Showing posts with label news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label news. Show all posts

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Trust your doctor


Coming to the point straight - charged with expansive info (half truth, all dark), we are in a state of compulsive confusion today. This calls for serious rethinking. What we see, what we hear are not always true. We need to question our rationale; we need to take a bird's eye view of the situation.

Being a proud part of hospital industry, I have been privileged to know several medics and medicos who work with all their goodness, 24 hours on call, day in and day out, without any timeout. They have saved thousands of lives over the years. They have also treated many without charging their fees. Yes they have. That said it would be unfair to equate them with God. They can't reverse mortality but what they can do is something super. They do their best to save us. And of course they deserve love, respect, empathy and more if not for this but for the simple fact that they are humans who have vouched for our wellness. 

So, when you abuse doctors, nurses, healthcare staffs you disrespect one of you. When you abuse doctors for one death remember that they have also saved thousands. Pls use your sense of judgement. Trust your doctor.

The problem today is more socio-political, more infrastructural than anything else. How to resolve this? Corporate greed is one thing and doctor's ethics is another. Going by that perspective, we just need to sustain faith. Hospitals can't thrive without doctors, can they? So trust the doctors, respect them for all their goodness. We need to endure this ghastliness with hope, integrity and strength. Yes, this too shall pass. 

A personal note to the doctors:

Dear doctors,
you have saved me and my on several occasions. I respect you for all the respect you have shown. I love you for all the love you have bestowed on me. I stand by you since you have stood by me when I was sick. I salute you for your righteousness and kindness.

Thank you doctors.



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Tolerance Intolerance Debate - I choose silence


"I have regretted my speech, never my silence." Xenocrates, Greek Philosopher

Nothing hurts me more than a bunch of non stop talkers, being sat on the television channels, talking big on some inane topic. The primary focus of these 'lit-adults' are to hop from channels to channels chirping on the same 'asinine' topics every single day. It may not have been implausible if the political vendetta behind their voices was not so glaring. That's another debate though. My point today is the amount of verbosity that goes around every day is not only wastage of space and time but also a horrific cue to the destined digital garbage from this man made assault of words.

The most of this wordiness is shallow and invites bitter retaliation spontaneously. There is no harm in being vocal, in channelizing our thoughts smartly and sharply. But the unwanted gushing of viral verbosity that goes around in the internet - twitter, facebook, blogs, etc. - is highly arguable. Having said that, in most cases, I choose not to reiterate. For the simple reason of not being wanting to be associated with anything not right, anything not plausible or anything not felicitous - I choose silence. I would not want to be associated with anything that I may find 'not OK' and want to disown or that the children would not be proud of later.

So, what if we use our words more intelligently? How difficult it would be to be less wordy? Is it too hard to be sane and peaceful?

The intense profanity in the choice of words is not always deliberate and there are of course wise talkers. But certainly there are less in numbers. I believe in doing things rather than forming social media solidarity. This adds onto digital clutter. So, at a time when even the liberals are fighting over the tolerant-intolerant thing, when people are going overboard with misplaced words, at a time when your voice is accentuated with criticisms - I choose not to talk.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Nepal Earthquake: Loss of humanity, history and more..

Nepal, 25/04/2015: Earthquake Magnitude 7.9

At about 11-30 am today, Nepal and the Sub-Himalayan belt are hit by a horrific earthquake. An earthquake that most certainly would be considered as one of the century's tragic demolitions of mankind and history. This was also the third and the worst conceivable earthquakes that I have experienced ever.
I was in the office, sat comfortably doing my usual thing when I realized that something not quite right was happening. I felt lightheaded, dizzy and indescribably hollow. Was about to attribute it to my skipping breakfast thing when I noticed that the mirror and the towel in the ring were swaying unusually. It went on for about 10 seconds. I was still confused when I heard someone screaming, 'it's an earthquake, it's an earthquake'. By then everyone had left their desks and started to move out. Though late, my boss and I headed towards the portico with our phones on trying to reach our homes. People were panicked to death. The patients in wheelchairs who came down for investigations could not figure out what was happening. Unnerved and dazed, I realized that our phones were not working.

Everest Climbers Are Killed as Nepal Quake Sets Off Avalanche

Nepal’s Landmarks, Before and After the Earthquake


It was after about half an hour later that our phones started working again. We contacted our homes and were relieved to know that they were all safe. I rang my niece in Sikkim. She was safe too. People who live in high rises were struck terribly. Utterly shocked and distressed, it took them some time to come down. Besides, the towers were wavering - moving forth and moving back. It was horrific. To top that the sky started down pouring. People were distressed, horrified, drenched and were all on road.

Later in the evening, I came back home to a bitter reality. Nepal met with a deadly shudder killing thousands of people and leaving several more on the roads. Makeshifts tarpaulin tents were everywhere to accommodate as many people as possible. People digging rubble to pull out bodies and looking for beating lives. Then the rains started pelting and an avalanche set off in the Himalayas.  It was testing time for Nepal.

It was so unnerving to see Nepal in limbo. I am shattered to see the destruction of several century old revered monuments. The quake has left a dismal remnants of the history. People were still stuck in the rubble and as the army and the people try to rescue them, I, sitting not so far away, pinch myself. It could have been me!



Since the last few days my evening strolls were cut short by erratic show of thunderous silver lines in the sky. The lightnings, rumblings and the rains. Then, yesterday, I was watching the horrific pictures of fresh volcanoes in Chile and today this earthquake. Something very serious is going on inside our earth and we have earned this like we do most accidents. The hot lava twirlings the untimely shudders and the break outs deep down the earth - I can only wish that people stay safe and stay together. 

The factual details:

-7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal and areas of India, China on 15.04.2015, Saturday killing nearly 2,000 people in Nepal alone.

-The quake struck at 11:56 a.m. local time (2:11 a.m. ET) and was centered less than 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu. It occurred at a depth of 9.3 miles, which is considered shallow and more damaging than a deeper quake.

-The earthquake triggered a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest killing at least 17 people.

-About 35 aftershocks highest reaching 5.5 magnitude followed.


But what I read in NYtimes is very striking. Kenneth Chang say that this was inevitable. Here's the excerpt from the article published soon after the earthquake.

Ancient Collision Made Nepal Earthquake Inevitable


More than 25 million years ago, India, once a separate island on a quickly sliding piece of the Earth’s crust, crashed into Asia. The two land masses are still colliding, pushed together at a speed of 1.5 to 2 inches a year. The forces have pushed up the highest mountains in the world, in the Himalayas, and have set off devastating earthquakes.

Experts had warned of the danger to the people of Katmandu for decades. The death toll in Nepal on Saturday was practically inevitable given the tectonics, the local geology that made the shaking worse and the lax construction of buildings that could not withstand the shaking.

GeoHazards International, a nonprofit organization in Menlo Park, Calif., that tries to help poorer, more vulnerable regions like Nepal prepare for disasters, had noted that major earthquakes struck that region about every 75 years.

In 1934 — 81 years ago — more than 10,000 people died in a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in eastern Nepal, about six miles south of Mount Everest. A smaller quake in 1988 with a magnitude of 6.8 killed more than 1,000 people.  

Update: 26.04.2015, 12-45 pm 

Similar kind of shudder is felt for about 6-7 seconds. The aftershock was of 6.9 magnitude. This time the epicenter was Kodarib.



You may also read:

We felt the tremors, the shudders of the earthquake !









Wednesday, April 22, 2015

To vote or not to vote

So, I went voting. It was the Municipal Corporation Election in our city. For those who do not understand what it is, very simply put Municipal Corporation is urban local government that takes care of the basic necessities like the city's healthcare, transport, housing, education and other community services. It is headed by a mayor and represented area wise.

Although we have  majorly three electoral parties viz. CPI(M), Indian National Congress, Trinamool Congress Party and Bhartiya Janta Party, the EVM had a long list of other party representatives which I could neither recognize nor tried to. However, having said that, voting has been made easier recently. NOTA (None of the above) option has been an welcoming move by the Election Commission and this has made more people voting pro.

Politics today is  accentuated with frenzied vehemence that we as children had never witnessed. The pre poll forcefulness was all over the places and we were anticipating a not-so-happy election day. Well, all was not so bleak. Our election day was marked by galore of green, saffron and red. The party people were rendering help all day long. The day was hot, windy and by the time the voting was over, the sun turned liquid.

Later in the day as we got to know about acts of merciless savagery from different parts of the city, I realized that we just have been a fortunate lot. I was lucky - my election day was peaceful and a dignified one too.


Photo (C): MouD

Friday, August 15, 2014

Remembering Fr Boris D'santos


I have known Fr Boris since his days of ailment – not a great time health wise but was enormously empowering for me and many like me who have been fortunate enough to have sat with him. He would always exude great positivity even when his health was failing him. His health was deteriorating and he had to visit the hospital often. I remember him sitting in recluse, composed and with a face that never ceased smiling. He would wait without complaint. The waiting times were the happy reminiscencing times. 

Father Boris was rendered the best possible med-help, and with Rev Brother Chintamani SJ around things were always sorted out. Brother is the best possible gift to theSt Xaviers  infirmary and he is the person who had been Father Boris’ companion til his last breath. 

When I last met Father Boris, he was extremely frail and feeble. Amidst that, he told me not to cease doing the work I was doing. That was the last time I saw him and the lifetime of virtue that he induced going to stay with me forever.

Rest in peace -Rev Fr Boris D'santos

1934 - 1914

Father Boris, the long-serving former vice-principal of St. Xavier’s Collegiate School, Calcutta, passed away on !3 August 2014. He was 80.

My rendevous with ST Xavier's College, Calcutta 

The day that was at ST Xavier's College, Calcutta 

Photo credit: St Xaviers

 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

'Meghe Dhaka Tara 2013' (Cloud capped star) is a befitting tribute to the neo-realist Film-maker Ritwick Ghatak

Kamaleshwar Mukherjee's "Meghe Dhaka Tara 2013" is a touching tribute to the Bengali film maker, Ritwick Ghatak, who is remembered for his 'non-linear narrative' in Indian cinema.

The narrative starts with a scene in the year 1969 and revolves around the period that the legendary film maker had spent in a mental asylum in Alipore, Calcutta. The well known film maker, Nilkantha Bagchi, is taken to the mental asylum by his wife Durga and the doctor, S P Mukherjee, takes charge of him.. Bagchi's alcoholism and momentary aberrations drove him to a state of intellectual instability. He is critically attacked as a wasted drunkard and an intellectual fool by the so called poseurs of the time. His enormous creativity, that started in the fifties, got him inclined to poetry, prose, journalism, film scripting and finally to parallel cinema. A true communist, he never conformed with the norms of the contemporary times. Uncompromising and bitter, he always did what he felt right, what his heart told him to do. For him cinema was a medium to express his sociopolitical ideology. His insatiable urge to feel the pathos and pains of the common man is evident in a series of heart warming films that he narrated so empathetically. He believed in portraying the stark reality of the contemporary life and criticized the cliched 'dancing in the rain' genre . He also had put aside series of alluring offers from the Bombay Film Industry (Filmisthan studio). When his friends deviated to main stream cinema, compromising on their collective ideology of Communism, Nilkantha Bagchi stood firm in what he believed in. The partition of Bengal, the naxalite movement, the hunger cry of the distressed people never really left him. Throughout the film, Nilkantha's 'mental agony, struggles, inner contradictions, disappointments as well as financial troubles' are depicted with interludes of flash backs and the present times.

The voracious creative genius went on to dream to stage a play with the inmates of the mental asylum. The contradictions and the pathos are horrifically portrayed by the way he was taken to undergo the terrible shock therapy in between.  

Nilkantha Bagchi dies before the actual performance of his dream play. His wife Durga had been his conscience all through his life. She managed a job as a teacher and got separated from him hoping that the children would get a better future but was never out of touch.The film ends with the death of Nilkantha Bagchi. The director does it beautifully -  with the same signature continuity with which Ritwick Ghatak's films usually ended. The poignant rendition of how the dead man walking tall, along with a novice woman coming from East Bengal with a 'potla' clinged arms and anxious eyes, is a climax just perfect for a new beggining.


Cast and crew

Direction, story, screenplay: Kamaleswar Mukherjee
Music direction, background music: Debojyoti Mishra
Cinematography: Soumik Halder
Editing: Rabiranjan Maitra
Dance choreography: Tanusree Shankar
Saswata Chatterjee as Nilkantha Bagchi
Abir Chatterjee as Doctor S. P. Mukherjee
Joydeep Mukherjee as Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Abhijit Guha as Salil Choudhury
Padmanabha Dasgupta as Kali Banerjee
Anindya Bose as Mrinal Sen
Bidipta Chakrabarty as Shobha Sen
Biswajit Chakraborty as Charuprakash Ghosh

The film is touching and is beautifully done. It has poetry, drama, reality and sweet pathos that are typical of Ritwick Ghatak's films. The rendition of the transitions and the references of Ritwick Ghatak's works is finely tuned all through the movie. The audience may find it hard to get into the quintessential fervor of the movie if they are not acquainted with Ghatak's genre. It's a good idea to watch the films of Ghatak and then watch 'Meghe Dhaka Tara 2013' again to get the best of it.

The whole film is shot in black and white except  for the last scene where the protagonist walks out and diminishes to the colorful horizon. The sequential music and the dance interludes are aptly used. The song with the ganasangeet ethos "mode kono nasha nai....' is too poignant and touches your heart straightaway. Saswata Chatterjee as Nilkantha Bagchi has once again left a mark. He is one of the finest actors in Bengali cinema now - this film goes to prove that once again. Ananya Chatterjee, Abir Chatterjee and Subhasish Mukherjee did justice to their roles. Kamaleswar, who had been intrigued by Ghatak's views on life and society did a fantastic job with the treatment of the film as well. 

When asked about the title, Kamaleswar Mukherjee in an interview:

'The reason my film is called "MDT" is because Nilkantha, despite being a star, is covered in clouds. The title will also create a connection between Ghatak and my film's hero, Neelkantha'.

"Meghe Dhaka Tara 2013" has been criticized by Ghatak's family for not being able to depict the humorous side of Ritwick Ghatak. The happy side is being obscured by the desperation and the dejection and much talked about alcoholism.

I would like to watch the movie again just to understand the subtleties and the references more. Also, the death of Nilkantah Bagchi is shrouded in mystery. I kept wondering if that was how Ritwick Ghatak actually died or it was just the director's take. The film makes me want to watch the neo-realist film maker's works again. I would like to remember Ritwick Ghatak as the obscured star of the Bengali Movie fraternity and the film 'Meghe Dhaka Tara' is a befitting tribute to him. Kudos.

Source:
Images: Meghe Dhaka Tara 2013, IPTI
Cast and crew: Wikipedia

Thursday, June 13, 2013

In memoriam: Rituparno Ghosh

You are what you are.The demise of the director, actor, activist and one of the most creative people in recent times, Rituparno Ghosh, is not just another death. His death is the death of creativity, death of impeccable insightful peek into human psyche and death of poetry in prose.

Rituparno's life did not read like a poetry though. There was no rhetoric behind his conspicuous film and fashion statements. With all that pricks hard and deep, he finally got to live his life in his own terms. He may have critics that were more interested in his personal orientation than in his works, there may have been people who would look at him with aghast, there may have those who would demean him as manipulative, fame hungry, cross-dresser. But, at the same time, there also have been people who would continue to shed tears, stay still and stay speechless, with a dominating sense of deja vu and overwhelming awe after watching the new wave films. These are the same people who did not falter being critical every now and then.

"Chitrangada", the last film of Rituparno Ghosh, is essentially an befitting answer to all the askance. The other side? It has been an inspiration to many who share similar sexual orientation. He truly has lived his life like he has always wished to. However less a time, he has gotten to live his live in his own terms -  celebrating his sexuality with conviction, finally. This should be the only gratifying thing. How else, can we live without being part of his cinematic frames? One film per year - enough impetus for the whole year. Now, only shuffling through the ever new old films. Rituparno Ghosh we are never going to stop missing you.

RIP Rituparno Ghosh




Friday, October 12, 2012

In pursuit of congenial patient care and justifiable returns

The lady, frail and petite, was admitted amidst a lot of twists and turns. She was heavily investigated and diagnosed normal a few months ago. She wasn’t symptom free though. She was having shortness of breath all the while. The company, her son works with, sent the patient to our hospital – supposed to be one of the best in the town. So, there she was getting admitted in the hospital for coronary angiogram followed by double valve replacement.

The lady belonged to a remote village, and looking at her you would know how she was not familiar with the urbanity.  She was scared to death as she was wheeled to the ward. She cried out her lungs when the nurse made IV lines, she tore the hospital suit when she was asked to wear it. She was indescribably paranoid by the syringes, injections, pills and the white dresses. The son requested me to spend some time with her before the OT. So, I managed to take out time to be with her. She looked horridly paranoid. Her face was a question mark. She was pale, white and the petite figure diminished to an immovable body of flesh. However, as we talked she gradually got better. She folded and lifted her hands and asked for forgiveness for her behavior. A lumb in my throat restricted my vocal chord. I got emotional.

The next day was the D-day and as the lady was taken to the OT, she looked apparently composed. I came down to my office to catch up with the backlog. A while later I was surprised to meet the sister-in-charge in the out patient dept. She was supposed to be in the OT!  She walked up to me and told me that she came down to get herself the tetanus injection!

The lady got so fearful looking at the equipments around that she bit the sister! The patient was ridiculed and being laughed at. Later, I went to see the lady once before leaving for the day. She, with tears in her eyes held her hands up, gesturing apologies and asking for forgiveness. I returned home with a numbed heart.

This is not a singular incident. I completely empathize with the ordeal the lady went through. As a matter of fact, the hospital care we are rendering today is something we should not at all be proud of. Everyday we meet various people coming to the hospital for medical aid. They are sick, distressed, depressed and fearful. They are worried of the treatment, care, expenses and hospitality that they would receive. They are not sure if they would get the proper and desirable treatment, they are not sure if they would be ‘looted’ by the hospital, they do not know if they would be guided properly and rightly. The hospitals should not intimidate the patients but aim at all round congenial care-giving services.  In an endeavor to generate maximum revenues, hospitals should not be cruelly commercial and just an instrument of money making. The objective should be to render ‘happy and congenial’ health care to the patients through an organized infrastructure that justifies the returns. .

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rituparno Ghosh's ‘Chitrangada’ is a wish to choose your own life


Chitrangada’ is a story of a ‘crowning wish’. That’s how the director perceives and films the script. One of the finest film makers of the decade, National award winner film maker Rituparno Ghosh, who has given Bengal film industry a boost after Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen, plunges into another fa├žade of same sex relationship. With an edgy subject like this, the director could run into the risk of being obscene. However, he does it in style and with finesse. We have seen the director shaped into a fine actor with ‘Arekti Premer Golpo” and "Memories in March". You have to pick the thread from there and prepare yourself for the watch. Else ‘Chitrangada’ might become a challenging watch.  The subject is bold and intrepid and who else could have dealt with it than the like of Rituparno! The theme depicts individual’s wish and right to choose his own gender - a theme that would have many eye balls rolling. Initially, you will be little taken aback, especially,  if you have not watched the actor in ‘Arekti Premer Golpo'. You have to be also acquainted with the recent sociological orientation of the director turned actor. Over the years, Rituparno has metamorphosed into someone that he had wished to be. He has the conviction and integrity to speak and do his mind - something, which, chimes through the film.
The film starts with the staging of Rabindranath Thakur’s Chitrangada. Chitrangada being the only child of the King of Manipura dresses like a man and is heir to the throne. She sees Arjun in action and falls in love with him. Knowing Arjun will not love her in this form and he thinks her to be a man(Kurupa), she receives a boon from Madan Dev, Hindu god of love, and transforms herself into a beautiful feminine woman, Surupa. Arjun does fall in love with her and the two gets married.

The protagonist’s story runs parallel. Laced with interludes and preludes and series of dilemmas Rudra wishes to undergo sex change operation to adopt a child which he couldn’t have otherwise with a lover of the same gender. The gender change decision was not an easy one and it had to be done technically to satisfy the lover who is strongly inclined to have children. Rudra goes through emotional queries from parents and lot of physical pains and eventually agrees to undergo the process. But by the time Rudra metamorphoses through more than half of the procedure, the lover leaves him for a ' non-cosmetic, non-plastic' girl. Rudra, betrayed and pained, wanted time before the final leg of the operation. The illusionary counselor, in the end, helps him choose what he actually wants, and Rudra aborts the final operation of sex change. He takes off the implants, chooses to stay a man and goes back to his newly draped home to an ever loving mother and an anguished father who expresses himself much later but what a way!

The film is touching with moments that would stay with you. If and when you come with terms with the theme of same sex relationship, you will understand how sensitively challenging it was for the director to choose a tabooed script like ‘Chitrangada’. Rudra, the lover, the girl from the theatre group, the parents and the illusionary role of the counselor are all well thought of and well presented. Having said that, the film has technical flaws which can be overlooked f you are a Rituparno Ghosh admirer. The film may not have the class of Rituparno’s earlier films like Utsab, Badiwali, Doshor, Raincoat, Abohoman, Unishe April, Titli etc., but it touches out hearts for the subtle treatment of the daring theme that might have gotten all over the places if not have taken care of well.  The film is filled with beautiful shots. I loved every time the father, the mother and the son come into the frame. I loved the equation between the father and the son; I liked the part where Rudra gets jealous when his drug addict lover flirts with a wannabe photographer. The humorous interpretation of how Madan Dev is perceived as modern age cosmetic surgeon is quirky. I liked how the angst of a father eventually expressed in a never seen before love.

Dipankar Dey and Anushuta Majumder were natural and excellent. Jishu Sengupta plays the vagabond, drug addict lover with a never seen ease. Anjan Dutta stringed the film sequences into a beautiful garland. It seemed as if Rituparno as Rudra was just playing himself. I didn't find anything different and outstanding about the music. In bits the instruments were used nicely though. 'Chitrangada" is a story of life of a different kind of protagonist – a protagonist who is a man with womanish mannerisms, who truly loves a bisexual man. Looking beyond the gender bias, ‘Chitrangada’ is a story of hope, love, wish, wish fulfillment, heart breaks, pains, miseries, love lost, and a wish to chose your gender. ‘Chitrangada’ is a story of a crowning wish – wish to choose and tell your own story.