Friday, April 29, 2011
The following points show the gimmickry perpetuated by the players in this pantomime:-
(a) A few days back, the Achuthanandan faction of the CPM had sat on a daylong fast(?) to highlight the same issue thus scoring a point over the Pinarayi Vijayan faction. It happened to be the day of the commencement of the Stockholm convention where the countries of the world were discussing the use/ban of toxic materials.
(b) The call for hartal today, to coincide with the final day of the same convention, has been called by the Pinarayi Vijayan faction!
(c) The interesting paradox is that the very same CPM, had brutally opposed the forum of people who called for an end to the use of Endosulphan, earlier!
The UDF(Congress and its allies) has been harping on the CPM's duplicity. It's another matter that the central government wants to conduct yet another study before advocating the cause of a total ban on the use of 'Endosulfan - mind you, there have been three documented studies carried out earlier by responsible and government appointed agencies! The ravages caused by the harmful chemical is there for all to see amongst the people staying in and around the cashew plantations - where the pesticide is used - of Kasaragod.
Another stark reality where we seem to be favouring MNCs in their profit making ventures without ethical backing! Sad!!
And then the pantomime of the 'holier-than-thou' attitude being played out by the political parties. Very sad!!!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
And I was transported 23 years back in time, to another such ceremony where I was presented with a Naosena Medal(Gallantry) for my exploits in Sri Lanka during 'Operation Pawan' while in command of the landing craft, INLCU L36! It was Apr 1988 and the venue was the Kohli stadium of the Western Naval Command at Bombay.
Every award winner is permitted to get two close relatives to take part in the events connected with the Investiture Ceremony. Since I was a bachelor then, there was no wife and my parents were unable to attend as they're busy at their work. I'd, therefore, invited my friends Dr. Dinesh Kapadia and his wife, Indu staying at the Marine Lines opposite Opera House to be my chosen relatives and boy, didn't they enjoy their outing with the IN? I remember them clapping the loudest and the longest as my citation was read out and the Chief pinned the medal on to my chest.
The defining moment was when Indu said that she was proud to be associated with a brave, young naval officer and she reinforced this aspect in many get togethers that she'd organised subsequently!
Dinesh and Indu had become my friends thanks to the Indian Railways in Jan '79. Dinesh, by virtue of being the President of the Indian Dental Association, alongwith Indu had come to Madras to attend their annual conference. They're stuck at Arakkonam thanks to a lightning strike called by the locomen of the Southern Railway and on the advice given by the railway staff that guys from the defence forces were the most accommodative on such occasions, had approached me for help as I was on board the only Bombay - bound train that day. I and my friend had accommodated them in one of our berths in the Ist class while I offered to sleep on deck with my hold all spread. That was the beginning of our long association!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Lilly, incidentally, owns prime property in Panampilly Nagar which will fetch her crores and as per my reckoning, she doesn't have to lead the life that she's leading today. Her youngest daughter suffers from an ailment, requiring blood transfusions every month and looking after her medical needs is her prime concern. She says that the only work that she excels in is what she's doing currently and hence doesn't find it infradig! Talk about 'dignity of labour' and I can't think of a better case study.
May God be with her in all her endeavours!
Monday, April 25, 2011
Earlier, as I was going to the airport to catch my early morning flight I was pleasantly surprised to see a lady with baggage thumbing for a lift and eventually getting one in those early hours! Kerala is safe and I must say hats off to the guts of the lady for doing so!!
On board the aircraft, I saw the old Hindi movie 'Hamraaz' and the song ' O......neele gagan' sounded so appropriate for the occasion and I was sure that the trip was going to be a nice one.
The visit to my old office at Delhi was nostalgic and the staff expressed their happiness in more ways than one making me feel humbled. It was nice to catch up with each one of them.
And once my work was over, on my way to the Delhi airport for my return, I stopped by at Bruno's gravesite to say my prayers. The trees that I'd planted look bigger and greener. There was a lump in my throat as I left him.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Cherthala is a sleepy hamlet about 35 kms south of Kochi and at the Taluk Hospital there, 22 deliveries were conducted through mass Caesarian sections, by three gynaecologists, before Thursday this week so that they could avail of the long weekend! And the women on whom the surgeries were conducted had their delivery dates originally scheduled for next week!!
The press reports further claim that the mothers, alongwith their newborns, were lying on the floors as the beds were fully occupied!!
Where's the professionalism? How can one's personal requirements override professional ethics and one's duty to the people under one's charge? Words fail me and if you're to ask me their medical degrees should be withdrawn, forthwith!
Friday, April 22, 2011
Our pilgrimage to the temple is an annual feature and today's trip was just that. However, we did not cater for the huge crowd of devotees and it took a while to have a 'dekho' of the sanctum sanctorum and tell our piece to the good Lord. As we're returning through the main entrance, a young lady clad in the traditional two piece 'mundum neryathum', looking extremely sad(a personal problem that's weighing heavily on her, for sure) and carrying a gold figurine of a hooded snake, on a platter, passed us as she made her way into the innards of the temple.
She seemed to be sure that the 'Mannarasala naagaraj' would sort out her problems and it's our hope that her prayers are answered. Pse help her God!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
He'd proclaimed earlier that he's the descendant of the Sai Baba of Shirdi and that he'd live on to a ripe old age of 96 and then, take rebirth as 'Prem Sai'. His worsening condition in the ventilator now - at 86 years of age - is in direct conflict with that statement of his. My aunts insist that his present condition is consequent to the fact that he's taken in the evils of all his devotees into himself, being the compassionate person that he is and attribute divinity in him thanks to a whole lot of miracles that are associated with him, during his lifetime.
While respecting the sentiments and faith of my aunts(I'm no one to belittle them or their beliefs!), in my opinion the divinity that the Baba possesses is nothing more than what every being, that comes into this world, possesses. And I'm of the firm belief that I do not require an 'usher' to communicate with my God! This is the reason that I'm baffled at their strong loyalty!!
So, for their sake, I bow in prayers for the Baba's recovery which, I'm sure, would do wonders to his devotees, especially my aunts.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
This is the holy week and the Christians, the world over, are in fast and prayer reminiscing the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the son of God. It's a visit to the ethos of God taking the brunt of the waywardness of mankind! The purity of thought and nobility in action are reinforced. I too bow my head in humble prayer on the occasion!
Many people have taken advantage of the long weekend by driving off to nearby places of interest. But guys like me do not not have this luxury as we're working on Saturdays!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
But alas, the sparring has begun and with the latest CD episode that has surfaced, the ugly side of the confrontation is there for everyone to see. And it's a sad state of affairs!
43 years of dithering and somewhere close to an effective Lokpal bill - the brakes seem to be coming on, yet again. Do we, Indians, want to remain corrupt and ridiculed by others for being so? Surely not, I'm sure we shall overcome!
"Hum honge Kaamyaab"!!
Monday, April 18, 2011
I was in attendance at an old friend and coursemate's farewell. As the proceedings started winding up, I decided to toss away my shyness and sang the 'Jamaican Farewell' to lighten the mood. By the end of the evening's proceedings, I seemed to have picked up a lot of admirers and friends! The next forenoon saw me fetch up at Laila Samson's doorstep as I was determined to meet her and spend time with her, this time. And boy, it was a delightful experience indeed and time well spent! At 86, she's full of life and was more worried about looking after me, during the period I was there with her and wanted to know the details of Lekha's ailment and her current state of health!!
On return to Kochi, Lekha and me set up the 'vishukkani' that we saw at 0230h on 15 Apr, as is the normal custom amongst us. We'd then set off for home to be with Lekha's dad and my parents for the weekend which, also provided ample scope to meet up with people of our village and it was an exhilarating experience!
The final leg of the trip was to Thiruvananthapuram to attend the wedding reception of my classmate's daughter. As we met, I'd told the proud couple that Lekha and I'd kept our promise of attending the 'do' despite constraints of time and distances to be traversed. And their prompt reply - 'We always knew you'd surely be with us!' - reminded me of the expectations. A humbling experience, really! We'd kicked off from Thiruvananthapuram, a trifle after 5 and was at Kochi, after a comfortable drive, to be in time for work. A short break from the usual routine and time well spent!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
(a) It's happened in Kerala where people are supposed to be more enlightened.
(b) The state is far ahead than the others in socio - cultural progress.
(c) The 'act' was committed by his own colleagues in the staff. Were they 'suffering' him thus far while working with him?
(d) This incident took place in the state's capital, Thiruvananthapuram where the government sits!
Why do we punish people for the accident of their birth? And who gives us the right to do so? I feel ashamed of the entire episode. There are unconfirmed reports that the incident was orchestrated by a disgruntled Joint Secretary of the department who felt victimised by the ex-IG. I'd like to believe that this story is true and the episode did not have the blessings of the remaining others!! If not, whither Kerala?
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
2. At the Santhi Mandiram. I'd a pleasant Saturday afternoon at the Santhi Mandiram, an orphanage at Aluva that provides shelter for about 150 children and old ladies. The establishment was set up in 1966 in memory of one of the noted social reformers of his times, Sahodaran Ayyappan and Parvathi Ayyappan, his wife. Much has been written about this noble institution and anything that I might say will end up as a case of carrying coal to Newcastle and hence I desist. I had gone as a member of the adopted family of Pratibha who was getting married on Sunday to partake in the pre - wedding celebrations. Interaction with the inmates and a tour of their inhouse efforts in baking and curry powder manufacturing - which, incidentally, they market through an organised network - impressed me. The four hours spent were rejuvenating and well spent. My good wishes shall always be with the 'Santhi Mandiram' in their noble deed. May there be many more such institutions!
3. It's pouring cricket! Our cricket team winning the ICC World cup was a memorable experience and one really felt proud of being an Indian. But its aftermath has been an overdose of celebrations and felicitations. The team members are being showered with gifts, in various forms, by all and sundry. For heaven's sake, let's not spoil them - they've not done anything extraordinary but have only done what they're expected to do for which they're being paid handsomely!