Dr. Abraham Verghese on the Importance of Touch

Sometime during medical school, I heard about a book about treating patients during the onset of the AIDS epidemic in America. I was surprised and delighted to learn that the author, Abraham Verghese, was Indian, and, like me, his roots were from Kerala, India. Given my deep interest in HIV medicine and Infectious Diseases at the…

An Open Letter to Jhumpa Lahiri

Dear Ms. Lahiri, It has been about two and a half years since I’ve read a novel from beginning to end. Residency sort of interferes with leisurely reading, especially when one’s mind is occupied with reading journals, studying for exams, and staring at computer screen trying to absorb a patient’s entire health history in a…

For Jyoti Singh Pandey

This is a poem I wrote several years ago. It resonates with me each time a tragic headline or untold personal story of a woman comes to the surface. Today, I dedicate it to Jyoti Singh Pandey, may your brave and strong soul find moksha. We Are My first lesson in gender inequality Came at…

The Lotus

A resonant chant sung by voices Rich like her roots Divine like the secrets of a goddess Devotional Pure Heard only by the soul tumultuous and yearning Behind closed eyes A sacred lotus Untainted by the dirty water it floats in Thus is she seated there on the floor where millions pass each day Breath…

Hurricane Isaac

Since moving to New Orleans two years and and two months ago, I have experienced plenty of rain, heat, and flash flooding. However, I experienced my first bona fide hurricane when Isaac paid a visit to Louisiana, commemorating the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. I had heard the many stories from patients, coworkers, attending physicians,…