Saturday, August 25, 2012

Been Without Beans

This post is a part of the Book Reviews programme at Blogadda

There is more to the human body, more than the mind and the heart. Having seen patients with renal ailments from close quarters during my urology postings in houseman ship I had no second thoughts about reading this book. I smiled when my eyes fell on what the book begins with, a quote by John Ruskin who says “There is no wealth greater than life”, all I thought was about how often we realize this. 

Only pain pushes us to a doctor. As the author Aditya’s mother rightly says life needs to be lived with more awareness and sensitivity. She adds further “Doing a normal everyday activity, we all take it for granted” talking about how Aditya confides when he is more comfortable passing urine after the kidney transplant. Our body really does work silently, not letting us know of the hundreds of things happening inside each cell. Early detection is another important issue which the book throws light on. The diagnostics of today is very well equipped and far ahead from what we have imagined. It is only that the clinician and the patient have to be aware of it. I say this with my experience in the laboratory. All we need to do is to know and take care of our body religiously, but some diseases and disorders are really inevitable. It is how we treat and face the challenge is what all that matters. 

Aditya and his family have done this successfully. Their calmness and composure is reflected throughout the book, right from the first page where Aditya’s mother writes” I had the chance to be associated with the disease”, well not many would open their story  that way. What is more impressive is her commitment to donate her kidney to her son despite herself having a major illness, breast cancer. And the fact that she succeeds at that deserves respect. Every aspect of Aditya’s health and living was carefully planned, and each family member contributed to it. Aditya as his mother says is a good patient, also he is lucky enough to be surrounded by very good caretakers around him. Not many are as blessed as that. 

The modesty with which Aditya feels sorry for not taking care of his mother’s kidney after the first transplant, the urge with which his brother Dhananjay helps him out and donates his kidney for the second transplant practically proves ‘For each other’ in their family. Happiness definitely comes with giving and this real life story tells just that, if your life makes a difference in somebody else’s well that is what living is all about.

There are a few medical aspects that the book rightly mentions, firstly about organ donation, what we must know is donating a part of our body does not make us a hero, only if the donor and the recipient are in the best of their health after the donation it is worth all the effort. Secondly medical research is something which most commoners do not know about. It does take rare talent and extreme hard work. When a doctor writes a prescription or does a procedure on a patient there are a ten other doctors, researchers and paramedical staff behind the scene who have toiled day and night to prove that it is the most appropriate thing to do. They deserve some credit too for all that they invent and discover. The afterword by Aditya’s father about doctors could not be more true. 

The book does have complicated terms from the field of medicine, difficult initially to relate to unless you are aware of them. But as you progress you will understand what it is all about and of course there is a glossary for help. Shades Of Life intends to make people aware that medical problems as such exist and can be dealt with cheerfully only if life is accepted with limitations, and the book succeeds at that just like Aditya’s family.

PS1: If anybody of them is reading this-

“It was inspiring to read about you. Your courage and commitment towards your well being in togetherness is greatly appreciated. Best wishes to the family”- Dr. Raksha Bhat

PS2: Much thanks to Blogadda for a wonderful book and for making my evening today :)


Friday, August 24, 2012

Ladies Matter

“Ahoy do not touch that! You should never see what is in a lady’s handbag?” yes I said that a few days ago to a dear guy friend of mine when he put his hand on it to take out something. However when I saw this topic 'Taking conversations beyond low pitched whispers' at Blogadda I had to reconsider this queer and pre conceptualized  idea, just one among the many which most of us own. Back to my handbag, frankly it did not have anything that a guy should not see. But yeah being a girl I had to tell him that and he was kind enough not to snub. Many of you may agree with what I did, something similar must have happened to you too. But if you were to look at instances like this from a sensible and simpler perspective, we all live in a very make believe world of femininity where in the open less is said and lesser is done. ‘Ladies Matter’ you see.

A week back or so I had blogged about it when this particular ad was under the limelight, as I said in that post there is a lot more to women empowerment. Matters as sensitive as intimate health are usually camouflaged under hesitancy, fear, myths and misconceptions. This happens even among the well educated. And more so among the men, if you were to ask the best of the gentlemen in town anything about what he knows of women, you will not be surprised if he come up with anything less than appreciably serious. The weak link is this:

“What you do not know, you do not respect”

Thus begins the entire problem. What has happened over the years and is happening in the past few days, everything in the news is proof enough. Also what we should not forget is that there is a thin line between privacy and opening up, knowing is necessary but what you do with the knowing is what is more important. What we know may go against somebody’s dignity, in such circumstances it is better to keep the issue behind the curtain. What we end up doing is keeping everything behind it for all safe purposes, and for that nobody in particular is to be blamed, a fault nevertheless.

The right to know, the responsibility to care and the freedom to share’ well it takes just that to make sure every woman keeps herself in the best of her state. This applies to every man too. I say this as a doctor having seen women, women from all classes who go through the same ordeal. There is no difference among them in fact. There is so much that needs to be done in every department that is concerned, from our thought to our action. A genuine approach by each one is the best start. Because each lady matters, she really does. What needs us and what we need, the sooner we realize and make the others realize the better.


This post is a part of the weekend blogging contest at in association with

Thursday, August 23, 2012

All But Over

As darkness creeps
And shadows sleep
The birds fly to their nests
The winds run far and away
While the clouds follow them
The leaves settle in tranquil
When the day meets its night
The moon shines in the sunlight
And me in your love
All but over