When artists turned caregivers

A man of many media, Ravikanth Masuram talks art, family, dreams and more in a candid chat

By Author  |  Published: 13th Jan 2019  12:38 amUpdated: 12th Jan 2019  4:01 pm

What happens when artists dabble into medicine? They give it an artistic touch. No wonder the medical camp organised recently by a group of artists under the aegis of Anjuman-e-Reqta Goyaan differed in style and content. The camp held at Urdu Hall, Himayatnagar, was inaugurated not by any VIP, but by persons who cater to aesthetic sensibilities –  poet, writer, artist and a journalist.

If you think this is strange what followed was even stranger. Those who came for diagnosis were treated to a thought-provoking health talk and a spur-of-the-moment mushaira. The healing effect of words has long been recognised. There is also growing scientific evidence to show that music helps patients in palliative care.

“Art is a critical component of healthcare. Why not use poetry for therapeutic purpose”, says Dr Javeed Kamal, the man behind the unique medical camp organised in association with the Indo-US Hospital.

It was a medical camp with a difference. Conspicuous by absence was the typical hospital atmosphere which triggers anxiety and panic. Instead it was in a cordial and stress-free environment that the procedures were conducted. Photographs of famous writers and poets adoring the Urdu Hall looked down from above as the 200-odd persons underwent various medical procedures.

Tests over, Professor Masood Ahmed, director, Indo-US Hospital, gave an enlightening talk on preventive healthcare and how to avoid lifestyle diseases. Giving a power-point presentation, he termed lifestyle diseases as modern-day silent killers. Research showed that 66 percent of diseases are controllable as they depended on one’s lifestyle. Attending mushairas and kavi sammelans also has a role in reducing stress, Prof Masood remarked and recited this verse:

Doctor se mashwara to kar magar dakhil na ho
Ye usoole tandrusti hame hospital ne diya
Consult the doctor but don’t admit

This fitness rule the hospital gave

Taking a cue from this couplet, poets present on the occasion regaled the audience with their shayeri. Humour poet, Moin Amar Bamboo, sent everyone in peals of laughter with his verses.

Shohar ke gal pe koee machar tha pur-sukoon
Thappad lagya beevi ne ye inka tha junoon
Puchi wajah Bamboo ne, beevi ne kah diya
Mere alava chuse na koee tumhara khoon
A mosquito was perched upon the husband’s cheek
The wife slapped in a fit of madness
When Bamboo enquired the reason, she said
Nobody except me should suck your blood

Other poets such as Lateefuddin Lateef, Professor Majeed Bedar, Aslam Farshori and Waheed Pasha Quadir too gave a rollicking time. Not to be left behind the compeer, Gule Rana, pepped up the evening with this couplet:

Zindagi zinda dili ka naam hai
Murda-dil kya khaak jiya karte hain
Life is the name of a never-say-die spirit
What the heck the faint-hearted will live