Friday, November 6, 2015

Thank You Dr Shah

"Dr. Uncle is no more.... He passed away 3 days back"

These were the words my mother spoke as I came home from office yesterday evening and was talking to her about my day in the kitchen.

Surprised and in a state of unbelievable questioning, I asked her, " What? Say it again!"

"Dr Shah Uncle passed away 3 days back."

Still shocked, I continued drinking water for 5 seconds until reality dawned upon me that everyday people die, some we know of.

But it is nearly impossible to shed off Dr Shah's news. Why? Because, for the past 40 years or so, he had been our family doctor. Leave us, he was even family doctor of our neighbors as well.

Dr. Mahesh Shah had been a well known general physician in our area for more than 2 decades and more. A medium height and broad shoulders and typical doctor specs, he looked like a little fatty man  Every time I or someone had a cough or a fever, we would visit him and he would cure it. Yet, he was not able to win Cancer.

Yes, He had cancer or other similar disease. He was even taking a treatment for it periodically and would be absent from his clinic for months in the past couple of years. But when he was back, he would be his usual smiling self and ever helpful. Never did he rant about his new friend or say anything sarcastically about it.

Now, it would be a great task to find another doctor like him and of course, another human being as well.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Everyday Normal but Extraordinary Heroes amongst us

What comes into your mind when you hear the word 'Hero' or 'Superhero' for the first time?
Someone from the film fraternity for sure? Someone from the army? Someone from the civil services?

Of course, the guys in the army are our everyday superheroes but what If I told you that apart from the army folk, there are many people who have committed themselves for a better India initiative taking their time from their job or business or full time? Yes, these people do not know each other and yet, they are spread all over India and doing their work silently without advertising themselves.

We would never have known them, but for one website or organization known as the Better India. They have taken up the challenge of finding these people from the crowd and bringing it in front of us.

Let me give some of few examples of our everyday Heroes in brief.

1. The Chocolate Ganesha maker

Yes, this lady 'Rintu' makes Chocolate Ganesha during the present Ganpati Festival in Mumbai. So what? In this age of the need of eco-friendly cries of making Ganesha statues, she not only made a chocolate god but also immersed the God as per the norm, but in a different way. She immersed it in Milk and gave the Chocolate milk to Underprivileged kids. Everyone happy? Of course! Read more about her.

2. No family separated during Kumbh Mela 2015

We have all heard and seen about the Kumbh Mela, the ancient religious fair of India, where people get separated from their families in the crowd, isn't it? Even the old Hindi movies show it. But this time, the authorities made sure that it does not happen. With efficient planning and implementation, until now, there has been no incident of people missing in Kumbh Mela 2015 in Nashik. How?  By this way.

3. Ordinary Lady into Doctor Lady

What do you think this lady is/was on first sight? She was a vegetable seller. And now? She is a renowned Oncologist. Yes, an expert surgeon and a very kind lady.

This vegetable seller turned oncologist is Dr. Vijayalakshmi Deshmane. To know how and why of her sudden life transformation, you must first understand that it takes dedication and passion to follow a dream. Read more about her here. 

4. Fighting Hunger together for people 

We have all heard about the infamous Bengal famine, right? But there are some sections in the region where it is a daily task for people to remain hungry. But it looks like a shining cloud is on its way to solve this matter. Youngsters are taking the matter in their own hands. About 32 youth groups in West Bengal have come together to fight hunger in an innovative way.

5. Delhi is not that bad.

Delhi is now infamous for not only the thugs, but also rapists, attacking unsuspecting girls and even the tourists. But, it does not mean that there are no good people in the India capital. Recently, a woman was assaulted by a man who wanted to loot her near a park in the night. But a group of youngsters heard her cries, jumped over the fence and saved her from the attacker. Of course, it was all caught in the CCTV footage. Next time, you hear someone's cry for help, at least think over it.

6. No age for learning 

There is a belief in our society that until a certain age, one must accomplish something like education, marriage, job, etc.etc.. We have all heard of people who have started learning and going to college after their retirement. But have you heard of a young man of 96 years who has just enrolled for a P.G Course? 

With just 4 years to complete his century of age, Mr. Raj Kumar Vaishya of Patna enrolled for a P.G Course in Patna in the Nalanda Open University. At his age, people are mostly confined to their homes and bed, to the dependence of their relatives, but not this gentleman. 

Hats off to you sir.

To read more of these stories, keep on reading from the Better India website. They are surely doing a great job.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Salute to the Spiritual and a simple Scientist-President of India

Sometimes, you are short of words, sometimes you are too full of words that you want to explode and let it out with someone you know. It is said that when people are deeply connected with each other, they don't need to speak. They intuitively know each other's thoughts. I guess this is how mothers come to know of their children's issues even before they speak. Deep bonding. Mothers even come to know the mood of their offspring right when they step back into the home. 

Just my ramblings. 

Last month, our ex-President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam passed away, while delivering a lecture at a prestigious educational institute. We can say, he died with his boots on. On his job! Very few get to do that. But why is he so popular with the masses? Because he spearheaded the missile revolution in India and knew how to connect with people. 

AND, he lived simply. How many people do we know who have been a popular government figure but do not own a home? Too few. He was one amongst them. Sir Kalam did not own his home in Delhi or elsewhere, except his ancestral home in Rameshwaram. When he died, he only had a couple of shoes pair, 4 set of clothes and some money. He preferred simple food and did not fuss about anything. Inspite of being once upon a time, the 1st man of the country. There were no bad name attached behind him in his illustrious career. And yet, some stupid scientist from our neighbor country, Mr Khan said he was just an ordinary scientist. Hell yeah, he was ordinary, BUT, he was EXTRA-ordinary. There is much difference in that. I don't intend to put some links right now which refer to him as there are plenty available on the internet. 

I remember my indirect association with him some 11 years back or so. When I was nearing my 20, I had written him a letter on an important topic expressing my concern, He was the President of India. I never expected a reply back from him. Yet, I was elated when the postman asked for some sweet one afternoon and he handed me the coveted letter from his office. One was a receipt and one was his reply. Unfortunately, I lost his personal letter to me, if I remember he wrote it but the receipt still remains. 

Salute to you sir.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Reserved and the Unreserved

On this day of 69th anniversary of India's independence day, while the whole country is busy in the celebrations, one state of India, Gandhi's very own Gujarat is in another mood, for the Reservation status.

As is known, from 2 months now, the youth of Gujarat from certain 2 castes are demanding reservation so that they can too get 'equal status' in job and other benefits. 

These two castes are Patel and Rajputs.

It is very well known that keeping aside the farmers, Patel's are known for their material power. They have every riches. Half of USA is now of Patels. They have no dearth of money. Yet, they are now demanding Reservation. 

Another caste 'Rajputs' or 'Kshatriya' is also demanding Reservation after the Patels demanded the same. They too dont want to be left out. 
Now, why the Reservation was introduced in the first place?

As far as I understand, Reservation was introduced to benefit those sections of the society who were backward in education, their financial economy and society so that those talented could come ahead and benefit themselves and the society itself. But what happened? Reservation got entangled in caste based politics itself along with politicians. Now everyone wants a piece of the cake. 

Ideally Reservation should be for those who are as mentioned above economically backward but talented, educationally backward yet talented, irrespective of the caste or creed. Lets take an example below

Lets assume 'A' is economically unstable but has the zeal and talent to pursue the right education and services to do something for him and society. He can avail the Reservation, get a seat in college, study hard and smart, secure a seat in civil services and other govt jobs and bring results for his state/nation and family in ethical ways. Then 'A' should opt out of the reservation status as he is now secure enough. He should not insist the same for the family nor the law should be applied so.

But and a big BUT, after some years down the line, if his son is not talented enough to come ahead on the basis of his merit, reservation should not be applied to him. He must find his own means of livelihood.   A person should prove himself/herself to be worthy of reservation. 

Imagine if this happens. The talent will come out and prove itself and resources of the nation will be used efficiently and effectively. 

Just my thoughts. 


Thursday, August 13, 2015

What is the Law of Karma Here?

Sometimes, we all wonder on the right laws of the law of karma. Things that happen unexpectedly around us may sometimes shake us or leave us questioning the guy or lady sitting up there, why this?

Ok, Coming to the point! 

One of our family friend's  family lives nearby our home. The relations are right from my grandpa's time. They are one old lady, 2 sons, one wife, and 2 daughters. The home is run financially from the pension of the widow old lady and one of the son working in a company. The son was around 50 or so. 

You will ask what the other son was/is doing. The other younger son is mentally unstable from childhood and sits at home all day without doing anything. 

The sane son would often come to my dad seeking financial suggestions. We had not seen him from some time now. Everyone assumed that he must have been busy, but.....

Today, when I came home from office, my mother informed me that it has been a year since the sane son or uncle passed away from Cancer a year ago. 

Now another part of the story. The 2 daughters that he had.... One is still studying and other has finished college and has started a job. At present, the financial situation can be said ok. The bread keeps on coming.

My question is, but what will happen once the old lady dies and along with her the pension as well? What will happen when the sole responsibility of finance will come on the elder girl? When the girls marry off, what will happen to the mother and the other son-the mentally ill guy?

If the law of karma is so  cruel, there should be some concession or discount for situations like this.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Learning to Balance on Horses

Ever tried horse riding?

Of course, majority of the Indian men have done it on their D-day, their marriage. But I am talking of daily or regular sessions. Some people do that actually, like me!

Right from my childhood, I had this desire or wish to do some horse riding and if possible have horses at my backyard. Being a Rajput, I think I naturally had this inclination. But somehow, I could not get a chance to do it, in spite of searching here and there. I had even tried some horse riding on my travel excursions, but improper training would do me in and anxiety would cripple in. 

Until one day it happened!

A local newspaper had a small article that described that local police administration had invited the citizens for 1 month free horse riding lessons. so in some anticipation and excitement, I approached them and filled up my forms. And soon the lessons started or my trial period started, to say honestly. 

Although, I loved horses and was very excited, I was somehow vary of approaching them and riding it perfectly. The staff is very polite and has always supported me, but somehow the anxiety would creep in and I would fail in proper riding at least for a fortnight. 

The first time, I learned the basics, it was in small circles and so it was never a problem, for the horses were experienced and mature enough with proper instructors. The real problem started when I was transferred to the outside area or ground.

You can guess how the police or defense horses are! Strongly built and just the nature like their masters. I have fallen down from horses more than 4 times, from different angles and styles. Once I pulled the reins so hard that the horse stood up on its hind legs, which made me lose my balance and fall down backwards, On top of that, the muscular fellow fell on me ( Yes, he fell on me!) but she took enough care not to hurt me, and stood up in 2 seconds. I learnt the lesson of my life. 

But as they say, that practice and regularity makes one experienced. I soon learnt the tricks of the trade. I am now an average horse rider and can ride along well. The secret to horse riding? Get to know your horses well, mingle with them, serve them whenever possible (Yes, serve them for they will get to know you even better and you will learn something more) and talk to them while riding as well. 

I learnt that horses are mature and understand their riders. They come to know if the rider is experienced or has just entered the school in just few seconds. Based on that, they will treat you. A horse will make full efforts to let the rider know to take him seriously or suffer the consequences. (Falling him down). A horse will never attack its rider after falling and will avoid to step up on him. Only if a horse is not trained, is hot tempered or drunk, will it hurt the rider. 

At least once in your lifetime, you should learn horse riding. It will instill in you, some confidence, some courage and yes, you will have immense fun. Do not be afraid of falling down. 


Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day In.

Yesterday was Mother's Day.

A day to remember every mother's sacrifice and spend a day for her with her.

But the question is ... why only one day dedicated to mothers?

Can't we spend everyday with our mothers? Is it necessary that we remember her sacrifices only on a specific day?

In India, every mother is an epitome of work, work and more work in the family. Even if they are ill or otherwise.

Mine is no different.

Last month, my mother fell down in the compound in order to scare away monkeys from eating the mangoes from the tree she had rose by hard work. Her hand got fractured. True to her habit, she did not let me know. I came home from office and could not find my parents, only to be told by my grandmother that they were out for some work.

But as the clock struck 9:00 p.m, I felt something odd. My parents generally come down at 8:30 pm to home and then go back after dinner. I called her and came to know that they were on the way.
Then as a surprise, my mother suddenly barged into my home yelling and smiling, "Surprise".showing off her big plaster.

The doctor has/had asked her to take rest for 4 weeks and do not indulge in any cooking and other stuff. But true to her nature and habit, despite a maid now temporarily cooking meals at home, she has struck to her normal routine. Directing the maid about cooking, doing other things that she can do with one hand and use of her other free fingers of her fractured hand, etc.etc. It is not that I don't help or ask her to sit down. She has got into the habit of taking every work as her sole responsibility.

I am sure that all mothers around the planet or at least in India are the same. Stubborn when it comes to work, dutiful around the home.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Beef Ban: About the Right Time it Came.

In the last part of February 2015, Maharashtra implemented beef ban. While there are divisions in the society about the ban, many going in for pro ban while many going against the ban, it has now become the law. 

The Punishment if you don't agree would be prison for 5 years with fine of Rs 10k. 

India, until last few years was majorly regarded as an agriculturist country. Now, it has shifted majorly towards industrialization with the advent of new govt at the center. Lets see into brief about this new Ban and whether it will be of any benefit to least the cow.

Under the law, the cow slaughter is prohibited in the state already under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act of 1976. Not only the new law bans the killing of cows but it will also prevent the killing of bulls and bullocks as well. So with cows, these 'Guys' will also benefit. Alas, the buffaloes were not spared! Win some, lose some. 

Hypocrisy and India! Sounds familiar? It is. Rurally, India worships cows and labels it as the 'mother'. When I relate India with this, I mean the Majority 'Religion, The Hindus. In Gujarat, when we were kids, we learnt somewhere in our books that Cow is our Mother for the utilities it provides to us. 

In urban areas, some middle class Hindu Families still believe in this concept and abstain from eating beef. But those in the elite class of people have different views. Maybe to keep up with their 'peers'. 

 'गाय हमारी माता है-

This is what we learned in our text books and taught by our families. It does not mean however that they were treated equally good. Look anywhere around you and you will see them loitering in the streets, neglected by their owners only to be remembered when its milking time. For a while I was under the impression that cowherds or their owners take good care of them. But not anymore. They are hardly taken to the veterinary docs when they fall ill ultimately left to die. 


Humans consider every living thing under them to be below their par. The cows are also living beings? Just because you feel the need to eat something different and the 'In thing', that does not mean that you eat it. Of course, the Muslim brothers are allowed to eat beef in their religion. Do not know about the Christians. To appease them, some slaughter houses and butchers encourage their killings illegally. Some restaurants also are against the ban. Obviously!

They argue that people will go out of business leading to more complications. There are more jobs to take up other than these. Explore them...

Some say the ban is one of the most extremist thing to do. Like seriously? Do you have the right to kill and eat other living beings. Ok that you are a Non vegetarian and all that but why not accept and adapt to the laws of the country and suit yourself to eat fish, chickens, etc.. etc? Have you ever seen a chicken or a cow getting slaughtered? There is something to hearing it and seeing it live! 

How can any one see a living being die just for your stomach? Again, go and see a butcher shop nearby you. The Film fraternity of India  is again hypocrite. Some girl on rediffmail put down her views that although she is a vegetarian, she supports beef eating. Great! She does not want to impose her views on anyone. Again Great! But then they ought to see these pictures on an article that Ms. Poorva Joshipura (click on the name) wrote on a popular social media blog. Just read her article and you will understand what I am intending to say.

A popular Bollywood music composer had a view that although he is a veg. he believes in freedom of choice for others. This freedom of choice can be practiced with common sense, isn't it? There are approximately more than 30,000 illegal slaughterhouses in India. Imagine, a living being giving you all that you want-Milk and other dairy products.. that you want in morning and evening, but you don't even care a damn when it goes for killing, that too a healthy one. These cows even see other cows getting killed in front of them mercilessly. Again see the link given above. 

I hope other states apply this partially or whole.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Some Truths that I just learned

This is not any truth that I just learned in life by bitter experience. The one or some, I am talking about have been heard or seen by me..

So there you go.

1. The way you dress is linked to your mood. Dressing well stabilizes and improves quality of happiness, reducing depression risk.

2. Your dance moves might not be the best, but making a fool of yourself will always be more fun than sitting on the bench alone.

3. Psychology says, the best things in life are usually found when you are not looking for them.

4. Your dreams are reflective of emotions in which you keep bottled up inside

5. What others think about you is not important. What you think about yourself means everything.

6. If someone truly loves you, they tend to hug you for at least 5 seconds or more.

7. Don't think too much. You will create a problem that wasn't even there.

8. You can shrink a pimple in minutes by putting a dab of Listerine on it. The alcohol will dry it up and cause it to fade.

9. If someone truly loves you, they tend to hug you for at least 5 seconds or more.

10. When a person dies, they have 7 minutes of brain activity left. It's the mind playing back the persons memories in a dream sequence.

11. One of the best ways to measure people is to watch the way they behave when something free is offered.

There are many things like this. Will keep on posting it..


Friday, January 16, 2015

The Man who defeated the mountain before him-Dashrath Manjhi

Sometimes man is faced with cruel fate or nature. It takes away the only joy of a common man and also a poor man. 
Some of us have already heard about the man known as Dashrath Manjhi, the man who moved an entire mountain to his side by his will power after he lost his wife to it. That's utilizing anger correctly. 
The hero in the story lived happily with his wife in Bihar in the late 1960's in his village. The only hospital was about more than 20 km away from the village due to a huge mountain that stood in the way You can well imagine the state of villages in Bihar in that era. Nobody cared to come up with any solutions until one day... 
 His wife died one day when she fell ill and had to be taken to a doctor. She died on the way as they got late because of the heavy mountain in between. Dasrath Manjhi made up his mind to remove the mountain and make way for others so they don't have to suffer the same fate. Of course, he did meet with resistance. Nobody believed him or supported him. People called him mad. But for what?
He started cutting up the mountain with just some small equipments like chisel and the likes. People would make fun of him yet he continued in rain and cold weather alike. It took him more than 20 years to do the job. One fine morning, people woke up to see a surprise. The mountain had a hole in between, enough for a vehicle to pass to the other side of the road and make the distance less by 6 or 10 km. 
Read on further here how he maintained his cool and directed his anger in the right direction. 
That's will power. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Tale of hero(ism)ics.

We generally hear real time stories of people who have suffered suddenly from some accident or a fateful incidence in their lives and how they have come up. 

But seldom do we hear about people who have got injured when in their childhood or just at the threshold of teenage ears, with injury more than 60% yet have managed to stand up on their feet. 

One such person or a girl is Miss. Malvika Iyer. 

Malvika, who was in her teenage years and had just entered her 13th birthday lost both of her legs and almost her leg when a shell exploded in her hands.

Now you might be wondering, what was she doing with a shell.. Well, the local government administration can be sometimes irresponsible to the society. An ammunition depot had caught fire and some arms had spread all over. The authorities had assured that it was a diffused shell, so there was no need to worry. 

Next, being a kid only then, ( in 2002) she did not understand what it was and took it to fix something in her pocket. Next, an explosion and no hands! Plus two years in the hospital recuperating and coming terms with the accident. 

Imagine that you have always been an active person and suddenly you are paralyzed. Either you resign yourself to fate and self pity or make up your mind to do the next better thing you can do. Malvika chose the latter. 

With help of her mother and some great friends, she not only diverted her mind to studies and topped her exams, she also got prosthetic hands and became a Economics Graduate with honors. Whats More, she was invited to meet by then President of India, Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam. She was also invited in the world famous TEDX talk.. 

Rest... you can read the story here

It is surely a challenging real life story, right? I am sure that someone will make a film on her sometime. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cataract Shocker

Happy New Year 2015

Sometimes, you take people around taken for granted, such as your parents. As a child, you expect them to be around  forever only to be reminded by nature that age catches up on them as well. 

My mother has been gradually getting weaker by her memories and keeps forgetting things from couple of months.. We two often joke if its the start of Alzheimer or not. She has just crossed 60 and says that she may actually be losing her mind. These jokes make the day lighter and to some extent make us ready for what is to come, if at all. 

But today evening, she dropped in a bomb. She told me, " I am going to have a cataract operation next month". I was surprised if not shocked. Of course, her eye sight has been weak from last 5 years due to regular home work and stress and she has been regularly going to the doc.

Even if the modern medical field has jumped leaps and bounds every year or few months.. you still can not erase that long distant memory of people wearing those dark heavy specs after the cataract operations. Now, the process gets over only in couple of hours, and you get back to doing your normal routine by end of the day compared to the old days where you could not take out those black goggs.. 

But all the same, it got me thinking... I guess men are close to their mothers and females to their dad. So, it got me thinking that there may come a time when I may have to face a situation where she is no more there in the physical world. It just gave me shivers!!!

Good Night!