Wednesday, September 29, 2010
My love for Old Hindi film music is well advertised in my circle and even in the immediate periphery. Many Medical Sales Representatives come to me with soft copies of old music. And many of them make copies from my collection.
One hitherto unknown boy in early twenties came to my room this afternoon. He looked a bit hesitant and introduced himself and the products of his company. Since he was lingering around even after that, I asked him if there was anything else.
"Yes Sir" he told, "I heard you have a good collection of Old Hindi Songs. Can you give me some old songs Sit ?". I replied, "Fine, bring a disc or a pen drive. Choose your song from my collection and let us make a copy". He wanted to see the sample of my collection.
I played out some old songs for him from my PC, which I thought were old. He clearly wasn't impressed. He said, "What songs are these Sir ? I want 'Old' songs". Hence I asked, "Tell me which are your old songs ?". He said, "Mujhe neend na aaye, mujhe neend na aaye... This Aamir Khan song from 'Dil' movie Sir. Do you have it ? Have you heard it ?"
My head was spinning as I tried to control myself from falling off my chair. I replied, "Oh I am sorry, I don't have 'That' old songs. This is all I have". The boy was quite gracious and granted, "That's alright Sir, it is such an old song. Very difficult to get. It is a 'Classic' Sir. If I get a copy, I will definitely give you one". I thanked him profusely and saw him off because I had to laugh and it would have been rude to do so in front of him.
After recovering from the bout of solo laughter, I started to think. I am forty and he is just out of college. So what is old and precious for me need not be so for him. He perhaps doesn't even know of the 'Golden Generation' of Rafi, Kishore, Mukesh, Manna Dey, Talat Mahamood and Hemant Kumar etc.
This also brought back memories of two of my uncles denouncing Kishore Kumar as a gimmicks singer. For them Rafi was the epitome of melody and Mukesh was the most soulful singer of all times. But my maternal grandfather believed all singers evolved copying Kundan Lal Saigal. He also held a strong belief that Lata Mangeshkar started out copying Noor Jehan.
Anil Kapoor was blamed of aping Bachchan and Bachchan himself was accused of copying Dilip Kumar. Shah Rukh Khan once declared on live television that Shahid Kapoor was copying SRK. Shahid retaliated saying SRK was aping Bachchan. Both of them were engaged in a light hearted banter. But there is truth in what both of them said that night.
When we look at the body of work of all these people from K. L. Saigal to Shahid Kapoor, we do realize that there is some kind of inspiration drawn somewhere at some point of time. It is extremely difficult to be completely original.
Banting and McLeod won the Nobel Prize for discovery of Insulin. But it was Banting and Best team that worked on it. Very few people know Best became a part of the work on Insulin thanks to a flip of a coin that favored him over Clarke Noble. Noble somehow was not made for Nobel whereas Best was the Best Man in the right place at the right time.
Another fact that has eluded people is that Collip worked day and night for twelve days to get the purified Pancreatic extract after the first experiment lead to severe allergy. But Collip never really received the credit that was due to him. But all these people were inspired by someone called Oskar Minowski.
Today we have highly purified Human Insulins and Insulin Mimetics and Pumps and a host of new inventions. But can we say the present lot is better than the old lot ? Or do we imply 'Old is Gold' indeed ?
No idea is so revolutionary that it wouldn't become old some day. And many of those outdated styles, ideas or people were actually 'The Happening' once upon a time. Time and tide wait for none and the best of the people are washed away by the flow of time.
I have learned one more lesson. 'Old is Gold' indeed. But how 'old is Old' perhaps depends upon how old is the subject and how old the object is !
So anyone who thinks 'Old is Gold' and 'Old alone is Gold' should listen to This, This and This and many more ! And those who consider only present day as current and all past is dead should realize all of today will be yesterday when tomorrow comes !
So let me conclude with something that I consider 'Old is Gold' and will always remain so !
Friday, September 24, 2010
A lot of work on hand. My better-half is doing a lot of running around. I sincerely felt I had to do something. So I told her, "Please tell me if there is any work, where I can help. I shall do my best and delegate someone to do it".
Can a husband be any more helpful ?
I got into my 'Santro' this morning to drive to hospital. As I was around the bend from my home, my little friend Asha gestured to me "You can't go, it is totally water-logged". I ignored her and went ahead. But coming in front of what looked like a huge ocean, I had to stop and turn back.
For the first time since I bought my little Santro in 2006, I had turned my back on a water-logged road. Why ? Here is one of the reasons and the Second reason. And finally because my car isn't young anymore.
As I was turning my car back, I suddenly heard, "Hey why are you going back ? You are so confident and rash. All of a sudden what happened to you ?". I was startled. Looking around and back I saw no one; not a soul nearby. I was mildly perspiring in the air-conditioned car with the rains pouring outside.
I asked, "Who is this ? I Can't see anyone. Where is the voice coming from ?". I heard again, "You shameless soul, after abusing me for over 4 years, you can't even recognize me. I deserve this because I suffered your rudeness without complaining. After all I am a 'Thing' for you".
My patience was running out and I snapped, "Without any more of this drama and dialogues, can you bloody now, tell me who you are ? I have to go to hospital and have a job on hand". Suddenly there was a huge jerk and the car came to a screeching halt and it screamed, "You jerk, it is me, your Santro. You are such a pest. I am the one talking to you"
I was chuckling, "A talking car, Wow ! All I need now is a Hindi Movie Style Girlfriend. I wonder what my Mom added to my morning cup of tea and breakfast". I must be hallucinating. As I turned the ignition on again, the Car was talking again, "Don't you underestimate me. When extremely hurt, even stones can talk. I am a Car and have served you so faithfully all these days".
Now I was confident something spooky was on. I didn't want a revenge seeking soul to assassinate me and asked with a mellowed voice, "Okey, I understand 'You' are my car. But who is talking from inside you ?". Pat came the reply, "Don't think I am some ghost or something like that. That happens only in movies. I am your Car, whole Car and nothing but Car".
I had no other choice but to continue, "Well, can we make a move ? Can we drive along and 'Walk the talk' ? I am getting late". Wroom ! the car was moving now. I heard, "You think you are funny and write nonsense about your wife on Facebook and blog. You disguise all your meanness in so called humor. But somehow people are nice to you and have tolerated you. But I think I have reached the dead-end of my patience".
I asked with mock politeness, "Can you enlighten me the reason for your bitterness ?".
Santro: See even now you are acting smart. First answer me, when was the last time you gave a wash to me ?
Me: Mmmmm, I got Amar to give you a thorough wash only 2 weeks ago.
Santro: No, when was the last time 'YOU' gave me a wash ?
Me: What the heck ? What difference does it make ? Someone is giving you a wash. I have paid him. I have got all your service record updated. I even got two paid services done.
Santro: But my question is, when did you ? You can't even remember when you gave me a wash. My number plate got crushed long ago and you have not repaired it. You can't bother about anything other than 'Petrol' and 'Money'. Your friend Murli is right.
Me: See Mr. Car, I just can't take this nonsense. Do you expect me to wash you, cuddle you and love you ? You are not my wife, neither are you my girlfriend.
Santro: You take a shower twice and even thrice a day. You insist upon your wife and daughter doing the same. And you get someone to wash me once in a blue moon. It hurts to be your loyalist. And by the way, I am not a Mister. I am a Lady. No 'Man' will ever allow anyone to drive him.
Me: I will buy your argument. So you are a Lady. So why can't you go and take a bath yourself. I don't bathe my wife or daughter. If you are so intelligent, can talk so much and want to be clean, you should wash yourself.
Santro: My movements are controlled by that damned remote key in your hand. Only my thoughts and words are in my control. That is why I am servile to you and expect a better treatment. And you must remember you don't ask Amar to give bath to your wife or daughter.
Me: Hey, hey... That is being mean. I might have been a bit rash in driving, but never abused you. You can't be talking like this about my wife and daughter. No !
Santro: Look how it hurts. I have thought of you as my master and my love ever since you drove me with all the care on August 28 in 2006. As days passed, your attitude went from bad to worse. The way you have ignored my needs has made me so depressed. I even contemplated suicide many a times. But with that damned thing in your control, I can't even die.
Me: What on earth are you thinking ? I don't have the kind of time and energy to give enough attention to you. But I have never let you down. Do you know my wife doesn't like you ? She feels you are stupid and a fuel guzzling monster.
Santro: No wife will ever love the Car. She will consider me her rival. I have been nice to her, but she just uses me for her needs. I never expect anything from her. It is you who brought me here with all the pomp and it is you who has let me down. But I love your Mom, Dad and Daughter. Mom loves me, Dad always decorates me with a flower and Babe is fond of me.
Me: You see, there is an old quote, "There are two kind of men in the world. First who love the Wife more than the car and the second who love the Car more than the wife. I belong to the First category. You should have no grouse. Wife is a Wife is a WIFE !"
Santro: I have no issues with your wife. But now you want to dump me and that is why I am sad. You openly call me 'fuel guzzling monster'. It never mattered to you when all you could afford was poor little me. I know what are your new 'Dzires'.
Me: Wow... Now there you go. So this is jealousy. What if I desire and Dzire ? It isn't as if I am going to sell you. You will be with me even if Dzire comes. And I don't even know when that is going to happen. If this is the reason for your grouse, calm down. You will be with me because I can't drive a bigger car in Kochi town.
Santro: Look at it. For the bad roads and rude traffic you need me. You have practically flown me over those gutters of Kochi. I have waded through thigh high water without even wetting your socks. Have I even left you stranded ?
Me: No Yaar, you are like my wife. You will remain with me for all my day to day drives. It is only for longer drives and picnics that I might need Dzire. Why do you act like a jealous wife ?
Santro: Try telling your wife, "You are my Wife Yaar. You will remain with me for all day to day life. It is only for long drives and picnics that I might need Her". Your Orthopedician will need 3 months to repair you !
Me: Ha Ha, you sure have a sense of humor. I love that !
Santro: After being with you lousy fellow, it has rubbed on me. But humor apart, we are talking serious business here. What is your decision, Me or your Dzire ?
Me: I told you, YOU are my first choice. Just like I admire Aishwariya, Katrina and Shilpa; I admire Dzire. Nothing more, nothing less.
Santro: Your wife probably knows you adore these women but can live happily with the knowledge that you can never afford them. You can only salivate imagining them, but can't even touch them. But you can like hell afford a Dzire. There lies the tragedy of my life !
We had reached the basement of my hospital where I park her. As I adjusted her in the parking slot, she quipped, "I know I have no choice if you choose to enjoy your Dzire. But never ignore me and never ill-treat me. I don't mind Amar washing me. I wouldn't complain about your rash driving. Neither will I envy your long drives. But please keep me with you"
I felt a lump in the throat and said with all the love at my command, "Oh, never even think like that. I will keep you as long as you are alive and kicking. You will remain in family if you outlive me. I will get you a face lift and even a Botox if necessary. As soon as the monsoon is over, I will get you a complete service. I never knew you loved me so much"
Relieved that I have solved a grievous issue I stepped out of the Car. As I pulled out my bag from the aisle, the Santro gave the parting shot, "Don't you live under any illusion. I used to adore you before, not anymore. Your infidelity is hurting enough, but your sympathy is worse. I don't deserve this after all the donkey's service I have rendered you. I don't want you to sell me because I don't know what kind of a sloth is going to buy me. I am used to all your abuse. I will manage to live with that. My thinking is guided by the adage, Known Devil is better than Unknown Gods !"
Thursday, September 16, 2010
The Endless Dissolves in the Unknown !
Those were Kargil war days. Lt. Colonel Vishwanathan was killed on 2 June 1999. His body was being brought to Kerala for final rites. The atmosphere was loaded with Anti-Pakistan feelings and hugely so.
At this juncture, the renowned Malayalam intellectual and writer Late O. V. Vijayan gave a statement, "We should learn to respect Pakistan's Vishwanathans too". I felt outraged and wrote a letter to the Editor of Indian Express in protest.
My letter was published and it went something like this, "How on earth can O. V. Vijayan compare Vishwanathan, a respectable soldier from India and those terrorists ? We can do without this kind of 'Spurious Statesmanship' by the likes of Mr. Vijayan".
That morning, my Father in Law handed over the paper to me and said, "There is a letter to the Editor. I believe it must be you who wrote it. The name is yours. The language is good and the intentions are fine. But O. V. Vijayan is a Legend and please don't make derogatory comments on great people like him. To know the importance of O. V. Vijayan, you should know Malayalam. If you know Malayalam, you'll not write like this".
This statement was coming from a man who was the State President of the RSS. Yes RSS, that organization accused of Fascism, intolerance, Hindu Right-wing fanaticism and a lot more. More importantly, he was defending a man who had only a few weeks ago lambasted RSS in print.
I first met him in 1995, almost 2 years before I married his daughter in September 1997. He came across as a no-nonsense leader of a tough organization but with very mild manners. And an extremely handsome man he indeed was. Never had an idea fate would conspire to make our next meeting a huge event in my life.
Soon after my marriage to his only daughter, I accompanied him to a public function conducted at our Hospital. A gentleman who did not know of my marriage came rushing to introduce me to him. He hurried with his words, "Ananthetta, do you know who is this ? This is Dr. Govind Raj. He is our TMV Shenoy's nephew".
Looking very keen he asked me, "Oh, so which place do you come from ?". Surprised, I replied, "Karkala". He went further, "So Malayalam is a problem. Right ? Learn Malayalam. Your profession needs good command over local language". He went on to ask a few more questions. Recognizing the mischievous glint in his eyes, I decided to play along and replied to his questions in all seriousness.
Suddenly he turned to our introducer and quipped, "This boy has another relationship here in Kochi. He has married the only daughter of an Advocate Ananthan living on Convent Road". Now the man who came to introduce was profusely embarrassed. Before he could recover, our man had moved on to another part of the hall. This gave me a glimpse into the funnier interior of a man who looked very serious from outside.
In these 13 years I have known him from proximity, I have seen a great human being and a fantastic organizer. But after undergoing a bye-pass surgery in 2000, he started to slow down. He wanted to resign from the post of the RSS President in 2001. But the organization refused. Finally in 2003, his request was granted.
He resigned from all the posts he held citing failing health as the reason. He told me, "I don't want to be a non-functioning functionary. Don't want to be a burden of a leader. Let the younger lot take charge". He knew he wasn't doing great long before we, the Doctors knew.
He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and gradually faded out of public life from 2004. But for occasional glimpses of old spark, he was a shadow of himself for most of the last 6 years of his life. The last time we went to Guruvayoor in November 2009, he required help for most of his walking and boarding the vehicle.
At one point he blurted out in sheer frustration, "I have become a public nuisance [Pothu Shalyam] for all of you". There was genuine hurt in his eyes and a feeling of "I have lost it". He refused to go out after this. Most of his sojourns out of the home were to the hospital after that.
After a long battle with Diabetes, Heart Disease, Anemia, Alzheimer's and age related debility, he passed away on 15 September 2010, just 6 days shy of completing eighty. This again is typical of the man. He didn't over-stay just to complete a mile-stone.
Here is an extremely fond and solemn obituary to a Great Man from a humble son-in-law who is proud to be the husband of his daughter. Will always cherish you and your wisdom Ananthetta.
Adieu Ananthetta, My Great Father-in-Law, Pranaam !
|Adieu Ananthetta !|
|Adieu Ananthetta !|
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
How to use a Thermometer; Innovative Way !
A particularly grumpy old man was already notorious in the wards for his rudeness. He was a 62 year old retired Corporation employee. He considered us the Doctors and the Staff of our hospital a privileged lot to be treating a man like him. He had even managed to ruffle the usually calm senior Physician of our hospital in just one visit.
He was admitted with chest pain and hence was referred to us. Hence I had to see him. I was forewarned by the Ward In-Charge Nurse that this was one real character.
I walked in that afternoon with greetings and these words in Malayalam, "Good afternoon, I am Govind Raj and I am assistant to the Cardiologist. I am here to see why you have chest pain". He shot back, "You are not the Cardiologist. Do you people want to show me to a Junior and charge the Cardiologist's fees ?"
I politely told him, "No, it is like this. I will be seeing you first and we can get the necessary tests and then the Cardiologist can see you with all the reports. That saves time". He snapped, "Whose time ? I am waiting here for the Cardiologist and some junior is coming and wasting my time".
I kept my cool and replied, "See if the Cardiologist has to see you and then order all tests and then review again, he and you both are wasting time. To save that, I am here. I will examine you only if you wish. If not, I will make a move". He graciously consented to be examined by a lowly Junior.
And I proceeded with the history part. I asked, "So you have chest pain. When do you get it and which part does it come ?". He curtly shot back, "I have already told all this to another Doctor who looked much older than you and he has made a note of everything. I am tired of answering you people". I said, "Fine, I shall go through the history".
After reading the admission notes by the Ward Duty Doctor, I started to examine him. Pulse and respiration and then I asked him to show his tongue. He again was rudeness personified, "Even these things are written there. You can refer to those notes."
I was boiling, but had to keep my head and hence took my stethoscope and started to auscultate him. And pat it went with boom boom in my ears. The man was talking now ! I took out the stethoscope and asked him, "What were you telling ?". He said, "Nothing". So I went ahead with auscultation again.
As soon as my stethoscope landed on his chest, he went boom boom again. I took out the stethoscope again, stood erect, took a deep breath and told him, "Please don't talk when I examine. Not only when I examine, but when any Doctor examines you. It hurts our ears".
He made a snorting sound and said, "But you only wanted to know my problem and I was telling you things that I remembered".
I had to clench my teeth when I quipped, "But you didn't tell anything when I asked you the questions". He was now on the offense and said, "See Doctor, I can tell you things only when I remember, not when you ask. I can't tell you when I don't remember". In a state of exasperation, I told him, "I know your history from the file. I just want to examine you. So please keep quite. Let me finish my job".
I kept my stethoscope on his chest and boom boom it went again. I was furious now and almost shouted, "Can't you keep quite ?". He had a smirk on his face now. He was enjoying at my discomfiture and shot back, "I know you juniors have no manners. You don't know how to talk to a senior Corporation employee. Blah blah blah...".
I asked the nurse to bring a thermometer. I kept it in his mouth and then completed my job as he had to shut himself up now. After finishing my notes and instructions, I started to walk out. Then he started to mumble mmmmm with the thermometer in mouth. I turned around and asked the sister to remove the thing from his mouth.
Having harbored the thermometer in his mouth for almost ten minutes he gasped, "Hey Doctor, I didn't have any fever. Why on earth did you check my temperature and you don't even bother to look at it". Now it was my turn to return compliments.
I just said, "Since you have your own ways, I too had to devise a way to deal with you. After all I am a Junior and I have to go and report to my Senior about you. I can't spend an entire day with you. I wasn't checking your fever. I just wanted to check your tongue. Have a great day"
He was extremely polite when I went for the next visit with my Boss and cooperated with all the procedures from then on !
Saturday, September 4, 2010
I will be hard-pressed if I had to write a poem for my friends
. Blogging is something, creating original poetry needs real talent.I am not so talented unfortunately.
So I took to the easy way out. Decided to 'Remake' 'Innovate' or 'Remix' or simply get 'Inspired' by Robert Frost.
And this is what I present all my friends, Murli, Dabba, Jagan, C, Rajesh, Mohan, Cheti, Seena, Tara, Satya, Madhu, Reddy and all of you Dudes !
Smiles to go before I sleep !
Dedicated to all my friends; Every one of them !
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
That changed quite a lot of things. Almost 100% of the people started to fall in line and follow the queue; something that never happened before or after the Emergency. The prices of all essentials came down by 10 - 20%. So did the sizes of Rotis, Idlis and Dosas.
My tryst with destiny has been littered with laziness throughout the journey. My motto in life has been simple, "It is probably true that hard work never killed anybody. But why take a chance of becoming the first victim ?"
The newspaper announces so many savings schemes and sales at ridiculous discounts. My shaving foam is a real blast. 40% savings and that too with a twin blade razor thrown in for free. No problems if I don't use it. It is free after-all.
I take a shower with the shower gel that screams about the favor I got from the manufacturer. I use it liberally and why not ? 50ml extra with 200ml thus making it 25% more gel for my hard-earned money.
We have a joint account in our bank. My wife insisted on a 'Savings' account. She was worried that a 'Current' account will further escalate our electricity bill. By the way, our Air-conditioner too comes with a promise of saving electricity. We always strive to 'Save' the environment.
Well, the percentages work there too, but in a different way. We use 8.4% Bicarbonate, 0.9% Saline, 25% Dextrose and 2% Lignocaine. All the drips or infusions are calculated against the body weight and the dosage is arrived at by percentage values.
But unlike in 'Bumper Onam Sale' or 'Super Diwali Dhamaka', we can't play the percentages game here. Neither can we give 20% extra Lactate, nor can we reduce the dose of Streptokinase by 15% as a Christmas bonanza.
Which means I was swindled and made to pay about 116% more on the price. What a price to pay for a surprise gift ! They haven't yet discovered instruments to measure the percentage of surprise, disappointment and stupidity !
She has used them to good effect. They remain as good as new and the effect is showing; on the weighing scale. She has managed to gain 2.5 kilos over the past 1 year; that is a 3.7% progress.
For a decade and more when I lose and win.
I dedicate this Testimonial to the only One,
Who gets every single thing in my life done!
Dr. Punned-it !