ASSORTED QUOTES

INDIA

India is nothing if not a land of towering hope in the midst of despair and shimmering positivity in the midst of gloom. (Original article here)

Being so mindblowingly diverse, in India one woman’s culture can be another woman’s sin and one man’s tradition can be another man’s abuse. (Original article here)

Mahatma Gandhi once told the British to ‘leave India to God or chaos’. It looks as if successive Indian politicians have (surprisingly) listened to the Mahatma in this resepct: they have for the most part left India to God and chaos. (Original article here)

It’s just that Indians highly admire fairness – the dermatological variety, I mean. (Original article here)

One embarrassing aspect about our education system is how, until the 10th to 12th classes, it promotes intermingling of children belonging to all castes, but how after that, through the reservation policy for admissions further ahead, it sows the seeds of acrimony among students. (Original article here)

Interestingly the Constitution, because it upholds secularism, gives all citizens extensive rights under “freedom of religion”; a religious non-secular state would, to think of it, put random restrictions even on people belonging to the “sanctioned” religion (especially women and disadvantaged communities), let alone those of other faiths or atheists. (Original article here)

Perhaps that’s what the government systems in India direly need: dreamers and doers. People who know it is mighty difficult to create change, but who still dream of doing it and would work tirelessly for it. (Original article here)

Scrap Gandhi’s photo from currency notes and try to put someone else’s. There’ll be civil war. Bloodshed. Each region will want its own ‘hero’ there, and being Indians, no one will compromise, no one will show tolerance, no one will try to form a peaceful consensus. Thankfully Gandhi, peering through currency notes, is keeping India somewhat united even after his death. (Original article here)

People talk as if serving the nation is a job restricted only to Indians living abroad, while Indians living in India can very well carry on with the sanskar and parampara of corruption and selfishness. (Original article here)

As kids we are taught about a unique quality of air: how despite being invisible and impalpable, it completely sustains our existence. Similarly, the Constitution pervades every aspect of our life even if we don’t realise it: it totally sustains our civic existence. And just like the air, it too is very susceptible to getting polluted (through the seeping in of toxic words and phrases). (Original article here)

MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH

India’s medical profession thus needs a grand metamorphosis, and the one thing which can make that eminently possible is a rekindling of the humanity we [i.e., doctors] have either forgotten, or been forced to bury. (Original article here)

How far will you go to save your child or parents? To poverty and beyond, is what many thousand Indians are doing each day. (Original article here)

In a strange tale plausible only in ‘incredible’ India, parents dream of their children learning medicine in big government hospitals, but would never want to take their child to those same hospitals if they were sick. (Original article here)

If it were ever possible for all the emotions of all the people in the hospital to collectively float above and form a cloud, that cloud on condensing would rain ecstasy and hope, and despair and melancholia, and everything in between, all at once. (Original article here)

Our singular focus on just the outcome (of reducing deaths) has sadly led to a gross neglect of the right methods to achieve it, with the health system forgetting that a pregnant woman is a human being (and “not a birthing machine”) who deserves to be treated respectfully and provided all information honestly. (Original article here)

In India, as in much of the world, being poor, sick, and female is the worst state you can be in. But what I realized over the years is that being poor and pregnant is equally awful. (Original article here)

It is shameful that a woman’s intimate memories of giving birth largely depend on her financial status. Wealthier women generally have “beautiful” memories of being treated well and spoken to respectfully, while many poor women bitterly, even depressingly, remember how hospital staff yelled at or hit them. (Original article here)

It is safe to assume that no one wishes to die that way in a hospital. It is also safe to claim that both doctors and relatives of patients forget this safe assumption at crucial moments. (Original article here)

LIFE

It would be foolish of course to belittle the importance in life of money, but it is also ill-advised to give it too much weight. Understanding this subtle truth is the sine qua non for ensuring that the important choices of life stay choices, not bargains. (Original article here)

I consider my life to be just an anthropomorphized form of accumulated altruistic acts of others. (Original article here)

Isn’t a suicidal or a highly depressed person in our midst a collective failure of us all? (Original article here)

We possess a unique knack for always contesting facts (which rattle our prejudices), with what we like to call ‘real facts’ (which cotton to our prejudices). (Original article here)

A cancer survivor indeed is an extraordinary kind of human being, surviving through multiple tremendously agonizing events: the initial scare of possible diagnosis, the subsequent pain of certain diagnosis, the trauma of hospital visits and therapy conversations, the physical exhaustion from intense treatment regimens, the constant dangling of the ‘relapse sword’, and, well, the gargantuan mental toll of all that. (Original article here)

If not for anything else, it is for the hope of creating marvellous stories that we should donate — to Nepal now, and to any and every other community in need in the future. Stories like that of the old diabetic woman living to see her grandkid because our donations helped provide her life-saving insulin; of the young boy/girl saved from being orphaned and a likely life of crime/exploitation because our aid money made possible the life-saving surgery of his/her surviving parent; of the mother and father of two saved from permanent indebtedness and depression because we, through our fundraising, helped them rebuild their home. (Original article here)

The concept of female “chastity” is one of the most preposterous ideas in all history. We hear of parents of a girl burning or shooting her just because she willingly went out with a man they didn’t approve of, but we never hear of them doing the same with her brother even if he assaults or rapes another woman. (Original article here)

SOCIAL LIFE

It perhaps makes more sense to describe our life trajectories in terms of how much more we give now than before, instead of how much more we possess now than before. (Original article here)

I find ethically wrong the argument that previous injustice is just cause for present injustice. (Original article here)

Religion, much like a welfare scheme of the government — conceived wisely at the top with fairly laudatory intentions — gets messed up by the time it reaches the masses. (Original article here)

Death is a fascinating concept to ruminate about. While old age prompts the grey matter to frequently ponder over the greyer theme of one’s own death, middle age for most people involves occasional dark thoughts about their parents’ proximate deaths. (Original article here)

The problem with current religious leaders and zealots is that they are still romantically wishful of the pre-enlightenment era in this super-modern world; quite like Argus Filch, who missed the ‘old punishments of hanging students by their wrists from the ceilings’ in the enlightened modern world of Headmaster Dumbledore. (Original article here)

Love and libido come naturally, but marriage is what people created to sort of regulate those natural instincts. Mmmm quite like religion. Devotion and spirituality are natural, but we created religion to artificially discipline those feelings. Because the wimpy “society” always tends to freak out if things do not follow a set pattern! (Original article here)

MISCELLANEOUS

India and the US are similar in many subtle ways which we don’t easily recognise; for example, the cinematic portrayal of non-majority communities. While the typical Hollywood protagonist has overwhelmingly been White and male, the typical Bollywood lead has majorly been Hindu and male. (Original article here)

History is the greatest guru of all. It is not just a chronicle of the past, but also a crucible of precious lessons. (Original article here)

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