हुआ जो तीर-ए-नज़र नीमकश तो क्या हासिल,

मज़ा तो जब है के सीने के आर पार चले।

Hua jo teer-e-nazar neemkash to kya hasil, maza to jab hai ke seene ke aar paar chale.

Kunwar Mohinder Singh Bedi Sahar

What can be achieved with a glance with eyes half closed like a half stretched arrow. It would be great if it were to go right through the heart.

This poignant sher (couplet) encapsulates the profound essence of life’s intricate experiences, hinting at the profound satisfaction derived from confronting and surmounting challenges head-on. Its wisdom reverberates within the realm of neurosurgery, where every decision holds monumental significance and every passing moment is laden with urgency. One surgery stands out vividly in my recollection—a moment when this couplet became my guiding light, steering me through the tumultuous seas of complexity and urgency.

In the intricate dance of life and death, a 45-year-old woman arrived at our doorstep, teetering on the precipice of a ruptured brain aneurysm with a subarachnoid hemorrhage. For her, surgery stood as the sole beacon of hope based on her brain CT scan and Digital Substraction Angiography (DSA). The operating room crackled with an electric fervor, as experienced colleauge neurosurgeon, seasoned nurses, junior doctors, and vigilant anesthetists assembled, fully cognizant of the delicate task looming ahead.

As the hands of time spun their relentless web, we delved into the depths of the procedure, navigating the intricate pathways of the brain until we reached the very core of the aneurysm neatly and gently dissecting the narrow corridors to identify its neck, body and fundus. Each heartbeat seemed to echo with anticipation until, in a heart-stopping moment, catastrophe struck—the aneurysm ruptured. Blood gushed forth like a river unleashed, engulfing the room in a palpable cloak of urgency and tension. It was in this crucible of chaos that the timeless sher (couplet) “मज़ा तो तब है जब सीने के आर पार चले” reverberated within the chambers of my soul, reminding me of the essence of true courage.

“मज़ा तो जब है के सीने के आर पार चले

In that fleeting moment, the stage was set for the ultimate test of skill, patience, and unwavering resolve. With a calm demeanor and resolute voice, I directed the team, each member a vital cog in the intricate machinery of salvation. In hindsight, amidst the frenetic pace, another verse penned by the great shayar (poet) Allama Iqbal emerged from the recesses of my consciousness:

“दिल से जो बात निकलती है, असर रखती है,
पर नहीं ताकत-ए-परवाज़ मगर रखती है।”

“Dil se jo baat nikalti hai, asar rakhti hai,
Par nahi taqat-e-parwaz magar rakhti hai.”

“What comes from the heart, leaves an impact, Yet it lacks the power to fly.”

This sher (couplet) perfectly suited the situation by emphasizing the power and impact of heartfelt words and intentions. It suggests that words that emanate from the depths of one’s heart hold immense influence and leave a lasting impact on others. However, despite their potency, these words may lack the strength to soar or materialize into action on their own. This resonates with the challenges faced during such a neurosurgical procedure, where clear communication, heartfelt intentions, and precise actions are crucial. This sher (couplet) highlights that while genuine intentions and emotions are significant, they must be coupled with the strength and determination to translate them into effective action, much like the resolve and skill required to navigate through the complexities of the neurosurgical process.

The relentless surge of adrenaline coursed through my veins, each pulse a testament to the gravity of the task at hand. With steely determination, we forged ahead, each movement calculated, each action precise. Gradually, the tempest was quelled, and order restored as the aneurysm was deftly clipped, bringing a semblance of closure to the harrowing ordeal.

In the aftermath of the storm, amidst the debris of uncertainty and chaos, emerged a profound truth: that in the face of adversity, it is the unwavering resolve and indomitable spirit that pave the path to victory. And in those hallowed moments, the couplet’s timeless wisdom rang true, resonating with the essence of our shared journey—wherein true fulfillment is found in confronting challenges with unyielding courage and resolve.

As one of the few neurosurgeons in Mumbai, specializing in both the endovascular coiling and microsurgical clipping for the treatment of brain aneurysm—a hybrid neurosurgeon, I am bestowed with the opportunity to stand as a beacon of hope, a guardian of life’s delicate balance, navigating the tumultuous waters of uncertainty with unwavering dedication and resolve.

Reflecting on this journey, the poignant words of Mirza Ghalib echo through the corridors of my mind:

“हज़ारों ख्वाहिशें ऐसी कि हर ख्वाहिश पे दम निकले,
बहुत निकले मेरे अरमान लेकिन फिर भी कम निकले।”

“Hazaron khwahishen aisi ki har khwahish pe dam nikle,
Bahut nikle mere armaan lekin phir bhi kam nikle.”

“Thousands of desires, such that each desire demands a lifetime, Many of my wishes arose, but still, they fell short.”

These sher (verses) encapsulate the essence of human desires, where every aspiration seems to consume a lifetime. It’s a poignant reminder of the myriad desires we harbor, yet how few are truly fulfilled. This couplet resonates deeply with the context by capturing the essence of the human experience and the pursuit of excellence despite numerous challenges. It portrays the relentless striving and aspirations of individuals, where each desire seems to demand a lifetime of dedication and effort. In the realm of neurosurgery, it reflects the tireless pursuit of excellence, where every patient’s well-being becomes a cherished aspiration, each demanding unwavering commitment and dedication. Despite the countless efforts and aspirations, depicted as “thousands of desires” and “many wishes,” there is a poignant acknowledgment of falling short or facing limitations. This mirrors the challenges encountered during the neurosurgical procedure, where despite the best efforts and intentions, there may be constraints or unforeseen obstacles. The couplet encapsulates the human condition of striving for excellence while acknowledging the inherent limitations, fostering a sense of humility and resilience in the face of adversity.

The crucible of this ordeal served to fortify the bonds of our team, underscoring the unwavering belief that no matter the magnitude of the challenge, embracing it with sincerity and dedication inevitably leads to triumph. The rich tapestry of literature and poetry not only unveils life’s profound truths but also imbues us with the resilience to confront adversity head-on. With each step into the operating theater, these sher (verses) resonate within us, kindling a fire of commitment and courage that knows no bounds.

Dr. Nitin Jagdhane, neurosurgeon and his team in an operating room, focused and determined.

In wrapping up, another sher (verse) by the legendary Majrooh Sultanpuri beautifully encapsulates this sentiment:

“क़दम क़दम पर मिलेगी ठोकरें, यही है राह-ए-हयात,
गिर के संभलते रहने का ही नाम है ज़िन्दगी।”

“Qadam qadam par milegi thokaren, yahi hai rah-e-hayat,
Gir ke sambhalte rehne ka hi naam hai zindagi.”

“You will meet stumbles at every step, this is the path of life, life is all about staying steady after falling.”

In the eloquent verses of “Qadam qadam par milegi thokaren,” one can encounter a profound reflection of life’s journey, a sentiment deeply resonant with the challenges encountered within the domain of neurosurgery. Evoking the inevitability of stumbling blocks at every twist and turn, the sher (couplet) paints a vivid portrayal of life’s tumultuous path, mirroring the intricate dance of obstacles faced during surgical endeavors.

Furthermore, it imparts timeless wisdom—a poignant reminder that true courage is not in evading falls, but in the grace with which one rises after each stumble. This sentiment harmonizes with the resolute determination of we neurosurgeons and our teams as we navigate the complexities of surgical interventions, confronting setbacks with unwavering courage and fortitude. In the rich landscape of life’s journey and the theatrical setting of the operating room, this sher (couplet) stands as a beacon of resilience, illuminating the pathway to triumph amidst adversity with its profound, poetic insight.

In the essence of life’s journey, where every step is fraught with obstacles, yet it is the resilience and perseverance in rising after each fall that truly defines our existence.

With unwavering resolve,

Dr. Nitin Jagdhane
Your Trusted Neurosurgeon