Of Awards, giants, faces and clouds

Rashid gave me the Inspiring blog award. To have the ability to inspire someone is a daunting prospect and I have no idea how to go about it but I (hurridly and gluttonously) accept the honour. A big thanks to Rashid for mentioning me and for the white pigeon (a word I could have never spelled correctly if someone had not thought of putting a red zigzag line below it)

Now, I am supposed to tell you seven facts about me as it is the second stage of the ceremony of passing the award. This will not be a great revelation sort of a stage where I will confess that I want to be an actor (which I don’t) and win Oscars (which I don’t) OR I find the way Sushma Swaraj speaks to be very aphrodisiacal (which I don’t) but I will tell you something very subtle and boring about me. So, do not expect fireworks. Here goes:

  1. I like toilet rolls with small Braille like dots on them. You can find loads on them in Big Bazaar. When I sit in Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ pose every morning, I love to run my fingers on the dots on the toilet roll. I imagine someone has left a secret message on the roll and I try to decipher it by running my fingers over it. The-treasure-is-in-a-house-which-is-on-the-darkest-cloud-at-the-end-of-the-world. That kind of messages.
  2. I like houses with all the furniture and every essential commodity in them but devoid of any people. I roam around and visit every room, briskly touching things, rubbing memories off them. I imagine as if everyone in the world has died in a nuclear attack and I am the last survivor. This is a stranger’s house and I have entered it to see if I can find some food. Sometimes I try to see my own house through the eyes of a stranger. It is a funny feeling.
  3. I like looking at people when they are not aware that I am looking at them. I hide myself and enjoy their expressions – happiness, despair, plain sadness, time travel, introspection. Our faces are like poetry. They say a lot when they are alone or when they think they are alone.
  4. I watch movies when I read books. I wear my director’s cap and choose a star cast. It is a mix of Bollywood and Hollywood actors. I give them costumes, makeup, sets, outdoors, background score, expressions, voices and then I sit back and enjoy the movie. I am probably the only director who has reels of hundreds of movies stacked up in his brain – the movies only he could see.
  5. I love to see Geet sleeping next to me. I find comfort in her rhythmic breathing. I could tell when she is drowning farther in the ocean of sleep by the way her breathing becomes deeper. I could tell when she is dreaming when I see her eyeballs moving here and there beneath the canvas of her eyelids. I could tell that the dream is good when she smiles.
  6. I like to surround myself with mountains. Call it genetic because Mom was born on hills but I find a strange comfort in being dwarfed by peaks. They turn into giants surrounding me, protecting me in their valley. And I find vehicles moving on twisted roads on those mountains equally entertaining. They are like ants running on the cloaks of those giants. Imagine what would happen if they ruffle the cloak?
  7. I like dark clouds. I do not like rains that much but I like to stare at the shades of grey and whites rushing past in the sky. They are like layers and layers of water flying in the air. I feel like a fish standing under them. Is that how a fish feels when he looks at the layers of ocean above him?

Hopefully, I would not come across a loony after reading these 7 facts and you will not throw a stone at me when we meet?

I am supposed to pass the award to a few bloggers whose blog I love to read and who can now continue the cycle of pasing the award. Congratulations to everyone. This is a big honour, something similar to getting my autograph.

Here they are –

R’s Mom

GODYEARS

Some facts, Some Nonsense

The Shooting Star

This and That

What is the purpose of your life?

earth's timeline

Last Sunday, as I was trotting towards the nearest bus stand with two of my friends as we hurried to catch up our show of  Transformers:Revenge of the fallen, we were halted in the middle of the road by three young chaps. They hailed from a Christian society and were very polite. One of them threw a question at us – “What is the purpose of your life?”

Now, imagine yourself in such a situation. You are all excited and ready to see the latest machine war flick and someone pops the “purpose of life” question in front of you. Its like asking a soldier to choose the menu for the dinner while he is busy dodging bullets in the enemy’s firing line.

“Right now, the purpose of my life is to reach IMAX on time.”, I said and smiled.

“Would you like to have a postcard from us which will entitle you to a dvd about Jesus Christ? Its for free.”

“Yes!”

I could not believe this. They were young kids who could be watching a movie or going on a date. Instead, they were stopping people in the middle of the road and asking them the purpose of life!?! I found those guys too spiritual, in the same way in which they would have found me too materialistic.

When Swami Dayanand saw the mouse trampling on the ShivaLingam, he was devastated. He could not understand that how can the Almighty Lord possibly allow a mere mouse to just walk over his statue and eat the offerings? Asked in another way, if God wants Earth to be the Garden on Eden, then why does he allow evil to breed? Yes, we have all heard about the balance between the Good and the Evil, but isn’t that too lame an excuse for God’s incompetency?

Sometimes I feel that we are obsessed with the unknown. Aliens, werewolves, mermaids, witches, vampires, yeti, fairies, dragons, heaven, hell. God. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I don’t believe in God. I know there is a power which drives us. Its not all about probability, serendipity or theory of randomness. There is something more to it and I am sure that that shall never be revealed to us. That is our destiny. To understand God is to unscramble scrambled eggs.

What I hate is the Glorification, the Spiritualization of the rest of us by a selected few, the sanctification, the cleansing and the conversions. If someone has to come to me and ask me the purpose of my life then either that person is absolutely confused about the purpose of his own life OR my face gives an impression that I am completely purposeless and I am sure that the latter is not true. 🙂

If we have not realized this by now, Religion is a business in modern times. It always was, but now its booming. We have billions riding on it. When a temple can raise a donation of Rs 5 Crores(approximately 1,046, 684 $) in 7 hours, then the sky is the limit. The terrorism industry is an offspring of religion. The politicians use religion to get to the seat of power. We use it as a reason to rape women. We use it to forcibly marry off our children without their consent. Its a way to make instant money on the internet. And if you have no reason to hate your neighbour, religion can be a very tempting bait. And so where is God in all this? Well, maybe he is sitting in a corner and doing this :

LaughingCartoon

I am sure I am born for a purpose but I am also sure that a priest or a spiritual Guru cannot reveal it to me. No one can. I am sure this is something which can’t be revealed. Maybe there is nothing to be revealed, but to understand. I am also sure that chanting a deity’s name or lying in the feet of the lord or donating crores for a yagya cannot be the purpose of my existence.

If you look at the chart of the Earth’s evolution at the top, humans have just appeared. Its amusing how we have pushed the Earth on the brink of collapse in such a short span of time. The rate at which we are going, we will end up being nothing more than a faint flash of existence on the vast timeline of the universe. We can either live for thousands of years in harmony or we can end up like the dinosaurs.

The existence of each generation of humans is a story with a moral at the end. It is us who will be writing the moral for the next generation. Its us who will be deciding whether the next generation will live a life better or worse than us. To give them a better life, all we have to do is to just live our lives without any hatred and everything else will fall into places. Just live.

Now how is that for a purpose?

Night train to Lisbon

Can God create a stone He couldn’t lift? If not, then he isn’t almighty; if yes, He isn’t either, for now there is a stone He cannot lift.

This book was like poetry. Sentences flew out of the book like lyrics of an old forgotten song and I secretly wished for nttl1the book to never end. Translations usually don’t work for me. Reading “Choker Bali” in English was a disaster. Night Train to Lisbon was written in German initially and that was reason enough for me to be apprehensive. But am I glad that I picked it up! It will undoubtedly remain one of the best books I have read. If you have read a few of my previous posts and have been thinking that why the hell have I turned so philosophical, then the reason is this book.

Raimund Gregorius is a teacher of Classic Languages at the Swiss lycée. He is considered as the best teacher by his students and colleagues and is well respected. One day he saves the life of a captivating Portuguese woman. The act triggers a chain of events and brings him to a book written by Amadeu de Prado, a Portuguese doctor. Raimund is completely drawn towards the book and thus starts his quest to know more about the man who wrote it. Raimund, whose life was nothing less than an immaculate timetable, leaves his class in the middle and takes a train to Lisbon, to know about Prado’s life. To know about the man who could weave magic with his words.

It is death that gives the moment its beauty and its horror. Only through death is time a living time. Why does the Lord, the omniscient God, not know that? Why does he threaten us with an endlessness that must mean unbearable desolation?

As Raimund reaches Lisbon and pick up the threads of Prado’s life, he begins to understand the man, his mind and his hardships through the eyes of people who had known him.

He meets Adriana, Prado’s eighty years old sister who had been living with the ghosts of her brother’s existence and kept everything the way he had left it years ago.

He meets Jorge O’Kelly, Prado’s best friend and confidant for years and the only man Prado could bear to be close to. 

He meets Estefania Espinhosa, the woman who had a brain that could carry every minute detail of the plans of the rebellion against the Salazar’s dictatorship; whom Prado fell in love with and had to part with because of the fear of her falling in the hands of the dictator.

He meets João Eca, an active member of the rebellion and the silent spectator who saw Prado both as a successful and an established doctor and then as a crippled man struggling with life; who had his own horror stories written all over his body. 

He meets Maria João, the woman whose kitchen gave Prado the most dangerous ideas to write. Who saw him go through the trauma of his wife Fatima’s death and who again saw him wither away for Estefania.

But when we set out to understand someone on the inside? Is that a trip that ever comes to an end? Is the soul a place of facts? Or are the alleged facts only the deceptive shadows of our stories?

The most beautiful aspect of the book is the way the story constantly switches between the past and the present, which is entwined with the excerpts from Padro’s book. As Raimund completes the jigsaw of Prado’s life through the numerous people he meets during the course of his journey, you can feel the upheavals of his own life and the transitions he goes through. The book would question your philosophies about life and would force you to look at life in a way you would have never seen it before. It would leave you in an upheaval. 

The book was a major hit in Germany that spent 140 weeks on the best-seller list and went on to become one of Europe’s biggest literary blockbusters in the last five years selling over two million copies. 

Highly recommended. Don’t miss it.

Written by – Pascal Mercier.

Rating – 5/5

Cancer : A Survivor’s Tale

I met Anjali(name changed) during my two months job related training in Bhubaneswar. She was a jovial and friendly person who made me laugh at the drop of a hat. I still chuckle when I remember her imitating Salman while dancing to “Just Chill” during the Diwali Party. After our training got over, she went to her hometown, Mumbai while I went to Chennai. We were in touch by phone calls and emails. 

A few months later, Anjali gave me a news which shocked me beyond limits. I could not imagine a bubbly person like her to go through this trauma.

This is her story in her own words. Thanks Anjali for doing this Guest Post.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was a recurring nightmare that I always had, an innate fear of losing my parents. I would wake up crying every time I had that nightmare.

 When my mother casually remarked regarding a lump in her breast, I was taken aback. She had it for almost a year now and had not taken the pains to get a mammography done. Every time I thought about it and urged my mother to come for a mammography scan, I kept saying that it might not be cancer. But inside I had a feeling that something really bad was going to happen. It was as if God had been giving me signs all along and preparing me for the most difficult phase in the 25 years of my life.

My heart always skipped a beat whenever I saw the ‘CanCure’ clinic on my way back from office. Reading stories published in newspapers always gave me sleepless nights. That compared with my nightmares were taking a toll on my mind.

Then one day, my worst fear came true…

It was the month of November in 2006. My parents came from the doctor’s office with pale, white faces. Yes, the mammogram and the fine-needle biopsy results were positive. My mother was diagnosed with Grade 3, Stage 3 Invasive ductal carcinoma. In common words, she had a highly invasive breast cancer, which had a high possibility to spread into different parts of the body, through the lymphatic system. We could not believe it. Nobody in our family had ever had a history of cancer. My mother had no major risk factors. Its human nature that makes us think that we have been dealt a death sentence when we’re told we have the “C” word.

 After the diagnosis, it was a roller coaster nightmare. Since the cancer was of an invasive nature, surgery had to done as soon as possible to remove the tumor and limit the seepage of cancerous cells into the body. Things happened so fast; we didn’t have a moment for self-pity. I had to put a brave front in front of my parents reassuring them, keeping cheerful all the time. However, every moment that I was alone, be it on my way to office or sleeping at night…. tears would just roll out (as are rolling now) and every time I had just one question from God…why her?

 My mother got operated in December 2006. She was operated in Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai, one of the best cancer hospital and research centres in the country. The doctors really helped infuse positivism in her whenever she went for consultation. The surgery usually takes 2-3 hours. However, she was taken inside the operation theater at nine in the morning, and came out in the ICU at seven in the evening. All this while my dad and I were perched outside the O.T., fearing that the worst had happened, since it was almost ten hours since my mother was taken for the surgery. It was after my mother came out of the ICU two days later when we came to know that although she was taken inside the O.T., the actual surgery started at three in the afternoon and she was in queue!! The doctor who operated on her had 29 surgeries lined up only for that particular day!! It is such incidents that infused a little humor into our otherwise ‘super-stressed’ lives. One must applaud the sheer dedication of the team of doctors who perform such a mammoth number of surgeries three days a week and still have a smile on their face, reassuring every patient who comes to them with hope.

The basic line of treatment for any cancer is surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The drugs and its amounts administered depend on case-to-case and the type of cancer. Cancer treatment differs from person to person and very few people suffering from the same type of cancer would have similar line of treatment. As is the case of breast cancer, the size of the tumor and if the cells are highly malignant, is the deciding factor whether the patient will be given chemotherapy prior to surgery or post-surgery.

Amongst the diagnostic tests done prior to the surgery, a number of biopsies are done, wherein a sample of the tumor is aspirated with the help of a fine needle and examined thoroughly by cytologists for the extent of cancerous cells in the tissue sample. However, these are just indicative tests. The most accurate test is performed on the removed tumor and adjoining tissues after the surgery. It is during the surgery, and after the biopsy tests are available, that the exact line of further treatment is decided.

Before my mother underwent lumpectomy surgery (wherein the tumor and adjoining tissues and lymph nodes are removed surgically), the doctors said that she would have to undergo only surgery and radiation therapy and not chemotherapy. But after her biopsy results were out the doctors said that since the cancer was of malignant nature, we needed undergo chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer by killing cells that divide rapidly, which is one of the main properties of cancer cells. This means that it also harms cells that divide rapidly under normal circumstances like the cells in hair follicles, those in the digestive tract and in bone marrow. The type of chemotherapy treatment you are given depends on many things like, the type of cancer you have, where the cancer started in your body, what the cancer cells look like under the microscope and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of your body. The side effects of chemotherapy are what made us really scared. We had heard that people not succumbing to the disease; have succumbed to the rigorous sessions of chemotherapy.

I remember the time when my father called me from the hospital after the biopsy results were out, that my mother would need to undergo chemotherapy, I was in office and could not stop my tears in the meeting I was in. I then went out and had a walk around the office trying to console myself that if this is what God wants us to go through, let it be.

My main concern while mom was undergoing chemo, was that she will loose all her appetite with all the nausea and vomiting, when this is the time to put in all the nutrients possible to help fight the disease. On the other hand my mother was worried about losing her hair and how will she look bald…

My mother had this feeling that everyone was watching her with pity. I recently went to a breast cancer clinic wherein survivors meet people undergoing treatment and share their experiences. A woman, who had a mastectomy a few weeks earlier, was so conscious that she wrapped a shawl around her. On being questioned by a social worker on why you are trying to hide it, she broke into tears pitying herself and the situation she was in. That is when I realized how crippling this disease is. It not only cripples the person physically, but also leaves a deep gash mentally and leaves all the family emotionally drained. A woman’s self-esteem goes down the drain after being diagnosed.

Although my father having worked for the Central Government, received the entire medical amount (which ran in lakhs) reimbursed, one must think about the not so privileged who also face a huge loss financially. I’ve heard stories from people in Tata Memorial hospitals general ward. They have only one refrigerator to keep the chemotherapy medicines. There have been instances wherein someone who couldn’t afford it has stolen people’s medicines from that refrigerator. I still shudder when I think about this.

Then came the day I almost lost my mother….

The chemotherapy started one month after the surgery. She was to undergo six cycles, each cycle after three weeks, to give the body some time to recuperate from the side effects. After the first cycle of chemotherapy was complete, we came home as usual and tried to get mother to eat little meals in forms of soups and porridge. But whatever we gave her, she was not able to eat and would throw up at the slightest food odour. She once joked that I’m feeling pregnant again …coz that’s how she felt back then, with all the nausea. One evening she complained of feeling cold. By nine in the night she was shivering while we were feeling hot. We called the doctor, who prescribed some medicines to control the fever. By next day morning, the fever rose to 104 degrees and she was rushed to the hospital. A quick blood test revealed that she was suffering from a condition called Neutropenia or Low White Blood Cell Count. White blood cells help the body to fight infections. In an average human body, the WBC count is usually in the range of 4,000 – 11,000 per mm3 of blood. In Neutropenia, it is less than 1000. In my mother’s case it was 300; which implied that even a sneeze caused a life-threatening infection. She was kept in an isolated room where only doctors and nurses were allowed to go.  She was kept on round the clock antibiotics to help lower the infection. We could see her only through a small window and wave and pray that she was fine. By God’s grace and the doctor’s concoctions of heavy doses of antibiotics, she was fine. She stayed in the hospital for 2 weeks after that, till her next chemo cycle was done.

I used to be in the hospital for nights. My sister, my mother’s friends and I would take turns staying at the hospital. A good support cycle really helps during trying times.

She came home after a while and was feeling very relieved. And then, she started loosing hair by bunches. She was totally bald in a few days. She stopped looking into the mirror for quite sometime after that. I would try to cheer her up by buying beautiful scarves matching with all her sarees. I had thought of getting my hair cut very short, in order to accompany her. But she laughed, thanked me for the thought and advised me against it.

I also remember another incident. It was the day of the Hindu festival Holi. Due to her ill health, my mother was required to be administered an injection. I remember I had such a tough time going out in the empty streets with 90% of the shops closed; braving hooligans who wanted to throw water and color on me. Eventually at one of the hospital pharmacies, I was able to get the required injection and a doctor who stayed in our building administered the medicine.

I was also amused by how people of different faiths come and try to preach their faith in order to get rid of the disease. One person talked about how Baba Ramdev had ‘cured’ people of cancer. Another one claimed that Jesus is the savior and told the story of a person who started praying to him (and later converted to Christianity) and within days his cancer was gone. Yet another person told that in the foothills of the Himalayas there is a saint who gives ayurvedic medicines that removes the root cause of the disease. There are various other alternative therapies claiming the heavens. In order to maintain our sanity, we tried all possible ways to stop people from meeting her. It usually happens that during suffering, we tend to believe anything to get rid of the situation we are in.

Time flew by during the entire cycle of chemotherapy treatment, which lasted for 6 months. Post chemotherapy, the radiation treatment was to be started. Radiation therapy is the medical use of radiation as part of cancer treatment to control cancerous cells. She was to be given radiation treatment for 31 days, 5 days a week. Only hospitals specializing in cancer treatment provide radiation therapy; in my mother’s case it was Tata Memorial Centre. The side effects of radiation therapy are in some cases fewer than that of chemotherapy. However, in my mother’s case, side effects of the two were almost similar. During her radiotherapy treatment, one day I wasn’t feeling well and went to the doctor complaining of vomiting and an upset stomach. The doctor told me that it was gastroenteritis infection and I stayed in the hospital for 2 days due to weakness. I always remember how helpless my mother felt when she came t visit me in the hospital. Her tears were telling me that she’s feeling sorry to see me in pain and helpless for the fact that she can’t take care of me. I put up a brave front and managed to get discharged in a day. During the entire time, my father was rock solid, even though his face showed the stress.

Finally by August 2007, her entire treatment was completed. She was then put on a hormone-blocking medicine called Arimidex, which has to be taken for 5 years. The usual period for declaring a patient cancer-free is five years. Before that, she has to make regular visits to the doctor every three months, till five years. After that period, an annual visit along with diagnostic test is the usual procedure.

Currently my mother is keeping fine. It’s my nephew that is keeping her busy and taking her mind off the usual aches and pains that she faces. I would say that it was the sheer positivism and will power of my mother that made her come out of this phase of her life.

Our only flaw was that even after being educated and having information about how lumps in the breast need to be checked for breast cancer, we did not take immediate action. If we had taken so, at least the grade and stage of cancer would have been less.

Also regarding cancer, people have this general thought that it can’t happen to them. Or, I’m not old enough to have this disease. This is a major misconception amongst people. Cancer is such a disease that can strike anywhere and in any form. The only hope is to be forearmed. With respect to breast cancer, the most important strategy in improving survival is breast cancer screening and early detection. Currently, mammography and breast examinations serve as the foundation for screening for breast cancer. It is extremely important for a woman to have regular breast examinations as well as mammograms to detect early breast cancer. There are two important aspects in breast-cancer prevention: early detection and risk reduction. Screening may identify early noninvasive cancers and allow treatment before they become invasive or identify invasive cancers at an early treatable stage. All females should get regular screening done. All males should encourage their mothers and sisters to get timely screening done. Remember that cancer is curable, if detected early.

 

The Journey and the Inspirations

On 29 August 2008, I complete one year of blogging. It has been an exhilarating journey of a world I was quite oblivious to, until last year when one of my friend introduced me to WordPress through her newly created blog. Although her blog is long abandoned at present, she passed the germ to me.
During this one year journey, I came across a variety of bloggers who inspired and awed me in various depths. I haven’t written much posts in the last one year. I haven’t even reached a count of 80 yet but I was able to reach a lot of people. I connected somehow and that is all that matters. So, I would like this opportunity to thank everyone who read my blog and provided their selfless comments. I know that there are people who read my blog without commenting and I thank them too for their support. I love it when someone who has been reading my blog from a while finally decides to comment. I remember Manoj did that and also Preeti. 🙂

I came across many bloggers who encouraged me to go ahead and not give up when things got really tough, because they amazed me with their knowledge and zeal and are now a part of this new facade of my life. There were posts which made me laugh when I was feeling low and there were posts which made me think and ponder. In such a short period, this place has become an essential part of my life. Here is a list of my favourite A list of Blogs –

Ruhi’s Time and Again – It was through Ruhi’s blog that I came in contact with this loony bunch. I saw Ruhi’s post on the Dashboard once and clicked on it. I was wide-eyed and amazed with what I saw. It was my first – most amazing blog visit (although I saw many after that) and I was hooked. She is not regular nowadays but she still pops up at times.

Ish’s Dead End – I still remember my first comment on Ish’s blog : “You are one hell of a kid!!!”. I was so amazed to see a kid maintaining such a fabulous blog. If you are in a bad mood then Ish’s rants can really cheer you up. I remember how I was in splits when I read his “The Ruhi” post. And yes, I was the winner of the PFHOI contest on his blog. How can I forget that?

Nita’s A wide angle view of India – This woman is amazing. She writes everyday and there is not a single day which goes without one of her posts being published. Everything is so diverse and well etched – The topics, the research, the writing style and the professional way in which her blog is maintained. She is a true blue journalist. And don’t even look at her Blog hits. Your eyes will pop out.

Poonam’s Visceral Observations – The Ms Best Blogger!!! She is also quite infrequent with her posts(like me), but writes very informative and hard hitting posts. Her posts are well sketched out and sometimes full of uncountable links(I am talking about her link posts) 🙂 . She writes on two other blogs and juggles between her job and blogging with ease. A true inspiration.

Ashish’s Thunder of the Dragon – He can drive you crazy with his loony posts and his love for Rock music. In most of his posts, I end up writing a comment which resembles a – 😐 but I must admit that his crazy ideas have inspired many posts on this blog. The Randomizer and the Nebula Mindspin were spin-offs from his blog. He calls me – Zero the Hero and he has an illusion(??) of being the Next Geeky Emperor of the World. Rock on My Lord!!

Reema’s My Random Thoughts – The most dazzling debut in the past year. She climbed up the charts very fast with her sometimes sentimental, sometimes bold and sometimes journalistic posts. An intelligent blogger which I feel is stuck in the wrong city (??? 😀 ) where people are too nosy to be believed. I remember how all of us almost pulled her out of Blogspot’s claws and landed her safely in WordPress. 😆

RamboDoc’s A twist of word and Mind – The father of all “Don’t take them at face value” posts. Believe me, you can’t dissect humor better than him. You might be fooled in the beginning by the seriousness of his posts, but a few visits and you learn to take everything with a pinch of salt. A doctor by profession, RamboDoc has huge female fans following him his blog. Not to be missed at all.

Shefaly’s La Vie Quotidienne – The owner of the most “profound” blog on WordPress (according to RamboDoc), she is one of her kind. Her posts are thoughtful, deep and scholarly and sometimes have the Tongue in cheek quality which makes them immensely enjoyable.

Nitin’s Nikhil’s Mirror Cracked – The Funny guy on the block. He can make you laugh with his simple daily life experiences served with a comical twist. I remember how I rolled on the floor after reading many of his posts. He is a writer too and his first book is already in the market. To read more about the book, click here.

Arvind’s An Entertainment Blog – The Entertainment Blog owner who is apparently a die hard cricket fan too. His blog was full of cricket centric posts once. 🙂 His blog is a nice mix of personal mumblings and latest news with Calvin and Hobbes splashed in-between.

Kids zone – After being surprised by Ish’s creative posts, I came across many kids who were maintaining some very interesting blogs. Come to think of it, I was not even aware of the meaning of a blog at their age. Be it Allirekha’s beautiful poems, Bharat’s touching short stories, Prarthana’s examination woes, Perx’s apprehensions about his new abode, Priya’s bubbly and creative posts, all of them have something special to say and share.

The Balancers – These bloggers are married(well…most of them), they have a job(most of them) or are in colleges and they still blog. They could have easily shrugged and said that we don’t have time for all this.They are the true Supermen/superwomen. Anand’s Musings, Balu’s Chupchap, Dinsan’s Blog(hopefully he belongs to this group), Mehek’s Mind Flirting with thoughts, Harshasrisri’s blog, Joel’s blog, Lallopallo’s blog, Liju(recently married) Philip’s blog, Manoj’s Vagaries of my mind, RJ’s Especiality, Suda’s Life Love and Logic and Xylene’s Crapbook are such blogs, to name a few.

More Girl PowerLekhni, Sakhi, Nova, Pr3rna and Sulz have their own unique blogs. Lekhni and Sakhi are majorly into Short stories while Pr3rna’s posts are inspired mostly by the current happenings. Nova’s posts are vivacious and spicy while Sulz writes about her own life experiences in her own interesting style.

There are so many other bloggers I wish to acknowledge, but laziness is creeping over me. So please don’t feel sad if your name was not mentioned above. It was due to the yawn dripped laziness I am swimming in right now. I also wanted to award each of the above person and I (almost)promised Shefaly, but the sheer volume of links I have created above sent shivers up my spine.

I will do that. Someday…. 😛

Till then, a huge hug to all of you.

Severn Suzuki and THE One tight slap

It was the year 1992 and Severn Suzuki was a 12 year old kid. She raised money with the members of the Environmental Children’s organization (ECO) and attended the United Nation’s Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro. She gave a six minutes speech there which received a standing ovation from the delegates of the various countries. According to her, a few of them cried too. Her speech was nothing less than a one tight slap on the face of all the “Adults” who think that spending money on War related activities and developing new weapons is more important than spending it to remove poverty and illiteracy and on environmental Issues. Her speech was hard hitting but whether it lead to some action or not was something Severn herself wrote 10 years later in a Special Report in the TIME called “The young can’t wait”. An excerpt –

I spoke for six minutes and received a standing ovation. Some of the delegates even cried. I thought that maybe I had reached some of them, that my speech might actually spur action. Now, a decade from Rio, after I’ve sat through many more conferences, I’m not sure what has been accomplished. My confidence in the people in power and in the power of an individual’s voice to reach them has been deeply shaken.

You can read the full report here.

This is the video of the speech. Don’t miss the expressions on the faces of the delegates.

You can read her speech here.

Since her bold foray in the UN Summit, Severn has been an active environmental activist, speaker, television host and an author. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Ethnoecology.

(The photograph is taken from Wikipedia)

Bookmarks :
add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank