Friday, June 29, 2012

Real People, Real Inspirations...

As I shared with you all in a previous post of mine- I have been sacrificing my afternoon siesta time to help out  a close friends team in a research project (as an unpaid volunteer for friendships sake) involving growing stem cells and turning them into nerve cells- that’s the short description of what their team is trying to do. This has long term ramifications (if it succeeds, which is a big if, considering the rate of current progress) involving growing new organs and limbs spontaneously (by the end-point of the research- say in 2025/2030?) to replace the ones lost without resorting to donor parts which might not be accepted by the recipient's body but are frequently rejected or require lifelong drugs like cyclosporine to suppress the rejection reflex of the body. My friend in the mistaken belief that I somehow know more than him in the field of tissue culture (see the power of self-promotion?) as I have previously grown successfully -Fibroblasts, Osteoblasts etc -although not Stem Cells till now (remember that dialogue from the Tamil movie 16 vayathinalae? Aatha koli valartha, adu valartha, naiye dhan…and substitute stem cells there) - requested my presence and participation in the team as an independent outside consultant (a troubleshooter) - and I agreed to do so in a weak moment of emotional (friendship) blackmail.

And as anyone who has done any research knows by bitter experiences- doing research involves long hours of boredom, loneliness and frequent questioning of our own sanity...why the hell am I sitting here on a Saturday afternoon watching one cell split from another (oh so slowly), when I could be out there watching a newly released movie on a Saturday matinee show like everyone else my age? And when the cells in question are the notoriously fastidious, finicky, slow growers like stem cells who refuse to join the group but remain alone and anti-social you wish they were a little bit bigger so you can kick some sense into them. But a scientific training does not permit you to throw temper tantrums- you are trained to accept facts as they are rather than how you wish them to be- when you cut the tissue bleeds, when you suture, it takes 72 hours for the epithelial cells to actually start healing the wound, and when you are culturing something as fragile as stem cells, you have to wait for it to grow at their own speed and no amount of growth factors injection will speed them up- all you might end up with in that case will be cancerous cells.

And in those long, lonely hours of just sitting around waiting for things to happen, you tend to ask yourself why you are doing this, why going through all this boredom and torture and what really inspires you to sit and watch stem cells which might grow into tissue, which might grow into organs and which might someday be the answer to people. And that’s when for the sake of your own sanity and to motivate yourself you look around for people to inspire you, for people who have beat the odds and survived and achieved things- inspirational people, in short.

As readers of my blog know, I have never been a fan of blockbuster self help books, or inspirational stories about people who swam the oceans singlehanded or climbed Mount Everest without oxygen (why the hell would anyone do that?). And it’s primarily because they fail to connect with me and my experiences. In the Tamil language there is a saying which goes like this – “avan avan vali avannuku dhan theriyum”-  translated loosely as – The intensity of the pain can be adequately judged only by the person suffering and others cannot understand. When you get your finger caught in the door jamb- no amount of inspirational stories about people who bore stoically even greater pain is never going to reduce your pain one bit.

Everyone has their own unique set of problems in life and the fact that someone has survived something similar will connect with the sufferer far better than the statement that “hey, that guy climbed Mount Everest, this guy swum the Pacific, what are you worried about?”..try telling this to a guy who believing that the next semester exams would be in august, walks up to the college notice board one day in June to check out whether the sports day has been announced and finds that the next exam is scheduled for the middle of what kind of inspirational story would you tell that poor guy to motivate him? And as Morpheus says to Neo in that cult classic “The Matrix”- no one can explain to you what the matrix is -you just have to experience it yourself.

So the point I am trying to make with all these bad examples given above is a simple one - one man’s inspirational story need not inspire anyone else. And that’s why I rarely talk about inspirational stories, or share them on face book or tell about people who inspired me. But...and this is a qualified but- there are sometimes people who despite yourself will break through your cynicism with their stories of real inspiration. The person I am going to talk to you about now is one such person who has really inspired me- not by doing anything extraordinary, but by leading an ordinary life despite extraordinary odds stacked against her. 

The person who has inspired me to write this post about and whose story I am now going to share with you all - Malvika Iyer, is someone I know only online through her poetry blog and her twitter timeline. As readers of my earlier posts know, I am extremely skeptical when it comes to people I meet online and their achievements on their profiles -which are rarely as true in real life as they claim it to be. But with Malvika, (excuse my nosiness- but as a pseudo-journalist, I do have to check my facts and sources out before stamping them with my writing) I checked out her story and I found every word true. Don’t believe me? Read the write-ups here- by so many other eminent publications.... 

As the facts in the newspaper article say (for her full story-let’s wait for her autobiography in her own words)... She was a victim of a bomb blast at the age of thirteen years and lost both her hands. Can you imagine yourself at the age of thirteen? As far as I remember, the only worthwhile thing I did when I was thirteen, was introduce the concept of wearing suspenders over the shirt to school- instead of wearing a regular belt as per school rules- trying to be different and as usual being so far ahead of the fashion curve to be misunderstood and laughed at. .anyway to come back to Malvika she not only didn’t give into despair or fall into any depression, as she had every right to be, she pulled her life back to normal and putting her heart and soul into studying passed her school leaving exams with flying colours- so much so that she got a seat in the prestigious St.Stephens college in Delhi. She is now doing her M.Phil in Madras School of Social Work in Chennai- to work with people who are more unfortunate then her- giving back her mite to society.

People who follow the Hindi soaps on Star TV would remember Sudha Chandran- the actress and dancer who lost her two legs to an accident but went on to achieve great things in her chosen career with the help of prosthetic limbs. Malavika's is a similar story coupled with the fact that while Sudha had her accident in her twenties, at an age when you are more mature and can understand how life is unfair, Malvika lost hers when she was thirteen, an age when you are just out of childhood, unsure of yourself and the only thing on your head is studies, exams and people of the opposite sex. When the concepts of something dangerous and life changing happening to you is never even a thought and all you think is about regular stuff like the other kids. So can you imagine a young girl like that with not an inkling of concepts like sickness or illness or injury suddenly losing two limbs and trying to understand how it happened, why it happened and what she was going to do for the rest of her life?

And that’s why I called her an inspiration to even cynical old me...the fact that she did not give up, but picked herself up, to study hard and make a successful career and life. And we should not forget that she did this in India- where there are not much support groups for blast survivors or accident victims unlike the west where you have whole groups of people to help out if want to become a Pistorius (the athlete). In India we pay that victim a paltry compensation and leave him or her to fend for themselves. The support system – for rehabilitation- is so weak that to get a Jaipur foot, you sometimes have to go all the way to Jaipur. And it’s usually the parents who are left to support and motivate the child with no one else to offer help.

So, I hope that you readers are with me when I say that the real inspirational stories are not of those who have achieved extraordinary things in their lives, but ordinary people who have achieved a normal life despite extraordinary events happening to them. I find such people inspiring, do you? 

And that’s the kind of persons I remind myself of in the lab every time another batch of antibody incubation goes wrong and we have to start from scratch or when I feel so bored that I just want to give up and go home to watch some TV- if they didn’t give up, why should I? And I hope that we can crack the mystery of the stem cell-growth factor combos pretty soon and that we can soon grow new limbs in place of the old and make a difference to people like Malvika's, wish our team luck.

(Disclaimer- As always pictures courtesy Google Images)

(P.S. And I guess typing stuff like this to pass the time in the lab also helps a bit- so three cheers to blogging- the lonely mans companion)

(P.P.S....the author of this post will be no way responsible if anyone after reading this decides to set up an home based stem cell lab to cook some of these critters up)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Doctors, Warts and All

It was a hot sweaty day, almost noon and I had been seeing patients since 7:30am and I was tired and wanted a break...But the line was still long and every time I stood up, putting down my pen, to go for a little tea break, someone would slide into the stool beside me and start talking about their disease and I had to sit back again and start writing a new prescription. I had been so long at this my brain was working on auto-pilot and I was reflecting deep inside that I had made a major mistake by turning down that engineering seat long ago- for now I could have been happily seated in a air-conditioned cabin, reading blogs on the net or chatting on some social media network like all software engineers are rumoured to do.

And then this nurse walks into the room to get my signature on the indent book for next week’s supplies of drugs and disposables for the department and in passing she makes this stray comment “Sir, you have such a great job”. I looked up in astonishment and waited for her to elaborate. She went on “My son is also your age and he is a bus driver in metropolitan transport corporation bus and he is driving all day in the hot sun and he is suffering so much…but you have a nice job sitting here at a table/chair and under a fan...Sorry, don’t mistake me, it’s just an observation” says she and she walks out. 

I looked up at the old Government Issue fan turning lazily and threatening to last just a few more turns before expiring with the effort. And that would result in multiple memos in writing to prove that the old fan has indeed expired and will not work anymore and then more written memos(in duplicates/ triplicates) justifying that another fan is needed to replace this and by the end of three months if I am lucky I would get a replacement fan. And sitting on an old chair and table is overrated if you ask me…even that driver guy had an interesting job and was travelling all over the city and here I am stuck to a desk job. He or she just had to deal with the job in hand and not worry about the fact that he has to satisfy all the stray doubts and fancies of ignorant bureaucrats to get even the simplest essentials needed for doing the proper work properly.

For example if you ask for a torchlight and two batteries in the annual requisition form, some nameless clerk somewhere will look at the list (for the cheapest option) and based on how his wife cooked breakfast for him- he will sanction something for you- which you didn’t expect. And it will most probably be a single battery for that year. And you will be asked to apply again next year for the other battery and torchlight as the funds have run out this year. And exactly one year later they will ask you to provide the details of how many patients were treated with that single battery and if not, why not and to give a written explanation- and will never grasp the simple fact that the battery can never be used without a torchlight. At such times you feel tempted to write a polite note and ask the anonymous little sh** to take the battery and shove it up his &$$...resign and get the on the next flight out of this country to whichever place respects you.

Anyway the point of this thread is not the stomach-burning jealousy of my subordinates. Or even the fact that all of my subordinates are old enough to be my parents contemporaries and hence they have a way of comparing me with the success or failures of their offspring’s and being put in charge of them at a young age was like being thrown to a gladiatorial ring and asked to learn fighting there by experience. But office politics and backstabbing will always be there everywhere and that too is not the point of this post. What is, I will share now. The point  of this post is why despite all the aggravations that being a doctor involves there are so many people who still line up to pursue this as a career.

Today had been declared a national strike day by all the doctors associations to protest a lot of grievances including the humongous bad press generated by Actor Amir Khans program trashing doctors on national television. So although the private establishments had all closed, we of the Govt sector were still treating patients wearing black armbands to protest our outrage for the attack on doctors. After the afore-mentioned heavy patient influx I talked about in my first para above- due to the fact that everyone else was on strike - I had finished my duty time and was leaving the hospital when I happened to pass by casualty dept on the way out. A female child of four years was being examined by the house surgeons- the kid had taken a fall from a cycle and had lacerated her face and was torn and bleeding all over. They had come from Minjur (which was almost 20kms away from the city proper) and had tried to get treated along the way in two or three other hospitals which had all been closed for the day and so they ended up coming here.

My duty time was over, I was hungry, I was tired and all I wanted to do was go home and relax in front of the TV. The house surgeons would admit the kid, do first aid and the next doctor on afternoon duty who will take over post-lunch should by rights treat the patient- that’s what my mind told me. But I have this golden question, I ask myself when I have these doubts- if I go home, will I be able to eat my lunch peacefully or will my conscience be pricking all day? For in facial injuries the sooner you treat the better results you get. 

So reluctantly, I postponed my hunger pangs and spoiling the others (the house-surgeons) half-eaten lunches, we treated the patient successfully- a fine job, even if I say so myself and I will challenge anyone anywhere to do a better job. After I finished, I was giddy with either pleasure at a guilt-free mind or maybe because of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) - I was feeling quite happy, fresh and energetic…and I couldn’t help telling myself that this is what we spend all those years of learning and training for- to achieve this feeling of immense satisfaction at doing good for others- a high like none other…despite all the trashing of our profession we are the only people who go against nature and god and help when most wanted.

Anyway, after starting for home the second time, I sent a silent thank you mentally to my former chief, the man who had promised to kick me all the way from here to Pondy if I failed to take surgery as a option for my PG during the counseling. During a talk earlier, I had casually mentioned that I was leaning more towards the option of radiology as my first option- hey, who wouldn’t?  Being a radiologist involves, sitting inside an air-conditioned room reading books, while the scan machine – scans, diagnoses and prints out the result and you just have to sign it- for 5000 bucks an it ten times a day and thirty days a month and you are talking about serious money earned in a relaxed way. 

Anyway, my chief who had known me from my UG days- told me that I had soft/surgical hands (his words/not mine)- which was god’s gift and not to be wasted by lazy buggers who want to study radiology and sit on their behinds all day… “Don’t waste God’s gift and if you do”…was his parting threat on the phone as I went into the counseling room. I don’t remember what exactly I said inside, but when I at last came out- I had an admission paper with surgery on it and it was good-bye radiology, goodbye life of ease.

So, the point is doctors don’t treat patients just for the money – although it too plays a role- we do it primarily for the fact that we get great pleasure in reducing pain, healing sick people and playing god. And despite the fact that every time I go to a family function- all these assorted relatives- sneer and ask me- “You are still in India? You didn’t go to the USA?” and whisper aloud for everyone to hear “He must not be a very good doctor if he has not been able to emigrate to America”. I don’t mind that kind of insults anymore- if you chase away everyone to America who will treat you people here? Wait till you have to catch a flight to America to get yourself treated for every headache and cold is what I think. 

And despite the money involved the satisfaction you get treating people here- those who have no one else to help them, is more than what you will get in America where maybe ten doctors line up to treat each patient. So despite the condescension of everyone around- we doctors work hard to do good and we are not in it just for the money- except for maybe a few bad eggs who spoil the professions name. The rest of us work for the feeling of achieving something worthwhile- a feeling which cannot be described adequately in words….so to hell with criticism- an honest conscience  does not need anyone’s certificate. So yes, that nurse has every reason to feel jealous about my great job…what do you think?

 (p.s. the picture above is from Google Images..and not me- although i would love to look that thin...)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Whats in a name, you ask???

This post is for all those like me who end up having weird names and having to explain it to everyone all through their lives.  When I was born my mom’s side of the family wanted to name me Ganesh (after lord Vigneshwara) and my dad’s side of the family wanted to name me as Mallikarjun (after Lord Mallikarjunaswamy the family deity) and there was a big all-round discussion from the hospital to the house unable to decide which side of the family had a higher claim to me, thankfully my dads side of the family lost the war, otherwise I would have to been called “Mallika Mallika” (teased with a girl’s name) by the boys all through school and college..Yeesch!!. Finally the issue was decided by the old family astrologer who cast my horoscope and who recommended they give me any name starting with the alphabet “R” as suiting me numerologically and the name he suggested was Raghav. The extended family squabbles ended up by naming me with the combination of both names- Raghav Ganesh. Sometimes I was called by one and sometimes I was called by the other (at everyone’s convenience) and I ended up getting totally confused at quite an young age, asking everyone around that eternal question “Who am I?”.  The next major confusion regarding my name arose when I was torn from happily pottering around the family’s bosom and playing hide and seek with the neighborhood girls and heartbrokenly admitted to school, kindergarten to be specific and I was taught to my astonishment that I own an extra name – my initial P, short for Puttu, the family name…

As I grew up at various stages of my life I have been called P.Ganesh, Ganesh P, Puttu Ganesh, Ganesh Puttu, P.R.Ganesh, P.Raghav Ganesh, Ganesh P.R., Ganesh P.Raghav, Ganesh Raghav Puttu, Ganesh R.Puttu, Raghav Ganesh, Ganesh Raghav, Plain Ganesh, Plain Raghav, Plain Puttu, Veenaponnavane, Urupudathavena, Dei Venna, Dei Golti, etc….I have also responded to nicknames like Gilli, Gilma, Naaye, Peeye etc, affectionately bestowed by various friends through various periods of my life. Then there are the names which I have given to myself, like “Big G” when I was editing the college magazine and which I also used to sign my cartoons and drawing’s with and the most popular “GP” as I asked my girlfriends to call me and in due course they used to call me a number of other names too (some of which cannot be repeated here) once they became my ex-girlfriends.

 Of all the above names the fact that I have a peculiar Surname/Family name based on a popular dish down south has given arise to piquant conditions often. People who don’t know that I am of Andhra origin invariably associate me with Keralite origins because of the connotations of Puttu with the Malayali cuisine. And of course when it’s a good looking Malayali girl asking me whether I am from Kerala I always say an emphatic “Yes”. Ditto with being asked if I am a Gujarati or a Bengali or a Punjabi or a Ladhaki...although no one has ever mistaken me for one of those natives. But on the hypothetical premise that the question arises- I will never say no to girls, but always say “Yes, I am a distant relative on your grandfathers side” for in India we are all related to one another through our Gandhi Thatha, aren’t we?

With the onset of the internet age my name took new twists and a new kind of confusion is seen with my online friends courtesy Orkut/Facebook/Google as they assume that an Indian initial carries the same cultural connotations like Western surnames. In India we are often named for various reasons- after gods, after dead grandfathers, after our native towns and even after our professions. And as the last of the Puttu’s (bare my father), I don’t mind being called by just it, although on strict construction I can only be the Younger Puttu, Puttu the Younger or Puttu Jr. right now, while Puttu the Elder, my dad is there, entitled to the honorific title.

And then we come to the caste based surnames Sometimes I feel, that as long as even educated people wear their caste names proudly as their surnames, India will never progress to a developed state. Forget the Iyers, Iyengars, Reddiars, Naickers, Gounders etc. let’s call ourselves just Indians, can’t we? And that reminds me, whenever I tell people I am from Andhra Pradesh, they invariably ask me are you a Reddy? Quite surprising to me that people can be so ignorant to think that only the Reddy’s are considered to be Andhraities. The famous actor Megastar Chiranjeevi is a Naidu too and distantly related to me through my maternal grandmothers family side. Got my point about everyone being related to everyone else in India? Anyway my sister took the easy way out by calling herself by the surname Naidu. But I refused to add that Naidu to my name- not because I couldn’t decide whether to write it as Naidu or Naidoo, or Nayudu, but only for my Principled stand that I will retain my name free of any caste or religious connotations or even regional connotations. If someone wants to call me Sardar Ganesh Singhji, fine with me- but no kuttheys, kamineys or kala.

This kind of confusion over my name often has hilarious results when I talk to my north Indian friends, especially my Parsi friends. They take the trouble of giving me serious suggestions to replace my confusing surname. They ask me to consider names like Doktorwalla to indicate my profession or Vakilwala to indicate the family profession, or even Andhrawala to indicate my origins... No offence to you guys, I would rather add the 1000-wala to the end of my name rather than trying to explain these bizarre names for the rest of my life. And I keep thinking that if I was really forced to choose one such name- I would chose Ganesh Matterwala, which is self explanatory.

Finally, I have thought off printing a card with just my mobile number on it- something like 9840136954 with the last three digits “954” in a bigger, raised font and requesting everyone to call me just by it. But I guess society is not yet advanced enough for this kind of revolution in naming and I am ahead of my time...Sigh…

So even after all these years I am confused what to call myself Ganesh or Raghav? Both names belong to me, both have been used in various phases of my life and I respond to both when someone calls out in the street.  Do I have to choose one, definitely, as the matrimonial people suggest? Or should I leave it to posterity to judge me and call me by names? 

I still don’t have the answers, so feel free to call me by whatever name you want out of the above combo of names and if you think you have found a more appropriate new name for me, feel free to call me that. (But not “darling” please- that is reserved for someone special to call me)…

Friday, June 22, 2012

2nd CHANCES…..

“Some say opportunity knocks only once, That is not true. Opportunity knocks all the time, but you have to be ready for it. If the chance comes, you must have the equipment to take advantage of it.”  By Louis L'Amour, American writer.

This post was prompted by a small talk I had with an online friend recently, who lamented that all her peers were well settled in life and she was yet to decide what she was going to do or who she was going to be in her future. That kind of future anxiety is usually seen in times of change like during exam results times or annual appraisals when the fear of something negative happening chills our spines and forces us to become all gloom and doom. This is especially seen in intelligent people simply because they have a better imagination and can easily calculate the consequences of their failure. And this fear makes them stick to one job or one career or one partner long after they have realized the futility of that decision but still they stick on hoping things will somehow turn themselves for the better. This paralyzing fear of failure and of taking wrong decisions is what I am going to talk about in this post.

We have this weird habit of hanging the entire future of a person on one incident or other and forgetting that life goes on and keeps springing up surprises. These kinds of experiences usually start with our parents and their expectations and goes onto involve our friends, colleagues, bosses etc. 

This is a destructive pattern which once set in our lives keeps recurring every time we feel we are at a cross roads in our life. Fear of making the wrong decisions paralyses us and freezes our entire decision making capacity itself, till we don’t put a step forward in the fear that we are putting the wrong foot forward and are going to slip, fall and break our faces in public. We are frozen in space and time with no growth either personally or personality-wise. Or else we are satisfied with false forms of growth, like fulfilling someone else’s dreams and desires and taking it for our own. And we end up with the feeling that something is missing in our lives and this realization dawns only pretty late in the day when we are set on our ways and change is too difficult to contemplate.

On the other hand when you do something you are interested in doing for your own sake it will spark your passion and your inborn-drive and you will excel in what you attempt because you want to and because you’re following your own wishes, your intuition, your heart, your soul, and not the foisted on expectations of anyone else. You might not find the above mentioned “your own thing” the first time you attempt to find it, you might not even find it the fourth time or fifth time- but if you follow your heart faithfully you will find it soon. The trick is not to give up soon.

And remember what you want now, might not always be what you wanted at a previous phase in your life. As we grow, we change and our wishes and desires change. There is nothing wrong in trying to achieve bliss in what you feel you desire now and if the results are not worth the effort to move on and try an entirely new thing. For what do we work for usually? We want to showcase your greatness and prowess to our friends, colleagues and enemies.  Look at me, see how great I am in my work, is what we want to say through the success of our work to others. And to achieve this gloating victory, we simply analyze and follow our strengths rather than our passions thus leading to a gnawing feeling deep in our innards that we are missing out on something. 

People who hit the gym will know what I am talking about here- the vanity lifters who do bicep curl after bicep curl, because “look it is growing” and the more it grows the more they admire their biceps and work it more to the neglect of all other body parts- I have done it myself and that’s how I was labeled the squat-king of my gym and I ended up with low back pain. It’s a destructive pattern and one which we cannot admit to ourselves, because we are blinded by our vanity and ego. 

This kind of success and happiness is not real – it is artificial and contrived and it exists solely to give us little bursts of confidence which soon run out, prompting us to depend on it like an addict for his kick. And suddenly you would run out of confidence, end up in a slump just like that and the fears and doubts would resurface to cause you to question yourself again. A nagging feeling of what are you doing and why are you doing it will be your only continuous companion. And if you are an overly analytical person like my above mentioned friend you will be consumed by self doubts and cynicism and end up getting depressed. And every experience of failure just validates our self diagnosis of our lack of worth, instead of being just a one-off incident. And there is no more inclination to try again or even attempt something completely new. Sometimes the people who don’t have much imagination have things easier than the clever analytical types, don’t they? For they never really stop to look where they are, but keep running blindly hoping to reach somewhere someday (even if they are running in the same place happily).

So what is the solution for this? What do I suggest for the clever people? The analytical, self aware, introspective, thinking types? For starters, banish doubt. Doubt means a lack of trust in yourself, that you cannot handle the consequences of your decisions- when they end up in failure. So what, if it’s a failure? Life doesn’t end with it, the sun will come out tomorrow and you are going to still be alive. Don’t take me wrong you can never be a success at everything you attempt – no one can. But that is no excuse not to try. Failure is what? Just a little humiliation, just a little embarrassment- it’s not a death sentence.  And if you don’t take those negative thoughts seriously, they won’t have that power of paralyzing you.

And if you forget focusing on results but enjoy doing things you want to do or try out –your life would be opened to novel experiences, interesting people, new career paths and unforgettable lessons of life. Plus you can have that satisfaction of taking all that destructive (misplaced) energy of yours which predicts failure in your ears (in your hours of solitude) and use that energy to become creative, to form original thoughts and to carry them out successfully and to evolve every day. So forget those excuses- they don’t matter. Seize life, enjoy it, do things you care for and don’t worry about failure and take your chances as they come.

For they will keep coming, all through your life…..chance after chance, never fear.

To conclude, I would share a story about a guy who was once very confused about his life and career.  After finishing college he decided to treat his degree as just a certificate indicating competence in one particular subject and decided to try out all the careers he imagined he would fit in, before settling down into anyone thing. So he went onto join an ad agency as a model coordinator for photo shoots, wrote ad-copy for jingles, joined the marketing department and sold soups and toothpastes, joined a media company and became a compeer on television, joined a dance studio and became a professional hip-hop dancer, joined a mixed martial arts- no rules- tournament after watching Brad Pitts “Fight club”, wrote books, wrote songs, tried his hand at being a rock star and then a free styling  rap artist, ran marathons, went for jungle treks for endurance, volunteered for social causes (among other things) and always challenging himself- but still managed to stay sane and happy. If you can guess who the person is, please tell me too…