Category Archives: creativity


My daily life is replete with ugly sights, foul smells, and sad sounds. Such is the life of practising doctors. I had accepted this long back as a part of surgical life, and trained myself to disconnect my non-professional life from the feedbacks of life with the sick and suffering.
A very minor taste of this:

My nephew, award-winning car designer Harsha Ravi, lives in a different world, as do many of you.
Here is what he is up to. Take a look.

Is it small wonder, then, that I strongly discourage youngsters from getting into medicine? With so many things to be passionate about and excel in, why choose medicine, with all the tensions, ugliness, etc.? What do you think?
One other thing, too: I consider youngsters like Harsha to be not merely lucky to have lives like this, but also smarter, in that today’s kids know what not to do!

Pics: patient pics mine; others from Harsha’s article.


Not too much chatter tonight, folks. Just eat your envious hearts out.
Someone got to know which all laptops my girlfriends are planning to get for me in the future. Full story here.

Just enjoy the pictures! Click on ’em to get the full impression. Go ahead, do it!
Even better, read the original article. It is very interesting indeed, and I strongly recommend it.

The Canova:

The Cario:


My favorite, however, is this one, the Compenion:


I hope all you wonderful gals are reading this!

Pic credit: from linked source.



Leap day, it comes every four years. But it really doesn’t mean anything. It’s like a Ralph Nader running for president, it doesn’t mean anything. (David Letterman)

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday at 2:00 am. I don’t think Bush understands the concept of Daylight saving, because he encouraged Americans not to save but rather spend it. (Pedro Bartes)

I am sick of Republican rule. I am, because first it was Senator Larry Craig and now the economy is in the toilet. (Bill Maher)

Everyone is so concerned where all the candidates are born. McCain was born on a military base in the Panama Canal Zone. Hillary was born outside Chicago. And if you believe the media, Barack Obama was born in a manger. (Jay Leno)

Mary Carey graduated from Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew Wednesday. She was both a porno movie star and a California governor candidate. So her opinion carries weight when she says Hillary would photograph better if she were on top of the ticket. (Argus Hamilton)

I’m not saying the Republicans should have nominated Reagan’s reanimated corpse. I just didn’t want it to be John McCain’s reanimated corpse. (Stephen Colbert)

President Bush says it would be a mistake for OPEC not to increase oil output. Americans are all ears. President Bush knows nothing about the world, the economy or the environment, but nobody questions his expertise in the area of mistakes. (Argus Hamilton)

President George W. Bush commented on Sen. Hillary Clinton’s controversial “red phone” campaign ads at the White House today, telling reporters, “When that red phone rings, I just let it go straight to voicemail. If I answered the red phone every time it rang, I would never get any sleep.” (Andy Borowitz)

Renewed talk circulates about a Clinton-Obama ticket in the fall. Democrats feel they need a masculine voice to balance the team. And Obama brings some positives too. (Alan Ray)

Roger Clemens faces an investigation this week for lying to Congress about steroid use. It’s really ugly. Testimony indicates he attended a party at Jose Canseco’s house where Mrs. Canseco and Mrs. Clemens compared breast sizes, and their husbands won. (Argus Hamilton)

Some say that only the Democrats could screw up the opportunity they have to take the Presidency this coming November. But not many people realize that it only takes two of them to do it. (Norman Golan)

Continue reading


On the occasion of India’s famous and historic victory over Australia in the Commonwealth Series today, we interviewed some celebrities. We reproduce their comments.


Eye yam verry happy begauze we played fentastick krickett. Jay baarut madha kee?!


I am so happy… I am hungry for maaki..we showed what a roti team they have. Never a daal baal mo(ve)ment in Oz…We taught them not to twist our tails. By the way, let me introduce you to my new girlfriend, Simian….


It is all because we have changed our styles. I mean our hair styles. Look at us. We are united in our diversity: from Sehwag to Ishant Sharma….


I shouldered the responsibility of catching Dhoni when he dived at the ball deflecting off Hayden’s bat. Now I am sore we are all going to have a big insider party. You can always have Reliance on us. Oil will be well! You know, at our parties, the chips are blue and triangular and taken off the same old block. Bingo!

Sharad Pawar:

On this great occasion, we will give the cricketers a grand party in Delhi. At Rashtrapati Bhavan we will give them farmer status. Therefore they can expect our banks to loan them Rs.100,000 crores at low interests which we will wave off before the next general elections. If the Finance Minister does not do this, I will commit suicide.

(Mr. Pawar, because he has had jaw surgery, sounds as if he is chewing a pound of cotton in his mouth).

P Chidambaram:

We notice the agricultural shots Dhoni keeps making. He gives the opponents a run for their money, just like I make taxpayers run for their money. As Mr. Pawar said, once the loans are waved off by our Madam’s hand, the stock prices of the PSU banks like SBI will collapse. Our farmer cricketers can then buy these shares and capitalise on the returns. Of course, we will also return after the said election, if there is anything left to return to.

Bal Thackeray:

It is all bikaas of Sachin. He is a true Ma(ha)rathi, and therefore a true Indian. We will celebrate in style tumaarow. We will thrash up all the Bihari taxi wallahs in Mumbai, unless they can bat like Sachin. But don’t lick this out, as the fun will be lost if they run away before this.

Prakash Karat:

We are totally against the Commonwealth. We are for common poverty. We want everyone to reflect the misery that the US nuclear deal makes us feel. As far as the cricketers are concerned, we will felicitate the left handed players like Sourav, Sourav and Sourav with plots of land in the desert, er, I mean, in Nandigram. We are also keen to encourage our cricketers to take up farming and agitculture agriculture. We will grant them 123 liters of a new insecticide we are giving all our formers farmers in Bangall, called Genocide. We give this without Mamata, but with kshamata. With Genocide, our enemies have nowhere to Hyde, you know.


From Nature Blogs:

A zoo in Ohio has forked out $35,000 for what is believed to be the longest snake in captivity anywhere in the world. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium says it doesn’t buy animals very often – preferring to get them through exchanges or donations – but it decided the huge python was worth it due to its ability to draw in visitors.

(Pic credit: from Nature Blogs)

So, ladies and gents, we finally know how much a snake is really worth: $5000 a meter, this specimen being 24 feet (7.3 meters) long! The snake, called Fluffy (for some reason), eats “two 4.5 kilo rabbits a week”.

The snake story does not end here:

However Fluffy was nearly lost to the zoo and Ohio residents may have Samuel L. Jackson to thank for it staying. The beast was originally due to go back to its breeder Bob Clark in November, says the Columbus Dispatch. However the cargo company that was due to carry the 140 kg snake went out of business and finding an alternative giant-snake courier proved difficult.

The delay allowed time for the mega-bucks deal for Fluffy to be struck. “A lot of companies hesitate to transport snakes, especially since the movie Snakes on a Plane,” Pete Fingerhut, the zoo’s associate director, told the paper.

Now, how could I pass up a chance to twist some related words in adderly serpentine fashion? Especially since I just came back from my dentist and the cottonmouth effect of the local anesthetic is still obvious,except where she dug up kraiters in my teeth. I thought I needed a viper for the venom drooling from my mouth. Do you remamba the last time you went to a dentist? Can you recall the boaring pain and the constrictor effect on the heart as fear grips you, and pain shoots up like a sidewinder missile?

I never cover my assp, in a manner of speaking, and I take full responsibility for my dental health. No more taipanyaki chicken for me, especially as bird flu is nearby. Cull ho ya na ho!


When it bites, the bug
I feel a strong tug
To be me, careless and vain,
Throw words in a rhythmic chain
And focus on getting some grub.

Here is a short story in limerick:

“Always the money, honey!”
Said Mummy to Sunny.
“If you want to be good,
Become a rich dude,
Not poor and funny.”

Older as Sunny grew,
The better he knew
That money is the root of evil.
But it came through a will,
With currency, his morals he threw.

While he grew richer,
He saw a pretty picture:
A lass- love at first sight!
She, with great insight
Married this rich letcher.

On their first night
They had a fight:
She wanted one grand first,
He wanted to just enjoy his lust,
We’ll never know who was more tight!


I have confessed before in a tag (before I knew what a tag was) that I keep shaking my legs. In other words, I have (I think) Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). Incidentally, there is a ‘disease’ called Third Year Syndrome, where the sufferer is a third year medical student who, upon reading clinical medicine for the first time in life, thinks he has the symptoms of every disease in the book (“I think I have a brain tumor like meningioma because I, too, have these headaches”, or “My God, it looks like I have Crohns’ Disease, my diarrhea is so bad”). I might be carrying a bit of that, I think. A recent trial says that people with Restless Leg Syndrome die sooner because of heart disease or stroke. The link path is unknown, but is putated to be that a sleep disorder causes the RLS, and the lack of sleep harms your heart and circulation.
Moral of this story:‘Shake Hands, Not Legs’.
Tagline for the RLS Society:‘Restless legs? Rest in peace!’

I read another article today, published in the JAMA, which says a trial has shown no benefits in giving testosterone to elderly males who have lower than normal levels of the hormone. Why is this significant? Well, aging in the male is associated with low testosterone levels, and hence we could think we can slow the manifestations of the aging process by replacing the hormone. Unfortunately, no.
Recommended reading (old post): Old Men Are Willing, But Women?

An unrelated story:
Airtel (a telecom operator in India) has just launched the SMS 2.0 services, and is proud to be the first off the block. What this is going to do for the SMS crazy younger generation is anybody’s guess, but I don’t particularly fancy colored messages with winking smileys and all that. I would be interested in SMS 3.0 where the shortcuts of the sms (like the deplorable title of this post) transform automatically into proper language text.

So, talk about packing value! With no six-packs to display, I packed the three stories in one award-winning post. If only I live long enough to claim it.


A bald Professor of the Laconic Medical University came to address a group of young doctors from various public and private hospitals in India who were having a lunch after a medical meeting on stents for heart disease.
“Greetings, my fellow brethren!”
Various voices rose from the audience.
“Arrey, dude! Why are you talking funny like?”
“Who are you, Mister?”


The bald man rose to his full height.
“I am Hip. Hip O’Crates.”
“Hip? What a cool name!”
“Where are you from, Hip?”

“I am from Kos-sipore.”
“So, tell us, Doc-Hip, what are you doing here?”

“Gentlemen, I am here for a new project funded by the Bill Gates Foundation. I am heading a project codifying a new list of commandments for doctors. In essence, it will redefine how physicians will behave in the next thousand years.”

Again, several voices rose in repsonse.
“I thought a Code was something that was made into a movie.”
“And I thought a Code is something that women say when they ask a question to a man.”
“What is this new code, Hip?”

“Okay, gentlemen, I will discuss this with you in details. Let me spell out the important portions.
The first line goes like this: I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygeia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath.

“Hey, Hip! What did you smoke?”
“Saala, piyelaa hai!”
“Nahin re, yeda hai!”
“I work in Apollo, too, and I think they suck!”
“Panacea Biotech is a good company. They sponsored the lunch at the last Association meet, you know?!”

Hip O’Crates waved his hands to placate the young crowd.
“Look, er, guys, let me cut this out. Too confusing. Next:
To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents..

Another loud buzz flowed out from the group.
“ Treat my boss like my Dad, are you kidding me? Some of my Professors barely used to be sober in the day!”
“Yeah, and one of mine got slapped in the ward when he tried to gainfully palpate the buttocks of an intern!”

Hip O’Crates shuddered, and continued.
“ … and to live my life in partnership with him.”
A wisecrack: “ Provided he has a very pretty daughter!”

“… and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine.”
“ Very funny, what money?”
“I lost whatever I earned in the bars, gambling tables, and stock market,
More laughter.

“… and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art – if they desire to learn it – without fee and covenant”
“ Teach your enemy what you know? Arrey, I will happily shave my head if my boss’ son became blind or lame! Bugger is undercutting my cases left and right, you know?!”

Hip was sweating now: “… to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.”
A senior surgeon remarked, “My driver has been assisting me for so long that he does all my simple cases. Very reliable! This way, I can take time off to play the stock market, you know? Who can afford to miss out on this bull market, yaar?”

“ I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment”
“ What’s a diet?”
“What does diet matter to the modern doc? Unless it means supplements. The ones for which the company-wallahs took us for that Alaska trip last year? You went, na?”
, a thin man with a goatee asked his neighbor.

A little dizzy, Hip intoned,“ I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.”
“Not even to Prakash Karat or Mamata?”
“Or even to the makers of movies like Welcome and Om Shanti Om?”

“ Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.”

“Hey, man, Why are you Wadeing into a controversy that will only bring you eternal sore Roe?”

Hip: “ In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.”
“Make that guard my wife and my tax consultant!”
The audience was thoroughly enjoying this now.

“ I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.”
“Do you wanna starve, Hip?”
“Yeah, do you know that unless you operate on all the stones that would pass off spontaneously in the piss, or are harmless and asymptomatic, you can’t ever hope to make a Europe trip with spouse? Be practical, man!”

“I will remain free of sexual relations with both female and male persons”.
“Only if you are a vet! Haraharhar!”

“What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.”
Now a few voices again expressed outrage at his proposals.
“Hip, but if you don’t, what will you chat about in the parties and conferences? People won’t refer you cases if you are so boring!”
“And if you don’t keep dropping the names of the VIP patients you have treated, whether in real life or in your dreams, people won’t get impressed. And, you know, boss, if you don’t impress people, no one gives a rat’s rectum to your ability. It’s all marketing and packaging, you know?”

Hip continued, voice choking,
“ If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot.”

“Hey, Hip, just reverse that and we will be fine, okay?”

Hip quickly realised his policy needed to change. He said,
“In other words, gentlemen, let me rephrase this new code:
I swear by all my sponsors that I will be careful of my teachers’ kids, especially if they are competitive. And I will live with my teacher if his daughter is good at oral sex.
I will rely on expensive nutritional supplements for the healthy and the sick, and I will deal with abortions according to the local laws, practise for profit the holy art of sex determination and female feticide.
I will get a confidentiality waiver from all my patients, and exploit each case to the utmost in my material self interest. I will, where possible, avoid inflating my statistics to the media beyond reasonable proportions.
I can show the photographs of any of my patients, but I will not circulate the nude pictures of the film actresses who I photograph in the nude while they are under anesthesia.
I will not have sexual relations with the pets or domesticated animals of my patients. I will, however, use all protective measures to prevent unwanted pregnancies during such encounters that are never shown in Animal Planet.
I will not do anything unethical. The definition of ethics will be shortly drafted by an Ethics Panel consisting of Bill Clinton, Jagdish Tytler, Mayavati, George Fernandes, Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chavez and Larry Craig.”



I have seriously wondered if genius has genetic, hereditary roots. Or is it something geniuses eat?
Jeeves, the brainy genius of a “gentleman’s personal gentleman”, was fond of eating fish, which did a lot to energise his brain cells, Bertie Wooster always told us. Apart from the Curies (Marie and Pierre), my feeble mind cannot, off the cuff, recall other families where geniuses flourished. Oh, yes, the Marx brothers.
“Well, get to the effington post, will ya?”, you say, not without a less-than-benevolent look on your ugly face?

Well, here is the beef.

(Harsha with parents Kala and Ravi)

Harsha Ravi has been awarded, this very month, the title of the Australian Young Designer of The Year by Wheels magazine. He is, I am proud to say, my nephew. Hence the thought of genius being familial. Has mine rubbed off on him? A more reliable part of my brain asks me if there is any hope for his brilliance rubbing off on me, at an age when one fears that, tomorrow, one’s arteries could become stiffer than one’s sexual organs, especially in times of need.

What was the competition for the car design all about? Wheels said this before the competition:

On the 50th anniversary of the Fiat 500, we shall use the intervening technology to completely reinvent the urban vehicle. Functional, frugal and fun, our 500 will be a 2+1 design doubly true to its name: 500cc, 500kg. Design it.


Harsha just did that. And outdid himself, too.
Hear this from the judges and critics:

“[He has] applied technology in a way that made sense.”

Take, for example, its carbon-neutral, bioplastic body with 12 percent petroleum-based/88 percent corn-based plastic that reduces the energy needed to manufacture the panels by 30 percent.

The design presented as a wild concept, yet it brought thoroughly considered, integrated design with enough tech detail and illustration to flesh it out. Sargeant and Stolfo agreed: “He has obviously done a lot of research before even putting pen to paper.”

Despite its ahead-of-time technology — the zinc-air fuel cell, nano-paper battery and airless tyres were just the beginning — attention was also given to regional manufacture, right down to the illustration of a basket-weaver manufacturing the woven seat material, one of many touches that delighted and amused the judges.


What, essentially, is this car, GM Globetrotter, about?
Harsha says:

The GM Globetrotter is inventive as a lightweight, nimble urban vehicle aimed at various emerging and developed markets in 2017. A decade from now, the worldwide culture will be one of environmental consciousness, where increased awareness of climate issues will have engendered a scrutinising and well-educated Gen-Y consumer niche. They will demand aunthenticity and transparency in how a product’s lifecycle is managed
to reduce environmental harm.


Harsha goes on:

Given the likelihood that tomorrow’s consumers will be environment-sensitive, Globetrotter is designed from the ground-up and inside-out to be customisable and minimalistic at every step. It aspires to be functional, frugal, and fun, and gentle on the environment as well. The level of individualisation this offers to the consumer market allows for the car to seamlessly fit into virtually any global context.

What is it like to design a car? I asked Harsha.

The automotive design process begins by laying out vehicle architectures to act as templates for designers to start sketching over.
Car designers are often also art nuts, and have a profound understanding and appreciation of various creative media, which we draw upon for inspiration to create the visual surfaces of the car both inside and out.


He continues:

Once a 2D representation of the designer’s vision is seen to have potential, it is then translated by computer modelers into 3D space, a developmental process which runs in parallel with a tangible sculpture being carved out of a unique automotive clay. Often, it takes several iterations of the designer’s sketch, together with a dedicated team of designers, modelers, engineers, and software whizzes all combining their efforts over a 4-5 year period to ready the vehicle for manufacture.

Harsha says that automotive design is “deeply satisfying” for him, like a dynamic sculpture, “full of visual and emotive appeal.”

Now, considering that he is barely twenty, that is really insightful and philosophical. And lest I sound like the patronising uncle I don’t want to be, I shall stop right now.

Related reading: Harsha’s take on new car designs in Show And Tell, Wheels magazine.


Living under the threat of a major, global Islamic outrage is Swedish artist Lars Vilks.


This man had drawn a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed as a dog. Of all things, a dog, reviled by Islam as a dirty and low animal! Al Qaida had placed a bounty on his head to the tune of around $150,000.
The two sides of this issue are clearly polarised and typical: the artist’s ‘right to expression’ versus the religious outrage and vengeance that is mandated by Islam for any such act of sacrilege.


Now, I have always been on the side of the underdog, no pun intended. I have defended the rights and freedoms of artists in the past, and have attacked religions for their essential irrationality, intolerance and collectivism.
However, on this event, I have my own two cents to offer.
I think this is a publicity stunt by a mediocre artist who has ambitions to historic immortality. Aspirations to the eternal glory of being the one to cock a heroic snook at the Islamists who, the West knows from experience, are intolerant to anything outside their book. He probably must feel that the risk to his life will be covered anyways by the State, and that he will tide over the immediate threats, then end up basking in the permanent fame brought about by world-wide media attention.
I have to ask why an artist (though he is well within his rights to do so) feels the need to paint or draw Jesus as a pedophile, or the Prophet Mohammed as a dog. Is his atheism overwhelming him such that he cannot but be so offensively contemptuous of religious figures? Or he has no other issues that command his attention?
I rather think not. I feel this is a good business tactic. Vilks’ next commission will be worth a fortune because this controversy is great for his business.
Perhaps it is time for us to take a break from spending our time defending these artistic rabble rousers and identify them for what they could well be: opportunistic mediocrities that need to be ignored.
Ignore this: who am I kidding? These actions are calculated to cause the maximum offense to the target audience. The artist surely knows that no Muslim can ignore this. Hence, as a strategy, this is invariably successful.
However, even if the world ignores this ‘art’, it would underscore one important point that Vilks himself advocates: “If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. And if you look at it, don’t take it too seriously. No harm done, really.”
Except to his own (expensive) safety and peaceful existence.

(Picture credits: