Naturalist bows down

Continues from my last post 

My body has been medicine free for last 40 yrs “ boasted my father, while taking a sharp breath sounding like shoo, as the doctor injected the needle on his bum.

I have inherited this trait from my father. For the last few years ( 5+), I have gulped no medicine . Even when there was a 1.5 inch diameter wound on my knee, I trusted keeping it clean and open to facilitate natural self healing.  This time, however was different, a frozen spine and only 2 days left to fly. I had a choice to stick to my values or do something artificial to get going.  I tried various stretches, lying on the floor.  Pulling my knees towards the chest, on the same side and then other side. Crossing my ankle on other knee and pulling the knee again. Keeping the knees such that they made a triangle with ground and then twisting them side by side (Just as women do after child birth to get rid of belly fat). I tried touching my toes while feet outstretched but the gulf had grown to a feet plus. I just couldn’t do it. None of these could make me sit without pain.  Having tried balms, lotions, hot water bottle and cold pack, I finally decided to go and seek medical help.


The orthopedic did his routine check and found no evidence of bone injury and concluded that it was muscular. I was ushered into a room of a physio therapist. She was a petite, young beauty, well built, muscular but this was no time to appreciate or revel in it.  She sensed the trauma I was in and made me lie face down.  As she rubbed electrolyte at various places on my back and attached electrodes, I told her of my plan of glacial trek. I requested her to do whatever in her control to ameliorate. I was not giving up on this trip. As she increased the impedance of the machine, the electrodes started oscillating at manic frequency. I shrieked in pain, as those impulse sent all my back muscles from behind my lungs to bums in a frenzy. Those electric impulses hit me like a storm. She stopped increasing the intensity. Here, I was undergoing heavy impulse vibrations on all my muscles which had pain trapped somewhere in them.

You will have to get it 3 times today and tomorrow and gulp these anti-inflammatory tablets to get anywhere even close to travel.  I was in a meek surrender and agreed to do whatever it takes.  Next 2 days were spent oscillating between home and physio therapy center. The medicines did their own thing. At end of the day 2 , she examined my back . I had healed completely and was cleared to take off.

I was on my way to solo travel to mystic Himalayas, totally happy of having gone beyond my basic belief to do a pragmatic thing.

Spine freezes over

July 2015, Pune : A needling pain rose up my spine, as I braked my car pulling up the parking ramp. As I turned off the ignition and took the keys out in my hand. I was still assessing the state of my back. I unlocked the door and tried to turn right, but found my torso frozen. My knee won’t come up without me pulling it up with both hands. This was an abject state of health which had come at the worst time.


2 days from now, is my ticket to Chandigarh, my gateway to glacial mountain in Dharamshala, Himalayas. This is the trip, which had always eluded me and the one, my heart most desired.  Here I was, desirous of a treacherous trek when I was struggling even for basic body movement.

12 yrs ago, all alone in a hot and humid room at Bathinda, I had just finished reading “The razor’s edge” by Somerset Maugham. It’s a story of Larry Darrell, an American pilot traumatized by his experiences in World War I, who sets off in search of some transcendent meaning in his life.  Larry travels to India and takes a no cash trip to Himalayan forest and tries to survive on whatever he could get without spending money. I was inspired, I wanted to do something similar and being in India, I will only have to fly a few hours to do it.

I had made up my mind to go exploring the mountains immediately after quitting Air Force.  This, however was not destined to happen. On the day , I hung my uniform,  I didn’t have a job, had got married an year ago and was expecting my first child.  Life had planned an adventure of different kind for me then.

July 2015, this time, the setting was perfect. Between a job switch, I had planned a 15 day interval and I was absolutely sure, nothing would come between I and this experience.

Here I was, lying on my back on a hard floor, struggling with the pain which could possibly snatch my dream trip away..

Continued in my next post  ‘Naturalist bows down”

B’day celebrations expiry date: ‘Best before 30yrs’

We as humans are sometime so much driven by peer pressure into rituals and celebrations that we loose track of rationale of doing it. Let us take birthday celebrations. Earlier when medical systems were not advanced enough, an infant surviving mortality was an achievement. Pneumonia, Polio, Malaria or epidemics used to kill in large #s Thus every time scale conquered (1st day, 6th day, 1st month, 1st year) was a cause de célèbre . E ach year of survival was a cause to celebrate life and hence probably, the culture of Birthdays. The ritual done in childhood continued till adolescence , then to adulthood and finally till old age. There are some birthdays which are celebrated even after a person has died. Funny.

 If we look at the way birthdays are celebrated, the feeling is more grotesque. Children dress up like clowns, balloons are hung. Lights are blown away (Extinguishing fluttering candle light is often symbolic of a soul struggling and finally leaving human body). This then should mean that on you 30th birthday 30 units of soul have left you( Blown away by you). There are people clapping and singing and you should feel happy (??). Happy about loosing life and singing the stupid Birthday song in English irrespective of your linguistic skills. Then they rub that cake on to your face to start consuming some of the unhealthiest food on earth. Whipped cream topping (100% fat), sugared bread ( Very High calorie), Samosas( Deep fried), Soft drink( Every 100 ml contains 10 ml of sugar). Its not good when you are a kid and dangerous if you are an adult with a desktop job.

If we look at the age perspective, childhood gives you the onus to grow ( gain independence) , teenage prepares you to puberty( Be able to reproduce) , Early 20s give you a path to reach peak of your physical strength and capacity. Biologically you are at peak when 25. Then you are on a plateau and you start dreading what each year of age does to you physically. Sporadic greys start appearing on head, hairlines start receding, balding often sets in . After 30 every year you loose 2.5 % of your bone mass and 3.5% of muscle. Cavities in teeth need occasional filling. You tend to be moving from: Running to Jog to walk now. Forgetting becomes more frequent than remembering .Does this call for Happy birthdays ?

If yes ,be the clown and jump like clown, distribute sweets. If  No, reassess!!!! Birthday celebrations are best before you hit 30. Life on the other side of 30s is not that great unless you make real extra efforts. Think !!!!!

5 Effective steps to prevent Swine Flue

Jokes apart, the following is what appears as a good preventive measures :

 1. Avoid crowded places till pandemic subsides. Crowd here means places where maximum distance between 2 persons is less than 3 ft.

 2. Improve immunity by following :

                         a) Exercising atleast for 30 minutes non stop there by sweating.       

                         b) Taking good balanced diet. Taking multivitamins if required

                        c) Having adequate sleep 6-8 hrs a day

                        d) Avoiding intoxicants ( Alcohol, tobacco etc)

                       e) Avoid stress of any kind.

                      f) Get ordinary Flue vaccine.

 3. Identify one good ,experienced Doc in your neighbourhood who can refer you to Govt hospitals in case you develop strong symptoms. Get your respiratory disease cured at the earliest or if diabetic get low sugar levels   

4. Maintain a very high degree of hygiene. Take bath with 2 teaspoons of germicide ( Dettol,Savlon etc) in a bucket of water.Cut nails, sterilize your hands after physical contact with door knobs, elevator buttons etc.

 5.Maintain a distance of 3 ft from normal individual and 6 ft from a coughing/ sneezing individual. If unavoidable, avoid touching eyes , nose, mouth till you have cleaned your hands with soap