Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dr. Bennet Omalu

What is a concussion? It is an injury to the brain resulting from an impact to the head. This brain damage happened to many professional American football players. 

                                                             (Courtesy: Yahoo)

Dr. Bennet Omalu was a Neuropathologist in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA. An American football player suddenly died. Dr. Omalu did the autopsy. He decided that the player died as a result of severe brain damage caused by repeated blows to the head while playing football. Dr. Omalu called it Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). 

Dr.Omalu published a paper on his findings but the NFL (National Football League) would not accept that. NFL is a powerful organization. Finally, he persuaded the NFL Commissioner to allow him to give a presentation on the subject. However, he was not allowed to do the presentation. His colleague had to give the presentation. 

Dr. Omalu was subjected to lot of pressures in his efforts. But, he stood up to the powerful and the mighty for his cause. Meantime, the NFL Players Association agreed with him. Finally the NFL was forced to take concussion issue more seriously. 

He is now the Chief Medical Examiner for the San Joaquin County (District)  in California. His struggle was made into a movie titled “Concussion” in 2015, starring Will Smith (as Dr. Omalu) and Alec Baldwin. 

I did not know all these details until the movie came out. Two years ago, we met Dr. Bennet Omalu and his wife Prema in a get together at a friend’s home. Bennet and Prema are very nice couple. We (me and my wife) like them.

They are from Nigeria. We were curious. Asked the wife the reason for the Indian name Prema. She said her great grand mother was from Salem, Tamil Nadu. She said she is named after her.

Monday, April 18, 2016


It was our marriage day. She sat there with her face staring the floor. I stood up to tie the Thali (mangal sutra) on her neck. The sastrigal (priest) asked us to look at each other before tying the Thali.
She looked at me. I looked at her. Our eyes met. She smiled. I smiled. Why did we smile?
Is this the mischief of our youth? Is this the seed for our love? Is this the bridge to unite our soul? Who knows?
Later years, I used to ask her why did she smile on that day at that moment. She will put an end to that conversation by asking me why did I smile on that day at that moment.
Her smile never left her.
PS: This is not my original. This is an English translation from a book written by a famous Tamil author about his wife. I liked this and so I thought I would share with my friends. But the feeling of the writer/the emotion of the writer cannot be felt in a translation.

Thursday, April 7, 2016


You all might have read that an Air India pilot refused to fly the plane without his favorite female co-pilot. Nothing wrong with that. She must be doing an amazing job at the cockpit. At least, she will keep the pilot awake. 

Since I have nothing else to do, I was wondering other professionals also can demand their favorite person for doing their jobs. Here are a few:

Surgeon refused to do the surgery without his favorite female nurse. 

Principal refused to open the school without his favorite female teacher. 

Restaurant waiter refused to serve the customer without his favorite female cleaner. 

Minister refused to attend the Assembly without his favorite female MLA. 

Bus driver refused to drive the bus without his favorite female conductor. 

Temple pujari refused to perform the puja without his favorite female devotee. 

Classical singer refused to perform without his favorite female violinist. 

General refused to give command to his troops without his favorite female aide-de-camp. 

Sales manager refused to sell anything in the store without his favorite sales girl. 

Female dancer refused to perform without her favorite male accompanist. 

Female news reporter refused to cover the news without her favorite cameraman. 

Female anchor person refused to give the news without her favorite male partner.

If you can think of something, please let me know. I will add to the above list.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Is This A Dream?

She passed away a few months ago. He was in bed but could not sleep. Tossing and turning. Finally went to sleep. He had a dream. Here are the details of that dream. 

She was talking to someone on the phone. He asked her: What are you doing. You are supposed to have died. If you talk to your friend, she will know you are not dead and she will tell everyone.

She replied my friend does not know I am dead. He asked how long we can hide that. When the truth comes out what will be telling our children. What we will tell the people who came for the cremation. What we will tell the people who came for the 13th day function. They all will think we put on a big hoax. 

She said children will be very happy to see me alive. And, I do not care about others. 

He said let’s move to an unknown place like Finland where no one knows us. And, we will not contact anyone. She agreed but said we will tell our children only where we are living. 

Dream ended. He woke up. Searched for her in the home. She was not there. 

PS: This is not a fiction. Real dream.