Moments

Krimson 35

Krimson 35

18th January 2013

Appalagraharam, January 8

“The doctor gave me this,” she said, putting a strip of medicine in my hand.

“For what?” I asked.

“To have regular periods.”

“Have you been having irregular periods?”

“Recently I had one 15 days late.”

How about before that?

No, only that one time.

Oh honey, I thought. But I did not say what I thought.

“So you had only one late period and you told the doctor you were not having periods regularly?”

“I told the doctor I wanted to have children and she said this would make my periods come regularly.”

“What prompted you to go and see this doctor?”

“Well a few of us ladies were talking in the village about how we wanted to have kids and one of them was going to see this doctor so I thought I would go along with her. The doctor gave all of us this medicine.”

The medicine was Krimson 35.

If you type Krimson 35 into the google search window, your results will come from sites coming under the category of “Pharmaceutical blogs” like:

http://www.prescriptiondrug-info.com/topics/krimson-35/
http://www.indusladies.com/forums/
http://www.indusladies.com/forums/fertility-and-trying-to-conceive/78870-what-polycystic-ovary-krimson-35-a.html
http://www.pharmainfo.net/supriya-vavilapalli/krimson-35-drug-mostly-used-treat-pcod
answers.yahoo.com

These sites allow visitors to post questions and also answer questions posted by others. They also allow advertisers to reach out to those posting questions and answers. There is nothing to prevent advertisers from posting and answering questions on the site as well.

and on down to
http://www.healthcaremagic.com
where you have the option, apart from browsing or posting on the forum for free, to seek an answer from an online doctor, for a fee.

I was surprised that I did not get results from a single university, hospital or government site. Not even Wikipedia. Still from what I read I could gather that this medicine was prescribed for PCOS and it did not seem that the doctor had gathered enough information to determine that my friend had PCOS. I asked her when the doctor asked her to start the medicine. “She said to start it.” she replied.
“Did she ask you to start now or on a particular date?” I asked.

“She just said to start it.”

Hard to tell whether the doctor said to start now or later. The websites I had checked said that one should start taking the tablets on the first day of the menstrual cycle. I do not know whether this is correct either, but it does not seem to be what the doctor communicated to my friend. Moreover, this appears to be a contraceptive.

I felt like going and asking who else was taking this medicine. But I was not sure how to go about it. I asked a friend who is a doctor in Mumbai about it and he said, “About Krimson 35, there is a fair amount of misuse. However, it is a response to the demand from families and the pressure to bear children – fertility, as you know, being a central point in the Indian context.”

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Exhortation

Archives

Archives
6th March 2013

My first job in college was in the University Archives. The piece of paper I remember most was this – not even a full size piece of paper, but a third of a sheet, with this handwritten comment: “Do not think Einstein worth $10,000 per year. Much prefer Schrödinger.”

Good choice, Johns Hopkins. Go with the cat.

It is not easy for me to throw things away but recently when we realized how much space was being occupied by old stuff we undertook a massive cleanup operation. I have unearthed copies of Dishaa dating back to 1993, including the inaugural issue, and also the video tape of the All-Chapters Meeting, which is what we called the AID Conference in 1997. And a talk by P. Sainath, probably in the same year. Not to mention reports, studies, photos and all manner of documents related to projects taken and not taken.

Right now it is all on the terrace, being sorted. Though it is not the rainy season, a bit of rain is not impossible, so we are anxious to complete the sorting process and at least know what to keep. But where? How? The cabinets are already full. Do I dare sort through them? A Herculean task looms before us.

We need an AID Archives.

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Moments

Little Things

Little Things
14th January 2013

Jasmine Garland photo by Leelawadee

“Give J___ Auntie a string of flowers.” my mother-in-law told me. Suddenly I grew tense with a sense of not knowing what to do.

I had a long string of jasmines which I had cut into small pieces and was giving out to my daughter’s friends at her Sankranti party. My mother-in-law and a couple of her friends were sitting on the sofa.

I busied myself in the kitchen so as not to have to respond to her instruction right away. Away from the crowd, I reflected, why had I become tense? I realized that it was because I was not sure how I could give flowers to J___ Auntie, while K___ Auntie was sitting right next to her. Then I realized that the solution was simple, give flowers to both J____ and K____ Auntie.

Why had this obvious solution not struck me right away? Why had there even been a “problem” requiring a solution?

Let us go back to the instruction, “Give J___ Auntie a string of flowers.” In giving this instruction, my mother-in-law had made an assumption. Someone who had not made that assumption might have had two questions:

1) Why had she instructed me to give flowers to J___ but not also to K___ Auntie?
2) Why hadn’t she herself given out the flowers?

For both questions, the reason stems from a distinction made between a married woman whose husband is alive and one whose husband is no longer alive. My mother-in-law had instructed me to give flowers to J___ Auntie because both of us fell into the former category. She did not give out the flowers, nor did she ask me to give flowers to K____ Auntie, because she and K___ Auntie fell into the latter category.

Upon hearing her instruction, I felt the tension of being unwilling to follow it, but it took me some time to unpack all this to understand why. Once I understood, I saw the way. I picked up three strings of flowers and gave one to each – my mother-in-law, J____Auntie, and K_____ Auntie. K___ Auntie immediately asked, “why me?” I just smiled. My mother-in-law explained, “she doesn’t believe that there should be that difference,” and put the flowers into her hair. K___ Auntie replied, “Yes, these customs should change.”

Note:  This article appeared as “A String of Jasmine” in the monthly newsletter of Association for India’s Development

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