A word so familiar to many of us, experienced by most of us; it's the core of our emotions & is the double-edged sword that aspires us to greater & greater heights, or saps us into the ground & keeps us there.


I will not teach a bird how to fly, nor will I talk to you about love; It's an axiom that needs no further explanation.


Love From  Above.
Now that's a different matter all together.

It doesn't matter what religion you profess or subscribe to; I'm no preacher & 'to each his own' as they say.

Today has been a day that seemed out of the ordinary; Manipal is not only known for its extreme faculty members & food (Mamak Mee Goreng is manis, Nasi Pattaya die tak berselimutkan telur goreng & here is the only place where you'll find soy sauce that's sour. I can continue this list but takut pitam pulak), Manipal is also known for its extreme weather.

"WHOTT yhu mhean bai y-extreeeme mhaaaan?"
*Use Indian accent liberally here for best effect*

Let's just say the only seasons experienced here is Summer & 'Super-Special-FanTAStic-Exclusive Summer'. Allow me to digress for a while: Indians are proficient in the use of expletives to convey their sentiments about how 'special' something is, regardless if the item in mention was 2 pats of cow dung which came from the same cow, but since we've added the prefix 'special' to one of it ; it has become super-special-magical cow dung. This play of words also applies to situations that involve bargaining & trade:

"Sarrr (Sir), that shoooe looks realllllyyy good on you; the blue & the orange colour give you a veeeery 'cool' look."

The moment a local Indian in a tight orange shirt with bell-bottomed dress pants & slippers tell you that you look cool in something, you KNOW you're in trouble!

"If you buy noooow *jiggles head on multiple axis to appear more convincing*, I'll give you SPECIAL price"

The moment he finishes that sentence you know that that's a huge load of bullshit. Even 2 pats of cow dung cant compare.

Anyways, Manipal is known for its extreme weather; if it rains it rains alot. Plan on getting soaked 6 days a week every morning on your way to & back from classes. Mouldy clothes & shoes are also thrown in as a complimentary gift to complete your rainy season experience. And if it's the dry season, expect zero rain for weeks on end & dust to decorate the interiors of your house & respiratory tract.

But today was an unusual day.

It's the dry season but rains have come as if the clouds are incontinent or suffering a bout of diarrhea & 'maut' winds 'blow like anything' (this is a local Indian proverb used to signify extreme action). Cyclone Phyan has landed on the shores of India from the Arabian Sea carrying with it water, wind & fury.

Basah lagi la aku pagi ni.

A freak wind storm caused quite a scare in Manipal tonight because usually the only potentially fatal wind at this hour are those released from the undisciplined anus of barbaric housemates.


Jokes aside, this cyclone is dangerous stuff. Facebook reports that several people almost met with an accident & trees dancing due to the might of the freak winds. You can find everything on Facebook nowadays; FB is the new CNN.

I guess the cyclone screwed up with my building & caused some structural damage too.

The clock pointed to 11 pm; singing practice was over & it was time to go home. Cheery mood & laughs all around, we bid our goodbyes & made our way back.

A nice slow drive home, raincoat flapping in the wind. Motorbike dies a few times due to the cold weather. I curse like a sailor in the hopes that it'll warm up the engine, but all it did is panaskan hati je.


I reached home, avoiding the random cow attempting to cross the road, before entering my apartment's compound & gliding into a parking spot. By the sides of the generator I walk, turning right to reach the stairs & made my way up.

Barely 2 steps left before I reach the top of the stairs, a loud crash was heard below me.

said the security guard.

A large circular piece of plaster ceiling was in pieces all over the floor that I was at barely 2 seconds ago.

Masyallah. Allah is Great.

I was speechless. I was astounded. Had I been 2 seconds late, or maneuvered around the crossing cow in a bit more complex & elaborate manner, I might have been in time & right on the 'X' where the plaster ceiling fell. Concussion, hemorrhaging, any number of CNS manifestations could have afflicted me. Heck, instead of being the one interviewing the patients of the Psychiatric Ward, I could have been easily the one answering those questions should the head trauma be so severe.


Despite all my sins; Allah you still love me & I love you too. One can't help but to be thankful to the Creator, for He is the one whom has created us & decides our fate. We may sometimes turn our backs on Him, but never will He ever turn His back on us.

Love From Above.

Is what you've shown me tonight Allah.

To the keen-eyed & the critical, the title should've read 'Psychiatry & I'.

But I figured a lil' rhyme at the expense of death by grammar is worth it if it'll make the title that bit more catchy. If it worked for Timbaland then it'll work for me;

After all it's just 'the way I are'.

Alhamdulillah, praise be to Allah the Merciful, I've made it to 3rd year. Congratulatory remarks & handshakes aside, I really am grateful tohave finally made it to my Clinical stage.

No more waking up to go for classes you dont believe in.

No more by-hearting things you cant even see.

No more discussions about fictional diseases.

Because now I am in the realm of reality; the substantial & the concrete.

Cold, hard medicine, at it's best.

It's one thing to read about ascites (collection of fluid in peritoneum/abdominal cavity), & another when you're face to face with a patient whose stomach is so distended insects may confuse it for an anthill, & at every turn of their body and gentle palpation of the abdomen will ellicit a wince of the face & a quiet whisper of pain to escape from their lips.

"Novu aagtade"

"I have pain."

Here, pain has a face.

And she greets you 'Namaskara' every morning & hopes that the hand she's shaking is the same one that'll take away her pain.

Ascites is no longer a line in a textbook, or a picture on an OSCE slide; it's walking, talking, & eating. It may have 4 sons & 3 daughters, it may have a history of hypertension, it may also lie about its smoking habits only to be betrayed by their nicotine stained-smile.

Here, ascites is a person.

It feels good to finally put a name to a face. It starts to make sense when & what certain drugs are used for when you see their packaging strewn across the bedside table & hanging off the i.v. pole. You feel good when your finger throbs in pain from the percussion you performed on a patient.

I do feel bad for the patient at times; having to endure our constant prodding & enthusiasm for examining their bodies. I thank them for their patience in answering our repetitive questions when we're trying to document their history. For tolerating our broken Kannada; I know how hard it must be to not die from laughter at our grammatical mistakes (more like grammatical disasters).

This was one month ago, during my Medicine posting at rural Karkala hospital. Bitter-sweet times, I think I'll miss it the most. Though we lived in constant fear from being scolded in front of the patients, it was my initiation & transition into the Clinical world. And like all first loves, you never forget them.

I'm now posted to Psychiatry at KMC Hospital. A hospital so big & twisted I think it moonlights as a maze in its free time. Apart from learning the theoretical aspect in classrooms, we're also expected to do our rounds in the patient wards.

Ward D4. Famous for its residents. The mentally-ill reside & recieve treatment here.

There's only one way in & one way out; and that said portal is framed by a locked metal door. A security guard with a curly mustache holds the key; I am of the opinion that the mustache is the source of his strength. Windows are barred with a grill & no sharp objects are allowed inside.

On my first day to the ward, I knocked 3 times on the metal door. A mustache hovers into view in the door's porthole followed by a face & a critical eye looking me head to toe.

"Tak gila kut", he seems to think.

And I was granted entry.

On my left, an old lady with a green sari greeted me by rocking back & forth on a stool, all the while mumbling to herself & making facial expressions to go along with it. On the opposite wall a girl was giving me the eye as I passed her. A warm welcome indeed.

I walked on with the hope of finding my classroom, which I was told was at the end of the ward. Judging from the seniors' stories about this place, to get to the classroom was like going through a baptism of fire; sometimes you get stopped by the enthusiastic Aunty whom asks you if you're 'the teacher?'. It's also the same Aunty that insists you take her BP measurement just for fun. At other times you may get a man whom has a penchant for Chinese girls & will ask them out to watch Hindi movies together; reject him & you will earn the privilage of getting a banana thrown your way.

I passed a group of carrom players, all of whom stop & raise their heads to gift you a sweet & innocent smile as you approach them.

Just the other day, we were having a class in the classroom by the ward. Suddenly a loud banging & crash blew the thick old wooden doors wide open. Immediately 3 girls did an interpretive dance as a way of expressing their shock & fear (names witheld to protect the sanity of the dancers, nyuk3) at the intrusion. Some of the dancers stood up & did some fancy footwork while others even incorporated the chairs they were sitting on as part of their repetoire.


The 'gatecrasher' strolled in slowly into the small classroom, lending suspense to us sitting at the back of whom our view was obstructed by the old wooden doors until the gatecrasher strolled clear into view. He was of average built & nutrition, dressed in kain pelikat/sarong with a shirt, eyes half-open & with a drowsy look about him. A 3-second pause followed before he issued a very meek "sorry" before turning around & exiting the classroom.

Fuh, what a day.

It may be amusing to read & watch their antics, but never forget that they are still people. Your cynical smiles will still register with them & eat away at their being much like how you'll laugh at a child for his foolishness when he tells you it rains because the clouds are crying. In both situations you willl make the patient & the child cry, the only difference being that the patient cries on the inside.

Psychiatric patients are no less human than you or me, & that their quirks & oddities should be embraced & studied. These people need our help & the stigma attached to them should be abolished so that they may be one day treated & rehabilitated to restore them to the people they were pre-illness,

Or to the people they would have become have they not been born with their illness.

Well what do you know; it’s been more than a month since my last post.

I feel like I've sinned.

Haha yes, as promised I've returned to make good on my promise;
albeit belated

Oi, Malaysian time mah!

and to continue writing after my Uni exams & hols.

Well suffice to say I’ve been busy; maybe a display of some statistics may help in the illustration of my aforementioned statement:

Within the month of September 2009 I've:

  • been to 4 countries (Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia & India)
  • visited 6 cities (Sydney, Canberra, Gold Coast, Bali, KL, Bangalore)
  • taken a total of 9 flights at 6 different airports
  • captured a total of 2143 pictures with my camera (Sydney: 1626, Bali: 366, Malaysia: 151)
  • been in contact with various types of animals such as snakes, bats, turtles, wombats, & my bestfriend Syaq
  • travelled from 0 to 140km per hour in 2 seconds & scuba dived!

Ill try to write bout those things at a later time; just a quick post this time around, more like an uncle saying hi.


Lazy Sunday Morning...

Cheese, chili, onions & coriander as medicine.

Sorry for the long absence; am currently on my study break preparing myself for an exam so impossible they make you take it only once a year.

Quite generous compared to the hurdles they make you jump every 2 weeks, this exam is BIG!

"Yeah, got time to cook but no time to call"
- Mum

Will be back in full-swing in September after my OZ holidays; till then, don't forget to call your mum.
It's 2.41am; the morning is cool & I'm half-dressed and already in bed.

I closed my eyes; having taken a beating from the Blood chapter, I'm in dire need of sleep.

But I can't.

I can't stop worrying about you Malaysia.

Not when racism has become the trump card for those in power.

The weapon of choice for swaying the opinions of millions.

Wake up Malaysia;

because I sure as hell can't sleep.
La sel de la vie; if my rusty French does not betray me translates into:

"The salt of life" - French Idiom

Its life's lil' quirks & oddities that when it first strikes, will daze, amaze or maybe confuse you. You whip out a camera, a point-and-shoot or a DSLR, doesn't matter. You capture the moment & you store it.

So when the mental copy of the event has been eroded by the sands of time, the photos you've taken will etch a smile on your face; reminding us of the random weirdness life has in store for us at every turn of the corner.

After all, we're all travelers in this life.

La sel de la vie;

It is what makes this life worth every sweat, tear and blood shed; it is also what makes every victory, triumph and successful endeavour tastes just as sweet. It is the spice of life.

As many of you've already known, I've been living in Manipal, India for the past 2 years chasing my MBBS. Such a wild country, and with it has given me many many memories.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The following are just some random snippets of my life so far in India.

On the first day I was in this country,

I passed by Iron Man on his way to the pasar.

And every day,

I had to come home to this.

Nooh Sainorudin, my charming roommate of 3 years

When it was time when I couldn't put off studying any longer, I commit the hours & hit the books,

And came out looking like this.

I needed some fresh air, so I stepped out of my house,

And saw this.

It was a civic-awareness poster reminding the kids to stay in school.

I stepped in the local gift-shop to have a look at the trinkets for the family back home. The Uncle recommended me their biggest-seller,

'Deligent' Cattle & Lovely Boy.

Who would win in a fight with Batman you say? My money is on the Lovely Boy. Aauumm!

All this made me hungry.

So I ducked into one of the local eateries,

I didn't feel like having a 'chicken Sewerage pizza'

SandWITCHES? Nope, nenek kebayan berpasir won't hit the spot either.

Hmm, Indian Hot & Exotic Mexicans?

I summoned the waiter promptly and asked if these two new flavours charge by the hour or by session?

I'm not done yet, or it's better said that India is not yet done with me. I've still another 7+ months; and to Gandhi & the gang,

I say bring it on.

So at last, the imaginary has come into being; months of desire has come to fruition and thus, a blog to call my own, is born.

So, Talking Shop...
What does it mean?

I'll tell you friends.

For months I've entertained the idea of setting up my own blog. You know, for those days when you just feel like talking, but a willing audience is scarce (or hiding). Or maybe you do find some but you cant seem to be able to captivate them long enough with your spiel to get past the Mukaddimah and into the 1st Chapter of your rant.

"That Hezry, all he does is talk shop man..."

I don't actually, but you know, imaginary dialogs pop up in my head on a whim.

It's not like I asked for it.

Talking shop; says:
If you talk shop, you talk about work matters, especially if you do this outside work.

We all do it man, we do it because it's our nature. It's been hard-coded into our genes; we talk about the things that affects us, the things that are in & around us. Things that are us.

Technically I'm not a 9 to 5'er, I don't contribute to the labour pool & I don't punch-out and head to the nearest Karaoke bar or Redbox.

Like this bloke right here.

I'm just a student. That being said, I'll tend to talk about my day at 'work'; and since I'm living abroad I don't actually really come home, because 'home' is a 5-hour plane ride & 3 buffalo-cart rides away.

My 'work' spills into my life.

So if it's fine with you, we'll talk about more than how many times Yeshwant (King of all Pharmacology lecturers) nodded his head in class today (And you thought only football players have signature moves?).

So feel free to contribute, comment, and critique.

Because I have a dream.

We Malaysians (yes you Malaysia!) do not read enough. We do not speak-up when it's needed.

But don't get me wrong, we are a nation chock full of critiques & arm-chair politicians. Any random kopitiam will provide you with a selection that puts the Pasar Borong to shame (our gossip-mongers outnumbers the fish-mongers).

We as a nation do not channel our thoughts in a proper way, we talk among ourselves too much & dont bring it up to the level of a general consensus. Maybe that's why some of the things that has happened in our country have managed to evade persecution, no matter how great its moral-bending properties were.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Well, with all that's been said & done,

Let's talk shop.

The Reading Habit

An Introuction

Hello & welcome, from me to you.

Talking Shop:
If you talk shop, you talk about work matters, especially if you do this outside work.

But anything goes really.

Hope it's as pleasing on your eyes as it was for me typing it out.

Thank you & enjoy.

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Shop Talker No.1

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Doctor by profession, but generally very lazy in real life. Hailing from Kuala Lumpur, and with the exception of a few years, I'm mostly made in Malaysia. Currently serving in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (Malaysia) as a Neurosurgery Medical Officer, discovering and enjoying this blessed 'Land Below the Wind' since 2012. Let's talk shop.