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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont
In One Fine Day, Sameer Bhide sends each of us a reminder about the preciousness of life. Bhide had an extremely rare hemorrhagic brain stroke which required two different brain surgeries and 30 days in a medically induced coma before he could even begin the years-long hard path to recovery. During this difficult period, he had to quit his work and he went through a divorce. At the age of 47, his life came crashing down and changed dramatically…But he chose to overcome and embrace his new normal with “grace and gratitude.”
One Fine Day recounts the traditional well-accepted scientific protocols and atypical treatments he used to heal his mind, body, and spirit. At the end of each chapter, Sameer shares the relevant lessons learned from his journey which he calls “Sameerisms”. One Fine Day is a good positive read for people to overcome any adversity or life changes and want to turn their life around and heal. He believes his memoir will help people to build resilience, express gratitude, find possibilities, and adjust to a new life that they may not have chosen. This book also looks at the unexpected benefits of supplementing cutting-edge Western medicine and care with holistic Eastern practices to heal.
Now, I was ready to get back to my new normal with my family. I was working to heal my mind and spirit, as well as my body. My regiment now consisted of a combination of Western and Eastern medicine, care, and practices. I took what I’d learned at Nimba and continued to use Ayurvedic medicines and oils. Meditation became part of my regular routine. Beyond specific treatments and therapies, the holistic approach to health and life itself influenced me in lasting ways, without overdoing it, though. I also continued with the daily journaling habit I’d begun at Nimba, along with writing down three things I was proud of and grateful for every day. Before I started doing this, I had been a big to-do list person but never documented my feelings on paper. I was surprised by how cathartic this simple practice was. To date, I continue to do it.
I am very grateful to be the beneficiary of both Western and Eastern systems of medicine and care. But I don’t believe one system is better than the other. Just as some people are overly dependent on Western medicine, there are people who only use alternate medicines, practices, and care, and shun cutting-edge medical innovations and technology. I am absolutely convinced that you need both in balance. Also, because I’m Indian, some people, both in India and in the States, assumed that I am in total support of Eastern medicine and care, especially Ayurveda. Nobody said so specifically, but I could sense it. I have to be honest: Ayurveda is not the answer to all the ills, as many folks believe, nor is Western medicine and technology. You need both. They complement one another well. I am living proof.
Upon my return, I also resumed visits with my neurologist, Dr. Manem, and went to my internist, Dr. Rachel, for a blood test. I was happy with the results and sent them on to Dr. Shyam since I wanted to keep him informed about my progress. I got evaluated at Inova Fairfax Hospital for further physical and occupational therapy. I also started seeing my clinical psychologist, Dr. Susan, again. I shared with her what I’d done at Nimba and what I planned to do now that I was back home. She didn’t offer her opinions or judge me in any way. She listened and allowed me to confide in her. I’d never done that with anyone before. At Nimba, the meditation and holistic treatments had given me a stronger ability to accept destiny and relinquish the need for control. Back home, that process continued. I realized I had to accept a situation the way it is, not the way I might want it to be. My “it is what it is” mantra continued to develop further. I used to get angry over little things, like paying bills or dealing with bad equipment. Now I was becoming more patient and accepting while learning to look for realistic solutions to everyday problems. The mantra “it is what it is” applies to so many things. It can be a difficult message to follow, but it has gotten easier over time.
For many years, I had been part of a reactive and competitive business world. In business, generally, you don’t look calmly at a situation and acknowledge how the other party sees things. Being empathetic is just not part of the business culture. Because of my stroke, I was beginning to take a very different view of life. I was becoming calmer and more compassionate and empathetic. When I return to regular work in the future, it will be interesting to see what my reaction will be. Maybe my sense of acceptance will flow into the business world.
Sameer Bhide is originally from Mumbai, India and migrated to the US 31 years ago. Currently, he is on Long Term Disability and lives outside of Washington DC in Vienna, Virginia.
Srishti Prabha is the Managing Editor at India Currents and has worked in low-income/affordable housing as an advocate for children, women, and people of color. She is passionate about diversifying spaces, preserving culture, and removing barriers to equity.