It was Ganesh Chaturthi. Bappa had come home and after the pooja and aarti’s it was time for lunch. It was a typical Maharashtrian festive lunch with Ukadiche Modak, papad, bhaji’s in excess. After a great festive lunch everyone in the house was enjoying a siesta when the phone rang. I got up, assuming it to be another festive greeting call. It was my Mum’s cell number. I answered gaily while wishing her but was met with unusual silence on the other side.
She quietly said that a cousin of mine had a massive heart attack and is admitted in the hospital. He stayed in the same city that I did and she was telling me to go visit them as she could only reach by tomorrow. I didn’t know what to say. He was a young man running his own business. How could this be happening to him? My mind was spinning. I answered in affirmative and me and my husband quickly left for the hospital.
In the corridor, his family – wife and two children were waiting restlessly. He was in the ICU. Living in a different city meant no family to rely on. As I sat next to her, she broke into a sob. Not too older than me, I didn’t know how to comfort her. Her small children aged around 10 and 5 years were looking at me in confusion. They weren’t really sure what was happening. Priya, my cousins wife told me that he was at his warehouse when he had a heart attack. The workers there shifted him to a hospital and called her. She hadn’t met him yet as the doctors weren’t allowing anyone in. My heart went out to her. I understood the distress and pain she was in but all we could do was pray.
With God’s grace, he recovered and the next time we went to visit him in the hospital he was in much better condition. “The doctors said I could be discharged after the consultant’s visit today. He will take a call,” my cousin informed me. I was super happy to listen to the news and we were just having a good laugh about some old memories, when the doctor came in. “Yes, Mr. Vaidya, do have a good laugh. It is very good for your heart!” the doctor said. Looking at our bewildered faces, the doctor continued, I need to give you some tips. First let me finish my examination. While the checkup was underway I went out to fetch Priya, who had gone to the canteen.
Once the checkup was done, doctor started instructing Priya and Ramesh, my brother “You will have to care for your heart. Do some changes in your lifestyle. I understand you have a self-made business and there are no fixed timings for anything, but all this will have to change. You have to decide if you want to earn 500 more or live 50 more. Be active and do some exercise, have meals at fixed timings, avoid junk and don’t take too much stress. Improve the quality of life and you will see the difference.” I was listening on the side and those words struck a chord with me.
My husband worked in an MNC and worked long hours. There was hardly any physical exercise that we could talk about and the daily chaotic routine hardly gave us any time to laugh. As I reflected more on the doctor’s words I realized we were leading an equally unhealthy lifestyle. I couldn’t shake the feeling that it could have been us. I decided at once that we had to make some changes. While surfing online, I came across some great tips on SaffolaLife website. That and in consultation with a dietician I am joining the Saffolalife #ChhoteKadam initiative in association with BlogAdda and follow these small steps for a healthy heart.”
1. Going on a brisk walk daily. Try and exercise atleast 3-4 times in a week.
2. Include green leafy vegetables in the diet more often.
3. Eat a fruit daily
4. Eat early dinners and sleep on time to ensure minimum 7 hour sleep
5. Keep fixed time for lunch and dinner and maintain those timings even with busy work schedules.
6. Enjoy some good music or comedy shows for atleast 20 minutes daily.
These are Chhote Kadam indeed but we know we will have a more fulfilling life with such tiny steps. As Alexis Carrel said “The quality of life is more important than the life itself.”