Aug 182005

Today i went to see another doctor. Another set of tests beckon. I love the way medicine is as much trial and error as anything else. They poke here, they prod there and they send you off for a set of tests. Then they receive the results and look sagely at it — and say maybe you should have these done as well. And the cycle continues. By the time they figure what is wrong with you – nature probably takes its course and heals the body itself. I have seen one GP and two specialists ( not counting the xray specialist or the path specialist ) so far. And the count ain’t over yet.

But, she said something quite interesting:

modern evidence shows that drink in moderation maybe good for health. But no one has ever been able to prove that a single cigarette is anything but bad. Smoke one or smoke twenty there is going to be no good done to your system. So, i think that a nice glass of red wine beckons. I shall indulge. and tomorrow seems like a good day to indulge. I buy the point on cigarettes. I have indulged for too long – and maybe it is time to grow out of the habit.

She said something else very interesting. She said that it is a vicious cycle – you are stressed so you don’t sleep. you don’t sleep, so you don’t eat. You don’t eat – your body loses its ability to fight. It loses ability to fight, you come down with something or the other. You come down with something or the other you get stressed :)

I didn’t realise that i was overtly stressed. I have been in far more stressful and high pressure situaitons in my life. And it has never impacted me. At a very basic level i am worried about the ‘diagnosis’ – not only because there isn’t a diagnosis yet- but also because they have used a set of parameters that they think that they know about me- and usually provided by my parents – and computed something that may not quite add up. I have been called a shock absorber at work – i can take extrodinary amounts of stress. Is there a point beyond which our ability to take stress decreases? Do we really react physically to stress? I somehow can’t imagine the lungs misbehaving in response to stress. I can imagine having an anxiety attack or a migrane but pulmonary fuckups seem kind of odd.

While returning , i went to the Strand book sale in Juhu (errata the earlier one was the Bombay book fair) . It is my first non doc ‘outing’ in a week. It has a brilliant selection of books. A great Penguin selection – i picked up some gems. The collected works of Somerset Maugham (someone stole my earlier collection), William Darymple’s travelogues, Arabian Nights by Richard Burton, A nice collection of Sarat Chandra Chaterjee, collected Short Stories of Hemmingway, Panchatantra, Nehru, M.N.Srinivas, Karen Armstrong, Kurusawa, Thackeray and Freakanomics. And of course the ultimate destresser collected works of Scott Adams and the amazing Dilbert. Go there if you are near Juhu. Worth it. I have never seen such good books at such great discounts.

I am back to being broke. but the stress seems to be gone. Shopping is a great stress buster. And it usually has been my standard response to stress. I haven’t been shopping for the last 6-8 months. Maybe that is the reason for the stress :)

Aug 182005

What makes a certain set of people think that they are above the law?
There was Mr.Advani and his bunch of karsewaks who thought that they could overrule the court’s verdict and take law into their own hands by bringing down the Mosque.

There are the caste panchayats – illegal ofcourse – that pass judgement that often go against the basics of the Indian Constitution.
Then of course there are the fatwas that are flying all over the place breaking all kinds of laws. Fatwas on women divorcing their husbands to marry their rapists, to fatwas on women not entering public service, to women campaigning behind the veil.
Now, fatwas are not binding but they do tend to have the same impact as a caste panchayat – set back equality and equity of the weakest sections of society. And these are usually women.
When a mufti issues a fatwa that states that:

– Community which accepts the leadership of a woman cannot progress
– Muslim women must wear purdah and should only campaign in purdah
– If there is no option, and a Muslim women must contest, then the campaigning should be done only by the husband

Then it is about time that the government threw the book at who ever issued that particular fatwa , and took them to court for flouting the Constitution. The Preamble – we don’t even have to go deep into reading the constitution – guarantees equality. And while they are at it let them take the person who issued the Imrana fatwa to court as well – the Preamble guarantees justice. And to keep them company – a few members of caste panchayats, who have merrily been violating equality, justice and liberty for God knows how many decades since independence. And while they are at it Messers Advani and co can be prosecuted for messing around with Fraternity – assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation

If we all understand and appreciate the fact that as Indians it is the Constitution that symbolises our nation, then anyone who goes against the fundamentals of the Constitution is going against the fundamentals of nationhood. Therefore, they are committing treason. Try them for treason. Three or four well publicised trials of people of all communities, castes and faith – and you will see the rest falling in line.

As a Government you can’t sit there and pontificate and theorize about the fact that these kind of religious/caste courts have no validity. Take action, and be seen to take action. This kind of spineless kowtowing to religious and caste pulls is going to cost us all dearly.