Unshed tears

Like dark clouds they strain,
On the verge of blue sky,
Vying to rush and drain,
The sea of her cheerless eye,
To show strength to world around,
With great effort she smiles,
For her child she holds the ground,
To protect from vile and guiles,
You left me alone she says,
To the one that parted ways,
Her heart for one thing craves,
As rough weather she braves,
Haven , where without fear,
She can let go that unshed tear.

My specs! Oh my specs!!

I felt something not so right with my specs and as I tried to adjust the alignment, I realized that the screw of right handle was about to come off. I dodged and faltered but somehow managed to reach the workplace. It was terrible as I fumbled my way to my office. What would have happened if the screw came off completely! All the way I was apprehensive. The right glass would have come out, fell somewhere on the road and the people would have found me groping on the road trying to find something that they would have no idea about! That would have been bizarre!

Anyway, I reached hospital (my workplace) and as I was preparing to start off the day, the screw came out completely and fell down. I couldn’t find it anywhere. It was useless to search for it more since the screws are really small. Dejected – I decided to do without the glasses for the day. But being short sighted, it wasn’t easy. First time I realized how inconvenient it is to do without something you are used to so much. My glasses are my best buddies since middle school and I just cannot survive without them. They are indeed indispensable.

My boss, a cardiologist, came to my rescue, as he always does. I got him a suture needle, thread and a surgical blade from the OT and he most dexterously sutured the broken parts. In a matter of 10 minutes the operation was over. The glasses were fixed to a virtually new one! The stitches were neat and invisible, and it was a successful operation. (I had no doubt though).

 

Fairy Tales, Love, Hate and Hubris

Fairy Tales – Love, hate and hubris

Author: Manoj Kewalramani

Published by Virgin Leaf books

Price: Rs. 145

Deceit, doubt, divine and the delightful – What are fairy tales made up of? A new look at the soulful, shy, sophisticated, savant, sinister, scary, sinful characters we had read about in many of the fairy tales in our childhood. Little Red Riding Hood, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Puss in Boots, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea, Rumpelstlitskin, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Pied Piper are some of the fairy tales chosen by the author.

Manoj has looked at the characters of some well-known fairy tales in today’s perspective. Why would a toad want to be a handsome prince if he is happy as he is? He doesn’t need some princess to redeem him from his frog-form. Be comfortable with what you are instead of trying to fit in the mould the world wants you to be seen in.

The princess and the pea where the bedraggled girl is crying hoarse that she is a princess because a pea kept under the several mattresses is poking her in the back. Well, girls! Most of the troubles in your life are the size of a pea. Face them squarely and they will be minuscule. Just stop crying over them!

There is nothing like eternal beauty. We all are going to turn old with the tide of time. Also beauty is what you are inside, not the physical form.  The queen better learn it instead of looking for answers in the mirror. A new Snow White is going to happen with time.

Puss In Boots is a Man Friday personified who would go to any depths to serve his master. Deceit is a way of life today, isn’t it?

A refreshing look at the characters from fairy tales woven into poetry makes us rethink as to what they could have been. The verse is sometimes cryptic that compels you to dwell upon it. A perspective of the ‘other’ character and what they would they want to tell or what could they have felt! Read the poems and read the original fairy tales and you might be surprised with the interpretation of the character.

No wonder the first page says:

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again”. C. S. Lewis

Who are you?

Who are you?

Who really are you

You find more happiness in my pains

Than in your own happiness

You await my sad moment to be happy

You highs do not seem to amuse you anymore

You find solace in my humiliation

You stalk me instead of contemplating your life

You smile when I cry

You hate it when I laugh

Who really are you

Who are you?

 

The Female to Male Ratio

It is the Creator God who decides on the sex of the baby being formed in a mother’s womb. The parents have no control over it at all. And God maintains a perfect balance between female foetus and male foetus.  It is always on 1 to 1 basis.  He does not  allow any imbalance in their numbers.

It is God’s plan that the earthlings should not  live alone but live as a pair.  In other words, every human being must get married. That’s why He produced Eve and gave her to Adam.  Adam never asked for a companion.  He didn’t even know anything about a woman and what she would look like.  When God presented a beautiful creature before him, he became curious and started comparing his features with Eve’s.  She became his wife straightway in the garden of Eden.

But, we hear that in some  countries the female to male ratio is terribly one sided. For instance in China there are only 858 females for every 1000 males and in India 914: 1000.  Who was responsible for this imbalance? The people. In Indian villages, a female baby is put to death immediately on birth.  Some village panchayats have laid down  such a diktat. Their reason   is:  Only a male child would perpetuate the family’s name and help it multiply. A girl child would migrate to some other family after marriage for good!

The  thinking in China too is similar. So, they  resort to female infanticide.  Since one can verify the sex of an unborn child,  it is easy to destroy a female foetus right in the womb. The problem became more serious from 1980 when China had  decreed the  one child norm. “The only child must be a male child,” the parents say.

And so we see the demographic  mismatch in these two countries.

Arranged marriage seems to be the norm in China just as it is in India.  Love marriage is also in vogue in India but is getting less and less popular. In such a scenario, how do marriages materialise?

In China it is usually  the woman who picks out her husband. Men being  greater  in number, every young man would keep his fingers crossed hoping that some girl would show a selecting finger at him. Women in general are well educated in China  and naturally they would want a man of good qualifications.

A similar situation will come about in India too.  Instead of  ‘bride seeing’  it is going to be  ‘groom seeing’ henceforth. How will a girl choose her husband in the seeing function?  By the looks or qualification or family status or the Man’s financial status?  It’s possible that software engineers or other engineers may cross examine the  young man and harass him with questions like in a job interview.   The  SW engineer knows exactly what she wants and she would not settle for anyone less  than a post graduate engineer  who had secured his degree fromUSA.   For others, the consideration may be financial security and so a Man’s income and earning capacity would matter a lot.

‘Not so good looking’ girls also will stand a very good chance. A Man who has been rejected by several girls may opt for this specimen.  What matters in the circumstances is, a  woman’s physique and a healthy body and  shape   and her looks wouldn’t count much at all.

In such a situation, some men would have to remain single and die as bachelors while all the  young women  would stand married, happily married.  It’s highly  possible that there may be no divorce at all.  That would be an extraordinary India  then indeed!

Go easy on your life, friend

India is in the  lime light for all wrong reasons. We are one of the ‘leading’ corrupt nations. Corruption is painted boldly on the face of all our leaders and other important people. As of now, the only clean persons are the beggars and ordinary  folk on daily wages.

And now WHO reports that by 2015, 60% of all the heart patients of the world  would be  living in India. Of them 40% would belong to the age  group less than 40.  That’s a terrifying news indeed, isn’t it?.

What are the reasons for heart problems in human beings?

We undergo tremendous stress and strain. due to various kinds of  down to earth difficulties, the chief being financial worry. Domestic disharmony perhaps comes next.  Whatever it is, the doctors during a recent seminar conveyed that we need to take life easy and not weep over the predicaments we come  a cross now and then. Humans, especially those living in cities,  go nuts for nothing, according to the medicos. You know tension could kill you or make you walking skeletons !

How lucky the animals are, particularly our pet dogs. Although they too have a heart each, they  don’t suffer from heart diseases. Pet dogs don’t have heart attacks because they have no burden of any kind that would affect their heart. They develop the same diseases as we human beings do except leprosy.  But heart attack, no. They don’t experience stress of any kind.

One method  to get over our tension arising out of worries   is to take to hard  drinks. A few pegs down your throat around7.30 p.m.you become a different man, a care free man.  Nothing would trouble you. then.  The Stress would stand far away and not bother you at all. You may even dance and come home  dancing all the way and face an angry wife.  But by then you  couldn’t care less about anything. Nor are you expected to give an explanation  to your wife as to  why you over drank. And  you  hit the bed straightway without dinner.

Once you get addicted to drinking,  doctors tell you to  stop drinking because drinking is bad for health.  What happens then to this fellow Mr. Stress?  I think we should let Mr. Stress and Mr. Drink  fight it out between themselves and let us know who we  should vote for.

You would think that the villagers are relatively  free from stress and strain. A village life is an easy going life. No, no friend.  They   are possibly  subject to heavier stress than the city population.  You see, they take heavy loan from banks and  if there is a crop failure or recession and what not, they would  suffer heavy loss and would be  unable to pay back the loan.  They then would spend sleepless nights or decide to kill themselves.

Some farmers have vowed never to let their male children  take to agriculture which has driven many farmers to suicide. If nobody takes to agriculture, who is going to produce  food grains for us?  The government needs to take notice of this kind of thinking  and do something about it so that a farmer’s sons continue to stay on in the village instead of migrating to the cities.  Even now, our towns and cities are over crowded due to influx of the villagers. Once again the Government  has to do something to confine the villagers to the village boundary only.   We have digressed too much.  Now back to the heart problem.

While the doctors have advised us to go easy and to take life easy, they don’t tell us how to do it. Do we contain it with some kind of medicine or some other action?

One mantra is to sing a song daily  which  should go like this, “Take it easy brother, take it easy, that’s the best policy, take it easy, I say again, take it easy.”   You know singing is very relaxing and would put you in a happy mood.. Once you sing this song at least every hour, you would not be troubled with any stress  conundrum.  If your  boss ticks you off for singing the ‘Take it easy’ serenade, tell him  most  amiably, “Take it easy, Sir.  Life is not all that heavy and stressful. Take it Easy, Sir. You  won’t have any heart complications then.  Okay Sir?”.

 

 

On tooth brush and tooth paste

 If I recall correctly, tooth  paste and tooth brush came into our life around the year 1941. I was in school  and in a hostel then. The name of the tooth paste was ‘neem’. All of us took these two as a novelty. It became style and fashion as well, I must say. If you didn’t clean your teeth with a tooth brush you  were looked down upon.

How did people clean their teeth early morning earlier than 1940/41?.  Most of them used their index finger along with charcoal powder.  Some people used tree branches.  Such twigs which sprouted with bristles on biting the edge.  It did resemble a tooth brush of sorts.

If  you ask me,  people in that era maintained much healthier teeth than now. One never heard of a person called ‘dentist’. The roadside quacks treated your teeth problem if any.  His advice would be, “Use good charcoal powder and you will never develop tooth problem.”

It would be consolation to you to know that Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples also used their index  finger to clean their teeth. So did Adam and Eve.

What is the advantage of using your finger?  The finger invariably would touch the gum more than the teeth. Your gum would become strong and your  teeth would be held more firmly.

When you use a brush, your gum gets damaged, which cannot be avoided.  Next, you develop gaps between your teeth. The  strong bristles of the tooth brush  create them. That’s the start of your teeth trouble. After  every  meal you have to extract out the small particles jammed between your teeth.  You would use a tooth pick to take them out.  More gaps would be created and the existing ones would become wider.  In  course of time, your teeth would start shaking because their foundation would have  been disturbed.  And you visit a dentist to get the bad tooth removed and the dentist makes money on you.

See what trouble you have brought upon yourself  by accepting tooth brush and  tooth paste as members of your household?

My  advice is, use your right hand index finger along with paste to clean your teeth.  Tooth powder would be a better option.  Please  avoid the tooth brush like plague.

 

I was given this advice by one of the old men from a village .   I didn’t heed to him seriously at all. In fact I ridiculed  him..

 

Some years back, during one of my visits to a dentist for a regular check up, I was told that three of my teeth were on their ‘death voyage’.

“If you feel any kind  of pain,  come over, OK?” he had said. “Then I would extract out those idiots !”

 

Then I remembered the good old wise villager’s  formula.  I fell back upon my index finger. It’s now over  15 years and my three supposedly bad teeth  on their death bed, are still going strong.

 

I wish I had abandoned the tooth brush some forty or fifty years back. In which case  all my teeth would have been in tact today.

 

Now, what are  you waiting for ?  Go and do it.

What is a balanced diet?

Mrs Mehta was worried over her son’s health. Her 6 year old son is a fussy eater and refuses eat every time he is asked to eat. As a mother, she was concerned and was trying her best to make things work. She is not alone. Many parents face this and do not know how to go about.

If fussy eating behavior persists in children, they may end up having health hazards.

  • Nutrient deficiencies leading to improper growth
  • Weak immune system
  • Long term health issues

The importance of balanced diet is not unknown and most know the benefits and the ill effects of it. To make it simpler here is an overview:

What is a balanced diet?

We all know that the right kind of balance containing the right amount of carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fibre in our daily diet comprises of what we call a balanced or healthy diet Each of these nutrients has a vital role in the all round growth and development of children. It is important for all nutrients to be present in the required amount in a balanced diet.

What are the nutrients and their functions?

1. Carbohydrates: these provide a source of energy.

2. Proteins: these are required for growth and repair.

3. Fats: these provide a supplementary source of energy and are required for absorption of fat soluble vitamins

4. Vitamins: these are organic substances required in very small quantities

5. Minerals: these are required for healthy teeth, bones and muscles.

6. Fibre: this is required to help digestion by helping intestines function correctly.

Do you wish to live for decades and absolutely healthy too?

 When we read in the Holy Bible that Adam, the first human being of the world, lived for 950 years and his children Methuselah for 969 years, Lamech 769 years  and Noah [Who survived the great flood in the huge ark he had built under God’s orders and guidance] for 950 years, you may also feel and ask, “Why can’t I live at least for 100 years?”  Very few touch 100 in modern times.

But then, what is the use of 100 when you have to be helped by someone  to stand up, sit down, lie in bed or walk? That would be a miserable life, wouldn’t it? Your own children might think in their heart, “I wish Pappa died soon.  He has become a burden to us !”  If that is the kind of life one has to lead around 100, I would rather die much earlier say at 75 or 80.

But Adam and others led a beautiful  and healthy life during those centuries without falling seriously ill or with defective legs, hands and back etc. Isn’t it a pity that  the Creator God had limited  our life span to 70 in course of time. So, most of us leave this world around 70 and only a small number survive beyond that age. This is God’s formula.

And yet, many people want to live for long years.  They would love to see their great, great, great grand children. What do you know? It appears possible too.

Our medical researchers have designed such a medicine that would convert an old man into a middle age gentleman. Harvard University,USA,  is the organization behind this research and the project manager is one Professor Ronald De Pinto.

The professor tried  his new drug on a rat which was equivalent to an 80 year old man.  The fellow fathered two litters and  was also looking like a bull  at the end!

So, why can’t this medicine work as effectively on human beings?   How did the University achieve such an astonishing result?

You see, as we age our internal organs become weak and malfunction.  Or possibly, we become old and skinny and bony because our vital  inside parts have become weak.  So, if these parts could be revived and made to function normally like before, one can live healthily at any age, can’t they?

The theory doesn’t talk about prolonging one’s life span but would make you lead a very healthy and dynamic life even at the age of 80 or 90 or 100.  One can also argue that if the crucial parts have received a new  dose of life, one can live for longer years as well, can’t they?  The argument sounds very logical indeed. We have to wait and see the ground results only after we start  consuming this medicine.  Shall we wait for this  magical medicine to come into the market?

See what this magical medicine would do for you.  You may be 90, but you would look like  a 40 year old man physically  and do all things any 40 type  would do including running, playing basket ball,  volley ball, kabadi etc.  Your skin will have the natural shine, your muscles would look fleshy and  bouncy and your face would be very attractive.

 

How to avoid a Divorce

Suguna fell deeply in love with  Mukesh when she had gone to New Delhi on a college project work.. The love  was so overpowering Suguna felt that she could not live without Mukesh  even for a minute.  Immediately after her BA final examination, she forced her parents to marry her off  to Mukesh.

They got divorced exactly eight months later.Why?

Suguna  was a Tamilian from head to toe and from morning till evening  seven days a week. Whereas Mukesh was born and bred in New Delhi and had never moved out of the Capital in all his life.

Suguna found everything new and strange in her New Delhi home.  She couldn’t stand the sight of chappatis, parotas  and dhal  at the dining table nor every  house routine the whole day.

She was a Christian and  Mukesh, a staunch Hindu.

As days passed by, they couldn’t see eye to eye on any issue at all  and found no agreement on many things in their daily life.  Mukesh’s parents expected a different kind of behaviour from their daughter- in-law but Suguna’s thinking and conduct was like any Tamilian maiden’s. She was worshiping a different God, a foreign God for that matter which her in-laws didn’t quite approve of.

The only thing common between the young couple was the language; Suguna spoke both Hindi and English.  The deep love they had developed  for each other had waned out by the day and did not count for anything  after two weeks into the married life.

Suguna found no course of action appropriate  except to part ways through a divorce..  She was back in her Chennai home exactly 8 months after her marriage,  with all her dreams of a happy home fully shattered. She was a broken soul too with complete  aversion to live with a man ever again!

What went wrong with this young couple? A deep analysis is needed to be  a  lesson for those believers in mixed marriage.

National integration,  culture merging, the concept of  one God, one religion etc are all right in theory but don’t work in practice.  Any marriage would call for adjustment between the husband and wife. One has to give in  and accept some changes in the interest of joint living.  But if one has to adjust more than ten percent, such an union is bound to break.  In Suguna’s and Mukesh’s case, 90% adjustment  was necessary which was impossible to achieve.  Indeed they were better off divorced than married !

You should never rush into marriage. Suguna had done precisely that and without understanding  the life style and beliefs  of her future husband and the compatibility factors between them. Like beauty,  the pre marriage  love is also only skin deep. It is not  a propeller shaft to ferry you through the whole voyage. All the other factors take over, after you had tied the nuptial knot. Unless your foundation is strong, no marriage will be happy and durable.

In this couple’s case, the foundation was very flimsy and therefore  crumbled at the slightest shake. What constitute  a strong foundation?

According to my thinking, the ingredients of a strong foundation are: common food habit, similar bringing up culture, the social status of the wife should be equal or lower than that of the husband’s, common religious belief and financial soundness of the husband.. Once these factors match, the super structure will rise up fast and the building will become complete and strong.  Despite these parameters agreeing, adjustment of some kind would be necessary hut if that adjustment is  more than 10%  the marriage  won’t work  out.

I for one do not encourage inter region or inter caste marriage.  Marry in your own social circle and social surroundings.  Your union then will grow and won’t crumble at any degree of  disturbance.  The word ‘Divorce’ won’t be  found in your vocabulary  any longer and in fact you won’t even know its spelling.

Happy birthday my girl!

The hand pulling rickshaw puller

Struggled his feet through the

Hot and burning stone street

The lady sat fat with lot of extra shopping weight

Her right hand never stopped feeding her mouth

She ate as if there would be no tomorrow

And the puller pulled like there would be no tomorrow

His feet all bare and rough

The soles tough, distracting the stones

The sun was merciless

He eyed a bunch of young people

Gorging on the colored drinks

Two children playing with ice cubes

The lady still munching the snacks

The puller rode like a horse now

He can’t waste any time

He has to meet his little girl

Who’s been waiting since forever

He needs 20 rupees more

To buy her a birthday gift

The gift she’s been wanting since last year

The puller got the fat lady down safely to her house

Took  the money, sidelined the rickshaw

He went to an ever old, shabby shoe shop

Shopped for a couple of chappals

Bought his choice and came home

Wearing the sandals in blue straps

His girl gave him a big hug and a tearful kiss

He finally made her day.

 

 

‘Laughing’ is no laughing matter !

You must have seen a caption such as “Laughter the best medicine”, in a few magazines.  Most of the  Monthlies and Weeklies  do run a column for  jokes, humour and so on. It is  very  unlikely that you would  have flipped over that page as unwanted stuff.

So, a joke of any kind is a compelling piece of mini  literature which cannot be ignored by any reader.  But,  does it serve as a medicine of any kind as the wordings go?  I never considered it to be any  type of therapy at all.  No doctor has ever prescribed it to any  one..  But a recent article made me wise on the subject.      

One Dr. Madan Katara hailing from the city of Mumbai,India, felt that laughing was good for healthy  living and it does cure some chronic complaints. He came to this conclusion  after some research. and tried it on himself initially.  Presto, he did feel relieved from some of his chronic problems such as asthma, perpetual coughing etc.

So, he started a club which met at the nearby park every morning.  Soon there were some 50 persons  – all laughing their guts out for about 15 minutes and then they dispersed. Every participant gave a positive feedback.

This happened in the year  1995 and the concept  has spread to a number of countries.  As of now, there are 6000 laughter clubs in 60 countries. What are the  overall benefits?

One feels  better emotionally, physically and would be  cheerful throughout the day without any kind of stress. The blood pressure will remain  normal  and  kept under control too.

Depression and sadness will get banished in you  if you keep yourself happy.   Depression is the root cause for 70-80 per cent of all health problems in every human  being around the world. It is a kind of a killer disease too  and would eat into you without your own  knowledge. Laughing suppresses this ailment.

You would appear a jolly  good fellow the whole day. Your face will show a pleasant glow and sport a delectable smile  as well  in your office or work place. People around you will notice it too.

Did it occur to you that a laughing club needs no building nor any kind of premises;  any out door space would do.  There is no membership fee and no dress regulation either.  You can walk in in any dress including a swimming costume or a nightie.

Even if you are not a member of any  group, you can start your laughing drill wherever you are.  Begin with a 15 minute session every morning. It would be good if you could recharge yourself sometime during the rest of the day. It would be rather embarrassing to break into a paroxysm  of laughter in your work  area nor would you feel quite comfortable to shut yourself inside a  bathroom for a brief laughing session. But once  the laughing prescription  is accepted universally, there could be a five minute  break  now and then known as the ‘laughing break’. The more frequently you laugh the more perfect a health you would maintain.

Shall we  hope that over the next few years the laughing   technology would catch on   and become so common that no one would call you  a nut when you indulge in it !

 

 

 

The long, strong hair of Rapunzel and poor me

My favourite fairy tale has been the beautiful story of Rapunzel. I loved every thing about Rapunzel. I was enthralled by the enchantress who wanted the unborn child to be surrendered to her at birth because the man had scaled down the wall to her garden to collect the rapunzel plant for his wife. I loved how Rapunzel grows up to be the most beautiful child in the world with long golden hair. When Rapunzel reaches her her teens the enchantress shuts her away in a tower in the middle of the woods, with neither stairs nor door. When the witch visits Rapunzel, she stands beneath the tower and calls out: Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb the golden stair.

What could be more exciting than this! I was mesmerized by the beautiful braided hair – long and strong and everything that perfect hair should be.

Then the prince charming appears. He too climbs up the tall tower with the long hair, where Rapunzel was captivated. The together plan means of escape.  However, the poor sweet girl asks the witch in a moment of forgetfulness why it is easier for her to pull up the prince than her and in anger,the witch cuts short Rapunzel’s braided hair and casts her out into the wilderness to herself. This was horrifying for me. I used to get so upset every time I came to this part of the tale. It was hard for a child who has dreamed of braided hair like that since forever. The next part of the story was more saddening, and I used to weep a lot. When the prince calls that night, the enchantress lets the cut braids down to pull him up. To his horror, he finds himself staring at the witch instead of Rapunzel. The prince was blinded by thorns, how I can’t remember, but that was disheartening to the core.

Who can forget the long beautiful hair tied in beautiful knots. To have long, beautiful, strong hair like Rapunzel. I have dreamed of the same since forever. More than anything else, the prince charming was more fascinating by the way he climbs up the tower with the help of Rapunzel’s strong and lovely hair. Not to forget he was chivalrous and all that it takes to sweep you off your feet.

So did I work onto to have a hair like that? Well, I tried every means on earth. I tried home remedies, I went for extravagant professional helps, I went for five star salon treatment but the secret formula that the enchantress used to caress Rapunzel’s mane seemed utopia. Lastly, I cut my hair short. Wearing it short seemed to be a much better option, and I am smarter than my friends think.

Badka Babooji – My Uncle

Badka Babooji –  My UncleBadka Babooji was a regal figure in our family There was and there has been only one Badka Babooji in our family. Many tried yet they can never measure up to him. My Badka Babooji was someone who all of us aspired to be like someday. Mr RS Pandey or depty saaheb was a dynamic young man the eldest son of a high school headmaster in the  district of Chapra, Bihar. I am so proud of him he took the onus of improving the lot of the entire family irrespective of their status rich or poor. We all looked up to him for inspiration.Badka Babooji was the eldest son of Mahatma Pandey, a high school headmaster in Gopalganj, Bihar. Educated in VMHE high school of Gopalganj Babooji was extremely proud of his primary education and rightly so. He used to speak flawless English. Although Babooji was only 5’4’’, he had a captivating personality. The moment he entered any room heads would turn and there was his electric presence held an audience in awe. Often we would be envious of my cousins because they were Baboojis sons.
I was a child and had just learnt the art of writing letters on a postcard. My letters would addressed to Mr. RS Pandey , MD TISCO ,JSR sure that it would reach him. Of course it always did and he would reply beginning My Dear Baby (my nickname). We were all special to him but my sister was his favourite. In fact he chose an IAS officer as a husband for her. Jokingly he would tell her ‘Jab SDO banogi main Salute karoonga’.

The special trait that he had was his affection for his mother daadi passed away while he was on tour. It was like she waited for him to come and he did. Babooji was very affectionate towards us kids. Whenever he visited Patna on any official assignment he made sure he had tea and dinner with us. We used to love his visits because he would bring chocolates and take us to The Bankipur club or some other dos . I distinctly remember we went over to Jamshedpur in the company’s BEECH CRAFT Bonanza 7 seater aircraft. We went there and he made sure we had a fun stay with visit to theatres clubs etc. Poor Ma would be left behind. To make it up Dad would come and pick after the holidays ended and he would bring Ma along.

Babooji was always there for anyone in need. My father specially attached to him when my brother wanted to study medicine. It was he who financed his education. As it happened he turned to be the only MD in the family. Babooji taught me how to be an achiever the spirit of giving has to be there. In part I have tried to follow him in his footsteps by helping others but we can never reach his stature or make such an impact to bring in social change.

My uncle ended up leading Tata Steel and making it a name to reckon with internationally and in India as well. It became a monolithic corporate giant and beacon of hope to many from the backward districts of Bihar and UP.

Although he enjoyed immense power money and influence he was always there for his family. For his brothers he was everything. Not much has been highlighted about his role in Tata Steel yet he made some bold changes in labor and management relations. He brought an end to trade unionism and restored investor confidence after the infamous lockout in 1958. Since then it may be recalled Tata Steel never witnessed a lockout or unrest again.

RS Pandey during his service was awarded the title of Rai Bahadur of pre independent India for exemplary service. He belonged to the first batch of IAS of Independent India. He represented India a number of times in ILO at Geneva. His labor management skills were put to test during the infamous 1958 Lockout at TISCO. He was successful in establishing trust and bonhomie between the management and the labor. Gita Piramal wrote a book on legends of India but skipped his contribution to the corporate world completely. RS Pande set the highest standards in corporate governance in his time. Not only that the Tatas also encouraged him to work on so many projects in the social sector in and around Jamshedpur  and other parts of Bihar.

My Badka Babooji was foresighted enough to see the setting up of XLRI a premiere management institute of India. ‘ The Xavier Labor Relations Institute (XLRI), one of the oldest business schools in the country and among the best in Asia, close relationship with the Tatas ever since it was established in 1949. A number of people from the top brass of the Tatas have served as chairmen of XLRI’s board of governors. The list includes: Jehangir Gandhy, chairman and managing director (CMD) of Telco (Tata Motors); R.S. Pandey, managing director, Tisco (Tata Steel); Sarosh  Gandhy, MD, Telco; and J.J. Irani, MD, Tisco.’ Hindu. My father was briefly the Head of Department of Community Forestry and Rural Development in XLRI.

He did serve the Tatas without any bias. He was and will be always the pride of our family. He suffered tremendously post retirement yet was strong and a guiding light for all of us.

In remembrance Badka Babooji aka R.S.Pande 1910 – 1990.

 

The farce elements of Indian elections

 The election dynamics in India works in a very strange way.  Do you know a one percent swing of the electorate towards a particular political party could earn  them up to  ten  seats? Here is another down to earth example:  in the recent Assembly election in Tamil Nadu, India, the AIADMK party polled 39 % of the total votes and the DMK just 26%.  A difference of 13 % vote resulted in a stock  of 127 seats between the two giants?      

 So, every vote counts. The  election commission says that only 75% of the electorate cast their votes. Wouldn’t that absentee  25% mean a swing of over a hundred seats?

The Commission prepares a list called “Voters list” for every constituency.  This is considered a very sacred document  like it is equivalent to  the Holy Bible ! If your name is not in the list, you are a  nobody.  To be more blunt, you are not an Indian at all ! So sacrosanct the darned list is.

How accurate the voters list is? Very inaccurate. Dead persons’ names,  names of people who have  changed their residence, of people who have gone on transfer to another constituency,  appear there.  When you leave your rented house, you think in terms of changing your gas connection electricity connection, ration card, telephone connection and so many other things but no one  ever thinks of informing the election commission about the change of address. So, where is the accuracy of this so called sacred list? And changes take place routinely almost daily.

Less than 50% of the Indian population have  permanent houses/addresses  in the land. The remaining are floating population who may change residence every year or  after a couple  of years. If you are   not physically present in a particular house, the election commission  will ruthlessly remove your name from the list for the next election as if you are dead.  You are expected to get yourself enrolled, as it were, in your new location. You need all the time in the world to do this, which may include submitting an application form along with your photograph, proof of  residence and so on. You get so fed up running after the various steps that you feel it would be better to remain a vote less character in your own country.

With so many  imperfections in our electoral list, we boast to the world that we are the greatest democracy in the world and we had carried out a monumental  election so successfully.

On a casual exchange of notes with an Election official, he stressed that the Commission needs to know how many voters are available in a constituency, hence a list is a must.  Great. “Including dead persons and transferred persons?” I remarked  for which the gentleman  had no rejoinder.

It is sad that one thinks and talks in ancient ways in a modern computer world.

I would personally recommend that we go in for an all  purpose electronic  smart card which may  contain all your personal information other than your residential address and which records details of your participation in various elections and you should be permitted to vote from any place in India and in any constituency. [As of now, if you happen to be on outstation duty on the election day, you lose your right of franchise.  Why?]

The central government said in 2010  that they are preparing an unique identity card for every individual.  Where is it?  Will it take twenty years to complete and provide it to every individual?

In a democracy, it is vital that every adult votes in every election.  Abstaining   from voting,  should be considered a democratic sin.  100% voting is ideal but we need to have some slip  margin, which should not be more than 2 %. Accordingly,  98% participation should be the minimum.  We should work towards this figure. Only then we could claim that the elected candidates have the  popular support.

What will you do with your nuclear technology?

Probably you would do the same and the third person over there would also do the same.  But I won’t..

The question is directed on the countries who have developed the nuclear technology, reactors and so on. They have sunk in so much money on its development and they have a wonderful infrastructure to go ahead with setting up nuclear power plants in any part of the world. Can they afford to keep these  information unused? If they can’t use these in their own country, they would like to pass them on to other nations. It’s natural, I agree but is it moral?

One needs to remember that  nuclear  power plants have become death traps.  You never know when it may collapse and  pollute the atmosphere there and displace the  people. If you want to learn more on this topic, please consult Japan and they would tell you what happened  in Fukushima when an earthquake shook the area a few months back..

Would the Japanese people welcome setting up more plants in their land?Japan has already 16 nuclear power stations  of their own . They would cry out a big NO for increasing the present   number.  On the contrary they may demand shutting off of a few existing ones to save the country from a possible  holocaust . They would not want to see another Fukushima in these places.

The Japanese engineers and nuclear scientists understand this dilemma.   Could they let this investment lie idle and let the workers be paid for doing no work !

So, Japan is trying  to woo  some smaller nations into going in for nuclear power.  “It’s so cheap, you know?” The real purpose of this export magnanimity is to rehabilitate its own nuclear based persons and not to benefit the receiving countries.

Through this article I wish to warn such nations who consider nuclear power a modern  novelty, not to fall for such sales talk. Keep away.  Go in for hydel or thermal power plants but never  the nuclear variety.

Talking about our own land,India has 19 nuclear stations already  and four more   are on the pipe line including the one at Kudankulam in Southern India.  These are live volcanoes.  You never know when a volcano will erupt.  No amount of assurances will keep a volcano from erupting some time  and  at the time of its own choosing.

Personally I would suggest   replacing the nuclear power plants  with  Thermal power plants. We have a large quantum of coal deposit which can feed dozens of power stations   for decades.

Next, we have fifteen major  and perennial rivers in India.  Which country in the world can boast of so many rivers?  Why aren’t we making use of these rivers?

There is so much hesitation  even  for linking up all the rivers. Why?  Link them at the earliest. Once done, start an  internal water way system from Kanyakumari  to Kashmir.  Build  hydel power plants wherever technically possible along these rivers.

Shall we have a safer India?  And please don’t buy any more nuclear reactors nor set up any more nuclear power plants.

Crossroads… !

Jiya felt out of the world; finally, everything was moving in the way she always wanted. She forever liked Krish – loved him to be precise, but perhaps the power that is known as almighty had some other plans. They became voyagers of two different streams, diverging from each other. Her destined path kept her at bay, until one day when he was back in her life.

7 years elapsed before he was back – however, things were different as he was married by then. One fine day Jiya surprisingly received a friend request from Krish on a social network site, which she accepted gleefully. He remained like any other friend in Jiya’s friend-list mostly benign, until one day he made his first move when both of them were online at the same time, and from then it all started to roll back. Both lived in two different cities, so they decided to meet when Krish was supposed to visit Delhi for the next time, which was the hometown for both of them and where Jiya was settled.

The time came soon and they met. After the meeting however, Jiya realised that he was a changed man. He was not the same crazy guy whom she loved even though they spent ample intimate moments. She found him to be more matured yet somewhere deep in her heart Jiya still felt that the crazy guy she loved was still alive, buried somewhere beneath the debris of his mellowness.

Two years elapsed like that, by then chatting was notably replaced by calls that they made to each other. They again came closer to each other by each passing day. Jiya however still missed the passion that made her fall for Krish, 7 years back. Soon however everything changed.

One day when Jiya was online and he suddenly pinged her, they resumed their chatting and it almost became a routine to be online at a particular time. Jiya felt happy this time, everything was falling into place, everything was happening in the way she always wanted. Krish started showing his feelings; all his craziness and passion was back. They got very much involved when one day he asked her to send him some of the videos that she recorded on self, where she spoke intimately about him. The file size was huge and she was not being able to send through mail despite persistent effort. That was when all of a sudden Krish called her. She took the call and said, “Sweetie tell me how to minimize these clips?” Krish however to her surprise replied, “What videos?” Jiya replied, “I am asking you about the video you asked me to send. The size of the clip is big and I am not being able to compress it”. Krish replied, “I have no clue about what you are talking! I am calling you almost after a month!” Jiya was surprised on hearing that. She said, “Hey, stop joking na! We have been chatting regularly over a month now for hours everyday and you asked some of my video that I had recorded for you!” Krish however almost gave an impression that he knew nothing about what she was talking. He then asked about the chat id of the person whom Jiya was talking to. Jiya replied, “It is kriish4u and spelt it K – R – double I, S, H”. To her astonishment Krish promptly said, “No, that’s not my id. My id is krish4u. I don’t have that extra I in my id; you must have been chatting to someone else”. Jiya became numb; she disconnected the call and was dumbstruck unable to move or react.

After couple of days when she cooled down, she started to think over the whole episode. Something bothered her from within; she kept on asking herself that how come some other guy with a similar id knew so much about their relation. Suddenly in a flash, she recalled that the guy on chat said her a few things which happened when she met Krish in Delhi and those were such incidents which were impossible for a third person even to guess! Her head started to spin and within seconds the world around her became dark as she fainted.

She regained her consciousness almost after 10 min.  She then knew what was wrong; she stood up on her trembling legs, walked slowly to her bedroom, booted her laptop, and started mailing Krish.

Krish, I am shattered after all that has happened. I guess now it is tougher for me to start from scratch yet again, as you will always remind me of my mistakes. I am sure that I know who that other guy is. Who could know about all those secrets and intimate hours we shared last time when we met in Delhi? It cannot be such a big coincident that you both share such similar ids. I frankly do not know why you came back into my life and why you did all this to me! I am just ruined. This relationship is over now; perhaps that will not even bother you but it is for sure that never in my life I can trust anyone as deeply as I had trusted you. Because you have taught me the biggest lesson of my life – trust is meant to be broken!

The art of parrot prediction is dying down

A man  carrying a small portable  cage with a parrot inside, is a common sight at all temples, parks and such places where there is a daily gathering of thousands of people, in India. He is a fortuneteller of sorts and tells your future  prompted by the parrot.  “Parrot astrologer,” is his popular title.

Those who  visit a temple for paying obeisance to  their favourite god or goddess would not be  satisfied with the worship alone.  They would like to know what other fortunes their god has for them for that day and  for the days till their next visit. Consulting a  Palmist or a parrot astrologer is their normal preference.

A palmist doesn’t tell you what will happen to you on the following day;  he would have already apprised you of your whole future such as,   when you will get married or when your first child will be born, how long you would live on this Earth and so on. And you may not like to hear the same old story again and again.  You want something different.  After all, each day has its own destiny.       

        If you want to know your luck for that day or the  whole week, the parrot astrologer is the right fellow to be  approached.  He would have a set of cards which carry some message and the parrot will pick one of the cards and the astrologer would read out the contents for your benefit.

Some  customers may feel happy at the prediction especially the village folk or slum dwellers. Whereas, the   city types won’t be impressed with the  forecast at all. They know that what the  parrot has brought out is nothing but a lucky dip.  Many college students phoo, phoo the very idea. In fact, people in general have started losing faith in parrot astrology. They would rather go  in for computer based horoscope though very expensive.  The parrot astrologers have become somewhat jittery at this trend.

“What am I going to do?” wails one soothsayer  in  Chennai city. That has been his livelihood  for some 20 years and he has been earning between Rs 100 and 120  per day.  He knows no other profession.

“Why don’t you modernize the art?” I told him.  He scratched his head at the word.

“Can’t you train your parrot to hop on the shoulder of your customer, give a kiss on his/her cheek, then come down and collect a card? Customers would love it, you know, especially young maidens?”    The man thought over the suggestion.  “It’s a good idea ,Sir.  My parrot knows   a few   tricks.  I’ll try it from  tomorrow and hope that more customers will come to me….”

To another “Kili josier”  I suggested, “Make your parrot do a kind of  dance to some music before you direct it to choose a card.  OK? People of the current generation  want some thing novel and entertaining. If they do not believe in your prediction, at least let them enjoy the  stunts performed by  your  parrot.”

The suggestions  were  made off the cuff.    I hope  the parrot astrologers treat my recommendation  for what they are worth  and enhance their chances of earning some money instead of giving up their age old profession.

 

Are we a good listener?

We continue to hear one complaint either it is our home, school, college or office that no one listens to anyone. We grudge that we say something and the other fellow does not listen properly and understands something else.  Why does there occur a big gap between speaking and listening?  This may be due to the fact that each one of us is taught how to speak, however, we are not guided how to be good listeners in our life. Listening is more important than speaking and if we do not listen properly, everything which is spoken targeting us becomes worthless.

We speak so that there could be a dialogue, there could be a conversation and communication. When our heart listens, it evaluates whether what we are listening is right or wrong. If we start applying our mind, we come out with counter argument to the statement heard by us. It means only heart is ready to listen. When there is something in the heart, our heart opens its doors and accepts others. The energy enters through these open doors in us. If we remain calm and listen to others with intent, flowers will bloom and it will be like spring. If you want to experience it, first we should see what others are up to and how they are speaking and narrating and how one is listening. We may feel that those we call sound relations are actually not so. We keep expecting from each other and we sub-consciously all are using each other. Therefore, we see many well wishers around us but they are not actually connected with us, it is like searching for a glass of drinking water, when there is sea around us.

After examining others, we shall do self examination and introspect, how we ourselves listen to others.  The introspection will enlighten us. We may start listening with more alertness and calmness and with deep concentration. When you prove to be a good listener, others will surely appreciate it. If people feel that we are listening to them with due concentration, they will feel happy inside and our presence will work as a medicine for them. We need to share our ‘self’ with others to make them feel that we are there well wishers.


I love you by heart – a poem

Sweetheart,
I have loved you since I met you,
I love you by my heart,
I love you unconditionally,
I love you madly,
When I see you,
I forget my pain,
And some people call me insane,
When you are away,
It becomes difficult to stay,
I miss that touch of you at night,
When you sleep by my side,
I miss that morning kiss,
And that bliss,
Darling,
I am surviving just for you,
I have always loved you,
I need you.