Dance Basanti


Dance is the medicine to everything. It is as indispensible as coffee. And it stays with you through all the ups and downs of life. Eat, pray and love all you want, but there is nothing like dance to lift your spirits up. Everyday, when you come home, lock your door, turn on the music, and dance. Forget what happened at work, and dance. Whether the day was good or bad, whether you are feeling happy or sad, drop everything and dance. If you are overjoyed, jump and leap, and bobble your head this way and that. If you are down in the dumps, get up on your feet, twirl around to some happy music and make circles with your hands. And if you are feeling just like you do on ‘any ordinary day’, wave your arms to your favourite song, twist and untwist your legs and swing your hips away.


Dance like you did as a kid, oblivious to everything and everyone. Dance like no one is watching. Do the eighties break dance, or the seventies Saturday Night Fever disco moves. Move your arms at the hinge joints and do the robot dance. Sprinkle talcum powder on the floor and attempt the MJ moonwalk. Spin round and round and scream whee ! Break into a tango, a shimmy or a sixties twist. Enact every word of a song. Do the ‘vulgar’ pelvic thrusts and the bum moves in your bedroom. Try the twerk, if you’d be so brave. Turn on a rock number and do the headbanging and the air guitar. Or perform a solo waltz with one hand on an imaginary shoulder, and another around a dreamy lover’s waist. And when it’s raining outside, dance to old Hindi movie songs with a coffee in hand.


In your world of Dance, you are the salsa queen, the Bollywood enchantress and the belly dancing seductress. You are the dancing champion, you raise hell, and there is no one like you. Dance like there is no tomorrow. Dance all your worries away. Dance with all your heart. Dance a stellar performance and take a bow to the empty room. Dance in the shower singing into the soap. Dance amidst others, mixing Bhangra steps with electro music. Dance in front of the mirror in a public restroom. Dance in the trial room, trying on a pretty dress. Stop and break into a dance during your morning walks at random. Click your heels and whirl around to the music playing in your head. Dance in the rain, dance in the sun, dance in the snow. Dance till you can’t dance anymore and then dance some more. Dance till the day you can’t live without it, and then dance through your life, all the way to the end. And the sun and the stars will dance with you, in celebration.

Addendum to the Hippocratic Oath


I will always respect the ‘Google Maata,’ for she is always ere and better informed than I.

I will work for more than 24 hours straight and not once, even for a minute, will I sit down for rest, lest a media hound snaps that moment of a pause for the world to see and condemn.

I will not expect any pay for my work, for my family’s needs would be taken care of by God and his men.

Any ‘personal time’ or ‘family time’ will be considered a crime, liable to persecution and legal action.

I will be expected to have a contrast enhanced CT vision, to diagnose patients’ illnesses without ordering any ‘expensive tests,’ and to pick up complications, if any, the nanosecond they happen.

I promise, never to err at any time, or subject myself to the risk of being beaten up by the patient’s relatives.

I shall expect, for my work, no respect ; rather, I could be sued anytime for wrongdoing and neglect.

I will neither eat nor drink any food or beverage, remotely linked to any disease, in any case report published by Google, even in the confines of my house, if I chance to visit it at the end of the day.

I will be under constant scrutiny, and all my doings, including the restroom breaks, will be watched over like a hawk, around the clock.

I am neither God nor a normal human being, but a healing machine with Godly powers, dutifully bound to perform miracles in the worst of sickness.

What ails Indian Medicine ? Part one



Something is ailing in the Indian medical community. We are no longer the ‘respected’ profession, the parents – including doctors, want to push their children into. As 18 year olds, most of us were coerced into medicine by our families, prepared for the long journey in spite of all odds. The light at the end of the tunnel was becoming valued doctors, admired and appreciated by the community and the country. But the odyssey is long and arduous and full of toils and bumps and obstacles. So it takes a decade and some years more, from graduation to post graduation and then super specialization. And along the way, we come to terms with the reality of how, even in our late twenties, we are financially dependent on our parents, unlike our friends from school who are professionally settled and financially blooming. And by the time we join as consultants in government or private sectors, the rat race has begun at full throttle, to make up for the lost time.


There is nothing wrong with the race to the top. We are professionals, and unlike what some people may think, we have families and we’d like to be paid for the hard work, thank you very much. But unlike other professions, we deal with human lives – in sickness and in health. Ours is not just a shop to run, or a business empire to expand. Ours is not a profession to lure customers, away from the competitors into our lair. Which is why, it is disheartening to see doctors undermine and belittle their colleagues and competitors – in front of the patients and in public.


Professional jealousy, ego, business rivalry or the number race – no reason can justify this atrocity. Saying “ That doctor ruined your case !” or “ That doctor is a fool and knows nothing !” or “ That doctor is a fraud. He cheats his patients,” may earn someone brownie points, with the patient who has come to his clinic after a tremendous amount of doctor shopping, but disgraces medicine, and the medical community as a whole. How can we expect a patient to respect medical professionals if we don’t respect each other ? When we are out there, at each other’s throats determined to bring each other down at any cost ? How will the people trust doctors, if we ourselves, are giving them reasons not to. One doctor is trashing his rival and him, vice-versa. And the karma is turning around a full circle and giving it back to us, beating us down multifold. The irony of it all, is that the only time we seem to be standing together and watching each other’s backs, is when a few disgruntled relatives turn hooligans and thrash one of us down.


All of us our different, some may be more skilled than others, some may be more competent than others, but we can all agree that almost all of us strive towards a common goal – patient care. And none of us, to our knowledge, are unabashedly evil. One doctor’s approach towards a patient’s condition may be different, and what he or she did, may not be what some other doctor would do, but that doctor still acted in good faith and to the best of his or her ability. So it gives us no right to be self-righteous, and shout from the rooftops of how our ‘competitor’ mismanaged a case, and how things would have been so much better, if only the patient had come to us first. If unity binds our community in times of ordeal, when one of us has been horrifically treated by members of the public, or elected representatives thereof, the same thread should bind us in each day of our professional lives. Because though the practical world is all about the competition and the bad mouthing and the shrewd business and the numbers to show it, we are better than that.