Monday, December 30, 2013

An 'I'm very particular...' experience in India

************** In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. ***************** Reflection ***************** 'Aisha narrated this hadith: "Usama approached the Prophet on behalf of a woman (who had committed theft). The Prophet said, 'The people before you were destroyed because they used to inflict the legal punishments on the poor and forgive the rich. By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! If Fatima (the daughter of the Prophet ) did that (i.e. stole), I would cut off her hand'." (Sahih Bukhari) * RECENTLY I was in Manipal, India; visiting a son who is about to complete his two and a half years of a five years MBBS programme in Melaka-Manipal Medical College. To reach Manipal, I took the plane from the LCCT in Sepang to Bangalore and then to Mangalore before experiencing 'an Indian road ride' of about 60 kilometers to reach Udupi town before proceeding to Manipal ********************** During my brief stay in India, I noticed everything was of importance to the locals. No matter how small a thing or a job was, its citizen seemed to make full use of them or do their best. To me, Indians seemed to be very 'concerned' or 'particular' about everything! ************************** Well, incidents in the airports speak volummes about that attitude or trait. While embarking in Bangalore, I had to passed a few checking points before and after reaching the immigration counters and it was worst during departing later on; if I was not mistaken; there were amost ten checking points! ******************************** You must not make any mistake in 'their procedures', once I was told to go back to 'the first point' after they noticed that an item I was carrying was not stamped with the words 'Approved'. ****************************** Once at the airport, when I was about to enter a toilet, a worker rushed ahead of me and to my surprise, he wiped the toilet bowl with tissue papers in front of me and politely asked: "Are you satisfied with our service, Sir?" ************************* After a few days in Manipal and after getting accustomed to the surroundings and the people, I noticed Indians living in the southern part of the continent of having some good traits that could give spark to some of us to emulate their ways. **************************** Almost everyone I met, especially workers seemed to be very proud and thankful of their jobs; they tried their best to render their services. The worker at the airport who wiped the toilet bowl for me was a good example. And helplers at simple 'hotels' (in this part of the world, restaurant was called hotel!), take orders with full hearts; once a man called me 'boss'; he was 'ever ready' to assist me! ********************************* During my travel in Kartanaka state (in which Bangalore - the state capital, Mangalore, Udupi and Manipal stand), I saw many coconut trees in the countryside and I was amazed to witness parts of the trees were used to the maximum. For example, workers at the hotel I was staying were seen scrubbing floors with brushes made of coconut husks and sweeping the floors with brooms made from veins of coconut leaves! ************************* And on a just completed concrete new roads (partial of a project) , the workers covered them with dry paddy stalks. I failed to get an explaination on this, nevertheless I envied the Indians creativity in maximizing the usage of local natural resources. ************************* At the road projects and even at sites of housing construction projects, I noticed some of the workers were women, a few looked to old and frail for the job; but they seemed eager and determined in doing their work such as carrying earth, stones, pebbles and even mixed cement in wicker scoops placed on their heads. ********************** In this part of the world, almost all work was done manually; some women and even children were seen carrying large bricks (their's were about four times larger than ours) to upper floors of buildings under construction. **************************** After spending a few nights in Manipal, I noticed their streets lights were switched off at 9.00 pm leaving the town areas in complete darkness except for lights at junctions and of course 'on private properties'. But even that, businesses such as eatery places had to call it home at 11.00 pm. **************************** I was make to understand that the authorities in this education hub is very 'particular' or concerned about ways to conserve energy; thus cutting public spending on municipality council's electric bills. ***************************** They too wanted 'to produce' happy and healthy citizens (including having a good night sleep) of the respectated 'mud and lake' education hub (the name Manipal is derived from Mannu palla anglicised to it). Mannu means mud and Palla means lake in Tulu Language. *************************** Manipal was once a barren hill with few trees. This hill was transformed to a university town by Dr TM A Pai starting in the 1950s. This town is home to Manipal University, which has 19 colleges, ranging from fields of business, engineering and health sciences. **************************** Then there is also the famous Kasturba Medical College (KMC) at which our first astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor attended. Recently KMC with its motto 'Live to Serve' and 'Inspiring Generations of Doctors' celebrated its Diamond Jubilee Celebration (1953-2013). ****************************** While in the 'knowledge town' , I took the opportunity to visit its renowned Manipal Museum of Anatomy and Pathlogy (MAP) claimed to be the largest medical museum its kind in Asia. The Museum of Anatomy was started in 1956, by Profesor Godbole, and the Museum of Pathology was founded by Profesor E Thomas in 1960. ************************** It houses more than 1,500 specimens of anatomy and pathology, which include cross-sections of specimens, skeletons, radiographs and models. The displays consist of specimens that are meticulously dissected. The section on comparative anatomy consist of rare, and interesting species of animals and their skeletons. ***************************** Upon entering the museum as 'an early bird', once again I was met with another 'I'm particular' experience when one of its guard lectured me 'on the rules' while looking and observating the exhibits. ************************ "Don't you see the arrow signs on the floor? You must move in the disignated direction; jumping from one exhibits to another is not allowed," explained the woman guard. **************************** Some wise men said, when one is in Rome do as what the Roman did, so I did just as I was told - I moved from human system exhibits to comparative anatomy, mosculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system, nervous system, digestive system, reproductive system, endocrine system and urinary system. ************************ After spending about an hour in the museum, I realized it was then full of visitors. Hundreds of children in school uniforms were seen walking in a single file line to observe the exhibits. Only then, I realized the importance of following the arrow signs as lectured to me by the 'I'm particular' guard. It would be chaos if the children walked and watched the exhibits as they like from any direction! ************************* At the exit door,before leaving the museum I have a quick look at a visitors book where one writes down his/her name, address and comment. ********************* Roopa KN wrote: "All the specimens catagorized are good. If these were more for each category of plants it could be wonderful." ************************ Kurthi HN commented: "It is very useful to the many students to know about human body. Very useful in higher education for MBBS students." ************************* Teachers of Sri Sharadha Education Trust di Sidlaghatta wrote: "Vey useful to our teaching hours to explain all biology chapters. Our students too gain more knowledge from the exhibition."

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