Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Blog became a book - Blook ! A doctor's heart sutra ...

From Daily News , Wednesday the October 1st 2014

Healing notes of a medical doctor

Prof. Sunanda Mahendra 

In a war-torn society, nothing looks bright. Humans are driven to poverty and grave need, inclusive of medical care. But with changes in a post war situation, certain social factors are lightened up. Medical care too is registered to reach a certain degree of restoration.
With a strange vein of luck, I came across a collection of human notes. It is a collection recorded by a young medical doctor sent to serve in a government hospital in north. As was recorded in her blog, these notes are denoted by a broad titled ‘The Other One’ or the ‘The Other End’, and titled in English as ‘a doctor’s heart sutra’. The notes from the blog have come down now as a book packed with human interest stories, written by Dr Bodhini Samaratunga (Thatcher Publishers 2014). In the first episode you come across how this doctor is posted to a particular hospital without Tamil language skills.
But as the events unveil, the reader feels that the narrator has the inner urge to learn Tamil. This she did by making use of several study methods. She bought all the possible books written in Sinhala to learn Tamil.
She leaves no stone unturned in her efforts to learn Tamil. This culminates in her fluency to the point that she manages to speak in Tamil with colleagues as well as patients. Onlookers are surprised at her speed of development in learning Tamil. Dr Samaratunga human-interest stories shift from ward to ward, from patient to patient. She attempts to peep into the lives of patients in a very unconventional manner, sensitively bringing to the forefront factors such as agonies and ecstasy in childbirth and motherhood, the severe pitfalls in marital intimacies, sexual misbehaviour, grave mental disorders, the care anticipated in a postwar situation, the scarcity of money to buy medicines and other provisions.
The need for the human touch as against administrative regulations is pinpointed as a need of the day in medical profession. In one of the events, a mentally disordered young girl meets the narrator engaged in facebook. The young patient, who is inquisitive and unaware of what the doctor is doing, goes on to inquire why she dangles with the computer. The questions reach a point when the patient remarks that the doctor is silly.
The young doctor, who knows the mental state of her interlocutor, just smiles and accepts without anger or ill will. Dr Samaratunga’s experiences reach the reader as lessons in religiosity. The true-to life episodes too enlighten the reader on the need by cordial and kind hearted to those who come to you in need. The notes as jotted down by the doctor include factors such as morality, love and intimacy needed by a family unit. The need to know the ways of prevention from sicknesses such as kidney ailments are underlined.
When a group of people are driven to a bad environment, the ailments around them get wider and wider. As such, creative preventive measures have to be taught by medical professionals as intimate dialogues devoid of aggression and anger. Several notes centre round taking into account the factors that lead to suicidal forces and degradations in sicknesses. There is a sensitive series of jottings on the aspects of unmarried, unwanted, teenage pregnancy, which looks more like communication case study conducted by a medical doctor. As a reader I was touched by the immense human barricades that lie behind the series of events in the life of a 17-year girl.
It looks as if the compassionate young doctor is asking a series of questions from the social reformers as well. The very first question seems to be on what are the steps that go into curbing of the social disaster. Triggering off from the point there comes out yet more questions. What changes in the name of social development should take place? From where are we going to commence the development? Where lies ignorance as against the knowledge?
There is one wonderful event that had taken place in the hospital premises. A certain mentally disordered young girl had entered a certain ward with a stethoscope in her gown pocket posing as a trainee doctor. But in the interlocution that ensues, the authorities detect that the person is a quack succumbed to misdeeds. It is underlined that the sheer understanding is beyond punishment.
In this manner, the reader is gifted with a series of human episodes as encountered by a young doctor who looks like a demigod who goes round the words and meets patients in the brightest moods possible. I sincerely felt that someone should translate these episodes numbering to 38, into English and Tamil especially as they centre round two languages. One fine day this would be a gift to the world from a doctor who had lived and served in a postwar situation of our country. 
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  1. well done doc! one of the best and loved blogs in the sinhala blogosphere. Posts about your time in up north were truly heart crunching at times but gave a personal and different perspective. I guess time is limited but don't stop blogging. All the best for the future.

  2. සුභ පැතුම්.... ඉතාම හොඳ පොතක් බව හැඟෙනවා.... මේ පොත තව ටික දවසකින් මා අතට පත්වීමට නියමිතයි....

  3. මේ බ්ලොග් එක කියවා අවසානයේ මා ලද එක් විශ්මයක්නම් - මෙය ලියන්නේ කාන්තාවක් බවත්, ඇය මා කලක සිට සයිබර් අවකාශයේ දී හඳුණන අයෙක්බවත් දැන ගැනීමයි.

    තමා කෙලින්ම සම්බන්ධ දේ ගැන තමාගෙන් පරිබාහිරව ලියන්නට හැකි බව, එනම්, පුද්ගලික අත්දැකීම් පොදු රසාස්වාදයට නංවන්නට හැකිබව, හොඳින් පිළිඹිබු කළ ලියවිලි මාලාවකි.

  4. good job! absolutely wonderful work my friend!! hats off!

  5. පොත කියවලාම කමෙන්ට් කරන්නම්. මේක ගුණසේන එකේ තියෙනවද ?

  6. So you finally decided to reveal your identity. Good luck Akka, Will try to find and read the book once I get back.

  7. Prof. Sunanda Mahendra's review has done justice to your blook I suppose. Though I still didn't read it in print, I'm familiar with it's content. (Avid reader of your blog)
    This is a well deserved honor, which you earned, Anith Kona.

  8. ඔබට ලැබුන ඉතා වටිනා සංග්‍රහයක් දොස්තර නෝනේ.. සන්තෝසයි.. පොත ගන්න වෙනවා දැන්නං.. සල්ලිත් නෑ සනිපත් නෑ.. හැක්..

  9. Congratulations. Finally your effort has succeeded. Good luck with your wrting.


ඔබ මෙහි ආ බව දැනුනොත් සතුටක් ! It would be great to know that you were here !