Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 - 2011

Today is the end of a week.
Today is the end of a month.
Today is the end of a year.
Today is the end of a decade.

2010 - what a year it has been!

Here's welcoming 2011.
A year that starts with 1.1.11 should surely be special!

A very happy new year!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Being Samaritan Vs Getting Mugged

At about midnight, couple of days ago, I was driving in my car near BEL circle when I noticed a girl in her twenties wearing an exquisite western dress which was very catchy. It was dark and she was standing near a pole. I could not see her face. Anyone could see that she was not a prostitute because Indian prostitutes do not wear dress like that. It was neither the time nor the place for a girl to be out on the streets let alone in such captivating attire.

Just when I was thinking so, I saw her stagger. It became clear to me then that she was drunk. She was hopelessly drunk and on the verge of falling in the ditch. Doubtless, she belonged to the affluent category that could not just afford an expensive dress but also soak oneself in the spirits.

I was speeding and I zoomed away thinking how unfortunate that she was in such a state. Any one can use her at such a night to one’s own means and her life will be virtually smeared forever. Such a pity. Well, to be fair, she would have brought it on herself if she is so senseless as to roam around drunk at midnight.

I then wondered if it was right on my part to speed away instead of assisting her and taking her to a safe place until she regained her senses or at least inform the cops about her. But who knows what her true intentions were? Perhaps she was just acting just to catch some gullible men and then mug them at gun point with the help of a hidden accomplice as soon as the car stopped.

If only this world was devoid of bad elements, it is so easy to decide and offer help. But for this small-but-powerful percentage of criminals, many a needy go helpless even from the large-but-fearful percentage of Samaritans.

Quote of the day

"What man is a man who does not make this world a better place?"

~ Kingdom of Heaven

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Welcome Note

When we went to Paaparapatti (also called Dakshina Manthralaya) in January this year as part of a routine weekend outing, the priest blessed us thus: “Santhaana praapthi rasthu” roughly translating to “May you have an offspring”. Soon after, my wife had to attend a naming ceremony in Haveri. In such ceremonies, elders bless newly married women with a glass of milk to bear children. My wife was the newest married women in the group and hence was asked to drink the glass of milk. A belief perhaps but it definitely made my wife special!

Feb 17th was a special day not just because it was 2 years since me and my wife met but also because we came to know that we were going to become parents. She woke up that day at 5 am puking and we knew the reason even before the pregnancy test showed the ultimatum.

What followed the next couple of weeks was a nightmare. Her nausea worsened to such an extent that even few drops of water would not stay for more than few minutes. Many people scared us saying that it will continue for all the remaining eight months for some women. Needless to say, she became dehydrated and was hospitalized. I had done enough google research to know that she was admitted for “Hyperemesis Gravidarum.” Miraculously, three bottles of IV drops and other medication she received for one full day completely cured her nausea. She then had her first scan and the baby’s heart beat was exciting and exhilarating, going lub-dub lub-dub…

Then came the “Information Gathering” part. We got hooked on to babycenter. This is one of the most useful websites I have ever come across in my life. It also has an Indian version. It has A to Z of information on pregnancy and childbirth. It also has some awesome 3 min videos of how the egg is penetrated, how an embryo is formed, how male and female foetus develop, how the foetus develops through the nine months, how it comes through the birth canal, how the cesarean operation is conducted, etc. It has week by week update and it became a ritual for us to sit in front of the website every Sunday to understand completely what was going on in the womb and how we could make baby’s life easy. Babycenter bridges the common man to the complicated gynecological medical world in a beautiful, seamless manner and makes it enjoyable and entertaining. It definitely was a ‘look-forward-to’ throughout the nine months. It was like driving on a highway looking forward to the milestones that come up every mile! It also made me realize that a woman’s body is biologically mind-blowing!!

The mid trimester (May to Jun) was uneventful and comfortable except that we drove once on a 100 km stretch on a two-wheeler much to many a chagrin! Every last Saturday of the month was booked for Doctor visit and it became a nice pattern, especially checking the weight part. Our gynaecologist Dr. Latha Venkataram was simply amazing. Just her presence was soothing. She was oozing with energy and efficiency. Her words were like a balm. We had couple of ante-natal classes to listen about the dos and donts, and to discuss everything under the sun with our team of reassuring five doctors.

When I mentioned about “Many gave good news”, my wife was one of them! In July, we celebrated our second wedding anniversary (plus “Babymoon”) in Chikmagalur. What was supposed to be a relaxing getaway became adventurous trip because of unprecedented hill-climbing and steep roads. Nevertheless it was worth it. [PS: I didn't post the Chikmagalur trip details until the baby was safely born lest be scolded for undertaking such a dangerous trip at such a time of life!]

Looking at my wives’ “baby bump”, some said “its gonna be a boy” and some said “its gonna be a girl” and each had their own proving evidences but its not a thing to be believed. In the ninth month, a week before delivery, a relative asked if we were in the sixth month! That indicates how much the “bump” was! Keeping track of the bump progress was also interesting! Pregnancy which was ‘normal’ all through suddenly became slightly complicated in the 38th week with amniotic fluid becoming less. With kid being in the ‘breech’ (head up) position, a cesarean was inevitable. Alas, all those exercises and yoga meant for natural delivery went for a toss!

C-section had its pros. We could be prepared, we could give a date and time of our convenience and practically no labour pain. Only flip part was that I was not allowed inside the OT. So, couple of days before the operation, we went to a number of famous eating joints so that the would-be mother could enjoy the best of the best cuisines prior to the months of post-childbirth eating-restrictions. As it occurred, C-section was a blessing in disguise because the doctors found a minor fibroid after removing the baby. So, if the baby had come through the natural birth canal, my wife had to undergo a surgery anyways - after months of excruciating pain - to get the fibroid extracted. So, our daughter, by turning upside down wrongly on the 38th week, assisted us indirectly in identifying and removal of the fibroid!

Finally the baby landed on my arms on Oct 11, 2010 – exactly 2 years and 3 months after we got married. She was born at 1059 hrs and weighed 2.7 kgs. Many people asked me if I felt happy about having become a dad but my only emotion was a huge relief that things had gone well.

But I was happy for another reason: Even before my wife went inside the OT, I had informed her that that day being a special day (because of the birth of our daughter!), Sachin will hit a century (when he was still in 44) and after her delivery, sure enough, I was told that he had hit his 49th Test century! For me, this was almost expected, after the phenomenal 200* he hit a week after the news of conception! Surely our daughter has brought good luck to Sachin! :-)

Next couple of weeks was grueling. The once-in-two-hours feed was very tiring for the mother. Added to that, there is child bath, medicine, diaper-changing. It was a 24 * 7 activity that became slightly better only after a couple of months when the baby could withstand without milk for about 4-5 hrs at night. Right about then, it started smiling and it’s smile, as I already said, melted the annoyance of sleepless nights.

Choosing a name for our daughter was not very difficult. My wife and I didn’t have to pore over books or internet. It was a name that we both liked - since almost a year. Whenever we discussed about having kids, I kind of had a feeling that we were going to have a daughter, and this name was the most preferred. But it got officialized only two months later at the naming ceremony.

The name has a tangential reference in Vishnu Sahasra Naama [which both of us are devoted to] (verse 32). The name is one of the 72 Melakartha Raagas [41st]. The name is part of the pallavi of Paalinthu Kaamaskhi song which we both like. The name means Purifying, or The Great Purifier.

The name is Paavani.

With this, I welcome my daughter to this best of best worlds and sincerely wish all the very best in her life to achieve great heights. I just hope my wife and I can give her the right momentum and platform for her to soar.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quotes of the day for "Abroad"

A friend: "Why live like an orphan abroad when we can live amongst family in our native land?"


Wodehouse's The Coming of Bill: "Why go abroad when you have not yet seen the wonders of your native land?"


Hmmm, food for thought...

Sunday, December 05, 2010

It is not always what it seems

I could not understand why there are so many ads to World Cup Cricket starting Feb 2011. There are huge hoardings put in most parts of the city highlighting 2011 Cricket World Cup to be broadcast by a few Sports Channels.

I could not imagine why anyone would want to spend lakhs of rupees on advertising an event which will be a mega success anyways even without any advertisement. Then I realized that the real motto of the advertisement is not to woo the already-cricket-frenzy-public to watching cricket on their channels: it is to save tax under the bracket of Advertisements and Marketing.


A person is in ground floor. He wants to use the elevator. The display shows that the elevator is currently in Floor 2. He presses the button. The display starts descending: it reads 1 and then 0. As the door opens, he moves forward to enter the elevator only to find that there are people in the elevator who want to exit. So he gives way, a little taken aback to find people in the elevator.

He was taken aback because he was under the impression that the elevator descended because he had pressed the button. But, without his knowledge, there were people filtering into the elevator in Floor 2 at the exact same time and they had pressed the Level 0 button. So the elevator had descended from Level 2 to Level 0 not because he had pressed the button but because the folks at Level 2 inside the elevator had pressed the Level 0 button.


Just goes to show there is more to this world than that meets the eye...