Saturday, April 25, 2009

There's indeed a silver lining

Best Air Force cadet of 65th course of National Defence Academy, Pune. Best in aerobatics of 134th Pilots Course of Air Force Academy, Secunderabad. Commissioned into the IAF as fighter pilot in 1984 in his early 20s. Had 700 hours of flying experience, including 500 hours of flying MiG-21.

The dreams of M P Anil Kumar, who passed out from Sainik School, Kazhakoottam, Thiruvananthapuram, crash-landed in 1988 when he met with a road accident at Pathankot that broke his cervical spine and left him paralyzed down the neck.

At 26, he was admitted to the Paraplegic Home in Pune. The accident could however paralyze only his body, not his spirits. After much efforts, he learned to write holding a pen in his mouth.

He started pouring out his mind through his mouth until it became legible. An essay he wrote, ‘Airborne to Chairborne’ won first place in a contest held by the Citizen magazine, a fortnightly which used to be distributed along with The Indian Express, Pune edition. The scanned copy of the mouth-written piece was published in 1993 Citizen annual number. The essay was included in the Maharashtra school syllabus from the academic year 1995-96.

Later he switched to using a computer and wrote umpteen articles for various newspapers and websites.

I may be one of the last persons to know about him. But I’m glad that I came to know about him a few weeks ago from a friend of mine who studied in Sainik School. Giving a google search for ‘Airborne to Chairborne’, I read the article of inspiration several times.

He stood as a mighty mountain in front of me and I felt reduced to mustard size with my trivial problems and a fully mobile body! Hats off to Anil Kumar, who wrote in his essay:

Believe it or not, every dark cloud has a silver lining. To surmount even seemingly insuperable obstacles, one has to muster the remnant faculties and shun the thought of disability and then canalise one's dormant energies purposefully and whole-heartedly. It isn't just physical ability and average intelligence but an insatiable appetite for success and an unflagging will power that would texture the warp and woof of the fabric called human destiny. Greater the difficulty, sweeter the victory.”

Monday, April 6, 2009

Beating the Blues

Amid all recession glooms and pink fears, I’m pampering myself as nobody else was willing to take up that role! And the ultimate act I did in that direction was getting a diamond ring for myself by paying more than half of my salary (after it was cut last month)!

Initially I didn’t find it rewarding. But slowly I realized, the act was worth it. This comes a month after I got a new cellphone as my oldie refused to work overtime :( and after I refuted the opinion of a friend of mine who had posted a blog on women shopping more to beat recession blues.

My friend wanted me to preserve the image of my priced recession possessions and I agreed. Photo credit goes to Ruth, my friend. :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Eating to live

Yesterday, there was a health check up camp in our office. All enthusiastic to avail of the benefits office provide for free, we all headed to the conference hall where it was being held. A team of dieticians from a star hospital in the city was present there. First they measured our height, then weight and noted them down against our names. We had an enlightening talk from the doctor who headed the team and got to know many ill-effects of late night eating and stuff like that.

The chief dietician who was present there was flooded with queries from my health-conscious colleagues and I waited for my turn. She calculated the body-mass index (BMI) and told each who had registered how far they can be gluttonous beings from now on.

I eagerly waited for my turn to get valuable advice from her, preparing myself to avoid the things she might ask me not to take, a bit scared after the facts presented by the doctor of all new sorts of cancer and other painful illnesses.

And my turn came. She calculated my BMI with my height (167 cm) and weight (51 kg) and told me as soon as I sat down in front of her: “No advice for you. Please go and eat whatever you want.” I was stunned.

She continued: “Your BMI is not there in our chart only. It should be minimum 19. You should have 65 kg corresponding to your height.”

I said: “But I would look so huge if I am 65 kg.”

She said, “Be at least 55 and try not to lose weight after that,” inviting a roar of laughter from my colleagues who got a chance to poke fun at me.

I was not disappointed, nor did I make any effort to put on weight in the 24 hours after that. I don’t live to eat, but eat to live. After all, only I had the privilege from among us to eat ‘whatever I want’ while many of them were asked to cut down on a number of yummies! :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pink Blues

Imagine you come in one hour early to office daily. You stay late in the night to finish works which even others were supposed to do. Everyday you would have swiped in more hours than you were supposed to work.

You finish your work early everyday and then help others in meeting their deadlines. You adhere strictly to all office guidelines and be a loyal servant of the company. At the peak of your career, you get an offer from a better company for a better pay package. You reject it citing loyalty to the company you are working for. You say you are quite comfortable in your present company. Virtually you expect them to take better care of you in the coming appraisal.

You are being good to all your colleagues and with the boss too. Even when you have to struggle to meet deadlines, you never miss a smile from your face, thinking that it may make your friends in office feel bad. Even after a long day, you go home contented that you did not make any mistake, did not hurt anybody and made full use of the time in office. Early mornings you cut a few hours of sleep and get up early to learn about a new project.

Days, months and years passed. A day as usual as any other day, you are called to the boss' cabin. You are welcomed by new smiles other than the boss' there. You find they were from the HR department of the head office when you get a pink slip in your hand. Hearing your fate, your colleagues, half of them who are still holding on to their job, are demoralized.

Then you realize... Sigh...