The Wonder Years!

"The elixir of life, The fountain of youth, The Nag Mani"

Just few examples of the human fixation with ever-lasting vigour, and vitality. A cross boundaries phenonmenon, that time-again has kept every era of human evolution more and more fascinated.
It also symbolises the mental stigma we have with old age.
Its a sad reality, but in our country, retirement marks the starting of an end.
The mental make up of the individual and his social support, changes from productivity to useless within a day.
In the words of a recent patient of mine- "Sir, aab tho retire ho gaye hai, aab chalte firte hi bhagwan uthale tho acha hai"... (doctor, now i am retired, may death come to me when i am still healthy).
Its sad, but a reality that clinical depression starts entering into a persona within the last 6months of his occupational tenure, and it remains till death. Its this depression, that catapults itself to cause memory, sleep and behavioural problems.
In a recent care-giver meeting, one person pointed out- "jaabse dad retire hue hai, hamari jeena mushkil kar diya hai. Haar cheez ka hisab kitab rakthe hai" (since my dad has retired, life has become tough, as now he peeks into every detail).Well, I dont blame him for being frustrated. But as all normal people, he either keeps the irritation within himself, or has constant fights with his parents.
The core issue...keeping them socially, occupationally, mentally healthy and active never taken into consideration.
Its very easy to pollute ou healthy lifestyles, by labeling people, lack of communication and brewing frustrations... but it really takes some intelligentia to work for our people and help them.
Lets start by keeping an open view of life. Retirement is the starting of a new phase.
A proper planned approach, well discussed, and implemented can lead to a happier life for everyone. And save a lot of wastage of human emotions, time and money.
A Proper mental, medical and emotional support in the Pre-retirement and post-retirement periods are very important for the successful transition.
Dont be sympathetic like every other person, be pro-active.

100meters of Life

Every evening around 6:30pm, I get ready, walk out into my old car, turn on the radio
and drive down the lane towards my clinic.
that little 10min drive is what i call "my time of judgement".
Its that time when i am the accused, the victim, the lawyer and the judge of my own brain.
its the time, i let the large wave of questions to flow freely. while i surf thru them, one by one.
"what are my tasks for tomorow?
what i have to do before the week ends?
how much of my goals have been accomplished?
how was today? what could have been done better?"

the list endless and sometimes senseless.

As an automated robot, i have perfected the route and routine i follow. Like Me, millions others, and many in my neighborhood also follow same routines.
Everyday, i see the same people jogging, the same people buying groceries, the same people crossing the street.
It looks like, yesterday is here, just dressed up in new clothes.
Amidst all this madness i see a young little girl. a young little girl with cerebral palsy. A disease so horrendous, and devastating that even "fear" runs away from it.
a disease of the young, that kills a part of their brain. The result of which, multiple limb paralyses, vocal cord paralyses, impaired cognitive functioning can take place.
In short, it makes the kid, a living vegetable.

Today for some weird reason, i decided to change my routine plan. I parked the car half way thru. Stood at the end of the lane, and decided to observe her.
there she stood at the end of the lane. Slowly slowly, I saw her coming towards me.
Every step, a battle. Her tiny body, her army. The end of the road, her victory.

She worked like an army battalion, well coordinated and following orders to perfection.

Her plan of action was simple=
1. Use all her energy and guide all her muscles to lift up a crutch forward.
2. Dragging her body,
3. follow the earlier procedure, but this time the other hand.

The result one step!!!

Step by Step the battle intensified, but she kept fighting.

She moved ahead. Sometimes stoped in between, but never gave up.

oblivious of the passerby who looked upon her. Some of them with sympathy,
some of them with pity,
some making jokes about her.
Some just becoming another road block in her way.

She kept trying, she kept moving, she didnt stop.

After 45min she reached her destination. She looked back, and smiled. She looked towards her mother, who lovingly kissed her on the fore-head.

She was proud, that today she had walked 100m.!!!

I returned to my car, smiled to myself...drove away thinking of the great lesson those 100m had taught me today....