Friday, April 8, 2011

While we were sleeping...

I didn’t realise so much had happened in the last few days when I was so occupied with my own world. It suddenly struck me that I hadn’t glanced at a newspaper since India won the WC, or caught the news or even checked my mails. And today when I did it all and went through some of the blogs and twitter updates, I realised the world outside had changed drastically as I was wrapped up with my own worries.

It’s about Anna of course. This is one particular mail that I received that I’ve forwarded everyone and here’s sharing it with you…(There's also a petition below!)

From Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwa

Do watch this film:


Salient features of Jan Lokpal Bill

Drafted by Justice Santosh Hegde, Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal, this Bill has been refined on the basis of feedback received from public on website and after series of public consultations. It has also been vetted by and is supported by Shanti Bhushan, J M Lyngdoh, Kiran Bedi, Anna Hazare etc. It was sent to the PM and all CMs on 1st December.
1.      An institution called LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up
2.      Like Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations.
3.      Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.
4.      The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.
5.      How will it help a common citizen: If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as compensation to the complainant.
6.      So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month's time. You could also report any case of corruption to Lokpal like ration being siphoned off, poor quality roads been constructed or panchayat funds being siphoned off. Lokpal will have to complete its investigations in a year, trial will be over in next one year and the guilty will go to jail within two years.
7.      But won't the government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That won't be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.
8.      What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the
officer dismissed within two months.
9.      What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and anti-corruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.
(This movement is neither affiliated nor aligned to any political party)

India Against Corruption: A-119, Kaushambi, Ghaziabad, UP | 09718500606
And the petition :


SIGN TODAY!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

55er : Magic of the helping hand!

Uncannily, the bike stopped in the middle of nowhere.
9pm… a distant corner… nobody around.
Cursing, she dragged it uphill somehow reaching the highway.

“Fuel empty, child?” someone asked, kindly.
“Yes!”

Stopping, he whipped out a bottle from his bike’s boot and emptied it in her tank.

She barely said ‘thanks!’ before he drove away.

______________________________________________________________________________

Even 9pm in my little Goan town means almost midnight, especially in the corner where my bike decided to leave me stranded. My fault actually, I had not checked the fuel levels before I left the house, and now I was getting punished. I was already having a rough day and I didn’t have the strength to drag the bike up the steep slope to reach the main road but I did it anyway.

I had just managed to push it up the slope and around the bend when a motorcyclist in a dark helmet stopped right in front of me.

“What happened child?’ he asked in the kindest voice. “Fuel empty?”
“Yes.” I said.
“Going far?”
“Just another kilometre… I’ve called my father, he’s on his way.”
“I have petrol with me, enough to get you home. Open your tank.” He said, calm yet with an authority that I couldn’t refuse.
“Ok!” I muttered.
He then produced a bottle from the boot of his bike and poured half its contents into my tank as I watched, slightly mesmerised.
“Go now! You’ll reach home” he said.
I barely had the sense to open my mouth and say ‘thanks’ before he waved and drove off.

I was left wondering the whole way back about the kindness of that stranger, the perfect, almost too perfect timing… and wondering if I would do that for him if the roles were reversed. And in all that, I did not even see his face.

But at the end of the tiring, blah day… he had given me a reason to smile, to believe in simple magic of a helping hand! Thank you, whoever you are, for caring, for helping!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Doctors, medicines, needles… and the Phobia! – Part II


Some people are born with some or the other phobia; others just catch on along the way. And even though doctors, medicines & needles have become such a constant part of our lives, like I previously mentioned, some people still don’t take too kindly to them.

I googled to find a few related phobias and got a big list of them.
Trypanophobia is the extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles.
Latrophobia is a fear of doctors.
Medication phobia (also known as pharmacophobia) is the fear of taking medications.
Blood phobia or Haemophobia – do I even need to say what that is?

Honestly, doctors never bothered me much. My only problem with them, as with most things, is patience – waiting hour after hour in the clinic for your turn to come, remembering to take the medicines everyday, before food, after food, after certain number of hours. Tonics, capsules, syrups… and then watch your diet – no salt, cheese, pickles, no eating out, no ice creams or sweets. Blah…
Needles are therefore better, one shot and you are done. How I wish everything in life was that simple… (sigh)

My cousin Mru is the best example of inborn phobias, she cries – like really breaks down and cries – if you approach her with a bunch of tablets. She hates taking medicines, she hates the sight of them… so getting sick is the worst thing to happen to her. When she gets fever, she prefers sleeping through the seven day cycle rather than popping a crocin. Even when she’s forced to take it, she makes you break it in quarters so that it would go down easily her tiny throat or worse – dissolve it in water so she would gulp it down with a crucified look on her face. In fact she even prefers the needle just to escape the torture of taking medicines.

This one time we were at my grandma’s place and she came down with a bad bout of flu. And the doctor, to her intense horror, prescribed her an elaborate dose of 5 different tablets and capsules to be taken 3 times a day. She was nearly hysterical. She just wouldn’t take them. Everyone, including her mother just gave in to her tantrums, but not me. I became her worst nightmare; I would sit down and not let her move until she swallowed every last crumble of her tablets between snobs and sniffs.

I don’t know if I managed to cure her phobia because since then, I’ve somehow never been around her when she falls sick.

Then again, there’s my other cousin Vandan. As the eldest of the three sisters, she is always the mature, responsible one… and sometimes such things can take you a bit too far.

We were having a function at out house, and all my relatives had come over. I was going out of my way to help out (by which I mean that my mother had dragged me to a corner and threatened me with consequences worse than death if I dint get my butt off the couch and do some work). I don’t know how exactly it happened, but as clumsy and accident-prone as I am, no one was surprised when I ended up with the heavy wooden stool with sharp edge down on my toes. Three cracked toes nails and a sizable pool of blood was the verdict.

My father promptly took me to the doctor, and Vandan tai insisted she come with me. Now, she wasn’t phobic of blood, no faint heart either but the sight of my mangled toes was enough to keep everyone away, even my father, but she stood there stony-faced nonetheless with one hand holding mine and the other clutched at her own heart as the doc did his job.

I was fine; I have been through the entire drill so many times I could have slept through it. And she seemed to be handling pretty well all the snipping, cleaning, sowing that was going on at the tip of foot, until...

Until the time came to pull out a toe and her carefully maintained facade started to wear off. The doc then adjusted the tongs to the toe and that’s it, she cracked… just like a scene straight out of a sitcom, she dug her nails in my palm so hard I forgot all the pain in my toes and screamed out loud. The doc jumped (only slightly), he hadn’t even begun to apply pressure. He didn’t realised what the yelling was all about, until I wriggled my hand out of Vandu tai’s grasp and ordered her out.

She gladly waited out with my dad then, only coming in to help me hop out of the clinic.

She’s all cured of her phobias now though. She doesn’t get scared of anything anymore she says, least of all blood. Oh no! I’m not trying to claim responsibility here; apparently going through the process of becoming a mother cures you out of all that.

So much for inborn phobias...
My phobia, however, is acquired... and how!

But it’s a bloody thrilling story, and I really want to do it justice. So disappointed as you are going to be after reading this, I must ask you to have patience till my next post.

Till then, have a great weekend people!

Image from GOOGLE Where else?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Doctors, medicines, needles... and realisations!!! - Part I


Think of the times when you’ve seen the child in the eyes of the most unsuspecting adults. Perhaps when you went to that amazing theme park, or while you watched Hera Pheri on TV for the first time?
I saw the look on my fathers face when I was taking him to the doctor on Wednesday… for a tetanus injection. :)

My father, the person from whom I inherit traits like independence, strength and the weakness of not showing weaknesses, is the caretaker… always has been. He fusses over our health, eating and drinking (water only) habits, worries a lot, and has a host of prescriptions ready at the tip of his tongue whenever something goes wrong, no matter how trivial. Just the other day I heard him telling my next door neighbour the best ways to counter the side effects of heavy medicines for my neighbour’s mother-in-law’s sister’s grandson who was having a stomach upset. Jeez!

So when he asked me in a really small voice if the tetanus injection was going to hurt, I looked at him in total surprise and then burst out laughing. He told me he had never taken an injection, or at least that he doesn’t remember it. Looking at his sheepish expression, I suddenly realised how little I knew about my own father. For starters, how many times had I visited the doctor with him when I wasn’t the patient? Not once. My father rarely fell sick (another trait I’ve thankfully inherited from him) but even on the rare occasions that he did catch a cold or ran a fever, he diligently avoided the doctor. I’ve been trying to get him to go for a full medical check-up ever since he turned 55 last year, but he always finds some excuse to avoid it. How did I miss this? My father, Mr. Dependable-cum-medical-dictionary was scared of Doctors!!!

Doctors, medicines, needle… such a constant part of our lives, we don’t even think about them anymore. Not unless some part of you suddenly wakes up to the obvious and ponders over it long enough to sit and write about it.
One minute you’re the kid sitting teary eyed in the dentist’s chair while he – sweating profusely – tries to wrench your stuck jaw open (extremely scary-hilarious story, wait for the next post), and next minute you’re the parent holding your parent-kid’s hand while he braves the tetanus needle…
Seeing the child in him for the first time… the hilarity of it, the innocence I cannot describe…
Yeah, suddenly made me skip a few years in life! :)

P.S. - I know the above image is a little too cute for this post, but like I said, its just too cute. Found it Here

Friday, February 4, 2011

55er - Handicapped, but why???


As the name implies, 55-ers are posts which contain 55 words or less.
A literary work will be considered 55 Fiction if it has:
·         Fifty-five words or less (A non-negotiable rule)
·         A setting,
·         One or more characters,
·         Some conflict, and
·         A resolution. (Not limited to moral of the story)
The title of the story is not part of the overall word count, but it still can’t exceed seven words.

This is my second attempt.

___________________________________________________________

“Net romances don’t last. This was stupid.”
“Let’s meet just once, please!”
“I’m sorry.”
“But…”

But she was gone, back to her disabled world – one tear glistening on her cheek, glaring wrathfully at her wheelchair.

In a different world, he too logged off wistfully, thinking he wasn’t worth it anyway, and reached for his crutches.
 

Image courtesy - Google

Sunday, January 30, 2011

55er – The Void!

It was hopeless as he leaned in to touch her lips. Underneath the warm lips the response was cold. He drew back, not daring to look in her eyes.
She was determined and he was helpless.

The last he remembered of that night was the sound of fading heels on the concrete.
And the Void!


P.S. - 55-ers are stories told in a total of 55 words or less. The rules are simple –
A literary work will be considered 55 Fiction if it has:
• Fifty-five words or less (A non-negotiable rule)
• A setting,
• One or more characters,
• Some conflict, and
• A resolution. (Not limited to moral of the story)
The title of the story is not part of the overall word count, but it still can’t exceed seven words.
This is my first attempt to write a 55er, and it has come after a lot of painstaking effort, hope you like it.

Here I’m listing a few of my favorite 55ers written by others.
Chronicles : She said Yes!
Horizons - Filled with Hope : Small problem big problem
Horizons - Filled with Hope : Story of life


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

31st night blues!

“What’s so special about this night that every body wants to go out and spread chaos? Isn’t it like any other night?” I asked my brother.

Actually, I was a little deflated thinking it was another New Year’s Eve I was going to be spending indoors like any other ordinary night. So I was trying to convince myself that that’s exactly what it was – just another ordinary night, meant to be slept in whether or not the whole world was out there celebrating. Classic case of sour grapes!

“Well yeah,” came the reply, from my ever optimistic darling brother (I swear, sometimes I feel the sun shines right from inside his bedroom door) “…But then isn’t your birthday also like any other day? Or the night before the results or a job interview? Does it really qualify for all the jitters?
And then, isn’t a date just another coffee or dinner? Or a childbirth just another addition into the already overflowing population?”

OUCH!!

And as if to further emphasize the point or maybe just to drive me out of his room so he could continue surfing the net, he went on “And what about your favourite mozzarella cheese sticks? Isn’t it just like any other food? Meant to fill your stomach?”

“Yeah, yeah! I get your point mister!” I sulked and stalked out.

My brother is getting very wise to my mood swings! Maybe a little too wise!

Monday, January 3, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR

So much to ask for in the new year, so much to hope for...
so much to achieve, so much to look forward to.
Yet so much will change, so many things to leave behind.
so much to expect, and so much unexpected.
Here's to living life in its every beat! 
HAVE A GREAT YEAR FOLKS!