Thursday, 20 November 2008

The Feel of Love

The first time u feel
It’s so pure and natural
Heart pumping out blood
Faster than it normally could
Trying to do something different
Though it was the passion
Trying to be unique still
Aspiring to do something unnatural

Young blood and feelings
Having no hopes of failures
Being positive in all outcomes
Lucky should be one to sail it through
Unfortunate is one who has to wait

The time one waits for the soul mate
Thinking only of the pleasures
It could offer to the spirit
Each minute is an epic of love
No matter he meets or not
The heart and mind still says
She is for u and for sure

Feeling egoistic even after falling
Straight into love by her eyesight
He always has the pride
Being in love with her
Whether he is in touch with her or not
He always thinks about her

She and her cute smile
The way she shows she is naughty
All these words just reflect
How she is within her
Also outside to people
She is an angel
Sent only for me

Neither does she know
Nor her friends and family
That she was sent only for me
What shall I do
Apart from waiting for her
In my heart, in my mind

Days, months and years have passed by
Only memories have been shrugged so far
Though can't wait for that moment
Feeling each other's soul
All I could do is wait, wait and wait
Not bothering whether it could happen or not
Would at least take the pride for being in love
And falling in so deep in it
Not being possible to come out of it

Looks like almost lived my life
Would be jealous if I ask for more
Abiding by the rules of the nature
The more you crave for
The more you would go away from it
The more painful would it be
And it’s a matter of a pain or love
I always welcomed it with all my heart

Now I have let it go far away from me
Knowing for sure she won’t be back
But somewhere in the heart
Still it is emphatically saying
Both our hearts are thinking of each other
Singing to the tunes of the love
Our hearts will always beat for the other
This is what a love can make
Pouring down its essence
The feel of love is the best I ever had
And I'm happy to keep it with me forever

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Hope for the best

If there is will there is certainly a way
There was a time when everything went alright
But now things are changing
The purity of the rain water
The quality of the soil which was rich in minerals
Now being an obsolete material even for few plants
Everything is polluted
Finding a genuine attribute of quality is gruelling now

What can change all these things?
Dictatorships, severe actions, and so many
But even for these to occur
Still there is something which is the very base
Yes it’s the belief that every man has
That, things will be under control one day

A child hopes for the parents' care
Not bothered of the consequences
It doesn’t mind what’s going to happen
Thus a child's hope is no match to anyone's
When years pass by
And the same child grows a bit
Being a boy or a girl
Their mind hopes for their immediate pleasures
Wearing a new clothes, playing with friends
Winning matches and passing the exams
At this point their hope is still expecting something positive
Adding to their persisting pleasurable life

As the seasons of the year
Sunlight of the day
Things go one by one slowly
And the age still keeps ticking each year
The kid has now grown up well
Just to say that "I’m matured enough"
When asked enough to what
All they could say is
Enough to fight against all odds
Though they had only limited powers
But yet there was again a brim of hope
At this stage the hope doesn’t play a vital role
As he is confident probably over confident
In what he does and keeps doing
As far as he is sound in his mind and body
His hope has very less role to play
But he can definitely not be without a hope

Hope, a thing which can't be avoided by any soul
If there’s no hope, no atom will survive
As far as the humans have the hope for something
Their life has always got a certain meaning
Either a colourful presence or a pleasing fragrance
Especially the same hope is more valued
When their spirits start to die slowly
When the muscles go weak
When their confidence is broken by their fate
All they can do is just hope
Yes, hope for a better life
Sooner or later, they would find it
One and only if they have hope to have it

The hope and its playful after effects
Always have impacted on human's personal life
Though it has got very less influence over the soul
The materialistic life of the man
Makes his life go worse day by day
Depending on the fate and his destiny
What else the man could do
When things have gone beyond his hold
Hoping for a bright future
Relying on the luck and fortune
All the man could do is to have a Hope and
Hope for the best while getting prepared for the worst

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

A Tribute to the Social Workers

First October of every year is the "World Blood donation Day". On this occassion, we feel proud to feature two young men of Coimbatore, who are doing great job silently.

Kaushik and Sriram, (picture above) residents of Coimbatore (Tamilnadu, India) have silently arranged more than 30,000 units of blood to the needy patients at Coimbatore in the past two years. Recently I had the opportunity of meeting them at Coimbatore and they were introduced to me by J Prabhakar (another social worker about whom, i will write in detail later). 

Kaushik and Sriram have a list of more than 3000 quality donors from Coimbatore of all the blood groups and they are constantly updating the list. Besides, many college students are also supporting them in their endeavours. Beides, they also have the list of donars from Chennai and Erode (approximately 1500). You will be surprised to know that the entire database is stored in their mobile phone with the name of donors, contact number, blood group, when they last donated, etc. Sriram says, "We are using the mobile phone as our laptop".

They start receiving the calls right from the morning, requesting for a voluntary donor of a particular blood group. Within five minutes, they are able to locate the donor and link the donor and the patient. "When the people are in difficulty and in need of a quality blood, we try to help them by arraging for the required blood group donor. We never charge even a rupee. In fact, we spend our money to link them. On many occassions, we have arranged rare blood groups from our list even in the midnights during emergencies", says humbly Kaushik.

Every Hospital in Coimbatore have displayed the names of Kaushik and Sriram in their boards as contact for blood needs. On an average, they arrange 25 to 30 units of blood every day to various patients in different hosptals.

Kaushik is presently working as para medical staff in Ramakrishna hospital. Two years back, he donated his blood to one of the patients in the hospital where he was working. When he came out, one old lady requested him whether he could help to get a donor for particular group of blood, for an emergency patient. Since, he knew that a particular friend was having that blood group, he immediately arranged for the donor. On seeing this, another old patient, on the next day, requested Kaushik whether he could help him also with a donor. Again, he arranged for the donor within few minutes. 

"The smile and sense of satisfaction on the face of the two elderly patients gave me an inspiration. I could bring happiness to two people, just with two phone calls to my friends. I thought, why should I not gather some more database of blood group of my friends and motivate them to donate blood. I started doing in a small way, for the needy patients. It gave me a sense of satisfaction and happiness", Kaushik says with emotion and tears in his eyes.

within two weeks, Kaushik met Sriram, who came to the hospital to donate his blood to one of his friends. Kaushik and Sriram shared the same feeling when they met each other. Slowly, their friendship developed and they started collecting database from their contacts. They started helping the patients by linking them with quality donors, under the name "Any Time Blood" (ATB). Now ATB has become a popular name amongst all hospitals at Coimbatore.

Sriram is doing a small business. Still he finds happiness in arranging for the blood donors for the needy patients at coimbatore. On seeing their commitment, some of the patients and their famiy members started enrolling themselves as blood donors with them. Kaushik and Sriram keep in touch with donors regularly through SMS and also over phone. 

At Coimbatore alone, they have networked more than 3000 committed blood donors, who also bring in their friends in this network. 

" hardly 5% of the people call back and thank us for our timely support and volunteer to join this network. Most of the others, just return home even without saying a thanks to us. For getting the blood donor, they used to contact us many times, even while we try to arrange the donor. The moment, the job is done, they may not even call back to confirm this. Many times, we will get the information either from the hospital or from the donors themselves. " says Sriram sadly. "That does not prevent us from this task. Whether somebody recognises us or not, we continue to help the patients at their critical time" says Sriram proudly with a sense of satisfaction.


If any of the readers or their friends , particularly from Tamilnadu, are interested to be a blood donor, please send SMS to Kaushik or Sriram over mobile 98943 95495 or 98431 93014 furnishing (1) name, (2) town and (3) the blood group details. They will enroll in their list and they would get in touch with them, in case of need. They should comply with the eligibility of blood donation, healthwise. Or the readers can also send mail to with the above details. 

Monday, 29 September 2008

A Noble family

Only because of people like them, the world is still alive... read further on to know about a heart touching real life incident

Chennai 25th September 2008

1st Photo : A.P. Hithendran
2nd Photo : His parents
3rd Photo : The doctor didnt even remove the face mask and head cover and coming running right from the operation theatre
4th Photo : The heart being taken to the destination in a police car instead of an ambulance

Here goes the story..

There is a family where the parents are the doctors and they had a son named Hithendran.

On 09/24/2008, he took his father's bike for seeing his friend and while returning he met with an accident. The people who were there know him and admitted him at chengalpattu hospital. Then they informed his parents and they took him to Teynampet Apollo hospital. The doctors examined him and said that his brain has lost all his senses and there is no way to give him life. Without controlling the sadness the parents understood the fact and they decided to donate his organs to the people.

First, his eyes were given to Sankara nethralaya, then his kidneys were given to apollo hospital for transplantation and atlast here comes the final everheard miracle. They decided to give his heart to a 13 years old girl named Abirami.
But within 30 mins that heart should be transplanted; They need to go 20 Kms and that too in the Chennai traffic and doubted whether it will happen or not. Then the doctors called traffic police and asked their help and they prepared the ambulance with A/C, following which the doctors operated out the heart from their son's torso and kept in an ice box and ran towards the ambulance.

When they came out the boy's father saw that ice box and cried like anything. The doctor who carried that box was on his wheels that he didn't even see the ambulance which is waiting outside and he entered the police car which was waiting and asked the person to go to the Cherian hospital soon without even realising that it was the Assistant Commissioner and interestingly the police official without seeing his status jumped to drivers seat and drove the car to its maximum speed.

Every signal traffic got alerted and left the way for this car and at last within 15 mins the heart was taken to the doctors in Cherian hospital where it was transplanted to Abirami.

Really heart touching isn't it ?.

By the way do you know the meaning of the name of the boy who died ( Hithendran -The Lover of Heart ) and yes, now he has stolen everyone's heart.

Hats off to his parents, the professionals and the officials who helped their sacrifice to do something towards a noble cause.

Honesty is the best policy

  An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you."

  The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here after one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!"

  One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

  Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed.

  Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.

  A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right.

He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try."

  When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "What great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!"

  When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?

  Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The Law of Attraction

Universal Laws govern the Universe. They are basic principles of life and have been around since Creation. They are laws of the Divine Universe. Universal Laws apply to everyone, everywhere. They cannot be changed. They cannot be broken.

The Universal Law of Attraction (LOA) is the most powerful law in the universe. It is simple in concept but practice is necessary. But once you "get it", there is no looking back! It will be part of you forever. The simplest definition of this law is "like attracts like." Other definitions include:

You get what you think about, whether wanted or unwanted. The Law of Attraction is neutral. All forms of matter and energy are attracted to that which is of a like vibration. You are a living magnet. You get what you put your energy and focus on, whether wanted or unwanted. Energy attracts like energy. Everything draws to itself that which is like itself.

"As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7

Here are some ways of expressing the Law of Attraction:

Birds of a feather flock together

Like attracts like

Whatever you want wants you

What you sow, you reap

What you put out you get back

What comes around goes around

The Law of Attraction is fun to learn and use because you are always watching, waiting expectantly for your desires to manifest. You can deliberately use this law to create your future!

Universal Law of Attraction

This universal law is working in your life right now, whether you are aware of it or not. You are attracting the people, situations, jobs and much more into your life. Once you are aware of this law and how it works, you can start to use it to deliberately attract what you want into your life.

How do you create your desires using the powerful law? There are just a few basic steps.

1. Get very clear on what you want

2. Visualize and raise your vibration about it

3. Allow It

You must be very clear on exactly what your desire is. Focus on it. Give it all your positive energy. Feel good!

A major factor behind this Universal Law is the energy and vibrations of our emotions and feelings. Any thought you may have, when combined with emotion, vibrates out from you to the universe and will attract back what you want.

You can leave all the details to the universe. Let the Universe figure out the method of delivery, when you will receive it, etc. Now all you have to do is Allow It. Sounds easy, right? This can be the most difficult part to do. Be doubt-free. All you need to do is expect it. Act like you already have it. Be grateful.

And always take inspired action. If something feels right, then go ahead and do it. Taking action is an important step. That is it! You can always be expectant of good things, your desires. Feel good knowing your desire is on its way to you. Always expect your desires. Expect miracles.

How many unsuccessful people have done the above before blaming the fate and other factors ?

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

The Taunting Memories

there were days when I longed to be with her
fought ways to get hold of the place in her heart
got there amidst losing a bit here and there
went along for few years
then came mysteries and enigmas
no wonder what the reasons were
at the end of the day the true love was camouflaged
though could blame others for the heartbreak
still im responsible for this cause

chose the wrong way to run away from the problems
as predicted strange love kept following me
yielding to temptations but only after a while
fell into the trap yet once again
since then couldnt recover from that pain
though tried to fool my own thoughts
was successful in keeping my cool
only until I saw the beauty of the nature
she was filled all over the places
im still struggling to regain the peace
falling like a prey to the cruel love

my life is now ruined at this stage
there are certain ways to get back in line
definitely not into the social world
where spirituality is my only possession
taking me to the preferred destination
thought love was the only true thing in life
felt i was wrong, later realised the nature of love
yes, the love is everywhere in this world

i see it in every child's eyes,
those in the poor men's smile
while the sun rises early in the dawn
also while it sets later in the dusk
I see the essence of love everywhere
though an inch of strong desire
edging out to be with my lost love

leaving the options wide open
i get going with what i have been offered
tears rolling down my cheek
tearing apart the walls of my heart
bleeding down the soul
what am i still looking for
a friend for my life
a companion till my grave
yes, a soulmate forever ! ! !

Friday, 5 September 2008

Teachers and their Graceful Colours

The types of teachers in this world are many. Some teachers are strict, some are lenient and some others are in the middle way, neither lenient nor strict. In this write up, let me tell you about different kinds of teachers and various teacher's categories.

In general the teachers can be classified into the following categories:

• Friendly Teacher
A friendly teacher acts like a friend for his/her students. Teacher friend combines both the guidance of a teacher and the understanding of a friend. We all, at some point of time, aspire for an understanding teacher. Such a teacher acts like our friend, philosopher and guide. If we have our teacher as our friend, we will never wander from the true path of our life. Every teacher should have some friendly traits in him/her. Such a teacher is more close to the students and a better educator.

• Lenient Teacher
A lenient teacher is one who is not very fussy. An easygoing teacher takes things as they come. They do not crib about things such as doing homework on time or sitting quietly in the class, etc. But this does not mean that you can do anything in the class of a pampering teacher. There are limits to leniency shown by a teacher. We should not take undue advantage of such a teacher. If the teacher is not being too harsh, we should respect that and behave properly.

• Perfectionist Teacher
An ideal teacher is one we respect from our heart. He/she acts, as a guide to the students, but at the same times does not pushes them too much. A perfect teacher motivates the students and boosts their morale. He/she tries to encourage the students and refrains from criticizing them. Such a teacher prefers to give positive motivation to students. His/her comments are always constructive. The perfect teacher is our friend, guide, educator, confidante, all rolled into one. One such teacher builds the whole life of the students. Everyone in this world should get an ideal teacher. They won’t have to look back in their lives ever.

• Strict Teacher
A lenient teacher is one who is not very fussy. An easygoing teacher takes things as they come. They do not crib about things such as doing homework on time or sitting quietly in the class, etc. But this does not mean that you can do anything in the class of a pampering teacher. There are limits to leniency shown by a teacher. We should not take undue advantage of such a teacher. If the teacher is not being too harsh, we should respect that and behave properly.

• Funny Teacher
A funny teacher is like a god sent to the students. Such a teacher always wants to see his/her students smile. They try to bring a smile on the lips of their students. They are not clumsy. Rather, they are witty. A humorous teacher lifts the sadness out of his/her student's life. They are like stress-busters in our life. They help us in forgetting all our sorrows. However, it does not mean that this kind of teacher is not serious about studies. He/she does encourage his students, but in the healthy way. They teach the students without burdening them. They are not fixated on deadlines. But, they do not also tolerate a playful attitude towards studies. Such teachers lead to the development of students in a healthy way.

All the classifications for teachers are based on some typical personality traits of the teachers. For ex - some teachers constantly criticize the students, some act like friends, some are fun to be with and so on. The above categories will provide with some insight into the teacher's personality.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
At this part of life all I can say is I had lot more of such inspiring teachers than the good teachers and I take this opportunity to express my gratitude for my teachers on this Teacher's Day. Though they are a kind of "Thank You" messages for these angels, I really mean what I say. For those I have given a hard time, I do regret for my actions and those were never my intentions, as you teachers were the best ones I have had in my learning life. Wherever I may go in my life, I will always remember that I had an excellent guide in the form of all teachers, like You. I found guidance, friendship, discipline and love, everything, in one person. And to call it either being lucky or fortunate I had the chance of spending my part of life with a bunch of people like you. Without you guys, I would have been lost.

Thank you all teachers for guiding me, inspiring me and making me what I'm today. I will always be thankful to you for all the hard work and efforts you have put in, for educating me. You are not only my teacher. Rather, you are a true friend, philosopher and guide, all moulded into one person. I will always be grateful to you for your support. Though practically, I may not say it always in my life. But, I mean it whenever I say it. Thank You Teacher for all the things you have done for me. No matter how old I grow up, I will be always your humble student and will cherish those memories where I was fabulously treated like an infant by your graceful heart.

I could conclude this article by quoting few phrases which remind me the value of the teachers every time I see these which are still sticking on to my wall

The teachers’ purpose is not to create students in his or her own image, but to develop students who can create their own image

The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.

A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others.

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops

Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well

A gifted teacher is as rare as a gifted doctor, and makes far less money

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Is it true about men ?

This piece of news may not go down well in a largely monogamous nation like India, but new research suggests that men who marry more than once tend to outlive their single-spouse counterparts, reports In defence, it cites findings from a study by Virpi Lummaa, an ecologist at the University of Sheffield, UK, that says men aged over 60 from 140 countries that practiced polygamy lived on an average 12 per cent longer than monogamous men.Lummaa's findings were presented last week at the International Society for Behavioural Ecology's annual meeting in New York.

However, the study is not meant to be a validation of polygamy as much as it set out to answer the question why men, and women, live so long. With women it has long been considered to be a result of the grandmother effect, which makes sense if one considers that unlike most mammals, women live long past menopause. Conventional wisdom has it that spoiling grandchildren, as we know it in India, is one of the contributory factors to female longevity. Every decade since menopause gives the woman two more grandchildren to dote on.

For the male of the species, however, it seems that longevity is not about emotion but physiology, since unlike the distaff side they can reproduce well into their 60s, 70s and, thanks to the little blue pill, even into their 80s now. But Lumma and colleague Andy Russell were not sure if this was it, or if there was a grandfather effect on them as well. After considering data from 18th and 19th century Finns (who did not practice contraception and among who the Church enforced strict monogamy) the researchers gave up the notion of grandfather effect on men. Next they compared the ages of men from polygamous nations to those from monogamous ones, spreading their study across 189 countries in all. Using WHO data they ranked the nations on a scale of 1 to 4, one being totally monogamous to four being totally polygamous. To even out the nutritional and other kinks between the developed and not-so developed world they factored in the nation's GDP, average income etc. Discounting female longevity as the reason for the male's long lifespan, the study said if that were the case then both monogamous and polygamous men would live for about the same length of time.

But, the study said, fathering more children with more wives seemed to be the reason behind male longevity. In short, those who remain sexually fertile into their old age tended to live longer. Researcher Lumma herself stresses that this is not a fool-proof study. Terming the 'monogamy score' as a crude stab, she said they are working on assessing marriage patterns which may blow this finding apart. Chris Wilson, evolutionary anthropologist at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, however finds it a "valid hypothesis and good prediction". "It doesn't surprise me that men in those societies live longer than in monogamous societies where they become widowed and have nobody to care for them," he adds.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

We can forgive but can we forget ?

Many people view forgiveness as an offshoot of love -- a gift given freely to those who have hurt you.

Forgiveness, however, may bring enormous benefits to the person who gives that gift, according to recent research. If you can bring yourself to forgive and forget, you are likely to enjoy lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and a drop in the stress hormones circulating in your blood, studies suggest. Back pain, stomach problems, and headaches may disappear. And you'll reduce the anger, bitterness, resentment, depression, and other negative emotions that accompany the failure to forgive.

Of course, forgiving is notoriously difficult. "Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive," said C.S. Lewis.

And forgetting may not be a realistic or desirable goal.

"Despite the familiar cliche, 'forgive and forget,' most of us find forgetting nearly impossible," says Charlotte van Oyen Witvliet, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Hope College. "Forgiveness does not involve a literal forgetting. Forgiveness involves remembering graciously. The forgiver remembers the true though painful parts, but without the embellishment of angry adjectives and adverbs that stir up contempt."

Forgiving (and Forgetting) Quells Stress

That type of angry "embellishment," as Witvliet calls it, seems to carry serious consequences. In a 2001 study, she monitored the physiological responses of 71 college students as they either dwelled on injustices done to them, or imagined themselves forgiving the offenders.

"When focused on unforgiving responses, their blood pressure surged, their heart rates increased, brow muscles tensed, and negative feelings escalated," she says. "By contrast, forgiving responses induced calmer feelings and physical responses. It appears that harboring unforgiveness comes at an emotional and a physiological cost. Cultivating forgiveness may cut these costs."

But how do we cultivate forgiveness?

Frederic Luskin, PhD, director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project, readily admits that forgiveness, like love, can't be forced.

"You can't just will forgiveness," says Luskin, author of Forgive For Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness. "What I teach is that you can create conditions where forgiveness is more likely to occur. There are specific practices we offer that diminish hostility and self-pity, and increase positive emotions, so it becomes more likely that a genuine, heartfelt release of resentment will occur."

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Is it all money that matters ?

A true story narrated by an unfortunate person. Is this the prevailing life in India for helpless people ?
LIFE AFTER DEATH – real life (rather death) experience

This is not a philosophical statement on one's life after death, this is about how my wife, Padma died in a hospital in Chennai. Whatever I have seen only in movies so far, is experienced by me. We were living in the UK for few years; our family includes me, my wife (Padma), and our 7 yr old son and 8months old daughter. My wife had a symptom of ventral hernia (slightly bulged abdomen), we had consulted General Physician and Surgeon in the UK and advice was that she needed a surgery to have a mesh to fix the problem with a few weeks rest. We were also told that this is not an emergency and it can be done anytime though earlier is good. In fact the surgeon whom we consulted in UK talked about an example of a lady having this done for 30 years of the symptom. My wife did not have any specific pain or something except a small discomfort of bulgy abdomen (like a 2 months pregnant lady) and she was in her normal routine of taking care of our children, taking our son to school, household work, etc.
We were planning for Christmas vacation in India in Dec 2007, we thought we will consult some 'good' doctors over in India and take a decision of when we will do the surgery if required and possibly felt doing in India is good because of family support. We have got a reference of Dr J S Rajkumar of Lifeline hospital and we booked an appointment to meet him.
We landed in Chennai on 14th Dec 2007 for a three weeks vacation, met Dr Rajkumar at his city hospital (Rigid hospital) in Chetput on 15th Dec 2007 (Sat) at about 730pm. We have explained him the background, shown him all the comments of UK surgeon, medical reports related to my wife pregnancy, deliveries, etc (she had delivered both our children normally). After few minutes of assessment Dr Rajkumar told us this hernia requires laparoscopic surgery and we can do this next day itself. We were little concerned initially of getting this surgery done the very next day (particularly we were still not out of jet lag and she was feeding our baby) and got convinced with the 'salesy' words given by the Doctors. To quote a comment from the Doctor "she will run in two days time and can lift two suitcases and you can return to UK as per your plan on 3rd Jan 2008"). Also Dr Rajkumar told us that he will be on travel for 3 days from 17th Dec and moreover he was teaching Post Graduates on 16th Dec about laparoscopic surgery and let us get it done on 16th Dec.
Then my wife was put into all sorts of equipments in the hospital (in the name of assessment); blood, urine, ECG, MRI and so on and the tests were conducted till about 11pm on 15th Dec. In fact they have opened the labs after closing hours and got the test done and handed over the test results to us. They had some problem in the ECG and we were told that ECG can be done on the next day at Lifeline hospital.
We were asked to report to Rigid hospital at 5am in the morning. Think of it, we went our residence around midnight and my wife had rush on some food to keep compliance on the fasting 8 hrs prior to surgery. After preparing for the hospital visit that night and a couple of hours sleep (3 hrs or so) we reached Rigid hospital on 16th morning at 5am or so and from there we were transported by an 'ambulance' to Lifelife hospital in Perungudi (outskirts of Chennai).
We reached the hospital at 630am, paid some initial advance for the surgery and we were given a room. Padma went through some more basic checks like height, weight, etc. Padma was taken to the operation theatre at about 10am in the morning on 16th Dec. After the laparoscopic procedure she was moved to post operative ward at about 12 noon and I have met her in the afternoon to say a small hello when she gained consciousness. Dr Rajkumar met us on 16th Dec afternoon and he in fact congratulated me for successful surgery and said he has used proceed mesh (costly one) and advised his staff to move Padma to normal ward in the evening as she had to feed her baby. But, Padma was moved to normal ward only on 17th Dec morning, she was on IV fluids as per normal post operative procedure.
Padma started to develop some fluids in her abdomen which duty doctors / surgeons have 'rightly' observed. She was put in some series of tests on 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th – tests include multiple ultra sound, multiple CT scans, pricked her abdomen and taken fluids, she had a long tube through her nose overnight to collect fluid for tests, etc. We were told the fluid is normal after surgery and it will be alright after she passes stool, etc.
In the meanwhile Dr Rajkumar returned from his travel and seen Padma on 19th on 20th Dec evening along with other surgeons. He made an assessment and he told me that he might want to do one more laparoscopic surgery to find out what is the fluid about. He wanted to do a surgery on 20th Dec evening itself, but he could not proceed as the hospital has given solid food that afternoon – hence anaesthesia could not be given. (lack of co-ordination among departments, time lost here, may be she could have survived if they have did the surgery on 20th itself)
On 20th Dec night, fluid started oozing from Padma's abdomen stitches, after the duty Doctor's assessment she was shifted to ICU. We really did not know what complication she developed in the ICU. On 21st Dec (Friday) morning around 830am I was called in to the ICU to convey that they are going to perform a surgery and I had to sign "high risk consent", they were telling this in front of my wife (just think of a patient hearing this before the surgery). I was just shocked at that and had no options to sign whatever they wanted. I said "all the best" (my last conversation with my wife) to my wife and she was taken to Operation Theatre.
While I was discussing with the Doctors at ICU, the cashier in the hospital kept on calling me on my mobile. When I met the cashier he asked for Rs.60,000 to be paid immediately and I told him take Rs.40,000 and will give you the balance later in the day. Bang a reply came, "you have to pay the money to for me to give clearance for surgery". When I expressed my unhappiness about the comment, he insisted for me to sign a piece of paper saying that I will give the money later in the day.(What money minded, in-human attitude!)
We had no news from the hospital on their own about the surgery, I had enquired the staff nurse and visited my wife in the ICU and learnt that she had a diagnostic laparotomy (open surgery) and there was hole in the intestine which was fixed.
We have meet Dr Rajkumar at about 3:30pm on 21st Dec and understood that there was a duodenum rupture and he has fixed it, at the same time he removed the mesh which was fixed on 16th Dec. She was also paralysed and put on ventilator as she was waking up. He explained it was between life threatening and beauty so they addressed the duodenum rupture problem. What we were puzzled were, how did the rupture happen? for that explanation given were
- it could be due to ulcer. My wife had no evidence of ulcer in the past. Explanation given was 40%+ cases of ulcer is silent and there will be no symptom (I lack medical knowledge to appreciate this)
- it could be due to post operative stress (so many test post operation without any explanation of what we were doing could have created the stress on Padma is my argument)
On the same night (21st Dec) at about 930pm, I was called in to the ICU and Doctors conveyed that my wife condition is critical – her pulse is high, BP is low and they were attending to her. I insisted on talking to Dr Rajkumar immdly, but they refused to connect me to him at first and finally managed to speak to him. Dr Rajkumar came in around midnight and explained that the lungs are getting affected (shown X-ray of white patches on the lower portion of lungs) and she was the most serious patient in the whole hospital that time and they were trying their best. He also said, it will need another 12-24 hours of observation before they can say anything.
We were completely panicked and just waiting outside the ICU and praying for Padma's recovery. We had to argue with the security outside the ICU to gain access to the Doctors to know her situation (no courtesy from the security personnel, who just don't understand the situation)
At about 4:30am in the morning, my friend gained access the Doctors in the ICU and came out with the low face to tell me that Padma's condition is worsened. Again I tried to reach Dr Rajkumar and the hospital says they don't have his contact number (just can't understand how they can behave like this). Finally after some hue and cry Dr Rajkumar came on line to tell me that he is not God and don't think his visit can do any thing different. I cried, begged him to come over to give some ideas to his team to recover Padma. He came over at around 6am and said they are trying everything possible, etc; but her end came quickly.
The end came to our beloved Padma at 6:30am on 22nd Dec, throwing the entire family to rude shock and a life time sorrow. Our "LIVES AFTER DEATH" of Padma has changed for ever.
I can now think of so many questions retrospectively;
1. Why did the surgeon perform the surgery the very next day of consultancy, that too for a non-emergency one like this? (Padma had just travelled many miles, she was not even out of jet lag.) Was it for money? Was it for them to get one more sample for their post grads training?
2. Did the Doctors made proper assessment on Padma's fitness for surgery, frankly did they even had time to go through the reports, after the tests till 11pm on the previous night for next day 8am surgery (particularly when the reports were with us till 730am on the day of surgery).
3. Patient communication and counselling. Isn't it important to communicate to patient and their relatives on the development of patient condition (fluid collection started from the next day of laparoscopic)
4. Did the absence of Dr Rajkumar for three days post the first surgery is one of the reason for this disaster? Were the other Doctors not able to diagnose or take a decision? Were they waiting for Dr Rajkumar return?
5. What is the real reason for duodenum perforation? My wife never had any history of ulcer to the best of my knowledge. Why did the hospital take so much of time to react (5 days after surgery) when such a crucial thing like perforation has happened.
6. Was there any issue in the initial laparoscopic procedure which has caused the perforation?
7. Careless attitude by hospital staff? – my wife sex was recorded as "Male" initially and corrected after I told them. The staff was not even apologetic for this, he rather asked me "why didn't you inform". Can't he make out with the name Padma. Think of it, if he has changed the blood group from A+ to B+; that is it!!
8. Will anyone with basic common sense ask for high risk signature in front of the patient? I was asked to sign just minutes before surgery in front of my wife.
9. Is the hospital money minded?: They were demanding money on gun point almost.
a. Prior to the first surgery the cashier said please give Rs.30000/- more for him to give clearance for surgery
b. When my wife going for second surgery I was told by the cashier again, please give Rs.60000/- for clearance for surgery
c. The hospital charged more than what was told for initial laparoscopic, without even communicating to me increase in charges
d. The final "bill" was just on letter head, without mention of currency, invoice number, etc. I had to insist on a proper invoice later.
e. I was given to understand that they even made arguments on ambulance charges to send my wife dead body back home.!! (making money on the dead body also)
10. Why the hospital did not made me to talk to my wife when she gained consciousness after the second surgery? If not anything else, I could have held her hand. Even a criminal gets an opportunity to communicate his/her last wishes. Am I or my wife worse than?
11. FALSE reports - After all these hospital sends me false reports (on Jan 11, 2008 – three weeks after my wife's death) :
a. They had mentioned she had LSCS (caesarean section) and large scar due to LSCS. When my wife delivered both the babies normally, how does one record as caesarean and how there will be scar when there was no caesarean?
b. The hernia was mentioned "incisional hernia" – when there was no incision on her body how the hernia is categorised as incisional? It was actually ventral hernia. Don't think one can replace any term with any term just like that!
c. Most importantly, the surgery was performed on 16th Dec 2007, the report said 17th dec 2007
12. MISSING REPORTS - From the hospital records Doctors notes were missing for 16th and 17th Dec. The first report is available for 17th Dec at 8:36pm. How come there are no Doctors' notes for about 36 hours after the surgery? Isn't it fishy? Did something went wrong on the first laparoscopic procedure?
Our entire family is still mourning and trying to reconcile the fact that our Padma is no more. My 7 year old son is aware that is Mom is not there, does he understand? My 1 year old daughter is too young to know what has happened. What will her questions be in future?
My sincere advice to all is
a) Do not get carried away by advertisement / TV shows / big buildings
b) Please do not rush
c) Do your own due diligence, particularly when things are not an emergency
d) Try and understand the medical terms, do research prior
e) Please ask questions, at every stage.
f) Don't say "I can spend anything"
g) Know patient rights I am still not convinced that Padma has died after a 'simple' laparoscopic surgery?
I am deeply upset of what has happened to Padma and for what is happening to us. What I could have done (or not done) which would have prevented this. What is that we can do to prevent this in future for others!!! Please join me in making awareness to others. While India is trying to woo many international Customers in the name of 'medical tourism'; first let the authorities make regulation on the health care system and take care of Indian people first.
Our medical system must understand the differences between MEDICINE – TREATMENT and HEALTHCARE. What we get most of the time is medicine for the symptom while we need healthcare.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Do they all do what they all say ?

It's only natural to think a person's attitudes and behaviours are directly related. If someone says, while truly believing it, that they're not a racist, you'd expect them to behave consistently with that statement. Despite this, psychologists have found that the link between a person's attitudes and their behaviours is not always that strong. In fact people have a nasty habit of saying one thing then doing the opposite, even with the best of intentions.

You see it all the time. People say they're worried about global warming and yet they drive around in a big gas guzzler. They say that money isn't their God, yet they work all the hours. They say they want to be fit but they don't do any exercise.

The discovery of the extent of people's blatant hypocrisy goes back to 1930s America and the work of a Stanford sociology professor, Richard LaPiere. In the early 30s he was on a tour across California with some close friends who happened to be Chinese. LaPiere was worried that they would encounter problems finding welcoming restaurants and hotels because of his Chinese friends.

At that time in the US there had been lots of stories in the media about how prejudiced people were against Chinese people. LaPiere and his friends were, therefore, pleasantly surprised to find that out of the 128 restaurants and hotels they visited, all but one served them courteously. Nowadays the fact that one place refused to serve them would rightly be considered an outrage - but those were different times.

So it sounds like a happy ending: perhaps the papers had just exaggerated people's negative attitudes towards Chinese people? But when LaPiere got home he started to wonder why there was such a gap between what the newspapers were reporting about people's attitudes and their actual behaviour. To check this out he decided to send out a questionnaire to the restaurants and hotels they had visited along with other similar places in the area (LaPiere, 1934).

The questionnaire asked the owners about their attitudes, with the most important question being: "Will you accept members of the Chinese race in your establishment?" The answers they could give were:

* Yes.
* No.
* Depends upon the circumstances.
Incredibly 90% of respondents answered, no, they wouldn't accept members of the Chinese race into their establishments. Imagine LaPiere's surprise when he looked at the results. People genuinely did say one thing and do the complete reverse. They didn't even select 'it depends'. What on Earth was going on?

LaPiere himself argued that the problem lay in the questionnaire. The questions themselves cannot represent reality in all its confusing glory. What probably happened when people were asked if they accept Chinese people was that they conjured up a highly prejudiced view of the Chinese which bore little relation with what they were presented with in reality.

Here was a polite, well-dressed, well-off couple in the company of a Stanford University professor. Not the rude, job-stealing, yobbish stereotype they had in mind when they answered the questionnaire.

This study has actually been subsequently criticised for all sorts of reasons. Nevertheless its main finding - that people don't do what they say they will in many situations - has been backed up by countless later studies, although in more sophisticated fashion. The question is: why?

Many psychologists effectively agree with LaPiere that it all depends on how you ask the questions and what stereotypes people are currently imagining when they give their answers. In some ways an attitude is like a snapshot of the prejudices the respondent has available to memory just at the moment they are questioned.

This has led to a whole raft of studies and theories searching for connections between people's attitudes and their behaviour. Many a lengthy tome has been dedicated to explaining the divergence. Some of the factors that have been found important are:

* Social norms.
* Accessibility of the attitude.
* Perceived control over behaviour.

Despite these findings, the picture is extremely complicated and frustratingly inconclusive. Perhaps as a result interest in this area has been waning amongst psychologists. The exact way in which people's attitudes and behaviour are connected remains a mystery. All we can say with certainty is that people are frequently extremely inconsistent.

The Mind and the Money !

Studies show that people inhabit two separate worlds - the social and the financial - and depending on which one is activated, their thoughts and behaviour can change dramatically.

I received a rude awakening about the separation between financial and social worlds a few years ago when I moved flat. A friend agreed to help me move all my stuff across town in the back of a van I'd hired. It took much longer than I'd expected - we were still unloading at midnight - and we were both exhausted by the end.

never discussed money beforehand but, after a long day's work, I thought it only fair I give the guy some cash for his efforts. Not only that, it had taken so long I wanted to use the money as a way of apologising. Strangely, though, he seemed unimpressed with it, even though I thought I'd been quite generous. It was obvious I'd really offended him but it wasn't until later that I realised what had been going on.

He had been operating in the social world - he thought he'd been helping me out as a friend. My paying him for his time signalled that I didn't see our relationship as primarily operating in social terms, but rather in financial, market-based terms. This wasn't what I'd intended at all - I had grossly misread the situation.

When money doesn't motivate

This chasm between our social and financial worlds has been explored in two recent studies that uncover fascinating ways in which money affects our thoughts and behaviour. In the first, participants were subjected to one of social scientists' favourite ruses: the apparently pointless task. They were simply asked to drag a circle across a computer screen as many times as they could in five minutes (Heyman & Ariely, 2004).

The experiment compared three different groups in which the payment for this mind-numbing task was as follows:

1. Given $5 for participating.
2. Given 50 cents for participating.
3. Asked to participate 'as a favour'.

When the researchers looked at how many circles each group, on average, had dragged across the screen, sure enough money was a motivator. Those paid $5 averaged 159 circles into the box, while those paid 50 cents only dragged 101 circles. So far, so obvious. But the interesting result comes with those who were asked to participate 'as a favour'. This group dragged an average of 168 circles into the box. That means the group asked to participate as a favour did about the same amount of 'work' as those paid $5. Why?

Professors Heyman and Ariely argue that people have a mental split between their social and financial worlds. Different rules apply depending on whether people are trading in hard currency, contracts and delivery dates; or, alternatively, in friendships, trust or other social connections.

When the value of a gift doesn't matter

To see how different the rules are in the two worlds, have a look at a second experiment carried out by Heyman and Ariely (2004). Again this involved the circle dragging task, but this time the experimenters wanted to look at the effects of different types of gifts on how hard people would work.

With gifts we move from the financial world back to the social world. The question is: do people work harder if the gift is bigger? In this experiment there were three conditions where participants were given:

1. Godiva chocolates (worth about $5).
2. A snickers bar (worth about 50 cents).
3. Nothing but asked to participate 'as a favour'.

This time there was no statistical difference between the groups - each dragged about the same number of circles: all three groups averages were in the 160s. This shows that in the social world, thank-you gifts don't need to be commensurate with the task performed. Whereas in the financial world, you only get what you pay for.

Just flipping from a 'payment' of 50 cents to a 'gift' of a snickers bar is enough to start people thinking socially, rather than financially. As a result people were more motivated by a gift of worth 50 cents than they were by 50 cents in cash.

Money makes us less socially-minded

It's not just in motivation to perform tasks that money has important effects, it's also in how we behave socially. In the second study, Professor Kathleen Vohs from the University of Minnesota and colleagues wanted to see how people's behaviour changed when they were subliminally primed to think about money (Vohs, Mead & Goode, 2006).

Professor Vohs and colleagues actually carried out seven separate experiments but they all followed the same pattern. First participants were unconsciously prompted to think about money in some way, then some aspect of their behaviour was measured.

In one experiment, for example, participants had to unscramble phrases, some of which involved money, and others not. On the way out of the lab, participants were told that the University student fund was collecting, and there was a box outside for them to donate if they liked. The results showed that those who had been subconsciously prompted to think about money donated less.

These results were repeated in the six other scenarios, where people reminded about money, compared to others, were more likely to:

* Believe others should be more self-sufficient.
* Offer other people who need it less help.
* Try to complete a task on their own, waiting longer to ask other people for help.

This study shows how easily people move from thinking socially to thinking financially with the result that they focus mainly on themselves and their own needs. The effects of even these subtle unconscious reminders about money are enough to change people's behaviour quite drastically.

In just the same way, economics students - who presumably spend a lot of time thinking about money - have been shown to act more selfishly than students of other disciplines (Frank et al., 1993). It doesn't take much of a mental leap to conclude that people who work in jobs which continually remind them about money will, on average, be more self-focussed than others.

Social versus financial

So, whether we realise it or not, we simultaneously inhabit two completely different worlds. In the social world we are more likely to help people out just because they ask and because it makes us feel good. In the financial world, however, it's all a matter of contracts, payments and let the 'buyer beware' - in this world you only get what you pay for, and sometimes not even that.

Being aware of when, and if, we're moving between these two worlds can help us negotiate each more easily. Certainly I now realise that when I moved flat I would have been much better off giving my friend a gift, rather than money. Because sometimes money just pushes all the wrong buttons.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

பெற்றோர்களே நடமாடும் தெய்வங்கள் !

என்னிடம் இருந்த ஒரு இதயத்தையும் பறித்துக் கொண்டது காதல்!
எனக்காக ஒரு இதயத்தையே பரிசளித்தது நட்பு!
கஷ்டங்களில் யோசித்தது காதல்!
யோசிக்காமல் கைகொடுத்தது நட்பு!
துயரங்களை நோக்கி இழுத்துச்சென்றது காதல்!
உயரங்ளை நோக்கி அழைத்துச் சென்றது நட்பு!
கட்டுப்பாடுகளை தளர்த்த முயற்சித்தது காதல்!
கடமைகளை உணர்த்த முயற்சித்தது நட்பு!
என் இலட்சியங்களை கனவாக்கியது காதல்!
என் கனவுகளை இலட்சியமாக்கியது நட்பு!

காயம் தரும் காதல் வேண்டாம்!
நன்மை தரும் நட்பு மட்டும் போதும்
என்று யோசித்துக்கொண்டிருந்த வேளையில்
காதல் தொலைந்து காதலியும் மறைந்தாள்
நட்ப்பை மறந்து நண்பனும் வெகு தூரமாய் ஒதுங்கி விட்டான்
உடன் பிறப்புகளும் இரத்த சொந்தங்களும்
ஈன்றெடுத்த அன்னையும் ஞானம் கொடுத்த தந்தையும்
வியக்கவைக்கும் இவ்வுலகில் இல்லையெனில்
எனக்கென்ற வாழ்வும் எனக்குள் இருக்கும் மூச்சும்
தேவை இல்லாத விஷியங்களாக உருவெடுத்து
இயற்கையுடன் ஒன்றுடுன் ஒன்றாய் கலந்து
உணர்ச்சிகளுக்கு கட்டுப்பட்டு உயிரை இழந்த
ஒரு மாமிச பிண்டமாய் பிறராலும் சுட்டிக்காட்ட பட்டிருப்பேன்
தாய் தந்தை செய்த புண்ணியம்
என்னை கை கொடுத்து காத்தது
அவர்களுக்கு என் பணிவும் அன்பும் கலந்த
மரியாதையுடைய வணக்கங்கள்
அவர்களுக்கு பாத பூஜை செய்வதை விட
இவ்வுலகில் சிறந்த செயல் இன்னும்
என் கண்களுக்கு தெரியவில்லை !!!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Tips to Get over a Friend's Betrayal ?

It can be hard making friends, and even harder to trust them. It's very hard to find someone who really loves you and cares about you. Ideally a friend is a person who offers love and respect and will never leave or betray you. Don't lose a good friend. It's very hard to find a friend who will stay and they can be easy to lose. If you find yourself in a situation where a friend has seemingly betrayed you, follow these steps.

#1 Determine if the whole thing was a misunderstanding. It's easy to get emotional (positive or negative) with friends and you may have rushed to conclusions. Make sure they really have done something wrong, and, if they have, find if they are apologetic.

#2 Keep things in perspective. The whole situation may not be as bad as you think. This will make apologies and forgiveness easier to obtain.

#3 Be willing to forgive despite your anger. Forgive them for not keeping your trust and not knowing how to treat friends. You may need to forgive them, even if they are not sorry for what they did. This is key to getting past your anger towards them and not harboring grudges.

#4 Consider whether or not you want to maintain a friendly relationship with the person. Many times, a friend that betrays once will do it again. But this is also dependent on the situation and the person.

* If you find that you no longer want to be friends with this person, sever all ties with them. You don't have to be mean about it. Assuming you followed step 1, they already probably know that you are upset with them. This will make ending your friendship easier.

* If you find that you want to maintain your friendship, make sure the other person understand that you feel they did something wrong and you have forgiven them and want to continue being friends -- even if they aren't remorseful.

#5 Try to relax and take some time alone. Meditate, shop, dance, do whatever you have to do to make yourself happy. You are more likely to find a worthwhile solution while doing something you enjoy.


Follow your instincts and past experiences when it comes to trusting people. There are, obviously, some people you can never trust and some people you can.
If necessary, withhold some parts of yourself so you are not completely open to people. This is a tip of prevention, so you won't have to go through the trauma of betrayal.


Human beings are sociable by nature. You cannot live your life without friends, so be very careful not to alienate all of your friends over a simple squabble.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Precious Gifts

When I was on my holidays recently spent in a nearby beach resort, a friend of mine narrated an incident which conveyed me a beautiful and meaningful message which I had almost forgotten to realise. It is an instance which descrives a young professional's gesture of booking an air ticket for his father, his maidenflight, which brought forth a rush of emotions and made him realize that how much we all take for granted when it comes to our parents.

Once his parents left for their native place and he went to the airport to see them off. In fact, his father had never travelled by air before, so he just took this opportunity to make him experience the same. In spite of being asked to book tickets by train, he got them tickets on a private airlines. The moment he handed over the tickets to his father, the father was surprised to see that he had booked them by air. The excitement was very apparent on his face, waiting for the time oftravel. Just like a school boy, he was preparing himself on that day and everyone in his family went to the airport, right from using the trolley for his luggage, the baggage check-in and asking for a window seat and waiting restlessly for the security check-in to happen. He was thoroughly enjoying himself and his son too, was overcome with joy watching him experience all these things.

As they were about to go in for the security check-in, the father walked up to his son with tears in his eyes and thanked him. The son became very emotional and it was not as if he had done something great but the fact that this meant a great deal to him. When he said thanks, he told his father that there was no need to thank him. But later, thinking about the entire incident, it made him to look back at his life.

As a child, how many dreams our parents have made come true. Without understanding the financial situation, we ask for cricket bats, dresses, toys, outings, etc. Irrespective of their affordability, they have catered to all our needs. Did we ever think about the sacrifices they had to make to accommodate many of our wishes? Did we ever say thanks for all that they have done for us? Same way, today when it comes to our children, we always think that we should put them in a good school. Regardless of the amount of donation, we will ensure that we will have to give the child the best, theme parks, toys, etc. But we tend to forget that our parents have sacrificed a lot for our sake to see us happy, so it is our responsibility to ensure that their dreams are realized and what they failed to see when they were young.

It is our responsibility to ensure that they experience all those and their life is complete. Many times, when our parents had asked us some questions, we have actually answered back without patience. When our daughter asks us something, we have been very polite in answering. Now we should realize how they would have felt at those moments. Let us realize that old age is a second childhood and just as we take care of our children, the same attention and same care needs to be given to our parents and elders.

Quality time and politely answering them with out making them wait is important. Also we should realise that we must look at their eyes and answer them pleasantly and pretend to be reading papers and answer in mono syllables. Rather than in the above incident where the dad saying thank you to the son, the latter should have wanted to say sorry for making his dad wait so long for this small dream. One should realize how much the parents have sacrificed for their children's sake and its the duty of that child to do its best to give the best possible attention to all their wishes. Just because they are old does not mean that they will have to give up everything and keep sacrificing for their grandchildren also. They have wishes, too.

Lets all take care of our parents. THEY ARE PRECIOUS. One can't have the option of having few more parents. Let us start spreading the religion of love and peace all over the world as much as possible.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Its just a risk to be honest

We grow up listening to popular sayings such as ‘Honesty is the best policy’, and often use these cliches in conversations. If a continuum were to be drawn placing honesty at one end and dishonesty at the other, most of us would want to be bunched around honesty. This is quite natural and it probably feels good to have nice opinions about oneself. However, if truth and honesty lent themselves to such simplistic interpretations, then there would have been little need of useful tools such as tact and diplomacy.

So, the question arises as to how honest we really are in our everyday lives? When we encounter a situation or a person, there is an immediate first instinct about it; we may say, form a favourable or unfavourable opinion. But we try not to rush out our unprocessed thoughts bluntly. We judiciously weigh in the likely impact of words before allowing others the opportunity to hear from us. If our initial, honest thoughts have to be trussed up in a garb of propriety, then in a way we may be shearing them of some of their purity. We may carry this process so far that what we eventually verbalize could only be nominally representative of our true feelings. Opposing theorists to this enterprising human ability would jump to explain away dressing up of words with labels such as tact, diplomacy, discretion, etc. Whatever euphemism they may wish to employ, it boils down to the fact that we often prefer not being unconditionally honest.

Imagine a situation in which you are an esteemed guest at a wedding function. You are expected to admire the remarkable job that the beauty parlour has performed on the bride. Words such as ‘Her natural beauty has been brought out’ would suit the occasion superbly. You might be a bit suspicious of the type of natural beauty that requires such an unnaturally large amount of money to become visible. Despite your inner doubts, you will find yourself giving a generous comment such as: “Oh, it seems as if a heavenly being has descended from the Heavens to sit on an earthly stage.” And if you are really good, your facial expressions will also back your ‘heart-felt’ praise.

Sometimes, one happens to see a foreign dignitary from a developed economy being interviewed on television. The host interviewer inquires hopefully: “Do you feel that in the coming decades this country could achieve what yours has accomplished?” Even if deep down the dignitary holds the view that in many ways the interviewer’s country first needs to graduate from the 16th century to perhaps start thinking of making it big in the 21st century, what do you expect his reply would be?

“Most certainly. I have seen tremendous potential in the report of some kind. In due course he furnishes a report that is fine enough to make the exasperated boss burst into tears. The boss may think: “Is this shoddy work supposed to be the best that this chap can come up with! Oh boy, wouldn’t I just love to give him a piece of my mind, if not for the fact that he’s the Director’s nephew!”

Needless to say when the Director inquires about his young protege’s progress, the boss exclaims with gusto that he is one of the most promising employees to have joined the company in many years.

Then there are certain career tracks that have acquired a significant notoriety in common vocabulary. Politics and politicians generally find it hard to be mentioned in a good light in our drawing-room discussions. We know their promises carry as much weight as a feather caught in a vicious tornado. Yet, we insist on putting the ‘poor’ politicians through the torture of taking oaths of honesty, selfless service, etc, before assuming their august offices. One wonders what those luminaries are actually thinking at the time of their swearing-in ceremony.

After considering these scenarios, one can safely conclude that the misguided gentleman who first came up with the golden yet precarious ‘Honesty is the best policy’ must never have managed to make any friends and must have lived on a remote, uncharted island for most of his incredibly idealistic life.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

A Son's Challenge - Being a better Father

The first time I called my Dad to invite him out for dinner, my Mom answered the phone. I said, "Hi Mom, let me talk to Dad."

My Mom said, "What's wrong?"

I said, "Nothing's wrong, let me talk to Dad."

"Something must be wrong. Tell me."

"Nothing's wrong." I said. "Put Dad on."

My Dad finally came to the phone. He said, "What's wrong? Do you need money? Are you in trouble? What's going on?"

"Nothing's wrong," I said. "I thought it would be nice for you and me to spend some time alone together."

"Why?" he asked again, a bit more agitatedly. "Are the kids OK? Is your wife OK?"

"Yes. everything is OK," I reassured him. "I want to spend some time alone with you."

"OK," he said. "But why don't we bring the women?"

I said, "Because that wouldn't be you and me spending time alone together."

He was confused, but we went out. That was almost a year ago. Now I go out with my Dad on a regular basis. I see him more now than I ever did in my childhood, and it feels very special.

A father is a role model in a child's life. For a son, he is a role model of what it means to be a man. If the father is emotionally and physically available to his son, he grows up with a warm, secure feeling. Unfortunately, our society dictates that men spend long hours away from home, and children grow to maturity without the emotional or physical presence of a father.

It has been estimated that fathers spend an average of 37 seconds a day with their infant sons, and one hour a day with their adolescents. These figures are for intact families. After divorce, 50 percent of adolescent children have no contact, 30 percent have sporadic contact and 20 percent see their father once a week or more. Average it all out and fathers spend approximately 10 minutes a day with their children. Samuel Osherson, in "Finding Our Fathers," says, "We have been sitting on a psychological time bomb within the younger generation of men and women now coming of age... I believe that the psychological or physical absence of fathers from their families is one of the greatest underestimated tragedies of our times."

Because of the workplace orientation of our society, boys who grow up in relatively healthy family environments are raised as rivals to prepare them for a life of competition in the real world of men.

In a family without a father's presence, that message gets distorted. The boy begins to look toward his peers more for life's initiations, for acknowledgment, and for validation. A 13-year-old boy is not necessarily the healthiest to validate an 11 or 12-year-old boy's behavior. In the cities in particular, we're finding initiations in terms of gangs of kids where rape or carrying a gun or stealing or taking drugs is part of the initiation. It's a very different initiation than a loving rather would give to a son.

By society's standards today, men who grow up without the presence of father believe they are leading productive lives. The reality is that we have to look at how they are defining success. If they're defining success by a good job, career progression or money -- yes, But if success is defined in terms of psychosocial and spiritual achievement, then the answer is no.

Alexander Mitscherly observed and studied fatherless men over the last 30 years. He discovered that when a boy did not see his father work, and did not spend time with his father, a hole, or a space, opened in the boy's psyche. This hole was not filled with a sense of his father being a white knight or a hero. It was filled with a sense of demons, of suspiciousness of older men, and of insecurity.

When a father is not present for a son, the son learns to be more dependent upon his mother. He carries this dependency upon women into his relationship when he gets married, and he is needy. This man, who is really not a man, but an old boy, psychologically speaking, is married to a woman from whom he requires a tremendous amount. He needs her to be his best friend, his lover, his confidant, his critic (if she does it right), his maid, parent to his children, his social director, and so on . Many times wives, like mothers, feel overwhelmed. They feel that their time isn't their own, their body isn't their own, and their mind isn't their own. In some cases. divorce is an extreme form of a woman seeking her individuality from a needy husband.

We have to do the work that our fathers never did. If our fathers were wounded by their fathers' absence, abuse or neglect, and they never addressed it, owned it, worked on it, or even talked about it, then in order to change the cycle, we must do some of these things. The father who works can share with his son that he wishes he could spend more time with his son. Most men would give their right arm to have heard that from their fathers.

At dinner with my Dad one evening, I shared with him some of the work that I'm doing with men, how men sacrifice their family life to work long hours to provide for their families, and give them what they never had. I went on to explain how their children grow up resenting it. He asked me if I was upset with him for working long, hours.

I said, "Yes! I was upset with you. I missed you. I wanted you to be around more. And when you were around, it was pretty clear to me that you had already given all you had at the office and there was nothing left for me."

He looked at me and said, "You know, I would have never thought of that."

I got the distinct impression that he was saying something else to me. He was saying, "I don't envy you and your generation because you're more of a generation of thinkers than we were. You not only have the responsibility of providing for your family, as we did, but you also want to be emotionally present. Good luck. I don't know how you're going to do it."

Yes, Dad, you're right. Doing it. That's our challenge.