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About Me

Alam
part eccentric ... part fun .... stubborn .. but not stuck up ... very open to different views, ideas and possibilities ... varied interests ... engineer ... mba ... trying-to-be-a-good-entrepreneur ... ex-software ... ex-quality ... ex-tobacco ... ex-alcohol ... trying-to-be-ex-cancer
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Silent Observer

History, society, economics and communication
they are the themes of this post, this rumination

And why ??..... Because ...

Now is the time to look at these four -
History's in making, like never before
Prejudice's resurgent, hatred is it's core
Profits are moving from shore to shore

and communication ???

cause the net and the bloggers are changing the game
and readers and writers are one and the same
the youtube generation is wielding the mike
professional reporters can go take a hike

I watch from a distance, tune into the climes
A silent observer, I learn with the times
I hope to be smarter and wiser sometimes
-then pour all my thinking in beautiful rhymes

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Re-Start

If, at first, you don’t succeed try, try and try again ....

Monday, April 28, 2008

Back to the future

Small time personal announcement-

picking up a regular job from day after tomorrow

Thank-you thank-you thank-you in advance

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Downers

-- It is not a fair world

-- Markets have ugly distortions and frictions which mar their theoretical beauty

-- The system sure works - only hitch is - it doesn't work for you

Thursday, March 27, 2008

no SCANdal here - I am clean (updated)

Well... the PET scan results are out ... This was the second PET after treatment got over ... An unassuming pre-printed report says that things are fine



Am posting some of the PET Scan pictures for the curious ones who have never seen such images


Here's the latest update from my Hematologist Dr Auro Viswabandya

I had a loook at PET scan and it appears absolutely fine.
Your blood reports are normal and no intervention is required at present.
You can definitely get prepared for half marathon run in November 2008 ! Absolutely no problem.
For some people, the weakness / tiredness remains for a longer time post chemo and radiotherapy. Try to ignore that and get back to your normal schedule. Should be alright.
It will be better to have a repeat PET after 6 months and if everything is fine, then the next PET can be after 1 year.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

PET Scan at AIIMS

If you are looking at getting a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan done in New Delhi, then getting it done from AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) is an option that you might consider.

AIIMS advantage

AIIMS was one of first few Indian hospitals to set up a PET/CT center. They have (what seems like) competent staff. Very importantly they are much cheaper than the private PET centers.

The drawbacks are -

a) Long waiting list - you have to book well in advance - 1.5 months lead would get you a scan date of your choice ... If you are lucky, you can get earlier appointments ... The more resourceful can try pawwa/jack ... a senior AIIMS doctor (preferably from dept of Nuclear Medicine) would a be an ideal jack

b) Government Hospital treatment - I will not call the AIIMS PET experience bad, but it pales in comparison to the royal treatment given at Apollo PET center at Hyderabad ... AIIMS guys might call you empty stomach at 9:30 in the morning and then do your scan 4 or 5 in the evening ... To be fair they are not totally inhuman - children, elderly and the extremely weak are scanned first ... but still, I think smarter scheduling will result in substantial improvement in the customer experience.

Rates

First time scan (full body) - INR 7,500
Subsequent scans - INR 4,000

Tips

- PET center is the first building (just one floor tall) on the left .. when entering AIIMS from Aurobindo Marg gate (opposite Safdarjung Hospital)

- For booking a slot, you would need a written test prescription from your doctor . Things would be smoothest if this prescription is from an AIIMS doctor.

- Preferred way of payment is thru bank draft. At the time of booking they tell you the exact amount and details for the draft. I had to get a draft in favor of "Director, AIIMS, New Delhi" payable at New Delhi

- Bring previous scan reports/sheets and diagnosis records/discharge summaries. They might ask for a photocopy of the earlier reports and medical records. A photocopy of previous scan report(from AIIMS) serves as proof of repeat scan (repeat scans are cheaper)

- Bring a one liter bottle of water along. Some types of scans require you to drink a "contrast". The technician makes this "contrast" by mixing something in your 1 liter water bottle.

Scan done

Monday morning I got a PET Scan done. This is the second scan after treatment got over. The previous scan (done in Sep 07) had come out clean. If this one comes clean, then there are good chances that my blood cancer will not come back again.

Results will be out tomorrow.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Complan works best on girls

Don't believe me ???

It's not my imagination ... it was proven in a scientific experiment

This well regulated study was started when Ayesha Takia and Shahid Kapoor were kids ... what did you say - they still look like kids !! ... well well ... this was started they were real kids.

At that time, in keeping with scientific temperament and in the quest for the enlightened truth, they were given Complan


A few days back the results were evaluated -

Shahid hasn't done that well ... He has managed to grow just 2 inches more than the average Indian male( avg height 5'5") ... Even today he looks slightly smallish and does boyish things ... Here is a picture of Shahid



Ayesha
, on the other hand, has grown quite well. She is a good 5 inches taller than the average Indian female(avg height 5'0") and is sumptuously endowed in other dimensions too. Latest pic (wearing green) -


Conclusion - Complan definitely has different effects on boys and girls

sources - video by psvyas on youtube, Ayesha from masalaababes Shahid from bollywood.ac
Note - Some of the external sources are not as discrete as I am ... they may carry titillating and objectionable images.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

And the award goes to ... Daso

If I were to give away an award for the best captions on an Online Photo Album ... I would definitely give it to the captions on my pal Hrishikesh Das and his mate Jyotsna's album of their Goa trip

This Album (click to view) contains gems like

"Don't think it is a lighthouse...looks pretty heavy to me!"
and
"They tried to break the fort with love writings...but I guess fort was stronger than love... "

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lemonade - A good use for life's lemons

some wise guy in England has set up a "young people repellent" - something called a "mosquito" - read a BBC piece about it This "mosquito" thingy emits a shrill annoying noise that is audible to only the young ... the irritating noise is supposed to keep the trouble-making teenagers and other young people away

Note: It is "SUPPOSED" to keep the young away ... but no one told the young about this supposedly intended purpose ... so, the young have put the mosquito noise to good use ... this economist piece points out

British teenagers have already shown how the table can be turned. Using mobile phones to record the silent-to-many output of the Mosquito machines they have used the sound to disrupt classes by irritating fellow students while teachers remain oblivious. And in schoolrooms, where mobiles are banned, the sound is a useful semi-private ringtone. In an already noisy world an arms race of sound is not to be welcomed.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Rahen na Rahen Hum - Remembering Majrooh

I was moved by the beauty of this Majrooh Sultanpuri song from the 1966 movie "Mamta".

Thank you CP, for pointing me to the "tehalka" piece on Majrooh.


You can hear the song "रहें ना रहें हम" from the "Dishant" website.

Here's my transcript of the lyrics, enjoy -


रहें ना रहें हम, महका करेंगे
बन के कली, बन के सबा, बाग़-ए-वफ़ा में ..

मौसम कोई हो, इस चमन में, रंग बनके रहेंगे हम ख़िरामा
चाहत कि खुशबु , यूँ हि ज़ुल्फ़ों से उड़ेंगी, ख़िज़ा हो या बहाराँ
युहीं झूमते, युहीं झूमते और, खिलते रहेंगे
बन के कली, बन के सबा, बाग़-ए-वफ़ा में ..

खोये हम ऐसे, क्या है मिलना - क्या बिछड़ना, नही है याद हमको
कूचे मे दिल के, जब से आए, सिर्फ़ दिल कि ज़मीं है, याद हमको
इसी सरज़मीं, इसी सरज़मीं पे, हम तो रहेंगे
बन के कली, बन के सबा, बाग़-ए-वफ़ा में ..

जब हम न होंगे, जब हमारी, ख़ाक पे तुम रुकोगे चलते-चलते
अश्कों से भीगी चांदनी मे, इक सदा सी, सुनोगे चलते-चलते
वहीं पे कहीं, वहीं पे कहीं हम, तुमसे मिलेंगे
बन के काली, बन के सबा, बाग़-ए-वफ़ा में ..

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

logic of maa- bahen and other simians

For quite some time now, Bhajji and Monkeys have dominated gossip, blogs and news ... thankfully their story ended yesterday ... and in its end, it also ended up hogging max space on TV and morning news papers ... here's my take

A TOI piece suggested that Bhajji didn't racially abuse Symonds by calling him one of those-simian-species-which-should-not-be-named ... instead he was merely throwing "normal" insults on Symonds' mother ... It seems that this explanation was the clincher ... it ... along with lack of recorded proof and solid BCCI clout ... sealed the case in favor of Bhajji.

But look closely ... was the case closed in favor of Bhajji???

If we assume (as claimed by Bhajji, and not disputed by Symonds) that Symonds provoked Bhajji ... with something comparable to maa-behen ki ... then Bhajji should have fought for an equal punishment for Symonds ... Equal punishment for equal crime ... It would have been fair ... Both guys used bad language - both get fined for it ...

but now .. with only one guy punished ... Bhajji comes out of the controversy as the offending offish boor ... while Symonds is the poor sufferer ... Symonds' offensive provocation went unnoticed, while Bhajji coarseness got punished.

Obviously if we had assumed that Bhajji did intentionally call Symonds a Monkey ... then things would have fallen in the grey area ... the comments could have been found to be racially motivated - in which case Bhajji should have been punished to send out the message that society will not tolerate racial attack and abuse ... Or the comments could have been found to be of non-racially-motivated, cuss words of the saala, gadha, kutta, bunder variety ... using which, it seems, is an OK thing in todays international cricket ... and no action should have been taken

Anyways ... it is possible that Bhajji was so messed up with the racial abuse charges ... that he totally forgot to do the logical thing ... demand equal punishment for Symonds ... and with that he failed to establish, for the records, the fact that ... Symonds started it all ...

Now since we are talking about "logic" and "news" ... here's another one ...

Health Secretaries are the kind of people who should NOT be making logical mistakes ... Seems like our current one just made one -

While trying to say that the bird-flu was brought to India from Bangladesh, by illegal poultry traders (a very possible thing ... in fact most probable) he is supposed to have said this -

"If we see that the virus circulating in Bengal is the same as the Bangladeshi type, we can almost be certain that illegal trade of infected poultry from Bangladesh into India was the cause of the present outbreak. If the strains don't match, the virus may have then been brought into India by migratory birds."

how can same virus strain prove that "illegal poultry trade" is the cause of the virus spreading ??? ...

...The same set of wild migratory birds might have landed first in Bangladesh and then in Bengal to spread the same strain of H5N1 virus at both places ...

... wild birds in Bangladesh might have caught the virus and then migrated to join illegal bangladeshi bird-force in India, spreading the virus here ...

... some infected Bangladeshi chicken might have just walked over ...

there are many ways in which both the countries can end up having exactly the same virus strain ... but ... for our health secretary ... if the strains are same - illegal traders are the only ones to blame ...

His only saving grace ... he is procedurally smart ... he did what only an accomplished Indian civil servant can do ... he played it safe .. by by using an "almost" in "...we can almost be certain..." he sort of saved his a** ... that was very clever ploy... but it cannot fully hide fallacious logic ...

So that's all for today ... one should always remember that actually ... things are not all that bad ... not everything is gloomy ... and not everything needs to be logical ... so we can all chill out ... watch the news ... and enjoy

(Update 05 April 08)
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ducks_cause_of_bird_flu_outbreaks/articleshow/2927117.cms

Saturday, January 19, 2008

One year's up

It's been exactly one year since the day I started chemo therapy

Rahim shows the bright part of it -

रहिमन विपदा हू भली जो थोडे दिन होय |
हित अनहित इह जगत में, जान पड़े सब कोय ||

Says Rahim these troubles are good, though if of a limited size
they teach you good from the bad, and make you worldly wise

Friday, January 11, 2008

TATA नन्हूँ

Yesterday TATA launched its new people's car - Tata Nano ...
Here's a pic (googled out of a german website)

I just love the name "Nano" ... It sounds great ... and very importantly the actual meaning of the word ... and its popular-press usage ... both add a favorable flavor to the car ...

First on to the popular press ... "nano" is most commonly used along with "technology" in the word "nanothechnology" - the next in-thing ... the cutting edge of modern development ... the driving force of future ... nice association for a car that is touted as a paradigm shift (yes i am licensed to use the "p" word) in auto industry ... gives you the feeling that TATA Nano is capable of being the driving force for the masses that will make India's future

Not to leave the actual meaning of the word ... its a prefix that means one billionth ... with India's population being a little more than a billion ... one billionth is just the right fraction for each person and his/her car ...

Now to my favorite ... Nano sound so much like " नन्हूँ" ("nanhu") ... the everyday coo-chi-coo hindustani word that means - small and cute ... bang-on target for the car ...

nice choice of a name ... Mr Tata

(there is some discussion on small car related problems at Gokhale's blog post)