Saturday, May 7, 2011

Don’t need wings…just want to walk

A good walk cures most problems. Want to lose weight and get fit? Walk. Want to enjoy life but spend less? Walk. Want to cure stress and clear your head? Walk. Want to meditate and live in the moment? Walk. Having trouble with a life or work problem? Walk, and your head gets clear.~Leo Babauta '38 Life Lessons I have learned in 38 years' Zen Habits
The things that we so take for granted may be the stuff dreams are made of for some. It all started one day with my mum’s maid’s faith in me….her son 7 year old can not walk and she asked me if i could help her with some information and that she and her husband have saved enough money to go even if it means out-of-town and get the treatment done. Treatment in this case she knew was an artificial leg. She had toiled enough and all she wanted to do now was to see her stand on his two feet literally. The poor child could go nowhere, was studying at home and worst of all could not even handle his daily chores.
My search began and the first place as always was to begin with the Internet search. Thank Google it has a lot of answers ! I stumbled upon this amazing information on a charitable run place called Bhagwan Mahavir Viklang Sahayta Samiti ( that makes Jaipur foot. i read through the site and called up the number and spoke to a doctor, who said all that was required to be done was to bring the child to the centre and they will take care of him. “How much money Dr” “Nothing it is absolutely free for the poor” My heart did a somersault and i called up the concerned mom with the news. They fixed the appointment and i a deal with my god, Oh God if these people get the foot without any issues i am going to donate a foot.
The mother came home teary eyed and all emotionally full, “gosh” i thought “maybe things haven’t gone right”. Thankfully i was so wrong, the lady was overwhelmed with emotion and chokingly told me that the child had got feet. Her miracle i could not believe it happened only in 2 visits. The first visit they took the measurements and the next the child was fixed with the limbs. And told that as the child will grow they can come back and get the limbs changed. Wow all of us hugged each other and i kept my promise to go and donate the foot. I looked around the place and spoke to some people who were present there…and i was hooked. Every new year i visit them and contribute my share. It does not cost me much-even less than a meal at the restaurant-but the pleasure and peace it gives me is priceless.
Here’s what they do. They have different sections that design artificial limbs, the ones required for polio patients are different than the one required for someone who has lost his limb in an accident. The polio foot is made and die cast in plastic. moulding the limb after treating it with high heat polio calipers

Whereas the other kind of limb is made of different materials. The foot and the ankle is made up of MRF rubber, molded into the shape of a foot and has around 4 joints, it is then baked and treated in a special machine for about an hour and a half and then joined to the limb. They also provide wheelchairs, tricycles and crutches. making of the foot dedicated workforce

There is a lot of info on their website, please visit and if you get inspired tithe over some amount and help give feet to someone. A cost of 1 foot is merely Rs2,000.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

To Mom….with love

Dear Mom,
Happy Mother’s Day and all the other days and years to come. Though moms are and should be celebrated each living day, for umpteen reasons like nurturing before birthing and giving us life and making us the persons that we are today and giving us a blissful childhood, and wiping our tears of infancy, teenage, adolescence, and even adulthood……the list is endless and so is my love.
I know mom at times you do feel that after finishing your masters and studying so hard all you have done is sit at home and do nothing else. Today i wish to tell you after having seen both sides of the career as well as momhood; you made an immense sacrifice, gave up the little luxuries of life so that we could be accommodated; well not accommodated we could be the centers of your life, you were the invisible force behind all of us; the rock of the family. Without all that thankless job that you toiled for we wouldn't have been what we are today.
I am in the same position and though doubts do arise the time and situation demands that i be the same like you had been; the spine of my family and trust me though at times might feel a twinge i know i wont regret it.
Thanks mom for everything you did and also for everything that you did not let us do. Today when i say to Arnaav “Parents will always try to do the best for you,” your words and my rebellion echoes in my mind. But well life is a teacher. I learnt and i am sure one day Arnaav will too.
Life does come a full circle…it sure does.
There is too much say and express but words are not enough…I love are my best friend and my soul mate....keep smiling...and keep loving cause though i may have my faults you still are my best supporter, sounding board, advice giver all rolled in one big huggable and kissable package.
hapi mums day
Take care and love you loads

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Losing it in London

To say that the 5-day work trip to London was action packed and full of surprises is to say the least. The first surprise came in the form of a crashed computer system on the eve of the event. The grace came when we managed to salvage the situation, phew !! Murphy’s law in motion.
Anyways…post a successful and a rocking finale to the event; me and Rajesh decided we so wanted to go for a trip to the Windsor Castle and also to Stonehenge…and Sanjeev readily and willingly took charge. Since he was the one holding an international driving license he decided it will be economical and better if we rent a car with a GPS and get going. And thats what we did.
The “aunty on the GPS” as Sanjeev liked to call that shrill guiding voice on the GPS weirdly called Tom Tom started to guide us. Rajesh smirked and said, “cool now we don't have to use our brains, just go with the aunty.” Proved to be ominous later. The ride till Windsor Castle was smooth and on the way only got honked at for 4 times. Jeez and coming from the land of “Horn OK Please” we don't take no offence even if the Londoners were trying to give it to us. Parking the car and then paying the parking fee was a challenge too---what no parking wala bhaiya to who we could toss the keys---gosh we are spoilt. The machine chomped off 2 GBPs before we manually deposited the fee to the sweet lady sitting at the counter. Machines can make life as tough as it can make it easy. Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle was a beauty. Awe inspiring structure, the oldest living castle, abode of the Queen, landscaped lawns, now manicured moats, moat now well landscaped royally dressed to intimidate security and the never moving or blinking soldier (aside: what do they do if they get an itch to scratch or if a fly sits on their upturned noses…for this Sanjeev said “there are no makhis (flies) here Anubha” Ok boss, Yes sir whatever you say.  London ka jawan
Another kick was that they give an audio tour player free….yay atleast something in the land of “no free lunches” was free. Happily wearing those big fat ear phones that also protected them poor ears in the cold,windy and chilly weather we embarked on to the tour of the Windsor Castle. The trip inside was filled with oohs and wows, and then we came to the section where many treasures of different shapes and sizes were displayed; some were gifted to the State and others were taken…..well. The art of laying the table all at a studied angle cutlery included was a revelation. After strolling around and happily posing with the guards, the structure, the this and the that; we decided to move back to the car parking.
Destination Next: the StonehengeStonehenge --me and Rajesh highly anticipative and excited whereas Sanjeev thinking chalo kuch to acha hi hoga after all Rajesh and Anubha are soooo excited. So off we tried to go. Tried? Yeah…because just then the TomTom aunty decided to play truant and a lady the men couldn’t woo to wake up from the grave. Yes the TomTom died…..but well not our hopes. Rajesh pulled out all the Google maps and the road maps that we were armed with; in the meantime i kept trying to wake up the dead. The maps were not useful; by the time we used to figure out the turning we would have already missed it 2 miles ago…unfortunately there weren't any bhaiya jis on the highway to guide us.
Rajesh figured we will have to cross Ascot and Bracknell. We also figured our redemption will only be another TomTom that we must buy if we were to ever set eyes on Stonehenge. We stopped by the sleepy town of Ascot; passing by the royal racecourse and feeling great about it. The little shop by the gas station did not have the TomTom and we were left well…tomtoming about the idea of whether to go further or not…..Ok let’s go….so off we went and finally found an uncle ji near Bracknell, who guided us to a small mall where we could buy a GPS. After losing way a couple of more times and circling the town thrice we hit upon the mall…and bought one. phew!! the dreams of Stonehenge looked a little more real and a tad more closer.
I asked Rajesh what if we reach late and it is closed….well the optimist in him said “arrey bhai agar Qutab Minar band ho jaye to kya dikhti nahin hai.” Lets get going…Sanjeev punched in the required address and now the voice of aunty ji was nothing less than manna from heaven. A stop over for lunch- for the now famished us and growling tummies- later we finally left for yes the Stonehenge!
By this time Sanjeev had visions of grandeur, majestic, prehistoric monument. The rolling countryside, the green manicured farms, and hefty sheep with awesome fluffy fur grazing by them, lovely clean and crisp air…baa baa white one wow the countryside of London is definitely not overrated and very much what you envision of it.
Finally we reached Stonehenge….and while me and Rajesh exulted…..Sanjeev was like “what?!!!!??? is this it” he just could not get over the feeling that this is what we were trying to reach after thousands of hurdles and mini fiascos. And lo! it was closed…the charms on the security guard and the offer to pay more just did not work….another thing that works awfully well in my country :) Any way Sanjeev gamely posed for a couple of pics and clicked a few too. Though i could not shake the feeling of “is this it” off i dare not confess. And man was it cold…it was freezing…the wind chill factored in. After a couple of minutes we all snuck up in the warm and cozy car and having ticked off Stonehenge off the list went back to Wembley Plaza.
Besides Sanjeev having discovered the Stonehenge….on this discovery filled trip we discovered the totally superb countryside, Ascot’s royal racecourse …and the art of losing and then finding it all only with the TomTom.
The Tomtom was dead. Long live the Tomtom !