© Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker Dil se ek dua hai nikli, Ki har khwaish teri ho puri, Chand aur sitare ho sarey tere, Har khushi aye hisse hamesha tere, Chu le tu har unchai ko, Na roke koi raste mein tujhko, Dil se ek dua […]
-Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker
I wake up every morning and without fail, spend atleast ten painstaking minutes standing in front of my wardrobe thinking what to wear. And every single day, for as many years as I can remember, I have been plagued by this one thought-
“I dont have enough clothes (translates to shoes, accessories, jewellary etc etc)!”
My husband ofcourse has a starkingly different opinion on this but I guess like all other husbands in successful marriages he has mastered the art of ignoring certain things. Works better that way 😃!!
A shopaholic by my own confession, my dedication to shopping sometimes extends into 4.00 am shopping sprees at airports. For me it forms for a fabulous start to a great day ahead. I have this innate ability to be able to shop anywhere, anytime… Much to my husband’s chagrin, I still have no qualms about picking
up stuff from the local stores of Hill Road, junk jewellary from the Colaba causeway or footwear from the Linking road. I have the same zeal and dedication when I buy stuff from a village in Rajasthan or from a branded store in Mumbai. I love to bargain with local shop-keepers and to be honest I still haven’t gotten over the embarassing habit of looking discreetly at the price tags in the high end stores!
Just passing by a crowded market area is enough to elevate my mood. My mother often tells me that what I buy will not last me very long… and I am like, “Mom, that’s exactly why I bought it! I don’t want it to last too long!” Afterall, variety is the spice of life. I dont want to wear the same pair of shoes for 2 years.. I would rather have a new set every few months!
Since I started earning myself, I allocate a monthly budget exclusively for myself. Its not much but its enough to make me happy. I disagree with the common perception that happiness is difficult to find. Nothing elevates my mood more than finding something that I like. Shopping works like a drug for me! The world is cruel at times but the mall always has a healing effect! Lol!
As I grow older, I realize that pampering myself is an important aspect of life. An extra shade of lipstick, a new pair of earrings, an extra pair of shoes, one more book on my shelf or new cup for my coffee does wonders for me!
As women, pampering others comes more naturally to us than the other way round. Most of us have to work hard at learning to love ourselves. All I have to say is that there is only one life we all get… We all struggle for the big things in life, in the process don’t give up on the small pleasures (even if they are a little materialistic by worldly standards… lol). Ultimately happiness is not a goal that we will achieve one fine day in the future, it is a continuous phenomenon. It is a drug that we need on a daily basis, to go on.
All of us have that one thing that makes us happy, and the trick is to identify it. We all need our drug. Make an effort towards finding your drug and learn to pamper yourself a little sometimes, for life is short and you only live once (YOLO 💃🏻).
Dr Aparna Govil Bhasker MS, Bariatric and Laparoscopic Surgeon, Mumbai, India The business of saving lives begins in the company of death. For most of us something changed the moment we walked into the anatomy dissection hall on the first day of our medical […]
Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker The other day I saw a tweet from United Nations about the gap in gender pay parity. “Worldover……women across professions, earn 20 to 30% less than men.” It has been quite sometime and I just cannot get the figures out of […]
By Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker
Bariatric and Laparoscopic Surgeon
There are only two types of surgeons. Those who have had surgical complications and those who are going to have. The law of averages catches up with us eventually. As the old adge goes, if you have never had a complication, you’ve probably not performed enough number of surgical operations.
Surgical training is all about minimizing complications. As surgeons we are also trained to first find fault with ourselves. When a patient has a complication after a surgery, the first thought that enters our mind is – “What did I do wrong?” The second is- “Could there have been a better way to do this?”
Unfortunately, in retrospect there is always a better way to do it. And sometimes when patients go asking for second opinions, they come back confused about why their surgeon did not choose the obvious better way.
Surgery is not mathematical. Ofcourse all of us plan before a surgery. We prep and we go through the steps mentally. We anticipate certain events and keep things ready. Unfortunately, there are times during surgery when things are not straightforward and clarity may elude us. There are times when we have to choose the best possible solution from the available options. There are also times when we run out of options. There are times when saving a life becomes a priority over everything else. There are times when help may not be available and the buck stops with us. And then there are times that despite our best efforts things still go wrong.
What follows for the patient has been talked about. Ofcourse the patient is a priority and the one who suffers. But what about the surgeon? I recently read an article about the surgeon being the “second victim”. I would say that a surgeon is the “neglected second victim”. Carrying the burden of someone else’s health and life is not easy. No surgeon wants to have a complication. We feel guilty and accountable. Every inch of our existence wants the patient to get better. Every minute is spent waiting to get some good news. Every complication takes away a bit of our life because when someone is in pain because of us, we don’t feel like doing anything else. Many a nights are spent thinking what we could have done to avoid it. We go through every step of the surgery in our minds wondering how we could have done it better. Complications take their toll and forget socializing, we find it difficult to focus on our daily family lives. Our children and our spouses become the “third victims”.
People say it’s a part of growing up and eventually every surgeon gets used to it. Well, I am yet to see a surgeon who can take it in a stride. In today’s day and age, there is also a fear of litigation, of being abused and of things being dragged in the media. Many young doctors today suffer from high stress levels and depression. Today, suicide rate is amongst the highest in doctors.
One complication is equal to thousands of successful surgeries and sometimes that one complication is enough to ruin work and reputation of an entire lifetime. There are no easy answers. Artificial intelligence and robots are still eons away from the magical number of zero complication rate. At the end of the day surgeons are only human and there can never be a perfect 100% good outcome. The complexities of human bodies are sometimes beyond us. The worst patients sometimes recover unexpectedly and complications may happen when we least expect them.
We have many a workshops and conferences that focus of management of complications but I am yet to see a workshop where they talk about stress management for surgeons. Technical skillset is important but at the same time, it is also important to deal with the stresses of a surgical career. We need to retrain ourselves to not expect too much from ourselves. We need to learn to become more realistic. We need to accept that sometimes things are out of our control. We need to know that human body is too complex and 2 plus 2 is not always equal to 4. We need to understand that we are not God.
At the end of the day, the bottom line is that, we can only try our best but ultimately it is He who heals.
“THE GIRL IN THE HIJAB”
By- Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker
It was midnight as I stepped out of Mumbai airport. I had had a busy week at work. This was a week that pulled me down in many ways. Certain incidents in the week kept me wondering about the lot of women in our country. How women not only fail to question certain norms, but feel compelled to conform to outdated traditional values even if it comes at a heavey price that they may have to pay.
It was midnight and I desperately wanted to get home at the earliest and get some rest. At the prepaid taxi counter I was informed that I will be getting a “woman driven cab”. As I stepped out to find the cab, I was pleasantly surprised to see this young girl in Jean’s and shirt and a hijab that covered her head. She greeted me with a warm smile and we started our journey together. “Mam, I am not very familiar with the roads of Mumbai, please do guide me”.
At 12.30 am in the night, I was being driven home by a girl in a hijab who was crazy about driving cars and was completely okay with driving around the city alone, in the dark hours of the night without a care. I asked her if her family was okay with her work and she just said that, it didn’t really matter… she just loved to drive.
Normally when I sit in a cab, first thing I do is to ask the cabby to switch off the music. But, yesterday, while I felt emotionally depleted, her energy was infectious and it changed something inside me. I needed a sign to tell me that all is not wrong with this world and there is a lot to be hopeful for. She loved Bollywood music. We kept the music on and chatted along the way. At the end of the journey, I told her that I was proud of her for being so brave and a million dollar smile lit up her face.
It lifted my spirits as I realized that women across the world are breaking barriers one step at a time. The journey is long and the destination very far, but it is heartening to meet such lovely women for whom breaking barriers comes naturally. They make us hope that all is not wrong with the world and it indeed is going to be a better place in future. May their tribe grow.
I guess inspiration is all around us, we just need to open our eyes and hearts to find it.
#HerStory #Priyadarshini #womendrivencabs #wethewomen #womenempowerment #motivation #inspiration #womenofindia
Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker Bariatric and Laparoscopic GI Surgeon, Global Hospital, Parel; Apollo group of hospitals, Currae hospital, Thane; Namaha and Suchak Hospitals, Kandivali and Malad It is widely believed that the cohort of children born in the year 2000 in the USA, may live […]