Friday, December 31, 2010

Prayer for 2011

May you get a clean bill of health from your dentist,
your cardiologist, your gastro-enterologist, your urologist,
your proctologist, your podiatrist, your
psychiatrist, your plumber and the I.R.S.

May your hair, your teeth, your face-lift, your abs and
your stocks not fall; and may your blood pressure, your
triglycerides, your cholesterol, your white blood count
and your mortgage interest not rise.

May New Year's Eve find you seated around the table,
together with your beloved family and cherished friends.
May you find the food better, the environment quieter,
the cost much cheaper, and the pleasure more fulfilling
than anything else you might ordinarily do that night

May what you see in the mirror delight you, and what
others see in you delight them. May someone love you
enough to forgive your faults, be blind to your
blemishes, and tell the world about your virtues

May the telemarketers wait to make their sales calls
until you finish dinner, may the commercials on TV not
be louder than the program you have been watching,
and may your check book and your budget balance
- and include generous amounts for charity

May you remember to say "I love you" at least once a
day to your spouse, your child, your parent, your
siblings; but not to your secretary, your nurse, your
masseuse, your hairdresser or your tennis instructor

And may we live in a world at peace and with the
awareness of God's love in every sunset, every flower's
unfolding petals, every baby's smile, every lover's kiss,
and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous beat of our heart.

(Beautiful lines sourced from net)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It happens only in India

On one hand Indian-American Nikki Hailey is making wave with her win as Governer of South Carolina, there's one interesting piece of news from a small village in Auriayya, a district of Uttar Pradesh. Bhupendra, whose first wife Sunita died two years back, let his second wife Nema Devi contest Panchayat elections in the name of his first wife, Sunita. Nema Devi not only contested but also won the polls. There is no identity proof of Nema Devi and Bhupendra says that she is Sunita but the villagers are saying otherwise.
Read for details

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

World Teacher's Day

Teacher's day is celebrated on every 5th of Sept in our country but World Teacher's Day falls on 5th of October. This day was created by UNESCO to mobilize support for teachers and to ensure the positive role of teachers in building future generations. In this era of information boom, teachers have a pivotal role to play in the society. With Internet, playing negative and positive roles in the learning process, teachers have to guide, motivate and pave the way for the students to follow the path of righteousness. Teaching is considered as the most noblest of all professions and students are real-time assets of a teacher. The role of the teacher is to create an understanding and awareness among the students to be able to take the right decisions and to believe in oneself with full conviction.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Animals, who?

We have a tendency to specify days for pertinent issues and then forget about them for the whole year. 4th of October was World Animals Day which went by largely unnoticed because there was hardly any media coverage. Sample these facts sourced from International Union for Conservation of Nature:
# 17,291 species out of 47,677 so far assessed are threatened with extinction
# Of the world’s 5,490 mammals, 79 are Extinct or Extinct in the Wild, with 188 Critically Endangered, 449 Endangered and 505 Vulnerable.
# 1,895 of the planet’s 6,285 amphibians are in danger of extinction, making them the most threatened group of species known to date.
The world nature cannot support the pressure, we human beings are putting on it. Consequently, the rate of species extinction is 1,000 times higher than natural rate.
Discussing climatic changes over coffee is the latest fad and global warming is the new buzz word, but sustainable efforts towards animals, preservation of their natural habitat are required to create ecological balance. Or Tiger tiger, burning bright, in the forests of the night; would be a difficult poem for the coming generations to understand and imagine.


जब इंसान की जान की कीमत इतनी सस्ती हो, तब उस जानवर की क्या बिसात...
बेचारा बेजुबान अपना दुखड़ा रोये भी तो किससे
उसे तो सिर्फ प्यार और सहारे की आस थी
और चाहिए था सर छुपाने के लिए जंगल
पर इंसानी लालच और भूख ने उसे कहीं का न छोड़ा
बना दिया दरिंदगी का शिकार
और ख़त्म कर दिया उसका नामो-निशाँ

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Zindagi hai behne do

Turning 77 on 8th of September, Asha Bhosle's melliflous voice has enchanted millions for six decades. It still keeps me spell bound whenever I listen to some of my favorite numbers of hers. Versatile, effervescent, lively, she is the living legend and heartthrob of millions. Her dynamism is evident in her voice as well with more than 12,000 songs to her credit. The magic that her voice created with Kishore Kumar,Gulzar and R.D. Burman is unrivaled. Having personal playlist of their songs for every mood, I can listen to them for hours and hours. I wish that Ashaji goes on forever and ever.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Balibo: Bloodshed and much more

Balibo, the name fascinated me enough to watch this movie. It is based on the book Cover-Up (republished as Balibo), by Jill Jolliffe. Balibo is the name of a small town situated near Indonesian border of East Timor, which is witness to the gruesome murder of five Australian Journalist on 16 October, 1975 now known as Balibo Five. The five journalist in their 20s-Greg Shackleton, Tony Stewart and Gary Cunningham from Australia’s Channel Seven; Malcolm Rennie and Brian Peters from Channel Nine went to cover up the Indonesian invasion of East Timor go missing from Balibo. Roger East, veteran war correspondent with much persuasion from Jose Ramos-Horta, an aspiring politician of East Timor, goes to investigates their death after four weeks but never comes out alive from the country. The official line stated that Balibo Five were killed in a crossfire. But in 2007 Australian investigation discovered that they “were shot and/or stabbed deliberately, and not in the heat of battle” to prevent them from revealing Indonesia’s invasion.
East Timor achieved independence but not before seeing the brutal killings of 100,000 Timorese. Jose Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1996 served from 2006 as Prime Minister of East Timor until his inauguration as President after winning the 2007 East Timorese presidential election. As a founder and former member of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN), Ramos-Horta served as the exiled spokesman for the East Timorese resistance during the years of the Indonesian occupation of East Timor (1975 to 1999)
The movie is a depiction of the risk faced by journalists all over the world in bringing out the truth. Unfortunately, the deeds are covered up or go unaccountable for some ulterior motives by government and policy makers. After 35 years of Balibo Five, journalists are still in danger. Each year more than hundred journalists are killed in different parts of the world (International News Safety Institute).

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Doctors' Day-A Day of Introspection

It's the Doctors' Day today, a time to pay tribute to the entire medical profession. This is in commemoration of the birth Anniversary of Eminent Physician and Patriot Dr.B.C.Roy. First of July, 1882 happens to be the birthday of Dr B C Roy, who was born on this day in Patna. After his MBBS from Calcutta, he completed his MRCP and FRCS at London and returned to India in 1911. Thereafter, he joined the teaching staff of the Calcutta Medical College. He excelled as a physician, an educationist and as a freedom fighter, joining Mahatma Gandhi in the Civil Disobedience Movement. Dr Roy's dedication to the upliftment of Indian society led him to choose political arena where he became leader of Indian National Congress and later Chief Minister of West Bengal. After a life of work and service, the doctor passed away on July 1, 1962, on his birthday. Doctor's Day thus pays tribute to Dr B C Roy and all doctors like him, who spend their lives serving people.
Doctors are considered as Gods in our country who have the miraculous powers to heal people and not just treat them. Doctors-patient relationship is considered as a very sacred and they share a very special bond. People connect with Doctors on an emotional level and trust them blindly. This is not just an customer oriented service rendered by the physician to the patient but it goes at a more deeper and spiritual level. A Doctor cannot just be mechanical in his interaction with the patients. He has to be a part of patients life unlike fellow doctors of other more professional countries. We are an emotion driven nation and doctors are our "agony aunts" too. Unfortunately this trend is shifting more towards commercialism and patients are just considered as clients by some of the doctors. I am sure all of us have had some good or bad experience with the doctors. We still remember our friendly neighbor "Doctor Uncle" who would give chocolates every time we went to his clinic with some fake "School fever/Stomach problem". I wonder, how many of todays' kids are going to have fond remembrance of their Doctors in the future. During my research, I had the opportunity to meet some of the highly "professional" and very few "not-so-professional" doctors. Unfortunately, I was dismayed to see some of the doctors lacking common courtesy in one of the premier institutes of the country. It does not take much to talk nicely with someone specially when that someone considers you next to God. Some doctors don't have skills to communicate bad news to their patients. This incident happened with one of my close relative who was told blankly on her face that she has cancer. The way private hospitals treat poor patients leaves nothing to say. My granny was kept in ICU of private hospitals way after she was no more, just for the fat bill. Some doctors consider it their insult, if patient ask them about the causes of the diseases or the line of treatment.
The Doctors have lost their basic communication skills in their run for professionalism. A Doctor must be a skilled communicator and persuader. Patients would listen and follow each and every advice of the Doctor, if he is able to touch their heart. So, it is mandatory to incorporate a basic course in communication skills for medical students along with the studies.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Be the best of whatever you are

If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill

Be a scrub in the valley--but be

The best little scrub by the side of the rill;

Be a bush if you can't be a tree.

If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass,

And some highway some happier make;

If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass--

But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,

There's something for all of us here.

There's big work to do and there's lesser to do,

And the task we must do is the near.

If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,

If you can't be the sun be a star;

It isn't by size that you win or you fail--

Be the best of whatever you are!

Douglas Malloch

Friday, May 7, 2010

इस बार नहीं

कल प्रसून जोशी कि 26 /11 मुंबई बम धमाको पर लिखी एक कविता पढी! हकीकत को बयान करती ये पंक्तिया इशारा करती है कि अब समय आ गया है ठोस फैसले लेने का, न कि दर्द को चुपचाप सहते रहने का, क्योंकी आतंक को चुपचाप सहते रहना भी तो एक गुनाह है.

इस बार नहीं
इस बार जब वो छोटी सी बच्ची मेरे पास अपनी खरोंच ले कर आएगी
मैं उसे फू फू कर नहीं बहलाऊँगा
पनपने दूँगा उसकी टीस को
इस बार नहीं
इस बार जब मैं चेहरों पर दर्द लिखा देखूँगा
नहीं गाऊंगा गीत पीड़ा भुला देने वाले
दर्द को रिसने दूँगा, उतरने दूँगा अन्दर गहरे
इस बार नहीं
इस बार मैं न मरहम लगाऊँगा
न ही उठाऊँगा रुई के फाहे
और न ही कहूँगा की तुम आँखें बंद कर लो, गर्दन उधर कर लो मैं दवा लगाता हूँ
देखने दूँगा सबको हम सबको खुले नंगे घाव
इस बार नहीं
इस बार जब उलझने देखूँगा, छटपटाहट देखूँगा
नहीं दौडूंगा उलझी ड़ोर लपेटने
उलझने दूँगा जब तक उलझ सके
इस बार नहीं
इस बार कर्म का हवाला दे कर नहीं उठाऊँगा औजार
नहीं करूंगा फिर से एक नयी शुरुआत
नहीं बनूँगा मिसाल एक कर्मयोगी की
नहीं आने दूँगा ज़िन्दगी को आसानी से पटरी पर
उतारने दूँगा उसे कीचड मैं, टेढे मेढे रास्तों पे
नहीं सूखने दूँगा दीवारों पर लगा खून
हल्का नहीं पड़ने दूँगा उसका रंग
इस बार नहीं बनने दूँगा उसे इतना लाचार
कि पान की पीक और खून का फर्क ही ख़त्म हो जाए
इस बार नहीं
इस बार घावों को देखना है
गौर से
थोड़ा लंबे वक्त तक
कुछ फैसले
और उसके बाद हौसले
कहीं तो शुरुआत करनी ही होगी
इस बार यही तय किया है

प्रसून जोशी

Thank you Ma!

Our first touch, first love, first care, first attachment, first lesson of life starts with her. She is the one who knows us nine months prior to the whole world. No doubt, the first word that we utter is Ma. No amount of words, no amount of celebration, nothing can compare with what she does for us. For me each and every day is mother's day. Her daily phone call is like a therapy for me, sharing recipes, gossips, she telling me about life and sometimes I advising her. Being far away from her makes me realize how much I miss her. I was never senti types but the day I left my house, food cooked by Mom, her care, I realized her importance. I know, my Mom won't be reading it and I wouldn't be able to say all these things to her face. She will definitely shush me but I can't help saying THANK YOU MA! Thanks Ma for being there, for supporting me always, for making little lies to save me from Pa when I did some mischief. Thank you for putting up with my excuses when I did not want to go to school. I still remember during my Board exams when me and my bro, both of us were down with typhoid. The way you took care of us, helped me in revision and stood by us as a pillar of strength. How I used to wake you up for my early morning studies and you got up at 4 just for me. The sleepless nights that you had to endure because of my acute bronchitis. The whole night I used to suffer from cough and dyspnoea, you would be sitting by my side taking care of my needs. The way I used to say no to food when you did not make the food according to my likings.Now, I understand the importance of those simple yet precious meals cooked by you.See, that's why I have started eating everything which I detested eating in my childhood. You sacrificed every thing for us. It was as major as forgoing your needs for fulfilling our desires or as minor as leaving your favorite TV serial for our sake. I am sorry for fighting with you, taking you for granted. I dread to think of the absence of you existence in our lives. Ma, please take care of yourself for me.
You taught me everything whatever I am today. It was your love, support and counselling that got me through everything. I can't write more..where's my phone? I need to talk to you, Ma..........

From Heaven to Ekla Cholo Re..

7th of May is Rabindra Nath Tagore's Birthday. My first memories of Tagore belong to Heaven poem read in school textbook.....

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

It still reverberates in the deep of my heart. And I can bet, there would hardly be any student who doesn't feel inspired and proud of being an Indian. Over the years, the thought and the gist behind the words have not faded into oblivion!
Gurudev was born in the year 1861. Winning the Nobel prize in 1913 for his master piece Gitanjali, Tagore is a doyen of Indian Culture.
Another evarlasting memory associated with Gurudev is of Ekla Cholo Re. This song has some inherent energy reminding of that era and filling the mind with the belief to always move forward, come what may. These are the Bangla words of the song along with a rendition by Kishore Kumar.

Jodi tor đak shune keu na ashe tôbe êkla chôlo re,
Êkla chôlo, êkla chôlo, êkla chôlo, êkla chôlo re.
Jodi keu kôtha na kôe, ore ore o ôbhaga,
Jodi shôbai thake mukh firaee shôbai kôre bhôe---
Tôbe pôran khule
O tui mukh fuţe tor moner kôtha êkla bôlo re.
Jodi shôbai fire jae, ore ore o ôbhaga,
Jodi gôhon pôthe jabar kale keu fire na chae---
Tôbe pôther kãţa
O tui rôktomakha chôrontôle êkla dôlo re.
Jodi alo na dhôre, ore ore o ôbhaga,
Jodi jhôŗ-badole ãdhar rate duar dêe ghôre---
Tôbe bojranôle
Apon buker pãjor jalie nie êkla jôlo re.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How I sacrificed something dear to me....

They say it takes three weeks to change habit! There are lots of thing that change over time but one thing that remained unchanged till now was my sleeping habit! I just love to sleep till the wee hours of the day!I always detested getting up early so much that even my board exams could not deter me from my sleep. I would always duck it for some reason or so during exams but when it became impossible to make excuses with my mother then as a last resort, I threatened her up with..."if I am getting up early to study then you would also have to get up with me". And my poor mom, she complied with my request and got up at 4 AM with me for the whole duration of exams {How we used to get all the royal treatment when we sat for our board exams}. Anyways, morning sleep is always so wonderful although you know that outside the whole world is waiting ,then also you want to sleep for five minutes more. Throughout school, college, office my love for sleep remained unchanged. Thankfully, my Ma-in-law was as accommodating as Mom, so she too never asked me to get up early. (I think this is enough to establish my love for morning sleep) Alas! One fine day, it all changed! And bouquet (or brickbat) goes to my hubby dear! He is also a lover of sleeping in the morning but suddenly he realized that he is growing horizontally (in simpler terms...gaining weight)and he need to do something for it. Then he took off his jogging shoes and started morning walks. Lo...the tummy was going back to its normal hubby was getting back hs boyish charm and I had a nightmare that I have become fatso (like Ayesha of today) and he is falling for some PYT (you can read sania!)! I could not sleep through all this! I have to get up and don my jogging shoes too! I could not let that nightmare be a realty! And that way I sacrificed my morning sleep. Now its been six months and both of us love every minute of that one hour spend amidst nature. We enjoy walking, running, doing stretching, meeting different types of fellows (whom we have secretly given nicknames). We love getting up at 5 and enjoy our time together. Although, sometimes my love for sleeping prevails over my addiction for walk but soon the thought of fresh oxygen in the lungs, first rays of sun bathing everything, chirping of birds, wet grass, exhilaration of running fills my mind and I get all geared up! I suggest you all to please get up and go for a morning heady as a glass of chilled beer! (only that it keeps you fresh all hangovers!)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Witnessed the launch of INS Chennai

There are some moments in life which are beyond words. One such moment that I witnessed this morning was the launch of Naval Destroyer INS Chennai, built under the code name of Project 15 Alpha. Invited by a family friend, I could not say no to be a part of it especially a Naval warship. Being wife of a Ship Surveyor has made me familiar with the nity gritty of shipping industry and I could not miss an opportunity to see how ship after building in the yard is sent to the sea. The outer structure of a ship is called hull, which could be compared withe skeletal system of the body. After bulding hull, comes the process of putting in vital organs of the body like engine, generator, purifier, piping system, propellor,rudder...each serving for the proper functioning of the ship.Ok..lets come to the event of launching...We reached Mazegon Dockyards Limited (MDL), Mumbai. As soon as I entered the premises, there she was standing in front of me with all its splendor and glory, 163 m long with a weight of 6700 Tonne INS Chennai. It is propelled by four gas turbines and designed to achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots. This is India's third Missile Destroyer in the series of INS Kolkata and INS Kochi which would be equipped with Brahmos Missile, twin tube torpedo launchers and rocket launchers. Mrs Elizabeth Antony, wife of Defence Minister A K Antony pressed the button and propelled it into the sea. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma called it a red letter day for the nation. I was very mush proud to be a part of this event and could share the joy and satisfaction evident in the faces of workers and sailors of MDL. Proud to be an Indian.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Smells and everlasting smells...............

A small organ known as Nose plays an important role in our lives. I am not talking about the most vital function of breathing in but it's about the olfactory function of the nose...smelling. How smelling is important can be understood from a simple fact that when we are down with common cold, we are unable to find similar taste in the food that we used to relish earlier. It's just because that our sense organ for smelling..Nose is not working properly that we cannot smell the food we are eating. Eating is not just about eating, its about enjoying the food with all of our sense organs. As I said earlier, various kind of smells provoke various emotions.How some smells make us feel happy like food, smell of freshly baked cookies wafting from the kitchen, smell of our loved ones, smell of mama's hands just after she has made delicious food for us. I still remember the smell of my grandma's hands when she used to put "prasad" in our mouth after pooja. That lovely smell coming from baby's body with all those baby powders and oils after they have been massaged and bathed. The smell of morning with all its glory, dew drops on leaves, smell of rain water on mud...aha that is a divine smell especially when the rain drops fall on a hot, muggy, sunny afternoon. Some smells make me nostalgic, like the smell of new book reminds me of starting of new sessions in class when we used to cover all our books and notebooks with brown papers. Going to a theater with its peculiar smell reminds me of our endless movie watching experience with family and that smell of popcorns and hot hot (read refried, stale!!!) samosas. Ohh...that smell of old blankets in which we cozy up with the family and eat loads of peanuts. Smell of freshly laundered cotton shirts.That sweet smell of rose...aha..and some smells we just would love to avoid as much as possible like that smell of sweat in a crowded place, smelly socks, men throwing gas bombs of ammonia (said with no offence!!!)...Ughh

Some facts about smell....
There are 6 basic types of smell: sweet, fruity, putrefaction-like, spicy, burned and paint (terebenthene).

For a chemical to have smell, it must spread its molecules in the air. That's why a cold dish smells less than a heated one: the vapors carry more of the scented molecules from the food.

Another condition is that the chemical dissolves in the water. That's why during the hot, wet weather we feel that smells are more intense. A field spreads its fragrances after a rainfall and the smell of the bath salts is detected more in a hot bath, no matter how diluted, than in the wrapping.

To feel better a smell we sniff, increasing voluntarily the speed of the air currents passing to the olfactory mucosa.

When we enter a room where something is being cooked, the smell is strong for us, while those inside do not even feel it. This is accommodation: after all the olfactory cells have been stimulated by a specific smell, they stop sending signals to the brain.

The air refreshers act by masking the smell: they do not wipe out the bad smell, but cover it, being more intense, like a loud sound covering other background sounds. How this covering happens is not known, as not all the smells can be covered; sometimes we feel the mix of smells.

From about 110,000 kinds of smells in nature, humans perceive just about 100-200. The smell of children is much finer and those working in the perfume industry can detect 600-800 smells! In women, the smell sense is strongest around the ovulation period, significantly stronger than during other parts of the menstrual cycle and also generally stronger in males.

The left nostril catches smells better than the right one. In 80 % of the people the nose is not exactly on the middle of the face, but to the right. This will enable them to detect the source of a smell, as the slight difference permits a comparison and direction detection. (like in the owls, which have their ears disposed asymmetrically to locate the source of a noise in the dark). 70 % of infections enter our body through the nose.

My documentary on youtube

Monday, January 25, 2010

सेल के शोर में कही दब सा गया है गणतंत्र दिवस का महत्व....

२६ जनवरी के आसपास बहुत से रिटेल स्टोर्स में शुरू हो जाता है सेल का पर्व.... यानि उपभोक्तावाद को राष्ट्रीयता का जामा पहनाने का एक प्रयास. उपभोक्ताओं को लुभाने के लिए चमक दमक के साथ इस त्यौहार की शुरुआत होती तो नव वर्ष के मौक़े पर है, पर २६ जनवरी को वो अपने चरम पर पहुँच जाती है. सच पूछिए तो २६ जनवरी को लगने वाली सेल समापन उत्सव या 'बीटिंग रिट्रीट' होती है जनवरी के शौपिंग फेस्टिवल का. कपड़ो, गहनों से लेकर इलक्ट्रोनिक उत्पादों के अलावा प्रोविजन स्टोर में 'एक के साथ दस फ्री' का जो चारा पब्लिक की तरफ फेंका जाता है उसके जाल में फंसकर उपभोक्ता वर्ग भी २६ जनवरी को बहने वाली सेल की गंगा में हाथ धोने का मौका चूकना नहीं चाहते. फिर चाहे ये सेल उसकी जेब को हलकी ही क्यों न कर दे और शायद ही उस तथाकथित फ्री में मिलने वाले सामान की उपभोक्ता को कभी आवश्यकता भी पड़े. रिटेल कम्पनियां भी गणतंत्र दिवस के मौके को भुनाती है होली या दिवाली जैसे पर्व की तरह पर दरअसल तो ये क्लिअरन्स सेल का ही एक प्रकार है जिससे न केवल उन्हें अपना पुराना माल बेचने में आसानी होती है साथ ही २६ जनवरी की छुट्टी के दिन ज्यादा भीड़ आने की वजह से बिक्री की संभावना भी कई गुना बढ़ जाती है. पर उपभोक्तावादी संस्कृति की ये बयार कुछ सवाल भी खड़े कर देती है. ये सेल किसके लिए है और इसका औचित्य क्या है? चीनी और दाल के बेतहाशा बढ़ते दामो ने जनता की कमर वैसे ही तोड़ दी है. जहाँ कंप्यूटर, टीवी और मोबाइल के दामो में कमी आ रही है तो वही रोज़मर्रा की वस्तुओं के दाम आसमान छू रहे हैं. सिर्फ एक खास वर्ग को लुभाने के लिए लगने वाली सेल के प्रतिदिन छ्पने वाले विज्ञापनों में गणतंत्र दिवस के असली मायने कही दब से गए है. गणतंत्र दिवस का मतलब एक छुट्टी और पूरे परिवार को साथ लेकर मॉल की सैर करने का एक मौका बन गया है.