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A medical victim, am I.

A debilitating disease, I have none.

I have to thank my Kerala DNA.

My  healthy childhood days filled 

With simple food, plenty of dance, music and play.

No distractions such as tv, radio or phone.

Instead,  organically touched,

By a colorful Bharatiya culture.

A structured life that began at 7 in the morn,

And ended at 10 at night.


A journey to a foreign land I took,

To further my studies abroad.

Then , only in my 20s, all alone.

Frustrated by Kerala University Zoology department politics and sexism ,

That was rampant where I researched.

With a short work - assistant, student’s life, my beginnings here began.

Soon wedded by choice, then followed,

The raising of two boys in a new culture.

That meant sleepless nights. 

Still maintaining a life with simple food, 

Dance, music and rituals that strengthened,

The Bharatiya Hindu in me.


All through these years 

Ayurveda was my resort.

Every two years a trip 

To the land of my birth

Subjecting myself to healing clinics

That maintained a hoary tradition.

Returning to the States I followed

The life style recommended.


My stay in the clinics

Taught me, that the way we live,

Can increase or decrease the dependency,

On cures and medicines.

Managed the occasional imbalances in health,

That got rectified by changes in life style,

With the temporary help of herbal treatments.

Remember just temporary help! 

I felt I managed my health fairly well.


Now in my late autumn days

As age creeps up on me,

Covid days kept me bound . 

Against my strong conviction

I yielded to family and societal pressure. 

I took the vaccine and paid the price, 

I am abnormally sensitive  to vaccines and antibiotics,

Have suffered with that in the past.


Finding an Ayurvedic antidote here

An impossible task it was.

Ayurveda as practiced in the States

Sadly had no solutions.

Disappointing to say the least.

Catering to modern fancies, 

No longer kashayas and arishtas,

Instead  excessive  number and  variety of pills are prescribed,

While pushing panchakarma, a grand money maker.

Video visits preferred over office.

Patient calls are often ignored. 

Have an emergency? God forbid,

With the existing medical - insurance  Doors to Ayurveda are closed.

So the  vaidyas’ hands are shackled,

So, sadly not  much of a choice for me anymore.


Back in good old India too,

The story is the same.

Many an Ayurvedic hospital,

Is more of a salon these days,

Catering to visitors from the west

Now the locals get the same!


Again as life’s autumnal days roll in,

I find that the field of western medicine,

Is wanting to dominate my life.

It plays upon one’s fears for sure.

If you miss a dose of an Ayurvedic medicine, 

There is no real harm.

On the other hand see what they tell you

If you miss an Allopathic prescribed dose or pill.


Here is a system that thrives on drugs 

Here too are supplements, 

Extracted  from Nature

In cruel and unnatural ways.

No attention given to the balance of ingredients 

Within the root, leaf, flower or fruit.


In the land where Ayurveda had its birth,

Even today there are vaidyas who check the moon’s cycle,

To determine when the curative properties of an herb, tree or  bush 

Happens to be at peak.

Chants often accompany the picking as well as apologies.

Traditional folk medicine all over the world has been crushed,

By none other than corporate modern medicine. 


In the US are doctors galore,

The kind that cares not for  you as a whole.

They barely remember your history.

They see far too many patients in a single day.

They are not machines after all you  know!

Spending minimum time with each,

The average doctor, a very well educated robot,

Relies more on machines, tests and drugs.

Readily shifting the patient to specialists.

Many no longer look at your files,

Before they enter the room.

The computer screen is what they see,

While talking to you.


If you are not as unwell, as they thought you would be,

They subconsciously know not what to say.

Cannot push tests, x rays and procedures galore, therefore.


Are they ever taught in medical school

That the  human body’s capacity to react to medicines are not the same ?

That often those from the East react different to those from the West? 

That statistical conclusions cannot be blindly adhered to?

Am I then only, just a part of statistics?


For one attuned to my own mind and body,

I am keenly aware  of sights, sounds, tastes and feel,

As to what they do to me,

Though knowing not why that is.

A 21 days treatment in an Ayurvedic Hospital 

Took my migraines away forever.

More important I gained the capacity

To watch what foods do to me,

What posture does to me,

How we are prone to misuse and abuse of our sense organs.

Hence they end up dull or even dead!


I find that the medic supposed to be a healer,

Is no longer that  anymore.

Whatever happened to palpations, 

Where they humanely felt you, sans machines ?

Whatever happened to remembering details,

The true profile of the patient ? 


I am enslaved within two powers

One of fear and another of the system here.

A system that includes pharma, insurance and medics.

Just look at my bills, though well covered I am,

Reveals how companies have the dough,  

To invest in properties and 

Other wealth  producing ventures .


What happened to healing systems

That resorted to aids from Mother Nature?

Oushadhi in Sanskrit is the common word for both herbs and medicine.

Dream, aroma and music therapies,

All integrative ways were used ın the past

By cultures of many a land.

Methods were addressed to every aspect of your body and soul.

Today they are slowly coming back,

Though often subject to fashion.


Integrative medicine that draws from many lands,

Is the only way to  save one’s health

To help the Human Being

Who is being molded to be one globally!


If only each one of us can take the time,

To observe our mind and body,

Away from pollutions galore,

That bombard us via food, water,air, 

Electromagnetic  waves, social media and more. 

Indeed that  would be a wholistic, holy approach,

Free from the fear, that is drilled into us by modern medicine,

By learning to trust the body and  the mind’s  own self healing capacities,

For most of us, I think.


Vasanti Jayaswal

Petaluma October 24, 2022



Apollonios of Tyana, a first century Greek mystic, philosopher and reformer, who traveled to many parts of the world quotes,


“Pythagoras said, ‘that the most divine art is that of healing. If the healing art is most divine , it must occupy itself with the soul as well as with the body; for no creature can be sound so long as the higher part in it, is sickly.’”

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