Sab Theek Ho Jayega !

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Kochi / Ernakulam, Kerala, India
A Doctor who loves to Live, Love and Laugh with the World! Absolutely crazy about Cricket ! Other Qualifications: A Tired Bathroom Singer, Retired Gully Cricketer and Satire Writer !

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Small things that make a BIG difference !

Aamir Khan's "Satyameva Jayate" has evoked sharp reactions from people. People are talking about social evils. Female infanticide has become a topic of heated debate on Facebook and other social media. Some admire Aamir for his concern and some say, he is doing all this for money. I don't know the truth.

I was too 'small' to understand why my late Grandfather insisted upon putting off the oil wick in our pooja room every night. Later as a grown up, I realized it was not miserly behavior but just a precaution by an extremely wise man who cared for his home and family. We had a lot of rats in our large ancestral home and they could have easily put the house on fire at night if we were to leave the wick burning.

When in high-school, we had a lesson, "A spark neglected, burns the house". A small misunderstanding between two friends Ivan and Gabriel ends up ruining both the families before they could realize what had happened. This story actually helped me to understand the great old man better !

Four decades later, I look at people around me and often get frustrated by the absolute lack of care for public property, water, electricity and such things and most importantly the time. Every walk of like, we overlook the small things that will finally make a big difference. But we seldom realize them, give importance to them or do something to change them.

Leaking Pipes: Every place I have visited has a leaking pipe or a pipe that has been left open by someone who just doesn't care. We just don't care, do we ? Thousands of liters of purified chlorinated water is lost every day. We see a lot of places in our country thirsting for water and we see absolute lack of remorse while wasting water.

Every drop of water we are wasting is taking us one step towards a universal drought some day ! Can't we see this and understand this ? Can't we take the small step to change this to avert a disaster ?

Electricity:  Most of us rarely forget to switch off lights, fans and air-conditioners in our own homes. But we seldom care when we are at office or in public places. When it is in the office or a public place, nobody bothers to switch off a light or a fan when not in use. It isn't our property and hence not our duty or not our bother is the attitude. But is it true ?

WE are footing the 'Bill' for all this wastage. The public lights are lit with the taxes we pay. Should we waste it ? I shot this 'day-light robbery' of tax-payer's money on an evening on my way back home. This street lamp was lit at 4:10 PM as we can see bright day light behind the lamp. This wasn't the single lamp. Every single lamp along the road was lit.

We can ill-afford this, but this is what is happening in every state, every place and every nook and corner of our country. When I pointed this out, the general reaction was, "This is nothing. It happens everywhere". My question is, "But why ? Why does this happen everywhere ? Why should it happen at all ?" This happens because, "We just don't care !"
Day Light Robbery of Electricity !

Bad Roads: How a small hole unfilled in time becomes a POTHOLE is known to all of us. Yet our administration has mostly remained completely oblivious and that is how we have so many potholes littering our roads soon after every monsoon. "A Stitch in times saves nine". We have learned. But we some how prefer to wait till 9 and even 99 are necessitated.
POTHOLE in the making...
If we the people begin to question government, the rulers will have to answer and behave. Else we have the power to change them in the next elections and teach them a lesson. It is another matter that many of us don't even bother.

But before we exercise our powers, let us ask ourselves, "Are we doing our duties as citizens ? Are we doing the small things that matter ?"

Let us do the small things right. It is never too late to learn, reform and work for a better tomorrow !

Dr. Punned-it

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Palm Wine, Fenny and My Experiments with Truth !

In Vino Veritas; In Wine Lies The Truth !

I have often been dismissed as a hopeless and completely useless appendage by my friends and advised to mend my ways for a hip, happy and happening life. My Mom comforts herself in the belief that her son is 'clean' at the age of 42. One good thing about me is there is at least one reason for my wife to be happy about her husband.

The reason for all this is that I don't 'drink'. Thus according to my friends, I have wasted almost 60% of my life while expecting to kick the bucket at 70. The tragedy if I die much earlier isn't just that I will be merely kicking the bucket. But I will be doing so by considerably increasing the percentage of the wasted life !

But am I really a teetotaler ? Historically speaking, nope ! I am not the 'good son' my Mom has always believed me to be. Nor my wife is fully right about my virgin status when it comes to the ultimate 'truth serum' also known as alcohol !

In vino veritas: In wine there is the truth. The centuries old wisdom has more than a pint of truth in it. I have seen most of my friends becoming extremely generous, emotional and truthful after downing a couple of pegs. So what if it isn't strictly wine they are consuming ? All forms of alcohol has been included in the category when they said, "In wine lies the truth". Perhaps the intensity of truth varies with the concentration of the serum in the liquid.

Can we actually say, "In wine lies the truth" ? Doesn't it becomes an oxymoron ? How can the truth lie ? Well, that wanders into the linguistic domain and that will require another post. I have written about the "Spiritual aspects of the Truth Serum" before. This is about MY experiments with the "Truth serum" and let me come back to that.

My earliest experiment with truth began at a very young boy, perhaps at 7 years of age. We used to have a guy called Chukudu bringing us freshly distilled 'Palm Wine'. It used to be sweet and very tasty. It was believed to be good for the underweight kids with lack of appetite. I was so underweight those days, even the good old 'Kallu' couldn't help my appetite. I don't remember when and why it stopped flowing. Perhaps the fear of boys growing up with addiction ended it all.
small G !
By the time I was 10 years old, I graduated to serious stuff.  There always was a stock of Goan Cashew Fenny in our home. It was supposed to be good for the cold and fever. Our grandfather used to give us this semi-sweet but funny tasting liquid in small ounce glasses when we had cold and fever. I don't know how I developed a liking for this stuff. On a fine rainy day, I ended up guzzling quite a lot of it in small quantities at small intervals without any of the elders coming to know. I replaced the liquid with equal quantity of water each time. I ended up sleeping almost an entire day and beyond after that. May be because I realized it was the effect of the burning liquid, I gave up on that. Even though nobody at home came to know of this adventure, grandpa was heard complaining about the Fenny having lost its potency !

Joining Medical College Bellary brought me to a new world. There were teenaged boys getting a feel of the freedom for the first time during hostel life. A lot of boys lost their alcohol virginity. I stayed off alcohol may be because of the financial implications or may be because of the promise I had made to my Mom. I am not sure if it was the good son or the helpless son who remained teetotaler.

But that doesn't mean I don't like alcohol. I have guzzled down those Ayurvedic "Arishtams" during childhood. I used to love them and I love them even today; especially the "Dashamoolarishtam". That definitely proves I do like alcohol when they come in the taste that suits me.

I have enjoyed the "Grape wine" prepared by Christian aunties in Kerala. Many of them have been kind to offer me bottles of this sweet and tasty beverage every year. I have stayed off this 'wine' for sometime now after I developed severe acidity following ingestion of a whole bottle of that during a holiday with my cousins in Nelliampathy about 6 years ago.

During our rainy holiday in Madikeri in August 2008, I obliged my friends and ordered some wine. But this wine was not the grape wine I had enjoyed. It turned out to be something stronger and hit me hard. I ended up with a burned tummy and a spinning head. But managed to survive to write this story.
Rain, Wine and Dine !
During our Bellary Alumni Reunion with the delicious acronym BAR in December 2010, Murali tried to graduate me with his brand of a cocktail or mock tail. But it turned out to be a knock-tail and was really damn-awful. I had to disappoint him and ended up as miserable as I always have been. But the BAR definitely was a great experience.
Raising the BAR !
Finally we come to "Zindagee Na Milegi Dobara" in December 2011 in Kundapur. The night of 26 December, I was finally convinced to take 'at least something'. So I took about 5ml of some drink and mixed it with 300ml of Sprite and then sat with the men as a man. Unfortunately, I still couldn't finish that drink. Next day on the island, Dabs forced me to finish off what was left at the bottom of a beer bottle. Thus finally, my hitherto wasted life has been given some kind of salvation  !
Truth seekers on isolated island !
Kingfisher Grounded !
Hence at last, I have truly and truthfully gained the legitimacy to say and write, "Live, Love and Laugh !"

Dr. Punned-it

Friday, May 4, 2012

If Mamata Banerjee were a Malayalee !

The native Malayalees and then the naturalized Malayalees like me don't really appreciate our politicians and keep on criticizing them. I attended a function last night, that was graced by a couple of ministers and a handful of politicians. They came across as simple people who took in their stride, a lot of bungling by the organizers and event-managers.

While watching all the Mal-function,  I had a nightmarish idea. What would have happened if some of those maverick leaders from other states were to be Malayalees ?

The answers are at once interesting as well as scary ! My first thought was about what would have happened if Mamata Banerjee were to be a Malayalee ?

She would have been Mamadha Bannerjee and would have been called 'Chechi' !

Chechi would have banned all the cartoons and the ban would have been a 'Bann' with an additional 'n'.

All pending railway projects in Kerala would have been completed and the Edappally railway over-bridge near Amrita hospital would have become a reality long ago and not remained a welcome arch for over a decade.
The Welcome Arch of Valappally !
But Edappally would have been renamed Valappally because 'Edathu' stands for 'Left'.

As the railways minster, Chechi would have demanded Rs. 5000 Crores from the exchequer for a railway line between Kochi and Dubai.
Kochi - Dubai Railway Line
Chechi would have banned the word 'Mallu' and the movie "Mallu Singh" would have been released as "Malayalee Singh". Else the Producer and Director of the movie would have been in jail.
'Cinemala' the popular spoof program on Asianet channel would have been history. All the parody artists in Kerala would have died of starvation or joined one of the leftist unions or become naxalites.

EMS, AKG and Punnapra - Vayalar struggle would have become history from the history text books in Kerala.

'Deshabhimani' wouldn't be available in Ernakulam public library.

The Zimbly slippers would have made a killing by projecting the leader as their unofficial brand-ambassador.
Zimbly Slippers !
Kochi Traffic Police who are happy barricading all right turns would have been forced to ban all left turns in the city. Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and all cities in Kerala would have become 'No Left Turn' cities.

Luckily she never became a defense minister. Else a Lieutenant Colonel would have become Rightinant Colonel.

If she were to be the I & B Minister, the once popular television serial "Left Right Left" would have become "Right Right Right".

Wayanad would be vying for separate state status.

Left leaning photos of Pisa tower would have been banned in Kerala.
No more Left leaning !
A lot of things would have happened if Mamata Didi were to be born a Malayalee. It isn't practical to list everything here. Thankfully, she is not a Malayalee; else most importantly, this piece wouldn't have been posted !

Dr. Punned-it