Re athletes and stress.

It’s life.

All spheres of life share their burden of expectations.

I’m a radical and I confess.

Irrespective of load of unshed tears in my dry eyes and shoulder bending load on my torn rotator cuffs, my hands stay steady in service to my chosen profession, when maneuvering intricacies of damaged plumbing in human body.

Patients deserve and get the best outcome.

Now let’s say I’m physically damaged or intellectually impaired in a way that compromises patient care, then it will behoove me to back off.

It should be given a neutral acceptance of an ordinary act.

But that’s not what’s in play.

In our reactive trashing of all things White, we have sunk to the level of celebrating failure.

Biles has earned her successes.

She withstood sexual abuse and kept it together.

Thats a cause for celebration.

Nation owes her appreciation, and she has been well appreciated.

If her mental faculties stood in her way to perform her best, its her right and obligation to back off.

She did that.

And that’s noteworthy.

What’s equally noteworthy is amount of ink that has been spilled to spell heroism out of personal injury.

Failure irrespective of color is not a cause to celebrate or demean.

Somehow failed accomplishment of good intentioned athletes of color has become a surrogate rallying cry for the cause in general.

That’s new racism.

I resent all racism.


July 4

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

Hello, Sonya!

The Great American Experiment began July 4th, 1776. Taxation without representation provided the initial thrust to the fueled passions, unleashing expansive dreams of human emancipation across the globe. The Declaration of Independence aimed to put human rights on a pedestal “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.  Humanity had never aimed higher. That notion undergirds the nation called USA. That notion undergirds flight of freedom in human soul, irrespective of the moving lines across nations, called borders. The utopian interpretations of the nascent experiment lamentably failed to achieve immediate luminescence. The soaring rhetoric will struggle for centuries to surmount human prejudices and incrementally extend benefit to the rest. There of course is a distinction between an event and a process. For the event to deliver its promise, process is necessary. Yet a moral bar had been set.

For those who lived and died witnessing an egalitarian experiment but, were systematically denied participation, stood doubly harmed.  Only privileged could have it for generations.

Enslavement of humans while celebrating emancipation of humanity is not merely a revolting contradiction in terms. Its a sin. As It has rightfully been judged to be an original American sin.

Serial massacres of unsuspecting Indian aborigines, shredded treaties coaxed by Machiavellian promises and shady deals founded much of the wealth. These stains are abhorrent, unforgivable and will forever singe. They will compel us to remember the past.

Lest not to repeat it!

The quest continues.

Political battles whether to seek justice, impose imperial decrees, impound others wealth, spread religion by sword, engage in retributive tribal bloodbaths, romantic conquests and many other iterations, were confined in their scope.
None aspired to see beyond the confines of horizon.

Declaration of Independence raised the bar.

The proclaimed Moral Code decimated extortive monarchies and feudalism.

Profit and power will obstruct universal implementation, but law of land was set. For sure it will keep the restless busy.
Switching gears to now and tomorrow.

It’s a trifecta: a welcome unleashing of coiled energy to celebrate July 4th, Declaration of Independence and life “after” Covid. What a RELIEF!

I continue to believe 21st century will have multiple pandemics but Covid prepared us for the impending challenges. Science evolved at Warp Speed. Now we have Platform technologies that marry speed and precision.
Covid reminded us about our personal responsibilities towards health. A simple rule: no smoking, healthy diet and daily exercise equal 80% reduction in disease burden. We need to do our part. We need to weigh less.

There are many prevailing, and unfortunately, entrenched issues in our society that need a novel look. These include gerrymandering, infrastructure, accelerated climate change, renewable energy, responsible fossil fuel extraction, drying up water resources, threatened agriculture, income inequality, vocational education, desalination, planetary sustainability and educational standardization among many others.

Then there is Establishment. The arrogance of it, shallow and repulsive! Feudalism spelled with different alphabets. Ambition has developed ambidexterity in double speak. Establishment infrastructure has truncal obesity, uncontrolled diabetes and unsteady gait. We can’t lend it a shoulder to lean on. Disruptive engineering is necessary.

In closing I will like to celebrate a wounded friendship that found healing and blessed this nation. Both giants crossed the finish line and succumbed to eternity within hours, unbeknownst to each other, to mark the 50th year of Republic’s founding, July 4th 1826. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were 2nd and 3rd presidents of the nation. They were friends who wrote Declaration of Independence. They became enemies with big egos and sparks flew. All their monumental contributions to the nation and humanity would stand diminished, if at the end, they did not renew their love. Their renewed love was an “invented accident” masterminded by another Founder and mutual friend, Benjamin Rush.

As we echo rehashed words from adversarial echo chambers in this country, it will behoove us to renew vows to the love for this country. It has given us much. We owe it back. Lets be a Benjamin Rush and bridge the gulf.

We are one!


An American Tapestry

[The following article was published as a Community Voices op-ed in the Bakersfield Californian on June 16, 2021]

Life, beyond sustainability, is a continuous quest seeking purpose, enlightenment, meaning and salvation.

Contradictions abound.

Rushing to judge others while being blissfully unaware of personal responsibility is not an uncommon occurrence.

It can be a chore to practice equitability in human affairs.

Prejudice is universal among humans. Extirpate it we can’t. Manage it we must.

Only blindness can make us colorblind.

This world is not a monochromatic experiment. It’s a chaos of colors. Colors that lend diversity and festivity. Colors that divide and bridge. Prejudice is an ultimate versatile emotion, a true chameleon. It piggybacks on color, culture, nationalism, reason, region, religion and God forbid, politics.

What distinguishes the United States of America is its virtues, which far outweigh its flaws. The pursuit continues but progress is everywhere to see. It’s the most benevolent empire the world has witnessed in human history. Amplified shrillness in the voices of fragile and wilting seem to be in a rush to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

There is a reason America has a strong pull for the driven across the world. Traditionally, it has taken the world’s finest and encouraged them to express their best in the bounty of freedom. In the process, the U.S. has thrived and made the world a better place.

Growing up in India, I was exposed to many of the same prejudices. We all realize life is nuanced and complicated. The U.S. is the crucible that nurtures the upward trajectory of humanity as it struggles to accommodate conflicting data points that seek disparate resolutions. Linear deductions can be questioned, but the essence remains unchallenged.

Closer to home, Central Cardiology in Bakersfield was founded by Americans of Sri Lankan and Japanese descent. It was soon joined by Dr. Peter Nalos, whose dad was a renowned engineer at Boeing. Dr. Bill Nyitray of East European descent joined in 1988. A year later. Dr. Peter Fung of Chinese descent joined the group. I was fortunate to join the group in 1992 and have been forever grateful.

Our group has since expanded a lot and is now a microcosm of the community and country we serve. It’s an uncommon privilege to have some of the world’s best work in harmony to achieve the goal of a healthy Kern County.

Physician scarcity is becoming a significant bottleneck in sufficiency of healthcare delivery. In the U.S., there are roughly 30,000 seats in medical schools. Simple math suggests less than one in a thousand high school graduates opts for medical school. More on that some other day.

Base prejudices do occupy the minds of a few deviants.

People across nations and ethnicities, who have embraced notion Americana, tend not to bring ideologies of places they are escaping. They emigrate to America to assimilate and become American. The people of Chinese descent in the U.S. played no part in the Wuhan Lab Leak theory. Their adoption of the USA is a declaration of their fidelity to the chosen land.

The shame belongs to Xi.

To cast slurs on east Asians based on superficial appearances is guilt by association, a manifest folly.

To shoot Sikhs at religious places is illiteracy and bigotry, a manifest folly.

To equate U.S. and Talibans by congresswoman, on the other hand, is a considered and manifest mischief. A refugee who was welcomed by the land of opportunity is busy poking in the eye of the host. As she simultaneously doubles down on antisemitism. Serial offenders should have serious consequences.

Color of skin should be no sin. Born white can’t be a crime. To relitigate the past through the prism of present is retributive and regressive.

Some four decades ago when I went to medical school, chapters on the utility of leeches in therapeutics were long deleted. I am in no position to cast aspersions on the practice of medicine in the 18th century. There is an evolution in human affairs. The focus has to be on creating an equitable present and better tomorrow.

To call a spade a spade should not be a contrived grievances-driven charade.

It will ill behoove me to insult the generosity of a country that accepted me as a citizen, allowed me to thrive and threw no systemic racism at me.

American tapestry is a work of art. It’s pockmarked. It’s uplifting. It’s liberating. It’s a work in progress. A weave runs through it.

Lets do our bit to make it a masterpiece.