Originally posted on 23 March 2012 :

This is a tale of woes. I have chosen to share it with you for two reasons : one, because it taught me a lesson and second, for catharsis. I hope to feel lighter after I get it off my chest. I want to forget the episode.

About two months ago, I caught a cold which lasted much longer than its usual week or ten days. When the congestion became unbearable, I went to a doctor who prescribed a real strong medicine. The cold was gone within a couple of days, but there was a complete loss of appetite and a rash erupted at all the sensitive places, causing a lot of discomfort. My daily routine of evening walks got disrupted and in that state of restlessness, I managed to bang my left knee against a piece of furniture. The pain was so severe that I was forced to sit down in front of the computer for long hours and started browsing the web for a book on which I am currently working. But I was not able to concentrate.

And then disaster struck. The eyes became sore and the back ached as if it was about to break into several parts. This led to more visits to doctors, and the the tablets and the lotions which they prescribed had more “side-effects” than curative value. I was also told to avoid sitting in front of the laptop. That made me feel utterly useless, and time began to hang heavy on me.

At this point of time I met a kindly soul who advised me to STOP all medicines and to start physiotherapy and yogic exercises. The Gurudwara Sahib in our neighbourhood (Sector 34, CDG) has a well equipped physiotherapy center with some very dedicated ‘sewadars’ The cure was slow, but results began to show within a few days. And now, I am back to nearly normal. I was reminded of an advice which an ‘acharya’ in the Ramakrishna Mission gave me many years ago. He said, and I quote,

“If you fall sick, go to a clinic, so that the doctor may live.

You should then buy the medicines prescribed, so that the chemist may live.

When you return home, throw the medicines, so that YOU may live!”

The last part of this sage advice may not be true in all cases, but I do know that at our age, we should carefully watch out for side effects. Allopathy has very few drugs which are entirely free of them. In fact, a wag told me that researchers have now invented some medicines which only have side effects!

Urdu poetry has some very nice couplets on this issue. I have modified one of them to suit my condition.

 Mariz-e-umr ko rahmat khuda ki

 Marz badhhta hi gaya jyon jyon dawa ki!

(‘mariz-e-umr’ is a person suffering from old age. ‘rahmat’ means mercy or clemency and ‘marz’ means malady or disease)

Mirza Ghalib said,

Ashrat-e-qatra hai darya meiN fanah ho jaana

Dard ka had se guzarna hai dawaa ho jaana!

I am tempted to give a link to a medley of couplets from different ghazals. The first verse is the most profound. It says

Bas ke dushwaar hai har kaam ka asaan hona

Aadmi ko bhi mayassar nahin insaan hona…


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