23 November, 2006

Green thought

Every child will have a favourite toy. Certain qualities of children are peculiar. A child should have a memorable life. If asked to rate, I would rate my childhood as the best part in my life. The other day I was laughing to my daughter’s innocent comments.

I had a great opportunity to participate in open meeting in her school. The parents are invited to school and can spend the time in the school, and know the way how their children are taught. I was surprised to see very few parents and more surprised to know that I was the only Dad. But still I started enjoying. My daughter was not conscious of my presence. It was a wonderful experience to watch each child behaving in their own way. Within one hour, I made good friends in my daughter’s class. Oh…how innocent they were! During the play time, I observed that each child had their favourite toy to play with. After the morning session, I returned home with sweet memories and the children happily waved at me saying “See you tomorrow”.

I was trying to recollect my favourite toy. My favourite toy was a small London bus which my Dad got me when I was small. Whenever I see the bus in London it reminds me of my childhood. I had the toy for many years. I wanted to click the famous London bus. Finally I made it one day. The picture you see in this post is the one I clicked when I was roaming in the city. The traffic is very busy.
Looking at the Traffic it reminded me of Prince Charles’s recent statements. He is being called as Green Prince. Recently he was on the headlines for his thought on Global warming. Prince Charles has told some of his staff to use bicycles in the fight against global warming. He is even prepared to travel to London by commuter train from a station near High grove. Charles will stop using royal helicopters and private jets on official engagements whenever possible. Charles has also told aides to find a more environmentally friendly fuel for his fleet of cars.

What are our ‘Manbumigus’ (Ministers) planning to do? Will they set an example or ask who cares?

I have bought a cycle just few weeks before, how about you?

18 November, 2006

Towards a bright future

I have been regularly watching this programme “Achamillai Achamillai” in Jaya TV. The meaning of the title is “Fearless Fearless”. This line reminds me of the great poet Subramani Bharathiar. Mrs Lakshmi, Film actress hosts this program very well. She involves herself so deeply with the participants and questions them with great love and passion. She could put herself in the participant’s shoes, and delivers the message very clearly. I am sure that this program should be reaching the mass in the South India, since this covers success stories, struggles and the real situations of many families and people.

I was very moved by one of the recent program. The highlight was that today’s parents are giving their best to give good education to their children, for their good future irrespective of their present income.

Mr X is a pavement dweller. He has not studied school after 5th standard. He has been working from then and he must be in his 40’s now. He loved a girl and married her in his late 20’s. She was not educated too because of poverty. Mr X works as a security in a private firm, and Mrs X is a rag picker. That is how they earn their livelihood. They do not have a house to live and they dwell in the streets with their two little children. Their daughter is studying 7th standard in Church Park School, Tamil Medium, and son in 4th standard. Mr X explained that his aim is to give good education to his children, since he could not study well. Their daughter was also interviewed and she said that her aim was to become a policewoman. When questioned why so, she said that she wanted to punish those who are bad in the society. Their son said that he wanted to become a doctor. Mrs Lakshmi asked whether it is not difficult to live in the streets with school going children. Mr X replied that the children start studying after 8.00p.m, in the night since the traffic calms down, and the noise lessens. He said that his daughter wakes up around 11.00p.m in the night and does homework and studies until midnight. He came to know this through few auto rickshaw drivers who are in the nearby auto rickshaw stand, since the parents used to be half asleep after their day’s hard work.

The children were looking cheerful and confident. Suddenly there were tears in the girl’s eyes and Mrs Lakshmi too was almost in tears. Probably the girl who is growing up realised the difficulties with which they are growing up. During rainy days, they run towards the nearby bridge for shelter. This really brought me tears. The daughter also teaches her mother to read and write in the evenings. Mrs X said proudly about this. I am sure that these parents will definitely succeed in bringing up their children.

It made me to feel guilty about the way we live. Those children are studying in Street lights. There are hundreds of families living like this in metropolitan cities in India. There are one sector of people who are running their Air conditioners with nobody inside the rooms.

We have been proudly boasting about so many schemes to eradicate poverty. What are our so called Munnetra kazhagams doing? Are they only worrying about their power and wealth? Is there no scheme to help those who are in real need? I honestly feel that they should cut down expenses on all pomp and show and concentrate on those people who do not even have their basic facilities rather than boasting about their Government’s achievements.

14 November, 2006

Sweet life

Today is World Diabetes day. I think that there is no better day, than today to know a bit about Diabetes. If you feel this is boring then I do not blame you. The reason is you may think that you are too young to worry about, or this is for someone who is very obese, or who eats lots of sugar. Please…Please….do not ignore. I was just like you until last December. On one fine day in the month of January, I volunteered to my Doctor to test my blood and was shocked to know that I am diabetic.

We all know Diabetic means sugar related disease. But after I was affected I realised many facts about Diabetics.

It is irrelevant of any age. My doctor said that he has patients who have diabetics even in their teens. A recent study has revealed that 73.8 per cent obese children in Chennai are from upper middle class.Doctors say that childhood obesity should be addressed seriously as it will lead to many diseases including diabetes. Moms please stop over feeding your children.India has the maximum number of diabetic patients and the number will touch 57 million by the year 2025.The prevalence of diabetes has increased from 5.2 percent in 1983 to 8.2 per cent in 1989 and rose to 11.6 in the year 1995.

It could be controlled well with diet and regular exercise.

It is purely a life style related disease. Simple exercises such as walking daily, dietary control and following medicines if required can keep it under control.

Every diabetic patient should check their eye and feet frequently. They should be checked immediately of damage it has caused in us. The nerves leading to eyes and feet are very minute. Especially the nerves leading to eyes are so minute they look like a hair, when eyes are blown to the size of a 17 inch computer monitor. If there is any blockage or burst there will not be any pain to reveal this. Only a proper eye screening test will reveal this and doctor will prescribe the necessary care and medicines.

Feet should be taken care of very well. In fact every diabetic patient should treat his feet like face, and give care. Trimming of nails should be done cautiously. A check up with Chiropodist will be perfect.

Another wrong idea that prevails in a common man is borderline diabetes. According to the Doctors, there is nothing called as borderline diabetes nowadays. It is just either diabetic or non-diabetic.

Diabetic is nothing but a chronic health condition where the body is unable to produce insulin and properly break down sugar (glucose) in the blood. Symptoms include hunger, thirst, excessive urination, dehydration and weight loss. The treatment of diabetes requires daily insulin injections, proper nutrition and regular exercise.

There are two types of diabetes.
In type 1, the body's unable to produce any insulin. This usually starts in childhood or young adulthood. It's treated with diet control and insulin injections. Type 1 diabetes used to be called 'insulin-dependent diabetes'.
In type 2 diabetes, not enough insulin is produced or the insulin that is made doesn't work properly. This tends to affect people as they get older, and usually appears after the age of 40. It used to be known as maturity-onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes.

I heard very good news related to insurances for Diabetic patients. Earlier there were no medical claim insurances for Diabetic patients in India. But recently certain companies have made policies available for those suffering with diabetics.
It seems that they cover to such extent as Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Expenses towards regular visits which used to be major expenses for that lesser income group. Also if the disease is in control, the premium is maintained the same. I knew personally few who died since they could not afford to spend for such medical expenses and suffered with this disease until their death.
If any of you have relatives, or friends affected by Diabetics, please let them know about this and let them make use of it.
After seeing many people succeeding in controlling the disease, I remember the following which I have read somewhere.
There is nothing in this world as impossible. Even the word impossible if read carefully says I (a)M POSSIBLE.

11 November, 2006

Accidents and aftermath

In my last but previous post I had mentioned about carelessness and accidents. I missed to write about another problem that exists during accidents. The reaction of public during such accidents is very emotional and leads to further killings. The crowd sympathy is more towards the one who is badly injured than the one on who committed mistake. This is a stupid reaction and this should be stopped. I came across the following incident which was published in one of the Tamil weekly magazine.

An auto driver was on his usual trip in Chennai and suddenly saw a huge crowd in front of a lorry and a child lying underneath the front tyres badly injured. He also saw a man bleeding profusely being hit madly by the crowd and the injured man escaped from the crowd and rushed towards the auto for lift. The auto driver gave him lift and asked

“Do you guys think that you are driving a plane on sitting in the driver’s seat? Why can’t you be sensible? See you have run over an innocent child.”

The injured man replied “ Sir… looks like you have also mistaken me like the crowd. Please try to understand me. I am the father of the victim. The lorry driver sped away once he dashed on me and my child. I got into the Lorry and reversed the lorry to relieve my child who was caught underneath the tyres. The mad crowd thought that I am the lorry driver and have hit me so badly. I think if I had not escaped from them, they would have killed me. Please drop me in this hospital and bring my badly injured child quickly. Please bring the child soon… I shall wait here.”

This is the plight of those who are injured. The crowd behaves so madly and they hardly realise of the happenings. Even I have witnessed such mad crowds in the past.

My previous post about carelessness and accidents has received attention of few.
I am glad to let you know that there was a comment from someone by name Harman who has let me know about this organisation called Arrivesafe in India.

ArriveSafe is a project to preserve human life to make people get back home safe because we know roads can kill. Please visit http://www.arrivesafe.org/ for more useful information.

03 November, 2006


Man is a perverted animal. I have experienced that suppression leads to perversion. Thoughts disturbing a human mind are common. If we deeply think about it, we do realise that everyone gets perverted thoughts. Perversion can happen due to many reasons like bad company, books, videos, movies, psychological happenings, etc. But due to one’s self discipline, and their self realisation they can overcome this. There may be a lot of humans who never develop perverted thoughts. If a human could think well, he/she can overcome perversion.

I was shocked to hear in today’s Television news, about the latest perversion among youth in Chennai. There had been a report about the latest mobile technology, which is being used to express their perversion. Some youths are using their mobile phone to click women rushing in public and using it in web, as well as distributing in web for their own perversion. I could imagine the millions of innocent women being embarrassed about this. Every technology goes from west. I have never seen any one taking a picture of group of women walking in the railway station or bus station. I do not deny that there is no perversion. But in general I have felt that there is more perversion in our places.

Kudos to Railway protection force, for acting swiftly to these general complaints by the affected women in major Railway stations. In the modern world, many things have changed. We keep boasting that we are racing to be one of the super powers in the future. Are we not supposed to improve our thoughts? Needless to say of the already on going harassments those are happening to women in public, especially bus, train this new behaviour of certain section of society is definitely going to be a nuisance. In the past I have experienced my family members being harassed in public by many silly minded men or youth. They exploit the absence of a male member in the group and enact their perversion.

Dear gentlemen please think about your Mothers, Wives, Sisters and Daughters. Will you be happy to see their faces among obscene postures in the web? There are many more things in life to do than such silly acts. Please think before in hand. Keep your thoughts as tall as this building. (The picture in this post is one of the landmarks in Central London and I have tried to look at it from the ground floor and have sprained my neck in the past).

01 November, 2006

Carelessness and Accidents

Believe it or not! First time after coming to UK, we spent Diwali in a nice way. All these years, we never knew that the next day was Diwali unless we received any phone call /mail from relatives and friends. It was a great surprise to see the sky illuminated with fireworks on the night of the Diwali day. We could hear the and see the fireworks for three nights even till 11:30 p.m. To be honest, I did not see this much of pomp and show even in Chennai when I was there last year. Normally in places like Chennai, it does not last for more than a day after Diwali. But here this coincides with Haloween and so keeps continuing. I was bit surprised to see them being done till Midnight, though there is a rule in this country too about the timings. But still the place I live consists of plenty of desis and no wonder about the ways rules are broken. I was just wondering, how people of other beliefs could tolerate, when it was a nuisance for a person like me who celebrate the festival. In fact during a brief chat with one of my English neighbour, who was already irritated by one of her Asian neighbour who frequently parks his car on her driveway, said that these kinds of behaviour and attitude increase the racial differences. I totally agreed with her.
Yesterday, I saw an Asian youth, stopping his car in the middle of a major road, and angrily getting out of the car, and rushed towards the car behind him and abused the driver in the most aggressive manner. The gentleman who was abused was quite old and was worried whether he will be hit. I wondered at the young man’s anger. Whatever would have been that was not the right way to behave. This kindled my thought and took me back to the careless way our people travel and the ‘don’t care attitude’. The picture in this post shows few careless men travelling in a van. They are vegetable vendors and they buy vegetables from wholesale market and return back to sell them in their shops. This is a common sight in the morning. None of them seem to be caring about their safety. This was the first shot I took when I was out of the Airport during my last trip in June.

One of my friends was a good musician and used to play keyboard for familiar troops. One night he was returning back after having played music in a neighbouring town. He had his lovely young daughter on his motorcycle, in the front and his wife as a pillion rider with the keyboard. This cannot be considered safety according to international rules. But this is a common condition in India. Unfortunately, there was a Lorry on the highway, without any hazard lights on. He hit the stationed lorry, and his poor little daughter collapsed on the spot. He died on the way to hospital after hearing about his daughter’s fate. His wife escaped with minor injuries and is living with her son now.

I used to get on my nerves, when I used to see couple riding on motorcycles, with their baby fast asleep and hanging on them. I know few families who lost their breadwinners due to accidents which would have been avoided if a bit care was shown.

Also, some of the parents never used to bother about the way children communicate to their school. Lot of hue and cry had been made in newspapers regarding the way children are transported to school in rickshaws and autorickshaws. I still remember one of those ghastly accidents that happened on the Chetput Bridge. One of my friend’s wives was having her bag hanging on her shoulder and travelling along with my friend. He never wanted to learn riding a two wheeler fearing for the safety. He used to accompany with me everyday to work. Finally, he had his Kinetic Honda. On the fateful day, a water lorry, with its iron plate body protruding pulled her bag while on road, and she was under the wheels. It is needless to say, the aftermath. Again, if proper care had been taken to see the condition of the lorry, this would not have happened.

We live carelessly and blame the fate later. Life is not that cheap and a bit care and safety shown can avoid such things.