Monday, November 30, 2009


I am back home after my knee surgery. Fortunately, the surgeon is a close friend who assured me that I can play like Ronaldo. Now I am moving from the surgery phase to the convalescence phase. This phase is trying and testing, and relatively longer one. I am on crutches, my two recently acquired friends, and they are a great support.

A lot of visitors came to the hospital and home bringing with them their best wishes. A lot more came through messages and calls on my mobile. And you my friend bloggers too showered on me a lot of love, affection and good wishes.

A ‘Big Thank You’ to each and everyone for being with me when I most needed support and encouragement. Yes. I will now be seen more often in the blogsphere and be in constant touch. I have a lot of plans for the time I will be at home and I have decided to make the most of it, both professionally and personally.

Technology being what it is, I can be both at office and at home, with my boss as well as with my wife. It struck me that at home my wife is my boss. My first lesson is ‘Bosses do not spare you anywhere. One cannot just escape.’ Hmm.. what one cannot cure, one has to endure. That is true for my knee pain too.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mind your step

After my teaching assignment at a college and while walking down the stairs, I missed a step and fell down injuring my knee. My body weight and the weight of my lap top coupled together ensured that I tore my muscle severely. Fortunately it is neither a fracture or a ligament tear. The lesson learnt is : do not throw your weight around. I also understood that I always seem to be missing a step or just that step in life.

The surgery is scheduled in a hospital close home. The interesting part is that I will have to take a month's rest for full recovery. I am aware that I will pay a huge amount to the hospital for just missing a step. But I am now making plans on the things that I can possibly do during this one month hibernation.

Several of my office colleagues, friends and well wishers have been visiting me during the last week, and a lot of humour has happened around my knee. My boss jokingly remarked ‘ Iyer, now really tell me whom did you fall for? While another remarked that one of my improvement areas would be ‘being weak kneed.’ The last straw on my back was my doctor nephew terming it the ‘knock knee’ and telling me ‘ you missed a step, from now on live life step by step.’ My friend, Kavi, as usual, came up with the icing on the cake. ‘It is not in the falling down, it is in the rising up.’ Honestly, I have enjoyed all the fun that came my way, and am sure these will help me spring back on my feet soon.

Life has been interesting this last week with so much attention being showered on me and my knees. I am grateful to all my well wishers and my family for so much love and affection. To ensure an appropriate end to this post, this picture clicked by me at the Delhi airport says it all.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

That's the spirit

My friend lost his father and his in laws, three of them, in a space of a year. The elderly were bed ridden for four long years and were looked after by my friend, his wife and two daughters. Despite their official routine and daily chores, they tended to the elderly and were at their beck and call. The last of the elderly passed away last week.

I went to offer condolences and to appreciate them for their grit and ‘never say die’ spirit. During the conversations we had, what appealed to me was the part the elderly had played in the bonding of the family. The two daughters in particular were sharing the various lessons learnt from their grand parents, and felt those spaces would never ever be filled again. The anecdotes, folk tales, mythological stories and life experiences taught to them by their grandparents would always remain etched in the children’s mind. They conceded they had matured so much in the last three years and learnt their lessons on care, love, responsibility and accountability. Having been through thick and thin in looking after the bed ridden elderly , the entire family had in just a few years grown so much in love and affection for each other. They are today, as I look at them, a more complete family.

My friend, his wife and their two daughters were in close embrace when the preparations for the last rites were on. They hugged each other, sobbing that the last of their dear ones was gone. I saluted them for their endurance as the van carrying the body tugged along. May the spirit of the ‘Ramakrishnan family’ be always alive.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Strange but true

I had read of a birthday party of a three year old where children along with their parents were invited. As is the custom, gifts were showered on the birthday boy who accepted these with glee. Other children , naturally curious, wanted to see the gifts but the birthday boy refused to open them or part with them.

Children started throwing up tantrums and many of them were crying loudly to have a glimpse of the gifts. The little boy refused to share the gifts despite both his parents cajoling, pleading, bribing, threatening and playing all sorts of tricks on him. Birthday party turned into a nightmare.

Questions of significance are : Why did the parents behave the way they behaved? And why did the little boy behave the way he behaved?
Behaviour of parents is dictated by what parents of other children will think of them. Probably, other parents may say “ How have they brought up their kid? They haven’t even taught the kid to share”. The necessity to ‘look good’ in the eyes of others becomes more important than the necessity of the child to own and enjoy his gifts. So much so the parents will go even to the extent of beating the child on his birthday to teach him the value of sharing. What a beautiful birthday gift for the child, and what beautiful memory to grow up with.

As for the child’s behaviour, it needs to be understood that the gifts are his and he needs to possess and enjoy them before sharing them. Often we have seen that once children have enjoyed the possession, they themselves give the toys to others or just leave it lying in some corner of the room. That’s the psyche of children. Do adults easily part with their possessions? No. Often they come up with reasons like ‘the gift has sentimental value’ or some such stuff.

My learning is that many of the things we do has a pay off. But we need to remember there is also a heavy cost to pay.