At precisely 12 noon I heard this rather timid “hello Dr. Radha” on my door.
Rapt in a reverie after my last patient as to what could I cook today for impromptu dinner guests tonight I looked up to see Parul , all of 26 confident years old.
As we got talking she mentioned she heard of Zarah clinic through friends and that she was looking for LASER HAIR REMOVAL . “Upper lip?” I questioned …it being the most common amongst young girls .
‘No ‘ she said, “actually under arms”,
And ‘full bikini’
and ‘lower legs’
Oh …She’s getting married…I thought ….anyways we continued to set appointments and discuss do’s and don’ts around the treatment.
I set up my baby ZARAH MEDICAL and COSMETIC SKIN CLINIC 11 years ago, when cosmetic enhancements were somewhat an exclusive territory. Now, that equation has changed and LOOKING GOOD ,therefore FEELING GOOD…is de rigueur.
Right from selecting the unaffordable state-of-the-art EQUIPMENT , to sketching the Zarah LOGO, to framing the MISSION STATEMENT in all sincerity or selecting professional STAFF and the soft MUSIC and varieties of GREEN TEA as patients undergo various treatments were thought processes that belonged to me.
I wanted Zarah to be a comfortable place people walk into and walk out of …with poise and confidence!
After 2 long sessions with Parul I realized to my total amazement, shock and awe that the girl was NOT getting married, in fact she NEVER would !
She was undergoing complete laser hair removal because she had chosen to become a JAIN MONK!
Oh Lordie No!!
Instantly I tried talking her out of this idea but No ..
She was set ! THIS was her chosen life path!
Life of a pious mendicant???
I looked at her, mesmerized as she narrated how that once she had attained DIKSHA she would NOT be able to shower, personal hygiene would have to be compromised, that she would live life as a wanderer eschewing not only the material world but also all emotions.. the VOW of Nonpossesssion or APARIGRAHA!
From being the FASHIONISTA who partied every weekend wearing her ‘Pradas ‘to the glitziest of events,she was to be catapulted into a life where her focus was PRAYER.
She would live life as the perfect Ascetic, practise nonviolence and detachment with only her white simple robes , a bowl and broom , maybe a few religious texts… as her only worldly possessions .
All this she CHOSE ….Of her own FREE WILL!
WHAT A GIRL….
I mused …..as I adjusted my light blue linen sari in a small mirror with a black wrought iron frame at the far corner of my room at the clinic. Something you need to know about me – I love life and I love sarees. Every day of my life is only that much wee bit happier because I can wear a beautiful sari with some exciting jewellery to the clinic!
Today’s sari of the day is a a very light powder blue linen gifted to me by my best friend Sangeeta who shops online especially when she is unwell!
The jewellery I picked up from a cute little shop in Kochi .My blouses never ever, ever belong to the sari itself and this one with long sleeves I picked up at Chandralok.
As I sign off I wonder about Parul ..
Where would she be ?
..walking barefoot , learning , assimilating
Not a roof over her head …a free soul!
Wherever you are .. Parul .. hope you are just fine!
Here’s me expressing ..for lack of a better word…
Solidarity….. even if just for a day !
Guess each one’s journey of life is different.
Have a great day folks!
More in my next post of another interesting patient of mine!
Name of patient changed to protect identity .
Parul looked beautiful, dressed in bridal finery on the day of her INITIATION procession.
Once she became a SADHAVI .. she RENOUNCED not only all her worldly possessions , giving them away in charity but EVEN HER NAME !
Last I heard of her .. she was perfectly happy and in equanimity !👍