Category Archives: Journalism

The all-seeing eye and challenges in the modern era

This was done in April. Attempts to locally publish it in Ooty came to naught. So here’s it.

I notice that Dr D Krishnamurthy is preoccupied and to the point of being fidgety during the course of my interview with him. He has hundreds of things to do and yet he accommodates me gracefully after a couple of hours of waiting. The man is all charm as he lends a keen ear to my questions.
The most common of eye problems, the good doctor tell me, is of refractive index, which forces 30% of all Indian children to wear glasses. With the life expectancy increasing, diseases like Glaucoma are also on the rise. Age-Related Macular Degeneration, ARMD, is also common these days.
I take a quick survey of the patients at the Eye Foundation in Coimbatore. Most of them are middle aged. Nurses are reverential and efficient. There is a system put in place. My own examinations lasted about 15 minutes, and I came out happy that a thorough job had been done. The foundation has its own pharmacy, critical in a town like Ooty, and also dispenses eye glasses. I was asked if I wanted to go for a non-invasive laser surgery. “Do you want contact glasses?” Again, a no. I politely declined.
I asked if glaucoma had become an epidemic. “Not really. Cases are common but the procedure is safe. But it is better if the condition is caught early,” says Ramamurthy. The Eye Foundation has several clinics strewn across western Tamil Nadu. “All of them have cutting edge technology,” he says.
“His day is divided between administrative tasks. But we always have patients who need to see him. He divides his time equally between centres. However, he is based in Coimbatore at the Eye Foundation there,” says Girish Reddy GC.
Retinitis Pigmentosa, otherwise known as night blindness, is the scrounge among eye disorders. “We have hundreds of patients who come with us seeking a cure for their problem. Though the issue can be alleviated, it cannot be cured, which is unfortunate,” says Ramamurthy.

Sathyam: A theatre of my dreams

Capitalizing on Crash winning the 2004 best picture Oscar, Sathyam Cinemas released it soon after the movie’s upset victory over Brokeback Mountain that year. I always look forward to catching Oscar winners in the theatre and booked tickets for two early in the week.

Continue reading

Books downloaded from the web hit stores

Writing that first appeared on websites of Tamil writers, in particular of a trio of ‘superstars’, is storming the world of alternative Tamil publishing as the 33th Chennai Book Fair gets underway in the city on Wednesday. As a result, two different media — the internet and print — seen in popular perception as being vastly different, are depending on each other in a singular fashion in Tamil media. Also contrasting styles adopted by different publishers over what to publish and what to trash has triggered a debate over the quality of the books published off the net. Continue reading

Artist beats a lonely path

Poosapati Parameshwar Raju has had teachers, but when it comes to drawing pictorial representations of the Devanagari script on paper, he has beaten a lonely path. The 47-year-old artist, who has brought an exhibition of his paintings to Apparao Art Gallery in the city, is the lone exponent of the art form that he has made his own. Continue reading

Global Warming – A slightly boring note

The media has, by and large, a highly non-serious outlook towards the critical issue of global warming. The sustained and often painstaking coverage of the increase in temperature of the world’s near-surface air and its oceans seem elusive to the mainstream media. Driven by forces of advertising and marketing that demand a continuing increase in readership or audience, the media ignores the issue almost completely. Continue reading

Cronkite as a picture of sanity

Just saw the video of Walter Cronkite announcing the death of JFK. News gathering, it is apparent, was harder those days. The death of the president is not confirmed for over half an hour after its occurence. But what stuck me was the sanity that prevails in the coverage. The number of times that Cronkite makes it clear that the news is not confirmed. The way he stays so unflappable. He doesn’t, contrary to most TV news coverage in India these days, drive anyone hysterical. No wonder he is remembered in this fashion.

IITians to form think-tank

(This appeared in The Times of India months ago)

The CEOs are back in the institute which gave them the license to fulfill their dreams. And now, they are determined to give back to the nation where they build their private empires. The alumni of the various Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) are forming a think-tank which will regularly bring out policy papers on key issues affecting the country such as affirmative action, rural entrepreneurship and technical education. Continue reading