Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I've just comeback from my long sought vacation of two weeks and I'm dead tired! Vacationating has never been so tiresome, so many work had to be done back in my home and so less time!
Tomorrow again I'm off to Bangalore.
Feeling sleepy.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Oral Health of Hyderabad

Last few days I was at Hyderabad, my fourth visit to Hyderabad. First time I came here I felt the warmth and cordiality of the city. The city has wide roads, always croweded, crowded buses, always busy streets near Charminar, noisy streets, old buildings, hot weather, and warmth of flowing life underneath its skin. That's what charmed me. Neither in Bangalore, Mumbai or Pune I have felt this feeling.
Two years have past since then. The city has changed a lot. More sophisticated, more posh, cost of living is rising with the IT boom. Roads are more crowded, more in-process flyovers are narrowing down the width of the streets. It is becoming more and more formal day by day. But one thing hasn't changed a bit - number of oral and dental clinics!
Just as you'll find a theatre in every hundred yards in Bangalore, you'll pass by three dental/oral clinics in every hundred yards in Hyderabad! It is really something awkward. Is the city has a real problem with oral health? Otherwise why will there be so many of dental clinics; and most of them seems to be well-to-do. Almost all of them are traditional old dentist's shop mostly run by Muslims with their signboards written in Urdu (as it seems to me).
Hyderabad's population is majorly of Muslim community. Meat is their regular diet. Mostly mutton/lamb sometimes beef or chicken or fish. They are masters in delicious non-vegeterian Moghlai dishes and especially Biryani (ummmm). Is this oily & spicy diet is more corrosive to the teeth than usual vegetarian and occasional non-vegetarian diet in other parts of India? Or is it that Hyderabad has a legacy of traditional dentistry coming down from generations? But then also, why among all of medical science, dentistry flourished here?
There is something teethy here!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Whose Puja is it?

I was attending a Durgapuja near our colony at Pune. As usual it was a typical Bengali crowd - chatting in Bengali, shouting in Bengali... As a Bengali I was feeling homely. I was not feeling alone, though I was sitting alone in a chair in front of the idol. This ambience is what we crave for during the Durga puja. Being alone gives you a golden opportuninty to watch others. Everybody dressed in ethnic dresses, men in panjabi and payjama or dhuti, ladies in cotton shaRis. Colorful children were running all around. You can distinguish two groups of children clearly. The younger group is of below ten years. They are jubiliant, careless, undivided and playing all around. The older one consists of several groups of children of preteen and adolescents. They are not as free as the younger group. They are mostly sitting and chatting in small small groups. Growing older robs the innocence of comradeship of childhood.
I rememberd my childhood days. We had a durgapuja just in front of our house. The four days puja used to be a constant playtime! Clad in new dresses we used to roam all around with toy pistols. The puja could be reflected in our bright, glowing, astonished face itself. That glow of face is what missing in the elder group of boys and girls. The younger group certainly had that glow, but I could not find the awestruck enjoyment that we used to have to savor the grandeur of the Puja in bright new dresses. It seemed to be just like a holiday for them. I know it is difficult to relate with the emotions of a child after you grow up; and this is the common mistake we make when we try to read the mind of a child.
Then I noticed few local Maharshtrian children, most probably of the bais and the caretakers who are cleaning the mess made by the crowd and keeping the place up. These children were moving in a group in ragged clothes in front of the idol gigling and running around here and there. They don't know who is Durga or what is the emotion of a Bengali's Durga puja. But they know its a grand festival, and you can realize that they are, as if, gobbling the grandeur of the festival. A girl in her teens came in fron fo dias to take a photo of the idol. This group of children gathered at her back eagerly trying to figure out how she is taking a photo in the display of her digital camera. The girl who was closer to our teenager had a triumphant look on her face for being the one having the most comprehensive look at the digital display.

And I found the emotion of awestruck enjoyment, which I was looking for. In a moment I realized who are enjoying the most out of the festival. And I felt gratified by them for making my Durgapuja complete!