Friday 31 August 2012


I am a lotus
in a sea of mud
I am the mud
in a sea of lotuses

All around me
the shades of love
ache and break
and giggle free.

You, in your shade of pink
robbed of speech
and smiles and braced, only
by the confines of bed

You, in your shade of yellow
burning in the fire of an itch
that has hitched itself to you
like an unwanted lover

You who sleep in shades of grey
keening wild broken prey
- recovering alcoholic,
overdosed diabetic -
You fill my nights and my days
with your vales of tears.

I, in my nest of love,
single thorn in my paw,
smile and smile
till my face is raw
and you feel
your pain no more.

(c) Shaista Tayabali, 2012 

Monday, August 27, Hepatology 
On some days, women cry at the same time. I don't normally but today someone else's crying was just that little too much to bear. I thought of curling up, but then I swung my legs off the bed, marched over to hers and hugged her tightly. Her husband looked startled, but good man leapt chivalrously out of the way. I took her so much by surprise, she stopped crying and started laughing. A reaction to a drug has caused her skin to be rubbed sore with itching and turn bright yellow with liver damage. I caught her jaundiced hands in mine and noticed the length of her nails. "Now where are you off to?" she demanded. "Scissors!" I called out bossily. "Funny thing," she said, a few moments later."While you're cutting my nails, I don't feel like itching." 

Years of hospital admissions have made me quite brave, but when the nurse advanced with the daily warfarin injection, I blanched."Go 'way," I pleaded hoarsely. "Do you want to do it yourself?" she asked. I perked up. Inject my own stomach? I took the needle and (look away now, squeamish readers) plunged and the job was done! The nurse hadn't really thought I had it in me. I looked up to find I had an openmouthed audience. Hah! "I can't believe you just did that," she said, shocked. Some years ago, my big brother watched these daily injections administered into his sister until the pain and compassion in his eyes squeezed at my own heart. I wonder what he will make of this story - but it was sort of ... fun... in a peculiar way. 


Nothing has been as much fun today as 'winning' the latest Marian Keyes novel in a raffle she hosted online. Marian has the most enormous heart of kindness, and flings gifts across the world like some Grecian Goddess of Love. A Boddhisattva of Compassion. Truth is, I didn't zackly win. Mine was the bonus prize of the raffle. To cheer me up. See? Being brave comes very handy indeed!

images from Rumi page on facebook


Ruth said...

All gratitude. All tears.

Brigid said...

Shai, Shai. How wonderful. Even when you are suffering, you summon the energy to give love, comfort and practical help to someone else. That lady will probably remember you always .... and surely the startled husband seeing a beautiful love bomb streak by.

They probably moved you to a sideward in case your true and spontaneous care showed up what the nurses don't have time or freedom to do ... Like use scissors because of health and safety.

Hope you are feeling better. Love this post and your shades of love poem. Been thinking of you x

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Shaista, you add a radiance to the world that it so sorely needs. I am so grateful to know you! I LOVE your poem, and the story following. And, in a word, you.

Rakesh Biswas said...

Here's a poem from a doctor On Call in Hepatology:

Hepatology on call-
Any liver problems guys! Trudging daily through the hospital,
Searching…searching yellow eyes…
Cardiothoracic surgery…intra op scares and post op yellow stares. Labor room…yellow third trimester eyes and transverse lies. Psychiatry…eyes turning yellow in someone already blue?
Emergency surgery…aha! We’ll show you what we can do!
Biliary fistula due to a bullet injury? We’ll fix it proper…don’t you worry! A tube in his torn bile duct and nature handles the rest. Hmm…speaking of rest …I hope you aren’t too tired?
I wonder why the evening sun’s so jaundiced. Is night a must like death? Wait a minute…don’t push that tube into its malignant duct! Cholangitis…sepsis…you’ll give him all the works.
Let him rest in peace…jaundice or none, lets not create a faster exit for the sun.

Jeanne-ming Brantingham said...

The poetry is, as it always is, stunning. I was already tearing up. Then I read your exploits in hospital and I smiled, "Brave and ornery girl."

Then on FB, I saw us together...and resolve to see you again.

I adore you Shaista, a feeling more urgent than love.

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