Friday, November 9, 2012

This is 4th and concluding article in the series of 4 articles.
This is perhaps the least interesting of the four stories but it carries most useful lessons. About four decades back he graduated from Lok Bharti. It was a very renowned institute back then, esp for rural studies. Sort of a larger and more grounded version of IRMA [I met some of his professors and got a whiff of an inspired place that Lok Bharti would have been]. He was a very bright student and got couple of job offers on graduation but he had different ideas. He wanted to do farming.
Many thought, it was crazy enough to reject decent job offers but why take up farming in the water scarce region of Kutch. His logic was simple, Kutch is where I belong. Over the years, he developed the farm and raised a family.
He never built a bank balance but life was fine. He could educate his 3 children well and lived a decent life. More importantly he along with his elder brother earned lot of respect in the community for their contribution to the development of the region. He furthered the work of his father in the area of education for the poor and rural development.
Now in his mid sixties, he still works on the farm, runs the social development initiatives, and lives a simple peaceful life. I have never seen him worrying; he hardly ever gets agitated, is still a curious reader, and can go to sleep in a trice.
He has never had any major episode of illness and at this age also does not suffer from any of the common chronic conditions like high BP, diabetes, arthritis etc. Fit enough to do tough physical work and wise enough to find time to work for others. He is Dinesh Sanghvi, my father-in-law.
Most would attribute his good health to farm fresh food and active lifestyle. But these are obvious. Most of us give importance to what is physical. We think diet and exercise are two most important things for staying healthy. This is what all the neo-medical experts promulgate. Even when we talk about Yoga, it is just about asanas and pranayam because these are two physical aspects of Yoga.
But there are other more important pre-requisites of good health. There are at least two that I want to mention.
a)                 One’s ability to accept the situation as it is and control ones reaction to it rather than trying to control the external factors causing it.
b)                 Live a life which is not very self-centered. Life that has space not only for other people but also other life forms.
Unfortunately few doctors understand the above and even fewer are equipped to incorporate this in their treatment methodology. So most doctors do what is economically viable today. Treat the symptoms of diseases.
I hope it’ll change someday and healthcare would become what it is suppose to be - knowledge of taking care of health rather than just treating diseases.

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