Yoga started in India, was exported to the West, became wildly popular there, and is now seeing a resurgence in interest in India. Ayurveda, on the other hand, has not become anywhere near as widely accepted in the West as yoga has. Passion, patriotism and antipathy to big pharma make an objective discussion on alternative remedies like Ayurveda somewhat difficult. What is tougher still is focussing the discussion on “genuine” Ayurveda and ignoring the myriad products that simply claim to be Ayurvedic.
Today, we see great innovations and unforeseen interventions in the area of medical sciences and healthcare – whether these are low-cost sanitary napkins or highly sophisticated implants. The research community have even ventured into producing organs and artificial meat in the lab. And it won’t be wrong to say that materials development has contributed immensely to this disruptive development. Recently, I was reading about nicotine patches which basically function to satisfy the urges of mind and body, while avoiding the adverse effects of smoking. Transdermal patches like these also have one particular advantage, that is it reduces the need for frequent dosing, causes lesser systemic side effects and offer overall good patient compliance. Of course, bringing something like this to the market involves two things: one to make such interventions possible technologically and second cost optimisation to make it accessible to the people.
June, 2018 – July, 2018
Healthcare is one of the largest sectors in the Indian economy both in terms of employment and revenues, and paradoxically, one of the greatest challenges facing our nation. A large number of minds from the IITB community are engaged in grappling with key Healthcare issues in various roles – as founders of NGOs that offer primary healthcare, as scientists researching drug discovery, as technologists and innovators solving problems related to delivery and devices, as incubators supporting and guiding start-ups, and as investors funding small firms, etc. In this issue of Fundamatics, we bring you some of their stories, as well as articles exploring different aspects of Healthcare.
Being son of a doctor, I saw healthcare from very close quarters but the fact that it kept my father so busy, I chose the easy way out, become an engineer! After finishing 4 eventful years at IIT, the only goal for me was to land up in a good job. While at IIT, as creativity flows, I did come up with an idea for a non-stop transportation system, and shared that with my friends and they couldn’t stop making fun of me for next 3 days. That self-consciousness and fear was enough for me to not pursue on the idea. 10 years later when I sent a link showing a prototype and a patent on the same idea, guess what my friends did, laughed at me again! This time for me not having the conviction to pursue my idea. I believe they were right.
I have been constantly thinking of the blockbuster movie Om Shanti Om as the televised drama of Sridevi’s life, including lurid details of her family and interpersonal stories, and her death unfolded one after the other, all in public view, since 25th February (late in the night). Just as the fan-protagonist (played by Shahrukh Khan) of Om Shanti Om, who was drawn to be unwittingly a victim of the events and a helpless witness to the life and death of a dream-girl actress ‘Shantipriya’ (she too wore costumes like that of Hema Malini and Sridevi in movies like Dream-girl and Himmatwala), the entire world looked-on with gaping disbelief as frame after frame peeled open in public view. The ‘nation’, as it were, was held in a breathless ransom during those seventy two hours post Sridevi’s death (echoes the name ‘Shantipriya’).
When I was in my intermediate class, my father guided me to take some USA entrance examinations, and I got a scholarship. He then sent me for undergraduate studies to Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, when I was just about 18 years old. I had hardly any experience with the outside world, but I came across many people who showed me so much concern and love that I have very fond and sweet memories of my stay in the USA, and gratitude for their support and affection.
A marathon before you’re 40 is impressive, but isn’t it more impressive to run one after 40?
My experience at the Portland Marathon was so poor, I initially resolved to never run another marathon. However, by the beginning of 2016, that experience was a distant but embarrassing memory, and I was eager to erase it with a better effort. I found a training plan in the Nike+ app that seemed reasonable. My friend Conor and I decided to join forces in marathon prep, and we used the Nike+ plan fairly religiously. Conor introduced me to the wonders of interval training, and we added 800m intervals after reading a Runner’s World article on Yasso 800s.
(This article was written in October, 2017.)
Writing about women in IIT, starting off with my memory of being there almost four decades ago, is a difficult task. And it is not because memories fade and things change, but because some memories refuse to fade and some things refuse to change. This is of import today because as I write this there has been an attack in a University on women students who were protesting against sexual harassment and the discrimination that they face on campus. They were fighting for more proactive measures by the University to address the harassment they faced from the men on campus, the fact that the streets were not adequately lit, and also that they were being locked into the hostel earlier than the boys and not being given similar food .
March, 2018 – April, 2018
The earth has reawakened from her slumber and is exploding with new life. The familiar sights and sounds of nature – blue skies, the warm and glorious sunshine, new foliage and flurry of activity in the animal world – makes one feel like the world is starting anew. The distinctive call of the ever-secretive cuckoo bird rings loud and clear. The coy flowers of spring in their modest shades of pink, purple and white have started mingling with the brazen red of Gulmohars and flaming yellow of copper-pods thus blurring boundaries between the two seasons. A time for planting seeds, both literally and figuratively, this in-between time of the year inspires us to believe that along with the Earth, we too might change, release the past, think creatively and more importantly push boundaries. With spring imperceptibly making way for summer, it is the perfect moment to embark on new journeys and explore new directions. Inspired by this spirit of the season, we bring you this month a multitude of articles, which like the resplendent peacock captures all colours and hues of thoughts in celebration of a world in which all is now truly rejuvenated.
A gentle poke at the legal system which finally convicted the actor Salman Khan for his role in the blackbuck killing case of 1998.