Monday, January 26, 2015

Announcing India's first ever Dialysis Olympiad!

NephroPlus is organising India's first ever Olympic style Games event for dialysis patients! We at NephroPlus firmly believe that dialysis patients can lead normal lives. What better way to prove this that organising such an event?

It is going to be a one day event conducted in Hyderabad. The event is open to all dialysis patients across the country. There are events like 50 and 100 meters sprint, 250 meters walkathon, 500 meters cycling, table tennis, badminton etc. For those not inclined to exert too much, there are events like chess and sudoku!

The event will end with our signature event - Aashayein!

All in all we promise a super duper fun event!!!

To make sure patients who stay in other parts of the country who do not want to miss their dialysis, a participation allowance is being given for early registrants that should cover flight tickets as well!

If you want to come and spend a few days in the city of Hyderabad also, you could use the allowance to cover your accommodation! Dialysis can be arranged at a NephroPlus centre at a reasonable price.

So, if you are on dialysis or know someone who is, please register today!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mumbai Diary

I have fond memories of this city. My aunt stayed here until a few years back. As a kid, I have spent many summer days here. The idlis at Sukh Sagar, the pizzas at New Yorkers, my aunt's cooking itself was no less a treat! Then we had a summer camp here as well where cousins from all over gathered and had a blast for a couple of weeks. I remember the drive to Kalambole where we had our fill of water melons from the road side shops that stocked mounds and mounds of this delicious fruit and we kids along with the adults trooped into a shop and finished off 15-20 water melons in one stroke!

Going back to this city is always enjoyable with all these memories!


We partnered with the renowned Dr. Umesh Khanna (well-known for his landmark paper "The Economics of Dialysis in India" among several other accomplishments - but I have always associated him with this paper only!) to run his massive dialysis centre at the Lancelot Compound in Borivali West.

I had a great interaction with all the guests (patients, for those uninitiated in NephroPlus jargon!) there. They all seemed genuinely happy. Dialysis, in some ways, can be a humbling normaliser. Whether your nett worth is a crore or a thousand, you use the same needles, the same machine and the same technique to get your body cleansed.

Annual Patient Picnic of the Mumbai Kidney Foundation

The next day was Sunday and the Annual Patient Picnic of the Mumbai Kidney Foundation (MKF). This was truly an amazing event. It was held at Borivali National Park. Dr. Umesh Khanna (who founded MKF) along with his wife, Dr. Molina Khanna, who happens to be a gastroenterologist were exemplary hosts, literally running from here to there to ensure that every patient and family member had a great time. Handling the mammoth crowd of more than 300 people was quite a task.

This reminded me of NephroPlus' very own Aashayein event. Patients need such outings and events to meet fellow-patients and have a day of complete fun!

With Dr. Umesh Khanna

Dialysis Patient singing 'Ek Chatur Naar'

With the NephroPlus team

With Dr. Umesh Khanna and Dr. Molina Khanna (second from left)

Attitude of the patients 

One thing I noticed was that most patients in Mumbai - and I met and saw quite a few during this trip - were generally happy despite the burden of a chronic disease. Few complained. They were all having a gala time. One patient sang the whole 'Ek Chatur Naar' song from the film Padosan while the others egged him on. It was a truly pleasurable sight!

The other patients also were very strong-willed and cheerful. They looked determined not to let the disease get the better of them.

Vada Pav

I asked one of our techs at NephroPlus, Mumbai where we got great Vada Pav, the snack, Mumbai is world-famous for and he took my colleagues and me to a 'bandi' called Mangesh Vada Pav. The crowd there was insane. People were literally falling over one another to get their hands on a Vada Pav. I have no idea how the guys there managed the stall. It required some deft pushing and pulling by the tech and my other colleagues to get our hands on some Vada Pavs. They were really awesome!

My cousin, Deep

I got to know of Deep from another uncle of mine who stays in the US. I had no clue that my own cousin was on dialysis. Deep has a condition called Neurogenic Bladder which causes the kidneys to get damaged and lose function. He has been on dialysis for a couple of years now. He is only 23. I can completely relate to Deep because I was also diagnosed at 21. When I came back from Mumbai, I got Deep back with me and both of us spent some quality time together. Here are some pics from Deep's visit to Hyderabad.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Jain Cosmology revisited

(Disclaimer: Read only if you're Jain. You may not get this post otherwise.)

I have always wondered about how Jain cosmology was so wrong. Everything else I have read in the Jain scriptures seemed to be in consonance with science. Why then was there so much difference between Jain cosmology and what modern science says about the universe?

I have been searching for explanations for this difference. I never found any. Then yesterday, I suddenly found this article by Amit Jain titled "A Reevaluation Of Space And Time Descriptions In Jain Annals". This article offers a series of very rational hypotheses on the Jina's teachings on cosmology and how these could correlate to what modern science says.

The trouble is in the misinterpretation of the Jina's teachings. Over-enthusiastic sadhus down the ages have corrupted these teachings and many other teachings of the Jinas so much that the current form of the religion is very, very different from what the Jinas preached.

Coming back to the article, the author provides a good summary in the following lines:

This paper is an attempt to introspect the annals and introduce an alternate model that is based on the Sutras of Jina, and is also in sync with modern science and its findings. This model tends to convey that the current interpretation of Jain Sutras on cosmology is wrong on below points:
  • Interpreting Bharat-Kshetra[1] as India is wrong and not in sync with Jain annals.
  • Interpreting Jambudvipa[2] with Earth is wrong and not in sync with Jain annals.
This paper tends to conclude that
  • Jambudvipa is actually this entire multiverse of which our planet earth is a part off.
  • There may exist two suns and moons, but the second set is not in our part of the universe.
  • Mt Meru is the central axis of cosmos on which our multi-verse revolves around and thus is not on planet earth.
  • The revolving of our part of world (Bharat-Kshetra) around Mt Meru leads to Kala-Chakra[3].
  • This universe is revolving in nature that leads to self-repeating epochs.
When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. For those who are well-versed with the Jain version of the universe and the scientific version, these hypotheses make a lot of sense. Of course, none of this can be proved. Who can prove such things though? But this did put my mind at ease.

Namo jinanam!