- Dengue is one of the many diseases caused by virus. With whatever I have seen so far, a viral gives us one good head start with its classic symptom that should be perceivable without a degree in medicine. Fever and body ache. When we have this symptom, I think it would be a good idea to directly go to a diagnostic centre first and get all the diagnostic test done, and then go the doctor for consultations. I don't think we need to wait for the doctor's advice on this since his/her advice is not a prerequisite. And we are advised to be taking such tests on an annual basis.
- Dengue is going to decrease the platelet and WBC count. Platelets work to clot blood while WBC, as we all know, provide immunity. Once detected for dengue, doctor would advice platelet count checks on a daily basis through blood tests.At least in India, it take about two hours for the results to come in. For a healthy person the count should 2.5lakhs though, I have seen normal people with counts as low as 1.5Lakhs. Dengue has no vaccine and don't have a direct medicine for cure.
- The way to combat dengue is to ensure that the platelet counts don't decrease to a dangerous level while simultaneously addressing the fever by taking paracetamol advised by the doctor. To keep the platelet count from decreasing, one has to have a lot of fluid intake like fruit juice (esp. those rich in vitamin C that improves immunity) and eating well. But eating well was a problem at least in my brother's case since there was a fluid accumulation in his abdomen that messed with his appetite. Papaya fruit and leaves is widely spoken-of for being very good at helping in platelet count increase since papaya has a lot of vitamin C and other anti-microbial properties that purges the microbes from the body.
- Just to put the above discussions in context using my brother as an example, he was hospitalized with a platelet count as low as 11,000. He had to take about 6 "packets" of blood platelets. He took two teaspoons of papaya leaves crushed in a mixer, twice a day. He emptied about 300ml of papaya juice once. In addition he emptied about three litres of water. His diet usually contained a bowl of tomato soup, Spinach, dahl and mixed fruits. All this with the IV of saline solution dripping into his blood stream almost 24 hours a day, he took about three days to recover from 11,000 to 1.15 lakhs in terms of platelets.
- The hospital is going to puncture the patient with needles for a twice a day platelet checks. It is usually a progressively painful routine. But an increase of 8000 to 10000 in platelet count is a very good sign. The worry is when it is decreasing and goes back to 20000 or lesser.
- After discharge he is at home taking rest for at least one more week, taking normal diet and medicine prescribed by the doctor. It would be a good idea to do another platelet check after may be a week to be sure that the count isn't going down
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
- Cooking has always been a source of fun. It is a great stress-buster especially when combined with good music, but only if you start early to have enough time. Me being me, I think of cooking only when I start feeling hungry. Till then, how Jake Sully saves Pandora from the dream walkers and wins back Neytiri's love this time around in Star Movies seems more important.
- Once you start cooking, it is important to list and line-up the raw-materials first. I have been cooking on and off for about 10 years now, with about a gap of a year or so between two bursts of cooking. But even now, I first put the vessel and light the burner before I think of the vegetable oil!
- A little less salt and spice is always better than a little too much. But the problem is less and more are relative. As long as you are cooking for yourself, less or more doesn't matter, of course. You screw up, you eat and don't tell anyone. Or your throw it out, have the ever-reliable bread-butter-jam combo.. and shut-up again. But the problem comes when you cook for others. A few people can take when the salt is a bit too high, but not when it is a bit too low. For a few dishes, adding the salt later works, but for a few, it doesn't. But from my experience, if salt is way to low, adding some salt helps to a certain extent. But if the salt is way too high, you can do nothing but feel bad about it!
- Finding the difference between toor dhal, moong dhal, urad dhal and when to use what.
- Finding the difference between, gingeli oil and ground nut oil
- Judging the correct quantity of rice and vegetables to use to achieve the correct quantity of the dish by the time cooking is done. Sometimes, I choose to prepare a dish that I plan to use for over a couple of days (like tomato chutney). I take four tomatoes and come up with a real tasty one after about 45 minutes. But I find that it wouldn't last after the first meal. I wonder "Wasn't four enough?". Then it strikes. "Not when the tomatoes are as small as lemons!"
- Maintaining consistency in taste. All the challenges I have mentioned earlier, I have got over at some point of time or the other. But consistency is still too high a bar for me to jump over. I remember that, as a kid, during family occasions my mom and aunts come together and cook for the extended family. I used to have each dish and by their taste, I would be able to say who cooked what with a fair degree of accuracy. THAT is consistency!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
The most important question I find unanswered among the mayhem, of such emotion and hyper-reporting is "What specifically Anna Hazare fasting for (or against)? Is it to withdraw the government's draft from the parliament so that discussion for the consensus should continue? Is it to table the Jan Lokpal for discussion in the parliament's houses? Or is it to pass it?" Sometimes, I hear IAC say that ultimately they want a "strong" Lokpal Bill to be passed and sometimes, to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill by Aug 31. The fasting, protests and the mayhem has yielded the obvious result. Confusion and lack of clarity
I am clearly against, the present version of the government's Lokpal Bill which excludes the prime minister's office and thousands of other politicians from the Lokpal's reach. So, I am clearly against the passage of the government's version of the Lokpal. On the other hand, Jan Lokpal as explained in this slideshare seems to be pretty sound. For example, contrary to the popular allegation that the Jan Lokpal as proposed by the IAC would be an unelected entity, there is a chance to propose names for Jan Lokpal membership at least for the educated masses and those with access to the medium of electronic communication. I think it is better than the current scenario where the common man has no means to propose names for the vigilance departments like CBI or CVC. Similarly, I also welcome the proposal to empower the Loklpal to file FIR against High Court and Supreme Court judges without the permission of Chief Justice of India.
However these are just parts of the Jan Lokpal Bill, and despite spending some time searching on the Internet, I couldn't find either a draft of the Government's Lokpal Bill or a comparison of the bill with that of the Jan Lokpal bill by a neutral party (neither IAC nor government). So, (against all my gut feelings), I have to allow for the government's draft version to contain at least some element that is worth discussing to be part of the final "strong" lokpal that should be passed. So, I would support Anna's fast fully only if he does so to stop government's version of the bill from being passed thus keeping the Jan Lokpal alive and up for further discussions to take the best out of both versions. But if he wants the Jan Lokpal to be passed thus killing the Government's bill, I must conclude that Anna's (and the IAC's) intentions are "equal but opposite" to that of the government's intentions
Monday, August 15, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Or so I thought till today. Last Monday, I had to go to the Regional Transport Office at Krishnarajapuram, Bangalore to get what is called a "B-Extract". In short, it can be considered as a "duplicate" of the Registration Certificate. You can't show it as an RC to the traffic policeman when he leans over your window and asks in a stylish accent, "License and Registration please". But it sure can be used by your bank as a proof that it has provided loan towards the purchase of your car.
When I went to the RTO, a familiar scene greeted me. Pale green building. Middlemen chewing pan sizing you up as you approach the building. Even as I approached the building, one guy approached and within no time made me cough up my purpose at the RTO. He said, "Oh B-extract? It won't be available today. I will take a couple of days! But if you want to get it today, I can arrange it for you.". I politely declined the offer and proceeded inside the RTO. But as I went over to an unmarked counter, I couldn't help but wonder if just closed the only possible way to the B-extract that I am after. But the guy behind the counter, directed me to another guy who I should contact. That guy asked me to write a request letter and give it to another guy who looked like an officer. The "officer" held out his hand for the letter, but didn't even care to look at me. When I handed the letter, he considered it, wrote "B-extract. Rs. 10" and gave it back to me and told "Cash counter. Ground floor. Pay Rs. 10/- and register with that lady in yellow colour saree over there" and held out his hand for the next letter from the guy standing behind me. This is the tricky part. When a guy sitting behind the counter starts taking of money, he won't say "Actual charge Rs. 10, Bribe Rs. 50, totals to 60. Pay Rs.10 at the cash counter and give the 50 to the peon standing over there". Instead, there would be subtle gestures and I have to be smart enough put together the pieces and solve the puzzle. Or so I have heard from those who have got things done. But I couldn't see anything here.
I started picturing in my mind, going to the cash counter, holding out a 10 rupee note and this letter. I was certain that he would put a pissed off expression and hand the letter back saying "Come back 10 days later, the printer isn't working. So I can't give the receipt for this TEN rupees you have paid". With visible hesitation I approached the cash counter and held out the letter and the ten rupees and braced for the response I didn't want to hear. He printed out the receipt and handed it throwing a weird look at me in the eye. I didn't know if I am supposed to read something from his looks or not. But I just collected the receipt and walked to the "lady in the yellow saree".
She took my letter and reluctantly entered my car number and "B-extract" in a bulky register and said "Please come back on Wednesday after 4:00 PM" and held her hand out for the next letter to the guy standing next to me. No gestures here too! I asked "Can't I have it today?" trying to keep her attention with me. But she said. "It will take two days. Come back on Wednesday and just tell us your car number and we will give you the B-extract." She looked away and yelled "Next!"
I turned and walked back confused. Did miss any gesture suggesting "Pay extra and we can arrange the document right away"? May be they would hold the document to ransom when I come back on Wednesday. But when I went back today (Wednesday), she asked for the number and within minutes a clerk walked up to me shoved the B-extract into my hands and disappeared before I could even register his face. The document was on a poor quality paper and printed poorly. But what the hell! I pay ten rupees and walked away with what I wanted!
I must say, I have a new respect for at least this RTO in KR puram. I do realize that there is some falsehood in our perception that "All government offices are corrupt" and "Nothing gets done in a government office if you don't pay under the table". I write this post as a token of appreciation and expression of my thankfulness to the "officer" who didn't care, the "guy who gave me a weird look" behind the cash counter, the "lady in yellow saree" (today she was wearing rose, but...) and the "clerk" whose face I couldn't register for a job done without expecting a bribe.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
There’s usually a little truth behind “Just Kidding”,
some knowledge behind “I Don’t Know”,
an emotion behind “I Don’t Care”,
and pain behind “It’s OK”.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
We had a free interaction session with the school kids before closing the day when one kid asked "How do we make studying simple?". I jumped at the possibility of conducting a science demo. Before I realized, a colleague said "You should imagine what you study! it makes studying easier". He gave an example. He said, "By remembering a simple phrase, "MaGoMahendra", I used to be able to answer any kind of questions, be it fill-up, multiple-choice etc. What does this gibberish mean? "Ma" stands for Mahanadi, "Go" stands for Godavari and Mahendra is the mountain range that stands between the two rivers! Voila!
I thought "Where is the imagination part in this? Look at what we teach them? Is education all about innovating gibberish to remember things?" But the students looked amused. He sensed the attention he got and started off on a continuous rambling that lasted about 30 seconds. Nobody could figure out what he was saying. After a moment's pause and suggestive smile he said, "It is the phrase I coined to remember the entire periodic table". I heart sank. But the shock was yet to come. To my utter disbelief, the teacher started to clap loudly and the rest of the gathering joined! Now I feel, a science demo will either sell big, or it will fall flat!
Friday, April 08, 2011
1. Who is Anna Hazare?
An ex-army man. Fought 1965 Indo-Pak War
2. What's so special about him?
He built a village Ralegaon Siddhi in Ahamad Nagar district, Maharashtra
3. So what?
This village is a self-sustained model village. Energy is produced in the village itself from solar power, biofuel and wind mills.
In 1975, it used to be a poverty clad village. Now it is one of the richest village in India. It has become a model for self-sustained, eco-friendly & harmonic village.
This guy, Anna Hazare was awarded Padma Bhushan and is a known figure for his social activities.
5. Really, what is he fighting for?
He is supporting a cause, the amendment of a law to curb corruption in India.
6. How that can be possible?
He is advocating for a Bil, The Lok Pal Bill (The Citizen Ombudsman Bill), that will form an autonomous authority who will make politicians (ministers), beurocrats (IAS/IPS) accountable for their deeds.
8. It's an entirely new thing right..?
In 1972, the bill was proposed by then Law minister Mr. Shanti Bhushan. Since then it has been neglected by the politicians and some are trying to change the bill to suit thier theft (corruption).
7. Oh.. He is going on a hunger strike for that whole thing of passing a Bill ! How can that be possible in such a short span of time?
The first thing he is asking for is: the government should come forward and announce that the bill is going to be passed.
Next, they make a joint committee to DRAFT the LOK PAL BILL. 50% goverment participation and 50% public participation. Because you cant trust the government entirely for making such a bill which does not suit them.
8. Fine, What will happen when this bill is passed?
A LokPal will be appointed at the centre. He will have an autonomous charge, say like the Election Commission of India. In each and every state, Lokayukta will be appointed. The job is to bring all alleged party to trial in case of corruptions within 1 year. Within 2 years, the guilty will be punished. Not like, Bofors scam or Bhopal Gas Tragedy case, that has been going for last 25 years without any result.
9. Is he alone? Whoelse is there in the fight with Anna Hazare?
Baba Ramdev, Ex. IPS Kiran Bedi, Social Activist Swami Agnivesh, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal and many more.
Prominent personalities like Aamir Khan is supporting his cause.
10. Ok, got it. What can I do?
At least we can spread the message. How?
Putting status message, links, video, changing profile pics.
Thursday, April 07, 2011
I was told, she had prolonged fever and hence applied for some time off work. Following persistent fever, she had seizure that never ceased and after fighting the disease for the whole of February and for a week in March, finally lost the battle.
I never traveled to Hyderabad to visit her. I didn't do so because, I honestly thought (until one week before her death) that it was a matter of time before she recovered. But she didn't. I didn't attend her funeral because, I had to admit it... I wasn't brave enough. But I don't regret it either. I remember her smiling face and explosive laugh rather than silenced body.
But I do regret one thing, days before she was hospitalized (and when she was still well), she came up on chat and complained that I never called. I had to run then, so I promised her to call and left my number. I wish I had called her. But I didn't and now I can't.
Apart from being a good friend, she is one of the very few people who took active interest in my efforts in the social sector and was the only person who taught English to the kids whom I taught Physics. I suppose one thing I can do in her memory is to restart this effort. I will.
I have come to realize a few things, albeit the hard way from her departure. I had listed this to a friend earlier which I think is worth sharing here too.
- Life is a gift and we are all very very lucky to have one especially because it can be snatched away brutally in a matter of minutes.
- A healthy life is even more a precious gift. We better live it more responsibly (as per ones' own definition)
- And Friends. I am sure all of us have friends who are as sweet as her they can't be taken for granted (she wasn't a granted for us). And they are priceless gifts. We meet them by pure stroke of luck and they end up playing such a positive, sometimes decisive role in our lives. We better treat them well. Keep in touch. Before it turns out to be too late.
- It isn't just friends. Anyone (relatives, neighbours) whose departure may affect us as bad as her departure.
Monday, March 28, 2011
But let us also remember that just a few months ago when we bit the dust in the Commonwealth hockey finals, we were talking about how India's sports scenario is over run by different versions of cricket leaving no room for not just Hockey but other sports.
Lest we forget the unsung heroines and heroes, like Akunji, Preeja Sreedharan, Kavita Raut, Manjeet and Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose (Track and field), Jayanta Talukdar, Rahul Banerjee and Mangal Singh Champiya (Archery)
Best of luck India in the ICC World Cup
Monday, February 21, 2011
In this sequence, a bunch of officers visit the paralyzed Guru in the hospital to serve a supreme court summon for the irregularities in his company. That actor who played that role impressed with a silent, sharp and subtle show of confidence and attitude which made the scene more lively than otherwise. Thinking about it, I find that this has been one of the silent differentiators of Mani's movies from others. These actors usually don't have the underlying "I don't play an important role in this movie" attitude, but rather stand up and make their acting be accounted for.
The lady doctor in "Alaipayuthe" who leads Madhavan from the hospital's reception to the ICU, the CBI officer who raids Priety's home after the foiled republic day bombing and Manisha's "brothers" in Dil Se are other examples for this.
Another observation (by someone else) is that all the amazing locations that we get to see in his movies ("pachai nirame" song, any random scene in "Roja") are shot in India. All of them! None outside the country. I thought about it myself, and put this point to my friend who is much more of a movie critic than myself. Both of couldn't place one single scene that we can say "that was shot outside India!". It is quite amazing! But can you think of any?