Feel Rich In Mind, Body & Spirit

Karan SHAH responds to ThinkWellness questionnaire:

Your view on beauty?

The argument is as old as time: whether beauty is subjective, or objective. Yet, the clichéd riposte is: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” This does not relate to physical beauty, but something that is desirable and not necessarily perfect.

We are obsessed with the colour of our skin. However, beauty isn’t just about our face and skin. Beauty, to me, is how beautiful you are from the inside out. Or, how you make people around you feel; this is also more about how you behave and not how you look. The colour of one’s skin, or how fat, or thin one is, doesn’t make them less beautiful. This colour- and body-shaming has to stop. Every person, irrespective of their colour, or body type, is beautiful. In our age of the ubiquitous social media, one should not be influenced and/or get confused that beauty is all about picture-perfect selfies. Rather, a person who oozes empathy, has a genuine, heartfelt conversation, and is thoughtful, epitomises beauty. For me, this typifies a simple allegory: the beholder ought to have the eye for real ‘beauty.’

Your ‘take’ on fitness? 

Fitness, to me, has always been the forbidden fruit. It’s been a part of my New Year Resolutions, but something that I have ironically never been able to achieve. On a more serious note, the lockdown, during the COVID-19 pandemic, turned me in a complete couch potato. Staying in an ever so shrinking apartment that the city of Mumbai is famous for, you are left jostling for space with your family. It was always a challenge, but staying indoors through the months made it worse and, as a result, my tummy was ‘bursting’ through my shirt buttons. I was puffing and huffing performing everyday house chores. This got me thinking — it literally provoked me to begin the journey of getting back to shape.

The big point is: fitness is, for me, never about six pack abs, or bulging biceps. Fitness is all about being lean and trim. Also, healthy. It’s about getting fit and gaining stamina. Something like, “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.” Exercise not only keeps your body in good shape, it also helps to keep your mind fresh, also alert, all the time. It has helped me get back to trekking, which gives me so much joy. It has also helped me spend time away from the hustle and bustle of the city and its pollution and bond with my family against the backdrop of nature. There is never a right time to cultivate good habits; it’s like whenever you start, it’s a good time to be. Also — don’t you forget to take your family along, because good habits can be contagious.

Your view of health and wellness? 

Whenever, someone you know, undergoes a routine health check-up and nothing abnormal is found in the diagnoses, the person feels like they have wasted their money. Fitness may be a choice, but health and wellness ought to be a way of life. While fitness may be about staying in shape, health and wellness are more about what you eat; it’s important to monitor them. Unfortunately, one realises its value only when things go for a toss, or are on the downward spiral. Our mind is a temple of complexity, also surprises; so is our body. While most of us talk about physical health and are cautious of what we eat, it is only a minuscule percentage of people around who understand what they consume — mindfully. Also, talking about mental health is still considered a taboo. For me, the best recipe for all-round health and wellness is maintaining a habit of healthy eating, regular exercise, at least an hour of reading books, every day, going on a trek in the wild and taking a vacation, or two, with family and friends, every year. Once your body and mind are happy and in good fettle, it’s easy to go out and compete with the world — for good health and wellness will always give you the edge. 

Your ‘take’ on work-life balance? 

The only silver lining of the ongoing pandemic is — work from home has helped people get and experience work-life balance. We are always running around deadlines — to be delivered like yesterday. Add to that the travel time of four hours every day, and in such a scenario we need to figure out what suits us best. I like to follow the 8-8-8 rule. For the first eight hours of the day, I am completely submerged and obsessed in work; it has my full attention and total commitment. The next eight hours, I spend time with my family, meet friends, take out time for a hobby and workout. The last eight hours I have a good night’s sleep.

Your mantra to beat stress? 

‘Accepting’ and ‘letting go’ are two magical words that come to my mind when I think about overcoming stress, or at best just beating it. I am sure each of us has gone through adversities in life, where you feel the world has turned against you and you are left to fend for yourself — all alone. Well, in times like these, the character of the person that you are comes to the fore.

I like to keep things simple and accept whatever life throws at us. For, when you accept the reality of life, it simply loses its enormity; it becomes relatively easy to dealing with difficulties. Yes, there is a fear of letting go of things, at times; as also people. This fear often triggers anxiety, leading to its inevitable spin-off — stress. Everyone’s path is different, so stop comparing, convincing, explaining, or imposing. Just let go, and enjoy the experience and feel rich — in mind, body, and spirit.

KARAN SHAH is a corporate lawyer. He has ten+ years of experience with various inter-functional legal requirements. A zealous self-starter with a penchant for clear-cut analysis and pragmatic problem solving, Shah is also endowed with excellent communication skills: written as well as verbal. His forte: providing strong contracting, legal and regulatory support to business/procurement teams in all business operations and activities of the organisation. He lives in Navi Mumbai, India.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  −  three  =  3

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.