This is an image of heart made with hands in a blog post on Celebrating Love by Haripriya Suraj in her blog When Spirit Meets Science
modern medicine, reiki

Primum Non Nocere – First Do No Harm

When Suraj and I were newly married, we met a Reiki practitioner friend of mine.

After engaging in small talk for a while, my friend began to talk to Suraj about Reiki.

She spoke of how Reiki had helped her in terms of physical wellness, personal development, synchronistic happenings and spiritual growth. Everything she shared seemed pleasant and plausible. Suraj listened earnestly to her.

Suddenly, the tone changed and she began to talk about how Reiki had helped her charge electronics, stop a hailstorm, and also clear traffic jams.

I noticed the expression on Suraj’s face changed for a split second. I knew this may have been a tad too much for a scientific person like him. However, he was polite and continued to listen with interest.

The conversation took an even crazier turn when my friend finally claimed that her Reiki teacher had cured hypertension, heart disease, and even cancer through Reiki.

At this point, I knew Suraj had much to say. However, for my sake, he probably just listened and didn’t get into an argument with her.

On our way back home, I said, “I guess everything my friend shared was a bit ‘too much’ for you.”

He was quiet for a few seconds, after which he said, “You see, the problem is not about something being ‘too much.’ What concerns me is the potential harm that can come out of claims that no one can verify.”

This was all new to me back then. So, I said, “Can you elaborate?”

“If Reiki is really able to charge devices and clear storms, is there harm to anyone?” he asked.

“No, there isn’t. I understand it may be hard to believe such stuff. I think what she meant was when you have a strong enough intention, miraculous things happen. Reiki is just an instrument to make something happen,” I explained.

“That’s alright. But my point is – this claim causes no harm to anyone. And if Reiki can perform such feats, good for the world,” he went on, “But the other stuff she said about her teacher curing hypertension, heart disease, and cancer is what I am concerned about. If there is even the slightest bit of untruth there, you do know it can end up causing harm right?”

“Can you elaborate again?” I asked.

“I constantly see cancer patients who try a hundred other therapies and finally land in the hospital with advanced disease. By the time they approach us, it’s too late for us to help. If the same people had come at an early stage, they could have easily been cured,” he said.

“Yes. I understand,” I said.

“Your friend started off sounding perfectly normal. And there was a sudden jump to a totally different wavelength that didn’t match what she said initially. Unless there is solid evidence to support medical claims, I don’t think they should be made. It has the potential to mislead another. You owe it to Reiki to talk about its true essence and beauty,” he said.

I listened quietly and contemplated his words.

“If her teacher claimed she could make an aircraft fly through Reiki and that there was no need for technology or for a pilot, would you board the aircraft?” he asked.

“No way!” I said.

“Because you clearly see the practical aspects of it – you recognise the dangers of allowing an aircraft to take off without solid evidence that Reiki can make it fly. Then why wouldn’t you question tall medical claims like these?” he asked.

Based on this conversation that happened way back in 2008, Suraj wrote in our co-authored book ‘When Spirit Meets Science’-

A very important guiding principle taught to all medical students is ‘Primum Non Nocere’ which in Latin means, ‘First, do no harm.’ It is wiser to do nothing than to do something which would make a sick person worse.

From this tenet of non-maleficience emerges the need for evidence.

If a doctor/healer offers something to a patient, he should be as certain as possible that it works. The downside of not being certain is that it often creates more harm than good. Even if a particular therapy does not cause direct harm to a patient, it may cause indirect harm by preventing him from taking therapy that would have been more effective.

When in doubt, the principle of ‘Primum Non Nocere’ acts as a guiding light.

It took me some years to to truly understand the essence of this principle. Now, I am able to see and honour it completely and I also apply it in my own Reiki practice.

when spirit meets science

The Best Logical Decision Is Also The Most Intuitive One

positivevibesonly@xyz.com

This is the email address from which Haripriya mailed me way back in 2007. She sent them from this address after emails from another address of hers failed to reach me.

I remember telling her “Guess this email address of yours has more positive vibes than the other one!”

True to her email address, she was full of positive vibes too – a bubbly individual with a positive outlook on life.

She spoke of life in terms of energy, vibration, and frequency.

Being a lover of conventional science, I was initially astounded by her frequent usage of these terms in a totally different context!

However, in time, I got used to them and understood what she meant by them.

These words are an integral part of our lives now!

Be it a home to live in, a restaurant to dine at, or people to help around the house – everything is based on the ‘vibration’ they emit and how she ‘feels’ about something or someone.

Some years back, she even had an intuitive opinion about the ideal workplace for me. She knew nothing about that hospital but insisted it may be good for me. I did my own analysis and assessment of the space and found that it was indeed the best place for me to work at that point in time.

Our own relationship happened because she said she recognized my ‘vibe’ when she met me and it felt right! I am not sure I recognised her ‘vibe’ but I do know I liked her and was delighted to have crossed paths with her.

After we tied the knot, almost everything that needed decision-making as a family had to pass the litmus test of her intuition (feeling) and my logic (thinking).

Thankfully, most major decisions did pass both tests and we were on the same page!

There were instances when each of us was forced to view situations from the opposite perspective. The contrasting perspective helped bring more clarity, especially when we felt stuck with our usual approaches.

Eventually, we realised that though we operated differently, we arrived at similar decisions and solutions – only via different avenues.

Inspired by this journey, I wrote these words in our co-authored book ‘When Spirit Meets Science,’ – “The best logical decision is also the most intuitive one!”

divine feminine divine masculine, healing movies & tv shows, unconditional love

Movies & TV Shows That Heal: Good Witch

They are about to say ‘I Do.’

Three little letters, two little words.

It’s the simplest part of the day. But there’s nothing simple about the things that will remain unsaid.

‘I Do’ means “I do know I could be hurt. But I’m ready to be healed with you.”

It means “I do want to try even when the fear of failure holds me back, and I do not know the future. But I’m ready to be surprised along the way.”

And ‘I Do’ means “I do want your love. And I do give you mine.”

“And nothing we do will ever be the same because you and I will be doing it all together.”

I thought that was a perfect sermon for two people who were all set to begin a new life together.

Those are words from a Netflix series called ‘Good Witch’ that we are currently watching.

Good Witch is about life in a quaint little town called Middleton. The town has a magical feel to it. People are content with their lives. Everyone gets to follow their heart and do exactly what they like to do. There is abundance for all. There is a strong sense of community and people are mostly loving and kind. Even when their dark sides take over, they are able to work through the darkness and reclaim their light with ease. 

A healer named Cassie lives in Middleton along with her family. She is very intuitive yet balanced and grounded. Her life takes a significant turn when a rational and scientific doctor called Sam Radford moves next door to her. Opposites attract and love blossoms between them.

Apart from Cassie and Sam, there are several other characters who make the storyline interesting – Grace and Nick (children from Cassie and Sam’s previous marriages), Stephanie, who runs a Bistro, Abigail who owns a Flower Shop, Town Mayor Martha, and several other talented actors in smaller roles.

This gem of a series presents several life lessons. A recent episode in which Mayor Martha’s son married the love of his life moved me to tears and inspired me to write about it.

As in a typical Christian wedding, right before the bride and groom could say ‘I Do’ to one another, Martha read aloud some words of wisdom that Cassie had found somewhere and presented to her. These words highlight the significance of the words ‘I Do.’

I have shared those ‘Words Of Wisdom’ at the beginning of this article.

Everyone who has been in steady long-term romantic relationships (including marriage) knows that getting hurt is a possibility. Keeping love and romance alive takes nurturing. It requires a seamless exchange of love to happen between partners. It requires looking past one another’s differences and finding that spark of love buried in a corner of the heart. When the focus remains on love, the couple heals together, loves together, and lives together.

Maybe sharing such words of wisdom with people before they tie the knot can give them a realistic picture of romantic love and prepare them for what can be a challenging (sometimes) yet beautiful journey ahead!

Netflix seems to have understood my taste remarkably well and mostly shows me content that ends up healing and enriching my life in some way!

energy medicine, modern medicine, when spirit meets science

Energy Principles: When Resistance Blocks Flow

The minute he saw us, he began the conversation with a snide remark – “What Suraj? How is your practice going? I wish you had been a doctor of natural medicine! I would have come to you for treatment of all my ailments.”

We recently met an Uncle of mine at a family gathering. Something seems to come over him when he sees Suraj. He is ‘anti-modern medicine’ and believes allopathy (modern medicine) is ‘bad medicine.’ He tries to drag Suraj and me into pointless arguments that prove his belief is valid.

Since one cannot reason with Uncle, we try to limit our conversations and excuse ourselves politely as quickly as possible. However, this time around, I decided we had had enough and chose to give him a piece of my mind (with due respect).  

Suraj simply smiled when Uncle began the conversation in a strange manner as always. He is now used to his annoying ways and has stopped participating in these medical discussions. But I said –

“Well, I think Suraj is great doing exactly what he is doing. He’s helping so many cancer-afflicted people live a long and disease-free life.”

Uncle ignored my comment and went on in a judgmental tone.

“Allopathy cannot cure a single disease – diabetes, hypertension, arthritis – you name it. Plus all those side effects to deal with.”

He glanced at Suraj, who chose not to comment. But I couldn’t stop myself.  

“Well, allopathy may not be able to cure many illnesses, including hypertension and diabetes. But applied in the right manner, it can certainly manage them effectively,” I said.

“Well, you are wrong Haripriya,” he said.

“No Uncle, I’m not. So many in our own family are alive today only because, thanks to modern medicine, they have been able to manage hypertension and diabetes well. Mind you – I’m saying ‘manage,’ not cure. And some died miserably because they left those conditions unmanaged. And you know who all these people are,” I said.

“Well, that doesn’t mean anything,” he said.

“What does it mean then? I asked.

“I have always lived in accordance with principles of natural medicine. I believe in preventive medicine. I take only natural medicine for all my ailments. Everyone in our family could have done the same,” he said.

“Uncle, if you have always lived by principles that you believe prevent illnesses, why did you develop so many ailments in the first place?” I asked, “Should you not have been disease-free?”

The expression on his face changed.

“Well, my bad luck probably,” he said, “But it’s my good luck I choose to take natural medicine for my ailments.”

“Then why did you undergo an angioplasty when you were diagnosed with a heart condition?” I asked, “Isn’t that a modern medical procedure too? Couldn’t you heal it the natural way?”

“No choice there dear,” he said

“We always have a choice Uncle. If a treatment is all ‘bad’ and there’s absolutely nothing good about it, why take it at all?” I asked.  

Uncle laughed, “You don’t understand Haripriya.”

“So, help me understand the logic Uncle. What are your current blood pressure and blood sugar readings? You said they were high last year. Are they under control now?” I went on.

“Oh, don’t you worry about that!” he said, sounding hesitant to answer my question and changed the subject, “You talk in favour of modern medicine because your husband is a surgeon. Being a Reiki practitioner, you should be able to understand what I am trying to say.”

“You are mistaken Uncle. I don’t talk this way because Suraj is a surgeon. I talk like this because I have learned to see things from a neutral perspective. Nothing can be all bad. Good sides exist too. Modern Medicine is practiced world over and everyone knows people who have benefited from it one way or the other. To say allopathy is all bad and can’t manage any disease sounds biased to me,” I said.

“Well, you can come talk to my Yoga teacher. He will explain to you in detail about the dangers of allopathy,” he said.

“I can learn all about that from my husband right here Uncle. He is able to explain perfectly well the risks of any modern medicine or medical procedure. But he is also able to explain the benefits offered by the same. All benefits and risks are rigorously documented. Nothing is sugar-coated. Modern medical treatments are meant to be taken only when their benefits outweigh their risks. And when that’s the case, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be taken when genuinely required,” I said. 

“Well, Haripriya, you are blind,” he said and patted me on the head with a smile.

“I’d rather be blind than biased Uncle,” I said, “When I am biased towards anything in life, my energy drops. When I talk bad of something, even if it’s just a form of medicine, life ensures I get a dose of exactly that which I was resisting! But when I am able to see the greater good in everything, while also being aware of the potential negatives, my life flows with ease and I am at peace. I have learned my lessons the hard way.”

“Well, all this sounds like Greek and Latin to me!” he said.

‘It won’t be if you work with energy Uncle,” I said, “Why don’t you get trained in Reiki?”

At that point, another person entered the room, our conversation ended and Uncle walked away.

“Whew! What came over you today?” asked Suraj.

“Nothing! I just spoke my heart,” I said, “Hopefully, we will never have one of these draining conversations with Uncle again!”

“Hmm… Let’s see. Knowing him, you never know!” said Suraj.

Two hours passed and there was no sign of Uncle. As we prepared to leave, he appeared suddenly and said, “Haripriya, I will get in touch with you regarding Reiki. I wish to learn this strange language you speak!”

“You’re most welcome to Uncle. Call me and we’ll plan it out, ” I said.

“God bless,” he uttered and left.

What’s going to happen next? I will know only after I receive that phone call from him! I am certain it will come exactly when he is ready for it – not one moment sooner or later.

modern medicine, reiki, when spirit meets science

The Joy Of Offering Reiki To Loved Ones

Recently, I offered Reiki to my husband Suraj after a very tiring day he had at work.

He had to perform a complex cancer surgery involving four major organs – the esophagus, stomach, and spleen had to be removed completely, and a portion of the pancreas also had to be removed. A segment of the intestine had to be brought up and converted into a new esophagus.

Just listening to the details of the surgery made me feel overwhelmed and I thought to myself,

“You sure need a lot of stamina, and courage to do this kind of work!”

I could also imagine how tiring it may have been for the surgical team. This extensive procedure required him and his supporting team to be on their feet for almost seven hours at a stretch.

When he returned home, I saw he was super exhausted. His neck and shoulders seemed to be hurting.

He had asked me for Reiki the evening prior to this long surgery. But I was exhausted and promised to do it the next day. Considering how difficult the surgery was, offering Reiki after he was done with it turned out to be of greater benefit.

As I placed my palms over his third eye chakra, his breathing became softer, his body loosened up and he began to relax.

When I had my palms on his throat chakra, he suddenly opened his eyes and flashed a warm smile at me.

No words were required. The smile told me he was enjoying the Reiki.

He closed his eyes and drifted back into a state of deep relaxation again.

I felt grateful for the opportunity to share the gift of Reiki with an individual who is constantly giving to others in need of his services.

As I worked my way through the chakras, I noticed that his shoulders and some other chakras needed extra attention. However, overall, the energy flowed easily and he received all of it with zero resistance. When the session was done, he got up feeling energized and rejuvenated.

One of the gifts of Reiki is being able to share it with those we love and cherish the most.

I have been offering Reiki to my family and friends for years now and I must say those have been among the best sessions. I feel this is because there is an already established exchange of love with the people we are closest to. Sharing Reiki seems to make that bond of love even stronger.

What are your experiences of offering Reiki to those you love? I would love to hear from you!

law of attraction, Twin Flames, when spirit meets science

The Grand Thread Of Universal Energy

I believe beyond doubt that we are all connected by an invisible yet grand thread of energy.

I believe beyond doubt there is more to our existence than meets the physical eye.

My belief is not blind. Nor has it been imposed by anyone.

It has formed as a result of my own experiences.

When I look back at my life, I see that an invisible thread of energy was functional in my life, even when I wasn’t conscious of its presence. It has been functional since the time I was a child and continues to be present to this day.

I can write an entire book explaining the role this invisible energy thread has played in my life. I have drawn into my life both negative as well as positive people and experiences and I can see the place each of them takes in this invisible thread of energy.

Prior to the year 2007, my life was mostly filled with negative energy of varied kinds. In this article, I choose to share examples from the period of 2007 and beyond, when I learned to tap into the power of this energy thread in positive and conscious ways and began to draw more positive energy into my life as a result.

I share three positive examples from the year 2007-

Sixth Sense At Work

In the years 2006-07, I often traveled past a hospital in Bangalore. Every time I went past it, I felt an irresistible urge to gaze at it. And I gave in to this urge every single time. I didn’t give much thought to why I felt that way. All I knew was that looking at that hospital gave me a subtle sense of peace. And I forgot all about it until I went past it again!

When I met Suraj in 2007, he told me he worked for the very hospital I had been looking at for a year! He had completed his super-specialty training in cancer surgery in 2006 and was employed by that hospital the very same year.

When he told me about his workplace, I had a fleeting thought – “How interesting that I was drawn to this hospital for no logical reason! Maybe it wasn’t illogical after all! My sixth sense probably picked up something the other five could not.”

‘Almost Meeting’ Just Before ‘The Meeting’

Suraj dropped me home the day we met for the first time, and when he saw where I lived, he smiled in surprise. He said he had visited the office of a Medical Council located right next to my home exactly a week ago!

And when we traced it even further, we deciphered that on that day, a week ago, I had walked out of my home around the same time that he walked into the Medical Council. It may even have been the same moment or barely a few minutes apart!

“How interesting again!” I thought.

I personally feel this was because the time for our meeting was drawing closer. And I believe this phenomenon of almost brushing past one another was a way for our souls to re-connect before we could meet in person.

And why do I say re-connect?

Eternal Connections

Right from my childhood, I felt connected to an unknown soul who I felt was out there but who I hadn’t yet met. I knew deep within that I would meet this soul in physical form one day.

And I personally feel Suraj was that soul. Reasons being-

The minute I looked into his eyes, I saw a hidden light and his energy felt familiar.

I barely knew him, yet I felt very safe in his energy.

From the period of 2003 leading up to 2007, I was constantly attracting people who ended up being terrible for the ‘human me’, though they were great catalysts for my growth as a soul! When I had a spiritual awakening in 2007, I decided I was done drawing the wrong people into my circle.

Suraj was grounded, stable, sensible, and sincere. It was refreshing, to say the least.

The roller coaster ride through years of chaos and craziness was brought to a screeching halt by his grounding presence in my life.

He was my exact opposite in some ways but we shared a similar vibration and core values. His contrasting energy infused with the higher vibrations of safety and unconditional love grounded me and healed me in more ways than one.

This was just the beginning of another journey on the thread – a journey towards greater evolution and unconditional love!

when spirit meets science

Healing Fear: Success Story

As a child, I grew up hearing many ghost stories. Ghosts were a very real phenomenon to many in my family and some of them claimed to have had many encounters with ghosts. They spoke of ghosts like it was something to be petrified of – never mind even if it was the ghost of a departed loved one!

I was so sensitive I absorbed every word they spoke about ghosts and all the fear they felt. As a result, I grew very anxious. When my paternal grandmother passed on, I couldn’t sleep through the nights in peace. I woke up trembling in fear, thinking I would suddenly see her ghost! I pulled my blanket over my head and shut my eyes tight. That’s what all the people who told me ghost stories did when they sensed ghosts were around!

When I began my Reiki training, I felt there was certainly more to us than the physical body, and that the energetic essence of a person remains after physical death. But fearing it didn’t feel like the right thing to do. However, I had absorbed so much fear already that it wasn’t easy to just shake it all off.

Some years later, when I introduced Suraj to my family, one of the first questions they asked him was, “You see death at close quarters almost every day. You certainly must have had some encounters with ghosts in hospitals?”

And he said, “Not even once! During my post-graduate training, I often spent nights in the medical college hospital. Facilities were rather poor back then. So, there were instances that required me to sleep in a tiny room beside the mortuary! But not once did I run into any ghost.”

My family seemed a bit disappointed to know this but I heaved a sigh of relief!

Thank God, I had finally met someone who wasn’t interested in entertaining unnecessary fear.

When I shared my fears with Suraj, he said, “Let’s assume ghosts exist. Even if one appears before you, what actually is there to be afraid of? Why assume it’s ‘evil’ and out to get you?” he said.

“And how in the world is covering yourself with a blanket going to help? If a spirit can hang around in a physical dimension, penetrating a blanket to reach its target should be no impossible feat for it!” he went on.

I burst out laughing when I heard this!

“Yeah. That’s some good logic,” I said.

“If my grandmother’s ghost appeared before me, I would be more than happy to converse with her. I would view it as another chance to interact with someone I loved. Why believe it’s an experience to fear? Think about it.” he said.

Over the years, Suraj’s fearlessness combined with my own personal experiences with energy work helped me overcome the fear of ghosts.

Recently, we were at a family get-together when the same old ghost stories came up for discussion! However, nothing anyone said had an impact on me. Every word moved right through me, without evoking any sense of fear or anxiety.

I quickly closed my eyes and told myself, “I have healed, fully and completely. Thank you.”

On our way back home, I said to Suraj, ” Apart from my work in Reiki, your fearlessness and sound logic played a huge role in healing my fear. Thank you for being my healer!”

modern medicine, when spirit meets science

The Human Touch

The big brown eyes seemed to hold deep wisdom.  Even while I was talking with her mother, six-year-old Gowri’s (name changed) gaze never left my face. She appeared to be assessing me.

“Oh yes, she understands all that we say,” her mother said, “But she doesn’t talk to strangers.”

Throughout her pre-operative evaluation over the next few days, Gowri didn’t say a word to me despite my best efforts to hold a conversation with her.  As a surgical oncologist, my encounters are predominantly with older adults.  Maybe I had lost the knack for connecting with young children.

The day of surgery arrived. Unlike most children I have seen, Gowri was extraordinarily calm. She was sedated by the anesthesiologist in the presence of her mother and taken to the operating theatre. The surgery itself was a little more difficult than usual but all went well and it was over in about two hours.

My anesthesiology colleague was extremely gentle in waking Gowri out of anesthesia.  But as soon as she regained consciousness, she seemed very restless. The nurses tried to calm her down. She held up the little finger of her right hand.  The nurse asked her “Do you feel like peeing, child?” She shook her head.  But she still held up her little finger.

Was her finger hurting? The surgery was on her neck, so why would she show her little finger?  I ran all possible explanations in my head –  Was there any pressure on her hand during surgery? An electrocautery injury? An embolism into an artery supplying her hand? I was standing off to the side, but I came to take a closer look.  She had seen me in my scrubs before and recognized me immediately.  I took her hand to examine it – she immediately clasped her little finger around my own little finger and instantly became calm.

I tried my best but couldn’t examine her hand well in this position. My rational, non-emotional, clinical mind wanted to rule out any issue with her hand. But Gowri seemed to be content now. I kept holding her finger throughout her recovery from anesthesia and during her transfer to the post-operative ward. She had become her old calm self. After some time, we called her mother into the ward to see her.

Teary-eyed and anxious, Gowri’s mother came to her daughter’s bedside. Seeing her mother, Gowri gave a tiny smile. With the mother happily fussing over her, Gowri’s finger relaxed and let my hand go.  Quickly I checked her hand again to make sure all was OK. It was.

All Gowri had wanted was a human touch.

This article was first published on https://drsurajmanjunath.com/the-human-touch/

modern medicine, when spirit meets science

Intuition In Medicine

What is this mysterious inner knowing?

That seems to keep life flowing.

When rationality does not find a way,

Intuition steps in with secrets to say.

The word ‘intuition’ is rarely used in medical terminology. But considering that medicine is both a science and an art, practitioners frequently use their intuition, irrespective of whether they are aware of it or not.

Very often, a doctor knows what to expect from a patient the moment they set foot into the clinic. The subtle signals they give out during their consult and their body language speak volumes to an experienced practitioner. This art of assessment is honed over years of experience. Energy healers would probably call this an ‘energy field’ emanated by the patient.

Though medical treatments are evidence-based, they are often required to be delivered in various permutations and combinations, depending on the case being treated. Many decisions – for example, what is a probable diagnosis (and what could be other possible diagnoses), what treatment to give, what not to give, when to give, when to change it, when to stop, when to operate, and when not to operate – are often based on judgment and intuitive decision making.

Many people may not be conscious of the intuition operating in their lives. Nonetheless, it is used by almost everyone in varying degrees.

Excerpt from the chapter ‘Intuition In Everyday Life & Medicine’, When Spirit Meets Science by Dr. Suraj Manjunath.

modern medicine, when spirit meets science

Toughness & Temperaments: Stories From The Operation Theatre

“Good evening Sir!”

Suraj and I were walking towards the hospital car park when I heard some cheerful voices behind me. I turned around and saw two young women and a man passing by. 

The greeting was for Suraj. The three of them walked up to us, smiling.

“Hello! Meet Haripriya, my wife” said Suraj to the three of them. 

They smiled and nodded at me.  

“Meet Savita, Vinod and Nisha,” he said to me, “Savita and Vinod are among our best theatre nurses. They must have assisted me with at least 50 surgeries over the last one year. Nisha joined recently and is training to be a theatre nurse too.”

“That’s wonderful! Nice to meet you all,” I said.

“I’ve seen you often on the residential campus Ma’am,” said Nisha to me, “I live there too.”

“Ahhh, yes! I did think you looked familiar as well,” I replied.

We engaged in small talk for a few minutes and then parted ways. 

A week later, I was waiting for Suraj outside the operation theatre block, when I saw Nisha emerging from the entrance. She was walking hurriedly and had tears in her eyes.

She bumped into a senior nurse on her way out and wiped her tears as she explained something to her solemnly.

“Something seems to be wrong,” I thought to myself, feeling concerned.

A month later, I was on a walk in the residential campus when I ran into Nisha near the gate.

She recognized me immediately and said,

“Hello Ma’am! How are you?”

“I’m good Nisha.” I said, “Are you done for the day?”

“Yes Ma’am,” she said, “I assisted a complex case today. It went on for seven hours.”

“Wow!” I said, “You must have a lot of stamina.”

“Thank you Ma’am,” said Nisha and the expression on her face changed suddenly.

“Being a theatre nurse is tough Ma’am,” she said and paused.

“Yes, I can imagine,” I said, sensing there was more to her statement.

“It’s easy to work with some surgeons, difficult with others,” she went on, “I couldn’t handle the temperaments of some surgeons. So, I gave up last month and moved to ward nursing.”

I listened empathetically.

“However, I love to assist surgeries and thought my passion must be more important than the temperaments of others. So, I decided to switch back to working as a theatre nurse,” she said.

I recalled that day last month when I had seen Nisha in tears.

“Something upsetting must have happened while she was assisting that day,” I thought to myself.

“You’ve taken a good decision Nisha. Your love for you work is what counts most,” I said.

I shared this with Suraj later and asked him if it was really so hard for theatre nurses.

He said, “High pressure situations are commonplace during surgery – unexpected obstacles can show up and theatre nurses have to assist seamlessly. Some surgeons lose their temper when assistants aren’t able to keep up in the operation theatre.”

“Oh I see,” I said, “This high pressure environment must be hard on the surgeons as well as theatre nurses. Isn’t learning to be calm a part of your training? Isn’t it a helpful skill to have when one must perform under pressure?”

“Yes, it is. But it isn’t a formal part of training. It’s all learnt on the job,” he said, “Some people possess these skills naturally, some pick it up along the way and some never do.”

“So, problems with human behaviour and interpersonal skills are common to all professions I guess,” I said.

“Yes, of course,” he said.

I thought to myself that being a nurse must be hard. The work is demanding, while the pay isn’t great. In addition, nurses are required to withstand pressure from multiple ends.

Some months later, I bumped into Nisha again during one of my evening walks. She shared with me excitedly that she had received a good job offer from a reputed hospital in Oman and was relocating shortly.

“That’s very good news. Congratulations Nisha!” I said.

“Thank you Ma’am,” she said, “Thank God I decided to pursue my passion. The work experience I gathered as a theatre nurse here and the recommendation letters I got from several surgeons, including Dr Suraj, helped me get the job.”

“That’s awesome!” I said, feeling truly happy for her, “I wish you the best life has to offer.”

This incident made me reflect on different aspects of life – sensitivity in human beings, ability to stay calm under pressure, and the value of persistence and perseverance.