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Saturday, November 26, 2011


Kolavery is the buzz word these days and it means "Murderous feeling or blood lust""and it seems that even the rain god has been infected by this. It has been raining quite heavily in Tamilnadu and in Northern Indian states. Been pouring in Chennai from 24th Night till now which is 40 hours and there are signs of more rains in the offing. Earlier records of the amount of rainfall in Chennai during this month have been broken and we are pretty sure that this year a new record would be set.

Due to this incessant rain the roads are flooded and commuting within the city has become a nightmare with potholed road jammed traffic. Larger vehicles such as government buses and SUV’s cabs travel at high speed on the flooded roads sloshing dirty water on the pedestrians and other vehicle leading to flaring of tempers and fights. 

Yet I had to travel to the Central station to drop my younger daughter going on a school field trip to Amritsar, Punjab yesterday morning. Being early morning (5.15 am) we did not encounter much traffic however the time taken was double the normal travel time.

Because of the prevailing conditions of the roads I decided to take the suburban train to my sister’s place near Avadi, a suburb of Chennai. My first trip on a suburban train here at Chennai and I was pleasantly surprised for the cost of ticket to Patabiraman Military siding was just Rs 7.00 one way compared to call taxi charge of over Rs 500.00 and also the time taken to reach the destination was just a quarter of the time taken by road travel. Chennai suburban trains have dirty compartments with stained wooden seats, jammed doors/windows and are not to the standards of the compartments of Delhi & Kolkata metros yet a life saver of many people who use this service on a daily basis since it is very cheap compared to bus travel and time saving too. On my maiden travel most of the persons traveling in the same compartment with me were engineering college students and their conversation and their actions during the brief 40 minutes travel transported me back in time of my days at college reminiscing those carefree days.

During my return journey it started raining quite heavily and the water was streaming into the compartment through the open door and spraying the passengers sitting in the first row just after the door. Some passengers tried closing the door half way and since it was jammed the door did not budge at all and the passengers sitting there were getting drenched. One of the passenger had a brilliant idea and she opened up her umbrella within the compartment preventing further drenching. All the passengers had their laugh during the gloomy afternoon.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

One step forward and three steps back

Common man in Tamilnadu is shell shocked hearing the news of the a steep increase of prices on few of the basic necessities of life such as Milk, power and local bus tariff. A liter of toned standard milk has gone up from Rs17.80 to Rs 26.00, Half Kg Butter from Rs 100.00 to Rs 150.00, Electricity charges up by 30 % and so forth with immediate effect ie 18th Nov 2011. In addition to the announced increases the ripple effect of the weakening Indian Rupee is seen in the increase of fuel prices thereby increasing the cost of transportation of good is passed on to the end consumer…common man. These increases does have a serious impact on the household budgets of the people and with no increase in the income of the family only way these additional expenses could be met by reducing the consumption of all the affected products. 

Today I heard an interesting conversation between three persons in a tea shop and the topic was the increase in costs as announced yesterday and it goes like this

First person: such a steep increase by Jayalalitha’s government is not correct especially on milk and bus travel and because of this my child will not be given milk at night
Second person: yes what you say is correct…the increase should have been done gradually over a period of time so that we would have got some breathing space.
First person: even if it was gradual what is the use as our salaries remain stationary for years together.
Third person: yes if the salaries are also increased then we would be able to still afford the increased costs without sacrificing the necessities of our children and also ourselves. But then dreaming of salary increase is a waste since it would never happen in private companies.
Second person: we made a mistake by electing AIADMK since Karunanidhi would never have passed such a bill for steep increase as he is more caring about the welfare of the people. I am sure that this party will not retain its power in the next election
First person: Well we have a long wait ahead of us because Amma has just come to power and god only knows what else she is going to do further to make more money for themselves.

Being educated I do know that any government would look for various means of reducing their budget deficit but then spread the increase on to various items instead of increasing price of few items so drastically. Well we are all in for much more cost increases in the coming days with spiraling oil cost due to weakening Indian currency  and I hope that we would be able to provide the basic necessities to our children for their growth and studies ……….most families would have to forego something else to take care of the needs of children. For a common man it is now “One step forward and three steps backward” instead of “two steps forward and one step back”. We are sure going to see a definite change in the society because of the inflation in near future!!! 

God help the common man for he is the worst affected for the rich will still continue their lifestyle without flinching about the increases and the people below poverty level are not used to such luxuries so would not care either way.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Rant of the day.........

It  is said that “Idle mind is devils workshop” and with so much free time with me there has been a constant flow of thoughts in my mind but then when I sit down to jot these my mind goes totally blank. I know that I have not been cut out to be a writer and hence may be missing the tricks of the trade when it comes to pen these thoughts. In addition to the random thoughts there few issues with has been always on my mind and those are….getting a suitable employment at Chennai itself, finding a cook/housemaid to be based at home and the third is the operation of my wife who is suffering from some bone related issues.  

Second and third opinions has been taken regarding the operation and the final conclusion is that operation of the left leg is a must and it can be done within next 6 months or so provided my wife is not facing any discomforts. But each day being a pain we have decided to go ahead with the same end December in spite of various suggestion from persons to try out alternative medicinal treatment such as Unani & Ayurvedic  and so forth. The decision about the hospital also was being debated for various factors such as cost, patient care and the expertise the doctors & facilities of the hospitals. Finally we shortlisted three hospitals at Chennai…. MIOT, Apollo & Bone and Joint clinic where we plan to get this surgery done. While browsing the net I came across very bad reviews of experiences by patients at MIOT hospital and there were over 15 recent reviews of knowledgeable patients writing about the bad experience they have faced during post operation treatment and the rude behavior of the doctors and other personnel there. Some reviews painted Dr Mohandas in very bad light which had an negative impact in our minds about the hospital..Like I had mentioned in my earlier post Hospitals are similar to hospitality industry where all concerned needs to be courteous and that instance I decided to go ahead with Apollo hospital though it is costly.

Apart from my personal issue there is quite a lot happening around me and once again there has been a storm warning in Tamilnadu with heavy showers for next 4-5 days….we have been having showers form this morning and this definitely disrupts the traffic in Chennai because of the flooding and pot holed roads…… would be a total chaos to travel about. The other news making waves in the media and internet is the birth of a girl child to Aishwaraya Bachan…media went berserk with this news while I am sure that all over India at least 70,000 births would have taken place yesterday which has gone untold. So many controversies floating around about this baby just because the child is born to famous personality ….phew it good not be in the eye of the media!!!!!

I sure love to write more but then my mind has gone blank now ………………………

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Healthcare….Do the doctors and hospitals care about the patients??

Going to a super specialty hospital at Chennai was quite sickening for it looked more like a government hospital with hardly any space to walk nor sufficient seating arrangements for the patients in various counter due to very large crowd of patients and their attendants. Most people I saw yesterday in the hospital are from Bengal and to cater to their needs the hospital authorities have even employed a Bengali to be seated in the help desk. Medical tourism is not only for foreigners but also for Indians staying in other states and generally Chennai and Vellore draw huge crowd from various parts of India and from the Middle East.

 Hospital is a hospitality service industry but then the way the secretaries and the other hospital personnel deal with the patients are much to be desired for since they carry out their service as though they are doing favors to patients. The said hospital does charge hefty fees for their services but they hardly bother about the hardship the patient is undergoing…..we were in the hospital from 10am to 3.30pm just for a 10 minute consultation with the doctor. But then if you have a friend or a relative working in the same hospitals then all rules are broken and they get preferential treatment and are able to meet the doctors even if they do not have an appointment. There have been various movements in India to curb favoritism /corruption in all walks of life and the recent Anna Hazare movement galvanized the population of India to fight against all sorts of corruption but then unless all of us have a common goal the root of corruption will never get uprooted for ages to come.

Another thing I noticed is that a doctor would suddenly leave his cabin while examining the patients and inform the secretary that he would be back in a short while but would not come back for over a hour or even longer and the usual excuse given is that there was an emergency either in the ward or in OT. The out patients waiting for the doctor has no other option but to wait in vain for the doctor to return and finish their consultation. It is understood that going to a hospital means that the whole day needs to be written off for but what irks me is that I have found the doctors to be chatting with other doctor friends elsewhere while the patients are waiting desperately to see the doctor. An incident occurred few years back in another super specialty hospital in the city….I had gone to meet the specialist in connecting with some gastro issues and were waiting in the reception for the doctor to come to his cabin but alas he was in the opposite cabin chatting with another doctor and a friend for over a hour. On approaching the reception and asking her to inform the doctor that we are waiting to see.. She tells us that doctor is busy in a technical discussions and he cannot be disturbed whereas we could hear the conversation and the laughing the cabin and they were engrossed in casual talks and jokes!!! That was the last straw and I walked out of the hospital much to anger of my wife and to this day I refuse to go to that particular doctor.

It is sellers market in health sector because of the reputation and brand image each one has created in their respective field. When we or our relative has fallen sick or have recurring health issues we tend to go to the hospital which has famous doctors in the field and doing so we have to bear the brunt of lousy service, hefty charges and so forth. There are so many doctors who are good, quite humble and approachable but then their brand image is zero or zilch and hence they are not preferred by the general public and they languish in small time polyclinics plying their practice or set up their own clinics. 

The views written above are purely my views due to the experience I have had in hospitals and in no way a negative thought against any hospital or a doctor. But the final conclusion is that healthcare in India is for privileged few who are wealthy or famous or having a relative working in the hospital!!!