The Google Doctor!

Having had the privilege to spend some fantastic time with the stakeholders in the healthcare community, cannot help but sharing a mind blogging and truly insightful discussion I happened to be a part of, which generally remains closed for the outsiders.

For maintaining anonymity and not causing any heads turn, would name the doc as D and myself as Me:

Me: “So doc, hows everything?”

D: “What to tell! Patients these days are reading so much on Google and then they argue about anything and everything that we tell them, thereby wasting our precious time which we can give to other patients, also delaying the diagnosis.”

Me: “But isn’t that great, prospective patients becoming more receptive?”

D: “It’s not so simple, my friend.”

What was to follow was nothing short of a discovery in itself!

D: “It’s not that, we doctors, don’t want to share. Of course, we do and of course we would want everyone to become self-aware when it comes to physiology or anatomy, but somehow if you were in my shoes, you would not beg to differ. 

First of all, for the same symptoms, there could be infinite number of possibilities, and in places like India, especially when everyone is trying to save few bucks, for the want of it, or for the lack of it, you cannot recommend too much of diagnosis, unless the case is critical enough. 

Yes, in few instances, precious time is wasted, but if you were to write a plethora of tests, which, by the way, would lead to accurate diagnosis, you would be labeled an inexperienced doctor or a pricy one, in both cases, your practice would suffer and with the kind of cheap competition that we all have gone into, it would end up in a disaster, leave alone for those who have paid hefty prices to get into a private medical college of sorts and leave alone the quality of education being imparted. 

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Even after you have got the results, as they say, to err is human, and I would be honest in admitting that there are cases where we miss upon on the critical information, might be due to lack of awareness/knowledge or may be we were just too stressed out. 

And on top of that, when there are 100s of patients to be seen in a day with an expectation of getting the best solution/medicine in the lowest possible cost, it becomes an inhumanly affair to handle, after all we are humans and not robots, which reminds me of the fantastic work that you guys are putting in to make our lives easier, wonder why one section of the healthcare community is so averse to adapting new things and technology, knowing very well that it would ultimately benefit the mankind and the entire healthcare community. 

Coming back to the diagnosis, which is the key, when it comes to treatment or recognizing the prognosis of a disease, it still very much remains an art which doctors gain from experience, though with the state-of-the-art research happening, it’s becoming more and more scientific and logical in nature, though I believe there is a long way before we reach a stage where we have a machine, which gives you diagnosis in a fraction of a second. 

Having said that, we doctors, try to be as patient as possible, try to put ourselves in patient’s shoes and try to maintain an EQ (emotional quotient) which I would say is much higher than in other sectors, considering the kind of unnatural demands that the entire community faces on a daily basis, not to mention having to bear the brunt of the patients and their families, when we aren’t able to fulfill the same. 

As a community, it would have been wonderful, if we were more in number, if we had distributed workload, if the doctors were united internally, not playing a part in the rat race or the corrupt practices. 

Having said the above, it still remains a very noble profession, it still gives me immense pride and pleasure along with the un-measurable satisfaction, when I save a life, which I believe no other job can offer. 

One thing I would, in any case, mention, trust an experienced doctor, even though, they might not be the BRAHMA of sorts, yet, they definitely would know much more than a GOOGLE or what any other website can offer, for GOOGLE just bombs you with the plethora of information, what sense you make out of it, still very much remains the prerogative of the doctor or in times to come the likes of machines and bots. 

Source for the Image: http://healthnewsng.com/more-nigerian-doctors-are-applying-for-us-residency-program/

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The Forgotten!

कहते हैं किसी चीज़ को शिद्दत से चाहो तो पूरी कायनात उसे तुमसे मिलाने में लग जाती हैं,
तो क्या ये चाहने में कमी का असर है, या फिर हालातों का फितूर जो कुछ लोग इसी दुनिया की भीड़ में कहीं खो जाते हैं.

हर कोई तेंदुलकर या धोनी तो नहीं होता, पर सब द्रविड़ जैसी मेहनत तो कर ही सकते हैं, फिर क्यों कुछ लोग अपने हुनर का सदुपयोग नहीं कर पाते.

हर कोई सीईओ तो नहीं बन सकता, पर क्यों वो सीईओ बनने के ख्वाब भी देखना भूल जाते हैं, क्या उनमें हिम्मत नहीं होती, या वो इसे अपने से परे समझ कर, उसकी इच्छा रखने का साहस ही नहीं कर पाते.

क्यों मन में इतना डर, क्यों दिल में इतनी असुरक्षा की भावना हमें आगे बढ़ने से रोक देती है.

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क्यों वो आखरी ओवर में १५ रन बनाना असंभव लगने लगता है, क्यों हम प्रयत्न करने से पहले ही हार मान लेते हैं.

जहाँ ज्यातादर लोग, अपने को इस सोच में उलझा हुआ पाते हैं, वही कई लोग ऐसे भी हैं, जो इन बातों पे जीत पा कर इनसे ऊपर उठ जाते हैं, और उन्ही को चढ़ता सूरज इत्यादि जैसे वाक्यों से सम्भोदित किया जाता है.

तो क्या ऐसे लोग बाकी लोगों से अलग होते हैं, क्या उनकी परवरिश किसी ख़ास प्रकार से की जाती हैं, या फिर खुद ही वो अपने को इतना बुलंद कर लेते हैं, कि खुदा भी उनकी रज़ा के सामने झुक जाता है.

जो भी हो, वो इतने भी अलग नहीं होते कि उनकी तरह कोई और बन ना पाए. आखिर गवास्कर के बाद किसने सोचा था कि एक तेंदुलकर आ जायेगा, और तेंदुलकर के बाद किसने सोचा था कि एक कोहली आ जायेगा.

ये वो लोग हैं, जिनको भरोसा होता है, कि वो कुछ कर सकते हैं. ये वो लोग हैं जो दिन भर रात भर केवल उसी सपने को जीते हैं, ये वो लोग हैं, जिनके लिए जीना अपने को उस एक लक्ष्य के प्रति पूरी तरह समर्पित करने के बराबर बन जाता है.

ये लोग उन अनेक लोगों से आगे बढ़ जाते हैं, जो हुनर होने के बावजूद, इसी दुनिया के किसी कोने में अपने को खोया हुआ पाते हैं.

Source for the Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexandra-roseliza/16109918764

ज़िन्दगी: तो मैंने भी जी ही ली है!

Happens not so often when someone or some incident tends to stick with you, to the extent of feeling the urge to write about the same.

And one such took place yesterday.

As I was about to cross a road on one of the signals, this gentleman with a beedi in his lips, held my hand, as if seeking some form of support.

On turning around, I noticed, this gentleman, who looked to be in his 60s, wearing a uniform, which you tend to identify with a watchman or a security guard.

The first thing, courtesy the nature of the mischievous mind, that popped up, made me wonder where this guard would be working and was the asset he was supposed to secure in safe hands.

On second, I realized that he wanted my help to cross the road. As we walked hand-in-hand, crossing probably the toughest obstacle of his life, at one of the most traffic-laden signals, his puffing the beedi and trying to breathe couldn’t go away unnoticed.

As we reached our final destination, he finally spoke:

साहब, आप सोच रहे होंगे, कि ये बूढा सिक्योरिटी गार्ड क्या किसी को सिक्योरिटी देगा?” as if he had read my mind, he continued:

साहब, क्या  बताऊँ, आर्मी में था, रिटायर होने के बाद सिक्योरिटी गार्ड बन गया. एक वक़्त था, जब हम साहब लोगों को गोलियों से बचाते थे, अब तो रोड क्रॉस करने में भी मदद की ज़रुरत पड़ती है.” as if he had found his much wanted ear to listen to all that he had preserved for long somewhere deep inside his heart.

साहब सोचा था, आर्मी में आ गए तो बस ज़िन्दगी सुधर गयी, मुझे क्या मालूम था, कि ये दिन देखने पड़ेंगे. खैर, धन्यवाद आपका, ईश्वर आपको खुश रक्खे. बाकी ये सब तो चलता रहेगा, आखिर ज़िन्दगी तो मैंने भी जी ही ली है.” and then he continued, on his apparently, lonesome journey.

Somehow, the last line, struck a chord somewhere, “ज़िन्दगी: तो मैंने भी जी ही ली है!

What we think will happen, doesn’t always happen our way, for it was so, then we might as well become the source of creation.

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And even if its possible, am sure, it must require lot of hard work and striving to reach a stage, where the last line changes to, “ज़िन्दगी तो मैंने ही जी है!

The journey from life leading you to you leading your life; from someone controlling you to gaining control over your mind, body and emotions; from you being a sorry figure to you enjoying each and every moment of your life; from you being the dependent one to becoming the dependable one; wonder whether all this requires an art or a skill.

And even if it exists, how may one access the same?

Wonder, whether it might need a lifetime to figure the same out?

Wonder, whether this was what we were supposed to do?

Wonder whether this is what it is, to experience the life to the fullest?

Wonder, whether wandering wild in the search of any such thing, makes sense?

Wonder, whether the sense itself was non-sense? 😉

But the very thought of moving from “ज़िन्दगी: तो मैंने भी जी ही ली है!” to “ज़िन्दगी: तो मैंने ही जी है!” is an incentive big enough to at least give a shot to try certain things along with your regular chores, isn’t it? 🙂

Source for the Image: http://hd-wall-papers.com/wallpapers/life-images.html

Success=====!

Let me see what this means:

Success=====Wealth?

Success=====A luxury car?

Success=====A house on the Marine Drive?

Success=====Traveling in business class?

Success=====Dining in a 7-star?

Success====Owning a 5000 Euro Louis Vuitton bag?

Success====Fame?

Well, going by what the world perceives, going by what the society tells us, going by what we have been socialized into believing, going by what we are praised or followed for, the above, in all possibilities seems to be true.

People who are totally conditioned to the point of believing each and every word of the same, would go all out in arguing what else it could mean, for money can buy them loads of stuff, fame can get the who’s who among others bow their heads in respect satisfying the egos which most would refer to as the inner self.

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Now let us consider an alternative to the above narrative:

Success====Starts with peace of mind?

Success====Well being?

Success====Playfulness?

Success====being joyful in the moment?

Success====living life to the fullest?

Success====experiencing the wonderful nature?

Success====being pleasant within=good health?

Wonder, whether the alternative view leads to the former one or vice-versa?

Wonder, whether the ability to be joyful within, leads to enjoying the fruits of one’s hard work and wealth that comes along with the same?

Wonder, whether good health enables us to enjoy time that we spend with our near and dear ones along with the materialistic possessions that we tend to identify ourselves so strongly with?

Wonder, whether we need to redefine the way we all perceive success?

Wonder, whether the world that is, was not meant to be conquered but to be experienced?

Food for thought, haan!

Source for Image: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/success-is-subjective-term

The UBER Life!

Well, yes, to an extent, referring to the life led by the celebrities and the who’s who of their respective sectors and industries, but really to the world which is getting more and more explored.

The likes of Google and Uber have made sure that we reach the remotest of places, without the feel of getting lost in the wilderness.

No more a discovery of sorts, where there are roads, there are taxis and people treading on the same, where you can read about places on the internet.

The fantasies and the glitters of discovering something is an Uber or a Google away. The small joys of life are becoming much more obvious.

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Accessibility has been redefined. Accessibility and explored nature have led to reduction in insecurity, at the same time, have affected the thrill and the charm which, once upon a time, was somewhat a synonym to exploration.

That reminds of me of companies being formed, whose sole purpose is to make your rendezvous with thrill in a secured manner, which, by the way, was a part and parcel of the very being that we all are.

The more the comforts, the more the monotony that seems to be creeping in all our lives. The pleasures which seemed to be so significant when we were all young, be it going to our grandparents place to going for a vacation, has become more an yearly routine to be a must take, so that we all can post our pics on the God of social media, facebook, to be liked by one and all.

Not getting into the good and the bad analogy, just wonder, with lives getting more busy and we mortals losing the charm of discovery, whether to travel places, would mean more Skype calls, made in a day, in times to come?

Source for Image: https://www.uber.com/en-IN/

Matter of Life & Death!

How casually do we generally speak about life and death?

Just think about it, air goes in and comes out, goes in and comes out and if it goes and doesn’t come back again, then so called we are dead ;).

If you are wondering, why, all of a sudden am speaking about the same, and if your guess is that I had to undergo any such experience in the recent past, then you might not be so wrong ;).

Well, ya, I had this great fortune of going through the experience which, otherwise, not many would want to venture into, at least voluntarily, but if it happens on an involuntary basis, then you have no choice but to go through the same, though at the end of it, you might feel, “good that it happened”. 

Before I take you through the journey, you gotta see this video:

To give you a better perspective on which one of these I am, am sitting on the left in the middle with the blue t-shirt, who ultimately gets taken away by the wonderful waters of the holy Ganges. 

The first 20 seconds or so, you tend to be in a state of panic, not knowing what to do, and how could it happen to you, of all the folks.

The next 20 seconds, you try to give in to the fact, that there’s nothing you can do, for you don’t know how to swim, trusting and bestowing the life jacket that you happen to be wearing, all the power in the world.

During this kashmakash, that seem to be occupying your mind, the words jacket pakad, jacket pakad, seem to reverberate for the next 20 seconds and you end up following the instructions of the guide, whose panic struck face, I will never forget all my life.

Having held on to the jacket, you wonder, whether there would be someone who would come to your rescue, in the strictest sense of the word, and that you would not end up flowing and reaching Haridwar from Rishikesh. 

The moment, you witness your saviour, in the form of a raft, right in front, you come to a realization that you will be saved.

You are picked up in the other raft and shifted to the original, where your companions are glad to have you back, and the guide is relieved to see you alive and breathing.

All’s well that ends well. That’s what they say and that’s what it is. Isn’t it? 🙂

Being Thankless!

Today, I got up early than what my usual time is ;). Had a mixed feeling, on one hand happy to see the sun rising, on the other, feeling a bit tired having not fulfilled the quota of my life that I allocate to sleep each day.

Did my usual chores, took my usual ride to the office and started working. Soon after, a dear friend shared a talk (https://www.ted.com/talks/jen_brea_what_happens_when_you_have_a_disease_doctors_can_t_diagnose#t-88366).

And it somehow shook me a bit.

How much for granted do we take all our usuals in life? After all, it’s just a matter of breath coming in and going out and if it doesn’t come back, you know you are not reading this anymore.

And what if the breath comes back with a bane of sorts, which takes away the so called life from you?

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Somehow, instead of considering the chores that we are able to perform, as blessings in disguise, we have got into a habit of taking things that come to us easy, so casually.

Somehow, we have got accustomed to getting hurt by the so called bigger things in life, be it work, money etc etc, instead of appreciating the fact that we are still alive and living the life we have chosen to live.

Somehow, the very essence of developing an understanding about what your mind and body have on offer, we have diverted all our energies to fit in with the societal definition of success and failure.

Somehow, I just wonder, with the thankless manner, in which we are chosing to live our lives, in turn raises a cause of concern, challenging the very idea,

Are we all living?

Source for the Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohxlb4j5jno

Taken for a Ride?

The moment we all hear the phrase, “taken for a ride”, a negative image of some incident, more often than not, comes to our mind, where we find ourselves living the same and developing negative emotions because of who so ever or what so ever caused us to be taken for a ride.

We tend to think, how stupid in time we were, how bad the world was, or for that matter, how could one not see something coming, trying to calm ourselves at the same time, that is was an anomaly in the entire scheme of things that we happen to go through each day of our lives and that we are too intellectual to have been taken for a ride.

We go on to convince ourselves of the goodness in ourselves, which enabled us to bring out qualities like trust, faith etc etc and which made us believe what was on offer. Having said the above, taken for a ride, doesn’t necessarily mean bad things.

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After all, when we were kids, our parents also took us for a ride ;), by making us eat all the nutritious food that we were supposed to consume at that point of time in our lives.

Our teachers, by hook or crook, made us learn the valuable lessons, which made us a better individual (supposedly ;)).

Our siblings, who taught us the very essence of togetherness and love, our friends who made us understand, what the dynamics of a society was.

As we grow old, we somehow tend to start having interpretations and perceptions which tend to swing towards the negative side of things.

We forget that our mind, which was supposed to see the positive side, has got conditioned into a dreaded monster of sorts, where we have developed a tendency to burn ourselves in the wrath of our perceptions and negative emotions and thoughts evolving out of the same.

What’s needed is for you to revisit your your younger self, and start enjoying the very nature that taken for a ride was supposed to bring to you.

The only thing you need to convince yourself, per say, is that after all taken for a ride was how it was supposed to be, if it were not so, you would not be, who you are meant to be :).

Source for the Image: https://www.youtube.com/user/RIDEChannel

2017 App World!

Came across an article (http://zeenews.india.com/apps/top-5-superstar-apps-of-2016-that-will-continue-to-rule-2017_1966067.html), where in the apps that are supposed to rule (don’t really understand the term and would have preferred serve well instead of rule, but kudos to who so ever thought about the same 😉) the App World in 2017, were mentioned.

Happy to get into the names, Paytm, Big Basket, UrbanClap, Netmeds & Roposo and would begin by congratulating the wonderful work being done by the respective teams.

While I was about to close the link, sought of an after thought, wondered what it was all about. Let’s look at each app individually and see why they are supposed to rule. 

Paytm, well, understandable, especially because of the latest demonetization move by our PM, Narendra Modi and people at times choosing and more so being forced to move towards a digital era when it comes to transactions.

Also, because of the recent permission of a payment bank that they have got, which would propel their customer acquisition in a significant manner.

Big Basket, at a customer level, more so because of convenience and freshness, which ideally should have been a top priority, in many a cases, have become a second priority. Also, demonetization adding to the woes of mom and pop stores in the short term.

UrbanClap, had to be one, isn’t it? Considering the non-availability of qualified service providers, just a click away, and scope for getting professional services, on top of that, someone to look into the feedback and get resolution for things such as bad behavior and service.

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Netmeds, again because of convenience and availability of medicines. Though good for the companies, I just wonder what this means for our society as a whole.

More the sales, more the  number of people, who end up falling sick, speaks a lot about our consumerist lifestyle that we have got so habitual to living. Food for thought for us all!

Roposo, haven’t we all, at some point of time in our lives, tried to emulate what our idols, or Bollywood stars tend to do? Have we not wanted to connect with them in one way or the other?

Probably, all the key words that come out of the above (Money, Food, Consumers, Health & Fashion) make up what we mortals do on a day-to-day basis. 

Are you a little surprised not to see any travel app in the top 5, meant to give you happiness in the arms of nature and let’s say a wellness app or a preventive app in the healthcare sector, meant to keep you healthy and in a pleasant state of mind.

What I see above is a reflection of what’s to come, just wonder, whether the way we are heading is the way we are supposed to go?

Source for the Image: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204266

In Need of a Poker Face?

The first time I came across something that was close to a professional relationship, sort of opening up to me, over a couple of drinks (had to be), and the first advice that came across was, “you need to be a poker face in the office!”.

Not knowing what to do with such an astonishingly unique advice, in the first instance, I thought about ignoring the same, but on second thoughts, I wondered whether what he was telling was true, considering that he was supposed to be the poster boy of the company, worth few crores at least, going by the little that I could think off at that point of time in my life.

I wondered whether all his success came from the magical formula that he had shared with me, or was it because he was trying to act wise after giving up his inhibitions, courtesy, the wonderful drinks that we were having.

I decided to observe. The more I did, the advice seemed to find validation in the offices that I happened to spend time within.

Though, a very poor emulator of sorts, I could never get into the groove and probably stayed away from treading the so called successful path.

Now that I look back at what has happened over the past decade or so, he has gone on to become one of the who’s who of business (wouldn’t want to get into the names 😉).

Had the pleasure of meeting him few days back, again over a couple of drinks, and reminded him of the good old days and his dynamism and of course his magical formula that he had been kind enough to share with me as part of the mentoring process, admitting at the same time, that I had been a bad student all through having not implemented the same.

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He kept silent for a couple of minutes, then looked straight into my eyes,

You know what, that was probably the most wise and the dumbest of advice that I ever gave you, depends on how you look at it. 

Wise, because of what seems obvious, and dumb, because what the world probably cannot see but has definitely transpired within me and throughout my life. 

Poker did bring some luck, but never brought friends, poker did help me accumulate the wealth, but never helped me experience the wonderful emotions, which I always controlled to the best of my ability, poker did fulfill lot of aspirations and aims, but never got me the peace of mind that I have been craving for. 

Good, that you were a bad student, I just pity those, who became the best students I ever had.”

And then we went on to spend the entire night, chit-chatting about what if!

Which makes me wonder, how many out there, spend their entire lives, playing to the tune of what the office politics has to offer, getting into a deep learning mode, where everyone is bent upon how to behave and what to do, in order to benefit the most from the system they happen to be in.

Food for thought, “should one really care about the same, and do you really need a poker face to succeed?

Source for Image: http://www.parkingsuns.com/2015/04/16/parkinsons-poker-face-pays-off-pedagogically/