At the Crossroads

You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now. --Joan Baez When men and women agree,it is only in their conclusions;their reasons are always different

Monday, June 07, 2010

Make way for Noddy

We all get older and probably wiser by the day. Wisdom is an acquired virtue and gets better with age. Growing old, however depressing it is, makes one wiser and more judicious. I have undergone a transformation of sorts over the years.

Back in school, I was terrorized by the thought of getting on stage. I never gave the vaguest idea that I had stage fright and going by my confident disposition, my teachers would invariably nominate me to various competitions. I once feigned stomach disorder and took flight from the venue. The overcoming of stage fear is still underway and owe a lot of it to the older me.

I was born healthy and by this I mean, heavy. I retained my heavy self for a major part of my life. Every new year resolutions were made only to be forgotten. A year ago, the older Me realized the importance of fitness and here I am. Let good wisdom prevail.

A career shift is also a wise choice. Though I have only shifted gears, I am glad I did it. Good work and nice environment is on everybody's wishlist and I am not dissatisfied.

Certain things that have not changed about me. I still want to visit half the world in the next 4, be able to speak over 10 languages (Indian and foreign), get a master's degree from an Ivy, bring a radical change in India's political system, learn and share..

And yeah, I love Noddy.. Make way for it..

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I am , I exist...

I think, therefore I am. 

A year ago, I was so looking forward to a beautiful summer. A year later, I fret at the thought of summer. Chennai is blazing hot and its only March. Summer officially starts mid April and unofficially it never ends. I am home and that is something to cheer about. The fragrance of incense sticks, aroma of spices, sound of pressure cooker whistle, clatter of dishes, excitement of watching live wrestling, dhobiwaala, maid, driver, sambhar, idli, my bedroom, big screen Television, my car... Missed it all..

A new beginning :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Obama listening???
Never spend more than you make

The present Healthcare program in America is plagued with serious shortcomings. If 47 million Americans are not insured and many more thinly insured, despite the fact that 16% of the GDP is spent on healthcare, there has to be some very significant and notably visible areas that can be addressed to and corrected.

A very simple explanation for the astronomically expensive American healthcare is that a lot is paid for each unit of care. The objective is to provide effective healthcare both in cost and quality to all. The objective is far from met. US is marred by health issues ranging from infant mortality to cancer to obesity and many more. The best of technologies does not seem to help. Bottomline is, spending a lot is not the solution; spend moderately but effectively.

Public or Private:

Government should have a mechanism to track the uninsured and find a suitable coverage for them. Expand Medicare, Medicaid to cover a wider audience. Educate people the pros and cons of Public and Private health insurance and come up with a transparent method to allow common man to chose his/her coverage. Provide Tax benefits for employer sponsored insurance. Mandating insurance for all will enable the uninsured to get treatment in time which otherwise would delay and make matters worse.

Consumers get wise:

In my opinion, the most significant reason for America's healthcare fiasco is the attitude of the American Consumer. A lot of money is spent on the far too much unnecessary care the American consumer seeks. A whopping amount is spent on the many tests, treatments and hospitalizations that barely does anything to improve the health condition of the patient. Consumers insists on getting more intensive diagnostic testing done and doctors in fear of lawsuit order the same.The increased consumer demand leads to increased utilization and is one of the biggest drivers of rising health care costs.Consumers must be wise enough to understand what difference a test or procedure makes.Awareness programs must be conducted to educate people on the risks and benefits of conducting unnecessary tests. The right physician, right tests and right decisions can save the country billions of dollars.

Adopt an alternate healthcare option. Shift to natural heath care is both cheaper and beneficial. In India, Ayurveda, naturopathy and homeopathy has helped cure many serious ailments.

Americans go binge on eating ,drinking and smoking. Obesity due to insufficient exercise, unhealthy food, alcohol and drugs can cause myriad diseases that requires hospitalization and treatment.The only cure is self-awareness. No health reform can educate an individual to eat healthy and stay fit.

Reform Immature and Expensive Healthcare Supply Chain:

The American health care supply chain is an immature and expensive system. Specifically, stakeholders - manufacturers, distributors, group purchasing organizations and providers such as hospitals, surgical centers and long-term care facilities - lack good and accurate information because they have not implemented universal standards for data. The health care supply chain is starved for accurate and accessible data, which are the primary barriers to efficiency, collaboration and standardization.

Perhaps needless to say, this is an extremely expensive problem. The health care logistics is an area in which costs can be significantly reduced and efficiencies gained to provide better and safer health care delivery at a reasonable cost. Fix the unstructured and loosely defined supply-chain management practices.Lack of data standardization is the main obstacle to a mature or extended supply chain. Data standards increase compatibility, reduce redundancy and improve exchange and efficiency.Lack of data standards is a barrier for organizations to reach an acceptable level of collaboration among health care supply-chain organizations.

Go IT:

The need to create a nationwide network of electronic health records is imperative. Another high spending area, the administration as a lot of paperwork is done by insurance companies. The advancements of Information technology can be tapped to eliminate all the paperwork thereby reducing administrative costs.Use of Electronic billing will reduce manual resubmission of claims and help insurance executives obtain information on claims easily.Access to millions and millions of patient records online will be the biggest step for health-care information technology. ERP tools can be incorporated to streamline the order, shipping, billing and procurement.

Government Listen Up!!

Just as all vehicle owners require auto insurance, a system that mandates health insurance should be created. Affordability must be taken into account and premiums should be adjusted accordingly. Penalize health offenders and provide tax incentives to individuals who are willing to give up on bad habits. Reward doctors and hospitals that provide low-cost high-quality healthcare. Push for the need of a common computerized medical record system.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Things i would kill for
1. Dark Chocolates. 70% Cocoa - Ghirardelli's Intense dark Espresso Escape. I guarantee you will feel divine when a tiny piece of this melts in your mouth. As you chew the roasted espresso beans , you will feel time has come to a stand still.

2. Chicken Briyani. HomeMade and the cook being my Mom. The amazing cook that she is, i would travel 7 oceans and fight a zillion wars to taste her food.

3. A visit to the mighty Egyptian Pyramids. I would love to make a trip to this country before i die.

4. A surprise gift.

5. Early morning caffeine fix. To get the day started , to rush through the many emails and to be able to meet deadlines, i see the danger liquid as my only companion.

6. 120lbs. I will have to kill myself to achieve this target. Sounds like a formidable task ahead. And all those wondering how obsessed i sound about my weight, am only trying to be healthy.

7. To be able to spend a significant part of my life serving the needy. How and when, i do not know.

8. Movies. I love watching movies.

9. To be able to earn a degree that defines me. To learn and do stuff that speaks of me. By the way, I am a Software Engineer by profession.

10. A vacation far away in the woods. Far away from the buzzing of the cell phone, clatter of the keyboard and the deafeaning cachophony of screams of people gone completely insane, and all that i can hear is the pitter-patter of the heart, the gentle whisper and the soothing hushed sound of the summer breeze.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Go Green !!!

The winter life that i have been living for the past 2 years has finally come to an end, much to my delight. Its bright and sunny until late in the night. Yay its Summer time!! Time to shed some pounds ;)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Big Fat Indian Elections

Some win, some lose. What an overwhelming victory for the UPA. However dirty the entire election process in India be, it is no less fun to watch the jokers of the circus enact their performances so impeccably. While the UPA is still basking in the afterglow of success, the battered and badly bruised NDA has come to terms with the fact that they were never good enough to beat the formidable UPA. The mandate clearly in favour of the UPA indicates the changed attitude of the Indian junta. Contemporary India is looking for stability and development. While in power, the UPA government spearheaded by Manmohan singh performed fairly well. Good governance has paid off well for the UPA. The UPA has always espoused an ideology and stood by it. All the credit goes to Manmohan Singh, though His royal highness Mr.Rahul Gandhi and his Mother has grabbed all the attention. Why can he not steer clear of the limelight and prove his humility. Aah!!

Now that we have a clear mandate, i hope the government lives up to the expectations of the people and makes good progress in the future.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Confessions of a shopaholic!!

I have to report to work in about 7 hours from now and this by all means leaves me with just about 5 hours of sleep. Though i never see myself affected by 'Monday morning blues' syndrome, the idea of getting to work after a great weekend does make me cringe a little. So here begins yet another week. I always vow to make it to work by 8. Its like one of those year end resolutions or promises that we make to break. The many resolution we make at the beginning of the year, only to realize that however much we stretch ourselves, only sheer grit and determination will help us keep it alive. Some bury it and some let it rot mid-way. But i am determined to make it early to work tomorrow and keep mine alive.

Needless to say, it was a great weekend good enough to keep my spirits high and take the oncoming week head-on. Perhaps the only disappointing thing is my bank balance that shrunk tremendously. I was on a shopping spree and splurged cash like never before. If someone is shopping as heavily during bad times as this, it has to be ME. I am transforming in to a shopaholic and this warrants the need for someone to keep a check on me. Volunteers any?

I am tempted to grab this book beside me and flip through couple of pages before i crash. The news of Lahore attacks , the Great Indian pre-poll drama and tentative revival of global economy are good enough to give me nightmares. Hope reading helps. Adios. Buenos Noches!!!