February 21, 2005

‘THE’ girl

I walked around aimlessly,
With nothing worthwhile to do.
Feeling exhausted yet ready for excitement,
I stood without a clue!

What am I doing?
Killing time mercilessly?
I wondered and then stopped,
For my eyes fell upon a dancing girl,
Who seemed perfect and flawless!
She had a mouth blooming with smiles.
She was a beauty to behold,
A masterpiece painted with passion.

Her self was all a-hope,
Distant dreams she wanted to bloom
Her dance was one- bewitching!
Full of grace, style and beautiful moves.

Oh! How perfect she seemed,
As I stood in awe and rapture,
What a great person, she is,
The Creator’s one great creature!

And then it occurred…
After so long…
That, that perfection,
Was this very soul only!

Well, if only everyone thinks the same\!
Why should, God, I blame?

February 13, 2005


It all started with designing toilets for the physically challenged- part of our case study this semester. After our literature study got over- after endless hours in our department library pouring over humungous volumes titled, “Time Saver- Standards for Urban development”, “Designing for the disabled”, “Bathrooms” etc, our class decided that we go visit The Spastics Society of Tamil Nadu, Taramani- Near NIFT.
Off we went there this Saturday- the first off Saturday in the Second semester. I walked all the way to the bus stop to catch 5 T- a bus known as the ‘least frequent bus in the planet’. To my horror, one fully loaded 5T with arms and legs dangling precariously, passed just as I reached the stop. I had to wait a full half- hour to catch another, which thank goodness was nearly empty.I got off near Tidel Park- The city’s IT destination and walked to the Spastics Society to find the doors locked and the watchman asking us to come on a working day.
A few phone calls later, one of my friend’s father fixed up a visit to the Taj Coramandel, near MOP Vaishnav. After making a short stop at my friend’s place to collect the details, 8 of us paraded to the Besant Nagar Depot to catch a 29C to Taj. By then it was 12:00 and we had been out in the scorching sun for over 2 hours and me to top it all with one horrible cold and still more terrible throat.
At Taj Coramandel, we met two other friends of ours there and we went in two groups to our destination- being the rest room( polished word for toilet) of the physically challenged. The very thought of having come all the way to as posh a hotel as The Taj Coramandel to visit as insignificant a thing as a toilet sounded nigh crazy to all of us and stifling all our giggles we went there, took photos( Yes… PHOTOS) of the toilets…oops…rets rooms and came back.I caught 2 buses and ended home- totally exhausted and with my cold aggravated.
Things did not end there. Being a member of The Chennai Poets’ Circle, I had my monthly meeting to attend. I had already missed 4 meeetings-all thanks to Anna University making Saturdays compulsory working days for First Semester students! So I just HAD to attend this one! Off I went to photocopy 2 of my poems and then caught an auto with my cousin and got dropped near The Residency Towers-which for your General Knowledge., I call ‘The Cake House’. Walk, walk, walk all the way to Kanthimathi Kalyana mandapam. Reached there 15 minutes late and after two hours of soul satisfaction, got dropped again near Residency Towers. From there walk walk walk to Pondy Bazaar Bus stand to catch an over-flowing bus to take me home. I was hlding on to the window for support, literally falling over a college girl. But the sweet girl seemed to understand that there simply was no other way by which I could save myself from somersaulting across the length of the bus.
Phew! I reached home- to see that good ol’ DD was showing ‘Help’-a Tsunami relief Concert. One really good show that kept me occupied till 11.I have this practice of going through old newspapers to cut out my favourite articles or interesting stuff or Rahul Dravid photos. As the newspaper rack was overflowing, I hadto keep cutting and watching the show.
My God… if Saturday was so packed, today has been no better. Yet another site visit to a building Construction site. Taking Photos,firing questions at the poor contractor and taking notes. And now… typing it all out and blogging!
Phew! Whoever said that “Life is made up of snobs,sniffles and smiles, with sniffles predominating,” was hundred per cent right!!! And sniffles here mean the one accompanying a cold too.
Sniff Sniff. Kerchoo…!!!

February 07, 2005


I am one of those unlucky people who have been wearing glasses from my seventh class. It all started with my grandfather asking me for the score during an India- Sri Lanka one-dayer(Cricket seems to RULE my existence!). I, who was literally a few hair breaths away from the screen, couldn’t tell him the score. Then it dawned to all of us… SANDHYA is short-sighted!!!
I cried and cried and threw one major tantrum( come on… I was just in my SEVENTH class!). “I WONT WEAR GLASSES!!!” I wailed. But wear I did! I was taken to The Raajhan Opticals in T.Nagar and a computerized checking confirmed our fears. I chose one ‘soda- buddi’ kind of frame and from that day joined the ‘specksy’(yeah…King Khan calls it ‘chashmish’) brigade.
My confidence nose-dived and I felt bad about the fact that every waking hour, an instrument had to aid my vision. But things changed the next year…
Li’l me was in my Eighth class holiday mood when amma announced that it is time I go for my eye check up! What horror!!! To top it all, she insisted that this year I go to our family eye hospital- Rajan Eye Care Hospital(No 5,Vidyodaya East 2nd street,T.Nagar,Chenai-600017).
Hospitals have never been any favourite of mine! It conjures up images of pain, suffering, medicines and vomit! With such ‘high hopes’, I went to Rajan Eye care Hospital. I was tested there by the warm and friendly optometrists and then by the cheery and affable Dr.Mohan Rajan also. Slowly I found my dislike and inhibitions regarding hospitals melting away. Even after they told me that I had inherited my grandfather’s weak retina, I found that I REALLY loved the place.
Now…after almost 6 years, the hospital is more of a second home to me. This is where, during my tenth, they discovered a small retinal hole and patched it up by a cryogenic surgery. This is where, an year later, they strengthened my retina using laser. Both the times, other than the little uneasiness that it was an operation, I felt so comfortable and in safe hands. The caring words of Dr.Mohan and his assistants still ring in my ears. They are the ones who made my retina strong and normal like everyone else’s now.

This is from where I bought my first pair of contacts- my source of confidence! Thanks to the ever warm and friendly Dr.Sujatha for encouraging me to switch over to lenses in my eleventh. I do not know what I would be without them. My contacts make me feel that I too am of some importance in this world. Anyone who does not wear glasses will NEVER know the depressing side of it. It makes you feel a trifle odd and mighty dependant. Think of it- the first thing I do on getting up is to grope for my glasses( what else will a person with a power of -3.75 and -4.00 do?) It has not changed now, but now I have the comfort of contacts.
Every 6 months, I pay a visit to this most patient-friendly eye hospital in the city! I am so comfortable there. I feel protected and under the care of people who are not only talented but also kind. Be it an old person or a young one, what you get is top class attention and treatment. From Strabismus surgery to cataract, it proves to be a centre for microsurgery, phacoemulsification with foldable Intraocular lens( IOL) implantation, keratoplasty, diabetic eye disease treatment, neuro ophthalmology, contact lens, retina and vitreous clinic, pediatric ophthalmology, orbit and oculoplasty, lasik laser for treatment for myopia and hypermetropia (short and long sight),macula clinic transpupillary thermo therapy(TTT) Laser, Photodynamic Therapy(PDT) for macular degeneration, low vision clinic, digital imaging system, Bausch & Lomb vitrectomy system. The hospital, begun by Dr.Mohan’s father- Dr.Rajan, established Chennai Vision Charitable Trust (CVCT) in 1995. It is a non-profit organization which through the many eye camps, aims to eradicate curable blindness.
What I admire most about the hospital is the way they innovate and introduce many schemes, projects, camps and thus make eye-care an essential and easily accessible facility. They are always surpassing themselves and setting standards and trends in providing the best in ophthalmology. They have established satellite centers in Bharani Hospital(T.Nagar), Musvee Hospital(Greens Road), Chengalpet Diabetic centre, Atomic Energy Hospital(Kalpakkam), Metropolitan Transport Corporation and Conscious Health Services(Dhaka).
They have an in-house opticals- Nethra Hospitals for spectacle care.Professionalism, perfection and patience- they have it all!This is one hospital where you feel jittery, tensed and agitated the first time before you enter it, but the second you enter it, there is a sudden relaxation, a feel of excellent hospitality and comfort.
Words fail me when it comes to expressing how much I owe to the hospital and for that matter, my family owes to it.(My grandfather was the late Dr.Rajan’s last patient and he underwent a cataract surgery in Rajan Eye Care. My cousin was treated with Lasik Laser to obtain a spectacles/Contact Lens-free vision.).
So many eyes saved…so many ‘visions’ obtained. True to their tradition, Rajan Eye Care Hospital moves towards excellence in eye care with an ‘I Care’ motto in its path!

© Dryad's Peak
Maira Gall