Back Home





by Dr. Bharati Dalal , MD


Last Updated on: 2nd April 2016


Congratulations ! Dear Pathoindia for completing 15 years,
I clap my hands in glee & send you three cheers !
That you have successfully, stood the test of time,
and come out as an online forum, popular and prime,
I'm sure, will agree with me, all my revered peers !

Dr. Bharati Dalal
Professor of Pathology, GAIMS, Bhuj, India
Feb 2015


For 45 years now, I'd lived a life academic,
teaching medical students about patients anaemic;
And though loving literature a lot, since ever,
the thought had occured until now, never,
that most satiated I felt after writing a limerick !


At Mount Carmel Convent Girls' High School, Ahmedabad,
and at St Xavier's College, Ahmedabad,
we learnt everything about Christmas and Easter,
from priests and nuns whom we called Father/Brother & Mother/Sister;
so today on Lord's day, Sunday, I want to cheer "PATHOINDIA ZINDABAD" !


As an early teenager at school I learned of the barrette;
As a late teenager in NCC at college, I learned of the beret,
In inorganic chemistry, I learned of titration using the burrette,
& as a medical UG I learnt in gynecology of the uterine currette;
But only as a Pathology postgraduate did I learn about oesophagitis Barrett.

PS : a barrette means a hairpin, a beret means a felt cap, Barretts oesophagus is a premalignant lesion.

Diwali and Holi

The festivals Diwali and Holi,
represent things pious and holy;
Lankadahan, khandavdahan or holikadahan,
and today's coincidental chandragrahan,
depict victory of sanctity over things unholy.


Often as a Resident Pathologist in Asia's largest, Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad city,
I had to collect blood at midnight because of microfilarial periodicity;
Usually the efforts to puncture the vein
were successful and did not go in vain;
but a problem arose, when treacherous became the supply of electricity !

LIMERICK written in November 2015, International Pathology Day

Many thanks for the image Dr Anshu Goel.
sent in anticipation of the approaching Noel;
If you remain for a lifetime, to Pathology loyal,
your faithfulness will be appreciated by the College Royal

LIMERICK written on 8/3/15, International Women's Day

Dr B R Ambedkar, the father of Indian Constitution,
might be turning in his grave, to see the dire destitution,
prevailing in women of his beloved motherland,
and nobody following his footprints on the sand,
of working hard to save them from prostitution !

LIMERICK written after seeing plenty of spermatozoa along with pus cells, in a 5 year old girl's urine.

There are men who rever the memories of their wife,
and consider them, the flame of their life !
But there also are men who like demons abuse,
innocent girls - young, naive and perhaps obtuse ;
If I could, I would kill them with a knife !


The havoc wreaked by a hailstorm has left me horrified !
Devastation, destruction, desecration, have peace defiled !
Icy cold water & stony hard ice-pellets showered from the skies,
have benumbed my mind and blinded both my eyes !
I hope tomorrow's morn is bright sunny and glorified !


Some may consider it a simple vanity,
and some may consider it a streak of insanity;
But to write poetry is my 'magnificent obsession',
a force of habit, a neurotic compulsion,
which will end only when I depart from the humanity !

P S : Magnificent Obsession is a 1954 romantic feature film starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson. Humanity refers to the entire population of the world.

Women in Pathology

The usual reason why a woman opts for Pathology,
is not because she has some compelling ideology;
But because it is easier to do the tight-rope walking,
between domestic & professional fronts balancing,
and to match her clinical acumen & interest with histopathology!

Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Alas ! the poor acid-fast Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacillus !
Solitary, lonely & defenceless, it got into a situation precarious !
Never having dreamt that will mount a response, the host,
it got trapped inside the enemy precinct with weapons powerful most ;
and is now repenting silently inside the giant cell ferocious !


The triumph of good over evil is signified by Holika-Dahan ;
The faithfulness of Hanuman in Sundara Kand is signified by Lanka-Dahan ;
Indraprastha was built by Arjun after the dahan of Khandava van ;
The victory of angel over devil is signified by the dahan of Ravan ;
But ultimately, all mortals end up in the crematorium for the shab-dahan !


Curious are the quirks of fathomless Fate !
Lady Luck can scowl on any random date !
What today is a kingdom, a realm, a reign,
may soon become a shambles, a disaster, a ruin !


As he examined the deeply grooved philtrum,
and the thick glue-like fluid behind the ear drum,
of an infant with pulmonary valve stenosis,
pterigium colli and bilateral undescended testes,
the pediatrician's face became grave & grum !


The clerk brought a big round plate with a single rose in it,
but nothing else there was in it, for me to eat ;
"What kind of prank is this ?" I demanded in anger,
She smiled sweetly & replied with a dreamy languor,
"Didn't you ask me to bring ROSE IN A THAAL ?"

PS : I had asked her to bring the book " Rapid Review Microbiology and Immunology" by Ken S Rosenthal ; she brought a rose in a thaali !


Passing MD (Pathology & Microbiology) is not a joke, but a matter quite serious ;
Mugging up the bacteria, from Bacteriodes fragilis to Bartonella henselae to Bacillus cereus,
is a demanding task, requiring a lot of memory power,
more difficult I'm sure, than climbing the stairs up the Eiffel tower ;
One can not achieve it unless one is really meritorious !


The patient pleaded for a conservative policy of "wait & watch",
The doctor impatiently stared at his Titan Analog Gold Dial Men's Watch,
and advised a rapid removal of the offending buccal mucosal mass,
along with the lymphnode metastases, en masse ;
I sat in a corner of the OPD & did silently all this, watch !


I read hard for the examination, overburdening my faculty of memory,
cramming long nights about "tumours of the gland mammary";
The exercise took its toll - I lost considerable weight,
developed infrapalpebral pouches, but after a long post-examination wait,
passed MD at first attempt with distinction -- that is the summary !


The WHO debates whether to destroy the virus of small pox,
that exists at CDC Atlanta, as two last remaining stocks ;
The Indian public debates whether to elect as Prime Minister,
Shri Narendra Modi, the current Gujarat Chief Minister ;
& I debate whether to go for a movie "The day of the jackal" starring Edward Fox !

PS : Is it a sheer coincidence or a deliberate move by the Director to cast Edward FOX in "The day of the JACKAL" ?


In pilocytic astrocytomas I read about fibres Rosenthal ;
In Crohn's disease I read about syndrome Miescher-Melkersson-Rosenthal ;
I don't know if these are all, a multi-facted person same,
or different individuals with the same Rosenthal name ;
But the best I liked was, in PYGMALION, the effect Rosenthal !

PS : Rosenthal fibres are thick, elongated, "corkscrew" shaped eosinophilic fibres seen in brain in long standing gliosis, some tumours especially pilocytic astrocytomas & some metabolic disorders like Alexander’s disease. Miescher-Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is a rare neurological disorder characterized by recurring facial palsy, swelling of face & lips and folds & furrows on the tongue, which can be symptomatic of Crohn's disease or sarcoidosis. Rosenthal effect or Pygmalion effect is the phenomenon whereby the greater the expectation placed upon people, the better they perform !


Whether I call you kamal, utpal, rajeev, vaarij or neeraj,
nalin, padma, abja, aravind, jalaj, saroj or ambuj ;
your beauty is bountiful, as you float in the waters of a lake,
in which the gusts of wind, rapid, round, ripples make ;
I gaze at you & adore you, the mire-born pankaj !


The patient started having trismus, followed by risus sardonicus,
which rapidly progressed to generalised rigidity, convulsions & opisthotonus ;
In childhood he'd already taken the triple vaccine, I was told,
but obviously it was not potent, from lack of proper "chain cold" ;
It was pathetic, to see him die from complications of tetanus !


I do not want a seat on a high pedestal in the square of a mart ;
I want only a small, low stool in a corner of your heart !
I do not want to be a champion in games Olympic ;
All I want to do is write daily a limerick,
& pursue my pleasures of literature, science & art !


In Moral Science at Mount Carmel Convent, they taught us what's wrong & right;
In NCC at St Xavier's College, they taught us to march left - right;
After working 18 hours a day for half a century,
dedicated to my subject, like Madam Marie Curie,
I know, that to read, write & learn, is my birthright !


1) ROMEO : Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs,
Dr Romesh : "And yet for love, a person lives and dies" !
William Holden : " Love is a many-splendored thing",
Jennifer Jones : " Only if proven true, by a diamond-emerald ring",
Bharati Dalal : "Love" is only an abstract noun, a synonym for "a pack of lies" !
PS : The first line is a quote from ROMEO AND JULIET. William Holden & Jennifer Jones are stars of the movie "Love is a many-splendored thing". Bharati Dalal is a grammarian (NOT at the Williamstown Toastmasters Club !)

2) Dr Han Suyin wrote "Love is a many splendored thing !",
Angelina Pandiyan wrote, "Love is - A mirage", & "Love is - Everything";
She also wrote, "Love is - Essence of Life", & "Love - has no season",
William Shakespeare wrote, "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none",
But I write, "Love is a disaster, a mishap, a catastrophe - love is nothing" !
PS : Unless love sustains through the thicks & thins of life, endures through the miseries of illnesses upto the stage of death of one partner, & extends even after death, it has no meaning

3) Jesus Christ : "Love thy neighbour as thyself",
Milady de Winter : "My love is born only for delf",
William Shakespeare : "Love is labour lost",
Dr Romesh : "Love is a story which does, a lot cost",
Bharati Dalal:"Love is something to be buried immediately in a pelf" ! PS : Milady is a beautiful spy in the novel "The three musketeers" by Dumas. Delf means riches or lucre which is ill-gotten. Pelf means a mine, pit, or ditch.

4) Dr J. Richard Cookerly : "Love is real, if it generates jealousy",
Max Shulman's short story : "Love is a fallacy",
A Midsummer Night's Dream:"Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind",
The Merchant of Venice, Act II Scene 6 : "Love is blind",
Romans12:9-13(New American Standard Bible):Let love be without hypocrisy"

5) Khalil Gibran: "When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep !"
Dr Romesh: "But Lav has migrated westward & established Lahore, the tickets to which are very steep !
How can I a barefoot doctor, living a life simple and plain,
afford to travel without any visa, so far in an aeroplane ?
I think I'll have to be content by drinking brewed lemon tea steep !"

PS : The 1st line is a famous quote by Khalil Gibran, the Lebanese poet, in which love is the emotion & steep means precipitously rising or falling. In the 2nd line Lav is son of Rama, who established Lavapuri (Lahore) after taking up reign, & steep means exorbitantly priced. In the last line steep means tea leaves soaked in hot water.


"What is there in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet", wrote Shakespeare William,
"When all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils!", wrote Wordsworth William,
"Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air" wrote Thomas Gray,
Wrote Linda Sue, "Lilacs wafting lovely scents; Oh ! such a heavenly spring day !"
And "Oh lotus! Oh lotus! Oh lotus! So pure, white and divine !", wrote I in my poetry album !

PS : The last line in this limerick is the first line in my metaphoric poem written many years ago, on Rajiv Gandhi because Rajiv means lotus.


In the begining of 19th century was established in Texas, the city Austin,
In the begining of 19th century, wrote the English author Jane Austen,
her famous masterpiece novel PRIDE AND PREJUDICE;
In the begining of 21st century read Bharati Dalal, on D/D of neonatal jaundice,
and on osteocytes' expression of the paracrine regulator of bone mass - sclerostin !


Those students who in class, dont attention pay,
for their indiscipline, later in life surely the price pay;
In competitive examinations being not quite able,
to face the examiner squarely, sitting across the table,
they end up jobless without any wages, salary or pay !
PS : This is the limerick I often show to my students in class.

various "VARY"

As a College student of 20, I read Gustave Flaubert's novel "Madame Bovary";
As a PG student of 25, I read about tumours of the gland salivary.
Never did I dream then, while delving deep into Endocrinology,
by Williams - a bible for students of MD Pathology,
that at 35 will I be struck by premature failure of the ovary !


1) At school, his uniform had on the belt, a specific type of buckle ;
when punished by the teacher, he got a hard rap on the knuckle ;
he grew up & got, to tobacco-chewing severely addicted;
after three decades, exactly as the doctors had predicted,
he sure enough developed SCC of the mucosa buccal !

2) He came from a famous family of princes, lords & earls !
But was fond of squandering, gems and jewels on the girls;
In thirties a rosy rash, in forties aortic incompetence & in fifties dorsalis tabes
were the return gifts he got, from the beautiful bewitching babes,
in exchange for the rubies, emeralds, diamonds, turquoises & pearls !

3) His parents were rich teetotalers absolutely prim & strict,
who for twenty years, taught him about how to restrict ;
never did he touch a drop of alcohol or drugs of abuse,
but his money attracted friends (!), who did mercilessly, him use ;
till at last he landed up at the alcoholic anonymous of his district !


THEN, it was simple pleasures like listening to Radio Ceylon,
or watching in an acquarium, sea-horse, sea-ray & sea-lion,
or diagnosing a SCC by identifying squamous pearls;
NOW, they feel happy only by spending millions, like earls,
& globe-trotting from Siberia to Saudi-Arabia to Sierra-Leone !


The happy night passed, & time it was, for her to bid adieu,
to her warrior husband who was for duty due !
With a swooning brain & throbbing heart she tried to say farewell,
but trembling lips & dried up tongue did not let her speak well,
while silently from the eyelashes, tears shone like morning dew !


As the mother took pains & strongly pushed down,
a preterm infant was delivered, with sparse lanugo down;
The neonatologist rushed in to examine,
& found to his utmost surprise & chagrin,
that the baby showed features of syndrome Down !

Parody on DAFFODILS by Wordsworth

I wandered lonely (in my house), as a cloud,
that floats on high o'er vales & hills;
When all at once, I saw a crowd,
a host of golden grocery bills !
Besides the lamp, beneath the pen-stand,
fluttering & dancing in a manner grand !
Continuous as the stars that shine
and twinkle on the milky way,
they had amassed in small piles, nine,
summoning me silently to forthwith pay !
Few hundreds, saw I at a glance,
quivering under the fan in a steady dance !
The newspapers beside them flapped,
but they outdid the yellowing newspapers in glee !
The pending bills most mirthfully clapped,
at the poor, pauper, miserable me !
I gazed & gazed, and for a long while thought,
what tension to me the bills had brought !
For now when on my couch I lie,
in vacant or in pensive mood,
they flash upon that inward eye,
which is the bliss of solitude !
And then my heart with terror fills,
and trembles along with the grocery bills !


Pathology, literature & music are my staple food,
acting as strong non-pharmacologic elevators of mood,
Reading & writing whole day long,
and bursting hourly into a song,
helps a lot, to keep my health good !

PS : Kindly opine if continue with these, I should.


The subject of Disorders Genetic,
is really quite fabulous & fantastic !
Precipitated by factors environmental,
the symptoms of retardation mental,
are to the kin, terrifying & traumatic !

PS : Let us all pray for the poor souls lunatic !


What will happen when I die ?
Many will rush to get a piece of the pie !
& many more, for a slice of the cake,
will scurry around, in tears quite fake !
But I know my son will truly cry !

PS : What fun it will be, to watch all this from the sky !


Sorry ! my knowledge is not that eclectic,
to identify precisely the ovum problematic !
But the parent is more likely to be a cestode,
rather than a trematode or a nematode,
as ?radial striations are seen on the embryophore acrotic !

PS : eclectic=comprehensive; acrotic=pertaining to the surface

Momentary & transient are pleasures of the flesh,
which evaporate like dew in air, in a flitting flash !
Yet millions, all over the world, fall to them prey,
& later, repentant sinners, to forgive them, they pray,
by taking at Saptarshi, in the holy (polluted) Ganges, a splash !

Okay, okay, okay, I agree it's a cysticercus;
Whether cellulosae or bovis, is something we can later discuss,
after researching if he ate cattle-beef or pig-pork;
but one thing I'm sure, it was not quail, partridge or stork !
Nor was the parasite Loa loa, Brugia malayi or Onchocerca volvulus !


Seeing your serene & sedate conduct,
my nerves, the impulses do conduct,
a lot more fast, from rush adrenaline,
like the fast tempo of a recital-violin,
by the director, who the orchestra does conduct !

PS : The first conduct means behaviour or demeanour The second conduct means transmission or passage
The third conduct means direction or orchestration


Prima facie the tongue lesion looked like grade I carcinoma squamous,
but on scrutiny I found it to be hyperplasia pseudoepitheliomatous;
A search for underlying granular cell tumour revealed none,
but there was chronic granulomatous inflammation in area one,
which on Fite-Faraco turned out to be inflammation tuberculous !

PS: p53, matrix metalloproteinase 1 & E-cadherin also ruled out SCC


JULIET : "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?"
ROMEO : " in a Medical College, studying surgery on video;
I am learning from an orthopedic lecture,
on how to treat a comminuted fracture,
which Mercutio has developed while playing rodeo" !

PS : Mercutio is the best friend of Romeo. Rodeo, the official state sport of Wyoming, South Dakota
& Texas, is a game played on horseback, like polo.


They diagnosed a strangulated intestinal loop,
with renal failure from malfunctioning Henle's loop;
As the patient had severe abdominal pain,
he was urgently operated, to relief gain,
& found to have a wandering Lippes loop !


Oh limerick Oh limerick Oh limerick,
Why do I get in making you, a kick ?
Until recently I made only verses,
on topics like jams, jalopies & jerseys,
But now it's only about you, that I think !


Last year I added a feather in my cap;
After a long stint of non-academic gap,
in a GAPM conference, gave an oration,
& though the time allotted was under ration,
I was able to thrill a few, while majority had a nap !

PS : The GAPM conference was held at Mount Abu on 30th November & 1st December 2013


"Meningioma, maltoma or melanoma, adenocarcioma, ameloblastoma or astrocytoma,
Which one am I going to have?" I asked my son,
"Oh mom, of these you're going to have none,
because you're the world's most lovable ma" !


Many may heave, of relief, a deep sigh,
Many may open up their clenched fist resting on the thigh,
Many may laugh heartily with mirth in their eyes,
Many may become anxious to grab all the pies,
But a few there will be, who will cry when I die !

PS: Pies refers to all worldly possessions.


What is this ephemeral life, full of stress, struggle & strife,
where vices, evils & crimes are rife,
if we have no time to write a limerick,
on the use of classification & grading of Bostwick,
for bladder neoplasms removed by the scalpel knife !
PS: BOSTWICK's grading is used in HP of non-invasive bladder tumours

Heartiest congratulations Dr Gandhi Arpan;
With due respects I make this limerick to you arpan;
It'll be a good idea to adulterate pure Pathology with literature,
& instill a sense of aesthetics in the generation future,
who, when we are no more, can make for us pitru-tarpan !

What is this life, if full of care,
we have no time to sit & stare,
for long, lonely hours, at the computer screen,
to decide the histogenetic origin,
of an SRBCT, showing some nuclei bare !

(Posted on Patho-L , fwd: by Dr. Ajit Junagade)
When a panel of doctors was asked to vote on adding a new wing to their hospital,
the allergists voted to scratch it and the dermatologists advised no rash moves.

The gastroenterologists had a gut feeling about it,
but the neurologists thought the administration had a lot of nerve
and the obstetricians stated they were all labouring under a misconception.
The ophthalmologists considered the idea short-sighted;
the pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body"
while the pediatricians said, "Grow up!"

The psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness.
The surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing
and the radiologists could see right through it!

The physicians thought it was a bitter pill to swallow;
and the plastic surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter."

The podiatrists thought it was a step forward,
but the urologists felt the scheme wouldn't hold water.
The anaesthetists thought the whole idea was a gas
and the cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.

In the end, the proctologists left the decision up to some as****es in administration.

(by Dr. Bharati Dalal)
May I add, The ENT surgeons turned a deaf ear to the proposal,
the Microbiologists thought it was not proper culture
and the ornithologists said it wouldn't help any way,
as the hospital couldn't fly on a single wing.

(by Dr. Anuj Kacker)
The ophthalmologist did not see logic to it.
the orthpaedician gave a knee jerk reaction.
the dentist fought tooth and nail over it

(by Dr. Sachin Kale)
Pathologists said they need more clinical data and few IHC studies before they could give any opinion?!

(by Dr. Bharati Dalal)
Some pathologists yelled loudly, "Over my dead body", and a few murmured softly, "Over your dead body"
-- It was only a small difference in the pronoun !


Though not a writer very prolific,
today I want to write a limerick,
with carcinoma broncho-alveolar,
or rhabdomyosarcoma alveolar,
or ameloblastoma alveolar, as the topic !
PS : Even an MD candidate when asked "why is alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma so called ?" has given the answer " Because it originates in the alveolus" !

(by Dr. Anshu)
Why is there all this fuss
Over what is an alveolus?
Cells could be arranged in a pattern like the lung
Or from the jaw- near the ridge- could have sprung
It maybe one word, but has meanings surplus!


was found by Shakespeare also, interesting;
When you sign off death certificates each day,
tell patients "there is malignancy, and of hope no ray",
some literary word-play brings a change relieving !

Different kinds of attachments

From the time he was a 16 celled blastocyst, to my son am I attached !
Xerox copies of certificates, to my application I had attached;
At the interview they asked me "where do you work?",
to which I replied "At the Medical College where the clerk,
embezzled the nurses' salary & got his property attached !"
PS: Embezzlement story at a Medical College is real, not a notion !
My employment there is a mere figment of my imagination !


The patient had problems cardiac,
& painful swelling in fossa right iliac;
They called up the ultrasonologist,
who diagnosed a large, labile cyst,
in ptotic kidney, of Grade 1 Bosniak !

(by Dr. Sachin Kale)
Life is Brutal,
When you have Sickle
When cells are stuck,
Painful Crisis is the luck!
Caution, if trait is in couple!

(by Dr. Bharati Dalal)
Not only are brutal, friends (!) like Marcus Brutus,
who made "Et tu Brute ?" uttered by Caesar Julius!
Most dreaded traitors, the ghastly GENES are,
who play a horrible havoc, with mortal body our,
killing, like the swift sword of treacherous Octavius!

(by Dr. Anjana)
Its so wonderful ma'am
To have you opine frank
On things academic and non
Makes us enjoy even our Mon
Day after day
This forum gets livelier and gay
Apology of a poem/ limerick it may be
But to be a part of this, am happy

(by Dr. Bharati Dalal)
Many thanks for your limericky interaction,
which helped relieve some work-related tension;
I think it's time now to call it a day,
& wind up the wonderful word-play,
as I've to rush to a Classical Indian Music session

(by Dr. Bharati Dalal)
Your lively limerick on sickle,
did my mind, a lot tickle;
So I sat down to reply,
after reading your words, "at 2 pm ..... bye",
& before taking lunch of paratha & pickle !

(by Dr. Sachin Kale)
Do not under estimate the pickle,
It is worth more than a nickel!
It is risk for gastric cancer,
That's what said the teacher!
And so goes my rhyme bubble!


Today I want to make a limerick,
partly educative & partly comic;
Occassional sip of rum, champagne or beer,
wine, whisky, vodka, or claret clear,
will not make you an addicted alcoholic !

Copyright © 1999 PathoIndia