Sunday, April 24, 2011

Horrible thoughts. Not befitting the situation.

After the winning of world cup the next event claiming big headlines happens to be the death of Bhagavan Sri Satya Saibaba. Our TV channels and news papers have been gross in calling it ‘death’. Bhagavan did not die. He left the world in his present ‘Avatar’ to assume the next one. Only he miscalculated the time at which he intended to leave this world and left about ten years early. On reading the news, some thoughts propped up. Just putting them down as they came.

News papers and TV channels are full of Saibaba’s death. All our political leaders are offering condolences. They have to. Saibaba’s desciple’s votes count. And they are in crores. One politician raised above others. Our CM Yeddyurappa has said that he will propose ‘Bharata Ratna’ to Bhagavan. I would consider it an insult to Bhagavan. But I also heard someone has already seconded the proposal. I am sure lakhs and lakhs of devotees would be thrilled. Bhagavan getting Bharata ratna just like Mother Theresa getting saint hood. Great country. With us, gods are not above Bharata Ratna and our politicians are never above cheap gimmicks. Yeddyurappa was faster than Kiran Reddy. Reddy visited Puttaparti before yeddyurappa but missed out a good chance. Next in line for Bharata Ratna- Kashi Vishweshwara and Tirupati Venkateshwara. But they have to leave this world first. I don’t think they will.

Many members of the trust have felt that the Bhagavan died because there is a flaw in the ‘vastu’ of the hospital, Sr Satya Sai Institute of higher medical sciences.( I hope I got the name right). They blamed the Vastu and also the doctors for not allowing the Bhagavan to be shifted out. A change in Vastu would have tremendously improved Bhagavan’s health. Just as gods are not above Bharat ratna, they are not above Vastu also. Vastu is supreme. But I have to put in my doubt too. If the Bhagavan decided to leave this world, only to be born in the next avatar, who are the doctors to prevent him? I don’t blame doctors. But vastu, I can’t say anything. I have no knowledge of it.

Now, the next avatar. There are reports that the Bhagavan has said that he will come into this world again as an abandoned child and will be found on the banks of Cauvery river in Mandya district, Karnantaka. He will be called ‘Prema sai’. So, all those who intend abandoning their children in dust bins, railway compartments and street corners can take a chance by heading to Mandya. Abandon the child, they surely can. River bank is better and hopefully cleaner than dust bin, aleast in some places and so, less guilt, if they have any. But if the child turns out to be Prema Sai, imagine the fortune. Far far better than KBC. They can always claim that they are the god’s parents and left him on the bank on his own instructions. Have the claim confirmed by DNA tests.

Expect dozens of abandoned children on banks of Cauvery.

Bye. More horrible thoughts if news papers help me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Anna Hazare - Baba Ramdev

I was just feeling good reading about Anna Hazare’s hunger strike and the support that it was generating. Better times ahead for our country? Like many other arm chair agitators I signed an online declaration affirming my support too and was satisfied that I have done my bit.

This morning I read that there has been some discord in our group with Baba Ramdev making some allegations and Anna Hazare giving some explanations. Un fortunate.

From what I read in the papers Anna Hazare appears to be sound. Since Baba Ramdev urges people to stop using plastic bags and banish Pepsi and Coke, I consider him Ok too.

I do not know what happened between them.

Did Baba Ramdev feel that Anna Hazare is hijacking his ‘Anti corruption’ platform?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Fight worth Losing

Some years back I made the mistake of getting my blood examined. I repented later but the damage had been done. My blood showed cholesterol levels slightly on the higher side. I am forced to repeat the mistake every year and my blood is very consistent in showing marginally high cholesterol levels. So, one tablet every morning and an advice to cut off all unwanted eating. Tablet every morning is no trouble. Cutting off all unwanted eating is the big trouble. I usually eat more of unwanted stuff than wanted stuff. Sweets, if available, dominate the diet and I have been specifically warned to avoid fried stuff and sweets. I don’t have a sweet tooth. I have many sweet teeth. Fortunately the decay in all of them was detected in time and since I was studying in dental college then, all of them have been filled by good hands (evidently not mine!)and are functioning well even after thirty years. I do not go out and buy sweets. But if there are things lying around, it is a challenge. Craving v/s Cholesterol.

My son had been to Pune recently and when he returned brought back a consignment of rava laddoos lovingly prepared by my sister in law, liberally embedded with cashew nuts and raisins. A day later, one of my well wishers who happens to head a spiritual organization, sent half a kilo of some sort of a combination of Sohan papdi and khova in three different flavours (very tasty) along with Gudi Padva wishes. The very next day one of our family friends who had been to Bangalore returned with quarter kilo of Nandini mysorepak dripping ghee. The same evening my wife had invited some of her distant relatives who were on a visit to Goa and since she was keen to serve them home made stuff, prepared Gulab jamoons which had turned out really well.

It is a tough fight. A 'fight to finish' and I hope i keep losing till all of them are finished.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Value Of Time

“Hello Dr Raghunandan, how are you?”

I was about to step out of the State bank Of India after depositing my pension check and had my hand on the door knob when Mr Pai hailed me. I tried to play deaf and get out fast but had to give way to a lady who was trying to get in. That was enough for Mr Pai to reach me, grip my wrist and pull me away from the door. I was caught.

“Very nice to see you after a long time. How is your family? How is the practice? I hope you are getting some patients. I advised you not to take retirement. You would have been deputy director now. See, the government has approved the ‘Guaranteed career improvement scheme’ also. You would have got the scale and arrears for the last six years. Thirty eight thousand basic, mind you.”

I have been caught by Mr Pai at least a dozen times after I opted to retire from health services and start my practice and he has not missed a single opportunity to drive his opinion into my skull. He was against my opting for voluntary retirement at a time when I was the senior most dentist and was due for promotion, and he had tried his best at that time to convince me that I was being absolutely foolish.

“I hope you are not in a hurry. Come this side. I have something very interesting to tell you.” He tightened the grip on my wrist and pushed me into a corner. He took out the thick black 2003 diary he always carries in his shoulder bag. I was trapped. I resigned to my fate and braced myself up for another session with Mr Pai.

“Now listen” He started his recitation. ”I have given the heading ‘Value of time’, to this” he continued. ”If you want to know the value of a second, ask a short distance runner. If you want to know the value of a minute, ask one who has just missed his train. If you want to know the value of an hour …………………….” He went on. I had no option other than listening to him till he reached “if you want to know the value of a year…………..” I tried to tell him that I already knew all the values by heart, but he was not listening. “And did I tell you about this quotation from Gandhiji?” he opened another page, “There is enough in this world for every one’s need but not for every one’s greed”. I told him that he had already told me all these a dozen times but he brushed my defence aside. “Have I? good then, because, these are things one should listen again and again. That’s why I am putting them in my book. It will be published shortly and as soon as it is published I will give you a copy”. His book is in the process of being published for the last eight years.

Mr Pai was not always like this. He was the administrative officer in our department and retired a few years before I opted for retirement. He was always found fully immersed in the administrative affairs of the department, arrived at the office before nine in the morning and left only after six in the evening. He never kept things pending and helped everyone as much as he can. After his retirement he must have felt miserable without his office and might have had a tough time adjusting to his new life. I do not know where he got the idea of writing his book, but ever since he started collecting ‘material’ for his book, he has been a nuisance. He has been in Ponda for a very long time, knows many people and always manages to get some or the other victim to hear about his book. He lives with his family but spends most of the time alone in the spare one room apartment they own which is conveniently located next to the bar which provides him with the inspiration needed for the book. Since it is also in close vicinity of the places that i have to visit every now and then like the bank, gas depot, pharmacy and the post office etc, he manages to catch me at least once in a few months.

By experience, I knew that I would be captive for at least half an hour and looked this way and that hoping to find an escape route. I had told my wife that I would be back in fifteen minutes for lunch and that she can start preparing chapattis. She does not like to eat them cold and insists that I eat them hot too. By now her chapattis would be cold and she would be getting hot.

“Token number seventy seven, token number seventy seven “ we heard the recorded voice calling.

“That’s my token. You just wait here for a minute. I will be back fast. I have many more things to show you” Mr Pai reluctantly released the grip on my wrist and went towards the cash counter.

I felt bad about doing a vanishing act but could not help it. I dived for the door. After all it was Mr Pai himself who had taught me the value of seconds and minutes.