Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rituparno Ghosh

Rituparno Ghosh movies mean a lot to me. I once captured a part of his lecture on my camera. He is talking about why he made Dosar in black and white.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Coping with rising medical costs in India

Medical expenses are a serious concern for Indians. Things which we can do to address the problem (both at personal and policy-making level) are given below.
At a personal level:
  • Plan for medical emergencies: Medical insurance is must but not enough. There are articles on websites like where strategies beyond medical insurance are explained.
  • Start exercising regularly: Every financial planner should become an expert in basic health coaching too. The two fields are tied at hips now. A regular exercise regimen cuts down the probability of many medical expenses.
  • Hospital/Insurance-companies are symptoms, not cause of the problem: A politically incorrect thought-process which I do not dare to share on public forum. The gist of the thought process is that we (patients/family) can solve the problem ourselves. One should not blame hospitals and insurance companies. They are being run by good people who need to make profits and it is not easy to draw a line where profits should end. Expecting doctors/clinics/hospitals to be non-profit-seeking-social-workers is a very cruel injustice.
At a policy making level:
  • Enforce copay: Discourage insurance schemes which provide complete coverage. There should be minimum 20-25% copay. This would force people (and consequently the medical business) to be cost conscious.
  • Unshackle medical infrastructure: Remove the barriers to set up hospitals/clinics/medical colleges. In the name of quality, all the command-control and restrictions breed inefficiency and corruption. Public is smart enough to figure out the bad doctor and bad hospital.
  • Do not damn alternative medicine: Till we find a satisfactory solution, do not publicly posture or legislate against alternative medicine, however unscientific it might be. Homeopathy, ayurved, unani, siddhi, tantriks, vodoo, quacks, religious-godmen-healers(and what not) should not be banned. Alternative medicine is either one of the following two and both the options are beneficial for psychological well being.
  • healing at a lower cost (if you choose to believe in them) OR
    It is giving peace to patients and their well-wishers, letting them think that they are doing everything they can do and are not hindered by costs. (if you chose not to believe in alternative medicine). 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Varsha Bhosle

I started on internet around 1998. I was introduced to Varsha Bhosle's writings around that time. It was through her columns in rediff. She was a fireball. There was no hypocrisy in her writings. I had never read anything like that before. She did not bother about being politically correct and that was very rare then.
There was a statement in one of her blogs which has become the guiding light for my voting strategy.
" Aap mujh se chhoti hain isliye main aap ko ek salah doonga. Kabhi bhi, chaahe koi bhi party ho, aap issues ko dekh ke hi nischay kijeeye. Aap candidate ko dekh ke vote deejiye. Ideologies disappear when they are given the seat of power."
Ironically, the statement was not hers, but Rajesh Pilot's whom she was quoting in obituary column.
I can only imagine her pain, which drove her to suicide. It would be incorrect to say that I WILL miss her. I started missing her from the day she stopped writing her columns in rediff. That was a long time ago.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Jay Lakhani: Religion and Science

"Science and/vs Religion" is a hackneyed combination of words at this stage of life when I am through so many school-essays, debates and speeches. YET, when I came across this 1 hour long video on a bright saturday morning, I found myself compelled to sit through the entire presentation.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Aam Aadmi Party: Making an unethical stand?

I oppose the 'do not pay your bill movement' by Aam Aadmi Party(AAP).
If one wants to protest high electricity bills of a monopoly provider, it is okay to stop paying bills as a form of protest. So far I am with AAP.
However, one should be ready to face consequences by accepting disconnection and other punishments under existing law. That is the pain one must endure if one wants to protest effectively in a peaceful manner.
Not paying bill and refusing to accept the non-payment-penalty is anarchy. Satyagraha/Asahayog means deliberately breaking the law and then accepting the punishment for it. Breaking the law (however 'wrong' the law may be) and avoiding punishment is criminal behavior.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tibetan Buddhism hits me. Thanks to Times Of India!

In past 1 month, thanks to Times of India, I came across 3 brilliant articles influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. I found all the three very soothing: People familiar with ramkrishna order will recognize the 'ripe-me' and 'unripe-me' context. Written by a karmapa. The tone is conversational. If somebody can get a pointer to all the writings of this 'karmapa', please send across. This is the 3rd major line of meditation that I have found interesting.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Aamir Khan, Satyameva Jayate and Me

I have watched 4 episodes of Satyamev Jayate. I am loving it because all the topics have been close to my heart. Coincidentally, the first four episodes align with my views and concerns as well. I hope I will be able to like the show even if the show projects an opposing view.

Sometimes though, a few things do seem awkward. Amir Khan's dialogue delivery jars once in a while and he sounds preachy. Sometimes, the victims/survivors are awkward in front of camera. I do not like when they show the audience wiping tears or exclaiming shock. I switch off when the song starts towards the end. However these negatives fail to dampen the entertainment I derive from the show.
Yes, 'entertain' is the right word. The show does entertain me. I itch to share my thoughts about the topics highlighted in the show. I share my thoughts with my wife, with my friends who care to listen, and of-course this blog. For a while I forget my personal worries. I have also sent a couple of SMSes for topics I felt strongly about. I am not a habitual TV-show participant. The last time I responded to a TV-programme was when I sent a postcard to Surabhi (The Siddharth-Kak/Renuka-Shahane show). So this show has indeed stirred me up.
So thank you Aamir Khan for using your celebrity status. Yes, some/most(?) topics are cliche but the underlying problems are still plaguing us. It would be unfortunate if we stop talking about an unsolved problem just because it does not sound smart anymore.