Friday, December 21, 2007

The Door That Corbusier Painted

I was almost going to get married today but then I remembered that its Bakr-Id when dumb animals get sacrificed/killed and the Government of India was kind enough to declare a holiday. So I went out and got this picture instead.
I think its perfect.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Legislative Assembly-Chandigarh

I have recently been reading somewhat about the French architects of Chandigarh, namely Corbusier and Jeanneret. And the more I read, the more interested I became and thought that I might do a complete photo project on this topic. Its quite remarkable that Chandigarh is a city whose uniqueness (notwithstanding the obscenely high property prices) is often underestimated. As an experiment in architecture that took off and is successful in its own way, it is unparalleled. Personally, the more I have gone about, I have found Jeanneret's work to be much more humane and approachable. Corbusier on the other hand seemed to want to inspire awe in the onlooker and he succeeded too. Now things are compounded by the fact that all these magnificent buildings are in high security zones and are quite unapproachable. I hope that someday soon I will have the time to get permission and get some thorough recording done. Other than that, it is quite heart breaking to see decay take its toll through sheer callousness. The concrete is chipping off, and everything is across the barbed wire.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The dynamics of Persistence

I often run across people who cant take no for an answer and unfortunately it becomes a problem when the no comes from a person who means it. And its sad to see that happen. Thats because everyone deserves happiness, and it doesn't come from holding on, it comes from letting go. I once realized long ago when I had cribbed over something long enough, and believed that I was unhappy and heart broken long enough that the greatest quality one can have is to be able to call it a day rather than to continue fruitlessly. I call it giving up with grace. Some times I wish others too would learn that lesson. It would make life so much easier for everyone concerned.
There can be various reasons for this obsessional persistence ranging from issues of self-esteem to simply having nothing better to do. But its never ever healthy. being persistent for a cause is ok, and is even desirable. Being persistent for the affections of another person is sick. And one never knows where it stops.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

For Udit!!!!!

theBeautifully dimming sun,
Sets in the hollowness deep,
Or swims on the waves for ever,
Spreading glittering rays while it creeps,
From the images here and there,
Screaming aloud I’m not all that weak,
As lover nature receives now
Spreading wide all green welcoming arms
Does this bridge bridge the gap between?
Does the beloved drown in the dark deep?
Let’s ask the darkness that follows
Do the lovers ever meet?
Will the secret be captured?

The secret darkness never reveals

Dear UDit,
Our readers are most eager to know you better,
Kindly send across some manner of an intro....
Sh Imm.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Originally uploaded by Shubh M Singh
I found a most interesting place the other day, on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana highway, specifically, close to Morinda is a village called Sanghol or Uchha-Pind. Called so probably because it is situated on a mound that rises up from an absolutely flat plane that extends for hundreds of miles in every direction. More interesting is the fact this village has many ancient, Buddhist ruins. I discovered this fact quite by chance because there is one that is right on the main road and someone recently put up a board announcing its existence. The next time had a chance I went in exploring and it seems that only a very small area has been excavated and the stupas that have been dug up are quite fascinating. I have not had the chance to go back with proper photo equipment yet but this promises to be great. What is more unfortunate is the fact that such significant discoveries are not generally known. If properly preserved that whole area may be a major area. Its quite probable that the mound itself covers an ancient city waiting to be discovered.
Of interest is a fascinating museum close by where there are various artifacts recovered from this place. Of interest are some pillars which have various carvings on them. And since they lay undiscovered for so long, they are absolutely fresh and pristine in condition and preservation. And the women on the pillars are all buxom and beautiful, exactly like South Indian movie stars. Unfortunately, and for unclear reasons, photography is not allowed. I will post more pictures here when I get the chance.

Bridge at Neelon Village

Bridge at Neelon Village
Originally uploaded by Shubh M Singh
Its that time of the year, when days start getting smaller, and the nights longer. Only problem so far was that they were not getting any colder but from today onwards it seems that this gripe too is over for it has started to become cold. Mornings and evenings are hazy and cold, I was driving back from Ludhiana the other morning, and there were clumps of fog. These clumps of fog finally, sullenly gave way to the sun as the morning rose.
Its that time of the year that is the best for photography, the sun appears big, evenings and mornings are full of beautiful golden light and the shadows are sharp and true. Just the time to take some good landscape shots like this one here.
It was getting dark when I took this shot, and I was standing on a bridge that vibrated each time that a truck passed and I really had no mind to be found dead with an expensive digital SLR around my neck.
Therefore, this is all I took and moved on.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Urgent Query

She is quite perfect on screen, I wonder how she looks if woken up at 3 AM in the morning??

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Need A Beer!!

I Need A Beer!!
Originally uploaded by Shubh M Singh
I am cold, I need to work but I am lazy, India is getting whipped by Pakistan in Cricket, I couldn't get a soup tonight, I am miserable, I am ..............................................I don't know what. I think I need a Beer!!!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Nero fiddled while Rome Burnt

I just got this delusional like thought in the morning academic. When Rome burnt, Nero fiddled. But was he plating first or second fiddle??
play second fiddle Assume a subsidiary role to someone, as in Mary resented always playing second fiddle to her older sister. This term alludes to the part of second violin in an orchestra. Although many would argue it is as important as first violin, it is the idea of subordinacy that was transferred in the figurative term, so used since about 1800.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Desiree Response

To the one who said "What Utter Bullshit",
someone named Desiree responded,

"It seems like manisha got good imagination and thanks to nisha i can clearly see that Manisha is not autistic as she is not angry at these posts but angry with these posts;)
The autistic self is fragmented - its emotions, will and intellect could not work together... but acc. TOM we can see that Manisha's self is not fragmented,her emotions, will and intellect are working together. She has an ability to elaborate on her statement "what utter bullshit" and she will surely do that" :P

It set me, as always, wondering, and I found that,
"Désirée" was rarely used until 1954, when it became the 967th most popular girls's name for babies born in the U.S., soaring dramatically higher (to #309) in 1955. Since then, it has never been lower than #427 in popularity.

and more interestingly, as per wikipedia...
There was a queen of Sweden called Desiree, and even more interestingly,

She never became very popular and never learned to speak Swedish. After she was widowed, she grew more and more eccentric; she went to bed by morning, she got up in the evenings, she ate breakfast at night, and she drove around in a carriage through the streets, in the courtyard, or wandered around the corridors of the sleeping castle with a light. On the last day of her life, she entered her box at the opera just as the performance had ended.

Now if this is the Desiree who responded to my post,
I wanna be friends!!!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Theory Of Mind (TOM) and The Theory Of Art-2

What utter bullshit!!!!
Yes, 'what utter bullshit', an honest down-to-earth and beautiful comment that I got in response to my last post on the theory of mind and the theory of art. Now the author of this post is someone by the name of 'Manisha'. Now a quick google for the word 'Manisha' gives about1,400,000 possible hits. Now assuming that the owner of this name is amongst these 1,400,000 hits, it might take me a little less than a lifetime to find who may be the one who did it and why. So I will just assume that it was written in a fit of anger by one of the at least two Manishas' that I have known well in my life time so far.
So far and so good, yet. But to come to the 'what utter bullshit' question in the light of the Theory of mind and art post, it does throw up several....well maybe less than several intersting possibilities. Lets examine these:
1. Manisha is 'normal' in the TOM sense of the word. That is, she thinks that this post was uteer bullshit, and is aware that it is only Manisha who thinks that it is. It is possible that others think so too, but Manisha cant be sure of that. Therefore, Manisha's tirade/anger outburst isJustify Full probably done in a fit of self righteous zealousness to save the world of such drivel as is normally found on this blog, or, it was because Manisha has another axe to grind that may eventually reach the back of my neck at a great speed sometime in the near or distant future.
2. Manisha is autistic in the TOM sense. Now that is difficult to confirm because its difficult to actually empathize or mind-read (Hey, TOM again!!!) unless I can observe Manisha in action and find out whether Manisha's tirade is in response to some ritual that was interrupted by this post or that it was simply a psychotic process.
I hope the author of that remark will come back and respond.
Meanwhile, I better get that comment moderation thingie in order.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Theory Of Mind and The Theory Of Art

The theory of mind states very simply that a normal individual can appreciate that other people have a perception (of events) that is different from theirs. Now, thats all great if we leave people with autism and others with certain neurological lesions aside. The problems starts when ever I see some artistic work. There are times when I feel extremely drawn in, communicated to, and feel some emotion. More often than not, I feel like this is all crap impersonating as profoundness. Now the theory of mind says that I am within my rights to think that way and there is nothing wrong about it. The problem starts when I start thinking as to how could anyone think that way, and that is when I think that I may be autistic. I mean here are all those fine critics that wax eloquent on all that stuff, and I just dont appreciate it and whats more, I dont even understand how anyone could like it!!! I am sure Tataastha will have an answer to this.

A Beautiful Post

A very dear Tibetan friend, Phurbu wrote to me describing her experience at the recent ceremony held in the United States honoring HH Dalai Lama Of Tibet with the Congressional model, and I thought that this is so beautiful that I could not resist sharing it with all of you.

It was absolutely wonderful. For a moment we thought we might be able to see Tibet..may be for once we can point Tibet on the world map and say thats Tibet is. From the president to the speaker of the house, they spoke valiantly about China's treacherous occupation of Tibet and that Chinese premier should meet with His Holiness. They lavished in their praise of His Holiness and the tibetan people. Not another moment could equal that of seeing colorful tibetan flags flying high on the grounds of Capitol and have everyone in the Senate bow their head to His Holiness, as Nancy Pelosoki, the speaker of the house said'No one deserves to be living in this earth as much as His Holiness." This is the first time the West Lawn of the capitol hill was allowed to use for cultural activities. We felt comforted by the love and support of US. Well it was truly a historical day..and for once my heart was at peace and innately happy.:)

As for myself, I consider myself really fortunate to have had the oppurtunity to have seen him on more than one occasion.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


It rained is still drizzling, and it rained today like I have not seen it rain in a long time. It started off with a few lazy drops when I got into the ward and when I got out, I almost could not believe the fury of the rain. It was pouring down, abd straight down, big heavy drops that were not moved from their path by the wind. And for people like me, who never run, there was no escape. And the choice was to get wet and thoroughly at that or to find shelter. And Sikhs hate to get their turbans wet. So I walked briskly through the rain and eventually found shelter in the verandah of the hospital mortuary. There in the gloom and the din raised by the rain, I sat down on a bench, sharing it with a few sad faces waiting to take their loved ones away. Some were sitting quitely, trying to keep warm, some discussing the rain, one talking on the phone with someone and asking that someone to eat and drink well. I sat down, wait for the ambulance that blocked the path of my car to move. I passed time sitting there looking at the interesting patterns the drops of water made on the indentations in the modified trolleys for corpses. SUddenly I could stand it no longer. The rain too eased a bit, I looked for the driver and asked him to move his ambulance, a request to which his acceptance was more eager than I expected. Maybe he could wait no longer as well. I tiptoed through the water and got into the car. I am in this comfortable, warm room now, maybe I will have a coffee sometime soon. It was an interesting evening.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lost in Translation?

How does one elicit psychopathology from a patient who needs 2 interpreters to get a question and to send back a reply to the interviewer?

Obviously, a lot gets lost in translation!!!!


Originally uploaded by Shubh M Singh
The other day, I was at the railway station. I reached there quite by default. But there I was, sitting on a bench and I saw this family, obviously poor, a man, his wife and a kid sitting there in the midst of some jumbled up bags maybe containing all manners of household objects. And I thought that I wanted to get into that train that was pulling out and go wherever it was going to and see what happens then. But there I was sitting on the bench, much like that family waiting for the right train top pull in. Quite significantly though, I got out of the station before the train came in. And I drove home thinking again of that family and where they were and where they would want to be. The days of reckless courage, it seems are finally over. And now its all about living routinely and getting out of trouble as best as I can rather than into it. strangely enough, it seems to be more counterproductive than anything else.

deep voice

Some Crazy stuff here........have a look

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Originally uploaded by Shubh M Singh
Closed eyes, but as expressive as any!!!!


Originally uploaded by Shubh M Singh
one eye of a terribly Badmash bachaa!!!

Ancient Eyes

Ancient Eyes
Originally uploaded by Shubh M Singh
Eyes that need help.......but look on.

The Look

The Look
Originally uploaded by Shubh M Singh
Another shot of eyes, this time a look of wariness and suspicion!!!


Behind Bars
Originally uploaded by Shubh M Singh
Eyes are supposed to be beautiful, supposed to be windows to the soul and all that. But i have often wondered whether they actually do communicate as much as they are said to be. I think its the allied areas, that is the eyebrows, the forehead and the cheeks that are so much more expressive. but yes, eyes are the repository of tears, and in good female hands, are irresistible weapons.
Anyways, Nisha wanted eyes, and she gets em!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I found this on this great blog, and couldn't resist putting it here.


1. A man comes into the ER and yells, "My wife's going to have her baby in the cab!" I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, Lifted the lady's dress, and began to take off her under- wear. Suddenly I noticed that there were several cabs ---and I was in the wrong one.
Submitted by Dr. Mark MacDonald, San Francisco

2. At the beginning of my shift I placed a stethoscope on an elderly and slightly deaf female patient's anterior chest wall. "Big
breaths," I instructed. "Yes, they used to be," replied the patient. Submitted by Dr. Richard Byrnes, Seattle, WA

3. One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a Wife that her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarct. Not more than five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he had died of a "massive internal fart."
Submitted by Dr. Susan Steinberg

4. During a patient's two week follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he informed me, his doctor, that he was having trouble with one of his medications. "Which one?" I asked. "The patch, the Nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours and now I'm running out of places to put it!" I had him quickly undress and discovered what I hoped I wouldn't see. Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body! Now, the instructions include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.
Submitted by Dr. Rebecca St. Clair, Norfolk, VA

5. While acquainting myself with a new elderly patient, I asked, "How long have you been bedridden?" After a look of complete confusion she answered. "Why, not for about twenty years - when my husband was alive."
Submitted by Dr. Steven Swanson-Corvallis, OR

6. I was performing rounds at the hospital one morning and while checking up on a woman I asked, "So how's your breakfast this morning?" "It's very good, except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can't seem to get used to the taste" the patient replied. I then asked to see the jelly and the woman produced a foil packet labeled "KY Jelly."
Submitted by Dr. Leonard Kransdorf, Detroit, MI

7. A nurse was on duty in the Emergency Room when a young woman with purple hair styled into a punk rocker Mohawk, sporting a variety of tattoos, and wearing strange clothing, entered. It was quickly determined that the patient had acute appendicitis, so she was scheduled for immediate surgery. When she was completely disrobed on the operating table, the staff noticed that her pubic hair had been dyed green, and above it there was a tattoo that read, "Keep off the grass." Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote a short note on the patient's dressing, which said, "Sorry, had to mow the lawn."
Submitted by RN no name


8. As a new, young MD doing his residency in OB , I was quite embarrassed when performing female pelvic exams. To cover my embarrassment I had unconsciously formed a habit of whistling softly. The middle-aged lady upon whom I was performing this exam suddenly burst out laughing and further embarrassing me. I looked up from my work and sheepishly said, "I'm sorry. Was I tickling you?" She replied, "No doctor, but the song you were whistling was, "I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener".
Dr. wouldn't submit his name


Now for the one who stumbles....
He falls here and there, since many many years. I cant find out why, when or where. But he does. I thought he has myoclonic epilepsy but he doesnt. I thought he has segmental myoclonus, but he doesnt, I thought he might have some rare myoclonic syndrome but he is briht and definitely is fine systemically. So, he becomes the man who stumbles and I cant think of what to do. And he becomes my patient because no one else can find anything to do with him too. He sits before me, smiling dubiously, catching my drift as i probe him for psychopathology, he is too smart not to know that we all are forced to think that he falls because he has a problem in his mind and not his brain or spinal cord, and I can see that he is almost hurt that he doesn't have epilepsy. So its out into the field with him, graduated falls, graduated belief into psychic determinism. I am such a tyrant.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Well from Mumble to grumble isn't a long way.
He sat in front of me, looking preoccupied, far away, shifting his head in a way reminiscent of a certain movement disorder and he looked at me vaguely after I had called out his name a couple of times. And then he started, sad unhappy and almost whiny. It were these people he said, who had nothing better to do in the past few years than talk about him all day long. In various languages, but always about him talking about whatever he does, about whatever he thinks, critical, irritating, and unceasing. Minute by minute, day after day and year after year. They could see him and whatever he saw via cameras in his eyes and he could hear them by way of a speaker in his head. And he was quite sick of them, after bottles of alcohol, packs of cigarettes, and drugs galore, they were there, they were real and they were a pain. In that one moment, maybe a fraction of a second, I sat in his place and felt what he felt and I was terrified.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


He was admitted a few days ago, and he was mumbling then when i saw him first. I talked to him the next day, a clinical interview, so to speak. His look was lost, mumble mumble, mumble.....muttering something unknown. Looking through me, as if I did not exist, nor did anyone or anything else. Just the mumbling getting to me. I felt like shaking him out of his world, knowing that it isn't possible. Just the smile that includes no one, and the mumbling that continues everywhere, in the bathroom, while eating, in the rounds, even plying badminton. Stops only for sleep where who knows what he dreams of and who he talks to. Some days later, and many drugs later, he is still mumbling but maybe less than before, and someday maybe he will tell me who he talks to before he forgets it all in the dark recesses of his psychosis ridden brain.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

For Nisha

My one faithful reader, Nisha is the one I dedicate this post to. She has kept my hopes of a multi-million dollar publishing deal alive when similar delusions on my part have long since vanished. I dedicate her this post for her unstinting and unflinching propensity to comment on my posts, no matter how innocuous, inane or even down right stupid they may be. Nisha is the reason I still write as often as I do, and I hope she gets all that she wants pretty soon.
I have been posted to the ward, so I am not getting enough time to blog as before, and well my Flickr page too takes up the little time that i have online. But this ward posting has been interesting on many aspects, firstly my enforced education on the various aspects of the Nhatquanglan virus, secondly the whole idea of finally getting some authority no matter how facile and thirdly the opportunity to make a difference in the life of lots of patients and a few residents as well.
If asked to decide what I find most satisfying, I would unhesitatingly root for the opportunity to run a ward with a certain vision quite my own, and teach junior residents with a view quite my own. For the first time in career I have started to realize the power that influence has. And I often am reminded of how my practice and my view on psychiatry was shaped by my senior resident and now I find myself trying to teach them much in the same way. Scientific temper, objectivity, compassion and common sense being the pillars on which such practices rest.
Thanks Nisha, i will get back to you soon. And I hope your eyes get better soon.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Nhatquanghlan Update

I recently noticed a spurt in the traffic to my blog which is apparently caused by people looking for answers to the Nhatquanghlan worm. Well, over here in Chandigarh, it seems that this virus is just about in all computers and is being spread by the ubiquitous pen/usb/zip/thumb drive. From my ruminations on the net and frequent tinkering around the ward computer that gets reinfected almost every day, I have made certain observations that seem to make some conclusions about this worm.
1. This worm spreads by USB drives though it is possible that other portable media may be involved too.
2. It causes the task manager, the folder options, registry files to be altered.
3. It can be diagnosed by the above symptoms.
4. There is a crappy looking folder icon that is seen (with same name as the original folder), the file size of which is 282 kb.
5. It makes the computer slow down, and no anti-virus as of now seems to catch hold of it.
6. Inability to stop the USB drive from remove hardware safely option.
7. Inability to format the USB drive.
8. The worm is an autorun .exe file and executes and infects every time a USB drive is plugged in.
1. Download Hijack this(free), and the task manager fix of the interra group (also free), and a program called spybot killer.
2. Run the hijack this (rename it first or it wont start), and fix all files with scvhost.exe (not svchost.exe), run spybot, and then task manager fix. This should cure it. As u learn more about viruses, hijack this is probably the most useful program to have.
3. Reboot, and should run ok.
1. USB hygiene is paramount. Disable autorun (wont happen unless infection is cleared first) using administrative tools.
2. Do not run any program from the USB drive, copy paste on to computer first.
3. Scan USB drive all the times.
4. Format USB drive often.
5. Read about hakaglan on the web.

All the best.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Time Out in the Traffic Lights!!!

Talk about being penny wise and pound foolish!!! Suddenly there seems to be pound wise and penny wise phenomenon as well. I am talking about the suddenly and thankfully non-functioning traffic lights at the airport chowk while entering Chandigarh from Ambala. After going through hell with all that debris and chaos at the Zirakpur crossing, another traffic light that further concentrates the light and heavy traffic together is the last thing that a harassed driver like me needs every single god damn morning of the week, month or year. As a result the traffic is now a lot smoother, there is some space to maneuver instead of the constant apprehension and anxiety of a bus, truck, scooter, horse cart or whatever breathing down your neck all the time. Suddenly the first few kilometers into Chandigarh are thankfully more relaxed than before. I hope they have a similar idea with the seemingly mindless and idiotic decision to install traffic lights at the tribune chowk.
I have often thought that we are prone to mindless knee jerk reactions. Traffic lights for instance should be put up where they facilitate the smooth movement of traffic rather than actually creating stupid conditions where traffic jams are created. So thats a good thing that happened.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Lately there has been a rash of virus attacks in computers around the area. It all started with a friend telling me of something strange going on with his computer. Namely, whenever he tried to open, there was a devilish laugh and a window that had a fairly uncomplimentary message. The long and short of it being that opening was impossible. The second being another similar window that prevented Mozilla Firefox browser from opening, and thats not all because after advising the user to switch to internet explorer, IE would shut down after a few seconds too. The third virus in the zoo was something called Nhatquanglan (someone in HO Chi Minh city Vietnam). This guy was pretty cool too, it would reproduce itself every time a folder is opened and take up some space. More irritating was the fact that it would disable the task manager and the folder options (ostensibly to prevent the user from shutting of the program). They were apparently being spread by flash drives, and no anti virus program seemed to be able to do anything about it. This necessitated a fairly radical operation in which some software like Hijack This, and reanimator had to be downloaded to clean the laptop up. So far it seems to be holding up. But what I am looking for now is some sort of a vaccine for a USB drive. Giving its overwhelming convenience and yet stupid safety profile, I hope someone somewhere , smarter than us all would get around to doing something about this.
That person would earn my undying gratitude.

On the other hand, I hope good sense prevails and life goes on smoothly.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Canned Telephone Messages Helplines

Take a peek at this little gem that I found in the Nurses’ Office of a Psychiatry Ward…

If you are obsessive-compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.

If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.

If you have multiple personalities, press 3, 4, 5 and 6.

If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want. Stay on the line so we can trace your call.

If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will be transferred to the mother ship.

If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a small voice will tell you which number to press.

If you are manic-depressive, it doesn’t matter which number you press-no-one will answer.

If you are dyslexic, press 9696969696969.

If you have a nervous disorder, please fidget with the hash key until a representative comes on the line.

If you have amnesia press 8 and state your name, address, phone number, date of birth, social security number and your mother’s maiden name.

If you have post-traumatic stress disorder, slowly and carefully press 000.

If you have bipolar disorder, please leave a message after the beep or before the beep. Or after the beep. Please wait for the beep.

If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.

If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.

If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.

If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.

If you have low self esteem, please hang up. All our operators are too busy to talk to you.

Sunday Afternoon Blues!!

Its 5.20 PM, so it isnt afternoon any longer. But, its a sunday and it was afternoon not too long ago and is still unrequited. Therefore the blues continue and rightfully so. When I was in the deaddiction unit, sunday afternoons were all about relaxation (all sorts), eating, drinking and sleeping. But now, they are all about driving back and forth from work and the lack of quality time is discomfiting to say the least. How do the blues feel? Well, not great I suppose. Its like something foreign in the stomach that needs release, with a promise of hope that stays with it as long as its there. On the other hand, I accompanied a friend yesterday afternoon to the Punjab and haryana high court to take some pictures. I was quite shocked to see the number of photographers and assistants crawling out of each nook, corner and crevice. As my friend said, "each window must have been shot a 100 times by now". And I am sure it has been, so admist a surfeit of red, yellow and green pillars, here is hoping to some interesting shots in the photo competition.
The psychiatry ward is all about diagnostic difficulties at the moment and I must say the intellectual excercise is pretty stimulating. Some complicated cases, and a lot more not so complicated. For example, if one has a phobia to a situation that cannot be avoided, does the phobic thought not take on an obsessional quality? What does it become then?
Anyways, the open hand is a picture I took with my new (3rd hand) Nikkor 80-200 mm 2.8 lens. And it is sized so that it can be used a screensaver. And the lens is a peach to use. People say all good thing come in small packages, I think all good things in life come with a Nikon marking!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A happy news!!

(The building in question, started off as a parking lot and almost ended up as something else, a fancy Hotel)
As an individual who loves Mcleodganj and loves going there often (see earlier posts), I was very happy to read this news regarding strictures on illegal constructions in Mcleodganj. I have been interested and lately involved in a very very limited way with activism against the flouting of rules and environmental degradation in the Mcleodganj hills.
I often read about the sheer natural wealth that india was blessed with even until independence and the mindless and greed driven destruction that has taken place since then. All this has only led to further problems, shortages of water, climate change and general destruction of the landscape. And this step though small is a step in the right direction.
Even in the last 2-3 years that I have been going to M'ganj regularly, every visit seems to be greeted by lesser greenery, more encroachments, more shortages of water, bigger crowds. True, M'ganj is no longer a residential place, in fact it is now almost wholly commercial, but everything cannot be allowed to go to waste because someone wants to make money.
I constantly keep getting the feeling that money is now the bottom line everywhere, to hell witheverything else. But soon when the chickens will come home to roost, it may be too late.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The 150th Post

Happy days are here again, ward posting has started. Instead of drug addicts, its all types of mentally ill people now. And I must admit its so much more fun. There are so many stories that are found and cant be told. And so many lives that change forever in the ward. On the other hand, went crazy and got a mighty mighty expensive The Complete Companion to Tintin by Michael Farr, and it is one hell of a read (not lending it to anyone ;-))). SO life is more fun, all of a sudden.
Should have had that ward posting earlier.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Writers Block!!!!

I am having a rather severe case of writers block, but i can feel a depression coming on. And when that strikes, you can be sure that I will be churning out tomes. See u soon.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I Won!!!- Bent But Not Broken

Holy smokes (as they say on flikr), or holey moley, as Captain America would say, I actually won a photo competition named Chandigarh In April. Well, its only a measly first runners up, but all the same, its something. And there might be some money to cover for the cost of the print too. So, a cheerful post. The picture is the one that won.
I was called over to the art museum the other day to title my works and in the midst of a severe case of a writer's block, I opted for untitled -1, 2, 3, 4.......
Silly Me!!
See you all at the exhibition.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

For those with an interest in flowers, and flowers that bloom on cactii in particular, I believe this is a flower that blooms on a spiny thing by the name of ::

Acanthocalycium spinoflorum.

But then , like all things in life that really isnt what this is all about. This is about transience. This beautiful flower blooms on the cactus for a day. It comes into its own in the morning and by the evening its gone. I have never really seen it being pollinated by any insect so i really dont know anything about it. WHat matters is the fact that it is beautiful, and how and then for a short time. And is gone in the blink of an eye. Something that the japanese talked so much about in their death poetry with the sakura or the cherry blossom as the main motif. Here is an example:

Senryu, died June 2, 1827

Like dew drops

on a lotus leaf

I vanish.

(Senryu, died June 2, 1827)

This flower bloomed on a cactus that was planted in my garden many years ago. And as I woke up on the 3rd of june, my father told me that there was a flower blooming outside and maybe i would like to have a look. I saw it and as i had my camera with me, i took some pictures of it to record some of that transience, and as I bent down close i smelt it and looked at it closely for the first time. There were so many memories attached and all of them came back. And again there is this is familiar sense of despair, that there is a certain meaninglessness to everything. A sense of waste. Its easy to be religious, and it gives so much comfort from this feeling but that is not for those who reject this notion of god. I am still looking for answers and living on as I do.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!!

On the 2nd of June, I became another year older. And from now on I have stopped counting my age in addition to my weight. And thats MY birthday cake. It was very chocolatey and very rich. Outside it was very hot and very dry. So i went out into the hills and took some pictures. It was a nice birthday, filled with doing things I love to do and with people i love to be with.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Back From Mcleodganj

Just got back from Mcleodganj, and no I met no happy people. I just got a splitting back ache and took no significant pictures as well. But I saw this video somewhere and I have to share this, its the funniest thing I have seen in a long time.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The value of Art

Art is a vague and nebulous concept, something like culture. Wikipedia defines it as::

Art is that which is made with the intention of stimulating the human senses as well as the human mind and/or spirit. There is no general agreed-upon definition of art, since defining the boundaries of "art" is subjective, but the impetus for art is often called human creativity.

An artwork is normally assessed in quality by the amount of stimulation it brings about. The impact it has on people, the number of people that can relate to it, the degree of their appreciation, and the effect or influence it has or has had in the past, all accumulate to the 'degree of art.' Most artworks that are widely considered to be "masterpieces" possess these attributes.

And as we all know, masterpieces appreciate with time. I meant monetarily at least. But when I read this, I went into a bit of a tizzy. Its called Excremental Value.

Icon II: Piero Manzoni's Merda d'artista
Excremental Value

By John Miller

"If you stuck a piece of shit on the wall, it would be all the same to them as long as someone told them the shit was worth money.That's the nouveau-riche approach"
- Andrea Fraser, performance script for May I Help You? (1991)

Fraser's statement issues from the mouth of a supposed patrician, a woman who might serve on a museum's board of directors. Hers is a provocation meant to distinguish between old money and new, between those with a vast store of cultural capital and those in the business of acquiring as much as they can in the shortest time possible. For the patrician, the acquisitive efficiency of the nouveau riche is odious because the very prospect of ready exchangeability jeopardises long-standing traditions of cultural inheritance. This efficiency, as such, produces a relative indifference to deeply ingrained aesthetic experience. Curiously, her rhetorical substitution of shit for art recapitulates the logic of Piero Manzoni's legendary work Merda d'artista (1961), a provocation of an entirely different order.

Merda d'artista is an edition of 90 signed and numbered works that Manzoni said he made from his own excrement. Each is a 30-gram can of shit, measuring 4.8x6.5cm, "freshly preserved, produced and tinned", as stated on the label. This information appears in Italian, French, German and English, against a background pattern produced by repeating the artist's name in block letters. Because Manzoni sold each can by weight at gold's daily market price, the shit literally became worth its weight in gold. In retrospect, this has proved to be a bargain. At $35.20 (£18.07) per ounce - the price at which the London Gold Pool (an international consortium of central banks) wanted to fix the precious metal - a tin originally would have cost about $37. That was 1961. Thirty years later, Sotheby's auctioned one for $67,000. Then, the price of gold had climbed to $374 per ounce. If Manzoni's initial pricing scheme still held, it should have cost only $395.77. In other words, in 1991 Merda d'artista had outperformed gold in price by more than 70 times.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The virtues of being laid up

I havent been blogging for some time, initially due to severe back pain and later due to lassitude and the inability to walk around like I used to once. Thankfully, I think I think I am getting better now. And as a result i am spending a lot of time (too much In Fact!!) in front of the computer and have been downloading some wierd stuff online. One of these is a High-Dynamic Range (HDR) software by the name of Qtpfsgui. And as I was playing around with It, I made that surreal, crazy looking picture of the Gandhi Bhawan above. Sure the software is fairly buggy and crashes occasionally but it does get me some interesting results.
Now back to the back, after rest and analgesics, I have been on medium wave diathermy, hot fomentation and even homeopathic medications. Anything to avoid the surgeon's knife and the prospect of going into general anaesthesia and not waking up later freaks me out. Anyone has any ideas, let me know.
Until that time, I am invalidated, unboozed and medicated. In short, completely useless. It breaks my heart to see my D200 gathering dust.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Back to the Back

My nemesis, my back finally caught up with me this past week and had me laid up in bed, alone and in pain for most of that time. And as a result, I have been out of circulation and immobilized.
As a kid, I often hoped that I would not have all these painful conditions like a tooth extraction, loss, or a backache but now I have lived through it and more, I realise that it actually is as bad as it is said to be, but nearly not as bad as it could be.
While in pain, I realised certain facts about doctors and patients. I dont know if others have gone through it or not. As a doctor, one thinks like a doctor, its so very natural and instinctual even. But when I became a patient, I was confused and very uncomfortable. And that is after the fact that I am a doctor myself and would be expected to know better. And the one thing that I wanted most from my doctor was time, patience and an explanation. And those are the things that were in the least supply. An inability to listen, to interrupt before I could complete, and the tendency to let explanations hang in the air are probably the most disturbing things for any patient. And I admit that when I sit on the other side of the table, I am often guilty of that too for whatever reasons.
I hope I can improve my practice through my own experience.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Cassia fistula

Cassia fistula
Originally uploaded by Shubh M Singh.
Happy Baisakhi to all. May the New Year be great and prosperous.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Chronicles of a Rolling Stone

I was born in the family of humans. Yet, I became a rolling stone. Not because of a change in chemical constitution, but due to a lack of fine moral fiber. As a result, with an increase in girth and a gradual rounding up of edges, I have gradually started to look like a boulder (thats a stone too!!) that might roll when given a hard enough push. And as we all know, a rolling stone gathers no moss. But now that I have become a rolling stone (for reasons too numerous to mention), its a fine idea to talk about the good rolling stones and the bad rolling stones.
The one man who I want to kill most dearly is a certain Publilius Syrus who had nothing better to do than to go around defaming rolling stones. I mean what sort of a man says that a rolling stone gathers no moss. And that too before Lord Jesus Christ was born. And anyways, who would like to have a growth of some slimy moss anyway. For the record Publilius Syrus was a Latin writer of maxims (actually a slave), who was smart enough to impress all people who looked at him only superficially (reminds me of me) and got out of slavery and put forth a lot of paleo-Oscar Wildean stuff including the one on rolling stones gathering no moss. But we rolling stones are made of sterner stuff and we kept on rolling and kept on repelling all sorts of mossy efforts to stick to us. Its a good thing that most of the stuff is now lost, who knows what else he might have said.Excluding of course a certain Kate Moss.
The next famous rolling stone was closer home, and true to form was an idiot of the first order too. he had nothing better to do than to roll away and allow what he guarded be plundered on hearing "Open sesame", or as we say " Khulja simsim". A certain Alibaba had a lot of fun this way and got luckier than Shilpa Shetty. He had nothing what so ever to do with mobile phones and sim cards, and it was probably a good thing that he developed loss of hearing as he grew old and that left some stuff intact. I even have a picture of what he did. And anyways, he gave an idea to Indian politicians of saying reservations whenever they run out of ideas.

Alibaba says "good thing I took that memory course when I did".

There are some other notable rolling stones too, these guys keep running around rolling in the death valley in far away Nevada, and some of these guys are as much as 50 kgs in weight and how they move is a closely guarded secret of the rolling stone free mason society.

(Pic from

There is one in south India too, only for some strange reason, its called the Krishna's butterball.

It actually is a large rolling stone, it decided to let some moss gather. Only problem being that Mahabalipuram is too warm for moss to gather and later it became too late to start rolling again. Moral of the story being, keep rolling.

Soon, after someone decided to take out a magazine and then a rock group too by the name of Rolling Stone thus lending some much-needed credibility.

It is eventually Bob Dylan who has made the Rolling Stone a force to be reckoned with. If Dylan sings about something, it gotta be profound, right???

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home

Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

He probably started off writing a song about a rolling tyre but then decided that a rolling stone sounded so much better. I agree whole heartedly.

I dont know 'bout being alone
or with no direction home
or being a complete unknown

but its not all that bad
being a Rolling Stone!!!

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