Befitting ode to Dr Rakesh Sinha would be to pledge that we take care of our happiness first

Late Dr Rakesh Sinha lived a healthy life, yet he died due to acute cardiac arrest on December 26. Here is a doctor’s take on how happiness and stress can affect one’s health


Dr Bandita Sinha

‘Those at the top of their fields aren’t always the smartest, but are always the most resilient.’

This was the last tweet by Dr Rakesh Sinha on December 5. Who would have imagined the cryptic and rather ironic meaning that it conjures up now, with his sudden and shocking demise?

Entire medico establishment perceived him as an epitome of success, not just in his chosen professional specialty, but also in areas where doctors feared to tread. From being a celebrated marathon runner, speaker, author and management guru, to a top rank Laparoscopic Surgeon, his illustrious personality put many in awe of him.

He entered into the Guinness Book of World Records twice and numerous positions of authority in disparate areas put him in a rarefied galaxy where he shone as a bright star. What mere mortals can hope to achieve in several lives put together, he managed in a single life.

This brings us to grim questions: Was overworked lifestyle and stress taking a toll on his health? How could cardiac arrest claim his life?


Dr Rakesh Sinha

Many of us who knew him would argue that he was high on physical exercises and seemed so fit and athletic. Others would aver that he was a practicing wellness and NLP expert and would have been taking care of both his body and mind.

Is such a disciplined life futile? Should we stop exercising? Should we forget meditation? Nothing matters?

The answer is a BIG NO.

Trying not to rationalise or explain this tragedy as an inexplicable exception, I venture to highlight some points that are worth emulation.

No matter how successful one becomes, ambition must be subservient to happiness. This happiness is all internal and it may not manifest itself as a goal scored or a trophy captured. For some of us peer pressure dictates what we do or should be doing. This results in an imbalance between mind, body and soul. In such situations, adhering to a strict regimen, even if we are able to keep mind and body in shape, soul continues to be in distress. This can cause unforeseen damage, eventually to the body.

Elaborating further, it can be simply put this way: “If you are trying to achieve something just because others consider it valuable and you know that even after achieving it you are not going to feel happy; then entire process of self-disciplined effort that you put in while trying for that achievement will only generate stress.”

At the end of the day, body will bear the brunt of your ambition and start withering away.

Similarly, ignoring your body while pursuing your mind’s dictates will surely be fatal and this, I think, needs not much explanation. I will propound an equilibrium that reads like this: Body + Mind = Happiness (in Soul).

Each of the factors in equal measure should add up to happiness, else stress is lurking in the corner. Stress attacking your body or mind is equally and terminally devastating on your body.

It will befit Dr Rakesh Sinha’s memory that we all pledge to take care of happiness first in all our endeavours and align our body and mind to it.

The author is a Senior Gynaecologist and Fertility Consultant with Fortis Hospital and Apollo Clinic, Vashi

  • Anuj

    Very informative article.Well Said .