Wednesday, December 22, 2010

“Après moi le déluge”

After me 'The Deluge'.
The statement was reminiscent.
And only man, and man alone
would feel so.
Failing to see  prophetic it is.
Cos, pride and arrogance are his forte!
Defiant to pitfalls and humbling,
selfish and convinced of his vitalness;
lessons never learned.
Only man and man alone can say
After me The Deluge!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A significant insignificance

This is a real life story and happened in multi speciality facility hospital in Thiruvannathapuram.

It is sometime late in the morning and a gluttonous auto rickshaw stutter into the portico of the causality wing of the multi storied hospital complex. Two men scramble out and yell for the attendants. Two uniformed bearers trudge in with a push stretcher. They seem to be quite disinterested and are a bit annoyed at the two men who were yelling frantically and gesticulating into the auto rickshaw. Perhaps the arrival of an auto rickshaw was less fascinating than a chauffeur driven Mercedes .The vehicles that shuttles in the victim or let us say the patient is the frontrunner- the harbinger of the revenue that could be extracted.

A young woman in her mid twenties is carried out of the auto rick and laid on the stretcher. And they suddenly notice the emergent situation and rush the trolley carrying the woman into the causality ward.

The woman apparently attempted to kill herself and failed. She tried to hang to death and was noticed in time and brought to the hospital. Fortunately or unfortunately for her there was some life left in her. The trachea was not severed, and also strangulation has not completely wiped out the air from her lungs. The duty doctors were quite efficient in attending her. The oxygen mask was quickly put on her face the necessary initial aid was quickly administered. The supervisor of the casualty asked the men to deposit an advance amount at the cash counter. The men were quite lost and pleaded they did not have money .The Supervisor immediately summoned another middle aged man who went to the woman lying in fight with death .She was being resuscitated and all medical procedures were being exercised.

The guy was the official gold smith of the hospital. Ever heard of such a position in a hospital?Well he took a good look at the trinkets the woman had on her. He then started to remove them from her person, and went to the cubicle placed in one corner. He closely examined them, a tiny gold chain, and a thin bangle. He began the test to see if the pieces were real.

He made a light scratch on the pieces of jewellery with a small file. Using a dropper, he applied a drop of nitric acid on the scratch he made on the jewellery. He confirmed that the pieces did not turn green, or milky. That ensured that he was dealing with gold and not any base material.He swiftly weighed the jewellery and went out to the supervisor and confirmed the value .This was the way the hospital ensured that treatment to the needy is not denied. They have the facility to either pawn your jewellery to raise money to pay the medical bills or even mortgage your property documents.

The only catch is that if you go there in full consciousness or comatose you must have gold on you or unencumbered documents of intangible assets.

This story was narrated by a friend who has close access to hospitals and is fairly privy to the functioning and administration of some. Infertility being a very grave and serious issue amongst the current generation, infertility clinics are having a gay of a time.

The young doctor graduated from Mumbai and did his masters at the AIIMs New Delhi. He was working in a super speciality hospital in Mumbai, before settling down in central Kerala, where he hailed from. The new job at the infertility clinic was quite to his liking. The hospital had a very liberal and strong clientele of expatriates from the gulf.

However his sojourn there did not last more than ten months. To his indignation he found that he had to acquiesce the management’s way of “fertilizing”. The management wanted to ensure without any demure that every couple who venture to the clinic go back satisfied that infertility is cured. And the woman have conceived. The clinic was well known for the magic treatment even in cases of absolute irreversible male infertility. The conception rate of infertile couples who venture to the clinic is an amazing percent. Our Mumbai returned doctor only had to endorse the modus operandi. And that was, the sperm of the male was invariably substituted, however in total secrecy with only the clinic management privy to the mala fide.

Couples are happy that their irreversible infertile status is reversed and their dreams come alive. The clinic has its revenue swelling.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Lament of the Formless

He said, “once upon a time I was formless, then

they made me in their way, a look alike, a clone

they didn’t ask me -did I like it their way

they just did it their way.

They put me in temples, in churches;

they decreed that I be in mosques and synagogues

they never wanted me in their hearts”.

He continued his lament

“They made me in stone and clay, in bronze and wood

they crucified a  hapless soul and said it was me.

They put me in hills and mountains afar,

where they tread to ,season after season

raping the  forest and valleys,jungles and streams pristine,

and demand my grace.

Tell me, they made me like them

and what blessed am I to bless?”

He continued thus, and abruptly left-

“I do not want to be their clone;

I want to be the formless that I was

and be at peace, as I ,earlier were,

 when the sun and the  moon ,the stars and the heavens,

the seas and the mountains, and when life 

were not”.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Osho and the "F"

On his grave stone is the engraving”Visited this World”. A person vilified, revered, and continues to be abused and respected even in death.
Sometime ago I received the audio of Osho’s comments on the versatility of the English word “Fuck””.
I chanced to recollect this message , (on the net )that was lying unnoticed now for quite some time until the Blog brought forth over the past few days very interesting wrestling and emotion on the fascinating word “ Fuck” and its distant physical  dramatisation- “the middle finger jerk”
Again I swear by all the Gods in the pantheon that I’m not advocating the rampant use of the word or its middle finger demonstration.
This piece is for fun and some interesting observations.
Osho begins.....
 It is one of the most interesting words in English language today.
There are not very many words  with the versatility of the word  fuck. Besides the sexual meaning, there are also the following uses:
Ignorance: Fucked if I know.
Trouble: I guess I am fucked now!
Fraud: I got fucked at the used car lot.
Aggression: Fuck you!
Displeasure: What the fuck is going on here?
Difficulty: I can’t understand this fucking job.
Incompetence: He is a fuck-off.
Suspicion: What the fuck are you doing?
Enjoyment: I had a fucking good time.
Request: Get the fuck out of here.
Hostility: I’m going to knock your fucking head off.
Greeting: How the fuck are you?
Apathy: Who gives a fuck?
Innovation: Get a bigger fucking hammer.
Surprise: Fuck! You scared the shit out of me!
Anxiety: Today is really fucked.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A morning without the cuppa

Now yet again another note of annoyance and quetch !
The previous week one morning sans the customary cups of hot strong tea, I drove to the hospital.
I was at the Cosmopolitan Hospital for a general physical check up. Fondly known as “executive check up”, considering the decent amount that is charged for the marks on ones physical status.
The procedure through the withdrawal of blood, urine, ECG and X-raying was swift and well conducted. Then came the check on the main engine or motor! The cardio specialist was perhaps in his early forties and well built. A handsome doc who I’m certain turned many a female heads while during his Medical school days. He was quite busy and loaded. But was swift and quite efficient in his physical check on me. He ensured my blood pressure reading was accurate by repeating the process thrice and he did the check himself. He did not ask the nurse to strap the BP apparatus on me. He told me that the diastolic and systolic values were quite identical on all three occasions. His rapid fire questions on my life style and hereditary appendage was over in no time. I guess he smiled inside when he heard my reply to his enquiry on my intake of spirits. Did he strike a chord, a rapport in my answer-“brothers in arms”, perhaps! He was very quick and efficient with the Echo test which he did himself and again did not ask the nurse or someone else to perform. He gave me his interpretation of the test forthwith and did not show any air of secrecy and ‘why should the patient know” attitude of some physicians. He sent me for the TMT and it was done by another person. His summing up of my test reports was quite friendly and well analysed. He was quick as time was a premium factor for him. But at the end one felt a sort of comfort that one was to a physician who takes his job and the person who visits him with the necessary attitude, however cramped he is for time.A relatively clean chit vis a vis blood and urine samples they tested.

The nurse then sent me to a general Physician, and I still cannot understand why the heck she wanted me to meet that fellow.

He was in his sixties and not for once did I recall him look at me in the face. He perfunctorily set the stethoscope on my chest and withdrew it immediately as if something stung him. He threw a few questions at me (that sounded like out of a recorded tape dictation) even without taking a glance towards me. I wonder if he knew I was a man or woman. He seemed to be a person quite fed up with his job or was he not, was it indifference? 

I wonder if doctors cannot see the necessity to receive and look the patient in the eye, what kind of analysis, diagnosis can happen? And can visits to such physicians erase ones apprehensions even if the verdict is all clear? Doctors seldom deem it necessary to explain the diagnosis or the treatment procedure to the patient even in the language a lay person can comprehend. Some doctors keep an air, and they disapprove or frown upon any questions regarding the diagnosis, prognosis or the medications they prescribe. And asking any can evoke response and disquiet severe than the hullabaloo ignited by the WikiLeaks.

In the final summing up, I have a clean chit apparently, and the vehicle can move on.

Friday, December 10, 2010


The dystopian novel of George Orwell “Nineteen Eighty Four” and the crudely bold novel of O.V.Vijayan “ Saga of Dhrarmapuri”( Dharmapuranam) are the two works of the twentieth century that I chanced to read. And the plots in those works seem to be absolutely apposite today. More so now with the ‘la affaire' WikiLleaks.

The major plot of Nineteen Eighty-Four is the life in one of the seven super States of Oceania, though the allegory was to the USSR and the satellite states of East Europe. O.V.Vijayan's theme was the sardonic on goings in Lutyen’s New Delhi, while Orwell’s theme was the smothered society behind the iron curtain,censorship and curb on free speech  which is displayed especially in the Ministry of Truth, where photographs are doctored and public archives rewritten to rid them of persons who have been arrested, whom the Party has decided to efface from history. Official handouts of statistical figures  for all types of production are grossly exaggerated (or concocted) to indicate an ever-growing economy, and prosperity, when in reality there is stagnation, and downward plummeting..

 The residents of Oceania are under constant surveillance by the “Big Brother”, and the very effective way of control of the citizenry. Eaves dropping and surveillance by the Government is so prevalent .that the smallest sign of rebellion, even something small as a facial expression, can result in immediate arrest and incarceration. And, citizens are compelled to absolute obedience at all times.
O.V.Vijayan goes to the extent of providing ample substitutes to real life characters during the infamous days of Indira Gandhi’s dictatorship 1975-77.
Both novels amply illustrate the statement of the former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, “there is no aphrodisiac as absolute power”. And he was a person who with Richard Nixon used the dictum in real life to perfection and horrendous results to the world.
The Big Brother is watching us, be it in the most populous democracy, the oldest democracy, let alone in the single party ideological autocracies or religious obscurantist states. Officialdom cannot accept free speech and prevalence of information. They need to keep the lid tight on the ongoing, deeds and misdeeds within the power wielding core. And the Company can survive only if information is denied be it under any pretext, and official secrecy and security considerations are mere excuses and diversionary.
Now I come to the vigilante whistle blowing in such situations -the icon of the day Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks. Now when the prophecy of 1984 is reality and the Saga of Dharmapuri the order of the day, the courage shown by Julian Assange deserves the nomination for Nobel Peace prize and its eventual receipt. Liu Xiaobo the Chinese prisoner of conscience and the winner of the 2010 Peace prize was awarded for his long non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights.Precisely the reason why Assange is the right candidate for the peace prize 2011.

The official Swedish yardsticks for selection for the peace prize states,"..... .shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”

Going by this selection bench mark what could we term the award of the peace prize to Henry Kissinger who was instrumental in bombing Cambodia , a neutral country, out of existence, engineering military coups in Kenya, Argentina, Chile and siding Pakistan when it was engaged in ethnic cleansing in East Pakistan? Barak Obama an upstart and with an unproven track record except that he like many of us intends to wish good to the world. Yasser Arafat, who was always a renegade, who, everyone knew, will usurp his commitments for peace in the Middle East.
The WikiLeaks team consists of five people working full-time and about 800 people who work part time, none of whom are paid consideration, or salaries. WikiLeaks has no official headquarters. The yearly expenses are about €200,000, mainly for servers and bureaucracy, but would reach €600,000 if work currently done by volunteers were paid for .WikiLeaks does not pay for lawyers, as hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal support have been donated by media organisations such as the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Its only income or receipts are from donations. WikiLeaks receives no money for personnel costs, only for hardware, travelling and bandwidth. In fact all workers for WikiLeaks offer their labour voluntarily and are not paid.
WikiLeaks states that it, “has never released a misattributed document. Documents are assessed before release". In response to concerns about the possibility of misleading or fraudulent leaks, it says, "the simplest and most effective countermeasure is a worldwide community of informed users and editors who can scrutinise and discuss leaked documents."
According to statements by Julian Assange, submitted documents are vetted by a group of five reviewers, with expertise in different fields such as language or programming, who also investigate the background of the leaker if his or her identity is known. 

In 2008 WikiLleaks exposed the extra judicial killings and disappearances in Kenya.
Assange is now under arrest for alleged molestation. Apparently a well orchestrated plot and it is for all of us to see what we will be up against if we make it a profession to antagonise the order of the day. The man has tremendous courage though! The Pandora’s Box is open and more can of worms and skeletons will tumble out.  

Access to WikiLeaks is currently blocked in the United States Library of Congress. On 3 December 2010 the White House Office of Management and Budget sent a memo forbidding all unauthorised federal government employees and contractors from accessing classified documents publicly available on WikiLleaks and other websites. The Justice Department is also considering criminally prosecuting WikiLeaks and Assange, although former prosecutors say doing so would be difficult. So much for the neo Orwellian State of the United States of America! Remember the Americans were fuming and agitated over the Chinese government’s decision to block Google search engine. Then, the USA saw direct threat to democracy, freedom of speech and information. 

Different sets of rules in democratic dispensation. And that is why the leaks are not leaks but a fundamental right. And the guardian of that right deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

Retribution decreed by God

It was distressing news that I read in a daily widely circulated in the middle east..
A woman, in Iran was put to death early yesterday dawn. She was convicted of stabbing to death the wife of her lover. She confessed ,or rather admitted guilty and was sentenced.
The irony is that having a paramour or a contract relationship outside wedlock per se is legal for men in that country that swears by Islamic laws. 

The poor woman was consigned to the gallows by the brother of the woman she killed. A divinely decreed act of principle and justice,” an eye for an eye”! Furthermore her lover (contractual lover) too was witness to the execution.
The hapless woman prayed before she was taken to the gallows, and later became frenzied and wailed, pleading for her life. The brother of the woman she killed aided the noose and he pushed the slide that dropped her down into the gallows and strangulating.

Quite graphic and gory!

I wonder, why, why, the original wife did not exercise similar assault on the paramour,.  Either way,  the practise and the legal approval given to men is lawful denigration of women and her status!

It reminds me of the sensational story that was around in the 1970’s, and the movie that was circulated clandestinely, “The death of a Princess”. The incident purportedly took place in the Whabian obscurantist Saudi Arabia, where a princess in her late teens was decapitated in public for her liaison with another man. The matter was hushed though, as the Saudis could exercise the power of oil over the world outside.

An archaic and tribal law- principle that is still being followed! "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. And then you swear by God. If God as people claim and state, is love and compassion the very dictum of “eye for an eye” is antediluvian and wrong. And I strongly feel that if any faith claims to hold this dictum as inviolable and as decreed by any god or messenger, then it tantamount to not a faith of compassion, forgiveness and peace, but it represents cannibalism and is barbaric.

The system of retributive justice or retaliation is one of the laws from the Torah and the ancient Jewish traditions, later picked up into Islamic coded laws.

“The origins of the retributive justice may have come about in the ancient times, and it developed as early civilizations grew and a less well-established system for retribution of wrongs, feuds and vendettas, threatened the social fabric”. But is it relevant today?

Laws that were coded in ancient times were perhaps done in relation to the social context of the times, as it is also done today. For instance it is noted in many writings on history that after the Crusades, women out numbered men by large numbers. Men in thousands were killed in the frenzy of the holy crusades. Law was then encoded so that a man could take more than one wife. This was one way meant to bring women under male protection, because the man- woman population ratio was adverse to men. And security of women folk was highly threatened. But the male hegemony over the society of certain faiths found the law quite suited to their malevolent designs and carnal pleasure. Women were regarded as an instrument for carnal use and serfdom. The law was suitable to subjugate the female sex, and is followed as Gods law. Does it commensurate with the values and ethos of societies? And giving it the sanctity of faith is belittling the faith and blasphemous

The poor women!