Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Dream

the train moved swiftly
gently along with the breeze
all in sleep so softly
the chillness around to freeze

tick tick tick on the cabin door
forcing me out of sleep
The man at door forced me to floor
my balance i could not keep

Edge of knife pointed at me
your favourite possesions part with
was told to me at cost so free
shattering in me the humanity myth

I tried not to succumb
But else what could I do then
My courage reduced to a tiny crumb
My life over the edge of knife, driven

Faint overcame me and I didnt know
As an angel came rescuing me
It was my friend after all i didnt know
with care so ample just so free

Little did I know that I would
Come home all so unharmed
with him to care for me I could
overcome this whole world just love armed.

© Jaysvimal ...
This was a dream I dreamt last night ;) Now what does that mean!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Darkness and Shadows

Every day, there is one point of time when men cast no shadows. In the evening , after the sun sets but before the light fades completely, the world stands out in a sharpness and clarity misleading to those who do not foresee coming darkness.

There exists a peacefulness in that time, when the day's creatures retreat to safety and those of night have yet to emerge. This time belongs to the ghosts of the past, who, visiting again the world they once knew, depart their attics and spirit-dwellings to wander. Humanity treads here also, bravely or foolishly ignoring the last warnings of the dying day. But if the workings of humanity were to be silenced, no sounds would remain except the rustling of the wind and the fleeing footsteps of the shadows.

Even those flighty figures - hazy, distorted reflections of ourselves - know when they have outstayed their welcome. Shadows: insubstantial, invulnerable. Yet each evening they flee westward with the setting sun, staying within the safety and warmth of the light while their solid portions remain to fend off the darkness.

Humans will never rule the night. As the darkness closes over the planet, we lose our grip, our power to control our surroundings. We can light our candles, shine our torches, point our lanterns out into the night, but we cannot drive away the blackness. It is an invincible force that surrounds the universe, waiting for each source of radiance to be extinguished. Light is only temporary; darkness, once established, is eternal.

It is the darkness. Yes. The darkness is the one that changes the world. Not physically: our constructions remain the same, as do the land and the people upon it. The distortion is much more intangible, more insidious than a simple transmutation of matter. The transformation is one of the mind and the soul. Our fears come out to play at night. Our mental state alters, as does our perception of our surroundings. The dangers of the world increase, and the beasts hidden behind the human form emerge.

Perhaps the shadows are not our reflection; perhaps they are the soul and we their images. Without them, we lose our humanity, become like the animals we were in ages past. The fear returns. So, too, the feeling of being hunted, the violence, and the evil in our beings.

The night belongs to murderers and thieves. It is the realm of the vampire, the werewolf, ghosts and witches. The lunatic and his namesake moon belong here, as do monsters under the bed and the things that go bump in the night. The land of nightmares awaits humanity with open arms, and we foolishly meet its embrace, all the while feeling a foreboding sense of dread that we will never see the light again.

It is not the beasts, real or imaginary, that frighten us, however. No, it is a far more horrifying thing that chills our hearts and causes our breath to catch. It is a truth we all know but none have come to accept. Within us all there is a monster: a stalker, a rapist, a murderer or even more vile creatures whose natures it is best not to contemplate. As the darkness surges forth, so do our inner demons. Each night we fight to keep them in check, but we realize the time may come when we fail: when our sanity goes the way of our shadows. Then we will finally become that from which we have hidden and run blindly, and that against which we have fought, and lost ourselves in sleep to guard against.

And that is what we fear the most. To one day awaken to life as something we have condemned and see no harm in the change. Nothing compares to the fear and revulsion a human being feels at the thought of being subverted to the point that he no longer realizes he is a victim of subversion. Darkness instigates this process. It misleads, misinforms, alters our reality to create other than what was. Once the fatal step is made in believing the lies of the night, it is far too late. A hold on the mind is formed, one that cannot be broken, one that continues to spread.
Beware the night; its tricks, its lies. It is a time better left to the moon, the unknown, the vampire. Shun the night, and rejoice at shadow's return each morn.

© 2001. This is a prologue to my novel written many years ago. The Story is set to take shape. May be in a decade or so ;) I had posted the prose earlier at different portals. But then, why not at my own weblog :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

When you think someone is wrong... Think again...

The secret of one's success, lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own.

Henry Ford once said, 'The best angle from which to approach a problem is the Try-angle'.

How does that matter now? Well, read on...

Once an LKG Class Teacher was teaching counting to the little children in her class. She thought happily that all the children had now mastered the concept of counting. But then.. there was little Riya who kept answering differently than the whole class.

The dismayed teacher was expecting an effortless correct answer (three). Maybe the child did not listen properly, she thought. She repeated, 'Riya, please listen carefully." If I give you one apple and one apple and one apple, how many apples will you have? Riya had seen the disappointment on her teacher's face. She now calculated again on her little fingers. But within her she was also searching for the answer that will make the teacher happy. Her search for the answer was not for the correct one, but the one that would make her teacher happy. This time hesitatingly she replied, "Four". The disappointment stayed on the teacher's face. She remembered that Riya liked Mangoes. She thought maybe she didn't like apples and that was making her loose focus. This time with an exaggerated excitement and twinkling in her eyes she asked, "If I give you one mango and one mango and one mango, then how many you will have?"

Seeing the teacher happy, young Riya calculated on her fingers again. There was no pressure on her, but a little on the teacher. She wanted her new approach to succeed. With a hesitating smile young Riya enquired, "Three?" The teacher now had a victorious smile. Her approach had succeeded. She wanted to congratulate herself. But one last thing remained. Once again she asked her, "Now if I give you one apple and one apple and one more apple how many will you have?" Promptly Riya answered, "Four!" The teacher was aghast. "How Riya? How?", she demanded in a little stern and irritated voice. In a voice that was low and hesitating young Riya replied, "Because I already have one apple in my bag."

Cool enough?

When someone gives you an answer that is different from what you expect, dont think they are wrong. There maybe an angle that you have not understood at all. You will have to listen and understand, but never listen with a predetermined notion. When you are in doubt, just ask!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fight Against Swine Flu -

'Swine flu' brings up a lot of extra fear and worry, but it is important to note that swine flu is just an influenza A H1N1 virus.

That means that it is just another type of flu virus, just like that causes our typical seasonal flu symptoms. The big difference is that the current swine influenza A (H1N1) virus has components of pig and bird influenza viruses in it, so that humans don't have any immunity to it. That is what has made it more likely that it would become a pandemic virus (have the ability to cause a global outbreak) because it could easily spread from person-to-person.

So far, even as you see swine flu cases increase, experts don't know if this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus will return in the fall for another wave. It could or we just continue to see sporadic cases for a few weeks or months until it stops.

We do know that swine flu symptoms are just like seasonal flu symptoms.

Swine Flu Symptoms
According to the CDC, like seasonal flu, symptoms of swine flu infections can include:
· fever, which is usually high, but unlike seasonal flu, is sometimes absent
· cough
· runny nose or stuffy nose
· sore throat
· body aches
· headache
· chills
· fatigue or tiredness, which can be extreme
· diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes, but more commonly seen than with seasonal flu

Signs of a more serious swine flu infection might include pneumonia and respiratory failure. If your child has symptoms of swine flu, you should avoid other people and call your pediatrician who might do a rapid flu test to see if he has an influenza A infection. Of course, rapid testing is always not accurate and it is best tested at the Government authorized centers listed towards the end of this blog.

Swine Flu High Risk Groups
With regular seasonal flu, infants and the elderly are usually thought to be most at risk for serious infections, in addition to people with chronic medical problems. Swine flu high risk groups, people who are thought to be at risk for serious, life-threatening infections, are a little different and can include:

· pregnant women
· people with chronic medical problems, such as chronic lung disease, like asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and immunosuppression
· children and adults with obesity

Serious Swine Flu Symptoms
More serious symptoms that would indicate that a child with swine flu would need urgent medical attention include:
· Fast breathing or trouble breathing
· Bluish or gray skin color
· Not drinking enough fluids
· Severe or persistent vomiting
· Not waking up or not interacting
· Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
· Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Swine Flu Symptoms vs. a Cold or Sinus Infection
It is important to keep in mind most children with a runny nose or cough will not have swine flu and will not have to see their pediatrician for swine flu testing.
This time of year, many other childhood conditions are common, including:
· spring allergies - runny nose, congestion, and cough
· common cold - runny nose, cough, and low grade fever
· sinus infections - lingering runny nose, cough, and fever
· strep throat - sore throat, fever, and a positive strep test

What You Need To Know
· Swine flu likely spreads by direct contact with respiratory secretions of someone that is sick with swine flu, like if they were coughing and sneezing close to you.
· People with swine flu are likely contagious for one day before and up to seven days after they began to get sick with swine flu symptoms.
· Droplets from a cough or sneeze can also contaminate surfaces, such as a doorknob, drinking glass, or kitchen counter, although these germs likely don't survive for more than a few hours.
· Anti-flu medications, including Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir), are available to prevent and treat swine flu.
· The latest swine flu news from the CDC includes advice that children should not attend summer camps if they have had swine flu symptoms in the previous seven days and that camp staff should be quick to identify campers with swine flu symptoms and separate them from well campers.
King Institute of Preventive Medicine (24/7 Service)
Guindy, Chennai – 32
(044) 22501520, 22501521 & 22501522

Communicable Diseases Hospital
Thondiarpet, Chennai
(044) 25912686/87/88, 9444459543

Government General Hospital
Opp. Central Railway Station, Chennai – 03
(044) 25305000, 25305723, 25305721, 25330300


Naidu Hospital
Nr Le'Meridian, Raja Bahadur Mill, GPO, Pune - 01
(020) 26058243

National Institute of Virology
20A Ambedkar Road, Pune - 11
(020) 26006290


ID Hospital
57,Beliaghata, Beliaghata Road, Kolkata - 10‎
(033) 23701252


Government General Hospital
Near Railway Station,Trichy Road, Coimbatore - 18
(0422) 2301393, 2301394, 2301395, 2301396


Govt. General and Chest Diseases Hospital,
Erragadda, Hyderabad
(040) 23814939


Kasturba Gandhi Hospital
Arthur Road, N M Joshi Marg, Jacob Circle, Mumbai - 11
(022) 23083901, 23092458, 23004512

Sir J J Hospital
J J Marg, Byculla, Mumbai - 08
(022) 23735555, 23739031, 23760943, 23768400 / 23731144 / 5555 / 23701393 / 1366

Haffkine Institute
Acharya Donde Marg, Parel, Mumbai - 12
(022) 24160947, 24160961, 24160962

Government Medical College
Gandhi Nagar P O, Kottayam - 08
(0481) 2597311,2597312

Government Medical College
Vandanam P O, Allapuzha - 05
(0477) 2282015

Taluk Hospital
Railway Station Road, Alwaye, Ernakulam
(0484) 2624040 Sathyajit - 09847840051

Taluk Hospital
Perumbavoor PO, Ernakulam 542
(0484) 2523138 Vipin - 09447305200

Gurgaon & Delhi

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
Ansari Nagar, Aurobindo Marg Ring Road, New Delhi - 29
(011) 26594404, 26861698 Prof. R C Deka - 9868397464

National Institute for Communicable Diseases
22, Sham Nath Marg,New Delhi - 54
(011) 23971272/060/344/524/449/326

Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital
Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi - 01
(011) 23741640, 23741649, 23741639Dr. N K Chaturvedi – 9811101704

Vallabhai Patel Chest Institute
University Enclave, New Delhi- 07
(011) 27667102, 27667441, 27667667, 27666182


Victoria Hospital
K R Market, Kalasipalayam, Bangalore - 02
(080) 26703294 Dr. Gangadhar - 94480-49863

SDS Tuberculosis & Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases
Hosur Road, Hombegowda Nagar, Bangalore - 29
(080) 26631923 Dr. Shivaraj - 99801-48780

Don't PANIC...
Close your mouth with a handkerchief and immediately consult a doctor.

Take second opinions on the diagnosis, because a victim of Swine Flu died in Pune due to a wrong diagnosis.

If you see any of your housemaids having any of the symptoms ask them to get it checked immediately. Help them as they are the ones who are painfully unaware of this dreadful flu and its consequences.

Please be aware that it spreads through air and hence it spreads very fast to anyone around the infected person.

Spread the news to your friends family or anyone who you see with the symptoms and are not taking the necessary steps.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Is a Mother the Live God on Land?

I was once posed a discussion. And the topic? The Greatness of Motherhood... It was on the ranks of: Motherness never touches the religion, beauty, money and fame. Only women can be praised as the next god who takes her second life after giving birth to the new infant life.
Now how much do I agree to it and feel about it...

All said might be true.. to an extent that the care and concern of a mother knows no bounds. Does that qualify ourselves to be paralleled to God? and only us too?

Frankly I think, its an emotional bonding that comes from within. We may be taking a second life with our little one's birth. But come to think of it. This talk had its roots when the medical advancement was not much and every woman during delivery was at a risk of loosing life. Are we facing the same situation today? Exceptions and criticality may be there here and there. but we definitely are in a state where we only look forward to being with the child without even a little thought of the life at risk. Women had that tension before but not prevalent now. We are safe. We are secure.

Motherhood and motherly love springs from the very day we realize that we are pregnant. Something is beginning within us. A life is starting to evolve. Naturally we who love our own things externally, tend to be extra emotional when it is sprouting from within. And a mother is born the day a baby is born. There is no surprise or something great when the mother feels attached to the being she has given birth to.

But come to think of it. Except for being the reason for the child, what else does the man do for it... Care for his wife?. Trust me, all men are cautious and concerned about their children and care for their wives. Share as much as they can. Most men do. And beyond everything, even a father is as old as the child and as old as a woman turned into a mother. When a father who doesnt carry the little one within him, can shower so much of love, care and affection on the child, why not the mother? and why equal only the woman to the God.. Just because we give birth?

I am proud being a mother. I love my child, be it in our good times or bad. I care not for anything material when it comes to him. But I dont consider myself Godly nor do I think, only a mother is entitled to be Godly or feel proud. Though the child may take sides from time to time, being close to one parent than the other, the love is no different. Its just a time based favoritism.

I feel both the mother and father are as old as a child. Coz they both are born as a father and mother only when the child is born. Its a new life to everyone. For a child, the mother and father are both equally important. Now that was a chance for me to think, if I am the only person to be proud of our son or both me and my husband share the pride!
Excuse me folks for the rant. Am I being too modest now ;)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Scrapping 10th Board Exams...

Scrapping 10th Board Exams...Is it for the good? I would say NO. why are the suicides happening? who is responsible for the Stress? Competition? Pressure? Children not ready to accept failure?

Who puts all these on the child? Studies is not everything. Its basic to everything. Parents should overcome the rankgame and give the children breathing space to face it with clear minds. They should love to learn. If not in 10th , they are still gonna face exams in 12th. Those that are not being prepared to face 10th itself by parents, how are they gonna be ready for 12th? And parents are going to be even more anxious for they dont know how they are going to perform in their first board exams and they will only add extra pressure on the students.

And as many point out, not everyone who aspires is able to make it big. Given their financial strata or social responsibility many children do leave studies after 10th. Now for minimum qualification, they need to study for another 2 yrs and how many can afford that, if they are in such a case. We can afford, so we say let them do.

And this same government that says that every child necessarily needs to study till 5th class atleast. Are they going to support?

As per UN's India Education update on

Free Education
All State Governments have abolished tuition fees in Government schools up to upper primary level Education in schools run by local bodies and private aided institutions is also mostly free. However, unaided institutions (3.7%) do charge fees. Other costs of education such as textbooks, stationery, school uniforms, transport, etc. are borne by States mainly for primary school children belonging to SC/ST categories and girls.

Now are they going to extend funding till 12th??

Constitutional Directive
Article 45 of the Constitution directs that the State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of 10 years from the commencement of the Constitution, free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years.

National Policy on Education, 1986
Reiterating the Constitutional Directive, the National Policy on Education, 1986, provides that free and compulsory education of satisfactory quality shall be provided to all children up to the age of 14 years before we enter the 21st century. The Programme of Action, 1992 outlines various strategies for achieving this goal.

The children who get the education soaps till 14, can prove themselves at 10th and get a qualification in their names. But if the soaps as these are not extended, how are they gonna study the extra two years? and what is the basic qualification they can achieve beyond their scope of expenditure?

If our education system is so worse, that a child's calibre cannot be found out by one exam like 10th, we are forgetting, 10th actually gives us an idea to decide which area is our better faring area so that we can take up for 12th's specialization and thereby a career. Now we are falling to one single exam at 12th that's going to decide everything blindly.

I some how think, there should be an opportunity for kids to take up the 10th exams. Atleast make it kind of a grade system. Also, this enables them to perform when put to task and also make them individuals who can face any situation instead of buckling down at some glitches of life. Its in each and every parent's hands and the school's outlook to lessen the pressure on children than backing away from hurdles like scrapping exams off

This is a good move for the harassed kids whose parents attach so much importance to marks. But definitely a bang on the other strata who prefer learning and challenges than just writing exams.

Friday, February 6, 2009

'SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE' - What the world wants to see Vs What the reality stands to be?

First the Golden Globe awards and now 10 Oscar nominations. Similar to the storyline, Slumdog Millionaire has become a celebrity overnight. When Danny Boyle decided to adapt the Vikas Swarup book Q&A he would have least expected to be showered with awards. However highly SM is acclaimed, at heart it is just a commercial movie.

It is not a rags-to-riches story as the title may suggest. It is the story of how Jamal Malik (played by Dev Patel, who does a good job) finds different ways to win back his childhood love, Latika. It is the story of two brothers from the slums who follow two different paths, one evil and the other good. Eventually, goodness triumphs and the hope of Jamal, a mad and unrealistic hope, helps him get what he wants.

Maybe, the average American found this interesting as “Yes, We Can” seems to be their new national anthem. But, to us, the average Indian, there is nothing new in the storyline. It is just like any other average Indian movie. (Indian, here, does not comprise Bollywood alone). The movie starts with the cops (Irrfan Khan and Saurabh Shukla) interrogating Jamal on the charge that he cheated his way towards Rs. 10 million on the popular game show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? They try all kinds of tricks, including shock treatment, to make Jamal accept that he cheated.

But Jamal is a tough guy and that is the point the director is trying to prove with those scenes, which do not make any sense. (A request here would be to use Irrfan Khan in a better way next time). In fact, Jamal is portrayed as a boy who does not buckle under pressure easily and the director has done a decent job in trying to achieve that goal.

The ‘O Saya’ song provides a glimpse of what is in store for us with its lyrics suggesting that Jamal cannot be touched by anyone. This is a movie about Indians and the director has rightfully pointed out our obsession with cricket and Bollywood by showing the boys from slums playing cricket in an air strip and how Jamal knowingly misses a customer for their toilet business but does not miss a glimpse of Amitabh Bachchan, beating all odds.

The scene is humorous and makes us smile. But, Danny boy, the next time you decide to make a film on India, think about our other areas of interest too. The past and the present rub shoulders with each other, quite emphatically, as Prem Kumar’s (Anil Kapoor) booming poses questions to Jamal on the show and Jamal answers each one. Anil Kapoor plays his role in the best possible way.

Everything about Prem Kumar is perfect, which includes his voice, too. Amitabh was the original choice for the role. But he refused it and one can understand the reason behind that decision as we watch the movie. Right from the start when Prem Kumar mocks Jamal as “chaiwallah” till the end when he hands over Jamal to the police, the slum dog is not made to feel at home on the show. The average Indian may hate him for those antics and that is a big price for Bachchan sahib to pay for a role in a Hollywood movie. Every time Jamal has to answer a question on the show, he has to relive his troubled past. Nothing is more difficult for a man and Jamal does that without a tear in his eyes (Further proof to the fact that he is tough). But, there are a few things which have been blown out of proportion.

Jamal can relate to seven out of a total of nine questions. Too many coincidences for comfort. Or, the time when Salim recognises Jamal’s voice over phone. Considering the fact that they had separated at a time when Jamal’s voice had not broken, the scene looks illogical. The religious fanaticism in India is shown well when the Hindus attack the Muslims and the police (read state) turn a blind eye to the brothers’ appeal to save them.

But, considering its global appeal, to the unknowing foreigner, it would look like Hindus in India beat/kill Muslims at sight. The scene in which the two brothers meet Latika for the first time, the elder brother wields his authority over the younger. This is better portrayed in a scene where they part ways in a fight for her, Salim emerging the winner. The entire sequence where the two brothers become beggars is heart-rending. The cruelty and gruesomeness is portrayed brilliantly and so is the affection between the brothers at that point of time in their lives.

Their escape from that life is a journey for us, thanks to A.R. Rahman’s background score. The time when Salim consoles Jamal when the latter thinks about Latika is that point in the movie when we feel it has been rightfully nominated for the Oscars. But, it stops there and we are never made to feel the same again.

After that, it is a story about the lives of two boys. One goes in search of money and power and the other, love. The boys playing the role of teenage boys act too cool for that role. Maybe, the director wanted to glorify that part of their lives. But, it is not in synchronisation with the slum dog roles they are playing. The scene in which Jamal finds Latika for a second time in his life shows why Jamal participated in Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. When Jamal asks Latika to come with him, she asks him, “And live with what?” Jamal says, “Love”.

In the scene where 20 million is at stake, Jamal calls Salim as it is the only phone number he knows. Latika answers his call and he is more than happy with that, even though she does not help him in his cause. Just like the good, old days, the “pyaar hua, iqraar hua” days when the script suggested only one thing to the public. The scenes before Jamal has to answer the question, which will win him twenty million rupees, show the nature of Indian public.

The nation, starved for celebrities, goes gaga over the event, where one amongst them is going to make history. Just like us, who hold nothing back to put a deserving man on the pedestal. Just like us, who accept such men as one in our family, irrespective of caste, colour and creed.

So, are the nominations, awards and the hype surrounding the movie worth it? NO. An Englishman makes a movie about India, the centre of the world at present, as one character points out, and gives the American audience what they want to see. The unclean slums and crowded streets of India are packaged properly and presented to the global audience (One must admit, grudgingly though, that it is true).

Rahman, though, deserves the honour, although his score in SM is definitely not his best. It is quite similar to 2007, when Martin Scorsese was awarded the Best Director award for The Departed. The award though, if given, will be a definite boost to the creative talent in India, as Rahman himself pointed out.
Here's wishing Rahman the best at the Oscars...