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Ecstasy of being Invincible

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cancer is a class of diseases characterized by out-of-control cell growth. There are over 100 different types of cancer, and each is classified by the type of cell that is initially affected. Cancer is ultimately the result of cells that uncontrollably grow and do not die. Normal cells in the body follow an orderly path of growth, division, and death. Unlike regular cells, cancer cells do not experience programmatic death and instead continue to grow and divide. This leads to a mass of abnormal cells that grows out of control.

Among various diseases, cancer has become a big threat to human beings globally. As per Indian population census data, the rate of mortality due to cancer in India is high and alarming with about 806000 existing cases by the end of the last century. Cancer is the second most common disease in India responsible for maximum mortality with about 0.3 million deaths per year. In 2007, cancer claimed the lives of about 7.6 million people in the world.

Coming down to the regional level, the "BREAD BASKET" of India is in the throes of cancer. At 90 cancer patients for every 1 lakh population in Punjab, it's more than the national average of 80 per lakh. The Malwa region (comprising Bathinda, Mansa, Muktsar, Patiala and Sangrur) of the state - known as the cancer belt - has the highest average of 136 cancer patients per 1 lakh people. On an average, 18 people die of cancer each day. There are 23,874 cancer patients in the state and 33,318 lives have been lost in cancer-related deaths during last five years. Even I too have lost a few of my near ones to it. [You may have a look here]

“Malwa zone of Punjab sitting on cancer volcano: Survey”

“Are the farmers in Punjab paying a price for the Green revolution?”

Most cancer victims in the worst-hit Bathinda district travel 10 hours to a charity hospital in Bikaner by train. It's known as "The Cancer Express". "No one even says the word 'cancer' anymore; the moment people say they are 'going to Bikaner', it's understood why."

Scientists and biologists from all over the world are enormously working on how to entirely cure and eradicate this dreadful disease. Shree Bose, a 17yr oldie, is one such person. At the age of 15, she lost her grandfather to cancer. This incident prompted her to think how a group of tiny cells could make a person so frail and helpless that one surrenders his life, fighting against it. She wanted to do something for it, and this was when she started writing to all local labs and Professors. She was just attempting a way to get involved. To her fate, none entrusted a high schooler on such a vast issue and consequently, there were dozens of rejections. But she never called it a day. At last, she met Dr. Alakananda Basu, who made her to involve in cancer research, at mere 15.

It’s all the matter of developing a legitimate passion and making an initiative towards it. Just step beyond the bounce of what you have learnt in classes, that bookish cramming. For her unaltered crusades, she was chosen as Glamour Magazine’s ‘AMAZING YOUNG WOMAN OF THE YEAR’. She felt their pain empathetically, as something she wanted to help for; her interest became her passion and she was ready to sacrifice anything for it.

It starts with thinking about the entire arena you’re interested in and that you are passionate about and something you can really enjoy doing. Find a field that you’d really work for and just believe that whatever work you’re doing will pay off, because it will. Have faith in yourself.

Before getting any further, let me inform you I’m a mechanical engineer(ing student). Now, what if I complete my graduation with 80% aggregate by cramming up things, but do nothing out of it? What’s the fun of spending lakhs of bucks, if my knowledge couldn’t come at the service of others, or, couldn’t do anything for those in need of it? Smiling for someone is sweet, but making someone smile is the best feeling!

Want to know what your purpose in life is? Simple. Hold your hands in front of you. Now look at them. There is your purpose and means to do it.
Purpose is your ability to take the creative energies you have and communicating them with the world. You and I might pick different mediums, but the act of purpose is exactly the same. Don’t worry if you haven’t found the right medium. Once you feel that great purpose for your life and it comes from within, that is your greatest asset. With that belief you are the leader of your own life because it's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.

Do inspire the rest as well. Ask them to follow their fascinations rather than ‘Dumbing oneself down’ by the failures, and gags of others. Go and find out the idea of attaining something fascinating, going off and discovering yourself when you didn’t know what your potentialities actually are. Sky is not the limit, it is merely a beginning. And once you attain those heights, those moments would be just indescribable, moments that’d just take your breath away. Imagine yourself standing in front of hundreds of thousands of populaces who appreciate your endeavours and you are now being admired for it. Don’t forget, happiness isn’t by having endless wealth and a luxurious life, it’s by doing what you like and trading your lifetime for the wellness and solace of others. I've always thought anyone can make money. Making a life worth living, that's the real test.

The point is that Dare to Dream, break out of your chamber and change the way how you think. That can make all the difference to the world. Pick something you’re excited about, an innovative solution to a problem that affects you. Those can offer to be the best projects, be it the inclusion of medical research like Shree Bose, or an engineering innovation, an unpublished draft left hidden in your drawers or something none has even thought about, yet. Do whatever you wish to, but don’t stagnate your life, merely dreaming, and the most of all, stop making excuses for the efforts not made or you’ll always be obstructed at the same place, unable to get any forward. Come up with solutions to bring your dreams to life.

Sometimes the slightest things change the directions of our lives, the merest breath of a circumstance, a random moment that connects like a meteorite striking the earth. Lives have swivelled and changed direction on the strength of a chance remark. So don’t let go off a chance that sustains the potentialities of dynamically changing your lives. It's funny, no matter how hard you try, you can't close your heart forever. And the minute you open it up, you never know what's going to come in. But when it does, you just have to go for it! Because if you don't, there's no point in being here.

And you’ll say, “One day, I’m not even sure what happened, but EVERYTHING JUST CHANGED.”

Written for the contest: Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012 for SHREE BOSE’s VIDEO

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