The REAL RAVAN – Insensitive Morons!

Amritsar Incident – The REAL RAVAN – Insensitive Morons!

Time: 6.45pm / Day & Date: Friday, October 19, 2018

Venue: Joda Phatak Amritsar / Event: Ravan Dahan Dusshera Utsav

 

It’s been 20+hours now since the tragic, ill-fated & ghastly incident occurred at the Joda Phatak, Amritsar. Two trains speeding in opposite directions mow down a crowd of Dusshera revelers watching burning of the Ravana effigy. “Epics say, this marks the victory of good over evil” – But does it really?

Unfortunately, it was not just the effigy that perished; but also 60 odd innocent lives of gullible souls, gathered around to witness this annual event. Here is what follows next:

  • The local residents cry foul and express resentment by shouting slogans of protest against the railway authorities/ government/ civic bodies for the incident. Most joining this agitation have no specific interest but feel privileged to support the cause. The agenda doesn’t seem defined, the anger is motiveless, the expectations fail to get communicated, the questions fall short & answers remain buried. An activist led procession that steadily fades with time.

 

  • Immediate rescue operations kick start under instructions of the concerned ministers, ex-gratia payments get announced for the family of the deceased/ injured. Saturday is declared as an official mourning of the state. Offices and Institutions remain closed. Twitter is flooded with notes of condolences and compensations. Foreign trips get cancelled and duly notified across media.

 

  • The media [tries to] cover this incident from Vantage point spanning all facets and gradually politicizing it to name a party, shame a name, garner eyeballs, milk ad-moolahs, twist questions to obtain expected answers etc without even trying to address the real issue. The panel-based shows having eminent personalities from opposition/ ruling party, local authorities, couple of victims and the channel editor howling on top of his/ her voice demanding answers/ solutions for this incident.

 

  • Defense mechanisms splash all over the news – Ministers defending their seats/ spouses/ parties/ self, Railways defending their institution/ authorities, local bodies defending their event-arrangements, public defending their faiths, family, friends etc.

 

  • The religious gurus, pundits continue to isolate the incident by linking it to some misfortune and offering solutions that would bring opulence (to their pockets of-course). Few past events of similar nature be brought up to amplify the magnitude of this event, cross-examine the cause-effect and post-mortem the current incident. Baseless & Senseless conclusions find a place amidst the chaos and the real thing goes extinct.

 

  • Most others consider this a cosmic extensive alignment of the stars to have chosen this auspicious day for the departed souls to unite with the almighty. Prayers will be offered in the name of RELIGION and faiths of the ones with loss will be played around with.

All this and much more makes one think WHO IS THE REAL RAVAN here? Don’t we all seem to possess or be possessed by the RAVAN inside us?

  • A protest with an agenda of disturbing the routine and creating unrest for others with clueless motive and blind dependence on the controlling power only describes the EVIL RAVAN within. Instead a peaceful movement (independent of any political supremacy) chalking out the impending course of action, re-visiting the event arrangement to avoid future casualties, issuance of notices and circulars to address schedules and timelines, volunteer based marshalling etc could be more effective, isn’t it? Because what’s happened, has happened. But what may happen can be well approached to ensure it doesn’t get repeated.

 

  • While media should be playing an important part of being an unbiased channel of communicating facts; its is with shame I want to express that the RAVAN of “I”, “Me” & “Myself” has engulfed it completely. The race of being the first to report a news is so fierce and competitive that it has simply become a data point to milk opportunity and clock higher [revenue/ TRP] numbers. But doesn’t the real thing get blanketed under these ambitious aspirations? [Non-skippable] Ads of an Online Retail platform just before the braking story only implies importance of ‘Grabbing of deals’ over ‘Grieving for dead’.

 

  • Using the social platforms to announce compensations, to cancel foreign trips, as defense strategies or update the developments only signifies the RAVAN who believes in ‘unreal noise’ than ‘real action’. Shouldn’t “this” be burnt to death? Have these platforms ever been used to check if the compensations have reached the families; Or jobs provided wherever necessary; Or follow-up plans executed to look for the recovery of the injured; or effective arrangements deployed to avoid such unforeseen incidents in future; Or necessary training imparted to volunteers etc?

 

  • Innocent beings falling prey to moron torch bearers of religion and faith are also in possession of a RAVAN called “fear”. It is this fear that gets taken advantage of and played around with. Its high time we inculcate a thought that good deeds and not blind faith beget fortune. Its time we stand against this demon of fabricated “fear of faith” and abolish the mindless stupidity of gurus, babas and pundits.

The RAVAN effigy at the Joda Phatak ground (or anywhere) only symbolizes a poet’s imagination of the face of terror and evil. The burning signifies its demolition. Shouldn’t we all just unite to demolish the insensitive RAVAN within us and be more human & humane? Can we not have a Dusshera of a different kind? The question therefore: WHO/ WHAT is the REAL RAVAN??

Advertisements

Its JUST & ONLY about CHOICES !!

3 years!

3 years – is what it took me to sketch my next title/ thought.. Surrounded & compounded with options, it became seemingly difficult to pin the right pick. It is then I realized how critical it is to make a Choice.. 

Choices – At times obvious, at times unclear. Some pleasingly easy to make, some dreadfully difficult. While a few is based on personal experience, a lot more are free scholarships attained out of others experiences. What ever it is, Choices form an integral piece in one’s everyday lives.

I pinned this write up as the next choice..

Emotional Atyachaar!

….the last part (4/4)

A striking must-see is the camera tricks used to assist narration and depict the atmosphere of the story line. A 30-minute episode will feature about 12-15 minutes of exaggerated & extrapolated expressions of the artiste in such a way that everyone in the show enjoys equal exposure by a Slow motion camera movement. About 7-9 minutes of the show are dedicated religiously to some extra-pampering, too-much-pyaar-mohabbat, magnificent grandeur and so-called love, respect and discipline of the lead actors/ actresses. Most of it doesn’t even exist in the real world. The left over minutes are obviously dedicated to the Shampoos, Oils, Sanitary Napkins, Toiletries, Perfumes and Consumer durables.

Another key note: Every situation, be it the birth of a new being, or the unexpected death of someone as unimportant as Lalit Kaka (the 60-year old servant) is dramatized on screen in the most flashy-fishy-manner. Do not be surprised if you find out that Lalit Kaka was actually Lalita Kaki who has been living in the house for more than 4 decades, secretly running the family business worth few 1000 crores. And that’s not the end. Lalita Kaki actually turns to be a don running the underworld and managing the gangs across continents. Surprisingly this is revealed by the new born baby who keeps staring at Lalit Kaka (read Kaki) in a strange look and Kaka (read Kaki) also realized that he (read she) is being watched over. Now the highlight: The name of the show is “Ek hazaaron mein meri behna hai”..

Wondering where is the “Behna?” Well the new born baby is the “Behna” who is the savior – after 2548 episodes they reveal the Behna – Waah Kya Kehna!!

I am trying to picture the over-hyped, over-done melodrama of the small screen, which is getting more and more unrealistic, synthetic and plastic. Let me list few more “serious on-screen efforts and attempts” of fooling the viewers..

a)      Any medical emergency is rushed to a ‘City Hospital’ and a team of doctors attend to this patient leaving all others in whatever state they might be. He is put up on Life support system even if he was admitted for mere cough and cold. Unfortunately he is diagnosed with some kind of tumor which actually is humor, because he has teamed up with the doctor to convey false reports to the family as he intends to unveil the grey character in his house. Strangely, the doctor accepts to be the partner in crime.

b)      All women of the house wear expensive clothes, jewelry and are well decked up at all hours of the day, irrespective of the economic situation of the family. She even goes to bed in full make-up and gets up likewise.

c)      Usually humans are said to be god-fearing, but here we find that the Gods are women-protagonist-fearing. One loud shout or a challenge thrown at the almighty is taken very seriously by the senior officials up in the universe and they politely agree & accept all demands made by the lady. At times they are even black-mailed to get their desire fulfilled else they caste a curse “saari duniya ka bharosa unpe se uthh jaayega” Now, who would want to risk the ignorance of trillions of human beings by just not obeying what one lady out there has to ask. The wish is granted.

d)      Most men of the house do not have much say in any (I reiterate ANY) matters of the house. It’s only (I reiterate ONLY) the women who takes the lead and actions off the situations. If they get to know any important thing related to a plot; they re-role themselves to a detective and go all out to solve the mystery, without revealing it to their near ones including their husbands. Be it even at the cost of losing on people’s faith and wrath of loved ones. Huh!

e)      The family owns many multi-million-dollar businesses in several parts of the world. Every deal that they do would be worth some few hundred Crores. The business meetings will have presentations that stamp the fact of having a gigantic revenue potential. But, if one factory is charred, then the same Lalit Kaka (or Kaki) comes to their rescue and offers them his/her small house as they are bankrupt now.

f)       The family is usually huge – atleast 15-20 people at one go. Breakfast, lunch and dinner comprise of more than 8 to 10 different delicacy each time.

g)      Every woman is clearly classified as either an epitome of virtue like Tulsi or Parvati (with bizarre outfit and loud jewelry to flaunt) or the proverbial bitch, who is forever hatching criminal plots against the good one.

h)      How much ever huge mansion the family stays in, the rooms are usually left unlocked for some vamp character to hear what’s being spoken inside.. Some peeping prying middle-aged lady will sneak-a-peak to any naughty moments the husband and wife are enjoying.. This lady will, however, derive some weird plot and construct a disaster out of THIS also.

i)        Moms are usually sexier than the son’s girlfriend.. At times they even look younger than the younger son.

j)        Any new member starts off with a very polite entry and portrays a very mature and intelligent composure. Later he/ she occupies the house, gets a dedicated place to stay in the house, becomes a business partner and starts taking crucial decisions besides falling in love with someone in the house.

k)      Extra Marital affairs are in vogue and so is Surrogacy.. Both these happen with much ease and almost 5 to 7 months (100 to 140 episodes) are booked to cook multiple stories around it.

l)        Plastic surgeries are the most common twist that a serial has to offer – The person changes, the voice changes, the languages change, the face changes and even the height and body change. However, he continues to remember the highlights of his last entity though.

The list is endless and I am sure you too would pick some more snippets next time you watch one of those soap operas. There have been decent attempts by some production houses to air serials like Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai or Instant Khichdi or KBC where the emphasis is merely on the core issue and has its own lifecycle. It reaches a pinnacle and takes a sabbatical only to come back with a more powerful story to tell.

Whatever it is, one must admit that the Idiot box has a lot more to offer then one can think of. With over 500+ channels across genres, we can safely choose and pick the best for us. Be it Sports or News, Music or Cartoon, Movies or Regional; we have a variety of intelligent stuff around us to consume. We have to make a choice of what needs to be experienced and passed on to our future generations. The makers of serials must realize that the gen-next is more demanding and will reason out things before they even start believing it. Hence it is imperative that we place a good mix of clever and thoughtful subjects which they cherish and preserve in times to come. Not just that; it will also aid in making them the future stake-holders of this great country that has so much in store.

I read somewhere: “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” Let this thing not happen!! Let the television also enjoy as much as a preference as the books.

Emotional Atyachaar!

….continued from the previous post..(3/4)

NOW-

….because the grandeur of the show is so vast that every single detail needs to be carefully attended to. To make this simpler; I thought I should first list all the fine-points that I wished to address – or in other words: those which have managed to touch my heart (and mind too).

The first ‘Punch-in-the-face’ is the name of the serial these days. And right here the Atyachaar begins – the Atyachaar which tags along a bunch of other emotional matter like the Story Line, length of these shows, the family magnificence, women protagonist, the make-up and dress-up, camera tricks and so on and on and on and on…………….!!! The complete package resembles a fierce multi-faced-demon, which has sworn up the task of mentally harassing you and hence I psychologically term it as “Emotional Atyachaar”.

They say; every new beginning must happen with the blessings of the almighty. So the creator of the universe fashioned Tulsi and Parvati, who later came to be known as the official reincarnated modern avatars of the ancient Vedic goddesses.. They ruled the hearts of millions by reigning on the pockets of trillions – from the cable operators to the consumer brands. Following them were a flock of extremely gorgeous looking babes with fancy names and unusual characterizations. Moms became younger; Grand moms even more younger, Fathers disappeared and reappeared, Sisters got untimely pregnant, Sons married twice & sometime even thrice secretly, Vamps became an integral part of the show (read family), Apartments became bungalows, Marriages turned extra-glamorous with more than 3 or 4 rituals mixed (to keep every community happy), business scales and volumes outnumbered the Mittals and Ambanis, respect and love as a virtue was super-personified & doubly fabricated respectively etc. (PS: Watch out for all this and much more the next time you switch on the TV to embrace the above)

In an era when mobile phones were getting smaller; the serial names became longer. The alphabet “K” was in sudden demand and the new heartthrob in town.. I can’t imagine the mess we would be in, if our regular conversation was also ‘K’fied – Like Dick becomes Kick….. !!

OK! Now don’t even get into it.

Gradually, the popular Hindi songs took place of the serial names. And since most names (read songs) are actually too long enough to remember, people shorten it- BALH, KHTW.. At times they resemble some hard earned medical degree by a skinny-science­-scholar burning the midnight oil… The trouble arises when your short forms also look like NBTNMKH. Keep guessing the serial guys! (Hint: Season 2 is on the rollJ)

I am wondering if in coming times we see the name of a serial like: “Tan tana tan tan tan taara; chalti hai kya nau se baara” – What would the short title say? TTTTTTCHKNSB or may be shorten it further to T6CHKNSB (Now this resembles some acidic chemical formulae)..

Another observation lately has been that the initial episodes of today’s serials are in sync with the title but as days progress the title takes the back seat. The story grabs a different track and multiple characters enter as the writer’s imagination unfolds. After all ‘Size Matters’ and thus an interesting trait is the length of these shows today. Beyond a point, out of the blues, you wonder “WTF – how much yet to go”. Hey I meant after the first 2 days of the week you wonder: WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY – how much yet to go??? ;-).

Visualize the lead lady protagonist as a very subtle, level-headed and a grown-up responsible adult of the family. She is looked upon very high by anybody and everybody; from her family members to the laundry man and the watchmen and the bus conductor and the chai wala, the sabzi wala, the auto wala, the society sweeper, the school teacher, the office peon, the fathers friends family and the sisters friends family and the…………………………..phew !!! In short she is a role model for the entire society – oops! In fact, a role model for the entire country… Almost 100+ episodes are wasted (yes I mean WASTED – literally WASTED) in showing all the so called over exaggerated over amplified super good and the very good of this character. Such characters are seldom born (PS: That too not on the earth though).

By now the writer seems to have exhausted all his energy in threading more stories out of several inputs fancied in his imagination. And then the “REAL REEL STORY” begins. Most of it is copied from some other serial, well fabricated to suit the mood of this show. Others could be a contribution by the producers to secure the TRP’s. Some more of it emerges out of …………………… nothing actually & you wonder WTF..!! This time I really mean WHAT THE F**K!!

I challenge publicly to pick any serial of today which has stuck to its roots or the base meaning of its name. Prove me wrong and I swear to the almighty to never ever wear clothes or breathe or even drink water, or may be never wink an eyelid and always wear a brownish blueish greenish cream shirt lifetime…………………………… Shit!! The serials have finally managed making an impact on me too.

The viewers, however, welcome EVERY NEW so-called change with wide arms and open hearts: Beggars cannot be choosers! And one fine morning, because nothing more was left to be raped; the serial ends….. ABRUPTLY! And you again wonder – WTF! This time the connotation however, is a happy one. Cheers!

We live in a strange world where “Airports witness more kisses than Churches” and “Hospital walls receive more prayers than Temples”.. Watch out for more such STRANGE SUBSTANCES in the last part.

…..to be continued (3/4)

Emotional Atyachaar!

….continued from the previous post..(2/4)

THEN-

The eighties & nineties was the era of Doordarshan (& some private broadcasters) with limited shows spanning across various genres and subjects. Looking back at the telecasts then; I always wondered how one could create something so specific and detailed. The intelligence, with which things were crafted, depicted the sheer brilliance of the story writers. Every subject matter was dealt with much care and science. It reflected a well-researched effort and the artiste displayed the right emotion needed for the character. The stories had a meaningful name with a subtle start graduating to a high-minded climax and a gripping end. They mirrored our society at large. The characters represented the middle class segment and viewers saw themselves in them. They connected well with the audience and soon became a part of the family..

Mythological dramas like Ramayan, Mahabharat, Sai Baba & Shree Krishna ensured that the Gen-Next was enlightened about our ancient scriptures and cultures. It depicted many flavors of patriotism, brotherhood, family love, evilness, romance and conveyed morals & messages. More epics followed and I got worried at the speed with which these blockbusters were developed. At one point of time I wondered if they are going to cover all the 33 crore deities – the last documentated census of the Hindu mythology.. Crazy stories of most god-fearing families performing ‘Pooja’, applying ‘Tilak’, lighting ‘Agarbatti’ in front of the TV screen and praying to the deity up there, were being commonly cooked up. Coconut breaking followed later with the holy Prasad being distributed religiously. Instances of people even falling on the feet of the artistes for blessings were also heard of. Strange isn’t it??

Hum log (154 episodes) and Buniyaad (104 episodes) laid foundation of the family values showcased within the backdrop of a general ‘every-house’ subject. What it lacked was the flashy glamour quotient. It was relayed natural without any graphics or camera tricks so to say. The essence of the storyline was maintained all thru such that audience loved every gradual scale up in the show. Suspense was non-guessed, tragedy was frowned over, happiness celebrated, birth rejoiced and death grieved…

Historical and fiction flicks like The Sword of Tipu Sultan, Tamas, Surabhi, Chandrakanta, Chanakya, Mirza Ghalib, Bharat Ek Khoj brought to life the History text book and portrayed the opulence and flamboyant personality of the great Heroes. One critical thing these shows did was personify the above characters by giving a face to them.. We still visualize most of them as if they incarnated on Mother Earth for the serial shoot and left for their heavenly abode on completion of the task..

Chitrahaar, Chhayageet & Rangoli brought the weekly classical melodies to us and then there was Superhit Muqabla – a countdown show. Every number was a hit among masses and summed up every mood of the nation.. One of the popular songs “Didi Tera Dewar Deewana” topped the charts for several months (so much that we completed almost 3/4th of our school curriculum in that academic year)

Comedy shows like Ye Jo Hai Zindagi, Dekh bhai Dekh, Flop Show, Shriman Shrimati, Nukkad, Zabaan Sambhaal ke, Office Office, Hum Paanch added the humor quotient and they literally had something new-to-offer its audiences. Each of these shows never gave belly-pain laughter but continued to tickle with their subtle, homely & funny one-liners. 

Byomkesh Bakshi, Karamchand & Janki Jasoos were the Crime thrillers with a “lot more realism & science” (pun intended) in solving murder mysteries and theft incidents. 

Children shows included Dada Dadi Ki Kahaniya, Malgudi Days, Tenali Rama, Vikram Betaal, Jungle Book (“Chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai……”). The ‘elders’ watched it more, with undivided attention, only to give their kids a lesson & a moral in their typical presentation style: “Dekha, agar jhooth bologe toh aisa hoga…” or “Chori karne se ye hota hai…”

An attempt to publish Educational and Patriotic fillers like “Ek Chidiya…..” & “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara…” respectively were the talk of the town and millions hummed it in leisure.

News was the least glamorized show among all the above. Salma Sultan and Ved Prakash covered the daily news in the simplest fashion and without much over-hype of an issue.

Just when television had a lot more to offer thru diverse content; it experienced a dramatic insurrection – Tulsi bhabhi was born along with Parvati bhabhi– in 2000. Things no longer remained as before. Content changed. Serial names changed. Storyline changed. They revolutionized the families, way of living, thinking pattern and most importantly they revolutionized the television serial. I have conceived a set of self-made observations topic wise to pen, which may not be wise to attend to in this piece. Because……

…..to be continued (2/4)

Emotional Atyachaar !!

Once upon a time long ago, an electronic device known as the television was invented- a system for transmitting visual images and sound that are reproduced on screens, chiefly used to broadcast programs for entertainment… Blah blah!! People also called it the IDIOT BOX (…and nobody still knows why?).  It mostly came in single color and was hand operated… Blah blah blah!!!  It expressed various emotions thru’ its transmission which was meant for people of all ages, caste, creed and sex… These emotions were carried in every household via an external terrestrial mechanism called the antenna… Blah blah!! Half of the time it needed to be adjusted and placed at some ‘x’ degrees to get the bang on connectivity with clarity… Blah blah blah!!! One house on a floor of 4 flats in an apartment of 50 households in a complex of 5 buildings had this device and was the ‘unanimously nominated weekend multiplex’ then.. Blah blah!!! Huh!!!

Essay writing… What fun it used to be… Remember writing an essay on anything and everything under the sun??? A day in the market, railway station or bus stop, favorite picnic spot, some great patriotic figure or favorite festival, a pet animal or my school or independence day or on brother, friend, sister etc etc.. It used to be an experience narration more than anything else…

So how about writing an experience on something that’s become an integral part of our lives? Say the local train or the mall culture or your mobile phone/ tablets, or may be the television or even more interesting “the television serials”… Wooohoo! This is out of the ordinary – ‘THE EVOLUTION OF TELEVISION SERIALS’

I say “Evolution” because it has indeed evolved over the years. I say so because I am one of the reasons for its gradual changeover. Yes, you read it right – I am responsible.. You see, I was born in 1975 and until then only 7 cities in India had the pleasure of Television viewing. The rest of India was in distress and suffering from No-Entertainment-Syndrome, but indulged in “other” forms of entertainment. I descended on the earth in the human form to annihilate tyrannical forces and revive the earthly beings of the agony. The Sapta-Rishis (7-Rishis) bestowed their blessings through the water of the holy 7-seas and a guiding light of 7-colours of rainbow spread its radiance on the earth-born (Color-TV was introduced in this year). The magic of 7 worked and finally after 7-years, National Telecasts were introduced in 1982. Television went national.

….And in the last 3 decades, I have had the experience of 2 distinct stratum of television viewing. My generation had the pleasure of consuming what was then and what is it now.

I am more fascinated by the 2-Phased development in TV viewing – Let’s name it “THEN” & “NOW”. More categorically it can also be called the era before & after Tulsi (or Parvati) bhabhi. I personally believe that these 2 women have redefined what television viewing today is.

I may not be able to touch upon all facet of this topic but want to definitely present a lighter shade of the highly exaggerated embodiment of the characters/ stories. I hope you enjoy reading this post as much as I enjoyed distinguishing the two layers of tele-content.

…..to be continued (1/4)

Woh 7-din ! – Going through life -v/s- Growing through Life…

…..continued (4/4)

Day 5

We were happy. Something inside cheered us up. Yesterday: Last evening when we entered the “Console room” the doctor showed us the monitor on his television which live-recorded the blocked artery connected to a pumping heart. It was of my mother. The doctor had conducted the Angiography and with success. There was one artery carrying the daily supply of blood to the heart, which was 80% blocked by plaque. Angioplasty, the step-next would clear this off and an external stent would be placed inside. The doctor suggested that we conduct the surgery today at 9 am. He also assured that everything is under control. Such words seemed very inspiring and the hope which had died a few hours back, revived. We were overwhelmed.

Today: It was 9.30 and we kept waiting for our next call by the doctor. An hour passed with sipping some tea, recalling the terrible past days and watching the happenings there. The expressions on people faces were similar to those at Bhaktivedanta but it held a lot more faith and positivity. This gave us more strength. Another hour was also spent reading literature lying at the reception and learning the accolades of the hospital regards their achievements. The next hour was passing now but a very very slow pace. We had nothing to do and nobody to talk to.

It was 12.45 now and still no update from the OT made our hearts beat faster. Strange thoughts crept in. Prayers and chants began subconsciously. Feelings inside us were like the “Last-few-moments-before-the-much-awaited-news”.

At about 1.10pm, a call was made out for us and we rushed to the doctor upstairs. He sat there in a relaxed state, in his OT gown, staring at the same monitor. He saw us and smiled. We smiled more in return. At times such silent communications expresses boundless joys. The angioplasty had been conducted successfully. We saw the same on the screen dumbfounded at the miracle of medical science. Shortly “Maa” (felt like addressing her Maa, out of extra pamper and joy) came out of the OT in conscious state as the surgery was conducted by giving her a local anesthesia. She saw us, smiled and we returned the gesture with an ear-to-ear broad smile. She was to stay for today in the ICCU and shifted to the general ward the next day.

Day 6

This was a day of phone calls. Vodafone and Airtel competed amongst themselves in our family and messages were being sent out at her well-being. It was enriching to receive responses from well-wishers as we welcomed a fresh lease of life for Maa. Every new development was being recorded and rejoiced at – like she getting out of life-support system or started her 2-course meal or taking a baby-step walk within the premise.

At around 3pm she was transferred to the general ward for women (It was a part of the Angio-package – Strange! Isn’t it? – Sounds like “Get an Angio done at our hospital and avail a fantastic offer of 2N 3D stay at luxurious 10-bed centrally air-conditioned ICCU. With more than 10 nurses and attendants working in shifts we provide you state-of-the-art medical facilities for your comfort. Grab our seasonal offer of medicines worth Rs.2000/- ABSOLUTELY FREE. After-all your comfort is our concern”).

Day 7

Maa was feeling a lot better and her breathing pattern seemed healthier.

Unlike day 4 second half, the discharge formalities today looked interesting. Any delay was termed as “serious, meticulous, careful and diligent paper work” of the hospital. Questions (however stupid) were welcomed and responded to in a lighter way. The fellow relatives here had become good friends and our communications emitted a positive vibration for them too. They looked at us enviously happy coupled with “aapka toh ho gaya; dekho hamara kab hota hai” remark. Sacred diya was lit at our house-temples. Fingers crossed and hoping for everything to be better; we were closing activities one by one: billing, payments, discharge formalities, prescription, follow-up dates, procuring medicines, readying Maa etc etc. We thanked the doctors with moist eyes and heart-felt gratitude. At about 4.30 pm we finally left for home.

The 15-min drive to home flash backed all that we went thru in the last week. This weekend looked rosier compared to the last. I had found a new ME and was a changed man altogether. I now experience a transcendent thought process and a practical lifestyle. The teachings of the holy Bhagwad Geeta applies so aptly to each one of us. Listing below is a crux of the same. I am pretty sure that if followed religiously it can make some significant differences in our lives-

  • Why do you worry without cause? Whom do you fear without reason? Who can kill you? The soul is neither born, nor does it die.
  • Whatever happened, happened for the good; whatever is happening, is happening for the good; whatever will happen, will also happen for the good only. You need not have any regrets for the past. You need not worry for the future. The present is happening…
  • What did you lose that you cry about? What did you bring with you, which you think you have lost? What did you produce, which you think got destroyed?
  • You did not bring anything – whatever you have, you received from here. Whatever you have given, you have given only here. Whatever you took, you took from God. Whatever you gave, you gave to him.
  • You came empty handed, you will leave empty handed. What is yours today, belonged to someone else yesterday, and will belong to someone else the day after tomorrow. You are mistakenly enjoying the thought that this is yours. It is this false happiness that is the cause of your sorrows.
  • Change is the law of the universe. What you think of as death, is indeed life. In one instance you can be a millionaire, and in the other instance you can be steeped in poverty. Yours and mine, big and small – erase these ideas from your mind. Then everything is yours and you belong to everyone.
  • This body is not yours, neither are you of the body. The body is made of fire, water, air, earth & ether and will disappear into these elements. But the soul is permanent – so who are you?
  • Dedicate your being to God. He is the one to be ultimately relied upon. Those who know of his support are forever free from fear, worry and sorrow.
  • Whatever you do, do it as a dedication to God. This will bring you the tremendous experience of joy and life-freedom forever.

Woh 7-din ! – Going through life -v/s- Growing through Life…

…..continued

Day 4 – First half

We rushed inside the ICU and were directed by the attendant in there to follow him to the doctor’s personal chamber. Once seated comfortably we shot our concerns to him. After all we strongly believed in RTI. “What’s the state?” “Recovering process” “Threats to her”, “How long stay” and “How much time?” The Last question was the key…

The doc explained that an Angiography needs to be done- a process in which the blocks in the artery to heart are determined. This followed by Angioplasty where those blocks are burst by placing a stent in the artery to facilitate the flow of blood in and out of the heart. This process could be conducted only when the heart beat and pressure rate stabilizes. Unfortunately it wasn’t happening. We had to wait. MOST IMPORTANTLY THE HOSPITAL DID NOT HAVE THE REQUISITE FACILITY TO CONDUCT THE SURGERY. How was I supposed to know that? Couldn’t  this have been communicated to us about 2 days before? If something were to go untoward, then who was to be blamed?

Hope alive but this time coupled with anger, frustration and depression. Negative emotions outnumbered positives by 3 on 1.

Day 4 – Second half

Agitated by this response after 72 crucial hours; we decided to take the step-next – Consult a Cardiologist. We did that and explored the 3C’s related to Angioplasty – ‘Concerns’, ‘Consequences’ and ‘Commercials’. We had to make up our mind quickly as time was running out. While Google and Doctor jointly handled our Concerns; we mutually agreed to rest the Consequences to the almighty. Given the fact we already had a laundry list of everyday expenditure to take care of; the question was the Commercials – source, arrangement, repayment, etc.

For the first time I could see a blend of fright, apprehension, worry, tension and nervousness taking shape in both- me and my brother. Tears found its way through a heavy heart as we hugged each other and let the above emotions flow out.

Tears have a unique healing property. Besides killing bacteria and removing toxins; tears elevate mood, lowers stress and releases feelings. We felt light. We felt good. We felt strong enough to enlist the steps to execute the process. A few friends, home-mates and close associates extended a supporting hand in out tough times and we felt relieved. We hugged each other and burst into tears again!

The cardiac ambulance was stationed at the hospital gate while the exit formalities were being executed. Each passing moment was critical and she had to be rushed to a cardio-hospital immediately. The delay in processing the discharge papers was irritating. Questions asked by the personnel seemed illogical and stupid and I actually saw no relevance in it. I calmed myself. I did not want to shoot by pressure levels only to end up giving them another CUSTOMER. Just then I saw my mother being brought out on a stretcher to be put into the cardiac ambulance. Oxygen masked covered nearly 3/4th of her face disallowing us to see a complete her. It was after about 3 days that we saw her and we could sense no difference in her condition from the day we admitted her till now. The formalities were finally completed after multiple trips between the ground and 4th floor.

The ambulance made its way through the bustling streets of Mira Road and in about 15 mins we reached Thunga Hospital. A swift and speedy staff escorted her carefully to the 3rd floor in the Intensive Critical Care Unit (ICCU). We were not allowed inside. The architecture of the building was such that it disallowed us to see the happenings in the ICCU. A fresh round of formalities was conducted and we were asked to wait at the (Out Patients Department) OPD area on the first floor. The scene here was a lot different from what we had experienced in the last few days. The staff seemed quite helpful, the authorities a lot more caring and the environment quite positive. Everything seemed in place; the wheel chair, the stretchers, the water dispenser, floor in charge, the security guard, the shoe shelf etc. Positive vibrations were the key realization here.

A call was made in the patients name was to summon the relatives upstairs where the medicine prescriptions were handed over for replacements. At such crucial hours, even the security woman seemed to be a qualified MBBS. This call made to us, however, was by the doctor. We were asked to follow the ICCU attendant who took us to the doctor’s cabin. It was labeled “CONSOLE ROOM”.

Our hearts sank.

……to be continued

Woh 7-din ! – Going through life -v/s- Growing through Life…

…….. continued

Day 1:

It surely was not a normal day. Eyes filled with immense hope and positivity, a restless body language, mind full of questions and heart still keeping the beats of faith on. About 10+ visits to the pharmacy on the ground floor, assured me of a progressive treatment and recovery. (PS: No updates whatsoever from the ICU) Fellow relatives of the other ICU patients kept conversing, either on phone or among them, falsely consoling themselves of the current conditions of their patients – Mind you! They too are unaware of the executions inside. New admissions to the ICU only filled my heart with commiseration for them. However, honestly, I was more concerned about my mom and thus the mind remained focused on her status only. Late evening I understand that her condition is normal and breathing pattern improved. Though it gave a sheer sigh of relief; what I still disapproved was that it was only due to the external life support. I didn’t want that old body of 72 years to go thru this suffering… Hope and happiness alive but masked with questions, doubts and concerns.

Day 2: 

Day dawns with a startling noise of stretchers being pulled out hastily thru’ the patients elevator and rushed to the ICU. A mob of Doctors, nurses, attendants, helpers, physicians and technicians, all followed the 29 year old guy who had just got a Cardiac assault. Families and well-wishers accompanied soon but later spread out in various directions to perform the various tasks assigned- medicines reports payments etc. I had never wanted such a start to my day ever. So instead of a fearless and hopeful beginning, the day started with anxiety and countless prayers for the well being of my mother and also the new entrant. Few known faces on the floor with similar tough times found solace in speaking with fellow relatives. Some strange stories and experiences were exchanged and I must say these only pumps the adrenaline levels inside you upwards. With multiple calls from the ICU for procuring medicines without any update on the health conditions, arose a sense of fear and anger. The ray of hope was the visiting hours at 6pm. Improvement pattern did indicate a positive trend but doctor opinions differed.

Day 3:

By this time around we were kind of losing hopes about her health improvement not because the doctors intimated such but because they did not. An unaware person frames opinions according to his circumstances and surroundings and in our case this was quite distinct. We forwarded a message for the doctor inside thru the attendant that we wished to see him. We were asked to wait until the doc completes his roundups. All eyes set on the Lord Hanuman kept asking LIFE for her.

And just then………… The doctor called us!

It was about 12 at midnight. The heart rate and pressure had stabilized and she was getting ready to be shifted to IMCU – a section between ICU and normal ward. The doc indicated a near-to-impressive-development and hence still wanted to be under observation. We were happy. Not long though!

The breathlessness returned and this time a little more fierce. Along with it returned a scary and fearsome thought of losing her. She was taken back to the bed and all wires were re-plugged into her. We hardly got to see her!

……to be continued

Woh 7-din ! – Going through life -v/s- Growing through Life…

I have observed that a hospital is the only place on planet earth which is said to carry multiple energies and emotions together:  Happiness, Sadness, Hope, Belief, Fear, Anxiety, Patience, Excitement etc. Note that the above emotions are fairly different at different intervals of the same day. At times it starts with one and ends with another one of the above.  At some other instances it could be just one of it throughout. Whatever it is, you surely come out more learned, stronger, matured and experienced.. One goes through life very closely at every moment and grows with it! You discover a new YOU. I have one such experience to pen that i encountered lately.

And I must confess I grew with it.

PRELUDE

She was rushed to bed no 9 in the Intensive care unit (ICU) on the 2nd floor of Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mira Road. With Complaint of intense breathing and heavy palpitation, my mother was almost unconscious. I was tensed mixed with a noticeable worry on my face. Waiting outside the ICU, all I could see and sense were 3 things.

a) The nurses and attendants running in and out of the ICU carrying instruments of various sizes and shapes; completely alien to me.. The doctor kept examining the case files with a blank look on his face and at times staring at one of the sheets and comparing it with some other in the file.. The wires were plugged on and set at key points on my mother’s torso and a reading on the monitor started glaring at me with ambiguous numerical updates.. Some in green indicated joy while the ones in red were a concern.. Either of it was Greek..

b) My heart beat which was politely following every action of the key personnel inside the ICU. The trend of 130 bpm to 170 bpm was directly proportional to the instructions of the commander-in-chief and actions in response of the 2nd in command.. The more machines went inside; the more sweat made its way on my forehead..

c) The idol of Lord Hanuman standing and staring at me with calm approach and a composed demeanor. The iron mace in his left hand pointing downwards whiles the conch shell in his right upwards. Was this an indication that it’s all either here on earth (the material world) or up above (the spiritual world)?? It’s we, the mortals, here on earth and HE, the eternal up there, guarding and controlling all our actions and reactions. (Remember the famous lines from the film ‘Anand’: “Zindagi aur maut uparwale ke hath hai jahapana, jise na aap badalsakte hai na mein. Hum sab to rangmanch ki katputlia hai, jiski door uparwale ke haath bandhi hai.. KAB KAUN KAISE UTHEGA YE KOI NAHI JANTA”)

Whatever it is; am still searching the answers.

I never knew that the forthcoming 7 days will unveil a new me; a lot of learning and unlearning awaits me. A lot was to be experienced and explored over the next 7 days. This is the first part of the 4-part document and is a moment-by-moment sketch of my experience each day – I was going and growing through life!

……to be continued