I DON’T LOOK AT THE CLOCK by Tek Mirchandani

24th January 2009 – the whole nation was on tenter-hooks. Reason? The Prime Minister had to undergo surgery to clear five arterial blockages in his heart. The anxiety was natural as it was a complex re-do.

After considerable deliberation, the Government of India decided that the P.M.’s surgeon will be Dr. Ramakant Panda of The Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, assisted by his own two doctors and nurses. They were to work with the doctor at The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, in a tandem.

Thankfully the P.M.’s operation was successful and he was at home on 2nd February,2009. Dr. Panda visited him on 8th February to remove the stiches. One doctor and two nurses were to remain back to help P.M.’s rehabilitation.

After the ordeal was over, the public all over the country was curious to know who was the surgeon and his background. Therefore N.D.T.V. invited him for half an hour interview to introduce him to the viewers, to know how he spent the day normally and his background.
Dr. Panda starts his day at 5.30 a.m. He does Yoga and other exercises for an hour and leaves for hospital at 8 a.m. Till 10 a.m. he discusses administrative matters, remains in the operation theatre till 7p.m. Thereafter, he examines the already operated and new patients and is at home at midnight.

Dr. Panda obtained his M.B.B.S. at Calcutta, Masters at AIIMS, spent seven years at Cleveland and returned to Mumbai. He started to operate at important hospitals.

One of the trained teachers of The Yoga Institute, socially known to the doctor suggested and demonstrated one back exercise and two relaxation techniques to prevent backache and stress if these were to come in future.

After couple of months the teacher was happy to learn that the Doctor had experienced freshness and tranquility throughout the day. He was so impressed that he expressed that within half a year he will establish a seven-star special heart hospital. Thereby The Asian Heart Institute started with a Yoga Hall and a teacher of TheYoga Institute, Santa Cruz, Mumbai, from day one, which is still functioning to date.

Incidentally, the media inquired as to how it was possible for the Doctor to stay with the P.M. for 12 hours in the operation theatre, against normal 5 to 6 hours. Doctor in all salinity replied: “When I am on the job, I do not look at the clock”.

One often wonders how some people reach the peak in their profession! Their vision, clear-cut goal, dedication, honesty and sincerity are some of the attributes that make for the success.

And The Yoga Institute is the answer!

Published in the February 2010 edition of Yoga & Total Health Magazine.

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