Thursday, March 25, 2010

Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!

There seems to be a war against the trees (read the poem: "The War Against the Trees")... for a while now... and the folks waging it are winning it too. Sadly! The bottomline appears to be: mere trees should not and must not be allowed to stand in the way of "progress and development". Signs of the times... we live in. What a pity! It is high time we stopped the indiscriminate murder of the lush green trees and the enchanting forests.

"While the bulldozers, drunk with gasoline,
Tested the virtue of the soil

This phrase is also ironic since the bulldozers are not concerned with the soil's quality, as farmers are, but with what lies beneath the soil.

A while ago I read a wonderful post on my fellow blogger Ashwin Baindur's blog (thebutterflydiaries) and feel like to share it with you all. I have his permission to do so as well *smiling* So, read on...

At a time when the people of the world cannot agree what to do about climate change and when England is completely covered with snow as if replaying the events of the 2004 film "The Day After Tomorrow", it is pertinent to remember the words of a very famous Native American, Chief Si'ahl (anglicised as Seattle).

Chief Si'ahl (c. 1780 – June 7, 1866) , the leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish tribes in what is now the American state of Washington, allegedly wrote the letter in the 1800s to the United States Government.

It is less important to know whether he wrote it or not, than to know what is said in it.

Chief Seattle's Letter

"The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the same family.

The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each glossy reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.

The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give the rivers the kindness that you would give any brother.

If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life that it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted with talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is to say goodbye to the swift pony and then hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

When the last red man has vanished with this wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left?

We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother's heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it, as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children, and love it, as God loves us.

As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you.

One thing we know – there is only one God. No man, be he Red man or White man, can be apart. We ARE all brothers after all."

P.S. This letter, a famous speech and many quotations (including the title of this post) are alleged to have been quoted by Chief Si'ahl.

P.P.S. Read more about Chief Si'ahl here and his quotations here. More about the Suquamish tribe here.

Note: I read this poem ("The War Against the Trees" by Stanley Kunitz - 1905-2006) a while back. I must say... the poem is an eye opener to the devastation brought on by "development". We must understand the need to protect the environment... before it is too late.


1. Chief Seattle/Chief Si'ahl, whose letter warns us of the need to hold nature dear in our hearts. (The only known photograph of Chief Seattle, taken 1865)

2. But how can you buy or sell the sky? the land? (Wonderful thoughts... isn't it??).

Pic Credits - Clouds over hills image, Palouse fields – all these images are of Washington State where Chief Si'ahl lived with his tribe. Chief Seattle's image though public domain and available in Wikimedia Commons was selected from a web-site using Google Images.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hi! Hi! Hi!

Hello friends! I hope all of you are doing well... and are in the best of health. For all those... who were/are wondering as to my whereabouts for the past few weeks... let me tell you I had not been hibernating. It is not the season for hibernation anyways... with the mercury level hovering around 37 C... what??? I had not taken a break either... to rest my gray cells or to collect my thoughts. Nor was I bored or having a bout of writer's errr blogger's block *wink* And for the upteempth time let me declare that I am not a 'virtual kisan'. I never was. I hope Shilpa will not take offence *wide grin*

I hadn't gone trekking (I envy my FBs - Neelima of The Wandering Soul's Wander Tales, Subu of Passion for Road Trips and Abhijeet of Imprints On Ice fame - though)... nor was I meditating in the Himalayas. I would love to go to Lake Manasarovar though. So, what was it that kept me away from bloggersville for 49 days - 7 weeks? 7 weeks?!! Even I cannot believe it! *blink, blink... pinching myself*

Well here it is. I underwent a 'myomectomy'... which in simple language means the removal of a fibroid/benign (non-cancerous) tumor. 'Benign' that's the key word... and I am thanking my stars ever since! Mine was a pedunculated fibroid... i.e., a fibroid growing on a stalk, which is called a peduncle. (The stalk can get twisted which can cause severe pain, although this is extremely rare.) It was quite a nasty-looking fellow to be precise... measuring nearly 20 x 20 cm. When the doc coolly held it up and showed it to me (with blood still dripping from it) at the end of the operation (saying, "see this is what we got out of your tummy... you wanted to see it right?") @ the OT... I was under the influence of spinal anaesthesia, and genuinely felt/thought I had died and gone to some other planet. I could not believe... such a thing could come out of my tummy. Nor could the attenders of other patients. Apparently when they saw it... they forgot about their own relatives undergoing operation and started talking about this fibroid. It was an experience to remember. For sure! In fact my best half was so shocked and overwhelmed at the very sight of it... that he completely forgot to take a pic... for posterity.

Then after getting discharged... I came back to our home sweet home. Only to get readmitted 2 days later. 'coz the 'stitches had gaped'... meaning (half of) the stitches had come off... and I had to undergo 'resuturing' all over again. *a very sad face... thinking of the pain*

I am back home again... came back on 4th evening... and had the sutures removed yesterday. Hopefully no more resuturing is awaiting me in the near or distant future. Amen. 

Just a note on fibroids: Fibroids are the most common benign tumors in females. There has yet been a link between fibroids and genetics, however it has not been ruled out as a determinant factor. If you are experiencing symptoms related to fibroids such as pelvic pain and pressure, excessive bleeding, including prolonged periods and passage of clots, abdominal swelling, pressure on the bladder, and pressure on the bowel then it is likely that you may have fibroids. 

A sure way to find out if you have fibroids is by getting an ultrasound or an MRI. Patients with fibroids will undergo an ultrasound in their gynecologist's office/hospital/nursing home as part of the process to determine if fibroids are present. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is also used to determine if fibroids can be treated with embolization and provide information about any underlying disease. MRI is the standard imaging technique for evaluating fibroids because it provides a clearer image than ultrasound and can detect other causes of pelvic pain and/or bleeding you may be experiencing. (Read more: HERE)

If you have a growing fibroid, it is perfectly reasonable to be followed by having a pelvic examination every one to three months. If the fibroid begins to cause bothersome symptoms, then surgery may be considered. If the fibroid continues to grow very rapidly, doubling in size in a few weeks or months, then surgery may be indicated. (Read more: HERE). For Fibroids and Cancer: Read HERE.

The terms 'fibroid' and 'myoma' are used interchangeably. Most fibroids do not cause symptoms, and do not require treatment. Fibroids may require treatment in the following circumstances:

1. Fibroids are growing large enough to cause pressure on other organs, such as the bladder.

2. Fibroids are growing rapidly.

3. Fibroids are causing abnormal bleeding.

4. Fibroids are causing problems with fertility.

Thanks for all the messages. I will respond to them by and by. I will also read through the blogs/posts I have missed out all this while... by and by. It will take a while for me to get back to my earlier blogging form/speed of 2-3 posts per week... but I will post as often as I can... going forward.

I am missing my terrace garden too... since I am unable to climb stairs *a woeful look on my face*

Another flipside of this entire 'myomectomy saga' has been that my IndiRank has tumbled to 69... from a high of 82. Actually it was 82 in Jan., then 76 in Feb. and now 69 in March. Sob! Sob! Sniff! Sniff! Yeh foul hai... Mummy I won't play!!!

But I have received an award *cheering up* from Shruti of Hits and Misses fame. It is the Passionate Blogger award. The citation reads: "This Award goes to bloggers who enjoy what they are doing... From Stories to Social Issues or funny things, they love writing it."
Thanks a bunch dear! *I am beaming*

 Note: Some info gathered courtesy: Wikipedia.

A pic of a fibroid. Not the one that was taken out of my tummy though. Pic courtesy: Wikipedia.