My brother Vs I

Despite sharing both parents and having underwent same system of schooling, we are just exact opposites.
While I was born in Shillong and completed secondary and higher secondary schools in Jammu – he did reverse – he was born in Jammu and completed schooling in Shillong.He spent his post-school years (till date) in the communist bastions of India – Trivandrum and Kolkata while I – in the capitalist cores – Mumbai and Bangalore.
While he aspires to be an academician , I an engineer.
While he cannot do without friends I’m a big recluse.
While he’s a big hit with the opposite sex – well I… I’m not even the least lucky.
While he is always dressed for the occasion, my appearance is one of perpetual disarray.
While he’s forever an optimist I’m a paranoid pessimist.
While he’s outgoing sportsperson I’m a down and down book-worm.
While he’s superbly street-smart , I’m an irrevocable theorist.

While he has a persuasive appeal ,I’m an ace at winning  foes.
While he’s most expressive with pictures – I’m at home with words (and can hardly draw a straight line – intentionally)
The list is almost endless.
Just about the only things we share are common penchant for some “boys` toys” like sport motor-bikes and an intense disgust for religion.

“Safety” in Numbers

I recently realized the true power that probability exerts on our lives when after getting my kid another dose of the oral polio vaccine; I Googled to find out any side-effects. Intrigue led me to a flood of overwhelming information – until I clinched the dynamite – one out of every x ( x is a huge number – some say 750,000) vaccine recipients can have polio itself induced due to the vaccine. Statistically insignificant, yet if you happen to be that person’s kin you’d be devastated.

Looks like most if not all medicines/diagnostic tools are approved  if they pass some arbitrary statistic ; so if only one out of lets say 100000 people get cancer by exposure to x-rays (through diagnostic radiology), it’s considered safe – its said that the “benefits far outweigh the risks”. So how much risk are we taking everyday – a lot. This H1N1 is just hyped up.

Consider this – every time you scrape yourself against any sharp – not just a needle – you could fall prey to Hepatitis B , C or even HIV – in that order of probability. Everytime your skin is broken open by any animal – canine,simian, feline anything – even playfully – you stand a risk of getting rabies – which is preventable but not treatable – and guess what – it could remain asymptomatic for years. Though all these are theoretically possible there have been either lack of statistic for these means or the statistic is negligible enough not to be considered a risk – yet if you’re the unlucky one…

I intend not to scare but – know this that – our life and death is all finally a probabilistic game (like Head or Tail while tossing a “fair” coin) . For years I have suffered from this fear of getting ill – so much so that I became obsessed with precautions – till I realised that even that’s not fool-proof.

So the best strategy is to take all the feasible precautions and be content – and enjoy life as long as it lasts. It’s like that padlock – which you put on your door to secure yourself – even though you know that every lock can be picked – every grill can be cut into and your house be burgled – the lock (or the grill) is actually just a means for mental satisfaction – of retaining sanity. Any occasional pilferages can always be forgotten ( like my  2000 rs [40 dollar] shoes stolen from the front of my home) – they’re like that seasonal cold – which is usually gone in a few days.