Thursday, March 15, 2012

Everyone has their place!

           Today as I was getting ready to get into a Comfortably-Empty Madh bus to reach the tuition's, two things happened,
  1.  I got annoyed when saw a couple of men blocking the entrance, making it difficult to get in.
  2. A man stopped his bike exactly in front of the door, in this confusion I wasn't able to enter into that Comfortably-Empty Madh bus! I rolled my eyes at that man very annoyed that I was delayed due to no fault of my own. I rolled my eyes again thinking about the damn situation and stood waiting for another bus to come. 
         As a Somewhat-Crowded Marve bus arrived three successive thoughts crossed my mind,
  • "Great this bus is crowded I could have just entered the previous bus" (great annoyance at the motorist)

  • "Wait a minute that's something that doesn't happen all the time(thought about chance encounters, and empty buses that other delays have brought), is God trying to do something"

  •  "Oh shit I forgot the papers!!!!!"

         As the Somewhat-Crowded Marve bus was approaching I rushed back home to pick up the Geography papers that I had checked and had to return weeks ago to the students of standard 10th. I kept forgetting to take it along and asked a student to remind me today, despite the reminder I had forgotten to take the papers along. I laughed at myself and said a 'Thank God' least God had done the job effectively!

        As I went back to the bus stop I was pleasantly surprised at the sight of the Extremely-Empty Marve bus approaching the stop.
 I kept saying thanks to God and Christ!

I cant say that I still wasn't annoyed with that motorist, I cant curse him for making me miss the bus too.
The motorist is still annoying but Thank God for him!

Whoever you are Mr Motorist.....

 God Bless U!.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Blood Donation!

              Last Sunday one member from a NGO called Think foundation came to our parish to tell us about Thalassemia . Since we decided to organize a blood donation drive the priest in-charge of the youth suggested that we do it for this cause. It was really enlightening to hear this man speak as I didn't know much about the disorder and what the people suffering from it go through.. For those of you who don't know what Thalassemia is here is some info on the topic ..

             Thalassemia  is a genetic blood disease. People born with this disease cannot make normal hemoglobin (anemia) which is needed to produce healthy red blood cells.
             People with a thalassemia mutation only in one gene are carriers or are said to have thalassemia minor. Thalassemia minor results in no anemia or very slight anemia. Carriers do not require blood transfusion or iron therapy, unless proven to be iron deficient.
             Children born with thalassemia major usually develop the symptoms of severe anemia within the first year of life. The lack the ability to produce hemoglobin.Prolonged anemia will cause bone deformities and eventually will lead to death within the first decade of life. The only treatment to combat severe anemia is  regular blood transfusions (often every 2 to 4 weeks). These transfusions helps them maintain normal hemoglobin and red blood cell levels.
            Because the hemoglobin in red blood cells is an iron-rich protein, regular blood transfusions can lead to a buildup of iron in the blood. This condition is called iron overload. It damages the liver, heart, and other parts of the body.
To prevent this damage, iron chelation therapy is needed to remove excess iron from the body. Two medicines are used for iron chelation therapy.
  • Deferoxamine is a liquid medicine that's given slowly under the skin, usually with a small portable pump used overnight. This therapy takes time and can be mildly painful. Side effects include problems with vision and hearing.
  • Deferasirox is a pill taken once daily. Side effects include headache, nausea (feeling sick to the stomach), vomiting, diarrhea, joint pain, and fatigue (tiredness).(Info edited from this site)
            Undergoing transfusions every two weeks from the time you are kids is no small feat, it is a way of life for these patients, the person from the NGO told us that they even joke about it. Also because of the high number of transfusions they undergo they have a greater risk of contracting various blood-borne diseases such as HIV, AIDS, hepatitis B, hepatitis C. Apart from this they are at a greater risk for heart disease as well as osteoporosis. 
            Mr V told us that since every disease has a window period when the virus cannot be detected, sometimes the patients can receive infected blood and not know about it. The best and safest donors are those who donate blood voluntarily and this is one of the reasons that the NGO conducts blood donation drives almost every day, so that blood banks are stocked with enough blood from "safe donors" and there is enough for those suffering from thalassemia or any other disorder.
            I have been donating blood once a year from the time I turned 18 and never thought twice about it. I didn't think about where the blood went, who it must go to and about what a difference I would be making by this one act that I did without even thinking too much about. Last Sunday I realized what it can mean, not only for people suffering from thalassemia but from any other disease or disorder, that there is enough of blood stocked in the blood banks. It makes this drive we are conducting even more meaningful and has filled me with the enthusiasm to see a lot of people coming to donate blood on 25th March!
            I am keeping my fingers crossed and telling everyone I know about the drive. Whether it is to donate blood, spread the word, or simply come to support the people donating blood, everyone can help. 
Please do pray that we have a successful drive!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Woman's Day and changing Cognitions.

   Today is Holi the Indian festival of colors, the celebration brotherhood, and harvest and of the triumph of good over Evil! To read more about the festival go here.
               Today is also Women's day ......sigh....... I would be pleased if Men's day was celebrated with equal enthusiasm here. All this while I thought that Men didn't have a day dedicated to them, that was just my ignorance, it turns out they do! 19th November is celebrated as International Men's day. The history of Women's day is pretty cool, however if we talk about inequality I don't know how much having an International day for women helps, maybe it is just ignorance talking, Google can tell me only as much as I am willing to read :)
                It’s great to have an international Women's day and a Men's day........ However it would be even better if we had an International Gender Equality day! A day not just for men or women but for both, where we promote respect for oneself and the opposite gender as well as understand the needs and problems and inequalities that both the genders face. I am uncomfortable to be put on a pedestal and have stereotypical attributes assigned to me just because I am a Woman. I really don't know how it is around the world, but around where I live, there is no equality between genders and all of us are somehow expected to fit in roles assigned by the society and sometimes instead of gender equality we see the empowerment of just the women folk. Men are victims of gender inequality too; they are also playing by the rules of society. While this may be fine for some people, there are people who may feel pressured by society expecting them to behave in a certain way. I am a conformist to a certain extent and I am greatly influenced by society's expectations of me, I fear rejection, this attitude keeps me from really expressing who I am and sometimes even I can be in the dark about that.
            I don't know if I am ready to say that I am going to take a stand about it, but after this post is published I can’t go around with a blank look on my face and deny that I ever wrote such a thing, it will become my responsibility to mind my thoughts, actions and words so at-least form my side there isn't any cognitive dissonance ;)
            Sophia’s ( my college) has made me less prejudiced about women but more prejudiced about men, so now it’s up to me to delete those thoughts and adopt a more balanced outlook. This is going to mean not smirking when I see one of my guy friends check himself out in the nearest reflecting surface, or when one tells me that he is applying Livon silky potion to his hair when I complimented him about it, it means that I may not even go "awwwwwww" in my head when I see a guy get emotional or play with a baby or write poetry or be super sensitive, or think something’s wrong if he isn't into something macho, or talks with a mildly flailing hand( U c how influenced I am). It is possible that I may even NOT externally do the above because some of it- specifically the "awww" moments- I am fond of, but I know for sure that there is going to be some difference in my thoughts and actions regarding this issue.
             And if you'll think I am being prejudiced about a particular gender you can remind me of what I have written or forever hold your peace, of course because it is in my nature I will counter you with a quick but witty retort but yes I will remember and will be grateful to you for reminding me :).

Thursday, March 1, 2012

On the day I called for help, you answered me.

                Today as I was swabbing the floor I was thinking about the stuff going on in my life and how a lot of things are beyond my control, some people and some events, while this is a plain and simple fact at times it can be annoying that things aren't going your way or comfortably smooth. As thoughts went from one thing to another something struck me, the thought that these happenings color my life. I obviously if left to my own devices would never expose myself to some of the people and some of the situations that I have been exposed to recently, they have been highly confusing some even meaningless and hurtful. But then its experience that I am gaining from them, a new skill, learning a way of dealing with people, so although I wish life to be roses... this is what it actually is and I guess I will benefit form experiencing it completely.
                 There was this line I said to myself at the that time that  'God gives us situations that would prepare us for the point in time where our prayers will be answered' and I believe that to be true, through my personal experience I can say that God answers our prayers and eventually the situations that we face, however overwhelming it  may be at the moment, all seems to make sense. As a Christian also sometimes the challenge is to keep the hope alive, that whatever the situation that I or my family is in I have a loving God who loves us more that we may ever love our selves, our children or whoever we may love most, that God will not let me down.
                The two readings of today also echo this faith that we are called to have. In the first reading we see Queen Esther's faith as she makes an appeal to God to come to her aid in the difficult situation that she is facing. In the Gospel Jesus tells us to trust that God wants what is best for us and answers our prayers, "Ask and you will receive".
It was amazing how my thoughts were echoed in today's readings. The psalms thanked God for being there by us always.

Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.

              Yes situations are still not ideal they most probably never will be, however there is the assurance that I am in safe and loving hands and am moving towards something good and yes there is going to be some point in time where I am going to realize that ALL my prayers are answered in the most amazing of ways possible. Till then the challenge is to keep singing to God and to keep the faith.