Category Archives: Health

Finding it…

“It’s a state of mind of mind”, they say…

But what they don’t know is that,

It’s also a choice.

It’s something you get only when you are yourself.

It disappears when we change ourselves to be something else, what we are truly not, just to please others.

To find it, you have to learn not to take everything to heart. Perchance, if others don’t like your actions or words, even if you don’t mean to hurt anyone, then let them be. You can’t change everyone, but you can change yourself…

If life was about pleasing everybody, then you would never find it…

It runs away, when you are deeply troubled and irritated.

But, it’ll come again…if..and only if…

You muster your courage to admit when you’re scared….

learn to laugh even though you are crying deep inside…

the guts to speak up, even if your voice feels shaky…

and  when you need help, the confidence to ask for guidance…

and the will to listen to words of advice and wisdom….

Then you would definitely find it…and

That “It” is nothing but happiness…

The happiness of mind, heart and soul…to have all three of them is indeed an art and the gift of life…


Thank you for that smile…

It was during my clinics yesterday, when I saw ” the smile”. It was a beautiful one, for I knew the person had their own crisis going on, yet in spite of all that, that smile reached out and made an old lady among many others, smile.

It feels great to be at the receiving end of a smile. Especially when you have your own personal arising; on seeing a perfect smile, the genuine one; somehow the load seems lighter.

And that was what I witnessed yesterday, the perfect smile.

The smile that taught me that we all have our own problems, and so do others. The smile that said that we are not alone. The smile that spoke of hope anew. The smile that made someone happy.

We are not the only targets of bad luck or misfortune, everyone is. But in the end, it doesn’t matter. 

What matters is whether you passed on the smile. And whether you made someone smile today ?

Glamour…at what price ?!!

As a part of the community projects held by the mission hospital where I work one of them is, to share the responsibility of assisting the local community in running the project on de-addiction, though my arena of work is mainly centered on bringing the awareness to the adolescents and young adults.

So to commemorate The World No Tobacco Day on May31st, we had held an open session with them. Moderating the discussion between the panelists and participants was allotted to me, but I had to first open the talk. One of the opening questions that I asked them (and what I ask most often during the awareness campaigns) is what makes them do it i.e. smoking, drugs, and alcohol…all the vices that society has seen.

“It’s the glamour of it. Your first smoke is yuck. You sputter, you cough a lot. Your eyes start watering. Then, it gets better. There  
    is that good after-effect you feel.”

“It’s simply an enthralling experience. Your first kick. Your state of euphoria. It’s      difficult to explain it, unless and until  you experience it.”

“At first, you start drinking more or less on a social basis. But when things go wrong, it takes away your pain, your stress. Numbs your emotions. Makes you feel less anxious. You are not bothered anymore. Your mind is freed. Or rather it goes numb.”

Sometimes, I wonder what to reply to all these. It’s not easy. At times, circumstances drive them to fall into the trap of addiction. Presently, I am just talking about drugs, alcohol and smoking. Yet there are many more. There’s addiction to coffee, addiction to cell phones (yes, the awareness about this has been recently covered in the news), addiction to pain medication, over-the-counter medication, morphine addiction and many more.

The start is always easy. At times, it may be difficult like smoking, but later it catches on to you; unless you don’t lose control. I’m not against experiences. You should know the feeling of them all. It’s usually in college, that you have your first drink, your first smoke, your first weed…and all the other “cool” things. But what should be kept in mind, is that it should not be your daily bread. Experiences are one thing but getting hooked onto them is another.

If you look closely at it, in the end, all these are just an outlet to release your emotions, stress, and your hidden tensions. Which you can let go as well, when you get involved in other activities. Sports. The final kick to the net, the last five minutes of the games, practice sessions. Dance, when the streets and the clubs come alive with action. Music. Rock bands. Holding the gigs. Losing yourself in the music. All these are stress busters too. And there are many more activities which I haven’t enlisted. Love long drives, when you lose yourself to your thoughts, dreams and the sights. Window shopping. Reading. Movies. Kayaking. Snorkelling. Cliff jumping. And my latest activity, rock climbing.All these are stress busters.

It’s all about losing the stress. But the way that you lose it shouldn’t affect your personal life, your personal growth and most importantly, your dreams. Circumstances affect all of us, but they give us a chance, to make the better of it or the worst of it. Which in reality is what life is all about.

There is the glamour in all the vices and addictions. But losing your life in it, is a heavy loss which only sometimes can be regained, but at a cost, at an exorbitant price. So what I usually tell them is,

“Most of you all have reached the point of maturity in your lives. Each one has a different story to tell. The reasons. The explanations.
But you all can channel your energies, your stress into something positive. So that you back at your achievements and not regret the times lost and years wasted. For in the end of our years, we all have to pay up, pay a price for our actions and affect the consequences. Sometimes, it’s your health, at times your family but always, it’s your future. And your future is in your hands (or at least a part of it!!).

Glamour should not be attained at the cost of your future.

It’s not my prerogative to judge, but all I can do is to give you all options. In the end, only you can decide. Only you can make the change. We all can help you do it.”

That is what I’ll always say.

Newton’s third law in “real life”….

During high school days, most of us used to wish why Newton didn’t just eat the apple, and format his three laws years later, just so that we could have less to study about in high school. Well, that was the “high school stage” then. Interestingly, I have recently thinking about Newton’s third law, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” From the physics point of view, it has been the uncontested law, underlining the basis of a number of principles, concepts and mechanic-dynamics. (Welcome back, Endeavour). From the thinking point of philosophy, especially at the work place, I think “the action-reaction-provocation” dynamics holds true.

Bringing into view the usual scenario at work, someone does a wonderful job or a project, which has been felicitated and has resulted in a slew of projects for the company or as I would rather say, for the management. That is the action. There are those set of co-workers and employees who would better themselves and try to bring laurels to their respective departments and projects. The forthright, healthy competitive ones. The reaction-part one.

Then as every coin has two sides, and every object in space, has the three-dimensional side; so are the other set of employees. The ones who try to find out the flaws in “the one with the laurel”. Suddenly, the latter’s past, present and the future in the professional and personal aspects come into focus. Somehow, one can’t fathom why those two parts of life can’t be kept separate. That is the reaction-part two. Though I would rather term it as, “the provocation.”

Dealing with the provocateurs, is no way an easy task. They attach a magnifying lens to your every scribble and scrawl. And a
microscope to your every step, looking to see if there is something of valuable while cross-examine the foot-print  and sifting through the dirt. Usually, they try to stir up trouble. You say a word, it becomes a story!! Stick to a line, it becomes an epic!! Staying silent is the best recourse, but expressivity can’t be curbed so easily. Writing it on a piece of paper and dumping it in the waste-bin at work is a no-no option. ‘Cause the next thing you know, it would be up on the bulletin. In short reacting to them would incite further trouble, unrepairable and absolutely catastrophic.

So how to handle “the provocateurs’”. Another “action or reaction” is required or not. There are two questions that I first consider. One, are they worth it? More importantly, is it worth stirring up the hornet’s nest?  Secondly, does it involve in me getting my chair thrown down? If the answers to the questions go by the sequence of a no-yes basis, then it’s better to go for the tactic, “conveniently deaf mode”.  Initially it is difficult to tune down all the nonsense, but then as encounters increases, entering the tone-deaf mode isn’t as difficult as it looks.

It’s not only at work the problem arises. Shopping at some mega-marts and malls is a headache. Sometimes, sales-people eat your brains out. And at times, I give up on the task of filing a complaint at the store. Let’s say it’s not worth getting my nerves riled up all over again. And sometimes, there crops up the “occasional noisy or nosy next-door”. Going into the encounters with them would result in the framework of a novel.

At your convenience, Ignorance is bliss. It works best in certain occasions. If Newton’s third law were to work out in daily life, it would be a series of “blind and toothless folks” around (An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth!!). So turning a blind eye and a deaf ear, works wonders. And believe me, it make the day less hassling.

Lines have to be drawn so that people won’t cross over you so easily and say gibberish. But a couple of rumors, no concrete words and absolutely, no beneficial outcomes, then refrain works best.

In fact, “no response to the provocation” is pretty interesting to watch. Adds a feather to your cap at work, and a personal smile. No point in wasting your day over trifles and aspirin strips. They have long-term side effects. Besides, your tenure on earth is limited. No date has been. So why waste your time on trifles? Shrug off the unimportant. Life is short. Besides, as I firmly believe, it’s just not worth it.  

Ramblings while in an “occasional bout of insomnia”…

03 hrs, IST. No point in tossing and turning over in bed. Looks like it’s going to be one of those nights. Wherein I am tired but I simply can’t sleep. Can’t even sit still. Maybe it’s what only the occasional insomniacs can relate to. My brain is still functioning normal. And a week of continuous calls looms ahead, starting tomorrow. The mind knows that it needs to get some rest, but somehow the body still thinks it’s on day mode.

Insomnia. Rather occasional sleepless nights. Tell me about it. My sleep-clock had gone hay-wire since mid of my med-school  days. Endless calls, irregular sleep cycles. Most of the time, I have learnt to compress a nights’ sleep in twenty min or an hour or two. Agreed, it’s totally unhealthy, but someone’s got to keep an eye on the ward, finish all the reports and go through the books as well.

The funny fact is that, on some days, even without my midnight cuppa, I can still stay up late till dawn. Yet on other days, post-cuppa, I would still be hitting the bed an hour later. To combat this till I finish my post-graduate studies, what I have figured out is; if my eyes enter the  shut down phase and my gray cells go into hibernation, kill the alarms and sleep. Or else keep functioning , till sleep claims me over. Usually in a couple of days, my sleep cycle reverts to normal, but till then, I have to survive. So into this bout of an insomniac night, I figured out that the networks might keep me busy for some time.

Reflecting on the week that went by, was in the town this time. Busy schedule, mostly to do with a  lot of travelling especially to the out-reach areas. Busy. Rush for time. Racing against time. This is what I saw on the road. On the streets. Each person at their own pace, trying to outrun time. Funny, I am sure that the old man must laughing his head off.

Busy beyond the hours. Even I am guilty of this crime. Trying to compress all the work in a day. Hoping that the impossible task of completing 48hrs work in a 24hr run is possible. Foolhardy is what it really is.

Absolutley no time for the necessary mundane things of life. Taking the time to appreciate the beauty of nature. The work of nature. The silent miracles of nature. The breaking of dawn and coming of dusk.Even in the rurals, people are getting caught up with the daily grind, making bread for the day. Birth of a calf, shearing of sheep becomes more or less a mechanical part of the day.

Nothing makes me any different either. I remember the initial days of interning in the ostretrics and gynaecology department, every new birth was a miracle, a joy. Yet now, it’s not the same. I am more worried about infections and whether the baby will make it out of the gates safe. Maybe it’s to do with being alone in the rural areas. Or the sudden responsibility in my hands. Or it is a part of the daily hospital routines growing on me, I reallly can’t figure out the cause.

Either way, one thing I do realize. It’s time to hit the pause button every now and then. To take time off and just stroll about. After all, being busy is fine, but without hours to unwind in between, the last thing I want for me, is to crash and burn. I do have to avoid that at all costs. I guess it’s more or less about taking one day at a time, but to slow down the pace that has been a part of me for the last five years is not so easy. Though, I do have to give it a try. To try slowing down a wee bit that is.

Meanwhile, dealing with my occasional bouts of insomnia, I think I’ll do some light reading on the porch to while away time till sleep catches over. After all someone has to give the crickets and Brownie, my labrador company, for a while through the night. Better to start the unwinding process now, than later !!

Getting the Moves !!!

This crazed activity started a few weeks ago, towards the end of my internship. Dancing has been always one of my fav’ activities, but add a month of dance movies and well, I wondered if I could combine a few street moves with hip-hop and ballet. Hey presto, here I am soothing out the cramps but having fun.

After endless hours of high-wire tension and running around, the best way to get rid of my irritable, high-strung nerves is by letting all those joints go haywire. And it works. Agreed I am exhausted at the end of the day, but those few minutes of music accompanied by side-sweeps, side-steps, moon-walking ended with a somersault or pirouette does wonders to my stress levels.

Underlying thing about stress, is that it all depends on how you take it and on how you handle work. Agreed that nothing goes by ever in the planned manner. Many a time, it goes berserk and we hit a stone-wall. But, it’s up  to us to ease the pressure on ourselves and make a fresh start. Switch over the stress to something beneficial and hey, things will all get sorted out in due time.

By far, stress is the worst killer ever, it gets to you in an underhand way, ensnaring you and draining out the joy of life from you. Never should that happen to anyone. I lost my sense of balance, but thankfully found it before things got out of hand. It’s just one life, everyone has their own personal ups and downs, not just you. Everyone has their own way to cope with all that stress, just have to find it. Maybe it could be in music, or just walking, or sitting on a park bench with a paper and pencil in hand, or photography, or even kick-boxing anything to ease up the mind. Away from the daily stress and shocks of life. For me, right now I just need to get up and dance.

Listening never goes down well…

The other day as I was seeing a couple of patients; imagine the situation that entails as following:

A 17 yr old girl walks in with symptoms of cough, fever and sore throat and as procedure dictates; I had just got down to jotting down the history and was going to start off the examination, while the nurse was instructed to take the temperature.

“ Well, doctor why don’t you just prescribe the previous medication. It went down well with my daughter. Homeopathic medication only suits her, not allopathic medication. She’s very fragile with the English medicines, so I only take her to the paediatrician.”

The ruminations through my mind….

“Did I start off with the examination? Nope.

“Does the mother know the basis for prescribing medication ? Nope, unless she has majored in pharmacology and family medicine.

That is the benefits of over-information and inappropriate knowledge of how to utilize the matter. Or maybe of over-speculation !!! To be honest, I am at a loss, whether I should simply hand over the sheet and walk off; or just blink away this incident. Medical ethics demand that I don’t. Is it so difficult to trust your doctor ? For without trust, you can’t build up a rapport with your practitioner, then how is the treatment supposed to work out.

Looking from a broader viewpoint, even in life, it’s true that it’s so easy to just talk away but it is so difficult to listen to someone. Maybe, that’s why in spite of having the superiority of thought and aptitude, we still can’t work in peace for long. After all if every one ends up voicing their thoughts, who is going to listen to them all !!!!