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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Moonshot

“Moon shot for cancer cure “is the catch word today on the eve of the World Cancer day
What is meant by moonshot?
During the sixties there was a race for the first man to reach the moon, a race between the cold war rivals USA and USSR, the spurt in US Government spending and focused efforts by its rocket scientists made it the winner and that jump  was then called as a moonshot.
So any focused concentrated attempts to a target by all agencies including the government to achieve that target is termed Moonshot.
Oncology did have a previous moon shot and it did bring about dramatic developments though the cure which was aimed for was never reached.
Today both the President and the Vice President of USA have initiated a moon shot again which will definitely make a difference .
Cancer is one stigmatic diagnosis that has an imagery which is very negative.
For years people have always associated cancer with dread and as a dead end to life
To a certain extent with all the advances even today it is true.
But to a large extent their comprehensibility of the enigma is totally wrong
Cancer is not one disease.
If someone says we conquer cancer it is unlike saying one conquers small pox or TB
Calling cancer as a single disease is akin to calling the Himalayas as a hill!
Every cancer is different and depending on its organ of origin, the person it afflicts and its aggressiveness
Over the years research has brought about a paradigm shift in its management, survival and cure too .They all have  increased to a remarkable amount but there is still miles to go in order to relieve every unfortunate who has been diagnosed with one and definitely a surge in its research and funding will help accelerate this process .

In that sense the moon shot is welcome 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Its all about destiny



P.G.Wodehouse is an English writer for those who have not heard of him and his writings come under the genre of humor and satire.
When I mention not heard of him though sacrosanct to his ardent readers to a large part of humanity he is an unknown,
They vaguely picture him as a Victorian writer dabbling on dreary earls in their foggy castles and slippery butlers.
Well all these are true but he means much more than all this to his admirers
Evangelism is difficult with PGW as converting someone to like his books often results in abject failures, either you are tuned to like him or not .
It’s in ones genes
 it’s all about the DNA either one owns it or one doesn’t there is no half way to it !
One mostly doesn’t fall to PGW literary charms unless there is a plum in the blood I would say, plum incidentally is his fond nickname by which his fans endear him with.
The best thing about his books are they are light and settle down like a wisp on  ones grey matter quietly like a feather floating to the ground in slow motion .
They pep you up like no antidepressant can ever do, one minute you are in the depths of pathos and looming dark clouds have engulfed your poor soul and the next you dip into a plum tome the sunshine peeps to dry and refresh the sodden soul.
The books tingle the laughter pheromones which happily trill all over and the reader is suffused with a calm and happiness akin to Zen meditation.
They never lurk on forbidden crevices like fear as for example a Stephen king’s books does where ones thudding heart threatens to escape its bony  cages or where one’s eyes threaten to jump out  with terror !
Nor do they tax the intellectual faculties like heavy tomes of classics or philosophies but just leaves the cerebral convolutions in peace, there are no hovering dark clouds which excite the lacrimal glands to profusion, of course one can laugh so much that one cries.
All his books are universal and one never needs to hide it from ones children for fear of forbidden matter ,the only problem is they hardly look at it
Reading a PGW can be anywhere anytime and anyplace in the book not that it has no continuity, it       does have but the beauty lies in its analogies its minutiae where every word excels in making you smile or laugh and one can just pick any page at random from any PGW book and by the end of that page one is assured at least four to five laughs.
Which writer can give you a guarantee to beat that?
His books are full of  of stern aunts who cajole and threaten alternatively their feeble nephews or try to pair them with quirky damsels  ,feeble uncles who totter around pigs and stammer in public meetings t it hovers on floating butlers who can in a deuce find  solutions for vexing issues out of thin air like magic and present  them to their masters with panache .                                                                                                                                                  There are decrepit and wasteful men of the world who only see the sun setting which prods them to their nocturnal visits to lazy clubs and bars and live the life of the idle and rich, there are endowed rich uncles who provide unstable allowances for these men for their frolicking amongst the evils nof humanity  ,there are chefs who with their nimble talents produce food for the gods and are constantly in danger of being pilfered from their masters , there are loony thick eye browed doctors who treat the disturbed .
What’s so great about all this?
Any non plummite may ask this but a plumite would just give a knowing smile, for he knows hidden among these simple plots are words and sentences that would evoke the smile from the thinnest lipped Englishman!
One can spot a PGW fan reading his book in public from far.
Generally these men or women give the surroundings definite  doubts of their sanity as they show their myriad emotions on their crinkled faces  which would occasionally burst into guffaws at frequent intervals followed by embarrassed smiles and nodding at the neighborhood which by  now is sure of what they suspected all along .
I am yet to hear of any police complaint from the public on the man or the woman who keeps grinning at his book in airports or railway stations and giving suspicious smiles yet, but the days aren’t far for this to go with the paranoia of the times.
The fans of Wodehouse also tend to group together and have meets that are as quirky as they come most of them turn into characters in their favorite plum book and for a foreigner the whole bunch needs urgent attention and strait jackets, they are generally seen in coffee houses or clubs trying to pilfer each other’s caps or tapping one another with long umbrellas or these days taking selfies and uploading them furiously while constantly shouting what ho what ho at each other!
Like those mysterious masonic lodge members a plumite always recognizes a fellow plumite and there is a sense of blood hood when they sight the other. Like the native pygmies of dark Africa howls of recognition are a must .
Promotions are made and good wills are transferred in society they say these days all on a plum
 I have heard that millions of dollars in business have become realities because it was between PGW fans!
Romances should be sprouting too and one would hear of PGW couples in the future though my romantic interest doesn’t touch a PGW with a long pole .
Once again this piece is not to spread the word that PGW should be read
Like once it seems God told a fiery preacher I don’t need your services keep off so does PGW all the time, he would be read by those destined to do so
And we are all happy with the present small focused PGW lovers
 if you miss it its simple you have missed it there are no two words on it
its all about destiny ,what ho !





Monday, January 18, 2016

A to Z of a Mallu

A to Z of a Mallu.
iam under H ..
A.... stands for Auto rickshaw. Kerala without an auto is like himalayas without a mountain .
These midgets on 3 wheels meander through narrow roads with grinning devils on its controls. The evil of its drivers become lesser as one travels from south to north Kerala.
B .....is mainly for Bar ..A mallu stands in que in two places one in Dubai becos he wud get kicked if he doesnt and two in beverage counters for his daily liquid qouta .
Bars are essential for his breathing and are daily news in TV with corrupt ministers taking bribes from barmen thats a lot of B for you.
C .....is what else , communism for the chettas and chechis who feel romantic when they chant slogans for cuba ..another C .
D.... is for of course Dubai
one place in the world other than malluland swarming with mallus .it seems Arabs often trip on a grinning mallu in Dubai and every house in kerala gets "notgettingtogulp "syndrome if one of them dont reach its holy shores .
E is for elephant.... for a mallu life isnt one without an elephant to lean on
from plucking at its tail for a fortune to staring between its legs for virility , the mallu considers the elephant as its velliya chetta chechi .
F ...is of course for fish , like the Bongs the mallu shares three passions two F as in football and fish and third F is communism a lethal combo ,with tons of fish floating in his tummy playing football is also communism for the mallu .
G is for Gods own country ....dont know who coined this catchy phrase ,to the mallu its proof that he is Gods own with his devil giving a wide grin .
H is for hartal earlier called bandh !
clever to have changed hartal from bandh when court banned bandh ,and court is yet to recover from that masterstroke.
Mallu gets deaddiction if he doesnt get a hartal or two in a month. .
I ....is for inquilab zindabaad. From toddlers to tottering grandpas this cry is in every mallus soul but most dont know what they are howling it for every time they do so .
J is joking ...every mallu loves good jokes and has an excellent sense of humour and not slapstick at all .
K..... is for kallu the white frothing toddy from coconut or palm tree , every mallu devours this the men painting thier mustaches white ,the women make thier appaams with some kallu thrown in .
L.... if for the multi purpose garment lungi preferably as flashy as possible which he just drapes around his waste and does all his tricks folding and unfolding. Never ever attempt to ape him in this as you will be shamefully embarassed .
M ...to the mallu ....M can only be thier plumpy but agile aging superstar Mohanlal who would give. Marlon brando a run for his money .
N.... of course stands for a mallu speciality whammo ,seen nowhere in the world its called Nokku coolie which means i see you pay, in short the powerful unions force you to do the work but pay them as they look at work ..looking at these are the cops the judges and politicians of malluland smiling benignly at their juvenile children.
O.... is a spl word for mallu as he exagerrates on it while speaking manglish like Ofiice hOtel etc .
P .....is for pssst Mallu porn try googling it when no one s looking
R... is for Russia. Most mallus still have a love for old commie countries ..stalins and lenins float around in mallu houses still .
S is for Shaaapu meaning kallu shaapu where one gets food which will surely create a hole not in the wallet but in the stomach for a non mallus with no guts .
T is for chaaya
The mallu can open a tea shop anywhere even in the moon .
U.... is for Unions who threaten everyone management ,employees ,its mandatory almost all days for its members to watch the pirates of the Caribean .
V ....is a unique achievement of mallu its called vaaya nokki that is a mallu can gaze at nothing for long periods .
W.... is wayside shop ..these dot the state and one can get ciggys beedis and chaaya .
X... is for x ray eyes of mallu turned on whenever he sees any female .
Y is for music legend yesudas
to a mallu Dasettan is last frontier in music .
And finally. Z is for the zebra crossing something no mallu ever uses !
Jai mallus

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Anatomy lab

Anatomy lab in kilpauk medical college where i did my MBBS ( photo courtesy )
We used to be around 5 to 10 one table with a body
Once our venerable and legendary professor of Anatomy Dr Elizabeth Vishwanath who was once @ to her a college beauty in Christian Medical College Vellore where she studied and students used to jump hostel walls to get a glimpse of her 

her classmate Viswanath did more than mere wall jumping and became her life partner !

EV as we used to call her was a tall stately lady , at that time in her late fifties ,with an excellent sense of humour '

 of course to us second years her presence did create a flutter .
So it did to most of the teaching staff doctors too expect Dr Ramchandran who looked like a tough hero with his big mustache .
To him EV or anyone else were never fear factors ,

 he did his job and no one meddled with him .
He was very  friendly with the boys who loved to fete him with drinks and biriyani in the hostel on function days .
Ramchandran sir would sit like a king with his bloodshot eyes and crack jokes on all , he was great fun .
EV had a healthy respect for him and gave him a wide berth .
Coming back to EV Madam ,once she walked into the fully crowded anatomy hall as seen in the picture and she as her habit was quietly slithered to our table
One of my classmates I would call him S  was intent on his dissection and never knew EV was behind him .
She placed her big hand on the posterior of S who reflexively did a virtual Bharatanatyam step as he jumped in surprise ,he saw EV and now did a kathakali leap !
Then EV gave her magnum opus comments

"Dont worry man i just wanted to demonstrate the action of the Gluteus Maximus ( which incidentally is the buttock muscle !!)
But you gave demo of so many muscles tq "
Grinning EV walked off as we all laughed .
Even Ramchandran sir gave a villanous smile from his corner .

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Daughter

The train rolled into Tirur railway station slowly coming to a stop
It was an odd time and the platform was empty.
from a sleeper compartment a middle aged man got down with a small shoulder bag which he clutched with care ,his other hand was closed on a small palm of his daughter ,the child was groggy with sleep and her small frame slowly got down the steps guided by her father ,she never uttered a word of complaint but there was tiredness in that innocent face .
the dawn was a bit chilly as it had rained in fact it was still drizzling he brought her closer to him in a protective embrace on her shoulders he too had a sad drained look to him .
the sad couple walked to the station masters room at the to the other end ,
all the shops in the platform were shut tight and the rare bench had snoring figures
no one noticed them trudging on
the train slowly moved away from the station on to its long journey ,
the station became very quiet .
the station master was in his room poring over his ledger and fiddling with it ,he looked up at the knock by the stranger with the small child ,
yes what do you want ?
Sir we had just arrived from cochin in the train ,sir can we get a retiring room for the rest of the night my daughter is very tired and no hotels would give us a room at this hour !
he looked at them ,the man looked educated and the child was half asleep
how come this time do you belong to Tirur .?
sir we had come here to go to Tirunavaya in the morning but we need to rest for some time till the train from Chennai reaches as her uncle will be in that
we have come to perform rites .
Tirunavaya was a well known place near Tirur where the Navamugundan temple was known for the flowing Bharathapuzha or river and was also very famously known for conducting Hindu death rites .


Oh I see


for whom ?
sir my elder daughter she left us
 all that I have of her is in this bag
oh ├Ćam sorry to hear that


he could see tears welling out of the mans eye

you are lucky today as  the retiring room is empty usually we have some railway staff on duty occupying it .
come with me
they followed him
how old was she ?
sir eleven
oh sad and this little one ?
she is just five
ok


he opened the lock of a shuttered room and asked the man to go in
the room may not  very neat but it had two beds and was spacious with a toilet but no hot water or anything
its ok sir thanks
you can pay before you leave said he and walked off .


The man kept his bag and made his tired child lie down on a bed and covered her with a thin sheet
he too lay down too in the other bed tired
for a long time he gazed at the ceiling lost in his thoughts and then dozed off


His alarm went off at 5 am he quickly had his bath the water was cold and he wondered whether he should insist on his child taking bath ,
better to ,he thought in that way she need not dip in the river before the rites it would be colder there .
so he slowly nudged her awake .
mollu please get up your uncle will be here shortly and you need to have your bath
she woke up with no protest
yes Acha
he asked her to brush her teeth and take a quick bath in the cold water and he rubbed her dry  with a towel
she was shivering the poor thing and he felt cruel


They got ready and then locked the door gave the key to the station master and paid ,
did you have some rest asked the station master


thanks sir we did
that's a good girl there he said to the daughter


 the train from Chennai had come by then The uncle  came and the trio went as planned to Tirunavaya did all the rites and returned back
while the uncle left to Chennai the man went with his daughter to cochin
it was all over
that's life


it started two days later the high fever the shivering for his little one
he blamed himself for that chilly bath
what a fool I was !
I have caused this to my daughter


she really became sick and was admitted in a hospital for a worried week and finally she got over it a very stressful week indeed


Today that little child is on the anvil to become a paediatrician and hopefully will treat children like her
for she s my little daughter

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

shed a tear please

The stench was overpowering , the winds howled  ,death was in the air .
Dhruv ran from the edge of the platform to the station masters room ,
he saw people swaying some falling dead some running like mad men and women with their hands on their head their eyes red and streaming with tears their lungs burnt and scarred and gasping for air their noses bleeding 
The air was full of cries howls and the place looked like a bad dream 
 dusk fell and it grew dark electricity had been cut for fear of fires and so it was all the more sinister then 
feebly some lights started burning as someone put on lanterns and petromaxes .
The Union carbide factory was just about ten kilometers from the railway station and it was spewing toxic fumes our of its belly killing and maiming thousands ,
it would become the greatest tragedy known to mankind ,
a tragedy caused by greed and callousness of its owners who never followed safety guidelines as they were in a country they could get away without any ,
even after the genocide they could still get away helped by the very powers of the country they scarred for ever !
For the representatives of the people who were voted to protect them always thought of their own comforts and wallets hence would support all sort of wrongs done in it .
The main CEO of the killer factory would live to a ripe age of ninety knowing fully well of the unfair compensation offered to the hundreds of sick ,thousands who had died on that fateful day and live a comfortable cosy life in his country while the politicians in India saw to it he was never disturbed till his death 
Dhruv was the station master on that fateful day in Bhopal .

He had only one thing in his mind then .
he was not thinking of his son just four years of age or his young nubile wife married just six years back 
he knew they would have died as his house was near the factory and death was assured for its neighbors ,
he knew he would no longer play with his son no longer throw him in the air no longer feed him he would no longer make love to his wife he would no longer see his old mother he knew they were all dead but he still ran !
he ran not to save himself 
he ran to save others 
All this while the chief minister of Madhya pradesh who also in Bhopal sped in his car far away with family to get away to live and to protect the culprits

 these are the servants of people they are actually the worst enemies of the people .

Dhruv entered his room saw his assistants sprawled in a pool of blood dead 

he jumped over them pushed their bodies to a side with a sickening thud and got into the phone desperately he twiddled the controls tried to block the incoming express train and warn them but it was too late the train entered shortly and passengers got out swayed and fell many more died 

Dhruv was at his controls again warning other trains to speed away from this death town not to open windows
 he tried to divert many trains he did his duty

 he saved many that night 
morning came like in a funeral 
the gloom descended like a dark cloud over the city as vultures flew to get their plentiful prey 
the police were trying to make some order 
the stench was every where
 the railways platform was spewed with the dead and the maimed 
the station masters room swayed in the wind 
it slammed on its hinges gently 
it  revealed a dead Dhruv sprawled on the floor with his hands on the signal machine which had fallen over him 
the blue buttons beeped faintly crying for its dead master 
Dhruv to his last breath he did his duty 

this is a  true story 

a story we never hear

we hear only of those Arjun singhs 
not the Dhruvs who died for us 
so please shed a tear before you shed  a vote 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Don of Bolly wood Amitabh Bhachan

My tribute to this Don of the Indian Cinema on his 73 rd birthday 

Happy Birthday Amithji 
73 years and counting years 
A tall lanky sad faced man with intelligent eyes had broken the strong hold of his babe mashayi friend Rajesh Khanna the romantic sultan of Bollywood for years where nubile women would swoon over his crinkling eyes and giggling girls by the gallon were swept off their feet .
One Deewar was all that was needed for the intense tall man and the angry young man was born as a genre into filmdom ,he showed that his creativity was not limited by being an angry young and later angry middle aged man but it strayed into classic roles of a romantic hero of a funny man where he could do comedy with ease sing songs dance do drunken brawls and fight so well 
his presence ,baritone voice once strangely rejected by AIR to their utter chagrin for ever in history his humanity his humility his affairs and his family all were part of every Indians life 
his fame went beyond the country he was as popular in distant Cairo or in the US of A  as in dusty UP and where natives imitated him 
even his hairstyle was adopted as a national one in saloons over the country for years
his excellent English diction made him a choice for voice overs and one could recognize the deep seated voice in all important sound bytes he became the ambassador of good will for several projects a business man and elevated TV anchoring as he doled out crores to the lucky few in his programme which shot TRP to new heights 
Wherever he was Amitabhji could carry himself wit presence whether he was beside the dead body of his friend Rajeev Gandhi wheen sadness wet his eyes or whether eh was lounging in a kurta listening to subtle poetry from his legendary father whether eh was giving company to a smoldering Rekha whose closeness to him caused national passions to rise and fall and who was a perfect partner in passion to the great man himself whether when he sand mellifluously Tere mere milannu ki hey raina to his short and seet Jaya bhaduri in Abhimaan or wne he became a pa to his son in PA whether he was up on a stage getting the Dadasaheb palke award or whether eh was broken in jaslok hospital with tubes coming out of everywhere and prayers for him from every temple mosque and church in the country for the people loved him like none 
he was always a person with great charm charisma and presence a great human being who was born to entertain us 
i wish him more years of continuing to make us happy 


An ode to the Mahatma

An ode to the Mahatma I love


There lived a man who was beyond one
He was one of the best to be born under this sun
His back was bent and his skin was wrinkled ...
He looked wizened and crinkled
But his heart was pure unalloyed gold
And he was so not when he was old
As a boy he felt for truth and was honest
Hardworking sincere and and earnest

He went to become a lawyer amongst the white
A brown one in South Africa is never right
And here he fought for the oppressed
With no weapons but the repressed

Love to all was his strength
And for this he would go to any lengths
He discarded western dress and style
And dressed in common Indian style

After African success he went around India in a train
For he wanted to see his country in sun and rain
He saw the hearths and homes of his country men
He poured love to them and never in vain

they loved him their Bapu humble and full of humour
a man of truth and one never for rumour
India under British yoke for a century and more
A nation which had suffered and was sore

Bapu felt the nation’s soul
He knew he had to play his karmic role
He had a tough task and an uphill path
To unite minds split by religion caste and wrath

He had to fight the mighty British
And not by using a sword and its swish
He moved in silence to spread his word of love
He went in hunger and made his vows

He went unarmed to where hatred swells
Into dens where animals in human forms dwells
He brought together men of different faith
Earning love and at times their wraths

And the day he won freedom for his India bit by bit
He was a sad man to see it like a beheaded sheep all split
Men killed men raped women and became devils
As the British left the country for the animals

The great soul prayed and moved amongst the violent
He spoke the word of love to many tyrant
He foresaw mans greed to loot and maim
And he knew free India too could be the same

And then one fine morning he was shot
Dead like a flower crushed like rot
Killed by the one he loved
He reaped what he never sowed

Did we deserve this man amongst our midst?
Did we know his greatness in his tryst?
Do we realize his message of love even today
As our leaders go about in an orgy of greed all day

Today let us be silent for a moment
And think of this great soul and lament
This Parramathma who was born in this blessed land
The land he tried to transform with his love

An ode to the Mahatma I love
Harimohan

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