About Me

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The name is Selvamani.R. I was born in Rangoon, Burma now known as Yangoon and Myanmar respectively. I had my schooling in I.E.S. .Khalsa School there in Rangoon and came to Tamilnadu, India, did my Pre-University in Sir Thegaraya College,Chennai and M.B.B.S., in Madurai Medical College. Later did my Diploma and Masters Degree in the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Egmore, Madras Medical College, Chennai.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Power makes some men...

Some people behave strangely when they get some power.

The following incident happened in my life.
When I was working in Leprosy Control Unit, Kanchipuram, we [a batch of doctors from different Units] were posted in a Leprosy hospital in Thirukoilur for 2 weeks training.

There were many doctors working there all with the basic MBBS qualification and I was surprised to see a doctor ‘N’ with P.G. Qualification-Diploma in Paediatrics. Such graduation is much sought after field and the doctors invariably have a huge practice. I asked  Dr.’N’ why he is working in Leprosy hospital when  he can get a good posting in a general hospital in a town.
He was very friendly and said that it is because his wife is working as a teacher in a Govt. school in that town. I assumed he must be having good private practice also. But when I saw the clinic [converted front room in his house] I was baffled as there was hardly any patient. I chatted with him and told him that in Kancheepuram all the Child Specialists are having a very good practice and advised him to get into another posting soon.

After a year  I got a letter from him that he was posted in Saidapet, Chennai [he didn’t tell me what posting] and asked me whether I could help his wife to get a posting in Kancheepuram taluk near Saidapet. I went to the Education office and met the Officer there. I was told that the transfers will be made only during summer vacation and asked me to come then. I wrote this immediately to Dr.N.
About a month later I came to know that he had joined as District Leprosy Officer, a grade immediately above me. Frankly speaking the post was offered to me earlier and I denied it as I knew that if I joined I will never get out of Leprosy service and doing a post graduation was out of question [Dr.N never got out of it ].

One day when we have traveled to a sub-center nearby to attend to the village patients a jeep came and stopped near ours and I was happy to see Dr.N stepping out of it. I chatted with him for a few minutes and then started my work. He saw what we were doing and did not pass any comment and left after signing some registers.

After two weeks I was shocked when I got an official memo from him saying that during his visit he found me just sitting without attending to the waiting patients.. I was very angry as he could have stopped me from talking if he had thought so. Full of anger I went to the Disrict Medical Officer’s room, which was in the same compound.
The DMO knew me well and when I showed him the letter [it was forwarded by his office], he read it and before I started talking rang up for the concerned clerk. As soon as I finished talking he turned to his clerk and asked him to close the file as soon as possible without any detriment to me.

When I started to draft the reply I found that the date was wrongly mentioned. So I just made a short reply that on the day mentioned we were not in that place at all and were attending to the patients in another sub-center as per our schedule. I didn't get any reply.

My retort….

About two weeks later when we were attending to the patients in a different village the jeep came and out stepped Dr.N. This time I didn't even glance at him and continued my work.
He came and stood very near to me but I just ignored him. After some time he went to my subordinates- pharmacist, nursing attendants and talked to them. As soon as I finished my work I asked my team to wind up as we had to go to another village. Infuriated the he followed us in his jeep. He saw us going to the stipulated village and doing our work. He alighted from the jeep, stood for some time at a distance and  rode off..

Much later I came to know what happened. He had gone angrily to the Deputy Director of Leprosy who is superior to him and asked him to take action against me [Dr N doesn't have any power over me].
The Deputy Director who knows me, listened and replied “ On what ground can we take action? For doing his work? You have yourself stated that in your surprise check he was in the stipulated place, working. He talked to you in your previous visit and you reported him for that.”
When Dr N started to say something the DD retorted “ Leave him alone! Kancheepuram Leprosy Unit is the best working unit at present. He is a sincere worker. There are many Units where the doctors don’t even go to the villages. Why don’t you go and check them? Here after I will personally look after Kancheepuram unit and you can leave it out from your visits.”

Later when the Deputy Director came to our office on a visit I tried to bring Dr.N’s incident. But he stopped me saying that he won’t trouble me again.
I never saw Dr.N again !

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Tamil poem -1970

This poem was actually written during my house surgeoncy period in 1970 in response to cousin brother's family friend and neighbor K who has then finished his Degree and was searching for a job [soon he got a job in State Bank}

களிப்புற்றேன் உன் கடிதம் கண்டு 
கவி நடை கொண்ட அதன் சாறு உண்டு 
ஆனால் கவலை கொண்டேன் நெஞ்சகத்தே நீ 
வேலை இல்லாமல் வீட்டில் இருத்தல் கேட்டு .

இலக்கணம் நான் பயிலவில்லை என்று 
இயம்பவே நாணுகிறேன் ஆனால் உண்மை அது 
இதில் இமாலய தவறுகள் பல இருந்தும் 
இருந்திடு பொறுமையுடன் மன்னித்து.

ஹௌசு சர்ஜனுக்கு ஏதோ 
மவுசு அதிகம் என்று எழுதிவிட்டாய் 
இருப்பது அதிகம் என்று எண்ணமோ
இல்லை அப்பா ஏதும் உண்மையில்.

விந்தை என வந்த உன் கடிதத்தை 
விழி அதிராமல் படித்தே முடித்துட்டேன்    
விரைவில் பதில் எழுத மனம் கொண்டு 
விலாசத்தை தேடுகிறேன் காணவில்லை.

விக்கல் முதல் விதூலம் வரை 
வியாதி கண்டு அலுத்திட்டு  
விளையாட்டாய் சில நாட்கள் போக்க
விரைந்தே வருகிறேன் வெகு விரைவில் !!

In response K wrote -

விருந்தென வந்தோர்க்கும் மருந்தே குடுக்கும் 
மருத்துவர் போல் இல்லாமல் 
மருந்தென வந்த எனக்கு கவிதை 
விருந்தே படைத்தது விட்டீர் ...நன்றி வணக்கம் .

இலக்கணம் பயிலவில்லை என
இயம்பவே நாணுகிரீர் ஆனால் நானோ 
பயின்றும் அன்றும் இன்றும் என்றும் 
பண்ணுகிறேன் தினம் போஸ்ட் மார்ட்டம்.

கவி காண எனக்கோ நேரமுண்டு காலமுண்டு -ஆனால் 
அக் கவி காண உமக்கோ காலமுண்டோ நேரமுண்டோ

ஹௌசு சர்ஜனுக்கு மவுசு அதிகம் இல்லை என்றால் தினம்
 நர்சு கையில்  அவுன்சு கிளாசை காண்பவர்க்கு 
அலவன்ஸ்  கூடியதும் எப்படியோ 

காஸ்ட் அதிகம் ஆகிவிட்ட இந்நாளில் காசு 
வேஸ்ட்  ஆகி விட கூடாது என்றுதான் என் 
விலாசத்தை எழுதவில்லை  
[ ...க்கு எழுதும் கடிதத்துடன் சேர்த்து விட்டால் காசு மிச்சம் ]

Thursday, March 13, 2014


The Meaning of Life...

What is the meaning of life? It's an age-old question

Even deep thinkers failed on this front. Theologians have wrestled with the question for centuries. Philosophers and their students have tied themselves in knots over it. Mystics have meditated on it.

Physicist and science writer Freeman Dyson said, "You ask: what is the meaning or purpose of life? I can only answer with another question: do you think we are wise enough to read God's mind?"

Author Cormac McCarthy retorted: "A successful life is one that has no need to ask the question."

Harvey Cox, author of "The Seduction of the Spirit," said, "The purpose of life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."

Leonard Bernstein wrote: "For me, the purpose of life is to live it as fully as possible and be grateful every day for the privilege of sharing it."

Western writer Louis L'Amour said, "The meaning and purpose of life? To do, and to become."

American educator Paul Arthur Schlipp wrote it " to achieve a high development and integration of reason, of morality, and of spirituality - and to commit one's self to a cause greater than one's self. Tell me what your cause is, and I will tell you who you are."

Steven M. Cahn, author of "Fate, Logic and Time," insisted, "The meaning of life is invented, not discovered."

Paul Kurtz, author of "The Transcendental Temptation," wrote, "The meanings that we untap in life are those that we create, the dreams, plans and projects that we live for. How exciting these can be are a measure of our imagination and creativity."

For sheer bullheadedness, Gertrude Stein is hard to beat: "There ain't no answer. There ain't gonna be any answer.  There never has been an answer. That's the answer."

Australian Matthew Kelly, author of "The Rhythm of Life," says the essential meaning and purpose of life is to become "the best-version- of-yourself. "

Robert Louis Stevenson said more than a century ago, "To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life."

There's plenty here to keep us occupied. Think about it. What would it take for you to become your best, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually?
Decide what that is and devote yourself to realizing it. The beauty of this approach is that it takes our minds off judging others and puts us on the road to improving ourselves.

Not coincidentally, this is exactly the message of every great wisdom tradition. As Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

This best-version- of-yourself philosophy can be applied to every area of your life. We all have weaknesses that need attention. But we also have personal strengths. Some of us are built to pursue excellence in athletics. Others have a great aptitude for science or mathematics.

Maybe the important thing for you right now is to become the best parent, spouse, son or daughter you can be. Perhaps you feel your life's mission is to feed the poor or build houses for the homeless.

Whatever it is, embrace it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


You are not like before! You are different! You have changed! 
These are the usual comments [complaints?] we hear now and then. Think of it. Whoever is the same as ever? Everyone changes. 
We react to the same things in different manners in different times - as this depends on so many factors. Even if we analyze ourselves we find our reactions inexplicable sometimes. Changes do happen and will happen whether we like it or not.

One incident in my clinic. 
On a busy day a person came to the clinic with some complaints about the glasses I have prescribed to him recently. But I just brushed him off saying somethng like " Wear the glasses regularly. You will be all right ". He went away without a word. 
After some days when I was at leisure he came to me again with the same complaints. 
When I saw him I was already regretting the harsh way I have behaved before. 
I listened to his complaints patiently, examined him again, found out the error and set it right. Then I asked him why he came to me again instead of going to a different doctor. 
He replied “Sir! I am coming to you for treatment for many years. You have always treated me to my entire satisfaction. On that day I sensed you were in an irritable mood. So I went away and waited for a day when you will be relaxed and free.” 
I was ashamed of myself and thanked him. 
Why I haven't behaved in the same manner in the first instance itself!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


மஹா பாரத போரில் பீஷ்மரின் செயல் கேள்விக்குரியதாகவே இருக்கிறது. அவர் போரில் முழு மனதுடன் ஈடுபடவில்லை என்ற துரியோதனனின் குற்றசாட்டை வெறுமனே ஒதுக்கிவிடமுடியாது .
துரியோதனன் ஒரு முறை அவரை போரை விட்டு விலகினால் கர்ணன் போர் புரிய தயாராக இருப்பதாக
கூறி நிந்தனை செய்கிறான்.

போரில் வெல்லமுடியாதவர், மரணம் கூட அவர் விரும்பினால் தான் நிகழும் என்று பல கீர்த்திகள் பீஷ்மர் பெற்றிருந்தார். அவர் போர் புரிந்த போது கௌரவர்கள் கையே ஒங்கி இருந்தது.
தேவர்கள் அசுரர்கள் அனைவரையும் ஒரே நாளில் வெல்லதக்கவர் பீஷ்மர் என்று கிருஷ்ணரே கூறிருக்கிறார்.

பீஷ்மர் தன்னை கிருஷ்ணர் அர்ஜுனன் தவிர வேறு யாரும் காயப்படுத்த கூட முடியாது என்று கூறுகிறார் - கவனிக்கவும் காயப்படுத்தத்தான், கொல்ல அல்ல.

பீஷ்மரை கொல்ல முடியாமல் பாண்டவர்கள் தவிக்க தர்மபுத்திரர் நேரில் வந்து அவரை வெல்ல அவரிடமே வழி கேட்பதும் அவர் சிகண்டியை முன் வைத்து அர்ஜுனனை போர் புரிய சொல்வதும் அவரின் பெருந்தன்மையை காட்டினாலும் ஒரு யுத்தத்தில் அது சரியானதாக தோன்றவில்லை.
மேலும் 10-ம் நாள் யுத்தத்தின் இறுதியில் தர்மபுத்திரரிடம் " நான் மிகவும் மனதாலும் உடலாலும் தளர்ந்து விட்டேன். என்னை வீழ்த்துவதற்கு இதுவே தருணம் " என்று கூறி அதன்படியே வீழ்கிறார்.

பாண்டவர்களை எதிர்ப்பது தவறு என்று நினைத்திருந்தால் தளபதி பொறுப்பை அவர் தவிர்த்திருக்கவேண்டும்.

இதற்க்கு சில விளக்கங்கள் கூறப்படுகின்றன.

கிருஷ்ண பரமாத்மா துணை பெற்ற பாண்டவர்கள்தான் நிச்சயம் வெற்றி பெறுவார்கள் என்று அவர் ஏற்கனவே அறிந்திருந்தார்.
அவர்களுடன் சமாதானமாக போக துரியோதனுக்கு பல முறை போர் நடக்கும் போதே கூட அறிவுரை கூறியிருக்கிறார், தான் இறந்தாலாவது துரியோதனன் பாண்டவர்களுடன் சமாதானமாக போகக்கூடும் என்று உண்மையாகவே அவர் நம்பி இருக்கலாம்.
இது ஒரு கருத்து.

பீஷ்மர் தான் விளைவித்த பெரும் உயிர் சேதத்தை எண்ணி கவலையுற்று அதனாலேயே மரணத்தை விரும்பி ஏற்றார் என்றும் கூறப் படுகின்றது.

"ஸ்வதர்மம்" என்ற சொல் பயன்படுத்தப்பட்டுள்ளது. இதற்கு 'தன் மனசாட்சிப்படி நடப்பது' என்று பொருள்

மஹா பாரதத்தில் புரிந்து கொண்டதை விட சரியாக புரியாததே அதிகம்.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The school building where I studied from Kinder-garden to 10th std still remains, being converted into a Govt. Burmese school. Could do with a fresh coat of paint though !!
The new house built in 50 th street where our house was.
The size is more or less the same, though our house had only four floors and we resided in the third floor [US terminology] meaning higher ceilings.