American jugaad!

Untill now I had thought that Jugaad is exclusive to India. But it appears that the name Jugaad may be exclusive to India but technology of Jugaad exists in USA as well. This is a jugaad goods Rickshaw powered with a two wheeler scooter engine.

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Travelling to India? Caution and Advice!

India is a multiverse. With over thirty languages and hundreds of dialects it is a continent of small provinces.  Cultures differ so does traditions. Different dresses, food and rituals. India houses more than 1/6th  population of the entire Universe. For a tourist travelling to India it means that often after one night journey by train there is a different culture.New Delhi, its capital is second most populous city in the world. New Delhi is also the fourth most expensive office space in terms of price. My guess is that it would also be as expensive in housing. Real Estate prices in New Delhi has risen by whopping 40 times in last two decades which is not in tune with inflation. Economically there are masses and there are classes. There are 165,000 cars produced in the world, everyday, this year. In 2011-12, the India had produced 20,366,432 vehicles of which 76% were two wheelers, 15% passenger vehicles, 4% three wheelers and 4% were commercial vehicles. These figures indicate shows the large number of middle class. However 85% are still poor. While nearly 50% are downtrodden. For a tourist it means that he/she can not presume about the standard of living. While many do not have shoes to wear, many Indian travel to Paris for weekend. It also means all kinds of facilities exist in New Delhi and such urban cities. but at a price. If for any reason a tourist need something badly he has to find right place or ask right person. Continue reading

Happy Lohri 2013: Warmest Lohri Day in years

Deceptive winter

Winter which descended with a bang on Christmas 2012, seems to have stealth its way out with a spoof. For last five days, here in New Delhi, temperature is consistently rising. Today it is comparable to Sydney, Australia. It is said that temperature all over Asia is unusually high as part of environmental upheaval. First there was absence of dust storm in New Delhi, during summer. Then there was unusual heavy rain on Dashahra/Vijaydashmi Day. It never rains in Oct-Nov but this year it did. Now this warm Lohiri. Any way:

HAPPY LOHIRI 2013.

Lohri bonfire burning.

Whatever the temperature, the bonfire would be lit and enjoyed even if we have to pull out half sleeve shirts and knickers from the closet or to postpone it from early evening to early night.  Life goes on.

© Sandeep Bhalla

First, do no harm

Oh My God!

Western practice of Medicine traces its origins back to Greek Medicine which required every doctor to take an oath called Hippocratic Oath, swearing to practice in accordance with certain norms of morality and ethics. Hippocrates was the first known Greek physician and the oath is named after him. Following are the excerpts from this oath:

I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgement, and I will do no harm or injustice to them.

I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

In purity and according to divine law will I carry out my life and my art.

I will not use the knife, even upon those suffering from stones, but I will leave this to those who are trained in this craft.

Into whatever homes I go, I will enter them for the benefit of the sick, avoiding any voluntary act of impropriety or corruption, including the seduction of women or men, whether they are free men or slaves.

Whatever I see or hear in the lives of my patients, whether in connection with my professional practice or not, which ought not to be spoken of outside, I will keep secret, as considering all such things to be private. (Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/greek/greek_oath.html)

Hindu mythology refers to divine twin horsemen doctors named as Ashwini Kumars, as referred in Rigveda. Further in the mythology it is said that  ‘vaidyo narayano harihi‘, which means that the doctor is equal to God. It is believed that since God can not come personally to heal, he sends his chosen ones to heal those suffering from pain.

The Ethics committee of Medical Council of India appears to have delving to initiate probe into the issue of corrupt practice by certain renowned Doctors which has been reported as under:

It is alleged that the three experts (Dr Randeep Guleria, Professor of medicine, All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS); Dr Satish Lahoti, KBN medical College, Gulbarga (Karnataka) and; Dr Appoorva Mukherjee, RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata) based in three different places allegedly sent almost identical letters of recommendation for the drug Clevudine. ……….. These doctors wrote that clinical trials were not even required for the drug. “Is it sheer co-incidence that doctors, sitting miles away from each other, gave opinions on a drug which is word-by-word identical,” ………. “There is adequate documentary evidence to come to the conclusion that many opinions were actually written by the invisible hands of drug manufacturers and experts merely obliged by putting their signatures. ……… They went out-of-the-way to give unsoliticited advice, in identical language, to the DCGI to give permission to the company to market the drug without conducting mandatory clinical trials in India,” the committee said.

In another case, seven doctors from different cities are believed to have given opinion over a drug which, the committee said, was banned abroad. The doctors allegedly involved in this case were: Dr Kalpana Ernest of CMC Vellore, Dr Bansari Goswami of NS Medical College Hospital, Kolkata; Dr D Arvind Kumar and Dr B Prahlad of Gandhi Medical College, Secunderabad; Dr Pramod Kumr Mallick of SCB Medical College, Cuttack; Dr Satish B Dharap of LTM Medical College and General Hospital, Mumbai and; Dr Promila Pandhi of PGIER Chandigarh. (http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_dna-special-the-shocking-medical-scam_1688378)

BTW the above drug Clevudine, has been discontinued in other countries due to its side effect which cause myopathy (muscular weakness) in patients.

If we seek treatment from any of these doctors we should be beware that in all probability we are guinea pigs with pockets and these doctors are businessmen/women with the sole objective to accumulate money; even at the cost of human life. So these Gods are not worth it. Just pseudo Gods. Oh My God!

© Sandeep Bhalla

One Hundred Poems by Kabir

The poet Kabir, a selection from whose songs is here for the first time offered to English readers, is one of the most interesting personalities in the history of Indian mysticism. Born in or near Benares, of Mohammedan parents, and probably about the year 1440, he became in early life a disciple of the celebrated Hindu ascetic Ramananda. Ramananda had brought to Northern India the religious revival which Ramanuja, the great twelfth- century reformer of Brahmanism, had initiated in the South. In this revival was in part a reaction against the increasing formalism of the orthodox cult, in part an assertion of the demands of the heart as against the intense intellectualism of the Vedanta philosophy, the exaggerated monism which that philosophy proclaimed. It took in Ramanuja’s preaching the form of an ardent personal devotion to the God Vishnu, as representing the personal aspect of the Divine Nature : that mystical ” religion of love ” which everywhere makes its appearance at a certain level of spiritual culture, and which creeds and philosophies are powerless to kill. (via One Hundred Poems by Kabir – Wikisource.

Above link takes to 100 poems of Kabir translated into English. Another source for some poems in original, Hindi and English are here.