• Lifestyle

    Bougainvillea

    My fascination for bougainvillea is as old as my marriage, which is 3 years old. I was able to make my wife fall for it too and we have been collecting as many varieties/colors as we can. This specimen in the photo is one of the prettiest, that it has multiple colours in one plant. It is possible to achieve that also by grafting different colored plants into one. What we have come to understand about growing Bougainvillea is that it is easy to propagate (cuttings around June), low maintenance, loves sun (needs it to bloom), cannot tolerate freezing temperature, and doesn’t like wet feet. It can be grown in…

  • Lifestyle

    I was sick, now I am poor: The impact of health care expenditure

    A society’s progress is not measured by how splendid a show one puts up at a festival or how good the top layers in the society are performing. But it is measured by how much it does to protect those people who live on the edge of a cliff. What would have a Chakhesang Naga village farmer not done before deciding to sell off his paddy field to pay for his son’s medical bills? Left with nothing else, he did it; for who wouldn’t have done so if that can save the life of one’s only son? If a single showing is worth a thousand telling, the story of desperation…

  • Lifestyle

    Child Mortality Statistics: Not just numbers

    Health statistics are not just numbers in a table, shades of colors in a chart, or dots in a map; but they are measures of human suffering. Behind such mathematical and statistical figures of our health and disease data are real people who either suffered or died In my presentations, I point to the health statistics and say that these are not just numbers in a table, shades of colors in a chart, or dots in a map; but they are measures of human suffering. Behind such mathematical and statistical figures of our health and disease data are real people who either suffered or died. Chances are that in the…

  • Lifestyle

    Pursuing a hobby

    A hobby can turn into the primary profession. Also keeping a hobby as a hobby is worth pursuing and developing.  I have toyed with the idea of changing career in midlife. I am nowhere near it mentally and have no particular area of work in mind. But I am happy that I have started working on a hobby that I have been thinking of for many years. It is the art of making bonsai. Circa 2003, I went for a plant exhibition in Imphal where I was mesmerized by miniature trees planted in pots. The trees were familiar except that they looked old and small. I didn’t know they are…

  • Reflection

    Why Work?

    The worth of a work is not measured by how much money the person made but how worthy is the thing that is made. Dorothy Sayers wrote an article ‘Why Work?’ during World War II. The piece is still relevant for our day and society. It is interesting that such a wonderful piece of writing should be available for about 70 years which could have revolutionized the way we work and yet we continue to have such poor attitude to work. She explained work as ‘a creative activity undertaken for the love of the work itself…for the sake of doing well a thing that is well worth doing’. The reason…

  • Health

    Why good healthcare is so hard to achieve

    Forcing the present health care system to deliver services is like flogging a starved mule to work The precarious HIV situation in Nagaland has been in the news. It is a harsh reality that with the resources invested; the situation is still far from satisfactory. But the HIV/AIDS situation is not an isolated case. Good healthcare is so difficult to achieve. People visiting healthcare centers across the State know that all is not well. The standard reaction is the pointing of fingers at the government machinery which is responsible for running the services. But things get more complicated when we explore the factors which determine the type of healthcare we…

  • Reflection

    Is there gender inequality in Nagaland?

    Naga society is in transition where an age-old understanding of male dominance and superiority coexists with an increasing understanding of gender equality The title seems like a no-brainer that the existence of gender inequality in Nagaland should be put into question. But surprisingly many males including educated people in leadership positions hold the view that there is no gender discrimination in Nagaland. Therefore, before going into enumerating or highlighting the degree of gender discrimination, it may be worth looking at the debate on the existence of gender inequality itself. We hear it from the pulpit or elsewhere which goes something like this: Once upon a time, there was gender inequality…

  • Reflection

    The sweetness of faith

    I’m so grateful that I have found and have been experiencing faith. It is not just a head belief but it also tastes sweet. ..An inner peace in times of war. A feeling of hope in times of grief. Selfless surrender in times of greed. Love in return of hatred. What other force or source in the world can provide that? Today is World Health Day (April 7) and as I was coming home from work (early to attend a wedding), I began to think of this year’s theme: Depression. My mind went to those who suffer depression and I thought of my own life. A powerful phrase came to…

  • Reflection

    Who to blame? Let us be specific

    When we say that the public is also to be blamed for the messy situation we are in, does that mean that the baby girl who was born last night in a remote village in Myanmar border is also to be blamed? Let’s be specific. ‘Public’ is a heterogeneous group with angels and demons and every type in between. Generalizing the blame is not just for those who are not corrupt yet suffer for someone else’s faults. Blaming the public is a favorite prop politicians use to legitimize their actions. But let’s face this truth: Politicians are homogeneous in so far as corruption is concerned. By virtue of their power…

  • Reflection

    ‘Your underwear is our underwear’

    ‘Your underwear is our underwear’. This is the most creative slogan that Nagas have come up with in a public protest (in Zunheboto some years back) against extortion and molestation of women by a UG group. In a magazine article called ‘Wages of war‘, the detailed rates and means of extortion by various Naga underground groups were documented. It was estimated that the collective revenue of all UG groups is about Rs. 1300 crores annually. Not a rupee of this goes back to, say, maintenance of even 1 inch of road in the State. Where does this money go? Surely it doesn’t need that much amount to negotiate peace with…