Tuesday, April 22, 2014

KUNTI: The Self Centred Mother

Kunti often conjures the image of a mother who sacrifices everything for her children. A mother who lives just for her children. The mother, epitome of love. No weonder the young Arjuna considered his mother Kunti as equal to God.  Arjuna on hearing a passing remark by his mother "share equally with your brothers" chose to share his wife with his four brothers. Such was the stature in which she was held.

Kunti on her part really enjoyed all the adulation and played the role of the all suffering mother. She used drama and guile to ensure her children stayed with her. During the Kurushetra war she never bothered to tell Arjuna that her words "share equally with your brothers" meant that not only his step brothers Yudhistira & Bhima and half brothers (born to Madri) Sahadeva &  Nakula, but to Karna also.

Karna knew that the kingdom and Draupadi was his if he accepted Kunti's story. After hearing Kunti, Karna does not despise or judge her. Karna accepts her as she is: a human being with all inherent frailties and weaknesses. He forgave her and gave her a promise that no harm would come to her 4 children and she would still have 5 children at the end of the war.

Even this noble gesture does not open Kunti's eyes. It took several more lives till she finally speaks the truth. 

Kunti lives her whole life in deception while appearing to be the all suffering mother. Her children worship the false image she creates. The image projected to protect her interest even at the cost of her children's life.

Kunti justifies all her actions in the name of family harmony. The actions in the end destroy the very family it was meant to protect.

The story ends with Yudhistira cursing Kunti that from now on no woman will be able to carry such a secret. Kunti bows her head and walks into vanavasa.

The story that begins with the image of a loving mother ends with a shamed mother. The neglected son ends by forgiving and blessing the mother while the upright son curses her.

Such is life. A life in which mothers act to protect their self interest. A life where a mother pits one son against another. A life where a mother take away from one child what is his and gives it to another and neglects the third.

A life where the wronged son forgives and the blessed son curses.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Quotes On Meditation

"The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large." 

said Confucius. Patajanli gave a solution 

" When negative or harmful thoughts disturb the mind, they can be overcome by constant pondering over their opposites"

as did Marcus Aurelius

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together,but do so with all your heart.” He also reminds us “When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love ...”

On anger Marcus Aurelius said

“Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”

Let me conclude with this quote:

“The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this lifetime.” - Sogyal Rinpoche

and a prayer

" God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference" - Reinhold Niebuhr

Friday, July 20, 2012

On the gift of sight - The New Indian Express

Please read this beautiful article "On the Gift of Sight" by Ms. Akshaya Pillai published in Indian Express Newspaper on 21 July 2012. Link to the article is given below:


On the gift of sight

By Akshaya Pillai - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM 21st July 2012 12:10 PM

Tom Miranda reclines on an armchair in the verandah of his house at Kannammoola, flipping the pages of the newspaper, scrutinizing the reports in detail. Eighty four-year-old Tom, a retired army Captain, doesn’t need specks to read the scrawny print. But he wasn’t always like this. Until 6 months back, despite owning a thick soda glass spectacles, the world around him was blurred and smudged. 

A surgery worked a wonder.

Approximately 8.9 million people are visually challenged in India and of these 5.12 million cases are attributed to cataract. A painless surgery spanning a few minutes is all that takes to get rid of this trouble. Then what is it that stands in the way when it comes to bridging the gap between darkness and vision? 

“Cataract is common mostly in people above 50 years, and such people cannot make it on their own to the hospital. They have to depend on their children. I think bystanders are the major issue. You don’t even have to get the patient admitted, it is just a matter of four visits and an hour-long surgery after which the patient can immediately be taken back home,” says Dr Devin Prabhakar, Divya Prabha Eye Hospital, Kumarapuram.

The lavender-painted hospital is flooded with patients. With her hair tied up into a knot on the crown of her head, Sarasu, an employee of the hospital, juggles various petty tasks. “I almost lost vision after a stone particle damaged my cornea and by then my family disowned me. It was then that I got a surgery done and my vision was restored for free,” she says, her eyes brimming and voice shuddering as she narrates. 

Rashtriya Swastiya Bhima Yojna allows all BPL card holders to avail free surgeries and treatments upto ` 30,000 per annum. “There are 28 lakh smart card (RSBY) holders in Kerala and they have the option to get their eye surgeries done free of cost,” says P Sukumar, Director of CHIAK (Comprehensive Health Insurance Agency of Kerala)

 Losing eye sight can be confusing and devastating. Fear creeps in and paranoia is another reason why some shrug their shoulders at the mention of a surgery. Dr Devin recalls how once a blind woman who was brought by her daughter-in-law for an eye surgery kept screaming, convinced that she was brought there to be killed. Sixty two-year-old Bhaskaran P is another typical case in point. Ironically, he works as a watchman and suffers from diminishing eye sight. His eyes water when he reads or watches TV, but he hasn’t yet visited an eye hospital. On asking him why, he brings his finger close to my eyes as if to poke at them, “You get scared when I do this, right? Then how will I let them operate on my eyes! What if I go blind after that?” he asks.

 “Cataract surgeries are mostly successful. Very rarely, there might be a need for an after-cataract surgery, in which, laser treatment is used to remove the hazy posterior capsule from your line of sight. This isn’t risky either,” Dr Devin adds.

In a year, around 6000 major eye surgeries are done in the Government Eye Hospital. Ask P S Girija Devi, director of the hospital about the success rate and she says, “Almost 98% of the surgeries are successful but it differs from case to case.”

Cataract is common and age has little to do with it. If you are finding it hard to read this article or if you know that your parents are finding it exhausting to read or to focus, then make your way to an eye clinic soon. Its only a matter of a few hours and the result is sure to be rewarding.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why Divya Prabha!

Divya Prabha Eye Hospital was founded in 1998 by Prof. Dr. Suseela Prabhakaran and is now an established centre of excellence for people requiring rapid access to ophthalmic treatment. While we offer a wide array of ophthalmic treatments, the Hospital is renowned for being a leading centre for cataract surgery in Kerala. We only do cataract one way, the way we would want it done for our own family members, many of whom we already have. We plan and perform your procedure using the best customized plans with the safest technology available anywhere worldwide to help you achieve your personal best vision.

You might get a discounted fee at some center, but only by agreeing to lesser technology, less surgeon involvement, and much less follow up care. And more importantly, in most cases, your surgeon won’t be the one doing your evaluation, the single most important step to accuracy in treatment!

Evidence shows that if you choose a hospital in which you feel comfortable and confident, you're likely to improve both the result of your treatment and your experience while you're in hospital. You should learn as much as you can about available technologies and about your surgeon in whom you place your trust to take care of your precious sight.

There are many reasons for you to prefer Divya Prabha Eye Hospital. Here are only a few examples of why discerning patients choose Divya Prabha Eye Hospital.

 As a surgeon owned and managed hospital, we are deeply invested in our patient's futures and are unrelenting in our vision to deliver the highest levels of clinical care, innovation and patient satisfaction.

 You will have a very high degree of access to your surgeon. Your surgeon will be intimately involved with your post operative care unlike in the other environments where volume demands require that operating surgeons are almost always operating.

 Our cataract success rates are are higher than the national UK average. Our cataract complication rates are significantly lower than the national average for NHS in UK .

 Previous surveys have shown 1 in 350 cases of endophthalmitis (a serious infection in the eye following surgery) within the NHS in UK; there have been no cases in Divya Prabha Eye Hospital.

 Waiting times with prior appointment is fifteen minutes

 Clinical results comparable to UK and USA

Apart from cataract surgery, we offer a comprehensive range of treatments for eye conditions and are continually introducing new services bringing best practice from around the world.

Divya Prabha Eye Hospital's mission is to make people happy by restoring vision. We will strive to provide a single high standard of eye care consistent with our tradition of excellence. The hospital is dedicated to the protection, preservation and restoration of vision. For children, who have a world to discover and explore, and for adults, who desire to live independently and with dignity, at any age.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Summer Safety for Children

In Summer children spend more time outdoors – trips to the beach, cricket and playing in the yard. Research shows that children's eyes can be damaged from sun exposure, just like their skin. This damage may put them at increased risk of developing debilitating eye diseases such as cataracts or macular degeneration as adults. It is important to make sure your children are wearing 100 percent UV blocking sunglasses. Whenever you are outside with children, remember to put a hat and/or sunglasses on them just as you would yourself. Children should be taught at a young age to wear sunglasses and hats to protect their eyes from the sun, so they will grow up with healthy sun protection habits. Keep children out of the sun between peak times -10 a.m. and 2 p.m.-- when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.

Here are some summertime safety suggestions for children.

Make sure your kids wear sunglasses - Sunglasses for children may be purchased inexpensively. Check for 100 percent UV protection when buying sunglasses: Make sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV rays and UV-B rays. Don’t focus on the color or darkness of sunglass lenses: Select sunglasses that block UV rays. The ability to block UV light is not dependent on the price tag. Look for glasses with a polycarbonate lens; children under six may need a pair with straps to keep them in place.

Wear protective eyewear when playing sports. Tens of thousands of sports and recreation-related eye injuries occur each year. The good news is that 90 percent of serious eye injuries are preventable through use of protective eyewear. While helmets are required for many organized sports like cricket, protective eyewear unfortunately is not. For all age groups, sports-related eye injuries occur most frequently in basketball and racquet sports. Sports eye protection should meet the specific requirements of that sport; these requirements are usually established and certified by the sport's governing body and/or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

If sand gets in your child's eyes, no rubbing. If a child gets sand blown or thrown into his eyes, an adult should immediately take him to a sink with running water. You should restrain the child from rubbing his eyes, as this can irritate the thin corneal tissue and make symptoms worse. Encourage the child to blink; also crying will help as the tears remove eye irritants. If the child’s eye still bothers him, it is important to seek medical attention from an Eye M.D.

This article reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeSmart™ campaign (www.geteyesmart.org).

Knowing Your Risks Can Stop the Sneak Thief of Sight

Glaucoma is a silent illness; most people have no early symptoms or warning signs as their peripheral vision diminishes or blind spots occur. It affects more than 2.3 million Americans age 40 and older. Another 2 million do not know they have the disease. March is Glaucoma Awareness Month, and Divya Prabha Eye Hospital wants to remind people that knowing your risk for the disease can save your sight. If untreated, glaucoma ultimately results in blindness.

“Glaucoma can be a ‘sneak thief’ illness, and currently there is no treatment to restore vision once it’s lost,” said Prof. Dr. Suseela Prabhakaran. “But when we catch glaucoma early and closely monitor and treat people, we can significantly slow its progression and minimize vision loss.”

Those who have a family history of the illness are four to nine times more susceptible. Other glaucoma risk factors include aging, nearsightedness, previous eye injuries, steroid use and health conditions including cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and migraine headache.

For individuals with symptoms of or at risk for eye diseases like glaucoma, the Academy recommends that they see their ophthalmologist to determine how frequently their eyes should be examined. The Academy recommends that those with no symptoms or risk factors for eye disease get a baseline screening at age 40, when the signs of disease and change in vision may start to occur.

About Glaucoma

Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, the part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain. As glaucoma worsens, cells die in the retina — a special, light-sensitive area of the eye — reducing the optic nerve’s ability to relay visual information to the brain. In the most common form of the disease, open-angle glaucoma, peripheral vision usually narrows, then other blank spots occur in the visual field. Symptoms of the less-common but more acutely dangerous form of the disease, closed-angle glaucoma, include blurred vision, severe eye pain and headache, rainbow-colored halos around lights and nausea and vomiting. Anyone with these symptoms needs to be seen by an Eye M.D. right away.

Living with Glaucoma: It’s all in the Family

Glaucoma remains a leading cause of preventable blindness. It affects more than 2.3 million Americans age 40 and older. Another 2 million do not know they have the disease. January is Glaucoma Awareness Month and knowing your risks for glaucoma can save your sight. Glaucoma can quietly damage the eye and optic nerve even before a person notices vision problems. Such damage cannot be reversed once it occurs.

Top risk factors for glaucoma are:

  • Age (65 years and older)
  • Elevated eye pressure
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • African, Asian or Latino ethnicity
  • Related health problems, including diabetes, low blood pressure, migraine headaches

For people of any age with symptoms or risks for eye disease, such as glaucoma, Divya Prabha Eye Hospital recommends seeing an Eye M.D. to decide on eye exam intervals and other needed care. For adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease, a baseline screening is recommended at age 40—the time when the early stages of age-related eye disorders and vision changes may begin. Based on this screening information, the Eye M.D. will prescribe how often to return for follow-up exams.

Family support from the first diagnosis can make all the difference, as is true for many chronic illnesses. Family members can help an elder set up a medication schedule that fits his or her daily routine and help him or her learn to self-administer eye drops. Empathic listening and companionship are also important, as studies show depressed or isolated patients are less likely to adhere to treatment.

The article is by The American Academy of Ophthalmology.