My 2018 Accounts (On Life)

Over time, I have learnt and practised being accountable and better-organised in day to day life. That makes me disciplined and presentable with honour – any time and every time. I maintain day to day diary for the last seven years recording all the events and emotions. Reading the contents of the 2018 year diary inspired me to write the statement of account presenting activities of 365 days of the year.

Daily Routine
  • I consider my day starting at night, 9.30 PM, when I go to bed. I get up around 2:00 to 3:00 AM. That’s when I do my reading and writing work until I fall asleep again. That gives me more than 2 to 3 hours of study every night.
  • I do clinical practice as an ophthalmologist between 9.30 AM to 1:00 PM in the morning and 4.30 to 7:00 PM in the evening. Yes, after lunch, between 1.30 to 4:00 PM there is a compulsory sleep, the classic after siesta, for about two hours.
  • Morning hours, between 7:00 to 9.30 AM are “no work” time, spent in getting ready, reading newspapers and having tea-breakfast. How much time should one give for newspapers, I often wonder.
  • I spend 7:00 to 9:30 PM in front of the television – watching entertainment serials and news.

Reading and Writing
  • My only hobby – I can boast of – is reading and writing. I keep on reading the books, make short notes and then present the book-review as an article on my blog. Learning to Say No, India Vs Pakistan – Why Are We Not Friends, Morarji Desai, History of Jammu and Kashmir, Lord Shiva, Parvati, Karthikey and Ganapati, are some of the well-received book reviews.
  • I do study and analysis by myself to publish research results - Status of Senior Citizens and Accidental Marriage of a Daughter are such presentations.
  • I have written tour diary following a visit to Kankaria Festival, Ahmedabad and visit to the Taj Mahal, Agra.
  • I was felicitated as an achiever at Centenary Celebration of my high school, D.C.O., Killa Pardi – the article following that event describes my high school life 50 years back.
  • I have written 215 articles so far and my son Rahul presented them with pictures at “” More than 300,000 visitors all over the world have read them and a few of them sent responses. One of my readers, Nirali Desai from Ahmedabad, was inspired to prepare an illustrative work on Anavils, after reading my blog article on the subject. This year 15 such articles were published.
  • In addition to being a life patron at J. B. Petit Library, Bilimora and Sayaji Vaibhav Library, Navsari, I have my own treasure of books. When I decide to buy a book, my son Rahul orders it online and purchases the said book.
  • During 2018, I have read and re-read books on Mahabharat, Bhagavad-Gita and Ramayana. I have prepared a summary of them to be published for eager readers.
The Book I Like (ભારત વિ. પાકિસ્તાન: આપણે મિત્રો કેમ નથી?)
  • Guzder Library, Gandevi team comprising of Prin. Ashvinbhai Patel, President Thakorbhai Naik, Secretary Jayantibhai Mistry and Vice President Jyotiben Desai have been organizing lectures on the book-review every month on second Saturday at 4.30 PM for the last 52 months. I have joined them for more than two years by now. Dr Pravinbhai Gilitwala, Dr Naliniben Gilitwala, Piyushbhai Dharaiya and I have formed a four-person team. We attended six meetings last year. The orator speaks on one book for about an hour and later there is discussion. I enjoy these events. I write my feedback to them. This has given me friends like Jay Vashi, Dipak Desai, Chhayaben, Jasubhai Naik and Hetalben. The 50th episode of this series was unique - Desai Musical Orchestra presented their book review with film songs.
  • The residential society we stay at is 30+ years old and nearly 70 families have been staying from the beginning. We meet nine nights during Navratri and Dussehra is celebrated with dinner of the 150-170 residents, more than 70 participate regularly. This year also we had 10 days gathering at early night with Ras-Garba. We come to learn more and more about one another every year.
  • In the North-West corner of Jalnagar Society, 11 eleven houses and ~40 residents have made a unique family, meeting regularly on our terrace. Either we eat Khichdi-Kadhi, Ubadiya-Jalebi, Ragada-Patties, Pav-Bhaji or anything like that prepared by ourselves. Ketan-Kamal and Mehul are the key members volunteering their services and managing the whole show.
  • This year, three of our members passed away and we were together with their family all throughout, till the last rites are performed. While making them feel comfortable and eat, we eat together and stay with them - a rarely seen togetherness is seen here.
  • We celebrated 90th birthday of Sharda-Ba on 27-Jul-2018. Our family also gathered to say good-bye to Shiv Vashi going to Canada for higher education. We blessed him on 03-Aug-2018.
Medical Meetings
  • I have attended a dozen of clinical meetings organized by Indian Medical Association (IMA) Bilimora. During such meetings, I get the fellowship of the friends around and increase in the general medical knowledge. I just do not go for the dinner offered. We also have the South Gujarat Ophthalmic Association and Valsad Area Eye Surgeon Group. I had four-to-five occasions to attend them.
Senior Citizens’ Club
  • Being of 60+ age, I have joined Bilimora Senior Citizens’ Club and was selected as Vice President. I take an active part in their deliberations. I have organised lectures of Sureshbhai Desai, Navsari on old-age and Dr Radha Mehta, Navsari on psychological problems of old-age. I have attended six general meetings and seven board meetings.
  • I have been active in South Gujarat Senior Citizen Society too. I attended their quarterly meeting at Navsari with Dr Bhavana. I was the key person in holding their Bilimora meeting.
  • Old-age people behave differently compared to young-age and children. I find a nice time with new friends.
  • Dr Bhavana and I have watched 21 movies in the cinema house this year! It felt like having seen one movie a week, but I was wrong.
  • We have a group of nine people, Dr Gilitwala couple, Dr Vijaybhai Desai couple, Anilbhai Desai couple and we two making eight with Prof Minu Desai, the ninth. Dr Bhavana usually contacts all of them and I bring tickets from advance booking.
  • Bilimora has only one cinema house (multiplex) and two screens showing two movies simultaneously. The audience is a big problem. Many times, even 10 patrons do not come and the show has to be cancelled. We do not face this problem nowadays because of our own group.
  • We saw many Gujarati movies as well this year, including Chal Man Jitva Jayaye, Chitkar, Reva, Shu Thayu, Swayamwar and Sharat Lagu. Nowadays they are comparable or even better than Hindi ones. On Bhavana’s birthday, we invited 14 people to see Sharato Lagu Gujarati movie and it was a great, unusual birthday celebration.
  • Every movie we go for many not be good! Actually, the pleasure and enjoyment gained during the movie depend on one’s own mood and company. I take the liberty to sleep off and on during the movie. All in all, this is one of our important pass-time activities.

I find happiness in planning an event and executing it as a key person or maybe the only person.
  1. Lecture from Dr Pradip Patel, Spandan, Chikhli at Vansada on diabetes with free diabetes check-up was the first event. Lions Club Bilimora Yugma and President Ln. Shankarbhai Patel decided for this and the lecture was organized on 07-Jan-2018.
  2. Lunch Event at Old-age Home, Gandevi: on 03-Apr-2018 we organised a lunch at old-age home with gifting each resident a set of bed sheets, pillow cover and blanket, a donation on the demise of mother-in-law Dr Indumati K Desai. My wife Bhavana, her sister Sandhyaben and elder brother Rohitbhai arranged this. About 60 people including the family members, old-age home residents and friends were present.
  3. Eye Camp in Jun-2018: Dr Darshana Naik and I organised an eye camp for three days on 15, 16 and 17-Jun-2018. The patients were examined at my hospital in the morning and Jyoti Care in the evening. The income was saved for social activity.
  4. Orphanage Event on 17-Aug-2018: The principal of the orphanage informed us that the students were not interested in the study. So, to motivate them, we arranged a lecture – dialogue with Jay Vashi. As per the students’ wish, we arranged to serve pizza for dinner. The orphan children, ladies there, staff and Lions Club members made a total of 100 to enjoy the event with. Prerana Group of Chikhli with Dr Sharad Patel, Jayesh Desai and Dharmesh Kapadia helped there. We gifted a Spherehot geyser (Rs. 16000) for the use of the people at the orphanage. Dr Darshana and I contributed for the dinner.
  5. Aspee Kanya Vidyalaya, Antalia: A) Lecture from Dr Ami Yagnik, Surat on ‘Reusable Sanitary Pads and Female Genital Trac’ (on 20-Sep-2018). B) Lecture from Dr Ami Yagnik, Surat on ‘Basic Life Support and Life Skills’. Above two events gave very useful information to nearly 1200 girls on their genital functions and how to help during person-in-emergency. Our friend, Campus Director Prin. Jayshree Desai was ready to help. C) Story Telling competition on 06-Dec-2018.
  6. No to Crackers Movement on 03-Nov-2018: I wanted to do some social work and ‘noise pollution due to firecrackers during Diwali’ was the project. I prepared a leaflet to be placed in the newspapers, an information chart in the news handbills and advertised this information via Facebook and WhatsApp.
Second Life
  • I had faced a major car accident on 06-Apr-2018 at Kailas Road, Valsad. I was alone in the car and the accident caused the car to turn upside down with breaking of glasses and complete damage of the car-body including the roof. The damage was so bad that the entire body had to be replaced and the car had to be practically rebuilt. I had no injury whatsoever, because of the seatbelt I had applied. Anything could have happened, but then I believe ‘God is Great’! I had faced a similar accident in 1999 at Bharuch Golden Bridge, so is it a second life or third? I wonder.
Weddings and Yagnopavit
  • During this year, of all the invitations I received, we could attend fourteen events,
  • Yagnopavit of Devansh (my nephew Deval’s son) at Abrama, Jash (Biren’s son) at Maganwadi, Kadodara and grandson of Prin. Kishor Desai at Anavil Wadi, Gandevi were enjoyable. The wedding celebration of Ronak Ajaybhai also made a great memory to cherish.
  • Every event costs a lot of money and hard work – any debate about their worthlessness are only academic! People go on organizing them and others do not miss to enjoy them.
  • Eating too much is out of the question, but I do enjoy a variety of nice foods. DJ and high-volume orchestra are torturous, but we do see good ones also.
  • Eight birthday celebrations we attended also have the same tale. I do not like cake cutting and playing with cream-paste, but that is my problem.
Death and Condolence
  • 2018 was a year causing the death of six closed ones. The started with the sudden demise of our neighbour Rameshbhai Raval on 18-Jan-2018, later Harendramama passed away on 15-Jul-2018 to be followed by Tarunimami’s death on 13-Sep-2018. Sharda-ba and Mukeshbhai passed away on 05-Sep-2018 and 22-Oct-2018 respectively. Two deaths in the same house in a short period made us feel sorry. Our relative Janak Balvantrai Naik, Kachholi passed away on 06-Aug-2018 of heart problem. We mourned their departure for thirteen days and thereafter we are feeling their absence and loss.
  • I skip attending death funerals, condolence meetings and other rituals of not so close relatives and friends.
Tours and Travel
  • 01-Jan-2018 (Ahmedabad): The year began with a surprise visit to Ahmedabad because our friend Anilbhai Desai repeatedly invited (insisted) us to visit Ahmedabad for Kankaria Festival. The two-day tour had pleasant hospitality by Darshan-Shalu and we had a great time with them. We visited Kankaria Festival and Flower Show at Sabarmati River Front.
  • 22-Feb-2018 (Five days Agra Mathura Tour): Alliance Club International had installation ceremony at Agra. Seven members from Bilimora attended this event. Bhavana wanted to experience the journey by Rajdhani Train travel. She wanted to experience water, tea, breakfast, dinner and ice cream served. Earlier, it used to be offered to all. Nowadays you have to pay extra for this facility. We visited Fatehpur Sikri’s 174 ft. high “Buland Darvaja” – fort and palace inside, then we saw the Taj Mahal - the wonder of the world and lastly, we visited Mathura Temple with Gokul and Vrindavan. We stayed at Clarks Shiraz, one of the most premium and luxury hotels in Agra.
  • 07-Apr-2018 (Poicha - Rajpipla Tour): 17 tourists, mostly senior citizens, excluding Nidhi and Aarna visited Poicha for a night stay. There is a big temple on the riverbank of Narmada. We saw a big garden with multiple presentations of Ramayana – Mahabharat, a big statue of Lord Krishna, Mirror Museum and what not. There is a big temple, Kuber Bhandari, 100+ steps high on the other side of the river Narmada. Many visit this templet every last day of the Hindu calendar month to be rich! We did see Rajpipla with temple and palaces.
  • 18 to 22-Sep-2018 (Goa): Bhavana and six ladies went to Goa for the four-day ladies-only tour.
  • Pune – Mumbai: Our permanent tourist destinations are Pune and Mumbai because RahulShivani and Vaishali stay there.

All said and done, how do I see the year 2018?
Of 365 days I had, I have done enough clinical practice, reading and writing plus socialising in weddings, birthdays and tours. I want to plan the year that follows in a way, I can do more clinical social services.
I am happy the year passed gave me multiple occasions to do the activity that pleases me or, let us say, makes me happy - be it a tour, attending any event or a meeting.
I know, I am what I am because of my wife Dr Bhavana, family members Vaishali, Rahul and Shivani, friends around and last but not the least Jalnagarians!

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