Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Gary Sobers, Vedanta The hub and Tsunami

A very refreshing stay in chennai had my creative juices overflowing. Also made a conscious decision to pick up the reading habit, which I had suspended days before pongal.

Firstly stay in chennai was good, caught up with a lot of relatives over my grandfather's anniversary or Dhivasam as I know it in sanskrit and Thamizh. Writing Thamizh, reminded me of my friend who had called up to enquire whether I was into urdu poetry. I later realised that he mistook Thamizh for thameez and urdu word for etiquette. Somehow I am not very comfortable using 'Tamil' compared to 'Thamizh'. Anyways getting back to the topic at hand, called up few friends and got to know that couple of them are getting married this month, so which means one more trip to chennai is on the cards. Chennai city by and large has picked up in infrastructure, though my cousin disputes with that. He says that he is toiling everyday to get to Tharamani from Perambur all due to traffic jams near Mylapore. I will have to go by his word since my visit to Chennai was a holiday visit. Weather was cool in chennai and the pollution level too was marginally better, compared to last couple of years. As usual Thamizh print media manages to remain hyper and T.N. government is also keeping them that way by providing enough news in subjects ranging from Tsunami relief to Shankaracharya affair which has assumed graver proportions over rumours of a mutt takeover by government.

Getting back to good old Bangalore, as said in the intro, some good ideas started flowing in my rusted brain off late. To summarize them,
1. Idea to pen a story.
2. Idea to read on Vedanta and upanishads.
3. Idea to implement a electronic patient record database for free.

The idea to pen a story came from my interaction with "the hub". Now here is a forum that lets your creative juices out in all topics, albeit biased slightly towards Thamizh literature and films. A thread in which I was participating gave me the spark to try my hand at writing. I had penned a couple of poems before, all locked away in my diaries. Maybe it is time to get them out of closet! With the power of a portal behind me, I guess there is no stopping now. I have started a more loose story idea in the hub with a thread "Continue the story" under the miscellaneous section. I will see how that goes. The idea is to pick up different thoughts by various creative persons and see how and idea develops into a story.

My bus mate Mr. Shrinivasa Rao is an erudite scholar who is well read in topics ranging from Vedantha and upanishads to Ayn Rand and Michael Crichton. Thanks to him, my bus journey is not dull these days. He spurred me to give a reading on the topic of Vedantha a serious thought. Guess what, yesterday I came across a wonderful book shop in Jayanagar 4th block, where books old and new were up for sale or for rent. It was fascinating to see old engineering books, books that I hated in my college days like Control Systems by Nagrath and Gopal to amazing books on Mahabaratha, to Arthur C.Clarke's 2010 A Space odyssey (a sequel to 2001 a spac odyssey). I was lucky to spot two interesting books. One was Sir Gary by Trevor Bailey and the second was "Jewels of intuition" a book on vedantha. I have picked them up both since then and already started reading the former.

"Sir Gary" is a biography of a great cricketer by another great , Trevor Bailey. The book was published originally in 1977 by rupa and Co in India. The book has foreword by Richie Benaud the legendary Aussie leg spinner. I will post a special review on this book later. For now I am thrilled and excited to get these books. My next acquisition would be the 2001 series of novels by Arthur C.Clarke. Price at which these great books are being sold is in one word 'encouraging'.

The idea to create an electronic patient record database came from my paternal uncle who narrated me how his brother- in- law, Dr.A.N.Chandrasekhar conducted a medical camp in his native village of Arumkundram in Arcot. He mentioned the tedious process of writing down new patient's details in a notebook and recalling from that when the same patient visited the camp again. The medical camp organized by the good hearted doctor was drawing good crowd in that village. Here is a doctor who is a former dean of the prestigious General Hospital in Chennai with his sons well settled diverts his energy and experience to do a yeoman service to the village where he hails from. Yet another swades story!!!

On the tsunami front, my brother recently visited affected parts in Kadaloor and Pondicherry as a volunteer of AidIndia. He went there to survey the relief work and estimate the need for long term rehabilitation like housing and livelihood. On the whole the picture is getting better in these areas. He had interesting real life stories, stories detailing the terrible destructive power displayed by the tsunami and equally astonishing strength of human spirit on display in the aftermath. I have been asking him to post these, but he is busy with his relief work. Right now he is in Kalpakkam doing similar work.

I will post more on Gary Sobers, Vedhantha and the proposed system that I have in mind that would record medical details of most of the rural poor.

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