Notes to Myself


June 2009

Michael Jackson

By now all of the living beings (and most of the unborn) have mourned MJ’s death.

I was going through Michael Jackson death articles and obituaries – and one thing that struck me was: People were pouring truck-loads of adjectives on all the virtues he possessed (and some he never had!)…the same people who sometime ago were criticizing him like anything.

Here is one comment on one of the articles that sums people’s reaction well:

There’s no Biz like Show Biz

When he was up they frowned.

They smiled to see him drowned.

How they are quick to remember and boast.

But where were they when he needed them most?

I do not want to comment on his virtues, his life and controvercial events…I just want to listen to his songs…again and again!

Here are 2 songs I came across recently for the first time and liked very much…

The first one is from his childhood band Jackson 5…Just look at the confidence he shows at the tender age of 7 or 8:

The second is one of his earliest solo hits..this sounds like Bappi Lahiri songs of 80s (undoubtedly copied from similar songs)

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उत्कट-बित्कट होऊ नये — संदीप खरे

मी आधी म्हटल्याप्रमाणे अधूनमधून मला आवडलेल्या कविता इथे पोस्ट करत जाईन… नुकतेच मला संदीप खरे ह्याच्या कवितांचे कलेक्शन एकाने फॊरवर्ड केले…त्यातलीच ही एक कविता.

बरेच दिवसात ’आयूष्यावर बोलू काही’ ला गेलो नाही, त्यामुळे मला तरी ही कविता नवीनच आहे…


उत्कट-बित्कट होऊ नये, भांडू नये, तंडू नये..
असे वाटते आज-काल, नवे काही मांडू नये

नको कुठला नवा भार, जुनेच गुंते शिल्लक फार..
सूर गाठ-नीर गाठ, राहून द्याव्यात, ओढू नये…
असे वाटते आज-काल, नवे काही मांडू नये

असे वाटते बसून घ्यावे, उरले श्वास मोजत रहावे..
जन्मा-बिन्मा आलो त्याचे, पांग सुद्धा फेडू नये…
असे वाटते आज-काल, नवे काही मांडू नये

शिंकांसारखे सोपस्कार, मला झालीये गर्दी फार..
असल्या गळक्या जगण्यासाठी, रूमालसुद्धा काढू नये…
असे वाटते आज-काल, नवे काही मांडू नये

कुठे कधी रमला जीव, खरंच फार दमला जीव..
वजन, ज्ञान, ओळख, पित्त काही-काही वाढू नये…
असे वाटते आज-काल, नवे काही मांडू नये

कसले प्रहर, कसला काळ, मनात कायम संध्याकाळ..
तिच्या कुशीत मांडली कविता, तेवढी मात्र मोडू नये…
असे वाटते आज-काल, नवे काही मांडू नये ॥ ७ ॥

~ संदीप खरे

Unexpected side effects of LASIK eye surgey

No…I’m not talking about any physical side effects that you should be worried about (Been to the clinic today for routine check-up and my eyesight is pretty good now!)

I am referring to ‘unexpected side effects’ in lighter vein…I knew the surgery would change the way I see things…but not in this sense L

I joined office in a couple of days after the surgery – and the first thing I noticed was:

There is a girl (actually a ‘few’ girls) at my workplace that I thought rather ‘good looking’ and ‘cute’! That was with my weak eyesight…but when I joined back, I found that the girl (or girls) were not actually so ‘good looking’ (in fact one was total ‘disaster’!)

(This is because, in spite of weak eye sight I did not use to wear glasses or lenses)

Then we come to my floor where I sit…here we do have some ‘greenery’…and that looked even more ‘green’ with the now-perfect vision…but the tragedy here was something else.

A few girls from this lot used to smile at me whenever we crossed each other – or at least that is what I had thought…and playing a thorough gentleman (which was a difficult act, by the way) I used to return smile (or at least try make a face that would be close to being suspected as smile)

But new ‘vision’ broke that myth…the girls actually used to laugh at me L…or make weird faces when they had gone past (as if they had seen a ‘Jaadoo’ from Koi Mil Gaya)…

Poor Me…I had different thought about myself then and now the vision about real me is clear.

They say ‘Ignorance is Bliss’…I would say ‘Myopia is Bliss

~ Kaustubh

My LASIK surgery experience

On Saturday I successfully underwent LASIK Eye surgery.


My eyesight was very good and never had to wear glasses…until 2009. But in Jan 2009 I went to eye clinic and was diagnosed with Myopia. The power was -1 for the right eye and 0.75 for the left. Though it was pretty less and I could do with glasses – I was very disturbed with this. I took as a insult and could not digest the fact that my eyesight has weakened.

So I decided to get LASIC eye surgery done. My friend had undergone it and got rid of glasses (power: -3.5 and -3). He explained the procedure as a simple one: ‘There are no stitches or injections – it is done in less than 1 hr. and you can go back to routine work in 1-2 days’ – that’s all!

So I went to doctor in Jan 2009 – the same day I got glasses. The doctor said, we would have to wait for 6 months to make sure that the number has stabilized….so I had no option was to wait till June 2009. (It was very difficult for me to control my stubbornness and agree to it)

Day -4 (Last week): I visited the doctor. She carried out a few tests to make sure that the surgery would suit me. The test measures thickness of cornia (which is usually 500 microns or more). The thickness has to be sufficient since the treatment involves chopping off a few microns of cornea. Fortunately the tests results were normal. So the LASIK was scheduled for the week end.

Day 0 (i.e. Yesterday): I reached clinic by 9:30 AM. No preparation was necessary – except for one eye drops that I had to put for a couple of days prior to the surgery.

Since Saturday was the only day when doctor would do LASIK, there was a long queue – I was surprised to see so many people opting for it, and was relieved a bit by knowing that the surgery has become routine now and there was nothing much to worry about.Some of the patients had come from other parts of state and India – one had flown from Chicago, since the cost of this surgery there is very high ($3000 for both eyes v/s Rs. 40,000 in India i.e. approx $800)

All of us were seated in a room. The assistant doctor put numbing drops in our eyes. The numbing drops help to make your eyes go numb, feeling heavy – so that there is no need of any anaesthesia.

The drops were put several times after a gap for 10-15 mins. Then doctor started calling each of us one by one.

Because of over-inquisitive nature I had read on the internet all about surgery – and knew exactly what I would experience and would feel. (That caused a mixed feeling – a bit of anxiety about certain procedures and a bit of comfort of not having to face any ‘surprises’)

Before my turn I was made to wear the green apron – it looks bit depressing on me. After I was called, I went into the operation theatre – 3 or four doctors were ready to welcome me with smile (You actually can’t see the smile – because their mouth is covered with the mask – but you can sense the smile)

Actual surgery:

The LASIK procedure took about 5-7 minutes per eye; off which the LASER treatment was hardly 10 sec. for each eye.

  • First, they obtained informed consent with verbal explanation of what to expect and written documentation about risks of the procedure.
  • Antibiotic drops, and then topical anaesthetic drops were then put into each eye
  • Next, I was led to a room with a slit lamp and a purple surgical marker was used to mark the edge at two spots (3:00 and 6:00) where cornea meets sclera
  • Then I was taken to the room where the Excimer Laser is kept. The procedure was carried out first on the right eye, and then the left. There was a team of 3-4 doctors.
  • Doctor placed a “speculum” (a spring contraption to hold the eyelids open) on whichever eye was undergoing the procedure.
  • Next, a ‘vacuum ring’
    ike a suction cup) was placed over the cornea

During this time, I was lying back facing up and I was instructed to watch a green blinking light the whole time. The pressure of the suction cup increases the internal (intraoccular) pressure of the eye quite a bit. The suction cup increases the pressure to the point that blood flow ceases through the retinal artery – then you temporarily lose sight in the eye. I observed this as a PAINLESS darkening of my vision, lasting for just a matter of seconds

  • During those seconds, I hear a whirling instrument that ran for a second or two. That was the “microkeratome” which cuts a thin slice of cornea, lifting a flap of the surface of the cornea I felt something painless during this on the right, but felt noting associated with the noise on the left. I must emphasize, that throughout the procedure, I felt absolutely no pain and really, I found the whole process to be easily tolerated.
  • Then Doctor inspected the flap.
    • The flap is a surface layer of cornea raised but that is attached to the eye at one edge.
    • If the flap where avulsed (ripped free), then the doctor would suture it back on and stop the whole operation.
    • If the cornea had been cut through and perforated, then you might have to wear a hard contact and hope it would heal – I was told that in such a situation, the cornea might scar to the point that you could need a corneal transplant to be able to regain clear vision. In that case, the procedure would also be stopped at that point.
    • Such complications were said to occur in less than 1/10 of 1 % or less than 1 in a 1000
  • As the suction cup was relaxed and the vision quickly recovered in my eye. At this point, however, the green blinking light was totally blurred and cloudy.
  • Then with the flap laid back, they take a laser, which is driven by a computer program and the parameters or numbers they have entered into it. The laser passes over the inner corneal surface and vaporizes micro layers of cells to thin the cornea to the prescribed or planned thickness. This whole step seemed to require only a few seconds.
  • After thinning the cornea as planned, the flap is laid back and we sit quietly for about 5 minutes, letting it ‘stick’ down. The speculum was loosened during this time but left in place to prevent blinking.
  • Finally, the speculum was removed and the procedure began on the left eye. After surgery was completed on the left, plastic shields were placed over my eyes and taped to my face (to prevent me from rubbing them inadvertently).

Here is a video of complete LASIK surgery I got from YouTube:

The total cost was about INR 40,000 (i.e. approx. $800)

More about some other interesting points on LASIK later…

New desktop wallpaper…

Click to enlarge…

Quote On Power

Recently I read this blog post by a friend about her unpleasant experiences at workplace and her annoying boss.

I have very strong feelings against such people who misinterpret their ‘authority’ or ‘power’ and exercise it in wrong manner. Using your power in a work related matters is understandable – but cannot be justified when your boss tries to use it as per his whims and fancies.

In this context I remembered a quote from our MBA module called ‘Mindful Manager’. Though we all made cracks at those Mindful manager sessions (needless to say I was at the forefront!!!), I must admit that I liked the basic concept a lot… (Candid confession! Does this qualify to be a ‘Breaking News’??? Any India TV reporters out there?)

So here is the quote on Power:

“Power is the illusion people get when they are obeyed…[they] discover what their power is really made of when they start to lose it. They realise, but too late, that it was ‘made’ of the wills of others”

[Latour 1986 p 268]

I completely agree with this – and to add to it…it is the ‘lack of will of others’ that allows the people holding power the luxury of misusing it.

‘Millionth English word’ declared

First there was lot of hype in the Indian media when it was declared that ‘Jai Ho’ – the Hindi phrase popularised by Oscar-winner Slumdog Millionaire is competing to be the ‘Millionth English word’

There is still a wide debate on exactly how many words English language has – some say its impossible to decide exactly while others say there are more than a million words already!

Here is the list of words that were competing for the Millionth spot:

Global Language Monitor claims to keep track of these words.

And according to the results published by them – ‘Jai Ho’ has lost the race to ‘Web 2.0’. ‘Jai Ho’ stood at 2nd spot – thus becoming 999,999th word in English language.

Obama recently gave a wake-up call to his countryment when he said ‘Buckle up as the Indians and the Chinese are coming’

So Millionth word or not – it doesn’t matter. The fact is more and more Hindi words (and maybe other regional words thereafter) would make their way to English language.

So the one word the US and the rest of the English speaking people should adopt (and start using) is our very own filmy outcry – ‘Bachao!‘ 🙂

निशाणी डावा अंगठा

नुकताच मी ’निशाणी डावा अंगठा’ हा चित्रपट पाहिला…सुंदर चित्रपट आहे! बरेच दिवसांनी एक चांगला आणि आशयपूर्ण चित्रपट पाहिल्याचे समधान मिळाले. (याआधी डोंबिवली फास्ट आणि वळू हे चित्रपट मला आवडले होते….आणि चेकमेट हा आणखी एक वेगळा मराठी चित्रपट आठवतोय. तसे मधले काही चर्चित चित्रपट पहायचे राहून गेले आहे. उदा. गाभ्रीचा पाऊस)

बुलढाण्यातल्या रमेश इंगळे-उत्रादकर या प्राथमिक शिक्षकाने ’निशाणी डावा अंगठा’ नावाची एक कादंबरी लिहीली. १९९७ ते २००० या काळात ’प्रौढ साक्षरता अभियान’
हा उपक्रम सरकारने खेडोपाडी राबवला. करोडो रुपये खर्चून केलेले हे अभियान लोकांपर्यंत पोचले – पण ते कसे, यावर नर्मविनोदी आणि उपहासगर्भ पद्धतीने लिहिलेली ही कादंबरी आहे…कागदोपत्री यशस्वी झालेली योजना आणि प्रत्यक्षात तिचा उडालेला बोजवारा ह्यावरच ही कादंबरी बेतलेली आहे. त्यातल्याच निवडक प्रसंगांचे चित्ररुपांतर म्हणजे हा चित्रपट.

अशोक सराफ, मकरंद अनासपुरे, निर्मिती सावंत, मोहन आगाशे, दिलीप प्रभावळकर ह्या कसलेल्या अभिनेत्यांचा सहजसुंदर अभिनय आणि इतर कलाकारांची तितकीच दमदार साथ – वर बोनस म्हणून संदीप खरे यांची गीते आणि सलील कुलकर्णी यांचे संगीत.

ह्याच्या आसपासच ’झी मराठी’ चा ’गल्लीत गोंधळ…’ रिलीज झाल्या मुळे ह्या चित्रपटाला म्हणावी तशी प्रसिद्धी मिळू शकली नाही… पण तरिही ज्यांनी तो पाहिला त्या सर्वांना तो आवडला.

अगदी काहीच उणीवा नाहीत असे नाही – म्हणजे भरत जाधव आनि संजय नार्वेकर या ’स्टार्स’ ना उगाचच ओढून ताणून एक सीन दिला आहे ज्याची काहिही गरज नव्हती…पण असे १-२ किरकोळ मुद्दे सोडले तर चित्रपट चांगला आहे. जरूर पहा.

Just for fun…What is the difference between ignorance and apathy?

My friend: What is the difference between ignorance and apathy?

K (in an irritated tone): I don’t know and I don’t care.

He said: Well done! Right answer 🙂

~ Kaustubh

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