Very often I hear from some friend or relative that either they or someone in the family has been struck by a fatal disease, “But don’t tell anyone!” they tell me. I always wonder why they don’t want to tell others, and have come to the conclusion they feel the world will mock them for their tragic circumstances.

Is the world actually so cruel?

I remember the story of a kid in school, who was vaccinated with a painful injection in the arm. The doctor then wanted to stick on a bandage. “Please put it on the other arm,” the boy pleaded.

India could have won, despite losing the World Cup final! What an opportunity they had of winning the hearts of millions throughout the world if they had only displayed grace and big heartedness when they lost. What was shown by them was a crude, crass and churlish display of being bad losers. 

Our sportsmen need to understand they have millions of youth in the country who look up to them, and every thing they do is followed by these youngsters. The crass behaviour of Virat Koli will soon be followed by our own youth and the public weeping by another cricketer could have easily been avoided.

People donate for the blind, give generously towards old age homes and orphanages, but it is difficult having them part so liberally with their money towards charities or NGOs who work for the mentally challenged.

I pondered on this as I drove back that evening: I’d seen the sterling work done by an NGO, had interviewed parents, even seen the tremendous affection displayed by teachers, supportive staff and students. I had noticed smiles on the faces of these children as they went through a session of animal therapy, even laughter and happiness as they finally discovered caring people who finally understood them.

Many years ago a friend of mine who I’ve lost touch with, was planning to get married, “She should be a working woman,” he said very definitely.

“Why?” I asked, “I’m sure you’re doing well, why do you need her to go out and work?”

“For her sake,” he said.

Port Blair, Dec. 4: The vessel MV Swaraj Dweep will sail from Port Blair to Chennai on Dec.6, 2023 at 1000 hrs. Excess baggage will be loaded from 1400 hrs to 1600 hrs on Dec.5. Embarkation of passengers will commence from 0800 hrs on Dec.6. The embarkation of passengers will be closed one hour before the schedule time. Passengers reporting late will not be allowed to board the vessel.