Friday, June 29, 2007.

June 29, 2007 at 7:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The last two days were pleasanter, and last night it was very windy.  Electricity was also erratic.  Today it is cloudy.  If it is cloudy the weather depresses you, and you don’t feel like working at all.

Raju and Rupa left for office around 9 in the morning.  Rupa will be perfecting her driving skills in the next few days.  Chitra chatted with me for around ten minutes.

 My cousin’s daughter delivered a baby girl and mother and daughter are healthy.

Another day to go  before I leave for Madras.  We are all getting older and old age brings other health problems to most of us.  Life is like a train journey.  We all travel to our destinations and part from others.  The train goes on and on but passengers change.  For me personally life is becoming more and more boring.  It is not just physically  boreing, but your spirit too becomes tired.  You become more and more isolated from others.

We come to this world alone and when we leave we are lonely.  We do not know what happens to our spirits.  My personal experience after Kala’s passing away is a total estrangement with her because I feel she has taken away all her memories erasing everything of our 35 years of life from my memory.  I don’t know ehrther her soul has transmigrated to another corporal body to be born and live life again on this earth.  Where her memories were in my heart, there is only a sad emptiness now.

I am sure how the others who were associated with her, –  her father, her siblings, and her close relatives, relive her memories.  I am sure they all think of her a lot more than I do, the heartless me, because they have human feelings. 

My bags are packed and my tickets are in my pocket, and I am starting to get edgy.  For the first time I am travelling by Third A/C.  I am not used to A/C during sleeping time and I don’t know whether I will freeze or will get muscular catches.  I am the worrying type.  Hopefully Raju will drop me at the Railwa y Station tomorrow.  I am not sure about
Tuesday when I return.  If  he wakes up early and is in a mood, I will get picked up; otherwise I will come away on my own.   

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Diary, Wednesday, June 27, 2007.

June 27, 2007 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I have a new acquaintance who has come over to his son’s place for a brief stay.  He is a senior gentleman of 80, and has lived life full well.  Though affluent and influential, he is a nice company in whom I found unreserved friendliness and a good talking companion.  He has moved in high circles and is very world wise.  He is full of sense and he is an interesting conversationalist.  He could engage you in a wide spectrum of subjects and with telling effect.  He will be returning to his own place shortly and I will miss him.

I have recently watched two movies on my computer and went to the theatre with my people to watch Rajinikanth’s  Sivaji in telugu.  It must have been technically high standard but the movie didn’t impress me like Rajinikanth’s earlier movies.  His charisma was missing and I only saw artificiality.  His piercing eye effect was not there.  Basha is my all time favorite  and his other films like Muthu, Chandramukhi were all a lot better.  This is strictly my own opinion and I am not the best judge.

Raju is now a Business Manager and  it will be a challenging time for him in the next few months. He is equal to the situation and I am sure he will acquit himself and excel too.

Another two days to go and then I will be off to Madras for a brief visit.  I will have a hectic time visiting my sisters, cousin, uncles and aunties, and also attend a wedding reception which is my main reason for this trip.  As usual I have packed my bag over ten days ago, and I will  reach the railway station at least an hour or so early to avoid tension.

My blood sugar level come back to normal though I continue to take all the tablets.  And I avoid sugar in my coffee, eat more of wheat preparations than of rice, cut down cooking oil consumption.  I don’t use ghee at all.  But generally people advise me not to forgo  everything and to include some sweet also in my diet.  I am being a bit cautious.

Keeping in touch with Chitra.  Rupa manages home and career well.  She keep posting Blogs regularly.

Diary, Saturday, June 23, 2007.

June 23, 2007 at 1:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Almost a fortnight ago, I was instructed by the physician to take blood and urine test, and it turned out that I had excess sugar in my blood.  This information put me off considerably and I was really miserable worrying how I can give up all my snacks, oils, butter and sugar.  However, I exercised iron will, stopped sweetening my coffee, cut oils and ghee from my diet, shunned raw rice.  Ten days of austerity had a telling effect.  This morning I had the review test reports with me and showed to the doctor and he was surprised that I back to normal sugar content, quite normal in fact.

See, from the beginning I was sceptic about the sugar test results and never really believed that my sugar lever has risen so steeply.  As I am getting old, these health problems are bound to pester me.  Till I had the retest results in my hand this morning, I was quite sure that my sugar level will revert back to normal, and I was proved correct.

I will tell you why this happened.  I have told you many times that I am not vry much into godliness.  But my forte is that I love my children very much, and I want to maintain good health so that I can always be of help to them.  This is a kind of auto suggestion which I keep drumming into myself and it has really done me good.

I would say that when some problem gets you down, dont let your spirits sink.  By worrying you are not going to achieve anything.  On the other hand if you have convictions like I have, I think you can overcome problems like this.

It is not to say that I am comletely cured of my sugar problem.  I will not deceive myself that I am immune.  I will give allowance to my age and take suitable precautions and preventive measures so that I can postpone the inevitable to the utmost limites possible in my capacity.

Raju has taken additional responsibilities as he is now the Business Manager for his product.  He will have to work hard and show results by and by.  I have full faith in my children to prove themselves, and I include Rupa too.

Rains have been there continuously here in Hyderabad the whole day.  Elsewhere in the State, rain has played havoc costing loss to life and property.

Chitra skipped an opportunity to go on a trek with friends because she is preoccupied.

I am feeling nausea throughout the day, and I hope this will go after a good night’s sleep.  I have asked Rupa to get me some fruits.

I read about the formation of Hindu Quaida in Nepal.  I don’t know what the world is coming to.

I want to see at least one day where there is no strife, no murders, retributions, hunger, pestilence, natural calamities, etc.  in the world.  That day will be heaven on earth.

Gliese 581c

June 19, 2007 at 12:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Most of us have by heard of Gliese 581 and 581c through media and internet. Even today I saw an artist’s impression on Gliese 581c: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html. This link will take you to that image.

The parent star Gliese 581 is a red dwarf, and is 20.5 light years away from Earth, and is in the constellation Libra. According to the Gliese Catalogue of nearby stars, it is the closest star system with respect to earth.

Gliese 581 c is the first extrasolar planet believed to have a surface temperature similar to that of Earth. It is the smallest extrasolar planet around a main sequence star discovered to date. Its discovery was announced in April this year, and was published in Astronomy and astrophysics Journal.

If it is a rocky planet with a large iron core, and has a radius approximately 50% larger than that of Earth, and it has a stronger gravity than Earth. Its orbital speed and orbital radius are much less than those of Earth. It is on the warm edge of the habitual zone around its parent star. The atar will appear much larger from the planet’s surface and its surface heat will also be higher than that of Earth. As the planets atmosphere is as yet unknown its actual surface temperature cannot be ascertained. Liquid water could exist but no evidence has yet been found. Its tidal forces could be 400 times as strong as on Earth. Only the twilight zone of its surface could be habitable.

I could collect the above data from Wikipedia.

Diary, June 19, 2007

June 19, 2007 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chitra called late last evening.  I haven’t yet received her call today.  She must have been busy submitting her proposal to the panel.  She should call sometime this evening.

During my student days I had walked and pedaled a lot.  Of late I have lost the spirit of walking.  I have become a recluse and an isolationist.  It is as if I am retracting myself into a shell.  There must be a lot of reasons.  Senility is one.  I have read that habitual use of aspirin leads to impotence.  I have been prescribed aspirin and I am taking it since the last over 25 years.

Let me ponder on my heart problem.  I started smoking since when I was 15.  After our wedding, Kala used to call cigarette  my first wife, she being relegated to the second place.  It was such a compulsive habit, and I was so weak willed.  It is a fact that smoking affects lungs too.   I don’t know about my lungs but it  surely has affected my heart.  So I was spending for my cigarettes and my medicines too.  no further introspection.

Would you believe that I have no friends, despite the fact that I am friendly and amenable.  I had classmates, colleagues and acquaintances, but no friends.  I had always been a loner.  I went to the Marina beach alone, sat on the sands alone, pondered life alone; went to movies and libraries and art exhibitions alone.

God compensated with Kala, who was everything anyone would desire, into a bundle.  She was my friend, protection and my white stick.

While I am writing my uneventful diaries, the nation is going ahead to get its new President.  That bring the personality of President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam into focus. I have copied Dr. Kalam’s profile from President of India.nic.in.

   

“Born on 15th October 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, specialized in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. Dr. Kalam made significant contribution as Project Director to develop India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully injected the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980 and made India an exclusive member of Space Club. He was responsible for the evolution of ISRO’s launch vehicle programme, particularly the PSLV configuration. After working for two decades in ISRO and mastering launch vehicle technologies, Dr. Kalam took up the responsibility of developing Indigenous Guided Missiles at Defence Research and Development Organisation as the Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). He was responsible for the development and operationalisation of AGNI and PRITHVI Missiles and for building indigenous capability in critical technologies through networking of multiple institutions. He was the Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999. During this period he led to the weaponisation of strategic missile systems and the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in collaboration with Department of Atomic Energy, which made India a nuclear weapon State. He also gave thrust to self-reliance in defence systems by progressing multiple development tasks and mission projects such as Light Combat Aircraft.

As Chairman of Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) and as an eminent scientist, he led the country with the help of 500 experts to arrive at Technology Vision 2020 giving a road map for transforming India from the present developing status to a developed nation. Dr. Kalam has served as the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, in the rank of Cabinet Minister, from November 1999 to November 2001 and was responsible for evolving policies, strategies and missions for many development applications. Dr. Kalam was also the Chairman, Ex-officio, of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (SAC-C) and piloted India Millennium Mission 2020.

Dr. Kalam took up academic pursuit as Professor, Technology & Societal Transformation at Anna University, Chennai from November 2001 and was involved in teaching and research tasks. Above all he took up a mission to ignite the young minds for national development by meeting high school students across the country.

In his literary pursuit four of Dr. Kalam’s books – “Wings of Fire”, “India 2020 – A Vision for the New Millennium”, “My journey” and “Ignited Minds – Unleashing the power within India” have become household names in India and among the Indian nationals abroad. These books have been translated in many Indian languages.

Dr. Kalam is one of the most distinguished scientists of India with the unique honour of receiving honorary doctorates from 30 universities and institutions. He has been awarded the coveted civilian awards – Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997). He is a recipient of several other awards and Fellow of many professional institutions.

Dr. Kalam became the 11th President of India on 25th July 2002. His focus is on transforming India into a developed nation by 2020.”

Dr. Kalam is a sterling personality.  To be crowned as President is neither a crown of thorns nor a diadem to him.  If you recall , all our Presidents were great personalities, and in my opinion Dr. Kalam stands taller than all.

His integrity shows in his mane of hair.  I am sure that when he became President,  people and the press would have speculated to no end as to what will happen to his hair style.  To him, his hair style was imperative, and it remains so to this day.

Oh, what a lofty character he is.  He is a born teacher and his approach to students of India was from the view point of a teacher.  No other President, nor for that matter any politician, diplomat had interacted with so many students as President Kalam did.

His humility is genuine as expressed by the way he opened his first Presidential address, greeting the audience as Mahanubhavulu. As everyone knows by now, he is a connoiseur of  music, himself a Veena player.  He is a highly esteemed scientist.  The seat of President is exalted by Dr. Kalam.  He is truly a man of the century.

 

Diary, June 18, 2007

June 18, 2007 at 9:38 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I missed Chitra’s long distance call as I had to go out in the morning.  She must have forgotten that I won’t be home even though I had informed her earlier.

I would have to undergo review clinical tests to find out if my sugar level has come under control. So I had to get some funds ready, and also had to pay a visit long overdue.  Hence I went away early morning, completed the financial transaction, made the visit, and returned home posthaste so as not to miss my lunch at the usual time.

another ten days to go for me to go to Madras, and as usual I shall start packing from now on.  Just for three days to be away from home.  I think from tomorrow I will start getting impatient to pack my bag, I am such an anxious gunk.  I always make it a point to reach the railway station at least an hour early before the train departure.  And for the first time in my life I am going to travel in air conditioned comfort because Raju booked me in a Third A/C compartment.  What difference does it make; I will start sweating the moment I step down from the compartment in Madras.

A few days ago I was talking to Sharada and she informed me that Lakshmi was in the middle of a pilgrimage to Tirupathi and other places.  When I called Lakshmi’s mobile, she did not respond obviously because she was in the process of paying her respects to God Almighty in the saqnctum.  She however called me and had a detailed talk and I also got to talk to my co-brother, her husband, Sri Ramamoorthy. 

 A visit is overdue on my part to Delhi.  As a matter of fact I had also planned visiting Poona too sometime this year.  Chitra wants me to go over and stay with her for a couple of months this year.  Raju has informed me that he will go about getting me a visitors’ Visa.  Let us see how the cookie crumbles.

Thank God my mood has ataken a better turn, though my flesh is still weaker comparatively.  I am sure I have lost some weight because of my austerities.  I shall consult the weighing machine today.

Tomorrow I will go to the hospital early, pay the test fees, and give the tests on an empty stomach.  I will come home, consume something and then again go for the post meal tests.  Thus, armed with my results I shall consult the physician the day after, and I shall keep my fingers crossed.  I am sure my penance and sacrifice will have paid dividends, and I would have shed the dead albatross of sugar in my blood and urine.  God have mercy on me and my children.

Raju and Rupa have undergone professional assessments this year, and the results should reflect favourably on their remunerations.  God give them all that they desire, deserve and merit, no more, no less.

I must make a round of trunk calls today to find out that all my kith and kin are healthy happy and cheerful.  I pray every morning that God keep everyone happy and safe. Amen.

Diary, June 17, 2007

June 16, 2007 at 11:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oh, in yesterdays diary I failed to mention that among my relatives, a married daughter now living in the States, is visiting her parents.

These days,crossing an ocean is no taboo for a Brahmin, because their career takes them to the four corners of the earth, like the businessman, merchant, the Bania, who pursues his business to every nook and corner these days.  Why not, nowadays you find a Shastri, Hindu Priest, more than a priest, overseas, to help Hindus to do their Sanskaras without losing a thread.

You have the temple priests, Kovil Gurukkal, flown and settled overseas, to perform the daily pujas and Nivedhyams in the temples over there.  Temple architects go overseas to erect Vimanams and Gopurams.  Our religious heads fly overseas to consecrate new temples, and to perform Maha Kumbabhishekams.

Life is in the fast lane now.  Every moment there is a new invention, a new discovery, an innovation.  There are fast strides in medical research, and DNA is being researched threadbare.

Man strives to be more healthy.    But man never stops to have strifes, wars, retributions, economic sanctions, religious intolerance, racial discrimination, caste politics.

I think peace will come to earth only after all the wars are fought and all the battles are waged,  all the guerilla warfares ceased, terrorism wiped out of human memory.  Despite all this, we humans have the tenacity to carry on and achieve.

Thank God for the philosophers, pacifists and the benevolent souls, who help us maintain our sanity.  And we poor stoic citizens of the world, we easy by, silently doing our duty to society, to our family, procreate, and retire to our nooks when all our duties are done.  We recline in our easy chairs, and meditate and reminisce.

I remember a line from a hymn we sang once :  Oh what is man, that Thou are mindful of him.

Man is a stalwart when compared to only man.  Man is less than a speck on the face of the earth, which is a speck, ok a big speck rotating and revolving around our Sun, which is just a speck of a junior star in the Milky Way Galaxy, which is but a distant haze in the infinity of  Universe.  Like anything else, Universe also will have an inside and outside, and then there will be universes and universes and universes, ad infinitum.  And, Oh, where are you man?

Diary 16/6/07

June 16, 2007 at 3:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

a lot of things happen. I find from the physician that I have high sugar.  He will review me after ten days when I go for tests again.  Because this will mean that I will forego all my favourites like sugar, fats and carbohydrates, I was crestfallen and under weather for quite a few days.  I consulted Kala and asked her to give me energy and pep again.  I think I am slowly regaining my composure.

There is going to be another trip to Chennai, and this time I will attend the wedding reception of my friend’s son.  This will also give me the opportunity to call on my sisters, uncles and aunts during this flying visit.

Chitra has been insistent that I apply for visa, so that I can be with her by October-November, so that I can stay for a more or more with her and then we shall both return to Hyderabad in December.  Paplu will have a very brief vacation this time, and then by the nest time she visits us , it will be three years over for her in her doctoral pursiit.

There has been a wedding in the family, a close relative had a heart surgery, a boy employed overseas has returned to Madras and found a  local job.  A family friend has shifted residence.

The hottest days are over now, and the rains are slowly getting into the habit.  It is more comfortable with the summer slowly receding.

Thank God the depressive mood has left me now.  I think with the diagnosis of sugar presence in blood, I am turning a page in  my  life.  I had always taken my coffee with at least two spoons of sugar, and I always drank at least  6 or 7 cups of coffee  a day.  Now a full stop for that. I have become used to having  coffee without sugar and it actually feels better in my mouth now, though I hate sugar-less tea.  I have changed over to parboiled rice diet, alternating it with coarse ground wheat preparations and phulka chapathi.  Rupa has even changed my cooking oil from sunflower oil to  gingelly oil.  All my snacks are now  curtailed, to be replaced with biscuits.  Paplu suggested I have rusk, wheat bread, vegetable soup etc.  I will find happiness in what I do.

I hope I will regain all of my activities so that I can be brisk, healthy and happy, and be useful to others.

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