Facebook & Google are here to stay, but…

So is Alzheimer’s. With Facebook & Google, then, is it a face-off?

Many of us, over the last 10-15 years or so, are increasingly leaning more towards the tools that these virtual giants offer us. Would you agree that the numbers run in millions and are perhaps approaching billion? Anyway, who’s counting, eh!

 

HealthyBrain_Vs_SevereAlzheimers
Photo Courtesy: https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet

If we don’t have the answer in our head, we google. (Yes, a long time ago, someone decided to add “to google” to the list of verbs.) If we ‘think’ we know, but just want to be sure, there’s Wikipedia, or Quora, or some such. Why should I remember? In fact, where is the need to remember such ‘trivia’? In a flash we enter a query to ‘search’, get our answer, may be it’s right, or may be it’s wrong, but who’s to know… there’s so much information on the web, without enough policing. In fact, we refer to it as an information overload. Oh, dear… and there’s so much to remember, with so little time; but we must all be geared to impress… our knowledge.

Okay, so we’ll move on to a more fun topic. Where? But of course, let’s head to FaceBook (or SnapChat), Twitter or Tumblr… It depends on whether you’re a Baby Boomer (what, aren’t they already in the archives!), Generation X, a Millennial or Whatchamacallit… oh, yeah… Generation Z (shh… I just looked that up)! If truth be told, does one need to go anywhere? Not really. Umm… sorry, could you excuse me for a moment please, my phone’s blinking.

Our smartphones are continually flashing notifications… about a birthday, or an anniversary (of endless friends we’ve accepted, or follow – that we know, or not –  on social media sites); of someone who sends a friend request; and texts on WhatsApp or Messenger, or Viber, or Skype, or Slack, or…

Usually, you recognize in a flash who has texted you, the caller id is on display; but do you know the caller’s contact number? Recently, do you recall scratching your head, racking your brain in an effort to remember your own phone number… I’ll admit, I’ve done so, just occasionally. Oh dear!

Even if you don’t wish to ‘wish’ – or greet – a partner long-parted, or a friend you’d rather avoid, or a deceased acquaintance (pardon me), their birthday reminders will continue to flash by way of notifications. There’s no escape. Yeah, you may think you’ve turned off the darn thing, changed your privacy settings, but there’s always something blinking, almost hounding you. Yeah, yeah, you could opt to turn all these off, but then you’re in effect switching off! How many of us actually do that? Few.

Now what if… yes, what if we miss out on a critical reminder about someone we do wish to greet (perhaps secretly in the hope they don’t forget you); or wish to say hello to because you genuinely care; or (think of endless reasons and possibilities)!

Why is that we’re so concerned about missing out? Well, because it defeats the core idea of staying connected, i.e. being part of a click, a club, a group, a community, the alumni, shared passions, etc. The more greetings and good wishes you receive on social media, or via text, you get deluded into believing your popularity factor (be true to yourself). But in the first place, isn’t it often faux-fame? Now it’s with this sense of obligation (read ‘guilt’), you greet or wish those whom you really don’t know, nor quite care about. In turn, they wish you/greet in a quid pro quo gesture; albeit, provided you allow them the opportunity to do so. E.g. by including your third pet’s birthday in your ‘About’… you get the drift. This then propagates.

Those of us who inadvertently ‘miss’ (or skip) a birthday, we then apologize profusely for our tardiness (because really, with all the tools at hand, is there really an excuse for being forgetful). Truth be told, it’s possibly ‘carelessness’, or simply, ‘callousness’ with an attitude of ‘why bother’!

Back in the day, without the Virtual Assistants, weren’t we more efficient? We remembered an array of phone numbers in our little Black Book; and birthdays and anniversaries were hard to forget because we actually looked forward to a party. We met up with friends or family as the occasion demanded, spent time, exchanged gifts, had a merry time, and parted. May be someone with a film-loaded camera took 10-12 photos of the event, saving the remaining 12 frames for another occasion. Shortly thereafter, we took the film roll to the nearest photo studio, had it developed; and sometimes even got multiple copies of select prints to share with close friends. Occasionally, these had date stamps… but regardless, we pulled out photo albums reminisced the good times, thus remembering dates, events, and the rejoicing at the social do.

The time when we brought our physical presence into the party, with real presents we bought for friends and for the people we cared about, (having spent several hours or just minutes searching for something they’d especially like, or what you thought you’d like them to indulge in), we actually remembered those dates. All of the emotional, and personal investment of time and effort registered in the brain. There was reinforcement every so often.

Today, our increasing reliance on these tools and platforms – social media – we have now embraced as our bosom friends, are relegating our real-life friends into virtual relationships. Everything is a fleeting moment lost in cyberspace.

We build a bevy of new online acquaintances whom we may never meet, nor truly care for.  Sadly, this could be our own undoing… our path to all kinds of forgetfulness. Forgetting the fundamental emotions that keep us tied to reality, may be the path to not just emotional paucity, but a rapid dwindling of our mental faculties.

Unless we are cognizant of this latent process that’s fast depleting our ability to recognize, and remember, all this is taking a toll on our brain, debilitating the core abilities necessary for our very existence.

Alzheimer’s is afflicting more of this world today, and will increasingly do so in the foreseeable future. What are we doing about that? All generations are more than likely to face its dire consequences. Alzheimer’s does not affect just the old or poor, less educated or less agile. Just about anyone can be victim to this. We cannot place blame on Facebook, Google or any such platform or medium. Use these platforms to advantage, but we must not be slaves to them. We ourselves must take control of our faculties before our mental health quietly disintegrates.

Let us not fear the future, but certainly pause to ponder, reflect, and remember. All of it is critical to help rejuvenate!

Disclaimer:
While this commentary is not science-based, it is based on common-sense and a broad observation of changing society over decades.  For reliable information about the dreaded disease – Alzheimer’s – I urge you to kindly visit https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet
Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Downtime rejuvenates the working body… and mind.

Mind you, if anyone caused pangs of guilt in your head, ’cause you took a short nap in the middle of a work day, erase those negative feelings, pronto!

Downtime is not a waste of time… repeat these words in your head, until you feel free of guilt… not because I’m suggesting that you feel so, but because you will truly feel liberated from that nagging feeling that somehow made you feel you’d committed some major crime.

Mid-afternoon can take its toll on you, in more ways than one. Perhaps it’s the hottest part of the day. May be you’ve had a series of meetings all morning, and concentration during those meetings was imperative – – even if you were not the speaker (in fact, more reason to have been concentrating on those ‘need to increase productivity’ speeches from your boss, and his/her boss) – – because your annual bonus depends on what they said this morning! It is also possible that what you’d planned and hoped for as a productive sales call turned out to be a ‘hit by a bolt of lightning’ nightmare… your junior had just botched up, and you spent precious time troubleshooting, mollifying the irate customer or prospect. One could put this down as an occupational hazard… but remember, although the blow was hard to handle, and you somehow succeeded to salvage that business, the entire process and effort took an immense toll on you – not quite quantifiable.

At every juncture, each one of us is making decisions… numerous decisions… some impact us in small, trivial ways (but they all add up, nevertheless); others, have a bearing on our lives. It’s e.g. the difference between keeping – or losing – your job; or, whether or not your kid will be able to go on a camping vacation with buddies in the spring… your bonus would pay for that eagerly-awaited vacation and the much-deserved new pair of boots you will buy for the child, to not simply show off, but to bring some comfort to those little feet. Isn’t that what you’re wearing out your soles for (without having to sell your soul for the extra bucks)?

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Decisions such as these take their toll on us as working individuals. Your short nap will not break your company’s bottom-line, but without the twenty minutes’ shut-eye, you may, at some point, reach your breaking point! Think of it as a mini vacation from work… from having to look at a gazillion emails, a respite from the incessant stream of phone calls, but most important, it’s a few minutes off, from having to ‘make a decision’. Your productivity is bound to improve and you’ll more than make up for the ‘lost’ twenty odd minutes, ‘slacking off’. Try it out.

Reams of research by psychologists, scientists, and even global businesses have arrived at one common conclusion that we, as human beings, in today’s mad pace of work, technology, and media impact, are inundated by information overload that takes a toll on us. With the numerous points of decision making imposed upon us each day, it is not unreasonable that our body and mind require rest and rejuvenation at a mid point during our waking hours… separate from the deep sleep we normally go into, for 6-8 hours each day of our life. A quick internet search within scholarly articles for query phrase (keyword search) “mid-afternoon nap productivity” generated numerous results… the pix here is a screenshot of page 1 of the SERPs.

A recent article in The New York Times also evoked numerous thought-provoking reader responses.

Change of season… allergies, aches & pains… home remedies… desi (India) style!

Received the following from a friend, just as I was sipping on my 3-minute home concoction of grated ginger, honey, lemon squeeze & hot water… to relieve my sore throat, and to alleviate that nasty irritation in my Eustachian tube! So… here it is for anyone who wishes to avoid an immediate visit to a doc – either due to paucity of time, fear of allopathy drugs, lack of medical insurance, due to sheer lethargy, and/or, all of the above, and then some…


(Pardon the ‘all caps’ and typos in the following… I’m not quite up to fixing the ‘forward’)

COLDS

Mix a gram of dalchini/cinnamon powder with a teaspoon of honey to cure cold. Prepare a cup of tea to which you should add ginger, clove, bay leaf and black pepper… This should be consumed twice a day. Reduce the
intake as the cold disappears.

GINGER FOR COLDS

Ginger tea is very good to cure cold. Preparation of tea: cut ginger into small pieces and boil it with water, boil it a few times and then add sugar to sweeten and milk to taste, and drink it hot.

DRY COUGHS

Add a gram of turmeric (haldi) powder to a teaspoon of honey for curing dry cough.. Also chew a cardamom for a long time.

BLOCKED NOSE

For blocked nose or to relieve congestion, take a table spoon of crushed carom seeds (ajwain) and tie it in a cloth and inhale it.

SORE THROAT

Add a tea spoon of cumin seeds (jeera) and a few small pieces of dry ginger to a glass of boiling water. Simmer it for a few minutes, and then let it cool. Drink it twice daily. This will cure cold as well as sour throat.

AJWAIN/AJMO FOR ASTHMA
Boil ajwain in water and inhale the steam.

CURE FOR BACKACHE

Rub ginger paste on the backache to get relief.

GARLIC FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

Have 1-2 pod garlic (lasan) first thing in the morning with water.

HONEY AND GINGER FOR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

Mix 1 table spoon and 1 table spoon ginger (adrak) juice, 1 tablespoon of crushed cumin seeds (jeera), and have it twice daily.

MIGRAINE

For the cure of migraine or acute cold in the head; boil a tablespoon of pepper powder, and a pinch of turmeric in a cup of milk, and have it daily for a couple of days.

BITTER GOURD/KARELA IS GOOD

A tablespoon of amla juice mixed with a cup of fresh bitter gourd (karela) juice and taken daily for 2 months reduces blood sugar.

TURMERIC/ARAD CURE FOR INJURIES

For any cut or wound, apply turmeric powder to the injured portion to stop the bleeding. It also works as an antiseptic. You can tie a bandage after applying haldi/turmeric.

CRAMPS

You must do a self-massage using mustard oil every morning. Just take a little oil between your palms and rub it all over your body. Then take a shower. This is especially beneficial during winter. You could also mix a little mustard powder with water to make a paste and apply this on your palms and soles of your feet.

HEADACHES

If you have a regular migraine problem, include five almonds along with hot milk in your daily diet. You could also have a gram of black pepper along with honey or milk, twice or thrice a day. Make an almond paste by rubbing wet almonds against a stone. This can be applied to forehead.

Eat an apple with a little salt on an empty stomach everyday and see its wonderful effects. Or, when headache is caused by cold winds, cinnamon works best in curing headache. Make a paste of cinnamon by mixing in water and apply it all over your forehead.

TURMERIC

FOR  ARTHRITIS

Turmeric can be used in treating arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory property. Turmeric can be taken as a drink other than adding to dishes to help prevent all problems. Use one teaspoon of turmeric powder per
cup of warm milk every day. It is also used as a paste for local action.

GOOD FOR THE HEART

Turmeric lower cholesterol and by preventing the formation of the internal blood clots improves circulation and prevents heart disease and stroke. Turmeric can be taken as a drink other than adding to dishes to help prevent all problems. Use one teaspoon of turmeric powder per cup of warm milk every day. It is also used as a paste for local action.

GOOD FOR INDIGESTION

Turmeric can be used to relieve digestive problems like ulcers, dysentery. Turmeric can be taken as a drink other than adding to dishes to help prevent all problems. Use one teaspoon of turmeric powder per cup of warm milk every day. It is also used as a paste for local action.

HONEY IS A GOOD CURE FOR ALL DISEASES

Mix 1 teaspoon honey with ? teaspoon cinnamon powder and have at night.

HICCUPS

Take a warm slice of lemon and sprinkle salt, sugar and black pepper on it. The lemon should be eaten until the hiccups stop.

HIGH BLOOD CHOLESTEROL

In 1 glass of water, add 2 tbsps of coriander/dhania seeds and bring to a boil. Let the decoction cool for some time and then strain. Drink this mixture two times in a day. OR Sunflower seeds are extremely
beneficial, as they contain linoleic acid that helps in reducing the cholesterol deposits on the walls of arteries.

PILES

Radish juice should be taken twice a day, once in the morning and then later in the night. Initially drink about ? cup of radish juice and then gradually increase it to ? cup.. OR Soak 3-4 figs in a glass of water. Keep it overnight. Consume the figs on an empty stomach, the next day in the morning.

VOMITING

Take 2 cardamoms/elachi and roast them on a dry pan (tava). Powder the cardamoms and thereafter add a tsp of honey in it. Consume it frequently. It serves as a fabulous home remedy for vomiting. OR In the mixture of 1 tsp of mint juice and 1 tsp limejuice, add ? tsp of ginger juice and 1 tsp honey. Drink this mixture to prevent vomiting. OR Limejuice is an effective remedy for vomiting. Take a glass of chilled limejuice and sip slowly. To prevent vomiting, drink ginger tea. OR In 1 glass water, add some honey and drink sip by sip.

WARTS

Apply castor oil daily over the problematic area. Continue for several months. OR Apply milky juice of fresh and barely-ripe figs a number of times a day. Continue for two weeks. OR Rub cut raw potatoes on the
affected area several times daily. Continue for at least two weeks. OR Rub cut onions on the warts to stimulate the circulation of blood. OR Apply milk from the cut end of dandelion over the warts 2-3 times a
day. OR Apply oil extracted from the shell of the cashew nut over the warts. OR Apply Papaya juice OR Apply Pineapple juice.

URINARY TRACT INFECTION

In 8 oz of water, put ? tsp of baking soda and drink it. OR Drink plenty of water, as it aids in flushing out the waste products from the body. OR Drink Cranberry juice. You can also add some apple juice for taste.

SINUSITIS

Mango serves as an effective home remedy for preventing the frequent attacks of sinus, as it is packed with loads of vitamin A. OR Another beneficial remedy consists of consuming pungent foods like onion and
garlic, as a part of your daily meals. OR Fenugreek/methi leaves are considered valuable in curing sinusitis. In 250 ml water, boil 1 tsp of Fenugreek seeds and reduce it to half. This will help you to perspire, dispel toxicity and reduce the fever period. OR Tie a tsp of black cumin seeds in a thin cotton cloth and inhale.

TONSILLITIS

Take a fresh lemon and squeeze it in a glass of water. Add 4 tsp of honey and ? tsp of salt in it. Drink it slowly sip by sip. OR Milk has proved beneficial in treating tonsillitis. In 1 glass of pure boiled milk, add a pinch of turmeric powder and pepper powder. Drink it every night for about 3 days.

For those with abusive partners, walking away could possibly be an option… but for those with abusive parents?

What is the solution for their salvation!

Margaret comments, as does Karen of St Paul, MN, MW of MA and hundreds of others who respond to the provocative question, “What if you want to split from your parents” in the Mind Column of Science Times… “When Parents Are Too Toxic to Tolerate” by Dr. Richard A. Friedman.

A few years back, as a volunteer copy-editor, I was assigned a project that entailed editing copy for an annual report (marketing tool for fund-raising) to be produced for an organization that attempts to combat  domestic violence; that supports survivors and women who wish to escape from abusive partners.

It was at this time, the thought had occurred to me… there are numerous organizations, and innumerable researchers, studying domestic violence that seems to be rampant! But, are there any real organizations that will truly support children (and adults) who suffer for a lifetime, both, while living with their very own parents while they’re growing up, or even later! These folks are victims (or survivors) of angry, frustrated, or ill parents; parents with unfulfilled dreams, parents who attempt to fulfill dreams through their kids; parents who re-live their own abuse-filled childhoods by inflicting emotional and/or physical pain on their children with full knowledge (or unwittingly). Who can such survivors turn to for support?

Does introspection help to see the light? Or then, does cognizance, that indeed this is a case of abusive parent/s… forgive and/or forget for one’s own sanity? Easily said, eh? This would be outside the charter of Human Rights Commission for them to intervene… and yet, this issue affects millions across borders, class, creed or race… it’s hard to divorce your parents… but for your own survival, would you? Should you? Or would you worry about the world saying, “How could you”!

Wheezing, or bleeding nose? Blame it on the Chinese Drywall!

Nose bleeds, headaches or wheezing in your new home? If it’s not the odors from the carpet that bother you, you can now put the blame squarely on drywalls made from materials imported from China! Malodorous, drywalls in new-build homes may be heavily contaminated with sulphur compounds.

Now, do you pull down the drywall at a cost of $100-150K, or should you file a lawsuit against the manufacturers, is the dilemma for thousands of affected homeowners? In the process, who knows… perhaps you’ll hit a Chinese Wall. Ugh, my head hurts!

Gayatri Mantra… enunciation for my reference.

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Aum (ॐ) Bhur (भूर्) Bhuvah (भुव:) Swaha (स्व:)

Tat (तत्) Sa-Vi-Tur (सवितुर् ) Va-Re-Ny-Am (वरेण्यं)

Bhar-Go (भर्गो) De-Vas-Ya (देवस्य) Dhi-Ma-Hi (धीमहि)

Dhi-Yo (धीयो ) Yo (यो ) Nah (न: ) Pra-Cho-Da-Yat (प्रचोदयात् )

Learn these words by uttering them aloud. To practise saying the words, listen to the intonations in the chants .

When chanted accurately, breathing should improve.

Ultimately, this should help improve overall respiration.

Now, there are: 24 syllables i.e. 3 lines of eight syllables each…

ॐ भूर्भुव: स्व: तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि, धीयो यो न: प्रचोदयात् ।।

Aum Bhur Bhuvah  Swah

Tat  Savitur  Varenyam

Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi

Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat

In a nutshell, from the explanations detailed in the above links my understanding is as follows:

Aum = OM = primordial sound. ‘Beej’ Mantra i.e. ‘Seed’, “Pranav” – i.e. most fundamental mantra.

Bhur Bhuvah Swaha” = describe fundamental qualities of the Supreme being.

Bhu-r = Earthy | Divine | a Constant | Life itself

Bhuvah = Consciousness | Supreme Being untouched by Sorrow | Supreme Being is ‘Anant’ – limitless, boundless

Swaha = Connect with the Supreme Being to experience Bliss

Tat = He or That (third person, referring to the Supreme Being)

Savitur = Bestowed upon mankind by “Tat = Supreme Being”, is the fountain (of knowledge to distinguish right from wrong) as well as the immense ‘potential’ or ‘power’ to act, empowered by this fountain.

Varenyam = An uninhibited acceptance of the one who is worthy to lead i.e. this Supreme Being who has endowed each of us with the knowledge and has empowered us to act righteously.

Bhargo= the purity of the Supreme Being’s Light that allows each of us to see through the darkness of maya = illusion.

Devasya = Likeness (of qualities) to the Supreme Being, since each of us exist because of that being (and as an extension of him? I wonder).

Dheemahi = Focus on the purity of the Supreme Being (embodiment of virtues) i.e. meditate to remove thoughts that are anything but pure.

Dhi-yo= Allow the influence of the Supreme Being to impact one’s ‘intellect’ = ‘dhi-yo’.

Yo = Third Person ‘that’ i.e. The Supreme Being

Nah = an earnest sincere request to the Supreme Being on behalf of the entire universe and its inhabitants (a family as a whole, with everyone connected somehow) to continually endow us with that generous fountain of knowledge + potential to act righteously.

Prachodayat = a summary, culminating from the above, completing this acknowledgement of the Supreme being and the request to the common benefactor with the end goal of peace, prosperity and fundamental joy.

Brian Nelson’s attitude towards his cancer!

Transplants of the kidney (note the ‘s’), pancreas, Type 1 diabetes; broken – leg, elbow, wrist, feet, hands, skull, ribs; osteoporosis, gastroparesis, cataracts, failed gall bladder, impacted bowel, chronic bleeding and… metastasizing head and neck cancer for over four years… in all, 40 years of ill-health is what 50 year-old-Brian Nelson has suffered. Even so, through his blog writing, he comes across as the epitome of wit, good-humor and positive thinking.

Starting off the day with my morning dose of The New York Times, and the usual browsing of the headlines, I was drawn by, “When Cancer Changes Your Appearance”. Especially because just a few days back I was chatting with someone close who has also been affected by cancer. Otherwise with positive attitude and a very active individual, I could not help notice signs of extreme pessimism along with a desire to end this now “purposeless existence”. Although I made efforts to cheer up the friend, I know it may not have had a strong-enough impact.

Please, if you read this blog post, I would urge you to certainly follow Brian Nelson’s Blog and hope that you feel inspired and encouraged by his approach to life… despite what most ‘normal’ people would think of as a ‘harrowing set of experiences’.

Brian, I wish you the very best. Thank you for your most inspiring post and for sharing your experiences. May you continue to have the will to live, and the wit to keep your life spiked and exciting. Hope your writing will also have the impact I desire over my dear friend.

“As Indian Growth Soars, Child Hunger Persists”… a comment

Yesterday, a friend wished to post a comment on the much-discussed article that made the headlines in The New York Times. Some readers thought the article was newsworthy, others expressed their furore over the skewed perspective, and yet others posted counter-comments. The following is one which was written, but was not published, since all comments were being screened by the newspaper.

March 13, 2009 2:33 pm
In response to Editor’s selected comment # 167:

Editor's Pick of Interesting Comments
Editor's Pick of Interesting Comments

“Glad to hear your husband visited India. However, am amazed at the one-sided observations: Of the four months he spent there, he saw “people simply cut wires to hook into the electrical grid… “: Did he pay a visit to the electricity Bill Payment Centers (especially in the major metros), where there are long-winding queues of men and women, who do take time off from their work, or from lunch-hour to go pay their bills?
Daily power outages do not prevail in all parts of the country.

A woman who “stands up for herself” would be killed; yes, while Indira Gandhi stood up, she was “killed”, no doubt… but that has been not just her fate, but the fate of many leaders (in India and even in our part of the world and elsewhere)… incidentally, Indira Gandhi was India’s Prime Minister (stood up not just for herself) for several terms… of course she had ups and downs, but that’s history. (I am not particularly her fan.) The point is there are several strong women in the history of India – both, on the political front, as well as in every household in the country. The current President of India is Mrs Pratibha Patil, a woman – educated and an accomplished sportswoman.
Despite the high incidence of the infamous female infanticides, if women were so easily killed (as your husband may have observed), India would not have such a high population (over a billion) and the ratio of women to men is certainly not low at 930 women:1000 men. It is not as “simple as that” to kill women in India… incidentally, a woman, who (almost) could not read nor write, was even leading one of the largest states i.e. Bihar, as their Chief Minister
(circumstances notwithstanding) – and a totally male-chauvinistic state at that.

You’re right about the tax evasions (even among the ‘elite’ and people in power), hence the advertising to “beg people to pay their taxes” comes as no surprise. Even Rabri Devi’s husband was chased by the Income Tax Officials a decade ago.
And here is the very same Rabri Devi… almost an illiterate, happily married (not forced into it at the age of 14) who is the mother to 7 daughters (no less) and 2 sons… who has the “wisdom” and “guts” to comment on the ‘historic’ budget.

You’re right in drawing attention to the hospitality of people towards your husband, despite their poverty. Tourists and visitors (especially the fair-skinned) often have a fan following of poor kids and street urchins, in cities (or at touristy attractions) smiling and laughing around them, begging and chasing them for just a pencil or pen, while their tummies are probably growling with hunger.

Well, the whole point is the government certainly can do much, instead of filling their own coffers. It’s not enough to throw your hands in despair and say, “where do we begin”… Education is not an “impossible luxury”. The government can provide incentives to those who are educated, to teach or provide a basic education to just one other poor soul. Instead of having to scavenge from garbage cans, those who do have homes, could have just one homeless child come around everyday for one small meal – provide two rotis or a bowl of rice with a vegetable (or soup). In fact, come over to learn your ABC’s (K, Kh, Gh), learn the basics of hygiene, and grab a sandwich, for good measure! It really isn’t too much… many families waste and throw away so much food after every meal, that they can well-afford to part with a sandwich a day! How do you think those garbage cans get filled with wasted food that putrefies in there… followed by epidemics of diseases. So, the bottom line… no, the government has to take a lead, and so should those who have been blessed with far more than they can enjoy in their own lifetime… as their “giving back to the community”. They spend loads of money building schools for the rich and elite (so with their IB diplomas they can apply to schools in the US or UK). Those families are charged steep fees (no different from private schools here). How about schools in rural areas with nominal fees – a buck a day – nothing fancy, just the basics at least? Yes, they’re probably hoarding that for their future generations. Well, the future will take care of itself, if the present is provided for… even partially. Please follow my comment #206. India is a land of paradoxes (clichéd). Your observations may be true, but there is certainly another side. Something must be done to resolve the poverty issues… soon! Thanks.”


None of this makes sense… Indian students killed… in the US & in UK!

First it was one, then two, then three and it has continued… how far, and for how long will this continue? Why is it happening? What could the reasons be? Families, of slain students, back in India are stunned out of their wits. Most of the stories here are related to recent killings from the past one year. Is this racial prejudice, personal vendetta, violence due to the state of affairs during the past several months in the US and across the globe? What is it… are the US, UK and Indian governments taking any action in these matters? Safety of the students… whose responsibility is it eventually? How long will it be before some light is thrown on this matter? How long will it be before students can walk on campus grounds, along college corridors, live in vicinities of universities and within urban metros, without the fear of lurking shadows?

Links: Courtesy, The Times of India

Catch the LIRR! Who is abusing the system???

Are the visually impaired leading the disabled… reeks of a scandal aboard the Long Island Railroad… the LIRR! Beware, we’re talking about 250 million US dollars already paid as federal occupational disability money to early LIRR retirees since Y2K. We, the taxpayers, have paid for this and will continue to do so, while these ‘disabled’ are playing golf at age 50, after taking early retirement!

Catch the LIRR!
Catch the LIRR!

The detailed front page coverage of Long Island Railroad’s incredible ‘disability’ statistics, overtime pay to employees including non-management staff and engineers, and the rampant ‘corruption’ at LIRR – audits notwithstanding, has been brought to light by Walt Bogdanich, Andrew W. Lehren, Robert A. McDonald and Nicholas Phillips through The New York Times.

Padded paychecks have pumped-up early-retirement pensions of senior engineers and conductors of the ‘busiest commuter rail service’ in the US which traverses across 120 miles – the length of Long Island, between Penn Station in Manhattan to far eastern points such as Greenport on the North Fork, and Montauk on the South Fork, not too far up from the elitist Hamptons weekend getaway hot spots.

An imminent hike in fares due to the growing budget shortfall are the immediate fallouts of this disability epidemic among LIRR’s retirees. Who must bear the burden? Not just the 288,000 directly affected daily passengers who commute on the 700 trains network, but the entire nation! Think about the damage…

To learn how ‘early retirement’ and ‘pensions’ can pay you to play golf… go to Penn!