Sunday, January 31, 2016

Telangana Dhamaka! A Telangana Mela on 31st January 2016.

Wishing my son and his friends,
Great food aficionados,
From Hyderabad City,
A safe and happy 600 kms. journey,
To a place little beyond Nirmal,
To attend a food festival,
Organized by ‘Foodies in Hyderabad’,
Offering entertainment and excellent food,
The spread is immense and best of Telangana,
And the event is rightly named Telangana Dhamaka!


Details of the event and the extraordinary menu are attached. I shall write more on this mouth-watering event in my next blog post; after hearing about it from my son.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Zika outbreak – what we need to know.

An outbreak of any epidemic calls for learning about it; to avoid its affect on us. This time it is Zika which is fast spreading. Here is an overview of the information gathered by me.
Zika virus is a tropical disease associated with mild symptoms. It is spread from an infected person to other persons by mosquito bites, it is technically called “Arbovirus”. It was once a rare disease and got its name from the Zika forest in Uganda where it was first identified by scientists in 1940s. It was a rare disease and only a handful of Zika cases had ever been documented before 2013. But scientists and doctors began sounding the alarm after multiple outbreaks were discovered in Pacific islands and south-east Asia. Since then, Zika has spread to Brazil which is the worst affected, where it is estimated that as many as 1.5 million people are infected. Zika is now present in 23 countries and the victims are reaching close to 4 million. In USA, 36 cases have been reported and fortunately none in India so far. Brazil the hardest-hit country has reported in addition around 3,700 cases of the devastating birth defect Microcephaly which is strongly suspected to be related to Zika.
With so much international traveling these days, there is every chance of Zika virus spreading to India and we have to take precautions.
As there is no medicine or vaccine to prevent Zika virus disease, the only way out is to avoid mosquito bites. Though mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime, we have to be careful round the clock. We have to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house through shut windows and doors or mosquito netting to the windows. In spite of all these precautions in our house, a few mosquitoes are seen on and off. So mosquito repellents in every form have to be resorted to and sometimes we may have to chase and incinerate them with an electrically charged racquet! And it is always better to keep ourselves well covered.
About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and deaths are rare. However the gravest risk is to ladies in the family way, as Zika infection is linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains. So great is the fear that women in Zika affected countries are being advised to delay getting pregnant.
As no particular medication is available for Zika infections, some regular medicines under medical supervision are administered for controlling temperature and pain. Patients are advised plenty of rest and to have copious fluids with their diet.
To prevent others from contracting Zika, a person affected by it should be thoroughly protected from mosquitoes until he becomes normal.  
What Is The Zika Virus - A CNN Video: 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My memories rise from this rubble – My eulogy to Anand Bhavan.

Under this fresh pile of rubble,
Here in Secunderabad,
On Rashtrapathi Road,
Adjacent to the School where I studied,
Stood a landmark restaurant,
Called Anand Bhavan,
Which catered satisfactorily,
To over thousand a day,
For close to a century.
The restaurant is buried,
But not my memories of it,
I know not the reasons for this demolition,
I sincerely wish Anand Bhavan will soon rise here again.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Today is a day to remind you to ‘Vote in Every Election’.

Today is National Voter’s Day (NVD). It is observed on 25th January every year. This tradition was initiated by The Election Commission of India in 2011 to commemorate its foundation day, to enhance the participation of voters and to increase enrolment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones. This day is very important as it is a reminder and an effort to make universal adult suffrage a complete reality and thereby enhance the quality of our democracy.  
It is very unfortunate that in spite of such awareness programs today and during every election in the country, the voters’ turnout rarely crosses 60 percent and it is mostly below 50 percent in most places. Election Day is a holiday to facilitate voting by every eligible voter. The time involved for voting at most polling booths is less than an hour. Yet, many people do not understand the importance of their vote and keep away from elections due to flimsy reasons. For some the elections holiday is for an outing, for some it is to rest and for some it is to carry out some work and so on. They may do whatever they want on Election Day but most importantly let them take some time out to vote without fail. There are bad leaders and corrupt voters in our country, they can be defeated only if responsible people come out in large numbers and vote for worthy candidates, whichever election it is.
‘Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Elections – 2016’ are being held on 2nd February 2016. Hope the turnout will be large and the best candidates will get elected and do good for the Twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.  

Friday, January 22, 2016

The affect of these two hospitals on me…

No one likes hospitals and hence wish that they will never have to go there.
No one wants to be ill or get involved in accidents. The suffering one may undergo due to ill-health or accidents or the environment and suffering one sees in a hospital is the cause for this fear of hospitals. One would speak well of a hospital only when he walks out of it well cured. And despite many such instances of good results the fear of ill health and hospitals is always there.
I go through momentary fears of this very often as we reside between two major hospitals in Secunderabad. One is just 350 metres from our house, a multi-speciality hospital with a good reputation for Orthopaedic and Heart ailment treatments. And the other one is 750 metres away, a much bigger multi-speciality hospital with a Medical College attached. I have to pass in front of these hospitals almost on daily basis. I see horde of people at these hospitals, patients being shifted on wheelchairs and stretchers from ambulances and cars and sad relatives accompanying or visiting them. Seeing so much suffering from outside the hospital itself sets a bad mood. The duration of this discomforting mood depends on the seriousness of the scenario at the hospital.
I wish I and everyone is always healthy and never have to go to a hospital. But then that is not realistic, hospital is where we get cured and be healthy again; only in very few cases the results are not good. Keeping aside the fear of hospitals I will now tell you how each of these hospitals have been helpful to us, once late in the evening and three times in the middle of the night. It is the proximity of the hospitals that prompted us to go there immediately in emergencies.
One late evening when my eldest son was all alone in the house, he took out a large Morde Chocolate slab from the fridge to make some concoction. And as he was trying to cut some pieces from it, the knife slipped and made a deep cut in the web between his thumb and index finger causing heavy bleeding.  He called my nephew / his cousin and told him about the mishap. Fearing he would faint because of heavy bleeding, my nephew advised him to keep the entrance door to our house open and tightly bandage the wound. Once we reached home we found him conscious and bleeding, with blood everywhere on the floor and in the bowl into which he was cutting the chocolate. We immediately rushed him to one of these hospitals at 9:00 PM, where the wound was sutured and injections / medicines administered. His pain subsided and he was discharged under two hours.
The second instance is when my youngest son woke us up in the middle of the night because of restlessness and heavy discomfort. It was high temperature and severe headache. We rushed him to the Emergency section of the same hospital at about 2:00 AM. He was given an injection to control his temperature. The temperature came down within a short time, his headache also vanished. The headache was due to low blood pressure, caused by high temperature. After some time of observation he was discharged by 4:00 AM that is within two hours.
The next two experiences are with the hospital much closer to our house. My mother when she was 92 years old accidentally hit her head to a tap in the bathroom at about 4:00 AM. She woke us up with a towel on her head with blood all over her head, face and towel. We rushed her to the hospital within minutes. Immediate attention was given; it was a long and deep cut on her scalp. The wound was sutured with least pain to her and we returned home by 5:30 AM. Next it was my wife at this hospital, again in the night at 2:45 AM, due to five vomitings between 10:00 PM and 2:30 AM. Two injections for treatment of gastroenteritis and acidity were administered, there was no more vomiting and after observation she was discharged by 4:45 AM. She is quite well since then.
In spite of such excellent treatment by these two hospitals, I still fear situations of going there and feel bad about the suffering of patients.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Joining the ‘Campaign against Honking’ through my blog.

On and off there are campaigns in Hyderabad against the nuisance of unnecessary honking. Due to such campaigns there is very little relief, you will still find honking at its worst, really deafening when there are traffic jams.  There are still some idiots who in the middle of the night enter residential areas and honk incessantly to catch the attention of some person in some building, they want to meet or pickup.  The illiterate and inconsiderate Taxi drivers do it all the time. Even the so called well trained drivers of the State Road Transport buses do it all the time behind you, only to overtake you and stop before you at the next bus stop or at  the next Red signal. I pity those who live along busy roads and along narrow roads and lanes where the noise pollution is heavy and almost continuous throughout the day. This photo blog post of mine is to spread awareness against honking among such inconsiderate and habitual honkers, in case they reach my blog. And my request to other readers is that whenever they come across acquaintances who have an itch or urge to press the Horn unnecessarily; or for very slight reasons, to advise them not do so. You will be doing a great service to the people bearing noise pollution by preventing them from lifelong ailments and suffering.
Doctors say that high levels of noise are very harmful. Prolonged exposure to loud noise from close quarters may lead to Tinnitus, a disorder where a person hears abnormal sound even in the absence of any sound. There are chances of a person becoming deaf if exposed to prolonged noise levels of over 100 decibels. The loud noise of horns at close quarters leads to rise in blood pressure and psychological disorders. And in persons with history of heart and anxiety ailments it could have a serious affect on the heart.
In civilized society honking is rare and only in emergencies, please see that everyone follows this culture.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Sudhiksha on the occasion of Sankranti-2016, and our Sankranti Greetings:

Sudhiksha on the occasion of Sankranti,
With her lovely Sister,
And her dearest Brother,
And her beautiful Rangoli!
సంక్రాంతి శుభాకాంక్షలు
Wish you all a very Happy Sankranti
-N. Lalitha Raghu.
On this happy occasion of Sankranti Festival, 
I wish you and your family, happiness, prosperity, good health, success and peace.
-N. Raghu.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Telangana Governor’s Extempore Retort at HLF-2016.

This year’s Hyderabad Literary Festival concluded successfully yesterday. The Literary Festival was held for four days, starting from 7th January to 10th January, at Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet. The lectures, the debates and discussions on a plethora of issues – be it freedom of speech and expression, India’s political dynamics or even the unfortunate fate of regional languages, saw an impressive participation by writers, scholars, readers and observers, both from Hyderabad and outside. The Cultural performances and the academic exhibitions put up at the venue were added attractions.
The very first event, the inaugural event on 7th January took off with a bang, with a war of words between author Nayantara Sahgal and Telangana State Governor, E.S.L. Narasimhan, a former Police Officer. Ms. Sahagal was the first speaker. She spoke on the diminishing space for dissent in our country and how a series of intolerant incidents over the past one year have affected her and how she was the first to give up her Sahitya Akademi Award, protesting the failure of the State to safeguard India’s diversity.
Clearly incensed with Ms. Sahgal’s speech, the Chief Guest, Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, jumped in, ditching his pre-written speech. Narasimhan went on a rant attacking Sahgal. He said Freedom is a universal right but dissent is a subjective matter, it depends on how you interpret it. He said Civil Society has double standards and it rakes up issues selectively. Using family disputes as examples he put forth his view points.  He said there is dissent within families too but you get past them.
Sahgal’s call to writers and artists to take up the challenge and stop the attack on Indian-ness too irked the Governor. He took off by saying how great our Nation was and how it was home to the richest language of all, Sanskrit. He blamed the tendency among people to look outside for everything while ignoring the rich cultural heritage of India. The Governor told Sahgal who is visiting Hyderabad for the first time “You will change your opinion about dissent after you see Hyderabad, which has a big heart”.
The situation turned particularly ugly and humiliating for Sahgal when the Governor in response to her comment on the role of Cinema and how it can play a part in condemning social evils, almost unwarrantedly veered the discussion towards the Police and held Cinema responsible for showcasing them as bad guys. The Governor said showcasing Police in the wrong light is not appropriate. He said imagine the crisis if the Police is taken off the streets even for few days.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

India is world’s oldest, but its ancient history is obscure.

Indian history is said to be a bit clear only from the time of Gautama Buddha. Buddha is the oldest personality of India about whose existence and life events there is universal agreement among historians, most strikingly and precisely the fact that Buddha lived from 544 BC till 461 BC. However there is dispute about the dates of Mahavira who preceded Buddha. And there is not much authentic and exhaustive information of other great kings and personalities before Buddha.
Among other great civilizations of the world, the Egyptians know even the dynastic lineage of the Pharaohs who ruled them from 3100 BC, so do the Chinese about the lineage of the Xia dynasty which ruled from 2100 to 1600 BC. Similarly the Greek, Roman and Persian history is well preserved since very ancient times. Emperor Alexander’s conquests and his life in 4th century BC are well recorded. It is very surprising that ancient India which excelled in most branches of learning like philosophies, mathematics, medicine, astronomy, architecture, physics, chemistry, sculpture, grammar, dances, music, marital bliss and many other subjects neglected history.
Ancient History of India or the world has no role to play neither in our daily life nor in our future. We read so much, fiction and non-fiction just because we love to read and perhaps gain some knowledge. I wish to express that reading history is equally thrilling and perhaps much more satisfying. Here in the attached pictures you can see me and my granddaughter, Sudhiksha being introduced to History books at a very young age. You can see me holding an epic “The Story of Mankind – by Hendrik Van Loon” and Sudhiksha with “History of the World, Earliest Times to the Present Day – John Whitney Hall, General Editor”.
Hope I have conveyed my intention well; on reading and enjoying history books.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

My tribute to the fallen and to those still fighting the terrorists, at Pathankot.

A big THANK YOU to all those soldiers serving honorably and bravely, by fighting the terrorists at Pathankot Airbase and my heartfelt admiration and respect to those who have fought bravely and made the ultimate sacrifice for defending our Nation and our peace. May the souls of these brave heroes, Lt. Col. Niranjan Kumar – National Security Guard Commando, Captain Fateh Singh – Defence Security Corps, Corporal Gursevak Singh – Garud Commando, Havaldar Kulwant Singh – Defence Security Corps, Havaldar Jagdish Chandra - IAF, Sepoy Sanjeevan Singh Rana – Defence Security Corps and Sepoy Mohit Chand, REST IN PEACE. May their grieving families be mercifully supported by God and our Government agencies. Let help and honors in every possible way be provided to these families to minimize their grief.
Let us forever remember the unselfish sacrifice of these heroes and pray for their families. Let us also pray for the success and safety of all our security forces.
May the breeding of these terrorists – the filthy monsters, end soon.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Wish You A Very Happy And Prosperous New Year 2016!

Wish you a great, prosperous, blissful, healthy, bright, delightful, energetic, and extremely Happy New Year 2016!
- N. Raghu.
Wish You A Very Happy And Prosperous New Year 2016!
- N. Lalitha Raghu.
The attached photographs are of our New Year Eve Party, a very modest one this year…in the absence of many family members and relatives. However we saw to it that we happily bid good bye to 2015 and welcomed 2016 in high spirits.

Aubergine, Mushroom and Cheese Diyas!?!

Happy Diwali! Surprised with the unbelievable title? Sorry, please don’t think any further, they are not real Diyas! Deepavali festi...