WHEN KEJRIWAL, SISODIA, NADDA AND OTHERS FAILED AN 80-YEAR OLD DISABLED, HELPLESS WOMAN

A lady, around 80 years, wheelchair bound, in an old-age home, with no one to take care of her in desperate medical emergencies – should the state ignore such cases – especially when they are tagged and tweeted multiple times about it – especially when they tweet and retweet multiple times a day – showing their social media alertness and connect to the world?

If that happens so – it tells how insensitive our political class has become – and in this case, it exactly came out like this!

And the ‘very aam aadmi-esque Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or the claimed harbinger of change in Indian politics, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) are to share the blame here.

The grandma in question here is 80 year old Mrs. Phool Mehta, an old-age home resident from Delhi’s Mayur Vihar Phase 1. She lost her husband some years back and has no son or daughters or any other immediate family. She has no regular source of income apart from some savings, barely enough to sustain her life in the old-age home. She finds it hard to meet her routine medical needs, that are many, so managing finances for medical emergencies, that require huge sum, is out of question. Anyway, somehow, it has been managed so far somehow, like it is going to be this time.

She has multiple health issues. She is diabetic. She takes blood-pressure pills. She met an accident some years ago that has left her wheelchair bound. She has plates and rods in her thighs and hands, one of which she cannot use properly. She has ulcer and continuous internal bleeding leads to periodic Haemoglobin reduction. Her Hb at the moment is 5.2. Her both legs and left hand are swollen and it is spreading to other parts of the body. Yesterday, we took her to a nearby hospital but it refused to take her referring her to some higher centre for specialized care. They said her heart was enlarged, had oedema and they could not take the risk of blood transfusion in this case. We spoke to some Delhi government hospitals, including LBS and GB Pant but they, too, refused, saying they did not deal with such cases.

Doctors told us that the window of time that she had was very limited and so we very trying hard to get her hospitalized in some big hospital yesterday only but no headway was coming in. She was in imminent danger of a renal failure. Out of desperation, I tried to use social media to reach out to the Delhi government and Union Health Minister JP Nadda. Though I did not have much hopes, because I know politicians use social media selectively, going by the content that furthers their agenda, I did try. And I tried multiple times.

Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (@arvindkejriwal), Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) and Union Health Minister JP Nadda (@jpnadda) were tagged in all ten tweets that I shot yesterday, hoping they or someone from their team would respond to at least one of them. I also tagged @pmoindia, @sushmaswaraj, @atishimarlena, @raghav_chadha and @drkumarvishwas. But all of them, who are quite active of Twitter, couldn’t find time to look even once at my tweets. A friend even tagged Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain (@satyendarjain).

In an ideal situation, based on the founding principles of these parties, or the values they claim to live and die for, they would rushed to help. But I had expected, the help did not come. It reminded me of another ‘social media savvy’ Union Minister who never responds to uncomfortable or critical tweets – Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu.

Here are those tweets that I shot for Mrs. Mehta, the tweets that could find an alert from anyone in the Delhi Government or the Central Government. I do not want to go into a running commentary on moral obligations and ethical behaviour of our politicians because the episode is self-explanatory.

@SantoshChaubeyy
@msisodia : a 80 yr old old-age home lady in desperate need of medical help in Mayur Vihar Ph 1. Can some1 help?
12:29 PM – 18 Feb 2017

‏@SantoshChaubeyy
@ArvindKejriwal @msisodia @JPNadda : a 80 yr old old-age home lady in desperate need of medical help in Mayur Vihar Ph 1. Can some1 help?
12:59 PM – 18 Feb 2017

@SantoshChaubeyy
@ArvindKejriwal @msisodia @JPNadda 80 yr old oldage hom lady in desprate need of medical help in Mayur Vihar Ph1. Can some1 help? 3rd tweet.
2:44 PM – 18 Feb 2017

‏@SantoshChaubeyy
@ArvindKejriwal @msisodia @JPNadda 80 yr old oldage hom lady in desprate need of medical help in Mayur Vihar Ph1. Can some1 help? 4th tweet.
3:27 PM – 18 Feb 2017

‏@SantoshChaubeyy
@PMOIndia @ArvindKejriwal @msisodia @JPNadda 80yr oldage hom grandma in desprate need of medical help in MY. Can some1 help? 6th tweet.
4:35 PM – 18 Feb 2017

‏@SantoshChaubeyy
@ArvindKejriwal @msisodia @JPNadda @SushmaSwaraj 80yr oldage hom grandma in desprate need of medical help in MY. Can some1 help? 7th tweet.
6:11 PM – 18 Feb 2017

‏@SantoshChaubeyy
@ArvindKejriwal @msisodia @JPNadda @DrKumarVishwas 80yr oldage hom grandma in desprate need f medical help in MY. Can some1 help? 8th tweet.
9:25 PM – 18 Feb 2017

‏@SantoshChaubeyy
@ArvindKejriwal @msisodia @JPNadda @AtishiMarlena 80yr oldage hom grandma in desprate need f medical help in MY. Can some1 help? 9th tweet.
9:49 PM – 18 Feb 2017

‏@SantoshChaubeyy
@ArvindKejriwal @msisodia @JPNadda @raghav_chadha 80yr oldage home grandma in desprate need f medical help in MY. Can some1 help? 10th tweet.
9:49 PM – 18 Feb 2017

So it was all for us to try – and we had no option here to fail.

Thankfully, I was also trying my alternate network – of social workers and volunteers. And it was finally this network that came to our rescue – with timely intervention and help from Sai Padma, Vaishnavi Jayakumar, Sailesh Mishra, Abha Khetarpal, Rajeshwar Devarakonda, Dr. AB Dey of AIIMS and many others. With the coordinated help of these dots, the guiding lights here, from different parts of India, Mrs. Mehta was finally admitted to the Geriatric Ward of AIIMS this afternoon.

The doctors have put her on Oxygen. They will treat her for oedema next and then will go for her blood transfusion, some three units minimum that she needs to come to a sustainable level of Hb in her blood. Then she needs some time to stabilize. Hope all will go well now.

©SantoshChaubey

THIRD POEM, FOURTH PROLOGUE

The third poem and the fourth prologue
Just like this day, just like that dialogue
Roaming in thoughts, roaming in the wild
Dancing in the sun, dancing like a child
Just yet another day that you got right
Just yet another night that talks bright
When words flow to find hidden places
When rhymes gel to carve new spaces
It was like yesterday, like its epilogue
It is for tomorrow with today’s prologue
Three days, three poems, and its ring
What is the next one is to be the zing
The dialogue has set things in motion
Let’s see if this image finds its caption

LetsTry - Copy

THIRD POEM AND FOURTH PROLOGUE

©SantoshChaubey

BOB DYLAN ABOUT INDIA

Bob Dylan is a living legend and there are no second thoughts about it. And now that he is a Literature Nobel laureate, he is going to be discussed the world over. Like other places, here, in India as well, people are trying to find Bob Dylan’s local connect (India connect). And in the process has emerged a fact that Dylan had visited India to attend the wedding ceremony of his Kolkatan friend’s son. That is really a new find.

But the basic stuff that those, who are well-read or follow his music, know that he had visited India in 1960s, during the peak of Hippie counterculture, to one of the places frequented by some doyens and followers of the counterculture movements, especially Bohemianism, the Beat Generation and the counterculture (and Hippie subculture) of 1960s and 70s. Though Dylan doesn’t like to be called a protest singer, he is one of the most prominent figures who contributed greatly in shaping the 60s and 60s counterculture movement.

When the news about Literature Nobel to Dylan broke, it renewed the interest in finding more about his India connect. I wanted to know the exact year he was in India. I wanted to know his travel details – like what pushed him to visit India, for how many days he was in the country, where did he stay, did his visit help him and so on. We can say it was just a random visit but that looks unlikely.

I tried hard, dug information from internet and magazines. I even tried to spoke to some whom I thought could help me with the information I was looking for. But no luck! Now his biographies are left to look into but that needs time. And I am not sure if even then the details would be available there.

All I could gather was the same old thing that Bob Dylan had visited this famous, scenic hill village in Himalaya near Almora, Kasar Devi (in today’s Uttarakhand), in 1960s. Kasar Devi village has got its name from a 2nd Century Kasar Devi temple and leads to Crank Ridge or Hippie Hill. The area has been visited by luminaries like Swami Vivekananda, Jawaharlal Nehru, Alfred Sorensen, W. Y. Evans-Wentz, Lama Anagarika Govinda, (Bob Dylan), Cat Stevens, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Thurman’s family including his three year old daughter Uma Thurman and so on. But the place’s reputation as an important centre of the Hippie subculture began with Timothy Leary’s stay here, the Harvard expelled LSD exponent and a key Hippie culture figure.

And most importantly what did he think about India?

A 1978 Rolling Stone interview gives a glimpse into this. According to this interview, India for Dylan is a place to delve into spiritual realms, a place that told Jesus how to become a healer, a place that cares for art and creativity. Here are the excerpts:

There’s also that scene, near the end of the film, where Allen Ginsberg takes you around to see the glassed-in sculptures of the Stations of the Cross – and we see Jesus killed for the second time and then buried under the weight of the cross. On one level, the film is about the Stations of the Cross, isn’t it?
Yeah, you’re right, like the double vision having to be killed twice. Like why does Jesus really die?

Spiritually or politically?
Realistically . Because he’s a healer. Jesus is a healer. So he goes to India, finds out how to be a healer and becomes one. But see, I believe that he overstepped his duties a little bit. He accepted and took on the bad karma of all the people he healed. And he was filled with so much bad karma that the only way out was to burn him up. In my film, we’re looking at masks a lot of the time. And then when the dream becomes so solidified that it has to be taken to the stage of reality, then you’ll see stone, you’ll see a statue – which is even a further extension of the mask: the statue of Mary in front of the statue of Jesus on the cross in the Crucifix Grotto.

Renaldo and Clara has certain similarities to the recent films of Jacques Rivette. Do you know his work?
I don’t. But I wish they’d do it in this country. I’d feel a lot safer. I mean I wouldn’t get so much resistance and hostility. I can’t believe that people think that four hours is too long for a film. As if people had so much to do. You can see an hour movie that seems like ten hours. I think the vision is strong enough to cut through all of that. But we may be kicked right out of Hollywood after this film is released and have to go to Bolivia. In India, they show 12-hour movies. Americans are spoiled. They expect art to be like wallpaper with no effort, just to be there.

Now that is really something, something that pushes you to know more. So I have decided I am going to order some books including ‘Dylan on Dylan’ to see if I can get what I am looking for. Here I would like to tell you about another effort that I made though I was more or less convinced that it was not going to work – tweeting Bob Dylan directly about my question – because he has an official Twitter handle (@bobdylan) – to see if he (or his team) cared enough to help. Well, so far it hasn’t happened.

bobdylan-nobelprize

©SantoshChaubey

Featured Image Courtesy: http://www.nobelprize.org

DEATH IS A WAY OF LIFE IN VARANASI

What is it about dying in Varanasi (or Banaras or Kashi – the other names this eternal city is known as)?

Death is an event in life that though sums up everything for a life, leaves a lifetime of thoughts and afterthoughts for others who are associated with the departed. It leaves a void that remains there, throughout. The pain, that is unbearable initially, becomes a way of life with time.

That is what happens with death in every normal human life – even for people of this eternal city – one of the oldest living places – a living mix of spirituality, religion and a living weaved around that.

But for people from this eternal city who care to go beyond their routine to know what Varanasi stands for, what Kashi means and why it pulls everyone from across the globe who look for ‘questions into life and death’, death brings more meanings about it than they already know.

For me, it has always been a captivating mystery. Apart from my roots in Varanasi, the city’s mysticism weaved around death is another major reason that pulls me to this city.

It is said a life threatening horrible experience changes fundamentally your outlook towards it. That also holds true for a life-defining liberating experience – an experience that you have while sitting at the steps of its round the clock burning ghats – of life’s realities and illusions – of life’s purpose and a retrospective into that – something that has been a regular event in my life while I was growing up – and now whenever I go there. While sitting there, it is an observational learning that you spontaneously internalize.

For many, death is a way of life in Varanasi. It supports many families. The business of death sustains lives here. And it has continued for generations.

For many, it is the spiritual realisation that shows them the way ahead – clearing the clouds of ambiguities and dichotomies.

Death is something that makes one free of all bonds, a point where materialism goes into oblivion, even for a moment. It evokes spiritual vibes naturally then.

Varanasi has seen generations built around this tradition. The city has been flowing the way history has been written but has been able to sustain the course of spiritual discourse that pertains to the questions of life, ways of living and ethos of existentialism.

For all Banarasis and many outside the city, dying here, in this city of Lord Shiva, is the ultimate nirvana, a freedom from the cycle of rebirth, the Moksha, the core of Hinduism/Vedanta philosophy.

For Banarasi folks like me and visitors/tourists/pilgrims, the Lord Shiva, Ganga and death association (The Holy Trinity of Hinduism) with the city and its addresses, especially the Varanasi ghats, including its two eternal cremation ghats, Manikarnika and Harishchandra, are a must visit. Many visitors of the city, in fact, make it a point to spend quality time at these two places while the ordinary Banarasi has countless strolls of them in his lifetime.

For thinking folks, it leaves an indelible impression.

And that imprints an equally indelible reality of death – the only certain event of life.

Sitting at these two ghats makes you feel ‘not low’ but poignant about life’s uncertainty and its only defined fate – death. One can see through layers of illusions. The introspection and retrospection here, in those moments, are most objective that one can have.

And it all happens wrapped in the fundamental tenet of living – what lies beyond and what goes with you. One doesn’t need to be a sage to ponder over these aspects. The atmosphere there begins the thought process in you.

Visiting Varanasi looking for questions of life or spending time at its round the clock working crematoria doesn’t change the way you live but its changes fundamentally the way you think – that how to sift reality from the countless illusions your soul is trapped into.

That is what the city has taught me so far.

©SantoshChaubey

EXPECTED AMAZON RESPONSE ON “WOULD AMAZON SUBSCRIBE TO THIS ON ‘SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE’?”

While writing my longish mail on Amazon ‘Subscribe and Save’ category and tweeting it to Amazon, Amazon India and Jeff Bezos Twitter handles, I had not expected a prompt reply. It was based on my previous experiences. I have done this exercise with many companies – on some issue related to them. So far, my best experience has been with Dell India – its customer services team and its social media extensions.

And about my worst -well, there are many and picking a particular one is difficult. But if I am asked to pick one -I would say Eureka Forbes.

After consistently following multiple times, through phone and Facebook extension, I was forced to hang up, but the Eureka Forbes folks refused to buzz from their eternal slumber. Apart from many product and service related issues, I was not sent even my receipt that I was promised after making an online purchase for an Aquaguard Enhance water purifier (along with a freebie, that, too, never came).

And though a response from Amazon India over phone line has been efficient so far, its Facebook version was dull, and on the line seen so far, with so many companies.

I posted my write-up on the issue I am facing on Amazon India’s Facebook page. Obviously, it was the headline followed the link of the write-up. Soon, a message popped up, a reply from some guy entrusted to monitor Amazon India’s Facebook page. On expected, worn-out line, the person told me that ‘I needed to be specific’ in what I wanted to say.

Well, what can I say on this!

We folks spend so much time on writing about issues we face and expect that the concerned organization would at least take the pain to read them.

Well, I don’t know if that happened.

Because there was no further reply from any Amazon staff after I wrote back requesting that the person should open the link attached where I had written ‘very specifically’ about the problem I was facing.

And it was when it was not an outright criticism – but a suggestion along with conveying a potential problem that may see more of it in the days ahead.

AmazonFacebook

And on Twitter?

Well, here again, I tagged Twitter IDs of Jeff Bezos, Amazon, Amazon India and Amazon Help along with my write-up’s link.

But no response has come so far and its almost 24 hours now.

AmazonTwitter

Yes it was a weekend and there might be slippages but it looks quite awkward given the fact that there would be dedicated social media teams, even for Jeff Bezos Twitter handle.

It is not about Amazon or some other company’s track record of resolving problem(s) associated with services/products on offer. Most of the time they fail.

I hope it will not be this time given Amazon India’s track record and given the fact that E-commerce or online retail cannot dominate a business scene if it is not customer friendly.

I do this exercises randomly to get some handy information about how companies are treating their customers – about their marketing communication and public interface practices in a B2C environment of E-commerce that is slated to grow manifold.

Most of the companies and their honchos fail here, some miserably.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

WOULD AMAZON SUBSCRIBE TO THIS ON ‘SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE’?

Given the kind of depth Amazon has in online retail, along with its pioneering presence and global dominance, we can say the company will soon be India’s biggest online retailer, a market that is soon projected to have the world’s largest middle class. And the way it is moving up its product chains, it is leaving behind a widening gap for other biggies of the space, i.e., Flipkart, Snapdeal, Shopclues and so on, to fill.

Like many of its good initiatives, Amazon India started an easy to subscribe (and modify) ‘subscribe and save’ category last month. Under this category, buyers can monthly subscribe for products from among eight categories. Though the catalogue is pretty short, we can say it has begun on a good note. A customer has the option to opt for frequency of delivery – from one to six months – for each product.

There are two offers with this category that make it worth a pick.

The first is obviously the comfort of home delivery and Amazon has an efficient one.

The second is about the 10% discount on offer. If one subscribes for more than three products a month, a flat 10% discount on every product is yours.

Obviously, one can get a better deal in many wholesale markets of Delhi where the norm is between 15-20% discount. But here it is about the comfort of ordering from your smartphone or computer from anywhere you are, saving your flesh and soul from the nightmare of Delhi’s traffic and its overcrowded markets. I am talking about Delhi here because I stay here and my experiences pushed me to write this piece.

But in this case – with this ‘subscribe and save’ option – the comfort level of this convenient home delivery option is proving a burden, as well as an embarrassment.

How?

I recount here.

Last month I subscribed for some 10 products under ‘subscribe and save’ category. Two were bathroom air fresheners from Godrej (Godrej Aer Pocket Bathroom Fragrance) – of different fragrances. These two were delivered a week apart. In fact, every product of my order was delivered on different days.

So, that is there where the problem lies.

Amazon sent its guys some 8 to 10 times, stretch over some 10 days, to deliver those products I subscribed last month if I am recollecting properly.

There is always these messages popping up that your products has been packed, that it is ready to ship, that it has been shipped, that it will be delivered today. With the usual tag line – please keep cash or your card ready! Here I would like to mention another thing – none of the delivery guys were carrying the card swipe machine – even if I asked for the one sometimes.

It wastes your time. There is always this leftover in your mind that you have to be at home as the Amazon guy would come to deliver the product.

Also, on a social/societal note, your neighbours would obviously think what has happened to this guy that he is ordering so much online, even if you ordered the basic stuff you need every month. The problem of plenty that was never there!

Does it make any better business sense?

I was thinking to call Amazon for many days to register my thoughts. Today I got my call patched. The guy on the other side sounded sincere on my complaint and he said he would send the feedback up. But he also said that it was due to the cycle of availability of products. Amazon makes a product available to its customers as soon as it reaches its warehouses and, according to him, that is the reason behind the multiple runs of errands.

So, Amazon is incurring loss here. It is what a common ‘common sense’ says. After all, you need to pack the product – that costs. I would say, again of Godrej air fresheners – a small strip worth Rs. 45 was in a packing that would obviously be costly. And as I wrote, I had ordered two.

Then there is this wastage of manpower hours. All the products from a single order, with a tag date of 11 of every month, can be delivered on any chosen day before that tag date. It doesn’t make sense to send 10 guys to deliver 10 products on 10 different days – of a single order.

Or does it?

Does Amazon India see any logical sense in this logistical spiral?

Because I believe I am not alone in thinking so!

Amazon Subscribe n Save

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

Featured Image Courtesy: Screenshot from Amazon India website

WHAT IS IT ABOUT DYING IN VARANASI?

What is it about dying in Varanasi (or Banaras or Kashi)?

Death is an event in life that though sums up everything for a life, leaves a lifetime of thoughts and afterthoughts for others who are associated with the departed. It leaves a void that remains there, throughout. The pain, that is unbearable initially, becomes a way of life with time.

That is what happens with death in every normal human life – even for people of this eternal city – one of the oldest living places – a living mix of spirituality, religion and a living weaved around them.

But for people from this eternal city who care to go beyond their routines to know what Varanasi stands for, what Kashi means and why it pulls everyone from across the globe who look for ‘questions into life and death’, death brings more meanings about it than they already know.

For many, death is a way of life in Varanasi. It supports many families. The business of death sustains lives here. And it has continued for generations.

For many, it is the spiritual realization that shows them the way ahead – clearing the clouds of ambiguities and dichotomies. For all Banarasis and many outside the city, dying here, in this city of Lord Shiva, is the ultimate nirvana, a freedom from the cycle of rebirth, the Moksha, the core of Hinduism/Vedanta philosophy.

For Banarasi folks and visitors/tourists/pilgrims, the Lord Shiva, Ganga and death association (The Holy Trinity of Hinduism) with the city and its addresses, especially the Varanasi ghats, including the two eternal cremation ghats, Manikarnika and Harishchandra, are a must visit. Many visitors of the city, in fact, make it a point to spend quality time at these two places while the ordinary Banarasi has countless strolls of them in his lifetime.

For thinking folks, it leaves an indelible impression.

And that imprints an equally indelible reality of death – the only certain event of life.

Sitting at these two ghats makes you feel ‘not low’ but poignant about a life’s uncertainty and its only defined fate – death. One can see through layers of illusions. The introspection and retrospection here, in those moments, are most objective that one can have.

And it all happens wrapped in the fundamental tenet of living – what lies beyond and what goes with you. One doesn’t need to be a sage to ponder over these aspects. The atmosphere there begins the thought process in you.

Visiting Varanasi looking for questions of life or spending time at its round the clock working crematoria doesn’t change the way you live but its changes fundamentally the way you think – that how to sift reality from countless illusions your soul is trapped into.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

SOME ‘THOUGHTFUL EJACULATIONS’ ON GEC PROGRAMMING :)

Obviously in the Indian context!

Is there any limit to the shit being run on GEC TV channels?

Has story-writing become dead as an art for storywriters/screenwriters/dialogue-writers for television writers?

Either the screenwriters of these ‘wisdom-operas’ are so brave that they can write the same stuff again and again – without getting bored and bottlenecked – for same television serial or for some other.

Or they are so naive they cannot think beyond the routine sob-and-conspiracy stuff that makes families look like coming from Mars.

Or they are such chauvinists (considering they are males) that they do not want to think beyond sobbing or robbing women – a kind of gender discrimination and thus exploitation – portraying women in a closet.

The counterpoint – what about female screenwriters, producers, directors and actors?

Or – do they have the wisdom of common sense?

Or – why they so adamantly stuff the viewers with such boredom operas so much so that they like to think that they are contributing to the lucid flow of wisdom operas on the entertainment television channels in India.

Or – they are simply dumb to come with innovations and experiments in their writings?

Why it is such an obsession (or fad) with the production houses or the television channels to paint the ordinary Indian family in such a derogatory skew – multiple affairs – extramarital affairs – sibling rivalry to extent that a brother kills a brothers, a sister conspires against a sister, relatives try to kill each other?

Whatever that is left is dumped with fillers like grand parties, film songs and lavish events.

An increasing trend these days is the increasing population of superstition-based, supernatural or fantasy television shows that look horribly shabby in the absence of proper story and character development and totally unacceptable regard for aesthetics.

They work so questionably that they convert even the good storylines into worn-out, bizarre spectacles!

They simply tell why television is still called the ‘Idiot Box’ – in spite of being the most powerful communication tool in the mainstream media.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THE COLLECTIBLES THEN – CASSETTE COVERS (IX)

PHOTOGRAPHY

The Collectibles 39

The Collectibles 10

THE COLLECTIBLES THEN – CASSETTE COVERS

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THE COLLECTIBLES THEN – CASSETTE COVERS (VIII)

PHOTOGRAPHY

The Collectibles 51

The Collectibles 36

THE COLLECTIBLES THEN – CASSETTE COVERS

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/