Monday, 12 February 2018

A visit to Happiness

Its been almost a year and a half I personally got associated with AJ Foundation and Madhurbhav. 

Of course, there was an indirect connection for many years, as Mr Harshad Deshpande  (Board member AJ Foundation) has been Family for almost a decade. Thus, Mrs.Deshpande and I had been informally doing certain things on creative ends for Madhurbhav.

It was in January 2017 that we decided to take up social media activity, blogs, and other writing stuff for madhurbhav on a channelizing front and a little more regular.

That is where my formal association with Madhurbhav, the people there, their stories, became more prominent.

Since the time I began writing, I have always been in awe of the raw blog stories that came to me from madhurbhav for editing and presenting them in the right way.
The connect and understanding of madhurbhav and members is beyond amazing. 

Being a mass communication and journalism postgraduate, my inclination has always been towards writing.

Right, from when I was a kid, writing poetry's, short stories, four liners has been my forte.

Writing for Madhurbhav made me realize, that;  this is what I was meant for. as expressing emotions, psychological process, understanding people, without being judgmental, has always been something I loved. and what better than putting all that in words?  for people who are living their second half in a different way.

Earlier this month, Ii had my 1st visit and the luckiest experience to meet all the seniors, from both the centre's (Madhurbhav bliss & blossom). 
I wrote some of their stories even before meeting them, through the information provided to me, by Mrs.Deshpande. But; talking to them one on one, seeing those smiles and content feeling on their faces, when they warmly held my hand and welcomed me to their home, it was something worth a lifetime.

All of them are there, because of entirely different reasons and situations. yet, the life they have made there out of all the odds or needs that came their way is inspirational.

They were all so welcoming, enthusiastic to talk, ask questions, give information about themselves, express themselves through singing some songs that I don't know, meant how much to them. Their welled up eyes while listening to some meaningful Marathi songs, that some fellow family member sang, said a lot about their strength and will. 

I also had the chance to take my mother along. she always told me, whenever I visited, I should take her along.
she was more interactive with them than me.

After we left, she told me, "The most impressive thing was the way the staff at madhurbhav deals with the members.There  are a lot of seniors with critical medical conditions (Bed sores, Cancer, Alzheimer, Parkinson, paralysis, etc ) also, the level of hygiene is remarkable for a place with so many bedridden patients, But,  the compassion & patience the staff, doctors everyone has is commendable and that is why I think the atmosphere and their life there seem so lively and happy. I am proud you are part of something like this."

I was happy I could make her feel that way, by being associated with something so compassionate and expressive. Because,  she always taught me as a child, 'expressing yourself is an art, but expressing someone else is a self-less art.'

I really would like to congratulate Mrs.Deshpande and team, also Mr.Harshad Deshpande, for the contribution he is making at the age, where other people of his generation lac, time, effort, the warmth and affection needed to be a part of something like this.

And my heartfelt gratitude to both of them and the entire team, for giving me a chance to be a little part of this beautiful journey.

Looking forward to the journey.

Thank you,

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Maitri Madhur Sahjeevan

A regular visit to bliss, it was. but; it gave me a totally different perception of the connections and emotional bondings, madhurbhavians have with one another. It was a wonderful experience.
Mrs.Kulkarni is now at an advanced stage of dementia. Where her conversation is absolutely vague. One sentence has no relevance to the next.Even before you ask her, to introduce herself,  She will start with where she comes from, what's the areas name, roads, landmarks and then suddenly jump to discussing about children and then say something about a distant niece, her job profile with Air-India, etc . and it goes on to losing track in a few seconds.
We have another senior age 103 Years ( Wakalkar Ajoba), he is fit and well versed in conversing. he shares his life story with everyone and also at intervals, sneaks around in the kitchen for sweets😉.
During the group activities, we observed that mrs.kulkarni connected to wakalkar ajoba as a friend. she would try to communicate with him, work on the activity as a team, soon they started having the lunch together.They are concerned about each other's well being. If one does not turn up for any activity, the other will inquire. Peep in the room and confirm that they are alright.
Even Kulkarni's  granddaughter realized this when she came to visit with her child and Mrs Kulkarni introduced them to Mr.wakalkar. she questioned him, what are you gifting your great-grandchild’.
It was so beautiful, to see, her great-grandchild, now became his also.
this feeling of Sahjeevan (living together, bonding over emotions, caring.)
everyone here is connected to each other as a friend, confidante, or something else. but; they are together heading and leading their second innings in the most amazing manner ever.
now, that truly is a MADHUR BHAV (SWEETEST FEELING)

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Plan before or regret later

Care at Madhur Bhav
There are lots of calls and updates every day from Madhurbhav. But this one was a little disturbing. One morning, a (seemingly) regular call turned out to be more than just that. I was told that Kulkarni Ajji (Name Changed) was not keeping well for the last four days. Her daughter had strictly instructed us not to admit her to the hospital because their family would be busy for a few days to come and could not visit if needed. The daughter added, she should be brave and not complain about little things to the Madhurbhav staff and them.

She was admitted to Madhurbhav, for complete rest, as she wasn’t able to do anything on her own and was also not able to sleep on the bed. Having fractures in her hip bones, she was restricted to the wheel chair. Surgery was neither safe nor useful for her, because of her age limitations. Her damaged bone condition made it difficult to withstand any medical procedure. Rest was the only alternative. Imagine constantly being on a chair, not being able to lie down on the bed even for half an hour and having bandaged legs because of constant swelling.

Madhurbhav is assisted care facility. As far as possible we try to give all the required treatments (medical) and care like RT feed, bed sores management, catheter etc.

When I went to Madhurbhav, Ajji was palpating and gasping. Her family was insisting not to admit her to the hospital. They were concerned about soaring expenses if the hospital admitted her to the ICU. At times humans become so insensitive! At one point they said, ‘let us talk to the doctors treating her and then we shall take a decision.’ I went to ajji and told her, "we need to go to the hospital". She refused but then I promised her that the expenses will be taken care by me / Madhurbhav.
I had to tell her relatives that we can’t wait for their approval as she is in serious condition and that they might not even see her next. I suppose that is what made them decide to reach Pune ASAP.

I have been working with seniors for a decade, and when relatives provide a DNR (Do not resuscitate), it is very painful for me. What is more important to them, money or the health and well being of their family member? Providing DNR is like denying their right to live. For a terminal illness like cancer, we can understand the DNR. But for something like dehydration, weakness, etc when family members don’t allow us to take patients to the hospital, it’s surprising and heartbreaking!

I think as parents and responsible individuals, we should plan very well and secure ourselves financially for such later times, so that we do not have to be victims of these dark shades of humans, where and when they prioritize money over lives of their family members.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

First resident of Blossom


As the saying goes, ‘If difficulties surround you, if you don’t fit in the box, if you don’t belong to the league, if you are different, YOU ARE THE CHOSEN ONE.’
I received an inquiry from Mumbai about ‘Madhur Bhav Blossom’(Nere). A Lady; along with her friend came down to see the facility. They told us about Pravin;  their brother in law.
Swati and Sanjay are married for more than 45 years and were looking after Pravin.
Pravin is Sanjay's  Younger brother and Swati is his caring sister-in-law.
I could thoroughly understand, how Swati and Sanjay were committed to him as a family. But, with growing age and their own health was getting difficult to look after him.
When Swati narrated to me about Pravin, I got a little nervous; as we have worked with seniors and their ailments. This was an absolutely new and delicate case. Then after discussing it with my team; we thought let's give it a try and see how can we handle it?
 Pravin came on 26th Jan 2015, our first Resident of Blossom and then followed by another Couple from Nashik where the husband is an army officer and wife is in Alzheimer's advance stage.
Initially, Pravin was reluctant to go out of the premises. He was very fond of our manager, Vitthal. He is in a situation where his age is 67, but brain growth, that of a 10-year  old ( Mild Autistic). He is totally adorable as a person. He remembers all the birthdays, right from the staff to the residents. he knows my family members birthdays too. of course, there is a child in him, it's difficult to get him to take bath, to make him eat well.
But like I said, he is different. He surprises me every time with his ways of expressions, naughtiness, innocence and loving attitude towards every one of us. He recites Sai Bhajans and manages to make everyone in the house smile. He is very good in carom and enjoys playing it with our daddy's.He cleans the face of other seniors and wears his heart on his sleeves while offering roses to our grannies.
It was his birthday yesterday and we had a little celebration for him . he danced his heart out. All the members and staff are very fond of him. He has also taken the responsibility of writing, the names of the visitors and he carries his book along with him everywhere without fail. Even when I have visitor’s he makes sure, they make an entry too. Some serious dedication huh? Not even professionals manage that kind of attitude!
That is our Pravin for you.

 We feel lucky to have him and about the fact that, we are the CHOSEN ONES FOR THIS CHOSEN ONE.

Sunday, 4 June 2017


We were on a running Speer for a month! And it finally turned out to be absolutely beautiful and memorable one.
On the occasion of its 3rd anniversary, Madhurbhav and ASCOP collaborated to celebrate and entertain everyone on May 30th Tuesday.  The evening was light, soothing and mesmerising as it saw all our YOUNG Madhur BH avians in their energetic high as always.
For a month long, the staff, board members and every member
 of Madhurbhav family were looking forward and preparing for this evening. The seniors were very enthusiastic and actively participating in the program setting.
We had, Sur Palavi entertainment from Pune, presenting a live orchestra for the evening. The artists took the atmosphere of the program to another level, with their beautiful voices. They treated the audience with evergreen numbers of the 70’s.  Everyone seemed to be totally drenched in the rhythm of those musical chords and wonderful voices.
To add the cherry on the cake, our young madhurbhavians had prepared skits, which represented them as actors, and the ones who witnessed will agree, they were none less than any stars. Total dedication, stage presence; they put their soul in all the performances. Through the skits, they depicted some personal experiences, shared thoughts and I am sure everyone was overwhelmed by the message their performances gave. There is always so much to learn from them, about anything and everything of life. It’s a never-ending process, and this evening was one of them.
The honorable guests, who graced the program with their presence, Mrs.Jyoti Ratanparkhi  (madhurbhav well-wisher ), Jaywant Gore ( Associate  Director Purdue University US),  Amol Agavekar  Maharashtra Times  Amol Balwadkar  (corporator Aundh), Mrs. Archana  Musale(corporator Aundh), Mrs. Swapnali Saykar (corporator Baner), Mr .sanket Chondhe ( representative- corporator  Mrs Chondhe, Pimple Nilakh). We are extremely glad and thankful to mention Mrs. Ratanaparkhi & Mr. .sanket chondhe made major contributions of Rs 1 lac each, which will be used for Madhurbhav Bliss (specialised for post-operative recovery & Alzheimer).
Mr Ajit Gadgil from PNG Jewelers and Kaka Halwai  Pune, graciously came forward with the contribution of Rs 15000/- each.  The fund raised by our audience contribution summed up to Rs 20,600/-
The entire fund raised during this event, was totally by the choice of the people who made the contribution as per their wish. Our event had a free entry; the donations that have come will be solely used for the making and betterment of Madhurbhav bliss.
* All Future expenses our looked after by our A J Foundation  (NGO), Through Fund Raising Events, Donations & Sponsorships*