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Thursday, September 05, 2019

Syabrubesi in Nepal

During our overland bus travel from Katmandu to Keyrung the border town of Chinese Tibet we stayed over on our onward trip in a beautiful hill village called Syabrubesi 2380 meters above sea level on the way to Langtan valley and in the Langtang national park known for its trekking routes .
Even though the village is just 80 km from Katmandu it takes more than 8 hours to reach there as the single narrow treachorous uphill road is dangerously steep with dizzying sides goes upto 5000 meters up to descend into valley .
Landslides prone area we had to stop for a couple .
The only vehicles possible are mini buses like ours or jeeps .
The river Trisuli known for white water rafting flows through village .
As it was dark we didnt see much of the village on way but on return we reached in time for lunch and we rested for some time before leaving the place ..
Its a lovely hill station with dreamy cottages spewing thread like smoky chimneys ,foggy valleys,gurgleof river,hot springs ,and chilly weather  .
The food was warm served with great hospitality ..

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Cochin Metro

The extension of Cochin metro to Thycoodam later to Thripunithura will make a big difference in a city thats burdened with poor roads busy traffic and inadeqaute bus services and sorry driving .

All big crowded busy cities in the world have metros as main transportation like  New york Istanbul,Rome,Japan,Singapore,Hong kong etc .

They are efficient quick sleek and user friendly .

The connecting of south and north Railway stations to the most important transport hub of Vytila with a promise of water metro is the best thing that could have  happened to the city .

Now the planners need some imagination .

The KSRTC stand in Ekm should be  dismantled and Vytilla be the main terminal as it can be connected to all parts by metro  .

Cochin west Vypeen and many other parts can be connected by water metros .

Vytilla terminal needs to be a multistoreyed vast complex with metro.bus.boat all in three floors
Multiparking in basement nearby
Malls entertainement hubs hotels markets corporate offices should be incorporated in this sprawling say 15 storey multi complex .

The KSRTC stand in city center should be turned into a huge park with refurbished stadium and a green lung for city .

All places with water acess like Ernakulam market ,marine drive  ,Nettoor,Thevara,wellingdon island,fort cochin ,mattancherry ,edacochin ,kumbalangi should be part of fast water metro connectivity .

Last mile connectivity by E Autos ,Bicycles under apps ,and small shuttle vehicles are needed .

The Cochin Airport definitely needs to be connected by water and land  metro  but airport city fare can be bit more costlier as in many cities .

The unified metro cards should be made available everywhere and topping it should be easy by apps .

Senior citizens and handicapped should get concessions .

People using metros need etiquette training to alight by waiting on sides of doors for people getting down instead of pushing in like bulls .
All transport should be kept clean .

With some effort we can create a modern Cochin .

Friday, August 30, 2019

Manasarovar lake

Manasarovar lake in the foot of Mount Kailas is a divine lake for Hindus,Buddhists,and the Boms .
15000 feet above sea level 300 feet deep 80 km circumference its surface is etheral calm with gentle undulating waves
Golden swans glide on it .
Its freezingly cold but refreshingly divine .
Its connected to the smaller Rakshas taal or demons lake dark foreboding wavy frothy blackish with no living thing on it
Both are the yin and yang of existense.
In science both are born by tectonic shifts and its said the sea pushed up by colliding tectonic plates over millions of years the same collision which brought the mighty Himalayas .
The waves and rare shells on its banks prove this .
The manas sarovar means minds lake in Sanskrit
The lake borne from Brahmas mind the creator of the universe .
Its the source of river BrahmPutra,Indus,Sutlej and Gharra .
We were lucky to reach it and see it wash our face in its waters
Swimming or bathing is prohibited by the Chinese these days .

My Drivers

Drivers in Travel
I was always lucky to get intresting drivers in several of my travels .
The Estonian driver in Stockholm who took me to Viking Radisson from Arlanda airport in 2008 , who talked of Swedens high taxes but how the country took care of its citizens .

Amongst the many cab drivers I had met Hussain was one of them in Mallaca in Malaysia in 2014.
Cab drivers are the best source of information about a place many of them are naturally talkative and for a person like me a pleasant pastime ,
Hussain took me from Malacca bus station to heritage area and dropped me by then I knew all his family and mostly facts about Malacca ,
The taxi driver who drove me a longer distance in Kuala lumpur when I went to TBS bus stand in outskirts had more time and was also intellectually more attuned ,he delved into philosophical explanations of life in general and later an in-depth analysis of Malaysian life style for an Indian Tamil origin Malaysian born driver he was cerebral ,was so absorbed in his speech I forgot to take his snap for posterity Hussain gave me no such intellectual constraints 😁
Of course Balis Dewa is still a good friend rather than a driver
He cud sing bhajans with style or cud take u to a strip bar
I would list him as the most cheerful all rounder in Bali
The drivers in UAE mostly Pakistani ones are talkative and reliable
Adhil in my early days took me and family on our first visit to the Burj Arab by his contacts and into the palace in Zabeel itself as he had his contacts .
So many airport trips to Dubai or Abudhabi from Al ain for meetings in limousines sent by business class sponsored tkts travelling in style in midnights at times with premila too
The sardar driver in Sharjah
And the malayalee driver who took me for an iftar in a tiny hotel when he broke his fast before he took me to Sharjah airport
Or Sulaiman my moplah song specialist guru of my driving licence

We did meet one intresting Pakistani driver Khan  in Labuan malaysia
I once travelled in a cab driven by a dark Rajini look alike with long hair and he had Rajni mannerisms which iam sure was his mebbe Rajni took from him

The kathmandu Ram was another gem
Quiet cheerful helpful loyal punctual had lots to learn from him though on first look he sounded  like a dumb guy and a con man
What poor judging by me
Ram was an eipitome of peace not at all agitated at the chaos in kathmandu roads but drove with equanamity .

The nameless memory of a driver we got from kolkata ...Howrahs dangerous streets who turned out not only honest but caring driver.
He was with us all day

The young man who drove us to Nathulla pass in his maruthi van in Gangtok showing us sights which would be forever etched in our minds .
The nepalese drivers on our Kailas trip driving us through dangerius curves filled with landslides or the Chinese drivers on other side one of whom had a peculiar ability to drive into muddy ditvhes so much so we called him kuzhiyan or pit man in malayalam

How can i not include Dharmasiri fernando who was around my age who drove us around in our 3 days in Sri Lanka taking us to the heights of nuwara eliya or the lovely tooth temple in kandy or the crowded markets of colombo
Dharmasiri was a family man we got to know his son a customs officer who greeted us in the airport and about his capable daughter settled in Doha .

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Cancer myths

The Label Cancer has an ominous ring to it and unlike many other illness that affects humans it creates alarm and anxiety as there is a stigma associated with this disease as an incurable affliction leading to the end of the road.

To a large extent the information cascade of the present times has changed this but at same time a lot of myths and false news hovers around cancer.

The Internet is a double edged sword in the sense it provides unlimited information on anything and  is just a click away but at the same time it depends on the right way to access that information otherwise one is flooded with misinformation,

Cancer is one ailment that has been scourged by such false information.

One of the greatest setbacks to cancer management is these myths.

Way back in 400 BC Hippocrates the father of medicine said that science and opinion are two different things, while science begets knowledge opinion begets ignorance on several occasions

Cancer is abnormal multiplication of tissue cells and spread of these abnormal cells into other parts by blood stream, lymphatic circulation or by direct spread

Each tissue will have its own type of cancer and to call cancer as a single disease is as if to call the Alps a single hill.

So it is with the treatment of cancer, it is unique and different to different types and to different patients.

So many factors like the stage, the aggressiveness ,the condition of the patient ,his other diseases , the center where he has his treatment ,his compliance ,all these factors have a part to play in the outcome of cancer treatment .

So no cancer patient on treatment need to be anxious in comparing themselves to other patients as even in the same type of cancer it could be different in different patients,

This anxiety follows natural discussions that happens between patients and families in cancer hospital waiting rooms ,while this is good in several respects as to get a patients perspective and families outlook to the  treatment undergone and to get tips on food and other issues ,one has to be vigilant of not trying to substitute the experiences  of the other patient for oneself ,because they could be totally different this is where the counselling of health professionals in the center would help the patient to clarify the truth

Another very common myth is on diet and supplements

This is one of the most common topics that is addressed when patients and their families meet

Man by nature has a tendency to give advices based on his experiences but medicine being an actual science is not always based on subjective descriptions or advices

At times the advice is given by people who are not related or by visitors or by a neighbor who may his or her own motives or reasons for telling them

Most advices are on diet or on what not to use in diet
There are circulating myths online and offline about food fads for cancer patients those good and those harmful for them

Generally cancer patients have Dysguesia or altered tastes or early satiation or anorexia due to their disease or as adverse effects of their treatments, hence the food consumed would definitely be lesser than earlier and loss of weight and lassitude are very common for cancer patients

Dietary fads are a disaster for such patients

 In most myths most food are banned

Like cancer patients are asked not to take sugar, the explanation being sugar would feed the cancer cells and hence it would grow,

All cells need sugar or glucose for their energy and all food constituents are transformed into glucose or energy, in no way does sugar have any special nutritive factor to malignant cells, in fact sugar is a good form of nutrition for a cancer patient!

Milk is another prohibited food citing its mucous nature as one that would cause mucous secretion from tumors which again is a fallacy, in fact milks are wonderful sources of nourishment.

Avoiding red meat is cited often as red meat is said to be cause of several cancers,

This again is not the truth ,red meat like many other co factors if used in long term coupled with other factors like familial tendency or genetic mutants or several other factors that are involved in the slow and long term evolving into a cancer is just one spoke in the wheel and taking red meat alone cannot cause cancer

In cancer patients taking red meat once in while if the patient likes it will only provide him good nutrition, so he or she should not be denied his likes due to fallacies.
Artificial additives are painted as cancer villains most of the additives are taken for enhancement of taste in miniscule quantities and are not responsible for the evil they are blamed upon.

Acidic food to be avoided is another big myth, this is so said as the blood is mildly alkaline PH and acidic food is supposed to topple the balance,

Nothing of the kind as our body has enough in it to balance those mildly acidic or alkaline food and correct its PH by itself and it has nothing to do with cancer.

Supplements are mostly not needed as some are potentially harmful as most supplements do not label their ingredients and are conveniently called as herbal or natural food products or anti-oxidants with tall claims of curing cancer, they are generally costly and world over account for huge business by exploiting a cancer patients who would fall to their advertising charms and spend money which would have been better used for better natural foodstuffs like fruits.

At times some ingredients in supplements may cause kidney or liver damage and this will prevent cancer treatment by using conventional accepted forms of treatment as patient may go in for renal or hepatic failure

We should advice any patient on treatment to inform their physician or health professionals of any supplements planned to be taken by them whatever be the advice or claims the said supplement has

As Andrew Schopenhauer mentioned in 7 th century facts are always not very attractive

Initially they may be ridiculed ,secondly may be violently opposed ,and later only are they accepted whereas false claims are usually accepted easier because they offer escape routes from what the patient fears like undergoing chemotherapy etc but in the long run it is to the detriment of the patient
There is no alternative medicine.
There is only scientifically proven, evidence-based medicine supported by solid data or unproven medicine, for which scientific evidence is lacking

Under the rules of science, people who make the claims bear the burden of proof.

Testimonials or advertisements can never equal scientific evidences or studies
Promoters of quackery wear the cloak of science and are great marketing professionals

Another oft reported accusation is that the scientific community keeps facts away from the patient as a great ploy of the medical and pharmaceutical community, the very fact that the five year survival has shot up from 10 % in the sixties to more than 50 % today suggests this can’t be so !
So the cancer patient or his family should be open to suggestions and discussions with other families or the society itself but the decisions they take for the patient should always be after consultation with their health professional with whom they should discuss any such advisesThey should be beyond myths and should also not spread such myths to other patients.

Monday, August 19, 2019


Me seen in dark glasses in a boat in Srinagar Dal lake  with some of my classmates of Kilpauk Medical college
We stayed more than four or five days in Srinagar .
It was nice and cool even though it was may .

This is the same Kashmir which throws stones at our security forces today
 at least some who are egged to do it .
Sad .
To me Kashmiris are not only the most good looking people they are the most genuine gentle people who then went out of way to help people .
Today many who belonged in Kashmir  have been driven away ,thier houses taken ,and many have been living in camps in hot plains for years .
They too are Kashmiris
They too owned and belonged to the valley for generations .
To be driven away from your home ,to be plucked from your roots ,to be rendered homeless as floatsam in debris is traumatic .
Those days they were considered no different from any others .
people who talk of kashmiri honour ignore them they have been wiped from the collective secular memories .
Some of the people  for past decade have been inculcated , instigated  ,supported ,to continue the tirade .
They are fighting the battle of others .
The previous Govts have been spineless with Pakistan doing all this .
They allowed Kashmiris to move against India by exploiting them by looting them along with the political crony families there .
From pandit Nehru our Kashmir policies were totally wrong and this was used by Pakistan to a brink of almost losing it .
At last a messiah arrived to save our country .
He acted firmly with his no nonsense deputy
The Modi Amitshah combine is lethal to Pakistan.
Imran khans feverish gibberish of losing one excuse for his countrys crooked ways is evident .
Hes scared and countered .
Pakistan is one country that has harmed us a lot though i will say its people are not to blame
Most are good people and loving
We do have indians too who have views inimical to our nation
We had leaders and parties who were the reason for gentle kashmiris turning militant .
In one stroke all these dirt have been put in place
Kashmir will heal
Pandits will return
Kashmiris will be happily part of india instead of doing things never part of thier nature .
Pakistan will learn its lesson
Its after this we need to renew our brotherhood with the Pakistani people
Hoping for this day


Sabarimala is a hill in Western ghats situated admitst thick forests .
Its famously known for the Ayyappa temple atop it .
Crores of devotees throng to it from all parts of world during its two seasons and every month beggining for 5 days (malayalam month ).
Legend describes Lord Ayyappa as creation of Shiva Vishnu ..Hari hara putran .
The sthala purana calls him an eternal bachelor naisthika bramachari .
Every idol in a Hindu temple has its regulations and its based on traditions passed over generations and accepted by devotees ..
Some temples did have harmful practices but most these days are obsolete .
Sabarimala temple definitely cannot be included in this list .
Women between menarche and below 50 are prohibited from temple entry
It is related to the bachelorhood status of the lord .
That doesnt mean that the Lord is affected by the women in group suggested .
Tatwamasi  which means YOU ARE THAT in accordance to advaitic teachings says you are part of God .
Which is why all Ayyappa devotees are called Swami or Ayyappa himself .
There is no distinction of caste color creed and religion in its entry
There is only age restriction for women
And genuine women devotees do not mind

The devotee is needed to maintain strictly vegetarian fare,have baths morning and evening and go to temples .
The vradda or wow is for 41 days but nowadays its shortened by many .

The controversial Supreme court ruling to allow women of all ages shud be allowed to enter the temple based on a file suited with an agenda .
Most polticians and NGO s who supported it knew no ethos of its history or were  not intrested .
The ruling was misused by a vengeful State Govt by harassing devotees denying them rest during the climb  in order to defame the temple .
The Govt sponsored Dewaswoms known for ill efficiency systematically squeeze the devotees.
Women below 50  and children above menarche understand the rules and wait for thier turn
Whereas the courts and media intimidate  them .
And the CM and his coterie behave like the Nazis did to Jews .
Even now the harassement continues like devotees arent allowed to park in Pamba nearer to shrine but in Nilackal and take a paid KSRTC shuttle rest of way
They are forced to return from top ASAP as if they are terrorists who will cause havoc
This still happens though no one mentions them
Will this dirty gang try it with minorities
In any situation ?
And the useless courts of this country behave like deaf adders .

At least young women were given rest from stressful journey.  what can be achieved by breaking the rules of the temple?,  diverting the society from useful work.  Any logic will know a young women is capable better than a 50yrs old

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Silence of our souls


Have we all not stood in the crossroads in life where we are flummoxed at choices given to ,

we did go in one way right or wrong, that was our chosen way

was it predestined that we chose ?

 it is difficult to answer for with all our rational thinking ,
we are beings who are being directed by someone somewhere .
Is it an alien sitting in some remote galaxy who can control our tomorrows
Or is it a just power who doles out his rewards and punishments as we need them
Or is it just all a coincidence
Will we ever get answers
Idont know
Maybe death will reveal the enigma maybe it would be just an amnesic nothingness where one floats in suspended animation till sailing into a new mothers womb
The fatality of it all this endless churn of life death after life good bad ugly evil all turn to be labels
None can tell us truth not those inner engineerings or mumbo jumbos of ritualists or jargon of science.
That just has to come from within from deep in our cells the primordial answers probably put so well by Ramanamaharshi
It can come only from the silence of our souls .


I love rains whether  in Brunei or Cochin or in Al Ain
The best swims i had was during heavy rains
Generally not a soul would venture into the pool in Brunei then
In fact the rules prohibited using it as one could get electrocuted by an untimely lightening but then tell me a better way to die than that !!
Walking in rains isnt so good specially in Cochin as vehicles splatter you with mud and may mostly knock you down not at all pleasant as you land up with boken bones mostly broken mind too .
Rains are best to sit in ones house
in mine in the  lovely balcony gazing into the green expanse as it pours its benevolence ,a hot chai would help in the gaze too .
Driving in rains too isnt very pleasant as visibility is less and potholes are covered not by tar but by water and one could splatter a pedestrian or a two wheeler inadvertently.
A few days back i did this unintentionally to an auto guy who promptly overtook me and stopped his auto in front of me as he calculated i would hit him and then he can fleece me .
With kerala being what it is ,whatever a car guy does or doesnt he has to pay to the poor comrades in lesser wheels.
Commie justice
I just managed to not hit him and shouted at him for which he shouted back telling me you spattered me i wanted to shatter you .

Yup possible but then things dont work as you want comrade ,and you of all narrow arrogance can never decipher it ,
Lol salaam get lost ,and iam on way ,

though i told all this only to myself 😁

Rains are nostalgic
Remember once as i sped on my cycle home from school when i was around 12 years old my mother towelling me and asking me to lie down for some time covering me with a blanket as i was shivering, later feeding me a delicious hot lunch.
Thats rains for you !

Ever drop  a time capsule a comfort resort a pleasure ride

Monday, July 15, 2019

Road trip to Kozhencherry

Another Road trip and long drive to Kozhencherry ,heart of Marthomite zone .

We went to attend the funeral of my friends 86 year old dad in his native place .

With the luxury of our son driving ,we both were free ,me to take pictures .

Ithink Kerala is truly Gods own country , specially the Alapuzha Changanessery road via Kuttanad .

Houseboats all tied up ,qauint bridges
Fresh fishes and duck sold on roadside , pedestrian bridges one of  which we walked climbing up to reach its middle for some pictures  but found one auto waiting for us to give way.

Wonder how the auto fitted in  that bridge and climbed up.

We ran down to allow it to pass .

The backwaters was flowing in parts ,had a carpet of green weeds on others .

The toddy signs and bars were plenty, and sea food joints vied with each other .

It was one living miasma in a green canopy .
It wasnt rainy so we missed the surreal clouds .

Once we reached to other end the green hilly Thiruvalla pathanamthitta belt it was another wonder .
But for a stop for some roadside vadas and tea we drove at a stretch .

Reaching Kozhencherry the flowing pampa was seen in glimpses .
The rubber estates ,very neat houses some stately, others cottages covered in green with coloured flowers on both sides of the black narrow neat road were a feast to the eyes .

Traffic was typically malludom with unexpected vehicles starling one in all directions .

Probably only place one didnt expect a two wheeler was the top of the car .

Maybe one day mallu will find some way to do that .

The kuzhichala Marthomite church was 1500 years old but modified a decade back it had a lovely elevation .

I knew a bit of the very intresting history of Syrian christians thier branches  from the times of jesus himself
Very intresting
Wonder why no one made an epic movie in a grand scale on this
It could get an oscar .

The ceremony was somber with my friend giving an emotional memorial speech .

We returned back with so much memories of a fine day.

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