- Suppose you, or for that matter any one else, don’t know your biological age. What do you think your age would be?
- Do you fear death? If yes, do you fear taking birth also?
- What do you think you are at best if no one is there to make opinions at?
- When surrounded by a group of people, do you feel stressed or at ease?
- Why does it happen that most of the landmark events of your life happen to take place on a specific day of the week?
- Are you living on an auto-pilot mode or there lies a force which wants YOU to live?
- Are you aware of your biggest emotional weakness?
- Have you ever tried thinking what would you get when you mix history with mathematics?
- Do you ask enough questions or do you settle with the knowledge that you have?
- Do you get repetitive dreams?
- When you speak with someone, which is the more important line – the first one or the last one?
- What do you choose – Time or Money?
- Is your awareness responsive to others’ intuitions?
- Do you live your own life or are you a part of a mass-existence?
- Mass and energy are inter-convertible. Period! What about space?
Thursday, May 31, 2012
I get stirred with the history of modern philosophy. Though, being a doctor, it gives me little time to read anything that doesn’t fall in the realms of medical sciences; still, hand me a book with chronicles of modern philosophy, and I am like a kid who just got his favorite pack of candies. I get gooseflesh reading the works of Plato, Aristotle, Voltaire, Francis Bacon, Herbert Spencer, Benedetto Croce and John Dewey; and the more I am able to know their minds, the more I am in awe of possibilities of human mind.
As being a scientific specialist, I have been conditioned to see what lies in front and then to find out the basis of its existence; the philosophers, however, have a different way of thinking. They tend to make opinions at a grand scale even about the things which most of us would think to be non-existential. Philosophy is the content of life; just like the molecules make a substance, in my opinion, philosophy makes a life. It is sad to see that in today’s world of shrinking relationships and swelling frustration, people still don’t realize the importance of philosophical interventions.
Philosophical sciences are all-encompassing; these would not be restrained by peripheries like most of other sciences are. I believe, if our education systems can empower our kids to get a slice of philosophy from the tender years, in a way that is applicable to them, it can make a great impact on collective growth of nations and people. In life, thought process is the only power we have; and philosophy helps us in aiming the spot right.
We must be aware of the stellar power of rapid cognition. Most of us don’t spare a thought over where our first impressions come from. Even before the neural circuit of our conscious brain can attempt a decoding, our subconscious seems to form an opinion. Is the cognition a result of acquired intelligence of our present life, or of many lives that we have lived in the celestial space? It happens so often that an opinion, a thought intrudes our minds and turns out to be true; odds have chances to win but what prompts our minds to give an advantage to underdogs when compared with established winners?
What is the rule of winning? What prompts us to cheer a little known side in a game of soccer when the odds are high that it would, eventually, be knocked out mercilessly within minutes? What makes an underperformer overcome a giant one odd day? Self belief or tryst with destiny, or a combination of both? Is there an equation behind or is that just by chance? ‘Just by chance’ must also be driven by some principles, I am sure; so what takes it to break the myths and achieve something stellar. Premonitions have not been given ample of scientific leverage in our traditional medical sciences; I think a lot about basic functioning of abstract human mind and the more I think the more I get puzzled.
There are a lot of facts for which the reasons are so many to choose from; there are a lot of ironies which need judicious explanations; the dogma of premonitions, and human subconscious, is waiting to be explored. Isn’t it time to get hold of all the ancient scriptures and try to find a scientific basis for the mentioned nuggets of knowledge?
- Tip generously.
- Don’t speak to anyone in a derogatory tone.
- Go out of your way to make new friends and colleagues.
- Hold the door open for the person coming behind you.
- Don’t throw away your old clothes and household items; for someone, they are as good as the new ones.
- Listen absorbedly to people’s stories without trying to interrupt too often.
- Write a positive review about a service, an article, a local business you like.
- Register yourself for blood donation camps; when blood is required by a patient, nothing else can do better.
- Share your umbrella with a stranger on a rainy day; and if it’s a group of strangers’, give the umbrella to them and come home soaked in rains.
- Crack the ice with someone who looks forlorn.
- Let someone with only a handful of items cut you in line at the billing counter at a mall.
- Try your best to cheer the spirits the first thing you step in your workplace; it may be accomplished by a joke, a compliment or spread of good news.
- Help a stranger who finds it difficult to park his/her car in a crowded parking lot.
- Make pen friends / e mail friends.
- Learn about different cultures; the more you know, the better you get equipped with a wonderful thought-process.
- Compliment a little kid who performed for the first time on the school play.
- Donate regularly. Make it a never-ending habit.
- Interact with your friends; it’s not important that your facebook friend list swells to 1000, however, it is important that even if it is a small bunch of buddies, you keep in touch by messages / phone calls and get-togethers.
- Express your love. Let it be to your spouse, your parents, your boss, your siblings, your friends, your philosophy, your pet… anything!!
- Become a mentor to someone who is shy to ask you.
Seek opportunities in doleful moments: Don’t wait for the right moment to fall in your lap like an autumn leaf; you have to go after an opportunity with a club. You might come across a rather doleful period in your life, but that shouldn’t stop you from thinking about the brighter horizons that lie just ahead of it. Fill your faith in an opportunity and fail to bite the dust. Give yourself for a cause and hold eternal belief in it, no matter what way the tides are flowing. Sometimes, it takes a conscious effort to waft away the clouds of uncertainties, in order to pave way for the rainbow of optimism.
Keep yourself surrounded by a horde of enthusiasts: Our mind processes the environmental stimuli with precision, and in a determined way. Chances are that more you keep in the company of dull and pessimistic folks, you would feel burdened without any precise reasons. That’s why it is said that keep yourself surrounded by hope and humor; a simulating music can do wonders to uplift your spirits. Optimism has to be cultivated sometimes, and being in the company of positive people is just acts as a catalyst. Make it a mission to dodge the pessimism in its entirety; if you are not able to find a happy face, create one.
Invest in Love: Love is said to be the most fundamental emotion that Mother Nature had to offer. In every religion, enough has been said about the significance of love; it is an amulet that transforms lives. Reminisce the moments of pure love that happened in your life frequently; train yourself to deal every little problem of your life with something that ‘love’ is a part of. When you become conditioned to ‘love’ unconditionally, you would find yourself soaked in the glory of optimism. Love and optimism are inseparable and grow synergistically.
Be Spiritually guided: I am sure most of us understand that the purpose of life is not just to earn, eat and pass away; it has more meanings to it. If you, even for a minute, tend to take your mind away from all the worldly worries and focus on your own inner self, chances are that you would feel energized and confident. Invest faith in the true meaning of life; you are here to spread the optimism, love, hope and faith, the rest of the things that are important to live a life would follow on their own. One can be experience spiritual rendezvous sitting on the office desk, in the crowded market yard and even in the face of the toughest adversity of one’s life.
Expect a little from people around: Every person has its own set of DNA; every one can not fall straight to your expectations. Realize this fact and save yourself from some unnecessary worries which mount to feeling of exhaustion, hopelessness and dejection. Your purpose is to make your life a joy ride by least interfering, or being least affected with other person’s ways of living. Do your best to transform lives, but don’t carry expectations; for when expectations are marred, negativity can announce its birth. Explore your higher centers of thinking and don’t get affected by criticism, hypocrisy or failures.
What do you see when you fix your gaze with your mirror-image? There are more than normal chances that you would observe crowfeet, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and sagging skin, especially if you have crossed 30 years of your life! Take out some time to look beyond that; can you imagine you had been one of the cutest toddlers of your extended family. What happened to your facial luminosity? Nothing, it lies all there but the eyes fail to see that. Attempt to see that beautiful person that lies beneath your skin, and feel good after realization. Beauty is not skin deep; it is something beyond the reach of measurable finites.
The struggle for existence is, not altogether, an evil; the important virtue is to know that you are special in the whole world. Make attempts for continuous enlargement for the area of peace and love in your inner self, and then your spiritual vision would show you vivid colors that you are made of. Its all about clear thinking and fixing of priorities. Every person should be respected as an absolute end in himself, and yet, every person must be treated as an essential part of the cosmos. Get a hands-on experience with the subtle depth and omnipresent force of instinct and timeless faith, and that would be the time when you would feel at the maximum effortlessness. You must start your own voyage for long-sought-for and long-despaired-of inner reality and essence of life, which is ecstatically beautiful and ageless.
The glorious morning welcomes you with cloudy sky and clear conscience. Somnolent leaves get stirred with jealous thrusts of mighty winds, and infuse freshness in the broad canvas of life. You get hold of your newspaper with a pregnant poise and open the first leaf in the expectation of some nice stuff that holds some importance to you in your life. Alas, most of the times, the front page is abuzz with diurnal activities of self-worshipping leaders. Sigh! You keep on turning page after page; a nice coverage of the ‘should-be’ pulchritudinous foreign policy; a peep in the personal life of the tinsel town’s most written about kid; the discovery of yet another genomic sequence responsible for obesity or Alzheimer’s disease or Kleptomania; the over decorated coverage of a trivial achievement of a political party; the insider’s version of how far the petrol prices can soar till the mass-anxiety of apocalypse sees a slow death; the fanciful photos of western damsels with over-glorification of their achievements that have little to do with infant mortality rate, or with avoidable maternal mortality rate of our country.
Expecting a better dose from TV can make you pluck that last bunch of friable hair from your scalp; reporters regurgitate anything to capture eyeballs, little aware of the fact that brain is the higher learning centre and not the eyes. Some channel would show a grotesque, and at times, biased analysis of your celestial existence and birth charts. Some channel would report events that clearly favor a section of political parties; some channel would be telecasting heated debate over 3rd ball of 5th over of a league match of IPL; some channel would be infusing wisdom that if you don’t purchase that aluminum wallet, your brain has possibly atrophied beyond permissible limits. Such is the glory of every morning; the saga of breaking news sometimes is powerful enough to disjoint our day before it starts. I submit no complains, as there are takers for every little fictitious news, everywhere. Are you also seeing the numb reporter painstakingly trying to make sense about the high-than-normal possibility of ‘tomato flu’ in your neighborhood?
Love is the pith of the universe; love is the mother of all the pleasures. Love is the only real clout. Love enlightens the darkest of the creeks in convoluted layers of our existential realities. I am sure most of us have experienced love, in its purest form, at one or the other time in our lives. Can you close your eyes and let the gush of those memories fill in your veins again? You would feel touched, elated, at loss of words and abundance of bliss. Love is splendiferous in bearing colossal healing powers. The thought of love is said to indie release of positive hormones from the body’s reserve; what else proof one would ask for in establishing seraphic nature of love?
Christians believe that to Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself are the two most important things in life.
In Hebrew, love is known to be the central force that drives universe. Ahava is the most commonly used term for both interpersonal love and love between God and God's creations.
In Islam Amongst the 99 names of God (Allah), there is the name Al-Wadud, or "the Loving One," which is found in Surah.
God in Sufism is referred to in three main terms, which are the Lover, Loved, and Beloved, with the last of these terms being often seen in Sufi poetry.
In Hinduism, attaining pure, unconditional and incessant love for Godhead is considered the primordial goal of life.
Its tormenting to see that old age parents are being neglected, and often abused; what happened to the concept of parental love? Are we too busy to reminisce the time when we were toddlers and our parents worked hard to keep our bellies and beds warm? It is indeed extremely sad to see the case of female infanticides; even animals don’t behave such brutally. Justification of honor killing frightens me to death; legislations are not enough to curb the menace of conditions that arise due to loss of love; we must fall in love more often. When love seeps in our thought process, it starts manifesting its metamorphosing abilities, and life becomes beautiful.
I have worked relentlessly to create a place where rich and poor can get the best of the healing worlds without any prejudice. I always had my thoughts about making a world class hospital Euclideanly clear, and that has saved me a lot of laconic obscurity that could have blurred the precision of final picture. My emotions are attached with every brick that was ever laid in the foundation of my hospital, for I did it because I was determined, and possibly destined, to do it. My hospital may not be having the sheen of newly built empires of MNCs foraying in the realms of healthcare, but nevertheless, I put smiles to ailing hearts, and that’s enough for me to hold my head high.
I pray to Almighty in atonement every day for giving me the mind, vision and support to spearhead the fight against illnesses that afflict people irrespective of their socio-economic status. Years of plain living and high thinking have given me an advantage of being able to exercise the power of bringing pleasant changes in people’s lives. I believe my birth, my rearing and education, had all pointed, not towards any other profession but health care sciences. I have always thought that my duty towards my countrymen had special claims upon me, such as could not be urged by other duties of life. I have never repented my inability to catch forty winks more than fifty hours at a stretch multiple times in my practice. Many a dreams develop their own wings and limbs and bring about a change in society; my dream followed the same trajectory and I am proud to have created a hospital where ‘care is a culture’.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I have learnt some of the biggest lessons in my life by being in the company of selfless people. One such name that has always rekindled hopes, even in the state of uncontrolled inner turbulence, in me is Sister Mercy Mathews. She is, without a second thought ever, matron of Khetarpal Hospital and one of the best persons that stepped in the realms of my life ever. I am yet to see a more disciplined individual than her. She has never turned a minute late for her duties in past 15 years.
Most of my old patients know her, and take pride in the fact of knowing her, for they believe to have been looked after by the most angelic personality ever. Sister Mercy remains imperturbable, and glowing even in the face of prevalent chaos and mounting work load. She, possibly, is alien to the concept of any other vocal tone except to that of utter compassion and care. Many a times, patients’ relatives, in a frenzied state, tend to speak harsh, but that hasn’t came across her way of displaying the most beatific and saintly spirits.
I have seen her fighting some of the callous battles of life alone with undeterred belief in the power of hope and belief; needless to say she has been able to overcome every possible atrocity that crossed her life. I make it a point to appoint the newly joined staff nurses under her supervision so that they may take a slice of life and attempt to reinvent themselves. I have never had a patient complaining directly about her, and the list of patients who genuinely express eloquent words for her selfless nature, compassionate attitude and kind gestures seem to be on a constant uphill.
In past few years, I must have read more than 100 times that a doctor has been beaten up by the public, citing reasons for medical negligence. The policy makers, however, remain in the state of acquired & selective immune state to the pity condition pertaining to security of doctors. Being in the medical profession actively, I have, myself, been in unpleasant states many times; I have been threatened, I have been bullied at, I have been shouted at.
Doctors, in the aftermath of such an incident, kick a strike or raise slogans against authorities, which leads to solutions with little shelf lives. Can a doctor work with free mind when the dangers of being maltreated loom high? Would a parliamentarian agree to consult a doctor for his own treatment minutes after the doctor had been at the receiving end of mass apathy stimulated by a mean rabble-rouser? A doctor spends golden years of his life in the company of volumes of books to get well equipped with the art of healing; but that doesn’t mean that every ailment is manageable. Things take their own course despite the best of treatment plans and outcomes might not be in direct proportion to the hopes and prayers of the patient’s relatives.
Sometimes, I feel nauseated by the phlegmatic gesture of the people who rule the country. If a doctor feels unsafe while serving the patients, there is something gross amiss in the policies and groundwork. No one likes to be humiliated by public bashing after unsuccessfully trying to save a life; not being able to possess divine powers is not akin to crime.
Be expansive. Be unrestrained. Learn to listen to your own self. Opt for your choices yourself, as that is the best way to learn and live. A human is a complex, yet orderly, array of different mechanisms and substances. We have affinities. We have tendencies. We are blessed with a machine, but onus of making the best use of this machine lies solely on us only. Education helps in unearthing the little known, but vital facts about life, its scope and its vastness. Independent thought process also helps in sharpening the skills required to see beyond what is visible to ordinary eyes and minds.
If you are meant to be a good violin player, chances are that you would have felt proximity to the instrument, and to the whole process of playing it and listening to it. Now why do you want to learn Java when it bores you to death? Why not master yourself in the art (or science) of your choice? Some kids are born leaders; sometimes they trespass the intellectual limits of their parents to which the parents don’t take a kind attitude. As a result, they are forced to think a definite way. Clearly, independence is taken away in the name of family norms. A life is something bigger. To produce changes in the society, we need to make leaders. And to make leaders, we need to allow the liberty of free thinking to our kids.
Swelled-headed attitude of parents results in mismatched choices that their progenies are burdened with. This leads to the birth of conflicts, often turning to the fine kettle of fish. Every one has 24 hours in a day, every one has the same sun and moon, then why isn’t everyone bestowed with the liberty to make opinions and defend them intellectually? Our thought process is our biggest armor in the vast cosmos; why every one wants to muddle with our biggest strength? Any one heard of mass narcissism? Why don’t we come out of the self-imposed circle of self-doubts? Why don’t we yearn to find the real meaning of happiness?
The other day I was watching a documentary on CNN which showed the queasiness of human life with a close perspective. Malnourished kids living in over crowded and unhygienic mud huts; lack of adequate drinking water and whatever was available, I believe, contained virulent strains of E Coli. This scene belonged to interiors of Bihar and I was, literally, taken aback at the apathy that the society bears to them. I include myself in the list of culprits. I took few resolutions to make a change in those precious lives which have been turned redundant by the sharp turn of fate.
How beautiful the world had been if before uncorking a packaged bottle of drinking water, we could have stopped for a millisecond and thought about those fragile females who have to walk for miles to fetch a bucket of water from the contaminated well.
How beautiful the world had been, if in spite of wasting hundreds of hours over watching mindless daily soaps, some of us would have determined to devote that amount of time doing social service.
How beautiful the world had been if we stopped for a millisecond before feeding the leftover to our kitchen bin, and thought about millions who had to sleep hungry last night.
Cricket and cinema make us go brouhaha; why don’t we face life? Why the suicide of a farmer doesn’t affect us deeply? Why don’t we get moved watching little kids glancing at the garbage to find out something to eat? Why should we spend on 5 star meals if some of our people are a rupee short of purchasing a paracetamol tablet? We pay income taxes to the government; why shouldn’t we be taken in confidence while making budgets and executing policies? Is the current system the best one? Where are the policy-formulators, the revolutionists, the game-changers?
Charity must be a way of life. I strongly feel that a life is incomplete without making others feel your presence in a beautiful way. The sense of caring, the sense of belonging, and the sense of inclusiveness gives you that ripsnorting edge in life. Society expects a lot from the doctors. The policy makers, the leaders, the common man – all of them expect near-divine gestures from the doctors, all the time. Perfect! But it doesn’t mean that other people should get away from charity. Doctors are supposed to work in rural settings as per the law, but why this bias? I mean, it’s well enough that the doctors would work for the cause of underprivileged, but why not include other think-tanks also? Why not include engineers, social workers, teachers and professionals of other frontiers to display the same gesture? Everyone bears a responsibility for the country, and its people.
It must come to our own inner self to work for the people who are in need. Money and career are important, but not at the cost of humanity. One must indulge in charity regularly, and charity doesn’t always mean financial help. Offer free services in your best capabilities. India resides in villages; get a break and observe the reality closely. It’s important for our kids to get a brush with the realities of villages, realities of a common man. Life has a meaning; get in to the groove and emerge out as selfless and as noble as possible. Till proven otherwise, believe that you have been given human life to serve some purposes; and what better that to create a change in others’ lives?