DR. SUNIL KAUSHAL
MY JOURNEY- REBORN
Dr. Sunil Kaushal studied in schools all over India, her father having been an army officer. Her nomadic living in new towns every 2 years has been very interestingly chronicled in her recently launched debut book of memoirs, Gypsy Wanderings & Random Reflections.
She attended college at one of the most prestigious colleges, Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, India. Later she went on to pursue her medical studies at Medical College, Amritsar, India, followed by 40 years of practise in Obstetrics- Gynaecology at Jalandhar, Punjab.
Although she has been writing sporadically since her childhood, her writings were carefully tucked away from the public eye. At age 70 she learnt to use a computer and started writing full time, sharing her poetry and prose online. She is pleasantly surprised to discover the poet in herself being recognised, as she keeps winning contests and awards going on to judging contests on many platforms.
This trilingual writer writes in English, Hindi and her mother tongue Punjabi which she has never studied but is self taught. Published in a number of National and International anthologies and magazines, some of her poems have been translated into French, German and Greek. Off and on she dabbles in haiku, micro-poetry and limericks as well.
The millennium had just turned round the corner. Year 2000 dawned with a lot of fanfare and jubilations the world over. I had just turned fifty five, was in good health and busy practicing obstetrics and gynecology. At the same time my social life was filled with many activities of service as President or chairperson of various organizations and clubs, health programs since 30 years on All India Radio and National Doordarshan, providing medical aid to the nuns and children of Mother Teresa’s Home besides other homes for the destitute in Jalandhar. Life was a rollercoaster ride; it kept me happy and satisfied!
One cold wintry evening, as I took a walk, a speeding truck knocked me flat on my back onto a pile of gravel and bricks; my life changed forever. Badly injured with multiple fractures my lower body was swollen and battered to a scary purple and blue black, I was unable to walk properly for almost two years.
In a split second my life had come to a standstill. Delivering babies with a bad back was out of question. Just then the medical world was introducing different techniques of treating infertility; I switched specialties. I could work again without taxing my body too much but all social activities were dropped. Since I didn’t go out I became slovenly and stopped bothering about my appearance. I was devastated.
I had thought that being productive was the surest way to lull myself into a trance of busyness that distracted me from living life at a snail’s pace. I was used to coasting through life day after day, showing up for my obligations but being distanced from my own self.
Earlier, living as if life would always be there in an overflowing and everlasting supply, I had lived as if destined to live forever. The uncertainty and fragility of my own life had never occurred to me. I had not even noticed how much time had flown away so busy had I been in replacing the being with the doing.
Now, there were days when I sank in gloom, wallowed in self pity and cried when alone. My family recognized signs of depression and supported me in their own way; it was not enough.
We are not given a short life, we are not ill supplied but we make it shorter by wasting it through self neglect, missing out on essential self care. I recalled moments when I had counseled my patients and motivated them into a positive outlook, when they themselves gave up on healing their bodies. I told myself that nobody else could restore me to myself or bring back the years. I had to match the swiftness of time with the speed in using it.
This journey was mine- a gentle guidance with awareness, into an intimate relationship with the light that resides in my body, in every cell. It was like bowing to my soul and surrendering to a higher power in an uncomplicated and graceful manner!
Whatever our bodies need we have to be ready for it and support it with ease and joy. I had to restore my body to myself. I took stock of the different modalities by which I could help my body repair itself.
Besides contemporary medical aid like physiotherapy and medicines, I added some specific exercises to my lifelong daily yoga regime.
Next was the metaphysical aspect of my condition which meant that I had to discover the subconscious reasons for manifesting this and then learn to heal my mind and spirit as well. Falling back on my spiritual learning I discovered the possibilities of healing the body by healing the spirit.
An inner journey of awakening through meditations for chakra healing, designed to liberate my life force (prana), with clarity regarding health, joy, creativity and actions that improved the quality of my life, followed. My daily walks were further energized with positive affirmations which worked on my subconscious to help me heal faster.
After 42 years I took up swimming again understanding that water therapy is very therapeutic for a battered body. Combined with all this was a strict watch over my diet, which in fact has been a lifelong habit for me.
For a trained allopathic doctor it was the most difficult decision to resort to modalities other than what I was trained in. There was much I had to unlearn, there were many limitations of allopathic methods that I had to acknowledge and accept. Slowly, with improvement in mobility and pain relief, I accepted a new holistic approach towards any ailment of the body which is a way of life now.
I do about 5-6 hours of writing daily and 2 hours of reading besides 3-4 hours of housework. Exercising first thing in the morning, walking, meditation and pranayam take up about 4 hours. This routine charges me fully for a busy day leaving me enough time to pursue my hobbies of listening to Sufi music, sketching and baking healthy foods.
Keeping in touch with friends, laughing heartily and pursuing hobbies are my tonics.
I have just come back from a trip to UK where I went for a class reunion, meeting old friends after 52 years!!! It was highly rejuvenating and we plan to travel to a new country every year till we are able to.
Self love and self esteem are great antioxidants and I liberally sprinkle both on my daily diet of spiritual food.
I went through an eventful life about which you can read more in my book of memoirs, GYPSY WANDERINGS, available both on India and International Amazon . It was filled with a few successes and as many failures but I reached a certain privileged position in society, where I was recognized, lauded, where my word had power and then I stopped to ponder….. I stopped to recognize all the right steps I had taken to reach that position in a world filled with every form of discrimination and violence against women. I stopped to learn to be grateful to all those who had contributed and stood by me on this journey.
With the guidance of the Almighty, I had changed how I viewed power – it had changed to authentic power– the type of power which cannot be taken away from you in the form of money, position, looks or other temporary external crutches.
That dear friends, is the power of your personality, which serves the purpose of your soul– the reason why you are here on earth.
My education was my biggest asset to begin with. The power of education cannot be stressed upon enough; it opens up doorways to many wonderful worlds.
The moment you can figure out what it is you are supposed to be doing on this earth, the sooner will you be able to get about doing it. Have some meaning to your life- it may be the fulfillment of a mission, it maybe fulfilling your duties, it may be serving others. Serve and give with a pure heart
Choose your own beliefs and believe in yourself. Choose wisely, choose those that support your happiness and the purpose of your life. Understand that your life is bigger than anybody’s opinion.
Figure out what your strengths are and use those to align them to your personality. We all are given some talents. Use them to the best – try to keep that spark inside you burning.
Learn about your social and legal rights. Make your voice heard. Speak up for your rights.
Many women are well equipped but buckling under the pressures of patriarchy, they give up their power.
I respect the men in my life and have known some excellent men. There are men who let women just be. Women do not need permission to be empowered, they already are empowered, if only allowed to be themselves; but we cannot deny that woman is given a raw deal and is often too weak to stand up against suppression.
My dear friends, daughters, sisters and mothers, DO NOT GIVE YOUR POWER INTO THE HANDS OF OTHERS.
Keep yourself fulfilled and your cup filled. Only when you are yourself happy and contented can you give to others. Develop a deep sense of deservedness by giving to others. When you don’t give you don’t feel happy receiving .
Where ever you go or work – touch other lives – leave a part of yourself behind-
*call up your parents or friends – tell them how much you care, how much you love them- don’t text – it’s your voice they want to hear , not a machine’s message.
* listen to somebody’s story – some people on the brink of a dark period in life may just be saved and learn to value life again..
* I appeal to all those women who are privileged and empowered to share what life has given them by inspiring, helping, educating or guiding those who are too timid or weak to carve a path of their own, teach them to stand up for their rights….
Depending on your hidden strengths, talents, passion make a vision of where you want to reach,
*Identify your purpose in life
*Give it a direction
*Keep yourself motivated
Aging is a process that happens to everyone. We’ve got to accept it and then embrace it, making positive aging a top priority. Healing light and health is within us, whether we are in touch with it or not. We must fully explore our capacity to connect to that illumination and relax into it, as if one with the flow of a river. There is no right time for starting a fitness regime. The earlier the better; it does not have to be implemented when one suffers from a disease or aging. It is a way of life.
I live in Pune, Maharashtra. My two sons and daughter, along with my daughter in law and three grandchildren are my biggest assets in life.
On the brink of 75, I am in reverence of and in love with, everything about life, and find inspiration in the most ordinary and simple things of life!
You can read me on sunilkaushal44.blogspot.in