to catch Cynthia by SMS late in the night and then talked to her - she sounded tired (the busy life as an intern!), but said she would try to get permission to come. Trinity and Miriam were not contactable.
The songs fell into place quite quickly - I decided on the theme "Security". Getting the lyrics and the powerpoint took some time and I downed quite a few cups of coffee before I finally got finished at 2 AM. I had very refreshing chats with Suneeta, my classmate, and Priya, an online friend, in the midst of the preparation which was very useful. I woke up just before 7 today and things seemed OK. Just after a shower I got a message from Jyothi saying she had overslept and wouldnt make it. I felt a little disappointed. Almost in answer, Shirley called up out of nowhere and said she's be there. I SMSed Sara and Sonia in case they had overslept - they hadnt! Phew! Gladwin offered to pick me up ( I had to carry a guitar and the laptop). He was 20 minutes later than what he promised. We reached church by 8.30 AM and soon set up the mikes. After doodling with the LCD projector settings we started practice with Shirley, Sonia and me. Oops - we ran into trouble trying out the first 2 songs - Rock of Ages and Fear Not; Both of them did not know it. We were struggling. Almost in answer, Jacob, who was in Vellore for the weekend, popped in and soon Cynthia was there too - she looked tired, but her voice was awesome!! Soon time ran out and we prayed and started the service. Amazingly the songs came out better than we expected and the congregation really worshipped the Lord. It's so great to see God in control of things with his presence and power! The rest of the service was great too! Kalyani aunty gave a very practical talk about Love - very realistic!
I had a great lunch, a peaceful afternoon siesta and then lazed around.
I managed to set right some forms on my website which left me satisfied. Sheba called up and we had a looooooooong brother-sister talk!! It was nice.
Jeremy Camp continued to blare out of my boombox and at 11PM I found that Vinu was shifting into the room opposite me! Great - good company at last!!!
After a cup of coffee with him at F&H (where we bumped into Arpudh and Sushil) I updated the blog.
It's been a very refreshing weekend. I know the week ahead will be busy again.... but I feel better prepared

At around 5 PM we had a sick baby admitted in nursery. The mother was a staff nurse who was 37 years old and the baby had been found to have a lot of edema on a scan this morning - fluid around the lungs, heart in the abdomen and underneath the skin. He did not cry at delivery and needed resuscitation. A quick look showed that he had Down Syndrome. The cord pH was 6.9 - indicating that he was 'severely asphyxiated'. He was having severe breathing difficulty. Within an hour he had his first seizure. There was a loud murmur when we heard his heart and that meant he probably had a major heart disease too. Normally we do not 'go all out' to treat these kind of babies as their outcome is poor and most die or are severely delayed. However it is the parents who make the decision. After talking to the father and the relatives, we continued resuscitation till the decision was made. The father walked in after a few minutes and said - we've prayed about it and we would like our baby treated fully. It seemed quite a brave decision to make. We intubated and ventilated the baby. The heart scan confirmed pulmonary hypertension and the saturation of oxygen was difficult to mantain.
Once again I found myself stuck between my medical knowledge and the "Faith" of parents. I still do not think the baby has any chance of a meaningful survival. I still think he may die tonight. I still think that even if he survives, he will be severely retarded and will have multiple health problems - and will probably die sometime later. Am I right? Am I wrong? Is my faith weak? Or am I just being practical and realistic? If this baby does die or has too many problems, does that mean the faith of the parents was meaningless? Was it an emotional decision - not one driven by Faith?
There are a lot of doubts that incidents like this leave me with. I wonder if I will ever find the answers to these questions? Faith...... emotion..... knowledge...... God...... truth... One day I'll find out.

Sunday morning started off with a bang! I entered level 2 Nursery and was staring at a new baby with massive ascites(fluid in the abdomen). I'd never managed a baby like that before and was a little worried. After getting a scan done and informing the surgeons, I was about to call up someone to make a plan for the baby when magically out of nowhere manish simply popped into nursery and soon we took out a little fluid out of the abdomen and found it to be meconium tinged fluid - that meant that the baby had perforated his gut in-utero. After stabilising the baby with some plasma and inotropes and speaking to the parents, he was taken for a surgery later in the evening. The gut was pretty messed up and some of it had gangrene. Dr. Sampath did a marathon surgery and soon the baby was back in the nursery. Night rounds took a little longer and with a sinking heart I realised that I would probably miss the World Cup finals. After settling everything I popped into the office and read the half time report on the internet. After ensuring that the babies were stable, I scooted to the TV in MIQ and joined the crowd watching the match. I got a pretty good seat, saw the highlights of the first half and was soon engrossed in some quality football! Really enjoyed it. Everything was exciting till the end of the second half when almost unbelievably Zidane did something absolutely unexpected - headbutting Materazzi and after a lot of drama, got a red card. I was amazed - what a way to end a football career ! Obviously Materazzi must have said something ugly for him to react that way! It seemed a moment of madness though - I wonder whether it will wreck years of a great career. Arent we all like that at times - a moment of weakness and all our Faith and Joy are sacrificed for the sake of a passing pleasure or anger! Lots of food for though... this incident! That was the talking point of the finals and after the match, I scooted back to nursery and checked out that everything was well and slept a little.
Eventful day - a new situation, some timely help, things better than expected and an unexpected twist to a football match. Great way to start off the week!!

Today was supposed to be a tight day - Pillai was on leave and that left us with Beryl - who was new - and Saravanan only. Luckily the day was not busy and most of the work went on well. I was on duty this weekend and therefore was a little nervous. After lunch I managed a great peaceful nap in the duty room. Saravanan and Beryl managed well and did not need my help. Night rounds went on smoothly and Athing and Praburam managed well. We got a bay who dies soon after birth with multiple anomolies and we managed to make a diagnosis and also speak to the family well so that they accepted the news peacefully.
I then managed to add a few more links to my links page - Christian links @ christian-traffic
I was keen on watching the match between Portugal and GermanyFifa world cup @ the FIFA world cup. It was at 0030 hours. After almost dozing off, I woke up on time and watched the match! It was amazing football - great goals, great shots, great saves and awesome attacking football! Loved it. And the best part was that I didnt get paged duting the 2 hours of the match as nothing much happened in the nursery. Here's a pic from the match with the happy Germans after a goal!!
On the whole today was a nice day.... pretty different from yesterday.

Today wasnt a nice day. Last night's duty was OK and the day started off OK.
Then there was a streak of uncomfortable incidents. The parents of two babies wanted to stop treatment and I couldnt convince them. This made me feel very inadequate and helpless. Made me feel upset and angry. Then we tried a percutaneous central line insertion for a baby with malaria ( last night I couldnt get IV access for this baby and luckily Saravanan managed to cannulate a vein) and after multiple attempts trying the veins in the limbs Pillai, Manish and I were unsuccessful. After rounds Manish and I tried the scalp veins and failed again. Again felt helpless. Would have been a terrible day. But it wasnt that way. Manish spoke to the relatives of one of the baby and they agreed to take the baby to another hospital. Felt more at peace. The father of the other baby agreed to allow us to treat him for a few more days after Pillai spoke to him. So that gave us the time we needed. Medical practice is filled with ethical, social, religious and social controversies especially when we treat babies who cant speak and there are financial constraints. I've not found answers to a lot of questions that pop in my mind. Many times I really wonder if I have done the right thing. I pray for wisdom - the kind that begins with the fear of the Lord. Need an extra portion of that!! Actually lots of it!!
To top off today Manish and I went out for dinner and had a relaxed awesome dinner at a great restaurant. It ended off a muddled up day peacefully. Felt tired, but not as upset as I thought I would be!

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