Archive for November, 2009

A Fairy Tale …

Posted on November 15, 2009. Filed under: Mars & Venus |

“It was a busy morning, about 8:30 , when an elderly gentleman in his 80’s arrived at the hospital to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late.

He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. I was surprised, and asked him, ‘And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?’

He smiled, as he patted my hand and said, ‘She doesn’t know me, But I still know who she is.’ ………………. I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, ‘That is the kind of love I want in my life.’

True love is neither Physical, nor Romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

With all the jokes and fun that are on the net and elsewhere, sometimes there is one that comes along that has an important message. This one needed to be  shared. The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything they have. ‘Life isn’t about how to survive the storm. Its about dancing in the rain’.

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Nehru and Zhou …

Posted on November 12, 2009. Filed under: From a Services Career, Personalities |

Nov 14 is Nehru’s birthday.

Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, son of the affluent, influential barrister, Moti lal Nehru and father of Indira Gandhi. He was India’s first Prime Minister, who enchanted Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi on one hand and Edwina Mountbatten, wife of India’s last Viceroy, Lord Luis Mountbatten, on the other.

Indian PM from Independence to his death in May ’64, he committed India to a socialistic pattern of society, with the State controlling ‘the commanding heights of the economy’, as he admired the Soviet model.

His very first and only trip to the US was a fiasco with sad results. He and President Harry Truman were diamatric opposites with little in common bar their king size egos. One was the urbane Brit style upper class aristocrat and the other the man of humble origins – the plain speaking mid westerner famed for his, “The buck stops here!”. And for sacking the arrogant MacArthur.

At one time Nehru seemed so indispensable for India that a book had to be written, “After Nehru – Who?”.

Post events reduce Nehru to less than mediocrity. His greatest weakness was lack of  ‘Realpolitik’ as he handed over Tibet to the Chinese without a whimper and then bent backward to appease them with his ‘Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai’.

This did not prevent China from swallowing up hundreds of square miles of the Aksai Chin region through which they built a modern highway, giving  India a fait accompli. India truly did not know what had happened. In a painful, pitiable explanation, Nehru broadcast that it was a difficuult inhospitable, inaccessible region where not a blade of  grass  grew.

Sadly not at all true – as Geneal Ramu Gaur’s  photos of the area prove!

Here is Dag Hammarskjold (the Swedish Secy Gen of the UN) writing on Zhou en Lai, the Chinese PM –

 “It is a little bit humiliating when I have to say that Zhou En-lai to me appears as the most superior brain I have so far met in the field of foreign politics. So much more dangerous than you imagine because he is so much better a man than you have ever admitted”.

And now read Henry Kissingers on Zhou.

” Gaunt, expressive face dominated by piercing eyes, conveying a mixture of intensity and repose; of wariness and calm self-confidence.

He moved gracefully and with dignity – filling a room not by his physical dominance but by his air of controlled tension, steely discipline and self-control, as if he were a coiled spring.  There was little wasted motion, either in his words or in his movements.

Very genial. On the one hand he conveyed an easy casualness (which did not deceive the careful observer). On the other hand there was the palpable alertness, the features of a man, who had had burned into him, by a searing half century, the vital importance of self-possession.

There was an inner serenity, which enabled him to eschew petty maneuvers.

At meetings lasting many long hours, with 5-7 hour sessions, at no occasion did he reveal any impatience or imply that he had any thing else to do  –  he was governing the worlds largest country, both in area and population.

Leader for 50 years, Prime Minister for 25.

Equally at home in philosophy, reminiscence, historical analysis, tactical probes, humorous repartee, he could display an extraordinary graciousness. He had a special human quality”.

This was the man Nehru had to match.

The neo communist Krishna Menon was Nehru’s  blue eyed boy and Defence Minsiter.  At this man’s behest the much loved and respected Army Chief, General Thimaya, had been  reduced to a ‘has been’. Even the flambouyant Sam Manekshaw, a lowly Major General at the time,  was being side lined. Finally Menon’s  misadventures backfired with the well prepared and professional Chinese giving the ill trained, poorly led and possibly politicized Indian Army, a sound thrashing.

This  was enough to break the aristocratic Nehru heart. The poor man died broken, sad, disillusioned and humiliated – within two years of the event.

The Post titled ‘Battle of Walong’, highlights  the disaster which followed an order to launch a full size Battalion Attack, much against the Commandig Officers request for a day’s delay, so that a gift could be given to Nehru on his Birthday ie 14 Nov’ 62!

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Ponder Aristotle …

Posted on November 5, 2009. Filed under: Guide Posts, The Great Greeks |

Aristotle was a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. He wrote on many subjects and together with Plato, and Socrates comprises the Philosopher Trio.  Aristotle’s  influence extended well into the Renaissance.   His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic. He also had a profound influence on philosophical and theological thinking in the Islamic and Jewish traditions and continues to influence Christian theology. Cicero described his literary style as “a river of gold”. Here follow extracts from his work.

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.

Courage is the first of the human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all the others.

Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion. Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.

Well begun, is half done. What lies in our power to do, lies in our power not to do.

Thou will find rest from vain fancies if thou do’est every act in life as though it were thy last.

All bad precedents spring  from good  beginnings. Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.

Dignity exists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them. The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstance.

The aim of the wise in not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted right.

The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to others.

Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity. It is the best provision for old age.

All paid jobs absorbe and degrade the mind. Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.  The end of labor is liesure.

I have gained this form philosophy –  I do without being commanded what others do only from the fear of the law.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

The soul never thinks without a picture. In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. Nature does nothing in vain. If one way be better than another, than you  may be sure it is natures way.

The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

It  is best to rise from life as from a banquet, neither thirsty nor too drunken.

Bring your desires down to your present means. Increase them only when your increased means permit.

In nine cases out of ten, a woman had better show more affection than she feels.

The Gods too are fond of a joke.

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