Love Thy Country

I was pretty sick for the last 10 days and felt that the rest was much needed in the light of the realization I had after prolonged exposure to the TV and health-care infrastructure in this country.

A(H1N1) (Swine Flu)

I’m back from the nasty bout of Flu and cold, have to say this has gained the notoriety these days of being the most ‘dangerous’ thing to happen to anybody.

Since almost everyone in my family was suffering from either minor cold or fever, I had no option but to stay at home and try to discharge my duties of both the family man and a worker in a multinational firm. The most interesting experiences however were saved for my hospital visits and they were disturbing as well as amusing in different proportions.

During my first visit to the local clinic in order to get checked for the symptoms I could easily gauge the tentativeness in the doctor’s gestures. These are the days when you shouldn’t even mention you’re having cough and cold problems to anyone, except a qualified physician. So, back to my story, the doctor was pretty hasty in checking my BP and throat for tell-tale signs of a possible H1N1 infection and the diagnosis was that of an allergy due to exposure of dust and pollens (?)… Now that surprised me a lot as I know for sure that I do not have any such allergies at all.

Nevertheless, I had to take the prescribed medication in order to do whatever it takes to get back to work. As expected, nothing improved after three doses of the pills and nasal spray and I had to move to a much bigger ‘super-specialty’ hospital for secondary consultations.

The scenes here were none too different I must say as the patients were almost certain of getting the magic drug ‘TamiFlu’ prescription the moment they came out of the consultation room. So much was the pressure on the hospital that they had to put a notice stating that they are not in a position to administer or recommend TamiFlu for anyone from the OPD.

The irony was that the mandatory number of beds in general and non-deluxe isolation categories (as directed by the government) were suddenly filled to capacity and only the executive rooms were available for the unsuspecting patients coming in… I couldn’t help smelling fish there but had no option but to get registered as the government hospitals were already brimming with hoards of folks from all around.

The Swine Flu phenomenon has truly gripped this city and almost everyone is worried about getting it from thin air, so much so that one of the colleagues of mine who is self confessed “I don’t give a shit to any threat and I won’t take any precautions, when my time comes I’ll pass…” guy, I could see the fear of the ultimate in his eyes the moment I entered the office premises during all these days. He was the one who vehemently supported my work-from-home stint even though he knew that I’m not the kind to stay at home if it’s not absolutely inevitable.

India, Oh Dear!

Coming back to normal things in life, there was a statement – in fact two — by some very important offices of the government of India. One was about the linkage of discovery of fossil fuel reserves in order to have a true growth from the PMO, and the other, the deputy chairman of the planning commission proclaiming about the worst being over for the economy vis-à-vis ongoing recession.

Then there is this news item about repeated incursions by the Chinese Army into the Indian Territory in the light of a recent observation by some defence strategist that “China would attack India by 2012.” Scary? Hell no! Worrisome? Yeah!

All of the above ring the bells loud enough to take my attention away from the greatest problem facing this country i.e. drought and the impending water problems multiplying into a terrible sociological trouble for India’s future as a unified fedarated nation.

The peak-oil must have been reached by now and we’ve already seen the wars being waged to wrest the control of the remaining regions holding the promise for another decade at the max. China is eyeing that scenario while India is still caught with its petty problems with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Nepal (did I miss naming any neighbour who’s not allegedly brewing trouble for this ‘soft power’?)

With China, I think India has entered the mindset of being a ‘dunno-what’. The 1962 war is history now, but the outcome of that event has dented the historical psyche here.

A big section of our political and media setup is ever so ready to come to the discussion table for anything that happens on the foreign affairs front. The left I think has taken more than just the ideology from the communists in this regard. There are very many newspapers and news channels that are ready to jump the gun at the first newsbyte of India trying to procure new technology. Ahem! the left hand…

The welfare of the starving majority is conveniently put to the fore and vice versa along with the problems facing the education sector as well as the infrastructure.

The NGOs have always been a thorn in the flesh of the law enforcing agencies over ‘human/animal’ rights. Oh, and by the way did I hear a granade hurled by some militants killing two jawans at Lal Chowk… Political parties have thickened the fine dividing line between the double-speak and betrayal; almost everything looks like not working here and still this country is somehow managing to walk amidst incredible adversities.

Media Galore…

China has 14000 canons as opposed to India’s 4000, ~4 Million soldiers to India’s 0.8 Million… and the worrying tale doesn’t end here, the Indian Navy is out numbered by a long walk and the IAF looks like PAF before IAF if compared to China’s Air force. It’s true that the wars of future won’t be fought on numbers and they won’t even last longer that a month but to a psyche of a nation these numbers matter and they’re the only indicators of preparedness of a country to safeguard its interests in the event of any aggression or to just plain safeguard the interests. Someone please save this country in whatever’s name!

This is the effect media can have on you if you have to watch the newscasts lying in the bed while you are ill.

Now, as it this wasn’t enough to rob the sleep, comes the news of Pokharan-II being proclaimed a dud by a senior member of Indian scientific community. Stop press – Another one has joined the chorus and this seems to be gaining credibility folks! (Did someone notice I just screamed?) Are we being made to believe that India badly needs foreign technology? Or it’s only I who’s so skeptical here… I should shun watching TV now. Time for yet another pledge it seems.

Get Back to Work Mate

Why am I writing this in the first place? China would attack if it has to.

Inflation would spiral into a nasty byte for the common man.

Drinking water would become more scarce, Punjab would become arid like much of Rajasthan in the years to come for the want of proper water management policies.

Petroleum would become dearer and the middle-class would find it hard to come out of its utopia of fun-life lasting an eternity.

Neighbours would keep sending Jihadies, fake currency notes and illegal immigrants in partnerships with other neighbours.

Kosi would keep breaking the embankments in Bihar year after year. Bihar would keep complaining about the centre’s apathy.

Mayawati would keep erecting statues of herself in whole of UP and will keep asking for more funds for the drought relief.

Mehbooba Mufti and others would keep stoking the communal fire in J&K – media would call it an isolated incident blown out of proportion.

BJP would keep deteriorating to a point that there would be no option for people to vote but to the Congress as it’ll be the only evil left in the fray.

The left would keep harping about India’s needs of ‘not trying to be assertive on the international fora’ lest it enrage some of the bigger neighbours.

The US would keep twisting our arms to force a futile talk with Pakistan and a possible participation in the Afghan war on terror (now that their so-called mandate has expired.)

Indian shuttlers would be denied an international event again because their association fails to meet the deadline of filling up participation forms(!)

We as Indians would keep doing our jobs – fighting over language, region and what not – and go our respective merry ways just like the Mumbaikars did after so many fancy candle-light parades in the aftermath of Hotel Taj attack (how much was the percentage of votes by the way? Was it 43? Or thereabouts…) What the heck!

So, where was I? Well, the logical clock should be updated only in the case of the distributed components having identical document types, the ones having lower value get overwritten to form a unified synchronised system…  So refreshing… 🙂

And yes, India won the 5-nation Nehru Cup football again by defeating a sullen Syria in sudden death penalty shoot-out.

To Life! Indeed.

4 thoughts on “Love Thy Country

  1. funny and serious at the same time. you seem to be bored of your flu and tv both it seems. but you are very right about the scary swine flu syndrome spread in all the major cities, even i have faced problems because of half knowledge of friends and tried so many medicines just out of fear.

    r. k. mishra

    1. Well, this happened with Bubonic Plague, SARS and Bird Flu outbreaks of the past and would not be the last until the entire health-care infrastructure is revamped and the over reliance on private sector is checked.

      The media does it’s own selfish bit by not informing people about relevant matters like peak-oil, ground water situation, excessive use of chemicals in farming etc. and rather emphasizing on what underwear ‘Salman Khan auctioned’ or ‘Why ‘King’ Khan didn’t attend so-and-so party’. That’s where my disenchantment from the electronic media comes from.

      However, there are some good news channels like ‘9X News’ as well but their quality has to be judged over a longer period of time as those are relatively newer ones and the rot is yet to creep in.


  2. When I visited India in May, first the airport had few doctors to check if passengers had swine flu. There is a form to be filled and the doctor wearing mask doesn’t even touch you and perform the routine medical check. He is scared of picking the flu. If you say you don’t have the flu then he lets you in. How many people lied there coming from USA and UK?
    Also coming from South Africa and a small village where there is zero pollution to Bangalore, I had terrible sore throat, cough and cold. Doctor didn’t even bother to ask if I visited those listed countries recently. The same diagnosis and reason for the cold cough and sore throat, “allergy to dust and pollens”. I came out and tore the prescription into pieces, else would have spent another 100 bucks for the lengthy list of medicines which give side affects all the time.
    Its amazing to see in South Africa how the media works and how they expose the truth. We had one hour program on Swine flu and made it clear to public what exactly it is and what people are taking advantage of it. I hardly watch news these days because I lost interest because of NO 1 news channels of India, Aaj Tak, NDTV where they constantly monitor Big B’s bathroom visits. For the first time I am liking news because of quality and coverage after watching local news in SA. Indian media has to learn a lot from these guys. Even they put CNN and Sky to shame.
    Coming back to Swine flue, our neighbor came running to us saying her daughter got swine flu. Daughter on the other hand finds “N” number of reasons to skip school and mother finds reason to abuse medical aid. Do we have to believe these people around?
    Also when I told my friends that I had normal cold and sore throat they pulled faces and maintained distance. Its a pity you went through all the “S***T” and it was mentally emotional. Also you cannot trust doctors these days. They don’t know what they are doing.
    The best part is you are back to normal and started working. Unfortunately you spent time watching those channels instead of watching Mr. Bean who sneezes 20 times in 30 minutes :-).
    Welcome back Mate and happy to see you writing again. Missed these articles though. I don’t give a damn about these doctors, media. All I care is you are back to normal.

    1. 🙂 Hell Harsha this was one enraged post… LOL. But seriously, you’ve just put the points that so needed to be brought to fore. The public healthcare in India is a sham (which becomes evident in such disturbing times,) and I daresay I don’t find it amusing anymore at all when someone jokingly says “God must be existing only in India, otherwise how this country is even existing together?”

      The government here has kind of gone into the mindset of “we have to develop natural immunity towards ths desease and as a nation we are capable of it, so why fret?”

      I’m glad too after smelling the office stationery after such a long forced hiatus.

      The Airport checkings were a joke and so are frantic measures of making the TamiFlu available across the counter albeit against prescription. This step however would do more harm than good considering the sacrosanctity of a Doctor’s prescription. So much to facilitate the immunity…

      The mindset of ‘whatever will be will be’ is now all pervasive and this is evident from the problems facing this country. And you are right, there is a lot of catching up to be done on its part almost everywhere.

      To Life!

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