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The Potential of “NO”

Dr. Chetasi Amjad

“Take it easy girl” a seemingly drunken man probably in his early thirties struggling to stand on his feet, barely able to talk, stinking with alcohol….asking me to chill when I asked him to stand outside in the waiting area while attending to a trauma patient in the emergency room. I talked to him in my stern n firm voice “NO, I am not going to take it easy ” looking straight into his eyes.

He was taken aback by a stand of a small-looking girl for the profession, wearing a white apron and a stethoscope around his neck. He perceived it rightly and let me do my duties.

That one NO made all the difference and made it all easy for me.
The word “No” comes with negativity, creates boundaries, comes with the price, sometimes huge yet does marvel.
You don’t have to be ill-mannered, disrespectful, nasty, rather you look gracious if you say it tactfully and rightly.
Initially in my early years of medical studies, coming from a small town, away from parents, seniors around used to make me feel intimidated and whatever is being told by elders, teachers somewhere compelled me to do conventional behavior which was expected out of me.
As knowledge was enriching me so was living with its lessons a hard way.

Through those experiences, slowly started analyzing the things, the “NO” word beginning to befriend and become a savior from many undesirable situations.

As I further progressed into my professional life, this seemingly negative word held more importance than ever.
A girl turned into a woman of her own voice, standing tall, pride in her eyes having the power to deny the things whenever needed – unapologetically …

As I was penning down this article I overheard my daughter saying to her friend ‘ no, I can’t come now, have other things to do’ and I found myself smiling.
A journey of thousand miles starts with a single step, I thought to myself.




Dr. Chetasi Amjad

Doctor, please come with me, A lady came running from upstairs. I was about to leave for the hospital. I could sense the panic in her voice and enquired if everything was okay.

She replied, the maid in the house is found hanging..for a second, it made me skip my heartbeat.
It is not rare for me to see a dying person, in a hospital or an ICU set up but this kind of scene which can be usual to forensic experts was completely different for me.

I gathered my courage and with trembling legs, experiencing a whirlwind of emotions inside me, expecting a grave view, I went upstairs, meanwhile, the people who were there got her down.
A very young girl, in her twenties, beautiful she was- I must say, was lying on the bed, lifeless, ligature mark visible around her neck.
As our resuscitation ritual goes, I checked for her carotid pulse, it was absent, was not breathing either. I could make out, it was too late to start CPR.

She was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital. Unfortunately, she was declared dead on arrival.
The incident left me completely shaken and baffled. I could not sleep for the next few nights. The mere sight was disturbing as well as my thoughts were not letting me sleep.

Why she was compelled to take her own life??? Did not she have a choice??
Apoptosis- a medical terminology whose literal meaning is – suicide by the cell- is an essentially biological process to keep our body in order. It is highly regulated and well programmed. Any disturbance can lead to various diseases, including dreaded cancer.

Apoptosis-the cell suicide – rejuvenates life while this suicide – devastates many and ends life….what an irony..!
If you see the suicide rate in India, it’s quite alarming n frightening. The more disturbing fact is maximum numbers are between ages of 15-29 years.

With great dismay, I have to say, in a country of 1.30 billion, humans are feeling lonely, desolate, depressed, feeling ignored, and needed to take extreme steps.

Having so many suicide helplines, NGOs working hard still we are not able to do much…what is it that we are lagging behind? How can we bridge this gap and make things better?
It forced me to think, can we together bring the change?
The answer is a big “yes”…and that is what is unsettling …
Silence is often misinterpreted. The sense that silence, talk, listen, laugh heartily, share your joys and sorrows, fill the gap between expectations and reality, accept yourself and others as they are, accept the unpredictability.
Reach out to your friends and family, extend your hand to those who are in distress. Be gentle, show compassion to those who are suffering- that they need the most, rather than any scoldings or preaching.
If in need do not hesitate to talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist who can offer a big and timely help.
We often underestimate the power of exercise and meditation that will keep you high, releasing endorphins.
See a dream, chase it but at the same time, go easy on yourself. keep the hope alive.
Mind is a pure, divine but wild soul, drive it toward positive energy and pack the bags of negative energy and throw away those burdens from your shoulder.
Nothing is impossible for a willing heart.
Save a life -live life- love life…life happens only once. Remember,
“The choice is entirely yours.”




Dr. Chetasi Amjad

The worst mistake is not to make any” I heard, the teacher saying, while my daughter was attending her online classes. What a pearl of wisdom! Teachers are truly carvers of our life. Online teaching faced much criticism, though the efforts of schools and teachers made it swift for our children. And merely due to the availability of the internet, virtuality came into reality and education could be accessible to remotest of places… which was really an elephant task. we parents got a fun chance to literally live the school life again. Seeing our children, somehow I feel, these children are missing out on all the fun of punishments we used to get, the embarrassing murga pose … (contorting yourself in seemingly impossible pose), standing outside the class and of course the use of the thick stick, the sight of which used to scare us out of our wits.

Wow…some sweet and some bitter memories that unknowingly taught us to thrive in punishing conditions of life…and blending in our blood so much that we exhibit a unique quality ‘not to quit’ and is never an option.

Though, it is still fun, peeking through those online classes and hearing the funny questions children ask.
The novel coronavirus is compelling us to live the novel. It has become a supervirus leaving behind all its contemporaries and our fancy superheroes too. The imposed lockdown made up for all the lost time, encouraging couples to make more babies and we are an inch closer to become the number one populated country.

As we are getting acquainted with our new normal, sanitizers, masks, and social distancing that seemed far-fetched in Indian society and culture yesterday, now capturing our minds and taking a front seat in our daily life…the coronavirus is leaving no stone unturned to make us paranoid.

And here we are, in the middle of this unprecedented pandemic, choosing designer matching masks, scented sanitizers, ayurvedic disinfectants and racing in making PPE’S, stocking up the things which may last for a month or maybe years, but the very next day, visiting a supermarket finding ketchup becomes a must.

Lipsticks- are still highly disappointed and finding their place. Let’s pray for the makers.
The introverts are liking the world once again , exploring it their way, and enjoying all the privacy they never got in their whole lifetime. Doing office has never been so easy, you can be in your pajamas and still attend the meeting. You can enjoy a bottle of wine, a cozy sofa, and if you are lucky, an afternoon nap too.

I bet, you can be a showstopper and head-turner, it just needs, one to sneeze in a public place. You automatically create a safe distance too… an amazing no! but really, God saves the poor allergic people.
Ask women, where their universe lies? They will unanimously tell you; in their handbag! And it has got a value addition-the to mask, that too a designer one.

Five hundred rupees fine is making the mask more breathable and bearable too.
We 1.3 billion people made sure, Jeff Bezos; the Amazon owner stays in his richest position. In a true sense making it our “amma-Jan” and “abba” ‘too.

First, we devoured on all kinds of food as if the world is on the verge to end and now seeing growing horizontally and rounder, we started moving funnily here and there, but the weighing scale is not budging and moving at all…how stubborn one can be?
India is such an amazing country, where adversity becomes an opportunity.

The other day, I saw in the newspaper, the colorful pictures of Navratri. Immediately it hooked up my mind. The Ram, Sita, and Lakshman were wearing the masks, not to mention, matching their attire. Totally rocking the look and appearing like the true forms of modern deities.
I saw in the picture, Hanuman standing in the corner who literally stole the show, wearing a full PPE kit. I felt like he was smiling under that mask.

I wonder, how he must have struggled to keep his tail in its place!
This I call an incredible India! What an undying spirit of people who live here and make India, “The India”
Right now, I feel like we all are beginners who are taking the swimming lessons, that too in the middle of the unfathomable sea with dubious life support trying hard to get to the shore which is not visible far away. But I am pretty sure, we all will swim together and will reach the shore… So what, if it is taking a little time and trying our patience, we all will come out as heroes.
Sometimes, you lock yourself and all it takes is some right twists and turns to unlock and see a different “YOU”.


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