02 August, 2007

Finding Time for everything

As life progresses it is becoming tougher to find time for everything. My memory goes back to Chennai where I had lived my major part of my life. We lived in suburbs and travelling to the City from suburbs like Tambaram itself was very tedious. I have seen ladies combing their hair, arranging the flowers in sequence, and eating their breakfast in Kanchipuram and Chingleput trains. If it was a Friday, we can hear ladies chanting slogas in Ladies compartment. Now the flash back ends. Here in United Kingdom, when I travel, I find most of the ladies concentrating on their make ups and hair do while travelling. It is so nice to see them doing it with their foldable mirrors in their hand bags. Also, there are few who open their sandwich boxes and start having their breakfasts. I was wondering how life and people are all the same, wherever they live.
My wife reminded me of some technician who visited home and was stuck in the kitchen looking at our typical pickles bottle. He raised his eyebrows on seeing the name on the Gongura pickle bottle. I read it once more. It was written as ‘Hibiscus Cannabinus’. I suddenly remembered this during one of my journey and started smiling. I did not bother whether anyone noticed.
During one of the Tram journeys in Manchester, I had a peculiar experience. Trams here, run on rails and stop in the Railway platforms. Suddenly at some point, they get into the town and start running on the roads. It is a great experience. One of these days, I was travelling in Manchester and realised that Old Trafford was on the way. Many times I have seen the station empty or just with one or two passengers. This time, I ensured to have a look at the ground. The cricket ground can be viewed from the Tram for few seconds, when the tram passes the station. If you get down to the station you can see the ground clearly. It was really great to have a glimpse of West Indies – England Test match. Some English bowler was walking towards his bowling end and I could see from the Tram, the crowd roaring and the batsman taking his position.I felt excited. I remember seeing such scenes while passing RKM grounds in TNagar, Marina Grounds in Triplicane. This was totally different. At the Old Trafford station the Tram got filled up. There were few English men near me in traditional hat and formal dresses. I asked them the score and they were equally excited about Panesar’s bowling. I had the same experience when I found 3 old gentlemen in London tubes discussing about Cricket. On that day, there was a friendly match between England and Brazil in the newly built Wembley stadium. These old men were surprised when I enquired them about the match they had witnessed. They were talking about a county match whom they had witnessed between Somerset and someone. When I started talking about Somerset side in those days when Botham and Viv Richards were playing they got excited. They did not expect this from me. They expressed it saying that when people of my age are rushing to Wembley it was surprising that I was not talking about Football and talking about Cricket of their younger days.
Since I spend most of my travelling in drawing and reading newspapers as well, these days it is interesting to get some freaky news. The latest news which was on headlines in the local newspapers was about a Bull with sacred status of a Hindu temple which was slaughtered because it had Bovine TB. It is believed Bovine TB could spread to other cattle in this area. The Bull belonged to a Hindu temple in West Wales and this was the reason for the news to be in headlines. There was a big hue and cry. None of the protesters were of Indian origin and most of them assembled in the Temple were non-Asian ethnicity. My point here is not whether it was right or wrong. While I was studying in school, there was a beef stall which was called as A-1 beef stall. Every day while passing through the beef stall, we used to see hundreds of cattle being brought in Lorries for slaughter. As kids we used to be interested to know what will happen to them. Some of my inquisitive friends used to peep through the coconut leaves thatch to look at those cows. I used to feel pity for them. On reading about this Shambo, I felt for those thousands of cattles, which were slaughtered not because of Bovine TB, but just for the meat.
Could you imagine drinkable water being sold for exorbitant price in a flood area? There were few traders who plunged into timely business of selling drinkable water in a flooded area. This did not happen in Assam or Bangladesh. This happened in UK in certain parts of Gloucestershire county. It was funny to read such thing happening in the western world. One of my colleagues could not reach home because of the breach in the roads and had to stay in a hotel to reach his home on the next day. Certain parts have been very badly affected and water has entered most of the houses and business establishments. All this is happening in summer. It is getting warmer in the winter and floods in summer. Thinking about the disasters it is really scary.
Of all these, the interesting part of last few weeks was a training which I attended. I was sent for training on First Aids by my employer. It was a very useful training for 4 days. The training was conducted by St.John’s Ambulance. Oh... my... what a great training it was. I have gained great confidence now. I can rush towards victims if I am nearby, and do major first aids like resuscitation, and retrieve the heart functioning stuff. There was a test on the last day, and we had live examples (though rubber toys of man size) to be done emergency first aids. I had four victims, one victim was not breathing, one had head injury, one had cut his fingers, and one had broken limb. Now, I am a qualified first aider. If I had known these 15 years before, I would have saved those 5 or 6 lives, which died before my eyes on road accidents and trains.
If possible I shall detail those basic techniques in my future posts.
I shall publish my drawing which brought in surprise from my fellow passengers last week in my next post. It is really exciting! Just wait until then!


Jeevan said...

Buddy it was that experience u were telling to me on that day of watching the match from train. I have seen and played only in our local corporation ground. Really every body must be aware of the First aid. In school days their would be a day of medical checkups and after that the doctors used to educate simple technique on first aid for students.

Came to know about that interesting personality… but much wait for next post. Advance wishes for ur upcoming train journey :)

Balaji S Rajan said...


You are right and I wanted to tell them to my blog friends. Oh..yeah.. at times we do not realise what to do during emergencies and this training was really good. That too, with so many kinds of strange things happening around the world, and being a traveller I was eager to know how to handle those first few minutes.

I have not told anything so far about that interesting person in this post. I have drawn that person and shall definitely post in my next post. Thanks for your wishes.

Niraimathi said...

Hi Balaji,

Nice comparison of scenarios you see there with that of Chennai :) When I saw your post topic "Finding Time for everything", I thought you really manage well to find time to blog regularly :)

Ponniyinselvan said...

//None of the protesters were of Indian origin and most of them assembled in the Temple were non-Asian ethnicity.//
exactly. i too had the same surprise. and your first aid training
..please make the maximum use because u and i know the value of life and the agony of losing the dearest.

Kavi said...

As usual..interesting comparisons..! Old Trafford and Chennai..! Must be a sea away. But still united in basic emotions. Emotions that just dont go away !

Oh yes..i remember Botham playing for Somerset and seeing pictures of it in Sportstar ! And there was Graham Gooch for Essex i think. Ravi shastri for Glamorgan ! Those were different times werent they..!

Swatantra said...

Absolutely thrilling! I liked the way you have written about the comparison!!

It’s like watching a movie…. I also miss things like First Aid training, earth quake training…

India is beautiful, but we don’t value life here… may be in future we also do the same here..

Looking for your further posts on First Aid Training!!

Do visit my blog!!

Balaji S Rajan said...


Wow! Your name sounds to me very poetic! Thank your parents! Name is the only gift given by parents and we keep them through out our life.

Thanks for your comments! I too visited your blog recently. I shall put my comments shortly. I thought of writing how I manage time. But felt it got deviated. That is my writing. I never edit them. I just type them as it flows into my mind.

Balaji S Rajan said...


Oh..yeah! I do know the value of life very much. If you had read my previous posts, you will know what I mean. I felt 200% confident after the training. In UK every 1 out of 3 person seem to have known first aid according to the latest reports. It is a shame that in third wold countries life is not being given that much of importance as it is in the developed world. I am sure many lives would not have been lost in the third world if they had these kinds of facilites and knowledge. I hope you understand what I mean... I am with you.

Balaji S Rajan said...


You won't believe! I may be a chatter box. But I never lose anything by opening a talk. I shall mention in my next post how much it means. Today I met few more interesting people. I find these sort of comparisons exist in lot of people. See the moment I came to know that the Tram will be touching Old Trafford the first thing that came to my mind was to witness how the station. I enquired about it through my colleagues in Manchester. Luckily one of the lady in my team who had been to watch cricket (She knows that six stumps are used other than drinking wine with her boy friend) informed me that we could get a glimpse of the stadium and the match from the Tram. I was excited. I was only praying that I should not forget this. I have witnessed a match in Lords and Edgbaston, but did not want to lose this sight and observe the people. Luckily I could do it. But the very first thing which came to my mind, was RKM ground when you pass Giri Road in TNagar. I have watched many matches while travelling from 11A. Sometimes I have even peeped out of the bus to see how the batsman played the ball. This was the closest comparison I could get.

Balaji S Rajan said...


I am happy that I could give such a thriller. Very glad! By the way yes first aids should be taught to every one from University in countries like India where we have more chances of coming across such situation. I know many families who have children, but never bother to make their home safe for children. For example, rusted iron gates, or doors, big boulders or rocks just where the children walk and play which could be fatal if they fall. When my son was studying in India, I found a sharp stone in the playground, and when I pointed it out to their sport teacher, they asked me to be confident and not be very much worried about the children. I was worried about any child who could fall and have a head injury. I always believe Prevention is better than cure. You do not need to be obsessed with it. But can take special care with children's life. Life in general is treated as precious in western countries. Especially those of children and aged people. This is one of the best and positive thing I have learnt in my life in the western world. Any one in life could come across emergency situation in today's life. Every one should have knowledge about first aid. In UK especially where I had training, the ambulance will come in 8 minutes. It could be earlier but not late than that. Is it possible in third world countries. We were taught the skills to do, within those 8 minutes. Amazing isn't it?

Sundar Narayanan said...

not to mention the sketches, you are also improving the comparision of different worlds.. you should put them on the sidebar as a series.

loved the photo comparison of the guys sleeping on park benches or on the street side that you had posted sometime back.. life is life! was the message.

same message here.


Swatantra said...

Yes it is amazing!! I remember after three days of Siddharth’s birth, we had to take him to some special hospital for some check up. I can never forget how i had to manage everything from sitting in an ambulance to arranging doctors. People were amazed at me am i the same mother who has given birth to the child just two days back. I was running and rushing for the things to happen on time.. As he was such a small baby so I believed he needed more prevention. This is about one of the big hospital in Delhi. Anyways all is well if it ends well.....

Balaji S Rajan said...


I am with you. I know how painful it should have been for you. We have also faced similar problems. I had to take my 3 days old baby into some emergency ward for a scan which was suspected by a junior doctor. In order to clear our doubts we had to scan. I am yet not sure, whether it was a drama to make us spend more money in the hospital? But as you have said, it is all well if it ends well.