Cover layout:     Simanta Talukdar

Cover photo:     ‘Eyes that guide’, by Simanta Talukdar

                Shot with:           Canon EOS 70D, Lens: Canon prime lens f/1.8

                Exposure:            ISO 500, 1/50 sec., f/1.8, reflected light.

                Subject:                               Jeevi

Eyes that guide

The dilemmas that a new parent faces in caring for the child, the uncertainty that a new lover faces with his or her loved one-- the experienced reader will readily identify with these!  In the case of caring for the child, one is flooded with advice not only from grandmothers, mothers and mothers-in-law, but also from professionals of the child-care field and various guidelines. The new parent ends up worried on everything, from how often to feed their child, which side to let the child sleep on, to how many burps the child should take after feeding! When the habits of the child do not seem to conform to social expectations or textbook guidelines, it is then that the plethora of ‘advisors’ and professionals venture their truest advice: ‘every child is unique- you will soon know your baby better than others’!

It takes a few months’ time, during which the eyes of the child guide the parent in knowing him or her, and what makes them happy. The parent ends up learning that perhaps, this child likes to feed frequently for few minutes only...perhaps each child ends up sleeping on their preferred side...perhaps the child does not burp after feeding unless he or she is awake.

The hopeless lover, pining away trying to know whether his or her love is requitted, finds his answer with relief (and often without words!), when he or she finally gazes into the eyes of his or her lover.

A newly trained psychiatrist, armed with the ready knowledge of a bulk of ‘drugs of choice’, may similarly find himself or herself in a bind, trying to fit a particular patient into a specific treatment protocol. After several frustrating follow-ups of the same patient lead to unsatisfactory improvement, the psychiatrist may be forced to think up his or her own treatment plan, thereby surprising himself or herself with the positive results. At times, self-adjustment of medication or dosage by the patient yields surprising positive results. With these experiences, the psychiatrist in question often ends up realizing the truest advice in his textbooks, beyond the protocols: ‘each patient is unique- the treatment should be tailored to suit him or her.’

In our endeavours, we are likely to do justice to those we care for, by looking into the eyes that guide, that is, by drawing guidance of their needs and expectations from their perspective, and by respecting their individuality.

-Simanta Talukdar, with ‘experienced’ inputs from Mousumi Dutta, Uddip Talukdar.

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