200! My Double Century and Cricket!


Champagne time! Let’s click the glasses and share the bubbly on the occasion of my 200th blog! Let me bow to you my friends. It is your continuous support and encouragement that has allowed me to share the bubbly with you folks. Thank you very much for  reading my blogs. Some of you have even suggested the subjects. Some have commented but I am happy that I was never been ignored. Since this blog is about cricket I will share with you some mundane statistics to follow cricket tradition. BTW I am an avid cricket lover and saw my first test match, against West Indies,  at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai in 1958! My last live match was in 2015 at MCG in Melbourne!

Initially when I started blogging, I had a captive audience of three. Jaya, Sachin and Priya! With your love and encouragement this number has reached 10703 clicks in 2017. There were 3786 clicks in the first three months 2018- extrapolated to 15144 for the whole year of 2018. Those who want to ensure that they get my blog link, may kindly share with me their e mail id; I will put you on the mailing list!

Now to cricket! Reaching double century is a big deal in cricket, in test match it feels even better; reaching that hall mark in one day cricket is THE real big deal! Who reached that landmark first ? Of course, Sachin Tendulkar, that too against South Africa when Dale Steyn was at his best!

I am writing about the ball tampering affair that is currently going on. Australians were literally found with their pants down. In every sport, there are some people who cheat. There will be some who will do it at the borderline cheating level. But idea is not to get caught. There have been some great athletes who have been found cheating, in the game or with the family. Tiger Wood, Lance Armstrong, Ben Johnson are some of the names that come to mind. Wood cheated his family in a big way, Armstrong for a long time was a hero who overcame cancer! But in the end was caught for doping. Same was the case with Ben Johnson. But the cricket fiasco comes to the fore because they were caught red handed on camera! Cheating is a reasonably normal trait in humans. The child starts cheating or lying maybe at the age of 4 to 4 ½. So, continuing the same behaviour is not abnormal. Again the idea is not to get caught.

It appears that the main person behind the episode of ball tampering is David Warner, the vice-captain. He had a bright idea to remove the shine of the ball from one side, so that the ball may start swinging. This could help Australia take some wickets, quickly! This was approved by his captain, Steve Smith and they put a 21-year-old kid Bancroft to act. Bancroft was caught on the camera during the act and his picture was displayed on large screen in the stadium. He too saw it, got scared, and tried to do something even crazier. Rest as they say is history! They were caught, they are officially punished by the ICC, world cricket body with some fine and suspension. But there was such a large hue and cry in the Australian media, that Australian prime minister too intervened. Australian board sent them from South Africa back home and further punished them by captaincy stripping, 9 months to one-year suspension. Matter over! Field day for TRP guys to give stories about these three guys!

Later I saw the interview of Steve Smith after he reached Australia. His father was standing behind him. I felt pity for him. The guy made a very big blunder, accepted it, is punished for the same. What more do we want? I hope nobody says, that he was not really remorseful, he just made it dramatic by crying. Which 30-year person would publicly cry? He has made wrong judgment, he has done something because he is naïve. Who would do such a blunder when you know that there are 30 video cameras capturing every possible thing that is happening on the ground. I am sure at least one camera will be always focused on the ball; because in cricket everything happens with reference to the ball! How can an Australian be so naïve? They are supposed to be rough and tough and have always been pushing the rules to the limits. Once in a while they get a Kohli, who gives it back to them.

This guy has a family, wife, children, parents, siblings. All three are normal human beings like you and me.  Bancroft is a 21-year-old kid; he has not even had a glimpse of the bad bad world. Should he be pushed further? He suddenly found himself at the pinnacle of things for all wrong reasons. What everybody should do is to give these blokes some time. Let them overcome their demons, let them overcome their sorrows. Let them spend some time with their family and friends. One more thing we seem to have forgotten. Besides the punishment, humiliation, and bad name they  lost commercially, in a big way. All have also lost their IPL contracts. Australian Cricket board has lost their main sponsor. The shame that this episode has brought to their country, is too much for the shoulders of 21-year old guy! With all that is known today, I think they have done it without realizing the consequences, if caught. At least for the commercial part, they would have been a bit careful; but at that moment something went seriously wrong with the brains of Smith & Warner! Please remember these are not murderers or robbers. They were trying to change the condition of the ball with the hope of defeating South Africa! Ended up making a major blunder of their life; I am sure they will never be able to forget it and history will remember them as “Those cheats who tried to roughen up the ball”. This is the biggest punishment that is like life term in jail! Just be a little soft with them now. Don’t forget that there is that 21-year-old kid involved!

Now the million-dollar question, why do I write? Honestly, I don’t know. But writing bug has caught up with me during last few years. Another thing is that the thoughts have been always coming to mind and writing needed some impetus to do it! Availability of good blogging sites was the major impetus. Like great R K Laxman had once said when he was asked why doesn’t he create his own cartoon character? Keeping poker face, he said, ” When there are so many politicians giving me infinite subjects what is the need to have a separate Cartoon character?”  Similarly, with progresses in technology so many new subjects available on the net, for me, I keep on writing the thoughts that ooze out from my mind. I am also using my life’s experiences, my interactions with friends, family, business associates and many people I meet in life. On top of that you folks read what I write! You send your likes, you send your comments; you folks always interact! That keeps me going!

Cheers folks! Wave, criticize, shout, laugh, cry but react. It is the reactions that I like the best! A big Namaste to all!


Moving Ranges Of Diabetes!

“Now the US doctors admit that HbA1C value in between 7 to 8 is normal, this means that if the sugar level is 250, then it is normal. If the mean of PP and Fasting is 250, then you are no more diabetic.”

It is a news item that has taken many by surprise. Whenever such news items are published, there is a hue and cry that Pharma Companies are joining hands with Doctors, fleecing the general population. It was a reaction sometime back when it was declared by researchers blood pressure values are 120/80 are sacrosanct. Anything above 80, as well as 120, is to be treated as a person with elevated Blood Pressure.


There was a lot of noise, a lot of articles, and a lot of resistance to these findings. How are these findings to be treated? How do scientists reach these conclusions? These findings are based on a study of a very large number of patients with different backgrounds, ethnicity, income levels, age, gender, and so on. Similar methods have been followed over the years. The research also studies the effects of such values on the populace in general. In pre-computer days collecting and compiling such data was a nightmare because all this was done manually. After data collection, there was statistical analysis, graphs, and charts. It took a long time. Hence changing patterns of such values were difficult to find and declare; probably time it took to find the changes, one more change may have already happened. But with the advent of computerization and special software, all such important analyses can be done fast, and the trend of what is happening in real life can be seen much earlier than manual methods. So, we might see such changes declared regularly.

As these limits of the Upper and Lower BP are shrunk, people want to blame it on the business side of the medical and pharmaceutical industry. Some say it is done so that more people will need more medicines. Doctors are just awaiting the opportunity. But I have a different say in this. In every field in the world, there are unscrupulous people, but to say that everybody in the system is unscrupulous will be incorrect. Doctors will not just prescribe a drug, just because it is available. The R&D fraternity is doing its analysis based on data collected from thousands of patients. If that data indicates reducing the range for high BP tag, so be it! It is based on analysis, found in real patients in real life. Hence the medical associations have declared a new set of values.

In the case of diabetes, the new research has established that the HbA1C value of an individual can be between 7.5 and 8 instead of previously declared values of 6 to 6.5! Now people will not make noise or shout why this has been changed. With this change in values, the number of people requiring diabetic medicines will be drastically reduced, and hence there is NO nexus between pharma companies and doctors! If people have to challenge any findings, then they should do so in either case. It is good because this challenge and questioning will enhance the quality of research further.

There is another case of cholesterol value. Till recently, it was dangerous to have the cholesterol value was to be above 200! But new research says that cholesterol is no more a bad boy so that Statin sell will go down; research says simply don’t bother about cholesterol. It is the greatest benefit of computers in the medical field; the research, data collection, and analysis are done very fast, thereby doctors will know quickly about the moving targets of the so-called danger zone. No noise was made in this case too!

On the subject of research, I am always surprised that people are not comfortable about analysis and values, treatment, and their side effects when Allopathy treatment is discussed. But in other pathy’s, I have not heard of any research carried out throughout a long time. Still, nobody raises any voice, nor does anyone challenge the treatment. Nobody discusses anything about no research being carried out. Why this apathy against challenging other pathys? Why not raise any doubts? Allopathy uses most modern techniques of research; they spend huge amounts of funds on research. But we raise voice! For other pathy’s, we accept them as they are and many a time sing paeans of the glory of those pathy’s. Though we know that there is hardly any research done, if at all!

What should we call this reaction from humans? Is it hypocrisy? Is it abnormal thinking? Is it a typical behaviour like a mother who ignores many faults in her favourite child?  I feel that this not a rational behaviour, but it can be treated like going to a psychiatrist. They find solace in other pathy’s when Allopathy does not work. There are bound to be many cases where Allopathy may not work at all! But in some of these cases, other pathy’s may work! For example, for Jaundice, there is no drug in Allopathy, but an Ayurvedic drug Liv 52 works. We should choose the pathy, that cures and not go by here say!

I will sign off with a story of a highly educated professional, working at director level in the industry, for many years. His wife is not keeping well for some time. She manages her day to day chores. They have a big staff at home round the clock as our friend is required to travel a lot. Every 5/6 months, the lady is taken for the “cleansing” treatment, whatever it means, of alternate medicine for a week. She rejuvenates and is back, needing support round the clock from the day she is back! What that treatment does only our friend knows, he claims she is good now; honestly, friends and family don’t see any change

So don’t be blinded by any pathy but at least believe in Allopathy, which does a lot of research and helps humanity to improve our general health. The results are well known in the last 50 to 70 years! Doubting Thomases don’t value add!

Timeless asset!


Time is a choice, use with discretion to add value to it!

I called my friend the other day a couple of times. He did not pick up the phone. Later on, he called me a little late in the night. He appeared rushed, so I told him not to worry and that we could talk later. He said, ” Pramod, I am a bit stuck in many things for next few days. But how can I not call you back? We will catch up next week.” Next week he simply barged in for breakfast. Obviously, I was in his priority list. But there is another friend whom I met after a long time. A couple of weeks later I called him. He was very happy to talk to me, at least so I felt. This happened two or three times over next couple of months. He is fully retired, does not live far from where I live. Somehow it appeared that he did not want to take this forward. Over a period, our relations fizzled out. Nothing wrong in that, I was not in his priority list.

Time is a very precious thing especially when we don’t have it,  when we are very busy. But I also feel that the people who are very busy always have enough time, if you are in their priority list. Time is a commodity that is available exactly the same quantum, to all persons in the world, irrespective of their gender, caste, creed, age and any parameter one can think of. This quantity is exactly same for rich and the poor too. The value of time is based on its usage. Mind you, almost all people spend the equal time of about ten hours a day, for sleeping and handling personal chores. So, what is really available to us is, 14 hours a day! There are different ways of handling time and we will understand that we have a choice of how to spend our time. This can be done by selecting the suitably correct method of selecting priorities.

In the example I mentioned above, my friend who had priority for me let me know in no uncertain terms, though he was very busy. Whereas the other friend wasted both his as well as my time by not communicating clearly. There is always discussion going  about work and home balance. This means that within available time, correct decision about how much time we are able to give for work and for home. In both the cases, the priority is almost the same but people get confused about how this prioritization should be done.  Sometimes the balance tilts more towards work and at other times towards home. Neither is helpful. Both incorrect tilts decreases the value of time because time is valued by how correctly it is utilized at the right time.

Question then arises is how do successful people achieve so much in the time available to them, though availability is very similar to most others. The answer for that is that they are smarter, they utilize their time better, efficiently, effectively and productively. They prioritize their time correctly, and I am sure they manage their work/home balance very well!  This increases the value of their time as the value of their tangible other assets!

This leads to a very interesting thought process. The asset quantity is same for all, but the value of assets is in the hands of the user. It is like sculptor making a beautiful sculpture, a farmer utilizing the same earth to create bounty of products, a gardener using the same asset to create a beautiful garden. Writing the value tag of end product, is in our hands. Of course, there are many other qualities like persistence, vision, leadership that come into picture. Add to this, being at the right place at the right time is also equally important.  Some call this as luck! But to me luck is combination of doing various things smartly and selecting the correct option at the right time.

Making life productive and enjoyable  depends on correctly prioritizing the usage of time. Though priorities are in your hand, there are certain things that is a must in priority list. The list of starts with spouse, family, personal health, work and at least one thing unrelated to these four things but you simply love it. This could be reading, friends, photography, blogging painting and so on. Group of first five is a “Must” list and everything else can be in the “Maybe” list. Of course this is my list of Must and Maybe! What is yours?

Friends next time I call you for a cuppa and at the same time madam wants to go shopping, choose the right option, I will understand. But you can always sneak that cuppa along with the madam if possible!

Happy Ageing!

“Happiness is a choice you make” is a title of the book written by John Leland who interviewed six of the oldest of the old residents, 85 plus, in Newyork with diverse backgrounds, culture and life experience. His insights are superb to understand on how to age happily! Ageing is a natural process that is part of our lifecycle. We all grow from childhood to youth, become an adult and finally enter senior citizen phase. For some, this is a normal journey but for others it may be a tough call through the life cycle. To say “Happy Ageing” and actually “Ageing Happily” are two different things. For the group of people who have led reasonably normal life “Happy Ageing” is easy to manage but for the other group it may be tougher. For both groups some efforts will be needed to achieve this status.   

What is it that can come in the way of happy ageing? What can be the hindrances? Main thing that comes to mind is ourselves. Nowhere it is written that we should behave in a certain way, nor we should make certain utterances after we cross a certain age. People start saying, “Now that I have become old…”! You grow old every day, from child hood. Your age is one day more than the previous day. So, what is the big deal that you become 60 or 70 or 80? Your physically activity, for that matter, any activity is hampered even when you are 15 or 25 or 35 if you are physically unwell or unfit. In the older age this state of being not fit enough, is longer or maybe permanent. But do you ever say at younger age “Now that I am unwell…!”. You will just say, ” Let me get well and then I will do it”! We should keep the same approach at any age. Our mantra should be, “let me see how I can do it or deal with it!” An ageing person is good enough to do things that a younger person can do. There can be some physical limitations but there is no mental limitation. In fact, mental abilities are more mature at old age if not sharper. Regarding mental abilities and agility, the problems will be the same whether you are young or old; your efficiency on that day depends on your body and mental condition. It is the same with creativity; it is not hampered by age but by physical or mental challenges.  

There can be curtailed physical activity which does not stop meaningful discussions. In fact, in younger age there can be limitations of availability of time. But one should take care, while ageing, of not becoming a chatter box just because you have more than enough time. Those who have reasonably decent physical abilities should continue to travel. They should also perform whatever activities physical conditions can allow. A painter, if he cannot paint due to old age, can teach painting, explain nuances to others. Sharing knowledge with others is a great way to remain in your field though you may not be physically able to do it.  

I will share examples from a cruise we had taken a couple of years back. There was one lady on a wheel chair, whose 99th birthday was celebrated on the cruise. She looked reasonably fit though wheelchair bound. Luckily, her mental abilities were quite sharp. I am sure these things do not happen automatically; she must have been taking efforts to maintain the same, and her body has supported her! Was she happy! There was a person who was just 50 plus. He was required to have 100% oxygen support. He was on the cruise with his family, he took local excursions at the ports. His physical condition, due to need of oxygen all the time, was quite tricky. But he was determined to overcome these limitations. So, your own determination is what helps, and mind you, age has nothing to with it. Recipe for unhappy status of your mind and hence your life, is the same at any age. Unhappy thinking, continuously thinking about age and physical and mental issues lead to vicious circle in your life and you feel as if you are in tailspin all the time!   

The other day we walked to the shopping area near our home. I was standing on footpath as Jaya and Rhea went in the shop. I was as usual, observing all species moving around! The shop was located in a condominium. I saw an old man walking out from the complex. He trundled out and sat on a wall which was about more than half a meter tall; then he swung his feet and moved them to change the direction he was facing. I went and said hello to him. He was 97 years of age! We exchanged various things in life for 15 minutes, he was mentally quite sharp. He said that because of physical limitation he cannot move far from home so he sits in the same place watching the world, every day. He looked cheerful. While we were almost done, a friend of his who was my age, came and sat with him and they continued chatting. I felt that he was doing all the things that were possible within his limitations and was cheerful. Friends remaining cheerful or sad is our option. “Retiring” from the Tera Firma is not in our hands but ageing happily is in our hands.  

Our happiness index is in our hands. There are bound to be medical issues, physical as well as mental but being happy within the limitation is in our hands. A sportsman is said to be great instead of good when he knows limitations of his game and performs to the best of his abilities within those limitations. In your life there can be regrets. You may feel that you should have got the Nobel Prize for your work. You may feel that you could have been the best sportsman.  But regretting this all your life is not going to make you happy! Your achievements in life may be 70 % of your expectations but there is no point in regretting them while you are trying to age beautifully. Forgetting about your regrets and under achievements is another important obstacle that we must overcome to age happily.  

Friends, I will share one example of how I handled a situation. I was 65. In Feb 2014, I had completed cancer treatment, radiations and all. Physically, I was tired with reasonable soreness in my throat area. I faced some difficulties in swallowing the food. One day, I was just surfing on the net. I asked Jaya, ” Shall I buy tickets for a Cricket match?” She said, “Come on your treatment is just over; we will think about it after you recover!” I told her that the match I am talking is a year later. She said ok go ahead. I bought the tickets for Cricket World Cup final in Melbourne, Australia. I was physically down, but had a thinking that bygones are bygones. Let us think of future. I did not allow life to stop though I had undergone a major treatment. In fact, I kick started the normalization processes. This my friends is, what we should try to do and then “Happy Ageing” just does not remain only the title of a book, it is what live!  




COEP! Incredible Days!

A couple of days back, during a discussion on 1971 COEP batch WA group, a friend Sailesh reminded others how he was taken by me to my brother in law, Dr. Biniwale, for some treatment during college days. I used to stay in hostels in Pune, in those days. My mind veered to those times in late sixties! Were they different? Of course, I am old enough to say, “In our times”! Let me assure you, the world was different then. India is now rich poor country but, in those days, it was poor, poor country! There were shortages galore, food rationing, poor quality wheat under PL 480 and so on. But youth is such a stage in life that nothing ever matters! Youth always has fun, limitations don’t bother them. They live life without any botheration! We did the same. 

At the end of my tenure, it was a surprise for me to find out that I had learned some engineering too! The personal transportation in those was a bicycle or walk; some came by bus and in the college, there were about 15 to 20 students who came on two wheelers too! This is about 1 % of all students. Out of those five were girls! ( and there were not more than 30 girls in the college!) Since that time, we knew the meaning better half or was it better off! In those times friends were called by surname or short name, like Panvalkar was Panya and Dilip was Dilpya! There was an interesting issue, my cousin Abhay Panvalkar was two years junior to me. When he joined COEP, we used to have food in the same mess. Friends resolved the problem of the same name conflict by calling him Semi-Panya! Relations with ladies were very formal in those days and that too only for some specific work/study related things.  

The groups got established; I was in many groups like sports, dramatics (Jaya and I had a very cozy relation since our initial meetings) and main activity was TP (time pass) where of course I used to lead! This group had one major activity that was to see movies. We sometimes used to attend two movie shows one after another in a day, in nearby theaters. Another important activity would be to go to a restaurant late at night for some special egg dishes! A restaurant called Olympia was a favourite joint of students who wanted to snack after midnight! Staying awake past midnight was quite routine under the garb of studies! Another important activity was to go to see different sports events to support the college team. We used to easily go 10 to 12 kms, one way, for such events on bicycle.  

There used to be some real funny incidents! One of our friends used to be very friendly with girls, outside COEP. He would share a few anecdotes with us. Over a period, we realized that when he got friendlier with them, the girl would get engaged to be married to someone other than our friend! He was then named “Khadawa”! Khadawa are wooden slippers worn by Ramdas Swami, a Hindu saint who ran away from the marriage pandal just as he was about to be married! But one thing for sure was that our friend was very consistent, in ensuring marriage of the girls he was friendly with!  

Another funny incident I remember was when two of our friends planned to go for a movie for evening 6 pm show. By 7 pm both of them were back in hostels! Then we saw a bit of skirmish between them. Both had reached the correct movie show but the only problem was that they were at different theaters about 5 kms away! Then there was another film buff. He liked the then superhit movie “Aradhana” so much that he saw three shows 3/6/9 pm in a day for three consecutive days! He entertained us for next two weeks by play acting both hero and heroine’s roles!  

In those days there was a concept of parasites! Some students who were not authorized to live in the hostel, stayed there for all of fours years. In a room where three students were authorized, fourth would also live there. Main reason for this was the financial difficulties. These were unofficially resolved by such help.  

Having food in the hostel mess was great fun. Food style was based on the type of food that was prepared Maharashtrian, Gujarati, then Kolhapuri. There were two messes which were cosmopolitan which cooked food to suit non-Maharashtrian types. But our gang used to have great fun. We were friends with ALL the cooks and they would allow us to eat interesting stuff from different messes, irrespective of the fact that we were members of the Maharashtrian mess.  

Post exam, there would be “celebration” which meant drinking alcohol. My friend Raju and I, were non-drinkers. Post drinking there used to be a charade of going for food outside the hostel. In those days there never was any restrictions like curfew! 8 or ten of us would go out. One of us used to be at the front and the other at back ensure that the gang did not stray! We used to have a similar binge at a friend’s place as his parents lived far away from Pune. But mind you, some of them drink heavily even today! God bless them!  

Top of the chart fun was going in Ashok’s car for a spin at night. He was a Puneite and they had a bungalow off Prabhat Road. We would go to his home late at night when his parents were traveling, push the car out so that his siblings and neighbours won’t know about this. Then we would pile in the car and drive at night and across Katraj ghats at break necking speed. Ashok was a champion driver. Our money allowed us to eat only dal and rice at a restaurant called Apsara!  

Friends I could go on and on but as usual everything good has to end. Of course, we still remember these things when friends meet; alas Ashok passed away long back but most our gang is still around but our meeting frequencies are very low but let me assure you that while writing this blog I felt as if I had physically traveled back 50 years! I wish this could be achieved just once!  For now, at least I should cross the Katraj ghats and check if Apsara Restaurant is still around! 


Turn into cotton!

A noted Poet Kedarnath, Jnanpith Award winner, has written a Poem; I am sharing a couple of lines from the poem.

Aaj ghar main ghusa toh ajeeb drishya tha,

Suniye, mere bistar ne kaha 

yeh raha mera isteefa (resignation), 

main apne kapaas ke bheetar jaana chahta hoon 

Roughly it translates to

“Today when I reached home, my bed offered its resignation, 

Telling me it wants to go back to its original self (turn into cotton) or maybe go back to roots!” 

Beautiful lines. The poet has elegantly explained the philosophy of life. I feel that our life and persona is made up of certain character when we are born; some of it we acquire later during our life’s journey. I am trying to interpret these beautiful lines. During our life, we achieve various things, we travel to different destinations, many people even look very different when they age. But I feel that from within we don’t change much. We all want to turn back into cotton when we reach the golden phase in our life! It is wanting to go back to roots. It is trying to get away from your station in life, gracefully!

In today’s times when people migrate from their countries of origin, in large numbers, this feeling of back to roots must be pretty acute. At the beginning of life, all humans are almost the same, as babies; it is their growth that brings changes in them depending on their intelligence, environment and other life-defining factors. Sometimes being at the right place at the right is also an important factor.  As you grow in life, it may be as professionals, businessmen, doctors, officers, politicians. But inside, we must try to remain the “cotton” mentioned in the poem. If this does not happen then, mental clashes start, agonies start, when one’s time arrives, to end the innings. The mind does not accept that you are no more a mattress, which is a system, and you are not an important parameter of that system. You were good at some stage; hence you became the mattress. Now you may have crossed your shelf life, your expertise may have become irrelevant, there may be better people available, or the requirements of the whole system has changed. Or it may be your health may not permit! With that change, expectations about you may have changed. A good idea will be to turn into cotton!

I will share how a friend handled a similar situation in life. He established his engineering business over 25/30 years and was doing pretty alright. In the meanwhile, his son joined him in business. The son was also well qualified and trained to take over the business and was already 45 years old. My friend slowly started giving reins of the business to his son. But over a period, he realised that many of his employees would come and discuss decisions taken by his son, with him. They were trying to get them ratified. This sometimes led to the minor tweaking of decisions. Though there were no major disagreements between the son and the father, sometimes displeasure was visible on the son’s face. My friend had a dilemma about handling this situation. One fine day he called his son and told him, “Look, Son! From this month end, I will stop coming to the factory as I want to retire”. For the next six months, my friend did not go to the factory, even once. After that, he started going back to the factory; his old cabin was retained. But he found that hardly anyone would come to him to ask work-related suggestions or opinions. How this was achieved; my friend decided to turn into cotton. He understood the meaning of this phrase “Turn into cotton”! Now he goes to the office every day, gossips in the right sense. Just tries to understand what is happening but never gives any opinion. He achieved what he wanted to do using foresight by turning into cotton!

Friends turning into cotton does not mean that you don’t do anything after you are not needed. Like Sachin Tendulkar is trying to bring in sports, as a subject in academics. He rarely gives any specific suggestion about cricket. He tries to use his stature to imbibe overall sporting atmosphere in schools, in different forums. In ancient mythology, they discussed Vanprasthashrama. I am not talking of that, but one can gracefully withdraw at the right time. Health permitting you can contribute in different ways.

I hear about some of our friends, who have lived for 45 to 50 years out of India, trying to come back to roots, trying to contribute in some ways. Some take time; a classmate of mine has come to India only once in the last 45 years. Maybe he is an exception, but they all do come back! You never remain mattress all your life! It is a simple philosophy but difficult one to digest! All good things have to end at some stage!


I found the couplet from Kedarnathji in a news item; Kedarnath Sing died of old age, only three days back on March 19th 2018! May his soul rest in peace! I know this is just a coincidence, but now I am trying to get his book of poems to understand his simple but beautiful thought process. Incidentally, this couplet was mentioned by Film Actor Raj Babbar in a tweet he sent, on being asked to resign as chief of Congress party in Uttar Pradesh. Since it was mentioned in a tweet, it was difficult to understand if it was written in humility or sarcastically!

Mirror, Mirror on the wall!


There is a common saying that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” which means beauty doesn’t exist on its own but is created by observers. This famous quote can help you remember that a beholder is someone who sees or otherwise experiences things, becoming aware of them.

Even at my age, if someone says “Pramod, you don’t look your age and  look smart”, I feel nice from within! It is a natural human tendency and expectation to be a looker. Of course, everyone’s definition of looking good is different and humans try their best to achieve it by means like make up, exercise and some try to follow crash diets. Some of the common factors of defining beauty are height (more the better), Colour (fairer the better), Long Hair (not so sure these days what is better!), white teeth and so on. But most important aspect that I observe these days, has become a person’s weight in proportion with the height. Too fat a person or too thin a person is looked down! This is the point that came to my mind today, when I read a news item in today’s newspaper.

A 33 year old woman, got herself treated for obesity. She was treated by a doctor in an institute. During this period, she was regularly given enema, which she was told to continue even after going back  home. The process was called naturopathy! She was on a diet of jaggery and lime water for two months! During this period, she was also given a potion and her last 35 days were only water! End result, now she cannot walk, talk or even sit properly. The naturopathy doctor when asked, said that the patients who don’t follow treatment properly at home, can have issues and brain damage is possible! No lime water, water or secret potion containers mentioned these side effects about brain damage! The woman is now afflicted with brain damage. Irreversible? Only time can tell.

Is each person’s body same? Is each persons metabolism rate same? Are their values like blood-sugar, hemoglobin, BP same? Are their weights same? Then how the same treatment can be given to different people. When someone questioned if the potion was poisonous, the doctor said potion consists of lemon grass and water. So, what was so secretive about the potion? Why was the family not told about the contents of the potion?  She was already being given lime water, lemon grass tea could have been given separately. But one can charge any price when you call it a secret potion. Are people so desperate, that they do not understand that surviving on lime water and such things for two months is almost impossible. Is becoming a person with normal weight that important? If your weight is causing serious health issues, then it is essential to control it drastically, under “proper” medical guidance. Unknown remedies should be not be attempted.

These days, I see a trend where there are diet experts by dozens, guiding people to become slim, trim and beautiful. But are they real experts, some are great at marketing, and most of them are not doctors. Do they really understand the meaning of the treatment they are suggesting? I know about a person who was ill with kidney related issues. He was told that he should weigh certain food items he was expected to take every day, to maintain the salt levels. He initially did not understand the meaning of this. He deviated slightly but the deviation resulted in body water being retained and in seven days his weight grew by a kilo each day. He then went to the hospital where the doctors explained to him the issue. They corrected things and sent him home. He over corrected what he was doing. End result was he started losing weight by a kg a day! He again went to the hospital and doctors again, corrected things. They explained to him the importance of salt levels which needed exact weighing of certain food intake. Finally, he managed to eat and drink exactly as suggested by the doctors. He overcame his health issue, finally. Ok, this is an extreme case but this is just to show you what can go wrong when you do not follow instructions given by experts; as against this we follow instructions of non experts, to the last T, many times.

There is another theory circulating. To have glowing skin, and in general to have smart skin, and to remain healthy one must drink at least three liters (or some such figure) of water, every day. This theory is told by some people very emphatically. It again boils down to the same thing. Our body is designed to handle body requirements correctly. In summer, we drink more water and in winter less. Due to certain body conditions, we feel thirstier, even in winter e.g. diabetes. So where did the figure of 3 liter come from? How can it be same for everybody? A friend of mine who has recently gone through a heart event, has been told by the doctor to ensure that he does not drink more than one liter of water every day. Should everyone go by 3-liter theory?

To remain healthy there are methods that need to be followed; these are complimentary procedures to looking beautiful, looking smart, good and healthy. But being good and healthy in mind and as a person is equally important if not more! A person who is always smiling looks most appealing! For a lady with a beautiful smile, she need not bother to wear her jewelry, her smile is her best ornament! A little plump woman with a beautiful small is lovely! A person’s good deeds and mind  are that persons best friends along with that persons healthy body.

So whatever physical methods one follows, should be under medical advice. If not, the results sometimes can be devastating as in case of the lady mentioned above. Doing exercise and following healthy life style is no doubt very important. But sometimes, people overdo it, do it incorrectly, do it very rigidly. Life is beautiful, don’t get stressed out in pursuit of becoming beautiful. Because crash diet courses are done for ¾ months. Once they are over, many people binge on food and come back to their normal self, physically! And the vicious circle continues.

So, don’t worry too much! People are going to judge you by your overall demeanor and not if you are fat or thin! So be a good person and feel happy about it. There is no crash course for being a happy person! So, there is no reversal of how you are!

Friends, now you decide which category you are in, the saying at the beginning or the saying below!