Saturday, March 24, 2012

The havoc, cancer has caused to a well-knit family

1990 June - time, around 8 in the night - a distress voice from the kitchen! My three daughters and I rushed in. My wife Leela, fumbled and fainted in my hands. My daughters started crying. I was in real quandary! On one side I have to console my daughters and on the other I had to nurse her to consciousness! I poured cold water all over her and in a few minutes' time she was back to recovery. That was the beginning of a two year-old ordeal for a family that was earlier too limping ,solving issues after issues.

She was managing a five-member strength family all alone doing cleaning, cooking and washing besides helping children in their studies being a trained graduate teacher who served different schools of repute in Northern India and Chennai. When she first conceived we decided that she resign and look after home as that was our priority. She did accordingly. So when she fainted I thought she was stressed too much and the burden of managing a home alone, could have caused it.

The next morning I took her to a hospital nearby and like any commercial hospital they wanted to observe her condition for three days. She was diagnosed of slight blood pressure after three days of close observation and was discharged on my paying a hefty bill. It made a dent on my purse. I did not need their luxurious comfort. Further I was staying only two minutes drive, away from the Five Star Care Home - you call it Hospital. O K, she was all right now and we were happy!

Managing a small industry alone and with all the trials and tribulations attached to it, I get tired after hours of slogging and when I reach Home, I go to bed as early as possible. On one night I woke up around midnight and I found my wife reclining on a chair, gasping for breath. She assured me with a smile that there was nothing wrong with her and she would soon go back to bed once she felt sleepy. I was not convinced but with certain feelings of guilt, which now I experience, I say, I retired. I started observing her during nights and found that there was something wrong with her, which she did not want to share with us. On my persistence she agreed for consultations in the same hospital and the Doctor there asked her to stay there for a few days for further observation. When she was discharged the hospital advised her to go in for treatment for back-ache, which this time they found out after a few thousands of hard cash that went into the drain.

Without returning we went to the other Doctor - I should admit he was very courteous - and he fixed an inconvenient time for me in the morning for a treatment lasting over a fortnight. The treatment went on very well and we were assured that she was fit like a fiddle. The drain flooded but my tap became near-empty.

Look at our background! In my business due to low investment built up out of my humble savings I was the peon as well as the boss and around me I had only well-paid but irresponsible helpers. At home my wife was the servant maid, the mother, the wife and the teacher, all rolled into one. Both at home and business fronts we felt the pinch dearly and every thing was shaking under us. All my three children, deeply attached to the Mother - like any girl children - were constantly in tears at their mother's ill health and was praying to spare her life for them. They needed her.

When thing were returning to a shade of normalcy, Leela again showed symptoms of ill health as well as pain all over, particularly at the chest region. Once again the house was in sadness and concern. In the meantime an additional responsibility of preparing the children to go to the College fell on me although the Children were themselves attending to cooking and things like that. At that time we never had many gadgets and we had to toil hard to cook basic things. I could observe the pain Leela was undergoing by just looking at her face. On one day at midnight seeing me coming out of the bathroom with a basin full of washed clothes, she broke down. I consoled her and said we did better and learned more by confronting a hostile life.

When the chest pain aggravated I took her again to the same Hospital. Breathing had by then become very difficult for her. She was admitted for a third time and on going through all the costly tests making use of all available gadgets in the hospital, she was found carrying enormous quantity of fluid in her lungs. The Doctors wondered how she could hide so much pain all those days. Leela was hiding the pain deliberately as she feared it would cause concern in us. She was taken to an emergency room and the fluid was drained out piercing her back with a syringe. She felt a little ease and after a day or two we returned home and thought the crisis was over.

Within a fortnight she was back to the same problem; another visit to the hospital; no tests this time, but the same treatment of draining out the accumulated fluids. We returned; but the problem was recurring and when this continued twice or thrice the Doctor suspected of Cancer in her. He advised us that she had to undergo a mini surgery for certain tests. I asked him to tell me what exactly the disease she was suspected of, but he remained silent. I asked all the nurses around me and they too would not reveal it. When she was taken to the Operation Theatre she looked diffident and till at the entrance of the room she was looking at me while I was walking by her side and she was firmly holding my hand. All my children were around me and I consoled them that she was taken for some minor tests to be conducted on her and they did not need to worry.

She was like any mother; a very loving and doting one and she lived for them sacrificing all her comforts. From the College the children will return straight to her and flock around her. I have seldom come across such a mother-daughters relationship although she used to scold them for even minor disobedience. But they were protected within her wings and to all their fair demands she yielded. I used to scold Leela in my own way and advised her against too much pampering which they might not experience normally in their married life.

Since my experience in the hospital field was limited I was waiting for her return, back to the room as it was only a minor surgery. None informed us otherwise! An hour or so we waited in all anxiety and when I enquired about her I was told that she could be seen in the post surgery ward. So I with my children rushed to the Ward and there I could see her sitting, reclining on a raised pillow. All of us went to her and she looked quite normal. But she had difficulty in speaking to us. We didn't want to disturb her and decided to return to the room. While taking a few steps back my second daughter Asha was showing uneasiness and was about to faint. I held her in my arms and called for medical help, which fortunately was available there itself. She was put on fluids and was lying on another bed just a few yards behind her mother. But the mother was innocently looking at the opposite direction unaware of what was happening behind her.

That moment I should say was the most painful, suspenseful and agonizing experience I ever had in my life. On one side a caring and loving mother in her sick bed just after surgery and on the other side her most affectionate daughter in another bed under treatment. I prayed that Leela should not look back to see all of us there and get alarmed of what was going on there. I was in deep suspense every second. Had she seen her daughter under treatment she would have rushed to be by her side. One will only understand if one imagines being in that position. I was shattered; so were my two other daughters.

The next day the Physician left a message that I should call on him at his room. I was in deep suspense. I went to him blocking all my natural emotions. The test results had by then reached him. He was in the midst of a group of people. When I asked the reason, he without any emotion – Doctors carry with them only profession-formed, frozen emotions – told me that my wife was suffering from Cancer. I stood motionless and broke down right there. My whole world was reeling around me. I just asked whether he could cure her of the disease. He said he would try – the formatted reply.

I did not talk about the diagnosis to my children. They were hoping for the better. But one day, my first daughter Anu, smelled a fish after reading the medical reports on the table that Leela was suffering from Cancer. Somehow or other I managed the situation and I told her that it was only suspected. But how long one can hide the devil in the pocket?

That night without a wink of sleep I was sitting beside my wife in the hospital bed. Looking at me and observing the pain reflected in my face she asked me what the Doctor had said in his room. I hid my emotions and said that there were only some minor problems with her. She was not convinced. 'Cancer', she asked. I just looked down and she understood. She said, 'Don't worry, we have to face life as it comes. I am the least worried. But I have my concerns over all of you". She was exceptionally bold throughout till her end and nearby I stood in awe worshipping her courage!

In the meantime my daughters got a scent about the impending disaster and they cried and prayed that they needed her and she be spared. They started collecting all the names of Evangelists and started writing to each one of them seeking their prayers for her cure. They all assured them that nothing would happen to her as their prayers will stand by her and Jesus Christ would heal her.

So there were a spate of dreams occurring to all of us in our disturbed sleep and we used to share our dreams with her to comfort her and assure her of positive recovery. One night I saw in my dream of a heavenly body pouring a few drops in a pond and my wife getting absolutely cured and looking heavenly beautiful. The next morning I told her of my dream and she in turn passed it over to our daughters. She really believed that something positive would happen to her.

In the meantime she was referred to Adyar Cancer Hospital and the Doctor, a graceful lady told me that only a miracle could save her and miracles seldom happened'. Our hospital now had changed their attitude over us although we were promptly paying the bills without fail. The Doctor would never stop to talk to me and I had to run after him room by room to get some response. I told him to do whatever he wanted to save her and once to a query about the expense involved I said " I will sell even my last shirt to save her'. This term was not of my making, but I just copied what once my father said to a Doctor when my sister was seriously ill. What do we live for? We live for what God had entrusted with us to love and be loved, to care and be cared of, in our life!

We were advised to take her to Tamilnadu Hospital where a cancer specialist was available. It was far away in the suburb. She was admitted there and treatment for Ovarian Cancer started there. There the Doctors were very friendly, humble and helpful which I never had experienced before. They were very sincere and really wanted to help.

They said a surgery would help and I nodded for it. Now with my experience I gained during that period I would never recommend spending for a surgery when the Cancer was in its secondary stage. No hospital or Doctor would ever give a guarantee of cure. Leela told me that she would not have any problem undergoing a second surgery, but told me firmly that it would be a sheer waste. To me and our children her life was the most coveted and precious one which we were not prepared to surrender and money did not play any part in it. It was secondary. The operation was initially fixed for a day and I never knew that it was to take place on our marriage anniversary day. She reminded me of this and I made a call to the Doctor and got it postponed to another date. She was again admitted for surgery in the Hospital. A day prior to that my sister-in-law who had come to be of help to her during the operation got a telegram that Leela's another sister who had just returned from Nigeria expired of heart attack. She said she had to go home on some excuses and she went. Leela was puzzled at her sudden departure, but fortunately did not put questions over it. We wanted the surgery to go on smoothly and we did not inform her of the death of her sister.

The surgery took place as planned earlier. She was discharged and advised Chemotherapy during specific days for which we had to report to the Hospital without fail. This continued for a long time.

Leela was so pretty with a Kashmiri complexion and a lush growth of hair. After the Chemotherapy her face started turning dark and all her hair had dropped. While returning from Chemotherapy she used to vomit and it was a painful sight to see her agony. Still she had kept a smiling face; only we had the worried look!

In the meantime my third daughter Anju came to me with some good news. A healing assembly was on card in Marina Beach where a crowd puller Evangelist would heal all the diseases under the sun on all those who attended the meeting. My children were in desperation. I too was; but I was not convinced. I asked why we should go to Marina with a sick person when he himself can do the healing job praying at his tower-home. My children, fortunately was not that spoon-fed on false faith and they remained silent.

But it caused me enormous guilt of failing in my duty when a few days later, Anju told me that her friend's relation who was on the road sitting in his Car heard the Evangelist calling him by his name and assuring him that he was cured of his Cancer as Jesus Christ did the healing job on him at his request. (Jesus Christ did the job at the Evangelist's command and went back to him waiting to attend to obey his other commands!) In any case he was cured; that was what I was told! While all the time I was grieving on this, a month later Anju came and told me that the cured person was no more and he died of the same disease he was suffering from. Later she came to know that the dead person was related to the Evangelist. In the deal the Evangelist made a few millions and his bank account bloated a little more.

Things started happening in bad shape. Pain started aggravating. She was suffering, we knew. But she never exposed it to us. Determinedly she was hiding her suffering from us. She reached a stage where there could not be any cure and her days were determined. So the Tamilnadu Hospital became distant to us and she was confined to her bed forever. Children used to surround her on their return from classes and they even conducted their studies too sitting by her side. Such a loving relationship; such a binding bond!

Devils show up their faces from different corners when one is in peril. On one night I saw a Doordarshan T V programme of a lady - a News Reader there - testifying that she was a victim to Cancer and the Doctor who was shown along with her - A Sidha Doctor - cured her of Cancer lock, stock and barrel. She presented medical records on the screen - you know that, be Evangelists or native medical practitioners, they never show the hospital name and the Doctors' name and address. She confirmed that the Doctors were wonder-struck on her recovery. Again my lost hope surfaced - the drowning man catching the straw! I came to know that she was the wife of the Medical Director of the State. I frantically contacted him and got the address of the Sidha Doctor with his home in Thiruvallur. Early morning I set out to my target and straight reached his home. There one of his wives told me that the Doctor could be seen only in his clinic and I walked that distance to land there. I went fully prepared with all relevant medical reports and joined the sit-in queue in a majestic commercial complex owned by him. A hour or so later I was called in and the first thing I did was to place the medical records on his table. He just pushed it aside and asked me only one question; how old she was. When I asked him whether he could cure her, his reply was a dry counter-question " What am I sitting here for"?. He then handed over to me 15 days medication - a few black pills that looked like mini goat-droppings. Along with me were an eminent teacher and an ex. Secretary to the Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly. We all returned with hope. The medication was truthfully administered; but the pain increased. I went again to the Sidha Doctor and returned with more expensive droppings. There was no effect at all. Then came the news that the Teacher's wife expired followed by the death of that graceful person. However, my wife was left to suffer more.

Her condition grew worse. One morning I heard a loud scream from the bed room and we all rushed to see what happened to her. She was holding the old Malayala Manorama News Paper in her hand where she saw her sister's picture among the dead. That paper I kept away from her as I was bidding for time to reveal the sad news to her when she would be capable of absorbing the shock.

From there onwards her condition grew worse. The pain was unbearable. When it is at its highest she used to groan suppressing her voice to the minimum. Children used to console her and talk to her about God's mercy. One day she asked in desperation; "God, what did I do to suffer this agony"? God did not respond. At times she used to be very angry with me for no reasons. That was her mental state. One day I too retorted, as my state of mind was also not different. She got down in sadness and sat on the floor for a long time. Later in remorse I went to her and asked her pardon. I said, "I am very sorry". She remained silent. She was graceful to understand me. But later in utter penance, after her death I cried and kneeled at the place where she sat and repeatedly requested her soul to forgive me for my inappropriate outbursts.

The end has now come! On one morning she called me and asked me to call a friendly family who was helpful to us. Her intention was to seek their help for me in conducting the marriage of our children. Before I could take any action she dropped on the bed. I took her to the hospital nearby in an ambulance. Doctors who attended to her told me that the end would not be far away. My second daughter Asha was constantly by her side. I do not know Why; but I kept away from my sinking wife. In the meantime Asha came to console me and said "Doctors would say so many things! But, be assured, God is with us; He will not leave us, He will hear our prayers and nothing would happen to her" She stood a rock in her faith and pretty soon the rock was thrown to bits in the quake – I mean her death. I sat in silence without emotions. While I was sitting dump and numb, my daughter rushed to me to say that she was collapsing. When I reached the door, I saw her turning her head on to the side and vomiting blood. She bade farewell to this cruelworld once for all leaving all her proud belongings in human flesh! What else are we? Asha grew violent and threw away all the equipments out of frustration, being betrayed by faith and faith peddlers. Fate majestically won! Faith crashed in shame!
When her body was brought home Anju could not believe that her loving mother was dead. She shrieked and repeatedly begged her to rise up. No response! She fainted by her side. My weak heart lived to all these situations. Sad situations one after another! In the night a Doctor was called in and she was put to sedation.
That night I sat statuelike near her dead body. A screen popped-up in my mind. There I projected our good and bad times; how she remained without sleep a whole night at my sick bed, how she had kissed my feet one morning after a previous day quarrel, how she used to express her confidence in me and how at the instance of my sister she selected me to live our life together although we in appearances resembled Othello and Desdemona. (The first time we met, it was at the Church Marriage Ceremony. I saw her sitting beside me and she saw me after our marriage. You wonder! Yes, it happened in our case). I looked at her motionless body. We never had any honeymoon. But the first night through a rickety window the full moon shone on her face and I saw and I still remember her pretty, graceful smiling face resting on my hands. And now here, in front of me lays a figure eaten away by Cancer; no hair, burnt complexion, bloated stomach; to sum up, a ghost of what she was.
And days after, I saw this message she left in her diary! "The Lord who has girded me with strength shall keep my ways safe"
The one who stood by me through thick and thin left me forever or did God cruelly snatch her away from us! This question still remains unanswered in front of me! I pictured what was in store for me in future! A blank screen popped up. My children and I have to draw our life afresh with bare hands. The brush has been taken away. Three girls are to be married off. Most of the assets single handedly I built disappeared. I have started losing my nerves. I turned my wrath against God! I started abusing Him. I called Him names. And on one such weak moment I told my children to the dismay of my Mother-in-Law who was sitting next to me that we always seek pardon from God for the wrong we do; but now it is His turn to seek our pardon for the wrong He had done on us. They all remained silent. Perhaps they had thought that I have gone nuts. I did.

It was on March 26th night in 1992 she died and made all of us feel orphaned with her exit, leaving three girls of marriageable age in my frail hands. And the days when my children's marriage took place I cried my heart out in solitude missing her presence, but seeing her compensating in my imagination gracing the function. In my third daughter's marriage betrothal, I was made to stand along with the groom's parents and when I looked at my side for my wife I saw a vacuum and tears flowed through my eyes. What a life is this! A life I did not choose!

I said, God was cruel to us. But He was not. All my daughters' marriage took place. I could arrange it with dignity. But in the process I came across many who carried the Holy Book and conveniently reciting verses from it, but making extraordinary demands. None showed any sympathy for the motherless girls of chracter; good-looking, intelligent and educated. I did not yield to demands and my children stood by me. In one proposal the stumbling block that pained all of us was that the girl didn't have her mother living. How ignorant and cruel are some around us!

Now I live a life alone independent of all the rest and it would take pages to write how God was kind to me and showered His blessings over me. He pardoned me for my outbursts. Perhaps He thought He deserved it! Now He is the only One left to me to communicate with.
What is ordained come up and stay on with us. We are too week to change the course of our life. To be mute is an intelligent option, but who can?

Friday, March 2, 2012



(A story of love, remembrance and commitment to life
 narrated in first person)

My heart bristles with the vibrations of love; a sublime love that was sown in me in 1974 to be exact.  It was love to a physical reality that surrendered his whole being to me and involuntarily martyred his life, unaware of an unknown cause for unknown reasons.  It is still love in all its intensity to a noble soul that continues to live and bloom in me and enrich my whole being with sweet memories of the happy and wonderful days I spent with my man who was not ordinary by any standards of human relationship and life values

My memory goes back to the days when I met him in a public library.  I was then a Research Fellow in Indian Classical Dance Forms. Books on this topic were hard to come-by.  I was literally scanning the entire collections on Indian Art Classics.  I could manage one.  I just got it entered and came out when this young man – his attire partially wet – passed by me.  He was tall, handsome and with his chiseled features and royal gait he was the ultimate persona of any girl's dream.  Being in my late teens and brought up in a Muslim family with a rare broad social outlook, his sight did make an impact in me, but I just left it at that.  It was raining cats and dogs outside literally and left with no means to leave, I stood alone cursing the rain.  I saw this young man coming out holding a few bulky books and stood by my side for some time.  In my inner mind I was craving to talk to him; but I controlled myself.  When the rain eased he looked at me smiling and offered to give me a lift to my destination.  I looked at him for a few seconds and convinced myself of his intention. I accepted his offer and took from him the books he was carrying.  He ran out in the light rain and brought his small red sedan to the portico as close to the place I was standing.  He came out, took all the books I was holding and opened the front door for me.  I got in smiling thanking him for his kind gesture.

It was still raining.  The music system was on in the car.  To its accompaniment was the soothing sound of the rain falling on the glass panes.  During the sojourn we talked for some time and he enquired about my family, my vocation, my interests and in detail of my progress in my Research on Indian Classical Dances.  I could see his face glow when I told him that I was interested in classical music too which I was studying at home under a known Classical Music Master.  He shared with me his passion for light music and the stage events he participated and the accolades he received from the listeners for his rendering style.  He was a man of few words and most of his expressions were confined to a few bewitching smiles that made vibrations in my psyche, which I concealed skillfully.  Much to my chagrin the sweet journey came to a halt.  He stopped the car in front of my house. He came out, opened the door and handed over my book to me and gave out his name as Kiran.  I invited him in for a cup of coffee, which he politely declined with the same enchanting smile and excused himself saying he was in a hurry to reach his home.  He gave me his card and agreed to avail of my coffee offer at a day later.  My mother was at the door.  She saw Kiran dropping me and enquired about him.  I told her that Kiran gave me a lift to reach home in the rain.  I went further forgetting myself for a minute.  I told her that never in my life I had met such a person who was an embodiment of intelligence, decency and dignity.  She was pleased, but she kept quiet.  I retired to my study room; but I could not concentrate on anything.  Events unrolled in my mind screen – the time I spent in the car; his expressions, his enquiries about my studies and above all his hypnotic smile to which my entire being surrendered voluntarily.  He was the man of my dream, the man with whom I wanted to live this life.  My imagination ran amuck and I shaped him the way I liked to suit my whims and fancies of my future.  Kiran belonged to a different religion; so what, I asked myself.  He was distant to conservatism and orthodoxy.  He was, as I observed was brought up in a progressive outfit, so was I, I thought.  My family outlook was in identity with his.  It did not identify humanity with narrow religious chains and bonds, the creation of men with vested interests.  To that extent our family was isolated, but we were role models to the liberals belonging to all religions.

Came dinnertime, the time for sharing our day's thoughts and events.  My parents and I made our small family.  I was called in from my room.  The hangover of the sweet moments I was with KiranKiran's card and handed it over to my father.  He glanced over it.  It contained the name and residential address of  Kiran. "Oh! He's Shankar's son, Kiran!  "I know well his family.  Shankar is my good old friend and my college mate!  We did the Engineering finals together".  I went back to my study room.  My heart was still throbbing of the rosy memories of the day.  I retired to bed to forget and sleep, but could not till midnight.  A beaming Kiran and his soft voice haunted me in my dreams. I thought that the intensity will bane away as time passed; but that wan not to happen.  The next day was another day of intense feeling towards Kiran.  It was dinnertime again.  Modesty calls for certain amount of control of the mind; but I could not; such was my longing to see Kiran again. "Dad, I want to see Kiran again.  Shall we not invite his family home?  No outbursts; no explosion; none expected; none happened.    "Why Not? Here is a good chance to renew my friendship with him.   We will of course invite them for dinner." My father said.

My father did act.  The three-member family was with us for dinner the very next day.  My heart beat high when I saw Kiran.  He looked dazzling in his pale coloured Indian attire.  Tears of happiness were rolling down my cheek.  Kiran noticed it; but kept quiet.  He accompanied me to my study room before dinner and he enquired about Indian Classical dance, Music and in detail about the Research resources.  He went through some of the books he found lined on the shelf.  Time was ticking past.  I did not want that, but I was helpless.  Dinner over, the family courteously took leave of us.  Kiran's mother called me to her and affectionately embraced me.  This time too, my eyes filled with tears.  Kiran's parents took note of it.  Kiran, before leaving, called me to his side and assured me that we would in future meet and talk more often.   I was relieved. It happened. Kiran kept his promise.  We used to call one another quite often within the full knowledge of our parents.  We used to roam in the beach, the park, the libraries, museums and tourist spots nearby.  I enjoyed the bliss of friendship and the company of an intellectual.  The loneliness we felt in our homes in the absence of siblings in each one of our families was more than compensated. He used to sing his own composing to me in his fine soft voice, which was sweetest to my ears.  Time went past fast.  Two years just passed by.  We both completed our Doctorate in our respective fields and soon took up job in two local colleges.

Another year passed by.  It was a Diwali day.  As was the practice Kiran's father came home personally and invited us to celebrate Diwali along with them.  When all of us were together Shankar took my father for a private conversation and was closeted with him for a few minutes.  They came out with a beaming smile and asked all of us to wait for happy news.  Happy news! What can it be, I thought for a second. Shankar started:  "Convinced that we are one and all of us think alike we have decided on the marriage of Kiran and Sehra. It should take place soon."  For the first time I saw Kiran in an ecstasy.   He ran to me, raised my hand and gently kissed on the palm in the presence of his parents.  I was never an extrovert and tears in abundance were flowing from my eyes out of joy.  Both of us in accordance with Hindu custom knelt before our parents who blessed us for a purposeful married life.  To our parents and us, marriage was purely a personal subject and we did not want it to be sanctified by a society mired by evil thoughts and seclusions.    We had the courage and the marriage was registered to the chagrin of those in the extreme.

When our life took a new turn to live together we did resolve to stick to certain basic guidelines.  We decided that the children born to us would not be subjected to any particular religious guidelines or norms.  They would be guided in the right path respecting all the good in all the religions and its teachings and will have a broader outlook in all issues related to life and its values.

Two more years' ran past.  It was a magnificent relationship based on mutual understanding, adjustment, accommodation and consideration. Marriage had not reduced an iota of our mutual love and admiration. Kiran used to help me in my work, admire my innovations and appreciate my achievements.  He had encouraged me to participate in classical dance and music concerts.  He sat along with me in developing new forms in classical dances.  Kiran was always by my side when he was free from his work.  There was no lessening of our going out together and it continued as in the past.  In fact the intensity and genuineness of our love and passion has never come down.  During our married life we were never separated even for a single day as Kiran used to accompany me even during my concerts.  Every day ended with my thanks giving prayers to the Lord for gifting me such bliss in my married life through my Kiran.

My married life flowered.  I was diagnosed of pregnancy.  For the second time I found Kiran in an ecstasy.  He bodily lifted me high and kissed me all over continuously for minutes together.  He was crying out of joy.  He rested his head over my shoulders and embraced me tight. I wiped away his tears of joy and wished myself to merge in him.  God has blessed me with such a loving husband, I thought.  Bless him with eternal life, I prayed, for such a person as Kiran will never again be born.  But that was not to be.  Evil eliminates the good.  So Kiran had to go.  Kiran indeed did go.

It was the sixth month of my pregnancy.  There was a sacrilege committed in a place of worship.  Soon there was mob fury.  Humanity lined up with their brand names.  They lined up against one another and faith was the dividing line.   There was total chaos and violence.  Many lost life in the violence leaving pain and orphans behind. The old, children and women fled the scene fearing for their lives. A public meeting was called for in the interest of Communal Harmony.  Kiran, an authority on humanitarian sciences was invited to be a speaker.  He made a sensible speech in the meeting and argued for communal harmony in the interests of humanity and nation. He stressed that there should not be a dividing line in humanity itself.  He paid a price for his advice – yes, with his own life. Driving alone in his friend's car, returning at night after the speech he was stopped by self claimed Deputies of God who torched the car.  Only his groans could be heard outside amidst the noise of the men who went amok.  His carcass lay charred in the car.  His ever-smiling face was gone forever and in its place was a black battered skull.  The vocal cord of his soft, sweet voice was consumed by fire. The spring that inspired my life and the stream of his soft, gentle voice that soothed my being and enlivened my spirit was no more there.  The barbarian of a terrorist stole me of my guiding spirit, who loved me and lived for me.  My lover's passion for life was terminated in the middle. Communal violence had extinguished a noble, loving soul forever.

I did not cry when in the middle of night I was informed of Kiran's murder. I could not. I was stunned and shocked for hours.  During these hours Kiran was with me in my mind and took complete possession of me. He advised me to be bold and face the reality.  He asked me to pray for better sense to prevail on religious fanatics.  His face appeared solemn and calm.  There was no streak of vengeance in his voice, but appeared concerned about the future of the baby in my womb.  "Duty first Sehra; take good care of the baby; you can do it, Sehra " was his parting message.  I woke up from the delirium.  His body was brought in, covered.  I insisted on seeing his face against constant refusals from all.  The cover was removed.  I wanted to see the end reality and result of the ugly face of communalism in its charred state. "Misguided elements", I thought.    "Lord, guide them right" was my prayer.    The life lost was not of a tagged individual but of a man who was the embodiment of all human virtues who even in his last speech asked the people to follow their religion in its true spirit guided by a humanitarian approach untwisted from the directions of vested interests.    His approach to life was serious, practical and above all humane.  His body was cremated for a second time; first people of his own caste without knowing his communal identity burnt him inside his car to serve for a religious cause.  The next cremation was a religious ritual.  I do not know at whom to laugh; the inventors of religion that fragments humanity or the herds that religiously follow religion and build up passion to destroy humanitarian values.  Lord, restore in them the right sense to discern the right from the wrong.

The cremation over, I returned with our parents, in Kiran's red sedan.  It started raining.  Perhaps the nature was shedding its tears at the ignorance of men and my loss.  Raindrops were flowing through glass panes.  My memory went back to our first meeting in the library, the car journey, the soft music and his dropping me in my house.  No strength left in me to cry! Still I exploded and cried.  His voice reverberated in me "control yourself; you can, Sehra".  The baby in me was full of vibrations and I controlled myself.  The rain was still in full strength when I went inside my bedroom. It intensified further and there was lightning followed by ear breaking thunder one after another.  I opened the shelf and took out our wedding photograph and kissed my Kiran a hundred time crying, letting out all that was suppressed in me, till I sat down exhausted on the chair.  I did not rest.  I knelt down holding my arms on his chair making promises after promises that I would live down his legacy and bring up our baby the way he would like it to be.  I washed my face and in the mirror my reflection was that of a person hardly resembling me.  Such was the damage, Kiran's death has caused to me.  I went in for my regular reading.  The lightning, the thunder and the rain now stopped.

I continued my stay with Kiran's parents.  I preferred seclusion for long hours so that I can see hallucinations of Kiran talking to me and comforting me quite often.  Kiran's parents took adequate care of my needs and me. I was taken for regular check-ups.  Sitting alone some times, I used to break down thinking of the man who was my life and tears flowing down my cheeks.  Several times Kiran's mother used to rush to me and wipe my tears, consoling me.  She advised me to face life realities boldly as none could escape from it.

Months passed by and I became the proud mother of a cherubic baby girl, the newborn additional link between my lost Kiran and me. I quietly mourned the fact that Kiran was not by my side to share this new found joy.

Years passed by.  Life became normal.  The devastation it had on me subsided.  My career and my concerts continued.  My voice and my dance forms mellowed.  Kiran's parents were always by my side when I needed help.  Financially we were affluent.  Besides Kiran and I used to save part of our earnings to be self-reliant and take care of ourselves in case of an emerging emergency. Years again went past. My little baby girl grew up.  I was always at her side when she needed help and guidance.  I guided her in the right directions and taught her to be independent in outlook and thoughts and express herself without fear when she was convinced of a cause.  It all worked well with her.

I encouraged her to take part in athletics and she won laurels for the school.  I taught her classical dance and music and she excelled in it.  She ranked first in education as well as in all curricular activities.  She was the darling of the school with the leadership qualities I inculcated in her.  I took comfort in seeing in her all the qualities I admired in her father.  What a gem of a man, her father was.  I taunted him intentionally to see him in anger.  He was never seen angry.  At times I envied his qualities that made him special to me. What a loving relationship we had! Each time I received an appreciation of my daughter's qualities, I downgraded myself and in my presence was the towering image of her father, my Kiran.  At bedtime I used to picture him in my mind; his most loving face; his contagious smile and the soft voice he was noted for.  I pictured myself sitting beside him in his car and looking beyond answering his queries on Classical Dances.  What a life of splendor it was.  That was lost forever. How sad it was that he was plucked of from me at the prime of our life by fanatic sadists in the name of religion.  Who can compensate my loss?  What exactly was the volume of my loss?  Why he had to pay with his life for a cause that was dear to humanity? Who can compensate and who can substitute for such an irreparable loss of a great human being?

My daughter stood first in the State in her final examination.  She ranked top in the Professional Entrance Examination too. She opted for a medical career.  I didn't have to tell her that choosing medicine was not for amassing wealth, but to serve the less fortunate, suffering humanity.  It was her priority. She started participating in state level athletics and was always a winner in events she participated.  Encomiums were pouring in.  I always attributed without reservation, all her success to Kiran's indirect influence on her upbringing. She was the pride of her alma mater. When she completed her internship, she brought to me a poem written by her titled "LOVE".  She asked me "What do you think of love, Mom" I could read her mind.  She was at it.  I had neither reservation nor hesitation to answer her.  At near her age I was in feelings of deep love.  I called her to sit by my side.  Kiran came in my mind with his captivating smile.  "Tell me, Shreya, are you in love with anyone", I asked her.  I can't answer, Mom, I have some strange feelings of proximity in my mind with one Anoop.  Can you call it love?"  "Shreya, wait, don't rush, study the man and come to me later.  There is nothing wrong in loving a person or feeling closer to one.  But the man is important.  First settle well in your profession."  "But he is a Christian, Mom", Shreya said. "Shreya, look here, your father was a Hindu and I am a Muslim!  What is your religion? Tell me.  When in deep love, you have to throw that rubbish out" I advised my daughter.  Anoop was a cricketer of eminence at the national level and his father was a Lt. Colonel in the Army.  Shreya used to talk to me about her meetings with Anoop and what she thought about him. Two more years passed by.  Shreya settled well in her profession serving the needy. Her earning from her profession was practically nothing.  I thanked God for gifting me such a wonderful child.  She was happy with her profession as it benefited others more than her interests just the way we wanted it.

Time again ticked fast.  The time has come to think of Shreya's marriage.  I called her by my side.  I asked her about her love for Anoop.  "It is still in me in all its intensity.  I love Anoop.  He is waiting for a nod from you, Mom".  "I will take care of it, Shreya.  I understand your feelings for him" There I stopped.  She left for her clinic.

I discussed the entire matter with Kiran's parents first and then with my parents.  They had neither reservations nor objections.    "If it is okay for Anoop's parents, it is ok for us too".  Anoop's father was contacted over the phone to fix up a time.  Anoop's parents volunteered to come over to our place.  "A rare magnanimous gesture", we thought.   They dropped in. Shreya and I were asked to be present.  In military language, a bomb exploded.  They were aware of the love sometime ago and were wondering what happened. "Better late than never" Anoop's father said.  Our family background was explained to them in detail. "Look, I am an army man. Religion is secondary in my life style. If I have a religion, it is the religion of humanity where values of life are more important than anything else.  Ah!  Religion.  Throw it to the nearest Garbage Bin," he thundered.  "I want Shreya to be my daughter, no other considerations, Agreed?" Anoop's mother said.  I was happy, so was Shreya and all others.  The marriage date was fixed.  Without ostentations the marriage was registered with friends and near relatives.  I looked around and l could see Kiran's presence amongst us beaming with joy.

Marriage over, it was time for Shreya to leave us for her spouse's house.  She came to me and I was in her deep embrace for minutes. She held me tight.  Tears were flowing from her eyes without any let up.  I consoled her saying that this is the law of nature and that we have to gracefully obey it.  She did not utter a single word.  In fact she could not.  I found her holding her breath and controlling herself from bursting out.  I kissed her a hundred times on her face and she released her arms and departed looking back at me a number of times as she entered the car,

Shreya left me, as per human law and the law of nature.  Now I have none to share my grief, my feelings and my happiness. Shreya was on the anvil of building up a new life.  I was confident that Anoop and his parents would take good care of her as had happened in my case.  Shreya was brought up that way molding her character the way Kiran wanted it to be.

"I returned to my bedroom.  I looked at the framed picture of Kiran on the wall; that solemn smiling face over and over again.  I stood in front of the picture for some time.  I felt losing my control over self.  I felt weak and tired. I took the picture from the wall and held it close on to my chest for a few minutes.  I showered kisses on Kiran's face continuously and cried between sobs "I did my duty Kiran, I did my duty Kiran, yes, the way you wanted it to be done" I leaned on to the wall and sat slowly resting my back on the wall.  Tears were rolling down my cheeks as if there was no end to it.   Outside it was heavy rain, to the accompaniment of lightning and thunder. Raindrops were rolling down on the glass panes. I could see in my mind, Kiran coming to me in his wet attire.  He comforted me, and congratulated me for bringing up Shreya the way he wanted.  He kissed me over and over again and tears were dropping from his eyes. His advice this time was different.  "Learn to live adapting yourself to changing and challenging situations.  Living is an art of a different dimension. Master it as far as you can.  I am in you and I am with you because our love is eternal"

K. Mathew Thomas

Friday, May 25, 2007


Social evils like dowry system, child abuse, drug abuse are
the main bane of the society. You, as a part of the society can
take steps to prevent them and make the society a better
place to live in. This chapter explains about the precautions
you have to take to prevent such crimes.

Dowry System

Many NGOs have started campaigns against dowry harassment and are keeping a close watch on reported offences. Though law has provided stringent measures to curb this menace, society and you as a member of the society can do a lot to prevent offences of harassment, dowry death, etc., by taking the following steps:

Start practising dowry prohibition in your family

Educate the members of your family with the provisions of law – that demanding and accepting or giving dowry is an offence

A woman is an important member of family and is entitled to all the rights and privileges a man enjoys

Educate the members of your family and your neighbours to respect a woman’s rights and privileges

If in any family there is a growing dispute between the in-laws and the lady, try to intervene to sort out the differences and educate them about the evils of dowry system. If they fail to listen to you, please inform the jurisdictional police and counselling centres

Provide support and shelter to the lady in distress. If you cannot, please contact the Women organisations who can provide support in such cases

Gather like-minded people who are fighting against this evil and gather public sympathy and support to ex-communicate the families where the evil persists

In case you have any suspicion of ill treatment of a lady in any house, immediately inform the local Police. Ladies in distress, generally avoid showing their resentment to ill-treatment till it reaches a dangerous point leading to their being burnt to death Encourage women folk to raise their voice about their rights and to fight against dowry syste.
- Courtesy: Internet


Dr. S. Sanjay, MS, DNB (Oph) - Associate Consultant.
Rajan Eye Care Hospital
Computers have become indispensable in the workplace. The professionals spend increasing amount of time sitting at their computer workstations and they take less and less breaks running the risk of being exposed to working at high speed aligning to tight deadlines. This is the backdrop of COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME, which is defined as that complex of eye and vision problems experienced during or related to computer use. The computer population is 20 millions plus and 80% of them (16 Million) have discomfort due to CVS. The prevalence of eye symptoms among computer users range from 25.93% as reported by various investigators. The combination of fixed and constrained body postures; work overload and unsuitable workstation can lead to health problems. The most common complaints among computer users are aches and pains in the shoulder, forearm, wrist, hand, back, neck, and eyestrain.

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a blanket term that is used to describe many different types of work-related disorders and injuries to upper limbs as a result of muscular overload. This is usually caused by repetitive movements and/or overuse of specific muscle groups (categorized as static load) especially if the joints adopt extreme positions. RSI is not a new disease and also affects people who do not work at a keyboard.

This article is intended to prevent health problems among computer users. Clearly a large percentage of Computer operators experience eye related symptoms and subsequently seek eye-care. Computer Vision Syndrome can include, Headaches, Neck aches, Backaches, Eyestrain, and Blurred vision, Dry or irritated eyes, Light Sensitivity, Double vision etc. These symptoms are often a result of a combination of three factors - Workplace conditions, Working habits, and Visual conditions.

The Computer Workstation:

The Chair - When you sit, the weight on your lower back is one and a half to two times bigger than what you stand. A good chair must accommodate your body sizes and must be adjustable in the following areas.

Height of the Seat - When your feet rest comfortably on the floor, a 90-degree angle between upper and lower legs is desirable in this position, your upper legs are virtually horizontal.

Depth of the Seat - The clearance between the front edge of the seat and the back of your knee must fit a clenched fist.

Backrest - The backrest must support the area from the upper ridge of the pelvis to the shoulder blades. The curve in the backrest must support the hollow in your lower back. An adjustable tilt is desirable.

The Primary factors that determine discomfort for computers are; nature of the task, length of time spent at the computer and reduced rate of blinking and lack of coordination between the design of the workstations and the design of the glasses or contact lenses used for the task. The average rate of blinking is 12 to 15 times per minute. This is frequently reduced during intensive tasks leading to visual fatigue and dry eyes. Therefore, reading from a screen reduces blinking, which in turn leads to discomfort.

Some examples of user discomforts are; intense tasks such as games, tasks with few breaks from the screen, tasks which require constant looking from copy to screen such as data entry. Detailed tasks such as desk top publishing or Computer Assisted Design (CAD), Eye level placement of screens that causes eyes to be wide open causing faster drying, Eye level screens that are too high for most bifocal wearers unless they have specially designed glasses for this task and glasses that exacerbate the restriction of movement which is a consequence of most computer tasks causing neck, shoulder and arms problems.

Ideal lighting conditions should be between 180-460 lux levels. Good lighting levels can significantly help reduce discomfort due to glare. Light leaving the fixture can be directed so that it goes straight down and not into the eyes of the room occupants. This is most commonly accomplished with the louvers in the luminaries or fixture. An even better solution is indirect lighting in which the light is bounced off the ceiling - resulting in a large low luminance source of light for the room. Another efficient way to eliminate the brightness of overhead fixtures is the use of a Visor. A person can wear it for a day or two as a test to determine the extent to which the light problems activate e discomfort at the end of the day.

To minimize eye discomfort a computer user can; place the screen further away since eye strain tends to increase as tasks are closer - 20 to 28 in inches from his eyes; design the workstation to place the screen at least a few inches below eye level and eliminate reflections from the screen; do not have the screen excessively bright; keeping the monitor clean; have moderate background ambient illumination with supplemental task lighting for hard copy documents - ideally the illumination from the screen should closely match the light reflected from the document; use a copy holder to place documents so that they are at the same distance from the users eyes as the monitor; place hard copies in a plane parallel to the plane of the user’s head to minimize reflections, maximize legibility of print and keep the whole document the same distance from the users eyes; have properly designed lenses for the task; use supplementary eye lubricants as indicated, minimize glass glare on your computer by turning your monitor away from the window, reducing strong overhead light, balancing overhead and window light with a desk lamp and using an antiglare screen; give your eyes a break by looking away frequently from your monitor for a few seconds.

Working at the computer is not harmful to the eyes. But have your eyes examined if you are a first time keyboard operator and experience eye problems. Consult your eye care professional regularly to update your prescription.
Do's and Don’ts in fire fighting

Learn not to burn. Do's

Ø Contact local fire officer to learn basics of First Aid fire fighting.
Ø Give way to fire engine.
Ø Help firemen to help you out
Ø Faulty electrical appliances should be repaired/replaced immediately.
Ø Switch off the electric supply of the fire affected areas.
Ø Switch off appliances after use and remove the plug from the socket.
Ø Keep matches, lighters and crackers away from children.
Ø Keep LPG stoves on raised platform - never on the floor.
Ø Turn off the cylinder valve and burner knob of the gas stove after cooking.
Ø In case of burn injuries due to fire, pour water over burn till pain subsides.


Ø Don’t block escape routes.
Ø Don’t use Non ISI equipment/ appliances.
Ø Don’t compromise with money and quality of safety equipment.
Ø Don’t dispose off lighted cigarette ends carelessly.
Ø Don’t plug too many electrical appliances in one socket.
Ø Never have temporary or naked joints on wiring.
Ø Don’t lay wires under carpets, mats, or doorways.
Ø Never place oil lamps, agarbattis or candles on the floor or near combustible material. •Don’t ear loose, flowing clothes while cooking. Avoid synthetic clothing.
Ø Never reach for any article over a fire.
Ø Hay stack should not be built up near the railway lines or roads.
Ø Don’t park your cars/trucks close to fire hydrants/underground static water tank.
Ø Don’t misuse First Aid fire fighting equipment.Don’t use lifts in case of fire..
Compiled by: Dr. G. V. Sudheendra

Every one of us has been endowed with just one life. Whether we make it or mar it is entirely in our hands.

Every day, we hear or come across instances where people who were down out rise out of their abyss and shine in a new life. We also know that those riding high and mighty take a toss from which they cannot survive. This is the logic of life - The Life Circle. . Anything that is above, will, eventually, have to come down. But it need not and does not always come down low enough to unseat you. How you manage this trough, if it occurs in your life, vastly depends on how you tackle life.

“My strength fails me and the light of my eyes is gone from me…….I am ready to fall and my pain is ever with me” So wrote the Psalmist, King David , almost 3000 years ago, in guilt and suffering. Perhaps, someone you loved has left you or been snatched away by death. Or you have been eased out of a job which meant everything to your life, or a beloved child is in trouble, or you have done something wrong and are overburdened by the weight of your guilt . The worst part of it is that these crisis come in all our lives and we are unable to imagine a way out. Some may try running away from the problem or resort to meaningless pursuits like alcohol, drugs, love affairs and other methods of just listlessly killing the hours.

Take heart!. Every cell in our body has been programmed to fight for life. Life is a gift from God, a candle to burn ever so brightly, a fire meant to light other fires. How do you learn to rise and walk; to cherish life against the exhaustion of guilt or sorrow or failure; to hold until the lights come on again?

First and foremost, invite yourself to live. Seek those who have traversed these “dark woods’ in their lives. These people are everywhere, making you realize that you are not alone. Once you believe in this, “your belief will help create a fact”

Next, forgive yourself and forgive others. Whatever the cause of our trouble, we often see in it some real or imaginary fault of our own. If you have done something wring, there is always a restorative at hand. First, face it. Tell yourself, “I am sorry. I will not do it again”. If possible, try to repair the damage caused by your actions. Then put your sins and failures behind you and refill the pool of your life with new acquaintances and enthusiasm. Never brood over what people have done to you. Remember that those who hurt you often do so out of their own problems, not out of their perception of you. If you deserve the injury done to you, learn from it. If you didn’t, forget it.

Most important of all, regain your self-esteem. Begin by giving up the defensive masks behind which most of us often lurk behind when meeting the world. Always stand for your own values; speak well of yourself, both within yourself and aloud.. Be as generous to yourself as you would be to others. Then stop wondering whether you will fail in your attempts. Remember, people often fail-they don’t always succeed! Remember, we often fail because we try for something bigger than ourselves; and that is what we should be doing. It has been wisely said - “think of what you have instead of what you lack”. This is important, because in the depth of defeat, we often feel that we have nothing to give to the world.

Don’t isolate yourself. Return to the world of other people. This may not always be easy, but make an honest attempt. Sometimes, the concern others have for us can rekindle our loss or pain, but it cannot be helped. We do need time to be alone with our thoughts, and ourselves but don’t make it too long. There is nothing more certain to make us rise from our misery, than love. Find a compassionate person to whom you can confide and talk things over.

By giving your time and concern to others, you can heal yourself.
And above all, believe in miracles. Many people have experiences that seem to spring from a mysterious ultimate self, bringing unexpected joy and strength. These people have come into contact with something larger than themselves, with a reality that transcends our world, a power that makes life holy.

Take one step at a time. Whatever the provocation, don’t rush. If a miracle has happened to solve your problem, live your life, one day, at a time. Respond to the small sunlight of hope that breaks into your dark world. Be Like a child. Look for the small joys that come your way. Look around you. Look at the beautiful world nature has created around you.

And, finally, practice gratitude. Always say, “Thank you God, for all that you have done for me, and will continue to do for me”.

Nine Noble Virtues

The Nine Noble Virtues have been around for at least 15 years
and few are certain as to who came up with the list. It is as follows:

Courage - Bravery or boldness, the ability to stand and fight in the face of any threat. Courage is the bravery to do what is right at all times. This can be likened to being brave enough to live by the Nine Noble Virtues and for the Six-fold Goal. But as always, what one person believes is right, may not be what another sees as right.

Truth - Honesty and the ability to standby what is true. Truth is the willingness to be honest and to say what one knows to be true and right. It is often better to not say anything at all if one cannot be honest. But likewise, when one does say something, it is best to be truthful and speak what one sees, not what others would like to hear. We also have a caveat on the concept of Truth, and that is that whilst we should endeavour to speak the truth at all times, do not be fooled into speaking the truth when others lie to you. If people always told the truth we would not have to respond to lies with lies, but then this is not an ideal world in which we live.

Honour - Reputation, renown. Your personal worth as well as that of your family'! Honour is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world. Of all the Virtues, this one is often the hardest to define, as each person's interpretation of this is different. It could translate as "self-image", or "self-esteem", and is important to recognise that this will be different from person to person.

- Troth or loyalty to those around you be that family, friends, or fellowship. Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one's Gods and Goddesses, to one's Folk, and to one's self. How one interprets the concept of loyalty is largely up to the individual as there are many different levels of loyalty, and hence Fidelity. But each person knows within themselves, just what this means to them, and it is important that others understand this, to be able to form the bonds of loyalty that exist on all levels.

Discipline - Self control, the ability to be in command of one's own thoughts. Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed on others, so that greater purposes may be achieved. We must always be hardest on ourselves, to set the example. It is very easy to work at the level of do as I say, not as I do. But in this we dishonour ourselves and we dishonour others. Leading by example is what this is all about.

- The ability to make a guest feel welcome. Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one's fellows, especially when they are far from home. This is not the same as giving out all your worldly possessions to anyone who comes by a begging. It is the concept of sharing, which is reciprocated by all true folk when they have you as a guest in their homes. It is important to establish and reaffirm the bonds of friendship, and kinship that Hospitality is observed.

- The ability to work hard in maintaining one's self and family! Industriousness is the willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself. It is vital that we work hard at what we seek to achieve, for without consistent and well-directed effort, our goals will not be reached. But it does not mean that we should work all the time, indeed one should be industrious in ones leisure pursuits as well, and avoid the concept of making work for the sake of having work to do.

Self Reliance - The ability to rely on one's self without the aid of others. Self Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved not only for the individual, but also for the family, clan, tribe and nation. It is not a concept of denying ones interconnectedness with others, but of ensuring that one can take care of oneself first, then ones family and loved ones, then the extended family (clan), the tribe (ones local grouping) and the nation (all folk no matter where they reside). By being self-reliant we can then share what we have with others and fulfill the duty of Hospitality, the entire better

- Steadfastness, or the refusal to give up even when things are rough. Perseverance is the ability to return from defeat and/or failure. Each time we have a setback, we recognise this, and if the purpose is the right one, we continue until success is won.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Issued in the interests of Computer users by
Empty your “Recycle Bin” regularly and especially before asking for more drive space

Give the computer enough room to have airflow around it, the monitor gives out heat and computers are prone to overheating.

Keep the computer dry, as electricity and water are a lethal combination for the user as well as the computer.

Keep the air vents clean and free from dust

Use an anti-static cloth to clean the monitor screen
Close the computer down correctly by saving your work first, closing down other applications, and using the Operating System procedure to close: Start > Shutdown and switching off
Keep your virus protection data files up to date

Use your virus program’s Live Update feature

Backup your critical data often

Using Windows Explorer, copy critical files/folders to a floppy disk, Zip Disk, or CD-R (W)

Use Scandisk often

1. Shut down background programs and screen saver. (Ctrl+Alt+Del)
2. Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Scandisks.
Clean out temporary files often
1. Win 98 or ME: Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Cleanup 2. Win 95: Using Windows Explorer, delete all temporary files

Defragment your hard drive periodically

1. Shut down background programs and screen saver. (Ctrl+Alt+Del)

2. Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter

Clean your computer, mouse and keyboard periodically

Shut down all “background” programs when installing a new software application

Restart your computer periodically if you leave it on all the time

Unplug your computer and phone line when lightning is in the area

Use the Eject/Close button

Shutdown and restart (several times, if necessary) if you’re having cures most ailments!

Try these sequential recovery steps, in order, if your computer “freezes”:

1. Press Esc Key

2. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del, and then terminate the program that is not responding by using the End Task Button

3. Try Shutting down Windows using the keyboard commands: Ctrl-Esc, U, and Enter

4. Press Reset Button
5. Depress the On/Off Button for a few seconds

Handle compact disks only by edges...clean them if dirty. Use clean, soft, cotton cloth, rub radially outward

Check your hard drive free space should have at least 100MB

Don’t leave the computer unattended for more than 15 minutes. It could get rebooted and you may lose your work

Block the air vents by stacking coats, bags, and books in front or on them

Eat or drink near the computer, crumbs will clog the keyboard, and drinks can permanently damage the computer.

Expose the computer to temperatures that are very high or very low

Switch off or pull the plug without closing down properly
Move the computer whilst in operation as it may damage the Hard Drive

Plug/unplug cables when computer is operating

Place floppy disks or Zip disks near magnetic fields (speaker, cell phone, screwdrivers, etc

Keep liquids near keyboard/Mouse

Use your computer before windows or other programs fully load

Use your computer when drive lights are energized or “hourglass” cursor is showing

Give your credit card number when not in a secure Web site

Shut down Windows by using the on/off switch

Operate without a good surge protector (or UPS) for computer and peripherals (modem, printer, scanner, etc)

Open E-Mail file attachments or download files from Internet without active, up-to-date virus protection

Use a floppy disk from others without first virus checking it

Push your CD-ROM tray shut
Use the CD-ROM tray as a cup-holder

Turn your printer off while it is still printing (causes paper jam on many printers). Instead, remove paper from feeder tray

Locate your computer/monitor in a tight, enclosed area with inadequate ventilation

Depend on floppies for long-term permanent storage/archiving of critical data

Unplug keyboard, mouse from the computer when it is running (PS2)
Use wet cloth for cleaning the backside of the CPU

Open the CPU cabinet without
proper guidance from a qualified engineer
Unplug or plugging any hardware component when the computer is running. Unless it’s a hot swappable
Urine Related Wrong Signals

If you experience one of the following 10 warning signs, see your doctor.

· Leakage of urine that impacts your activities

· Leakage of urine causing embarrassment

· Leakage of urine after an operation (e.g. hysterectomy, Cesarean section or prostate surgery)

· An urgent need to rush to the bathroom and/or loss of urine if you do not arrive in time

· Frequent bladder infections

· Urinating more frequently than usual without a bladder infection

· Pain related to filling the bladder and/or during urination in the absence of a bladder infection
· Inability to urinate (also known as “urinary retention”) Source - Internet

We are born in this earth not out of our sweet will. It just happened as the end result of a carnal passion. We do not know our past - our pre-birth status. The future too is unpredictable. Once we come of age, normally we are our own providers. To live this life or to meet even its bare necessity we have to stray off our path and violate canons of ethics taught to us. We kill the mutes and relish it. We violate the essentials of brotherhood between men. Wealth and fame make us arrogant. Poverty and avarice drive us to scramble for money. For every wrong thing we do, we find a justification for it. We do all these things because we were born, the result of an act, not of our choice. Since we were not responsible for our origin, it is pure logic that none can commit us to A SECOND HELL believed to be above.
K. Mathew Thomas
Consider this:

If a young woman from, say, the year 1900, could somehow be transported in time to the present day, what would she find most disturbing and shocking? She would enjoy much greater opportunity for education and employment. And work would be so much easier with all these laborsaving devices. She’d love the personal convenience of the automobile and the distance-destroying effect of the airplane. These and many other things would be welcome. The revealing clothing and the vulgar level of conversation would certainly startle her; but she could get used to it. No, the big shock would come when she talked with her new friends and found out about their marriages…or the absence thereof. The prevalence of divorce and cohabitation, the lack of any sense of reverence for the institution of marriage in general, the openly-expressed attitudes toward sex as recreation or as a kind of human right, the delinquency of husbands and fathers with regard to their families—these would leave her literally agape with surprise and despair. Nothing in her background would have led her to expect it. She would naturally conclude that ours is a society in the process of slow self-destruction, and she would be justifiably frightened:
Source: Internet

The Byzantine emperor Justin II, who ruled in the sixth century, got a nervous breakdown and was insane for nine years, with periods of lucidity.
His attendants who sometimes had to tie the emperor, to prevent him from throwing himself out of the window or biting them, watched him. To calm the emperor and stop him from making foolish things, the attendants drew him in a little wagon with a throne upon it. An organ, which played almost day and night, also had a quieting effect.


The Egyptian caliph al-Hakim who reigned in the eleventh century was famous for his eccentricity and was possibly insane too.
He was a person full of contradictions, and his politics was characterized by liberalism as well as cruelty. Al-Hakim was a clean-living man who banned intoxicants, musical instruments and various kinds of amusements, among other things. By night al-Hakim went on long walking-tours. It is rumoured that he then sometimes got absolutely mad, and that he even murdered a person. Al-Hakim may have served as a model for the nocturnal wanderer in Baghdad whom we read about in Arabian Nights.
In Tamilnadu, every public figure has a decorative title before their name, mostly self-conferred. In Kerala this is not the case. The decoration is at the state level. It is known as “God’s own country”. We all know that God is concerned about orderly living and naturally he would never make a foolish choice about his place of possession and residence.

For over a decade I worked as a sales person in a Bombay based Multinational Corporation and I was in charge of industrial selling in the entire Southern States. The travel every month used to be for more than two weeks. In each state I observed some difference from other states on their attitude towards work, hospitality and general approach. But what I have observed on my visits to Kerala was really unique.

On my way from Madras to Trivandrum, the difference becomes obvious mainly from Trichur onwards. As the train approaches each station there will literally be a congregation of people from all walks of life in great expectant moods. As each person or a family gets down, there will be a great reception in the form of hugging, embracing and holding hands. I have also seen tears of happiness flowing out mostly from mothers and wives. In my heart I also participate in these moments of happiness. Probably some of these persons who arrived were away for years together to earn a living outside the State. There is no dearth for human love and affinity to one who is near and dear. I used to observe each face and derived some pleasure out of it, as I was also one among them who had to leave my native State to earn for a living. The first time I went out of State to Bombay, my parents gave me a tearful farewell. I could return only after three years and when I returned my younger brother and my father was at the Station to receive me. My father was in tears of happiness to see me because he knew that I too was torturing myself distantly to run the family and finance the education of my siblings. When I see all these things on my travel it is an occasion to remember my past and share my oneness with all those who assemble at the Railway Station. So we have seen the happy faces and now let us be on our return journey from Trivandrum. What we see exactly now is the reverse. The same gathering will be there, but with a different look. Most of them will look sad and particularly mothers and wives will be wiping off their tears. Once I saw a newlywed girl crying in grief, as the train started moving. None could control her. It was not at all a pleasant sight to see the sad faces of many at the Station. It may be years before they return again. As the train move they too move along with the train till it gains speed.
I am extremely emotional by nature and such sights take off my morale. So I make it a point that any contact for sales I make will be only on my onward journey and never on my return journey. -
K. Mathew Thomas

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Contributed by Michael Pollan

1. Eat food. Though in our current state of confusion, this is much easier said than done. So try this: Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. (Sorry, but at this point Moms are as confused as the rest of us, which is why we have to go back a couple of generations, to a time before the advent of modern food products.) There are a great many foodlike items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn’t recognize as food (Go-Gurt? Breakfast-cereal bars? Nondairy creamer?); stay away from these.

2. Avoid even those food products that come bearing health claims. They’re apt to be heavily processed, and the claims are often dubious at best. Don’t forget that margarine, one of the first industrial foods to claim that it was more healthful than the traditional food it replaced, turned out to give people heart attacks. When Kellogg’s can boast about its Healthy Heart Strawberry Vanilla cereal bars, health claims have become hopelessly compromised. (The American Heart Association charges food makers for their endorsement.) Don’t take the silence of the yams as a sign that they have nothing valuable to say about health.

3. Especially avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar, b) unpronounceable c) more than five in number — or that contain high-fructose corn syrup. None of these characteristics are necessarily harmful in and of themselves, but all of them are reliable markers for foods that have been highly processed.

4. Get out of the supermarket whenever possible. You won’t find any high-fructose corn syrup at the farmer’s market; you also won’t find food harvested long ago and far away. What you will find are fresh whole foods picked at the peak of nutritional quality. Precisely the kind of food your great-great-grandmother would have recognized as food.

5. Pay more, eat less. The American food system has for a century devoted its energies and policies to increasing quantity and reducing price, not to improving quality. There’s no escaping the fact that better food — measured by taste or nutritional quality (which often correspond) — costs more, because it has been grown or raised less intensively and with more care. Not everyone can afford to eat well in America, which is shameful, but most of us can: Americans spend, on average, less than 10 percent of their income on food, down from 24 percent in 1947, and less than the citizens of any other nation. And those of us who can afford to eat well should. Paying more for food well grown in good soils — whether certified organic or not — will contribute not only to your health (by reducing exposure to pesticides) but also to the health of others who might not themselves be able to afford that sort of food: the people who grow it and the people who live downstream, and downwind, of the farms where it is grown.

“Eat less” is the most unwelcome advice of all, but in fact the scientific case for eating a lot less than we currently do is compelling. “Calorie restriction” has repeatedly been shown to slow aging in animals, and many researchers (including Walter Willett, the Harvard epidemiologist) believe it offers the single strongest link between diet and cancer prevention. Food abundance is a problem, but culture has helped here, too, by promoting the idea of moderation. Once one of the longest-lived people on earth, the Okinawans practiced a principle they called “Hara Hachi Bu”: eat until you are 80 percent full. To make the “eat less” message a bit more palatable, consider that quality may have a bearing on quantity: I don’t know about you, but the better the quality of the food I eat, the less of it I need to feel satisfied. All tomatoes are not created equal.

6. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves. Scientists may disagree on what’s so good about plants — the antioxidants? Fiber? Omega-3s? — but they do agree that they’re probably really good for you and certainly can’t hurt. Also, by eating a plant-based diet, you’ll be consuming far fewer calories, since plant foods (except seeds) are typically less “energy dense” than the other things you might eat. Vegetarians are healthier than carnivores, but near vegetarians (“flexitarians”) are as healthy as vegetarians. Thomas Jefferson was on to something when he advised treating meat more as a flavoring than a food.

7. Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks. Confounding factors aside, people who eat according to the rules of a traditional food culture are generally healthier than we are. Any traditional diet will do: if it weren’t a healthy diet, the people who follow it wouldn’t still be around. True, food cultures are embedded in societies and economies and ecologies, and some of them travel better than others: Inuit not so well as Italian. In borrowing from a food culture, pay attention to how a culture eats, as well as to what it eats. In the case of the French paradox, it may not be the dietary nutrients that keep the French healthy (lots of saturated fat and alcohol?!) so much as the dietary habits: small portions, no seconds or snacking, communal meals — and the serious pleasure taken in eating. (Worrying about diet can’t possibly be good for you.) Let culture be your guide, not science.

8. Cook. And if you can, plant a garden. To take part in the intricate and endlessly interesting processes of providing for our sustenance is the surest way to escape the culture of fast food and the values implicit in it: that food should be cheap and easy; that food is fuel and not communion. The culture of the kitchen, as embodied in those enduring traditions we call cuisines, contains more wisdom about diet and health than you are apt to find in any nutrition journal or journalism. Plus, the food you grow yourself contributes to your health long before you sit down to eat it. So you might want to think about putting down this article now and picking up a spatula or hoe.

9. Eat like an omnivore. Try to add new species, not just new foods, to your diet. The greater the diversity of species you eat, the more likely you are to cover all your nutritional bases. That of course is an argument from nutritionism, but there is a better one, one that takes a broader view of “health.” Biodiversity in the diet means less monoculture in the fields. What does that have to do with your health? Everything. The vast monocultures that now feed us require tremendous amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to keep from collapsing. Diversifying those fields will mean fewer chemicals, healthier soils, healthier plants and animals and, in turn, healthier people. It’s all connected, which is another way of saying that your health isn’t bordered by your body and that what’s good for the soil is probably good for you, too.

Michael Pollan, a contributing writer, is the Knight professor of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. His most recent book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” was chosen by the editors of The New York Times Book Review as one of the 10 best books of 2006.