I couldn't think of a better title to this post than putting '12 months'. This blog is to recollect the last 12 months. There is always a story for becoming successful - it could be exam, or career, or business. But, mine is a story with a difference. My story is still in the middle of recovery to path of success.
Last 12 months have been the toughest part of my life. The first part of this was dark and deep in the tunnel, while, the second half saw ray of hope. Having a disease at its peak for long duration is next to being in a dark dungeon with no food or water. Being hospitalized 6 times made me feel that nurses are going to be my friends for future and doctors will be my Protectors on this earth.
I thank everybody who came in my path of this life for their support and wishes. I tried following their advice for most part. At times, I couldn't stick to their instructions due to my limitations. Family, friends, neighbors, office-mates, well-wishers, etc - all come to mind for me to acknowledge and show my gratitude. I felt their nearness as well as their distance, both were required to keep me comfortable. As an individual, I see myself as two parts - physical and mental. Both were put to test. My mental part being winner at times and my physical body trying to cope with stress and anxiety. Body and mind fought with each other and each complemented at times.
Going in to depression is an ugly experience. Not just for me, but, also for people with me, i.e., my family. I had no control on my emotions. Crying had become a normal emotion in depression. Asking for the unnatural was a mad effect. Watching TV, reading something, talking something sensitive - all led to outburst of tears. Being a dad of 2 kids, I feel that I had the extra pressure of taking care of my family. Question of 'how do I make my family safe?' haunted me.
In the hospital once, I blabbered something that I vaguely remember. I was on pain-killer injections and sedatives and this is what I said. "I want to go far away, far far away from the people I know. I want to go to a holy place and live a lonely life for next few years till my end. I am sure somebody there in that holy shrine will serve me 2 meals a day." I uttered these to my mom and I don't know what happened next.
My health condition is improving and my mom smilingly compares my story to mega-television soaps. Progress is slow. But, I see progress and I am positive. I see success in me coming out of ill-health that was like a deep well which doesn't have a way out. I am climbing the steps up and am confident that I will view the greens soon.
Took kids to the movie, The Jungle Book (3D). They liked it. The movie is well made with good graphics and effects. In few instances, I felt that they have Americanised the movie in few places. Example, "bander-log" is Hindi word for monkey people. In the movie, it is pronounced as some English word.
Seeing the wave Indian PM is creating in the US, it is hard to imagine how technology can really raise India from the current situation.
From a basic standpoint, I want 24/7 electricity, good drinking water, and good roads. While the State Governments blame the Central Government, Centre doesn't care too much of the state as the ruling parties are different. Because of tussle between State and Central, sufferers are the citizens.
How can technology of Internet and foreign investments improve roads in Bangalore?!!! How can Googles and Facebooks help me provide 24/7 electricity? India and its states must unite first to have a common goal to meet the basic needs of every citizen. Till this is not achieved, there is always friction between states and Central Government which will halt progress of country.
On the other hand, there are other important aspects of education and healthcare that needs attention. If affordable schooling and medical facilities are available in all corners of the country, it is a big win for all.
Why should International companies invest in India? Are they doing philanthropy? I hope not. There is that expectation of 'return-gift' for investments coming in that India will owe if not immediate, surely in distant future.
Only way I see is, get investments in the name of technology and cycle this funds to sectors internally like agriculture, infrastructure, education, etc. While no investment looks lucrative when we open our arms with welcome gesture for such sectors like agri or infra, 'technology' is the only trump card to gain momentum. Everyone is sitting with this ray of hope for the next 4 years.
Visited Ooty recently. Started off from Bangalore on Friday morning at 9:30am. Midway, took a tea break in Shivalli restaurant near Channapatna (about 60 Kms away from Bangalore).
Route: Bangalore -> Mysore -> Nanjanagudu -> Gundlupet -> Bandipur National Park -> Theppakadu -> Masinagudi -> 36-hairpin bends -> Ooty
Note: We need not go to Gudalur to reach Ooty. But, Road transport buses takes Gudalur route.
After crossing Mysore, road between Mysore and Nanjanagudu was not the best of state roads. Also, after Nanjanagudu, road to Gundlupet was undergoing repair at regular intervals. Apart from these patches, road was very good to reach Bandipur.
Inside Bandipur, road was good, but, speed limit was about 30Kmph. We reduced speed and did wildlife watching. After crossing Bandipur, we reached Masinagudi (Tamil Nadu). From here, it took is about an hour to hit the base of Nilgiris. From here starts 36 hairpin bends to Ooty. Our resort, Mystique Ville was at 15th hairpin bend.
We reached our resort at 4pm. It was total travel time of 6 hours. After a quick late lunch, we headed to Botanical Garden. On the way to the garden, we had a quick stop in Chocolate Museum (a small shop). We sneaked in to garden few minutes before gate closes (gate closes at 6:30pm). It was chilly here as the sun had already set. The garden is worth a visit though we could not complete checking out all sections of the garden.
Saturday (Aug 8th):
Train journey experience from Ooty to Coonoor is a memorable one. We had arrived in station an hour an half early for 12:15pm train. We purchased the tickets and waited in the line. It was a refreshing moment to see the train arrive after a long wait. Journey was very scenic with view of the valley and dense tree canopies. With few tunnels passing along the way, it was worth a shout while cross tunnels.
Note: Plan in advance for doing this heritage train journey. Check train schedule and plan accordingly.
After reaching Coonoor, we had lunch in a restaurant that was next to Coonoor station. We had couple of hours to spend before taking the return train to Ooty. We visited tea estate and Sim's Park by hiring an auto. Once we entered the tea estate, it was a refreshing experience to take a deep breath of tea aroma. We took a tour inside the tea factory and got to know about how tea powder is made.
Sim's Park (Garden) had to be cut short because of shortage of time. Our return journey from Coonoor started at 4:30pm in a jam-packed train with no space to stand too. Fortunately, we had got early to grab our seats.
We had no plan for evening after reaching Ooty. We opted to have a leisure dinner at Club Mahindra that was 5 minutes away from railway station. We reached the restaurant an hour ahead of dinner time. We were hosted by friendly Club Mahindra team that made us comfortable to spend some time with a snack. We got to spend next 2 hours by have a very slow candlelight dinner.
Sunday (Aug 9th):
Return journey to Bangalore: Started from Ooty at 10am. Our first stop was after 4hrs of travel at Shivalli for lunch. From Shivalli, it took us another 90 minutes to reach home. Return journey took us 5.5 hrs.
Daily, table topic in office is about traffic jam while commute in Bangalore.
Traffic is always high and slow moving in IT corridors. It takes 90 minutes to cover a distance of 20 Kms, i.e., average speed of about 15 Km/hr.
Main reasons for slow moving traffic:
1. Excess traffic on road during peak hour.
2. Bus/truck breakdown
3. Bad road condition due to digging or overnight rain creating water logging areas.
There seems to be no solution to this concern. But, with existing resources and funds, there are possible areas of improvement:
1. Improve road conditions. Never allow for potholes to grow bigger day-by-day.
2. Clear broken down vehicle at the earliest. Hanging a branch of a tree to the window of the vehicle is an indication that vehicle is broken down. Police should try to move the vehicle to a safer zone and avoid slowing down vehicular movement.
I completed reading a book about Indian history this weekend and was shocked and disappointed by the way things took shape in the years 1947-48. Few points noted:
1. British didn't want to hold on with Indian land as the country was breaking apart in riots.
2. Mountbatten was given the task to finish handing of this part of the land to the people of sub-continent.
3. He completed the task along with support from British and few Indians. From Congress, representatives were Nehru, Patel and Gandhi and from the Moslem League, it was Jinnah.
4. Racliffe was invited from Britain to mark the partition boundary. He knew least about the terrain and hence was chosen to be unbiased! This marking of border was a major controversy and head to confusion and riots along the border.
5. In the first week of June 1947, Mountbatten announced that Britain had agreed to handover and move out of India. Conditions were: Partition will be done. Pakistan and India will be two countries as per demands by Jinnah and Congress. Gandhi was against partition.
6. In the press conference in June, Mountbatten announced a random picked date of August 15th. This date reminded him of Japanese Empire surrendering in Burma war. Hence, he announced it without consulting anyone from Indian side. In India, astrology and celestial-positions were believed and were given high importance. Many in the papers condemned this date and told that it is a bad date for a country to take birth.
7. Aug 14th - Pakistan got Independence. Mountbatten was along with Jinnah to do the handover.
8. Aug 14th evening - Riots broke out in Lahore where Hindu-Sikh area was in flames after water distribution was stopped. Nehru was getting ready for night's handover ceremony. When he heard this news over telephone, he was shocked and disturbed. Nehru's speech was not a prepared one. Here is his speech. He had later disclosed that he didn't know what he spoke. Handover was done by the first "Governer-General of India" - Mountbatten.
9. For many reasons, Mountbatten was considered supreme and was considered for all consultations and suggestions. Nehru and Patel had tough time handling communal disturbance that broke out in various parts of India. They went back to Mountbatten and begged him to take control of the situation as they and Congress are good at 'protests' and very inexperienced in 'administration'. That is the time Emergency Committee was created by Mountbatten to handle the situation better.
10. Gandhi was not around Delhi during Aug 15th. He was in Calcutta dealing with the local communal disturbance. He arrived in Delhi in first part of Sept. Infact, when Nehru delivered the speech on Aug 14th night, it is believed that Gandhi was fast asleep and followed normal routine of sleeping at 9:30pm.
There are tonnes of interesting stories and facts along this timeline. Overall, it was a shock for me to read how 400 million Indians had to bear this turmoil. All important men mentioned above wanted only one thing - speed. They wanted things to be completed at the earliest. There lacked any planning and it looked like things happened for personal cause and not for the cause of people.