BENGALURU: He is extremely well-known and well-trusted when it comes to matters of heart ailments and complex life-giving surgeries.
While Dr Vivek Jawali, chairman, cardiac sciences and the executive council of Fortis Hospitals, Bengaluru, needs no introduction in the medical fraternity, the other aspect of his persona, of ‘swimming with the sharks’ in the deep seas across the globe, trekking in the Himalayas, love for poetry, Urdu shayari, music and fitness is hidden behind his famed forceps.
“Without thrill, life becomes boring. During the course of my life, I ended up liking so many things — adventure, poetry, music, fitness that help me balance my professional life. It all goes back to my early childhood. I grew up on a rural farm on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border. Cycling and swimming were necessities of life and I had to be agile to do both. There are scant reflections of Mowgli from Jungle Book in how I grew up,” recounted Jawali. His love for swimming made him take up professional deep-sea diving.
He is a certified deep-sea diver and swam with whale sharks in various seas across the globe. He particularly recounted swimming with whale sharks in Oslob on the southern tip of Cebu Island, Philippines. “It’s a terrific adventure activity and I learned the trick of cheap but high-quality underwater photography by using my humble iPhone in a plastic case,” he narrates.
From deep-sea diving to trekking in the Himalayas, which Jawali called “addictive”, the cardiac surgeon’s life and education have many firsts and surprises. “As a student, my core was literary. My first love was theatre and reading. I was part of the famous Prithvi theatre in Mumbai and used to hang out with people who are now institutions. I was pushed into science, which I never liked. Once I was pushed into it the only way forward was to study medicine,” he says.
Jawali’s involvement with the English poetry and Urdu shayari (online) groups in Bengaluru, passion for reading, listening to music ranging from jazz to classics has been quite a stress buster.
“Taking life as it comes while working hard on everything and learning to discard the excess baggage has added to my balance. Whatever we do, the end objective is happiness and happiness is a product of striking a balance between professional and personal life,” says the famed cardiac surgeon.
Regarding fitness, he says, it is a prerequisite to experiencing happiness notwithstanding the stress at work. “Fitness is physical, mental and emotional. I gave up fancy gymming long ago as I felt it exposed me to unnecessary injuries. My formula has been doing one aerobic exercise in the form of nature walks at the famous Lalbagh, which is my backyard and it offers me an exciting opportunity to pack 10,000 scenic steps with chirping birds in a short time. I find it less time-consuming and more exciting than golf,” says Jawali. He follows his walks with simple 20 minutes of core tightening floor exercises and yoga ensemble for stretches. His multifaceted life and experiences have also made him open to learning from various sources. “Whatever we do, our quest should be to discover the city of joy in you,” he laughs.