The dusk of life..when it all feels never ending.

Few decades ago, our grandfathers and great-grandfathers spent their days working in the fields or any such outdoor activities and came back home by dusk to just eat and sleep after a strenuous day. Not many except the elite were educated. Their days went in hard physical work and nights in a sound sleep that was worth all the hard work. Those who suffered from any disease either got cured most commonly by natural immunity or if it had to be the worst outcome, they died. That was their way of life. Life expectancy was not even 60 years.

The situation today is far different. Life expectancy has increased and many can celebrate by becoming centenarians. The old aged especially, what would they do when they don’t have to work in the fields and after their retirement from their formal jobs? Not many jobs can be continued even after retirement. To those people, the only pastime becomes playing with the grandchildren if they are around, watching the TV and such simple activities.There seems to be a kind of vacuum in their lives which is harder to fill. To those who have lost their life partner, it is still harder. I have heard my father talk in despair when he feels he has nothing to contribute now to the society. He becomes sad and sometimes irritable and my mother tries to pacify him. That also is perceived by him as ‘pity’ and not otherwise. It is usual for him to hear about many of the friends and relatives of his age die. We are very happy that he had a new lease of life after he underwent surgery for benign prostatic hypertrophy and later for pacemaker insertion as his heart had slowed down due to age related changes. I always thank the advancement of the medical field for saving innumerable such lives when treated in time. He has been successfully living with diabetes and hypertension from the past forty and odd years. This is not only a personal triumph but of the whole aged population who have been successfully aging, fighting all odds.

In my opinion, they should not think that they are not contributing to the society. Whatever bit they can do to the limited number of people around them, and taking as much responsibility of themselves as possible is more than enough. There needs to be a self- motivation to keep themselves engaged and happier. It is however harder to convince for learning new things which they would not have done before. It is highly difficult to initiate new techniques. For example, if my mother asks my father to try meditation, he gets highly irritated! But he loves to go for a walk or to read newspaper. I feel that being a literate, capable to read and write is one of the greatest blessings for anyone. I wonder what he would do if there’s no newspaper. He doesn’t want to get acquainted with the smartphone. He owns only the older version of mobile and that too only for calls. I feel that he is representative of the behaviour of majority of people of his age. They cannot be grouped into either very old fashioned or modern.

There is a need for empathy and not sympathy for the aged people. They must be left to decide what feels good for them to do. They must be given as much of convenience and aids as possible both at home and outside, especially when they need to travel out in case they need to visit a hospital or any other necessary business. It is highly recommended that the outside world is old-aged friendly. For example, even though seats are reserved for old aged in a public transport, the others hardly leave the seats to the vulnerable. This is something that has to be learnt without any one saying. Having lifts in working conditions, a separate queue for the old aged at offices, temples and other public places makes it easier for them to explore their own world. Otherwise, just for the fear of them being vulnerable, they hardly decide to go out of the house.

Financially empowering the aged is another challenge both for the family and the government. Without that, there is no good quality of life as they feel miserable and helpless, unable to meet their daily basic necessities. Everything comes at a cost. Moreover, with age, chronic diseases are evidently becoming more common and they need to take regular medications as well as a healthy diet. Taking care of their mental health is also required as many conditions like depression, stress and anxiety etc go un- noticed and not cared for especially of the aged. It is a great privilege to have our elders around us as we always feel younger in front of them and being blessed by them. Their intellect might have decreased but their experience and knowledge is something that comes only with age. For example, the best remedy for sleeplessness according to our elders is to work hard physically as the body needs rest naturally after hard work!

Aging successfully is on the international agenda as some countries are already aged whereas many countries are slowly aging with new challenges to face with regard to the unique problems of  the elderly. It is an important task for the society to balance their busy life schedule taking cognizance of their aged counterparts and for the government to make suitable policies for the welfare of the aging population which can make aging both successful and graceful.

The favourite pastime of the elderly..

A short story of my Tiger.

He came in a medium sized cardboard box which when opened, hardly did I ever imagine it will be someone as special as him. This incident is about 12 years old. He was so cute that I fell in love with him almost at the same moment- love at first sight.. Anyone who saw him and made friendship equally fell in love. Such was his activity. Though small, he was not skinny or bony, but was plump and soft, feathery, silky and milky and what not!

Initially, I resisted at the idea of a canine member being brought home as I thought it’s always a mess and then the fear of the anti rabid prick that inevitably follows a bite or a lick on the minute cuts over the hands especially which we females always have during our kitchen and other household chores. But it was my husband who was fascinated at the idea of keeping such a pet for the protection of the house since we lived in a quarters in a remote village when I was working in a primary health centre. He that day surprised me with that unwanted gift.

The first few days of his home-coming were horrible for him as I think he was taken away from his mom. He pissed and pooped within the same cardboard several times on the first day, as I had guessed right that it’s a mess.. And then a separate place was made within the house itself as he was too young to be left outside according to my husband. He cared for him so well that he became busy in feeding him milk often and cleaning him thoroughly. I maintained my distance as I was too busy to get involved.

As he started to learn barking, it was a funny voice, feeble yet firm! I don’t know why but even though he did neither have the stripes nor the colour, I chose to call him ‘Tiger’ but the others at home called him ‘Jimmy’ . I didn’t prefer Jimmy as it existed already at my parents’ place. His thick white fur and his authoritative bark made me to stick to that name. But he responded well to both names. He started eating soft food cooked at home. He was a great entertainer to my elder son who was the only kid at that time. Those days we had only TV and Radio as popular media for entertainment. In a rural area as that in which we lived, hardly was there any power. So Tiger became the favourite pastime for all at home. I admired him from a safe distance. I could cook and talk to him, listen to him and managed to give not more than a few gentle caressing strokes on his head and neck. To do anything more than that, I was too apprehensive. Everything else in caring for him was my husband’s duty.

We changed our residence and came to the town after a year or so and then my daughter came into our lives. Here, he was tied in his own large space near the entrance gate itself. Morning walk was his favourite. He would look for bones hidden in the soil outside of the house as we were not able to serve him the non vegetarian stuff at home. My mother-in-law had a name for him too as ‘Ramu’! and she loved to feed him more and more. It was his habit to growl in a peculiar tone when I would place his food in front of him and then try to talk to him… It was a strict no no for him to talk during meal time! It was his ‘me time’ after all I guess. He always kept the strangers and probably the unknown thieves and enemies at bay. He scared the smallest or the biggest creature that tried to enter into our house! The only reason I remember him getting terrified was the sound of crackers during Diwali festival which we would not burn but the people around would. Some of our neighbours, I feel, envied us of his possession as they often complained that his barking would disturb their nights’ sleep!

One fine day, we had to leave him for 4 to 5 days alone as I had to attend an exam at a distant city and all of us at home had planned to leave. We arranged for his food through our maid. We left in our car heavy heartedly as we never had left my Tiger, my friend who had already acquired his own special place in all our hearts. He was hale and healthy, regularly immunized and dewormed. There was not a single incident of him falling ill that I can remember. The second day itself the maid called up to inform that he’s not eating his food. We were quite disturbed at the news and we requested her to somehow feed him milk or water or any thing he likes and promised to pay her more than what she gets from cleaning the house. We were too far to return and I was unable to miss my exam too… The next day was my exam which I attended in the morning and soon after lunch we headed back. Although we had plans to visit some famous temples on our way, there was some uneasiness within with least excitement of that particular travel. By evening, as we were still on our way and too far yet, she called up once again, this time to inform that he’s not responding and probably not breathing…

Tears rolled down my cheeks uninterrupted, harder to hold back. My husband stopped driving for sometime. Never did I imagine in my dreams or thoughts that such a tragedy might encounter. To this day, I am unable to understand the cause of his sudden death. My husband controlled his emotions and instructed her to perform his last lites in a respectable way. There was no way left. It was so sudden. Alas! We could not even have a last look at him. We came back home only to find that large space of his with the bare belt. Yes.. there was his peculiar fragrance which every soul leaves behind. We could hardly eat or drink or talk to each other at home for many days thereafter. We wept and wept silently in our own places until it was enough. We had his photo framed and my husband was always worshipping him in his daily puja.. Now, after multiple inevitable change of residences and new responsibilities to take over, his photo is now safely kept at our native place.

After this beautiful experience, no other similar dog was able to gain a place in our hearts. We decided not to…. We blamed ourselves for the whole thing. It looks strange for me as to why the maid stopped working at my home after that incident. We had to search for another. Neither did she explain convincingly as to what exactly happened with our lovely Tiger. I neither had any proof nor could I hold her or any one responsible for that sad incident. However, I want to thank God for the short time that we spent with my Tiger. To this day, I keep searching for a similar puppy as if to believe that he’s back.. The faithful, innocent soul who loved us unconditionally..

To whoever feels why this story, it is only to spread a message to never ever leave a dependent in the hands of others, especially our pets. My Tiger did not know how to communicate with or befriend a stranger I think (although the maid was not a stranger). I remember that I spoke to him a day before I left to take care of himself until we come back. Why did he not? He missed us so badly that he did not eat or drink. “Come back…Dear one.. as I’m still waiting for you, searching for you in the streets every now and then if you have arrived. For we don’t want any other to fill your space…”

He was closer to this cutie…

The will power to move on…

There is no doubt that the modern education and amenities have made our life more enjoyable. As long as we are in the safe umbrella with our parents, life is all good. Once we take up our roles independently in the society, not many lessons that are learnt in school come to our rescue. There needs to be something else to tackle with some situations in life.

I was new at the general hospital some 15 years ago and a young lady in her early twenties came to my OPD with history of not getting her menstrual periods since 1 month and odd days. The first thing to rule out will be pregnancy. I convinced her for the test and she agreed. It came out positive. She said she’s married but her husband died few months back due to some illness. She has got this pregnancy from someone else. I asked her what next. She replied to me that her parents have looked for another guy for her and she now doesn’t want to carry on with this one. With the long OPD queue still on, I wanted to listen to why she had to go for a relationship that too without safety measures and end up in this trauma.( In my view, it is a mental trauma). She said, “What could I do madam?My husband left me and I need a partner too..” Although her thoughts may not match the societal expectations, still as a human being, I must respect her feelings as she had approached me with utmost faith for a help in this difficult situation. I referred her to the gynaecologist and advised her to go with a family member probably her mother. She then went and she might have been successful in safely aborting the unwanted pregnancy.

After few days, she came again, although there was no reason for her to end up in my OPD. This time she was with her brand new husband and was decked up with a new silk saree and ornaments! Smiling at me, she stood there. I had forgotten her face and as usual, I asked “What’s your health problem?” to which she said,”Madam don’t you remember? I had come that day and you cured me of my fever. I told you about my marriage. This is my husband.” Saying so, she winked her eyes, bent forward to whisper, “Madam, don’t tell about my past to him please..” I didn’t understand why she came as she didn’t ask for any medical help but then I thought that she was happy and wanted to share that with me..

She doesn’t know that I as a doctor, follow my ethics in keeping the patient information confidential. I nodded simply and wished her the best for her marriage. I didn’t forget to advise her to plan her pregnancies. However, I never saw her again.

Some thoughts came to my mind that what if I was there in that position, would it be easy for me to be as happy as her? How is it that for some, such situations seem to be the end of life and for some, it is easy to move on in life? She did not seem to be more educated and life from her perspective is something like to leave behind the past and enjoy the present and expect good things for future. It would have been like a mountain falling on me. I can understand that she would have had moments of war with herself in decision making. Ultimately, she was successful. I don’t know what happened later but I remember that I only prayed to God that the person responsible for her pregnancy should not trouble her in any way.

If we think deeply, until we die, there’s one or the other problem that we have to face. It is nothing but a do or die situation. If we decide to live, there has to be a compromise, to accept the facts, take responsibility for our actions and be ready to face the consequences. Resilience to disasters that we face in life is very important as that capacity enables one to learn the art of living and can be developed by awareness of the self and the will power to move on and face the challenges with more strength than before.

Public health – health of the public

The textbook definition of “Public health” is very broad. But not everyone needs to learn it. But the term is understood to be very non specific among the general public and if we try to know what people understand, the opinions differ a lot. Some think public health is the duty of the doctors and field workers working in the government hospitals, some think it is the responsibility of the local government, the constitution says it is the responsibility of the State government, but ideally, in my opinion, it is for all people, by all people and of all people just like how we define democracy. Anything not supported by the public will be a failure in terms of implementation and success.

The role of a public health officer:

Any doctor is not just a curative person but a public health person. Because, along with his treatment, he always ends up giving some tips or health advices.When it comes to a government medical officer, his services are so valuable in the prevention of ill health in the whole population since he not only gives medical treatment to the ailing patients in his daily out patient department, but is also constantly involved in the preventive and promotive activities at the community level and in the implementation of various national health programmes. He has a multitude of responsibilities and has to work in co ordination with the local government. And that’s the reason why his post is not called by the name “Doctor” but by the name, “Medical officer”.

The role of the public:

Anything done even if it is for the sake of the betterment of the people at large, the people’s i.e the public support is very much essential for the success of the programme and for the value to be added to the money spent for carrying out the  health activities. Hence, it is greatly required that the public tries to understand and implement them and also actively take part in the decision making process itself. Healthy nation building starts at the individual, family, community levels. Public health is for all to understand and take a role in the society largely by self- motivation and adhering to the expert advise based on scientific evidence.

The need for a public health expert:

Public health has not been a favourite subject for many post graduate aspirants but nowadays, it is very obvious that public health will be and must be given equal priority as any clinical subject. The opportunity to serve in this field is also lesser compared to the demand for a treating physician in any health set up. Just as an anaesthetist’s opinion is very much required before a surgery as well as a fitness to be given by a general physician for the same surgery, health policy must prefer that any or every public health challenge must be solved by taking the expert opinion from a public health specialist in the fore-front along with experts from other fields. The unique problem with this speciality is that even after a solution has been arrived at by the public health specialist, the implementation of the plan or the solution depends mainly on the extent of political commitment.

With many public health challenges existing since ages that keep increasing in number and with newer and changing scenarios depending on various factors, the requirement of public health specialists is being recognised by one and all. Compared to yester years, a handful of public health specialists are getting graduated every year through various courses offered by  universities or any recognised institutions. At this point, there is a felt need to create more posts suitable for the public health specialists as this will be a win-win situation for both the aspiring public health experts as well as the population served by them. Ultimately, the goal of such health reforms must be towards the achievement of the developmental goals of our country and set an example for other countries as well.

A thankless job:

Everyone pursuing this degree knows that the job itself is not a very thankful one; but a strong inner urge to do something useful for the society as a whole pushes many doctors into this field. With due respect to the ever- in- demand clinicians as well, I would like to explain a situation why I call this a thankless job. Imagine a person who was visiting a primary health centre physician and was so impressed by his knowledge, attitude and clinical skills that he made up his mind to quit smoking. So that would have (if we imagine that other than that he did not have any other additional risk factor) added his years of healthy life by greatly decreasing his risk to acquire any disease related to smoking. Incidentally, imagine the doctor getting transferred to some other place and the person resumed his habit of smoking. Later, if he suffers from any complications related to his habits and then visits a clinician or surgeon as relevant and then by their treatment and by God’s grace, he gets well, it is obvious that he will remember his treating clinician for the rest of his life as his saviour.. Rarely will he ever thank the good old friend at the primary health centre who had advised him years ago against his habits that are detrimental to health.

To conclude, I would say that it is human nature to not worry about things that are not of an imminent danger. And not to get scared or panic when not in pain or until his life is threatened. But for a public health expert, it is not a matter of a single individual. He always strives for the health of the population. The learning in this field or in any field is never ending. And the contribution of each and every doctor is priceless be it a clinician or a public health expert. The only difference being that when a clinician can save hundreds or thousands of lives, a public health expert can save millions of lives.

Im…perfect

Perfection is a myth. It’s a goal not reached by any man. But, do we accept this? No. But we always strive to be as perfect as possible in the eyes of the ones we like the most in life. Is this right? I’m unable to come to a conclusion. It’s true that it feels nice when my parents are proud of me, if my family members adore me etc. But is it a true achievement? It’s equally true that I have heard them talking displeasingly when I was not able to keep up my promises. It hurts then. So now what should I do?

There was a time when everything in life seemed to be perfect.

As days and years flew by, it
seems now that all is but imperfect.

Why from others do we at all expect?

I pray God that He gives everyone the courage to fight with the inner conflict.

Because only inner peace can make life near perfect..

Pleasing others is ought to bring disappointments. Because others’ opinions depends on their mood, their perspective etc etc. Instead, it is better to think over and understand what is my goal in life and what is it that I’m contributing to this beautiful world so that I can answer God who has given a chance to be born as a human being who is gifted with a brain that no other species has.

My first step to accomplish this-

STOP EXPECTING ANYTHING FROM OTHERS. Give me to myself. Think day and night. Who am I? Why am I still here? Yet to find my answers…

More than a year of Corona panic..Have we won as a human race?

Yes, it has been more than a year for the world of how the Corona virus started disturbing the whole planet in terms of sustainability of human lives and how to cope with all that stuff.. For a layman, or I can say any human being,it is hard to get scared of something again and again..One can get scared of anything say ‘X’ only once. And then after surviving ‘X’, if ‘X’ recurs it’s not as scary, but definitely some other thing say ‘Y’ can scare us! So after few more months or years with the decline in the graph of Covid pandemic,people would not be as fearful of Covid as before but surely some other potential bacterial or viral strain can become a cause for panic. Reaction to anything is nothing but brain stuff! Covid did become a cause for existential anxiety for many if not for all and atleast for some time during the year that passed by, if not now.

It is a known fact that Influenza virus strains can mutate to new strains.What is occurring silently in nature matters only if it is damaging to a greater extent to man!What everyone should consider is that the preventive measures for Covid-any strain remains the same.We cannot relax back without protective measures such as to continue practising social distancing,wearing protective masks in overcrowded and ill – ventilated places,hand sanitizing measures etc. These measures are surely effective in protecting us not only from Covid but also from a range of many other communicable diseases, air borne,those caused by droplets/micro-droplets or by surface touching.

“Prevention is better than cure” is an old and apt saying which has proved to be true time and again. And now, vaccines for Covid are around the corner and at the least,they have been effective in generating the positivity in general in terms of man’s quest to win over the diseases. (As if to say”Yes!!We did it.We won!!)The effectiveness of vaccines in terms of cases averted by getting vaccinated as also the safety profile and successful seroconversion are yet to be confirmed by large scale studies in future. But vaccines are not meant to give false protective notion in that those vaccinated would stop practising the preventive measures as listed earlier. Because a single or 2 doses will not assure life long immunity. Studies are yet to be done to prove the length of the time that we are protected. So the only defense are our changed habits and sustaining them into the future! There are umpteen number of threats visible and invisible as far as health is concerned and it will definitely not end with Covid. Think of the number of people who succumb to accidents,to suicides,to the invisible effects of polluted environment etc etc…

The overall concern for man to protect his own health and to maintain the species on this planet is to be friendly with our ecosystem through a broad range of activities not counter productive but productive! ‘Go green’, ‘Save water’,’Say no to plastic’,’Save tigers’,Save this.. that…are all limited to only few environment savvy individuals and organisations across the world. And most of the time they are deemed to be irritable,interfering (with the comfortable  techniques and things which we have been used to since many years),and eccentric enough! Who would like to pay an extra 5 bucks to buy a cloth bag instead of the cheaper plastic bag? While some are deficient in money,some are deficient in knowledge and some are lacking in both.Who would take pains to throw the waste into waste bin only when one can throw on the road itself after confirming that no one is observing! The list can go on!!

This is something to think over! Wishing ourselves the human race to sustain not only ourselves but the whole planet,an inclusive growth and interdependent and happy eco-systems.

The imperfect life..

The red rose in its perfect curls looked as though it is laughing at me. Trying to cheer me up. My mom had bought them for puja. Mixed with red roses were yellow chrysanthemums. But roses were the ones that caught my attention. As I always love roses. Early morning in my dream I was fantasizing a long drive on the bike with my love. And when I was about to climb on to the pillion something happened as though the scene drastically changed into present situation that my son is lying down weak along with my other two kids looking silently around under a tree.It seemed to me in the dream that riding on the bike was just a past memory and and…. The present is this horrible helpless situation of myself with my kids…Where is he? Their father? Did he ever leave us into the darkness of difficulties of life? No.. He never did that. We always dreamed of good things. But in real life events turned to be always bitter. And sweet moment, only one crystal of sugar hidden in a heap of sand. Negligible enough to relish the sweetness… The common experience has been bitter. And seems like its never ending. Am afraid of getting up in the morning. Facing the sun,the life, shouldering the responsibilities which have been challenging of late…
I wanted to wear the rose onto my hair which I have actually cut short because everyday I m forcing myself into head bath as my daily visits to hospital seems like inevitable till now. No the rose would look nicer somewhere else.

Not now. Now my heart is aching. Cannot enjoy the subtle happiness the rose would offer me.To that extent I am unlucky.I packed some food for my son who is struggling for life presently in hospital, a victim of vital organ failure… I need this situation to change desperately. If only God can allow me to write my own nice story full of love ,fun and adventure. But no….. The harsh reality everyday here is to hear the sound of ambulances and crying voices, tearing off my heart. Beeping monitors,the typical scenes of hospital staff ever working with PPE s. And then my son lying helplessly on the bed with multiple pains and swollen body an array of endless investigations waiting for him every day. Days are scary and so are the nights until sleep takes over and into a fantasy dream dimension where I feel happy and safe.
So where’s the fear of Covid now? Amidst the universal fear, me and my hubby are forced into this hospital environment only for the small hope of saving our son. The experience of being a doctor is different from being a patient or patient attender in a hospital. All I want now is that he should win over his illness.I want him to overcome all the pain. Survive for a time when he can accomplish whatever he wants to. Contribute something to the mother earth that has given him,me and all  a chance to breathe and live…
I am sad. But I hope to smile. Praying God to give us strength.

I entered into the ward and relieved my husband to take some rest and freshen up. And the sun and the stars are doing their chores as ever. I m not an exception…And if I love roses I must accept the thorns…

To surrender…

Some say “Never Surrender” and some say”Surrender”.. The word itself is a positive as well as a negative one I feel.. Or it depends on the way we think about it. What to Surrender and What not to Surrender??

I understand this way. Maybe never surrender means do not surrender yourself to the thought of not able to achieve anything you want to achieve in your life( something like,”A goal”).And To Surrender, I mean to do my duty and leave the results of it to The Higher Being, the GOD. Way back when I was in my first turning point of my education that is SSLC, I had got so scared of the hearsay words that somehow my answer papers would be lost, I might not get good marks because the person correcting the paper might not be in good mood… All such crazy and scary thoughts. I ended up crying every day after writing my exam and my dad would say every day the same words to console me. That is an excerpt from The Holy Bhagavadgita. He said” Lord Krishna has told that we human beings must do our duty and should leave the fruits of it to the mercy of Him alone. So you write your exams and don’t worry about the results.” Even though he was not very much into worshipping God, it was strange for me that he told me so..He would not sleep till I finished my revisions late in the night. He would get me whatever I demanded to eat.My mom would prepare anything I asked for. My sister would not argue if the lights were on till late night. Unlike other usual days of life.That is the privilege of being in SSLC or PUC!Everyone at home would be stressed out and the student will be most pampered so that he/she would study well! Even though I ended up giving my best performance, somehow fear would take over my mind and my intermittent crying episodes continued till my results were out.. But I didn’t cry in front of anyone at home after the exams were over. It was only me and my stupid thoughts which I exaggerated myself!

And I don’t remember myself praying in front of God as to the fate of my results. It was my mom’s turn to pray and ask God. And I was very much relieved when I topped my class with 91 percent marks… What a great relief that was! Then all those scary thoughts just vanished into thin air! After all “All is well that ends well”. Later on as time passed by, even I realized that “Prayer” is very much essential if we have to find moments of peace in life. Surrendering ourselves to a Higher being is a gift we can give to ourselves. Because it instantly gives us a sense of relief,a sense of being protected.

Even the WHO stresses upon the “Spiritual dimension of Health” apart from Physical,Mental,Social and Emotional dimensions.We the human species have been describing ourselves as the most intelligent animal.But still, we have our limitations.

At some point in time, when nothing seems to work, we would long for a guiding lamp,a soothing hug, a smiling angel that would help us in times of distress.It is nice to imagine such a thing happening. And sometimes it works when we fully believe in His mercy.

I remember one of my moral science parables wherein a person dreamt one night that he was walking along the sea shore and he could see flashes of many incidents of his life and he also observed that there were two sets of foot prints one was his and the other was God’s. But suddenly he also observed that at times when he was saddest, or most distressed in life, there were only one set of footprints. He was deeply hurt and he questioned God as to why He left him alone in times of distress. And then God answered his question by saying that He never left him and in fact carried him on his shoulders and the one set of footprints he saw was not his but God’s.

So with this story, I would like to say that God is with us always and he has better plans for us.. Cheer up!

God loves you.

Finding happiness…

Defining happiness the dictionary way is not my intention.Happiness means different things to different people and for the same people, things can change with time. One thing that would make them happy now, may not necessarily do so after few more years!Happiness is simply a way of keeping our big smile with a cool head by way of being happy for the whole time that we are happy. And happiness doesn’t stay for long too. I bet. That is because our brain cannot sustain the same elevated mood for a longer time. Indeed it is hard to trigger the reward area of our brain with the same dose of stimulus every time.. At this point I remember a famous story of Charlie Chaplin. Once he told a joke to the audience and all people laughed. He repeated the same joke for the second time when few people laughed and then when he repeated again no one laughed.Strangely enough,we tend to remember sad things and keep brooding over them for a longer time. So he just asked everyone that if a joke cannot elicit the same laughter with repitition then why do people cry repeatedly remembering their worries and sorrows. So he urged people to enjoy life in the present moment.Indeed with time every bitter memory will fade.

Before any sadness takes over,we can train our brain to find happiness in small things around us which gives us happiness. No one can deny the fact that a baby’s innocent smile can bring happiness to any sad person at least for a few minutes. Likewise, if we pay our attention towards simple things around us like birds chirping on a tree, children playing in the mud, even our cute little teddy bear with a big smiley which we would have hung over the showcase,( but never bothered to have a look at it once in a while!), a pot of aromatic mint leaves , a beautiful painting and the list can go on.

It is for us to develop the habit of seeking ” happiness”in small things and change our mindset to enjoy the present moment. Once I read in a motivational book that even after a person dies, his cart of responsibilities will not be empty. And then someone else would handle them after he/ she is gone. So, no one can claim to have lived a perfect life and fulfilled all their responsibilites.

“Perfection itself is imperfection.”

Vladimir Horowitz.

Finding happiness is not as hard as finding the lost Nemo by his daddy fish! So let us try to be happy for a while at all times.I mean to say that our happiness is nowhere else in the external world but it is hidden within ourselves and we have to find it all by ourselves.

Nemo…hidden!

The Corona panic. Cont’d…

How I wish that the talk of Corona panic would have ended as early as I posted a blog on this topic. But no… It has continued not showing any signs of ending soon. We have been forced to learn the art of Being Patient…. Or Patient?

With lot of experts offering webinars and online courses and learning materials available to update about the Virus right from its birth to its two naming ceremonies and then how it continued to grow far beyond the boundaries across the earth causing much trouble to the most advanced species so far.. the human-being. Even the astrologers take this moment as a chance to test their predictability. Everything seems interesting to apprehend,to analyze,to nailbite and then to finally sleep in exhaustion without even burning calories as we would earlier to this!

We are afterwards left with a simple reminder of ” Be careful about yourself and others around you! Follow all instructions given. Then what happens next we don’t know.”

No doubt that it has also created many poems and proses about itself. Rarely do we get an idea to personify a virus and talk to him(or her?) about the ways he/she has been successful in bringing down our economies, causing an all time breakdown of almost all regular day to day life activities forcing everyone to lock themselves at home or else get nice beatings from policemen if we dare to venture going out for an unwanted or a most wanted stroll. “How to stay at home and be happy forever” must be the most wanted topic nowadays.

Can we do this just to keep ourselves happy for sometime?For tricking our brain to not panic (not for official use but for our own perception), we can say like this.

“Holiday from work”is a better term than “lockdown at house”.

“Practicing good hygiene” is better than “Washing hands repeatedly”

“Protection from safe distancing” is a better perception than Social distancing.

We can ourselves reframe many more sentences.Why? Because the reframed sentences would give some positive vibes and encourage us to go on..

It is also better not to watch the Breaking news about Corona virus too often and go on with it the whole day. It is too disturbing and distracting. Instead we can just watch only the headlines or take some breaks with a cartoon show or a comedy show.

Ultimately the graph has to end somewhere sometime. In the meanwhile, I came across an image (originally from UN covid-19 response) which I feel worth sharing.