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When I get time, I listen to music, or read books. If any is left, I blog!

Sunday 13 December 2020

Real Science With A Rational Philosophy*

When I was a school kid, while eating fish one night, a thorn got stuck in my throat.  Nothing could dislodge it.  Panic-stricken, I ran to my grandfather who said: “Take this medicine and go to sleep. By morning, you will be alright.”  I was.  That was my first experience of Homeopathy.

Years later, I underwent a minor surgery for a sebaceous cyst.  It reappeared, and had to be operated again.  The persistent cyst returned.  Once again, ''sugar coated pills'' came to my help.  On hearing this, the surgeon commented: “Nothing but placebo.''  I quipped: “If that's so doctor, next time, give me a bottle of placebo!”

One reason for discounting Homeopathy, lies in the perception that its micro-diluted medicines are too weak to heal.  Another, is the practice of treating the same disease with different medicines of different strengths.  The lack of documented therapeutic proof is yet another reason for flak.

Homeopathy propounds that more dilute a medicine, stronger is its healing power.  The 'individualised' treatment takes into account not only the patient's physical condition, but also emotional status, lifestyle and food habits.  This holistic approach triggers the body's inherent ability to heal.  Help at hand is available in the huge collection of medicines totalling 8661, of which 6107 are widely prescribed.

Homeopathy has been known in India for over 200 years.  The Calcutta Homeopathic Medical College was established in 1881.  By 1976, 'Central Council for Research in Indian Homeopathy' began to coordinate research activities, and publish the findings in 'Indian Journal for Research in Homeopathy' for international scrutiny.  Today, 194 government approved colleges offer Diploma, Graduate and PG level education in Homeopathy.

Despite these, if some countries wish to ban Homeopathy, it is only because of the apathy of big business houses.  Unlike Modern medicine, Homeopathy demands no expensive equipment or complex synthetic formulations.  Naturally, investment opportunities are scarce.

The question uppermost in mind is, why does the world view Homeopathy as a competitor to Modern medicine?  When this gentle and affordable therapy has the competence to support and strengthen other systems of medical practices, why aren't we welcoming it, particularly its unique potential to eliminate root causes of a disease without side effects?

*Homeopathy, Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore once said is "not merely a collection of a few medicines but a real science with a rational philosophy at its base".

 “Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth
because they don't want their illusions destroyed.”

- Friedrich Nietzsche -

Wednesday 18 November 2020

If It's Wednesday, This Must Be...*

None of us are alone. Something or someone always keeps us company.  Few stay on to ruin our happiness; few others take away happiness as they leave.  The one that I cherish steers clear of both.

Those were the days when Television, Mobile Phone or the Social Media weren't there to disturb or distract us.  We had ample time to stay engaged. In between, we tuned in to the radio to unwind.  The programmes were entertaining and diverting.  One perfect example was the 'Binaca Geetmala'.

Many in today's generation might wonder, what's so special about 'Binaca Geetmala'.  This was the programme that introduced us to the melodious world of Hindi film songs.  We heard the best of songs in a weekly countdown format.  We also learnt about the geniuses who created them.  Such was its mass appeal that the raging linguistic differences prevailing in certain parts of India were forgotten.  Slowly and steadily, 'Binaca Geetmala', a habit by then, was beginning to mould our musical taste.

The credit for launching this most popular Radio programme in South Asia must go to Radio Ceylon.  It readily and promptly grabbed the opportunity, All India Radio squandered through an incomprehensible ban on film songs.  The prime mover behind this incredible journey that went on for a record breaking 45 years, was the show's anchor, Padma Shree Ameen Sayani, 'the man with the golden voice'.  He gave a new definition to Programme Hosting, galvanised Radio Advertising, and set a benchmark for others to follow.

Years have passed.  The nostalgic feel is still alive.  And the reason can best be summed up thus:
My listeners are like family. I may be reaching out to multitudes, but I speak as though I am talking to just one individual.”
- Ameen Sayani -
*A take off on the 1969 film, 'If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium' by Wolper Pictures/United Artists.

Monday 21 September 2020

Above And Beyond Words...

Five years of silence! The world around me kept shouting, shrieking and screaming.  In the mad race to be heard, decency and dignity gracefully withdrew; I too.  If you find me back, thank the 15,000 odd visitors who viewed my blog, even when I wasn't updating it.

During this period (COVID-19 included), I never felt fed up, forlorn or forsaken.  Keeping me confident and cheerful was music.  Every genre, irrespective of its land or language, engaged me.  There was much to explore; much more to learn and experience.

An incident of over 25 years, comes to mind.  I was at a trade show in Delhi.  Hearing a Ghazal on the public address system, I asked the hostess in my company’s stall about that album.  She turned to her friend and quipped: ''Hey look.... Who's talking about Ghazals?''

The sarcasm was evident, but not surprising.  India being incredibly diverse, such perceptions based on ignorance do exist.  Few people know, fewer even bother to know that as early as 600 AD, dance-song forms like Ghazal and Maappila paattu (Qawwali), Oppana (Afna in Arabic) and Kolkkali, inspired by Sufi poetry and music had begun to emerge in Kerala.

Musicians like H Mahmoob, M S Baburaj (Mohammad Sabir Baburaj) and Umbayee (P A Ibrahim) contributed to the popularity of this musical stream.  No doubt, Hindi films with its wider reach, were at the forefront, but Malayalam films were not far behind.  In those early days of songs like Teri mehfil main kismat (Mughal-E-Azam), Na to karvan ki talash (Barsaat Ki Raat) and Sharma ke agar yun pardanashi (Chaudhvin Ka Chand), M S Baburaj composed a Qawwali for a Malayalam film, a trendsetter by any standard.

Aren't we fortunate to be living in this world of soothing rhythm, melody and harmony?

"Music was my refuge. 
 I could crawl into the space between the notes, and curl back to loneliness."
Mary Angelou -