A Sombre reality

It is no blasphemy. Sanatan Dharma, commonly called Hindu religion, has its own artifacts and deficits. However, its greatest strengths lie in its ability to question itself, introspect and build a logical foundation for the next generation of thoughts. This very ethos of the religion aligns well with the natural pursuit of human intelligence. It is this fundamental posit that has lead to its longevity through the annals of millenia and history. However, we also have to realize that, somewhere the safeguardians have introduced aberrations and fossilized those practices not enumerated by our religious texts.

In this blog, I have taken a critical view of two such percepts – the varna system and the deprecation of women as a second class citizen by a patriarchal society. https://wp.me/p7XEWW-12n

Sounds sombre… it will only stop with women being assertive of their own rights.

So i was writing this week in response to the reaction of a Christian from a southern Indian state who felt India is changing, it was never like this before…Let’s admit, we bastardized our own religion, fossilized the great ideas given by our Lords and created this Varna system.

Concurrently, we men (gender inclusive) also created and institutionalized patriarchal system, a dominance of a male gender over female, irrespective of the merits and often at the cost of innate vulnerabilities that the fair gender is born with.

Both are in servitude towards dominance of a state, that worked for millennia, at the cost of many. It’s a time for change. Seeming change in political ideology won’t be any resemblance to the actual and deemed change to these fundamental aberrations of justice.

Both, the class and varna mobility as well as gender equality has to rein in for a true freedom.

‘I couldn’t mourn my grandmother because I had my period’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-42608302

Flu – What you still need to do

On Sept. 4 2017, I shared a blog on the severity of flu for this season (starting Oct 2017 – March 2018). This wasn’t a prophecy but explanation based on scientific evidence two aspects –

The history of the mutations occurring in the virus, as collected from the evidence from Southern hemisphere (Australia is the target country).

The nature of the virus genome that makes turns on the infrequent genomic shifts and genomic drifts. The flu season for the fall of 2017 saw a antigenic shift rather than an antigenic drift.

If you haven’t vaccinated, it is time to get it done. Also, read some simple tips on how best to prevent flu.

Unlike most respiratory virus, flu is a systemic disease with high morbidity and occasional mortality in extremes if age. Even if the outlook is bleak, you should still definitely get a flu shot if you haven’t already, as it does provide effective protection against several strains, and a quick shot with minimal side effects is worth it to avoid days of being stuck in bed.

Hydrogen Peroxide – the best first remedy to prevention.

To some, it may seem primal but from my personal experience, I have always benefited by doing Hydrogen Peroxide gargles at those early stages when you identify that throat discomfort. As always, talk with your doctor to understand its usage.

But best remember to wash your hands too. Here is a reason…

Another things that helps to prevent flu and any other viral disease is to wash hands frequently, it is wise to be paranoid to think your hands are carrying the bugs if you haven’t washed those for some time now. It definitely makes sense not to touch any of the organs above your neck. If you haven’t washed your hands, it is safe to presume they will transmit those viruses.

Antigenic Shift versus Antigenic Drift

Because circulating flu virus strains change, it’s difficult for health agencies to predict how bad flu season will be in a given year. Despite a lack of certainty, health officials generally agree that the best way to protect a population is for as many people as possible to get the shot and participate in what scientists call “herd immunity.” When more people in a society become immune to a virus—or any disease—chances decrease that someone who isn’t immune will be exposed. That could mean the difference between life and death for some people who have weaker immune systems—including the elderly, young children, and people with chronic medical conditions.

The trouble is, the makeup of the viruses can change in the blink of the eye, because virus strains constantly mutate. Although researchers have clues about what a virus did previously, they’re usually guessing what specific changes will happen next. Viruses don’t grow naturally in eggs. They need to mutate in order to do so. Usually, these mutations don’t affect the vaccine later on. But when they do, they can render them effectively useless. This seems to be the case with the batch of flu vaccines given out this year.

Current vaccines are only 10% effective against this year’s main flu strain, called H3N2. The authors theorized that this was in part due to this mutation and in part because of a complication with the antibody serums used to make the vaccine fit for people.

H3N2 is also a particularly nasty strain, which historically is always the worse influenza.

Why Flu may be bad for 2017-2018. https://wp.me/p7XEWW-Xf.

A virus mutation has made this year’s flu vaccine less effective https://qz.com/1143420/the-2017-2018-flu-vaccine-is-less-effective-than-usual/

https://theconversation.com/3-ways-the-us-should-prepare-for-the-next-flu-pandemic-91300

Masochistic Barbarism

Lately, Western media is deluged with abundant cases of harassment of women at workplace. Several prominent public personalities have come under scrutiny, speculation and fire. If it would have been one off case, I would have been uninterested, howsoever glaring it would have been. To me, this is a social phenomenon, an event in Western Social and Professional life, where women are rebelling and demanding a courteous and dignified behavior.

This is possibly a watershed event since this has engulfed almost the entire western world with stories of promiscuous proposition by men of influence, be it George Bush senior, Weinstein, Charlie Rose or Donald Trump. One thing is clear, the limits and threshold of tolerance of such behavior are marginalized.

It is obviously an important step if we need to enable and empower women. However, sometimes, especially in the case of Harvey Weinstein, I feel that the lesser gender submitted willfully and now, are calling it an inappropriate act of transgression of modesty. Especially the movie industry is abuzz with such congenial and complementary exploitation, wherein one gives and the other takes as transaction to achieve professional goals. The truth is somewhere in between, how much on which side, is truly understandable only after knowing complex emotions that dominate women.

At least, that revolt, that rebel that exposure of misdeed is possible in Western World. Back in Asia or other parts of world, where masochism and patriarchy dominants, it will take decades to unravel such phenomenon.

References:

Charlie Rose suspended following sexual harassment allegations
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42060961

Changing history of relics

Below is an excerpt from Shashi Tharoor’s article.

For seven decades after independence, Indian identity rested on cultural pluralism. Now, the Hindu-chauvinist BJP is seeking to redefine India as a Hindu nation long subjugated by foreigners – not just British colonisers, but also Muslim conquerors.

By stoking long-buried resentments and promoting hatred of Muslims, the BJP’s kulturkampf is dividing Indian society, fragmenting its political discourse, and undermining its soft power in the world.

If the BJP is to avoid doing further damage to the Indian nation, it must recognise that the past is not a blunt tool for scoring petty political points. One cannot avenge oneself upon history: history is its own revenge. PROJECT SYNDICATE

India’s siege on Taj Mahal smacks of religious chauvinism
http://bit.ly/2mAqQDF

Vanishing religions and languages

As a competition between different faith, we will certainly feel envious about Islam. However, as a state craft, I find it deplorable as these nomads are truly not nomads but have an inherent value system in their practice. When we convert them, irrespective of religion, to Christians, Buddhist, Muslims or any other faith, we essentially destroy and lose these value microsystem, enriched over time, to eternity.

Truly speaking, all dominant religions are indulging in proselytization and conversion. Barring exceptions, only Hindus haven’t done so, not as part of virtue but the varna sanstha has no place to accommodate a new entrant. Major conversions have been initiated by Christians ( last 4 centuries), Muslim (mostly before Christian conversion and the recent one being mass conversion to Buddhism.

Somehow, there is an irrational dominant perspective with man that his faith is supreme and the final emancipator of humanity. To be true, we dumb humans need humanoid Gods, his existence is truly sublime and beyond our human perception of humanoid cult. Irrespective, any faith, including the nomadic faith, offers a perspective of his existence, ethos and expectation of our responsibilities. Why destroy one and impose our? That’s so humanly and that’s so deplorable.

Indonesia’s Orang Rimba: Forced to renounce their faith
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-41981430


 

[10:14 PM, 10/26/2017] Heda Shashank: One of the most impressive work and a facet of India that makes us feel proud about its heterogeneity and one that creates an awareness on keeping it alive. Truly deserves a bharat ratna!

The man who ‘discovered’ 780 Indian languages
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-41718082

Time for collective responsibility, not partisan bickering

Delhi and other metropolitan places are an eye opener. Gradually, with uncontrolled automobile proliferation, lack of awareness (Only Chai time talk) and political fights over the spoils (even before the winners are declared) will extend this pollution to second and third tier cities. We don’t have to wait for a decade, it is hardly a matter of few more years, and you will be surprise to see that smaller cities too are in the fray of pollution.

delhi-pollution759

In the western world, pollution from car is the biggest contributor towards environmental pollution. However, In India (as in this case of Delhi and other metropolitan places in India), we see other contributors such as organic and nonorganic pollutants.

In Delhi and other major metropolis in India, the contributing factors are many fold. Inorganic particulate matter, Volatile Organic Compounds and dust are major contributors to such menace. Even if major factors are corrected, (partial control works too), that would help reduce the VOC’s significantly. However, is there a way to look at these factors as isolated contributors and work upon each in helping reduce the pollution?

EPA’s Tier 3 standards? While Europe has significantly reduced vehicular pollution by adopting this standards, US has been away from implementing. India can revisit the EPA standards and implement those across the country.

Car pulling, rationing, allowing cars with advanced environmental standards are immediate way out. However, in the immediate period, petroleum guzzlers should be completely banned plus mid-long term strategy should revisit how best to eliminate the use as f fossil fuel.

crop-burning

Crop burning: While it is hard to change the deep rooted cultural practices, time has come to bury the crop rather than burn and create smog.

In US countryside, we can burn crop when certain environmental conditions exist. Patterns which indicate conducive burning can be identified and crop burning can still be allowed while such conditions exist.

Greening the environment – India has been on the fore front in plantation and replacing trees, additional measures need to be taken to clear environmental pollution.

In India, as in other democratic countries, the major bottleneck is one up man-ship, partisan bickering and political blame game. However, all these politicians should form a nonpartisan committee comprising of each party and stakeholders and be given the credit for reducing pollution.

 

Managing Osteoarthritis of Knee

Obesity is the biggest risk factor for osteoarthritis of knee. Next is sedentary habits and disuse of certain muscle groups and eventual imbalance. Sedentary lifestyle is another contributory factor. Dietary factors also contribute towards accentuated knee pain.

As far as possible, try avoiding aggressive surgical options. This blog was written in response to a friend approaching for resolving dilemma on management of osteoarthritis of knee.

Note: Never be your doctor, always discuss with professionals before initiating any medical plan.

Osteoarthritis is a disease of ageing, a normal wear and tear process. Contrary to mainstream views, I trust, body has enough resilience to recover and bounce back. However, tailoring to age specific and relevant activities help significantly in avoiding any aggressive surgical options. Currently, there is significant impetus towards minimally invasive surgery and if possible, one should explore those.

Knee Joint

Agreed, Osteoarthritis of knee is a disease of ageing but ‘Obesity’ is the single most important risk factor. Other contributing factors are sedentary habits and disuse of certain muscle groups and eventual imbalance.

Evaluating the stage of osteoarthritis is important and management depends upon the stage of destruction.

Loss of Joint Space

stage-of-knee-osteoarthritis

A comprehensive plan will include working on below options –

  • Exercise
  • Physical Therapy
  • Modify Your Activities
  • Weight Control
  • Self-Help/Assistive Devices
  • Heat and Cold Treatments
  • Nutritional Supplements
  • Over-The-Counter Medications
  • Injections

Summarily –

Weight reduction –

  1. Salt sugar restriction, and
  2. Accentuated calorie burning from active exercise

Physiotherapy:

To evaluate Consistent or Progressive Foot Progression Angle.

  1. Identify muscles that are in disuse atrophy. This creates imbalance and accentuates arthritis. Start fixing those muscles with proper advice from Physiotherapist.
  2. Postural training.
  3. Gait training

Heat Application

    Nutritional supplements such as

  1. Glucosamine-chondroitin supplements
  2. Turmeric, Ginger (oral when low grade to moderate, topical when severe)
  3. Babul ka goond
  4. Vitamin C
  5. Krill Oil

Arthroscopy is invasive

Evaluating knee joint fluid helps. Since arthroscopy is considered, also discuss injecting Glucosamine in the joint fluid and possible steroids if inflammation is exuberant.

Avoid NSAID’s:

As best as possible, avoid taking NSAID’s. If you have pain, take Tylenol (Paracetamol).

Additional Reading:

(Click the link for additional reading)

When Bones Collide

Treatment of Osteoarthritis: Stanford University

18 ways to keep your joints healthy (https://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/better-living-ra-17/active/slideshow-keep-joints-healthy)

https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/bones-joints-and-muscles/osteoarthritis/treatments.html

https://drsarahbrewer.com/the-9-best-supplements-for-knee-pain

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/swollen-knee/basics/treatment/con-20026072

http://www.synviscone.com/what-is-synvisc-one.aspx

https://med.stanford.edu/clinicaltrials/trials/NCT01397981

https://med.stanford.edu/clinicaltrials/trials/NCT02767570