Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | July 21, 2009

Biology obsession

It is surprising that compared to India, people here are so much more aware of their body. I mean, in India, how many of us have heard others saying, ‘I may have a Clavicle fracture from my fall’? In India, normally, people if they fall would say, I may have a fracture or at the most my collar bone may be broken.

Here most people know the names and positions of all the 206 bones in their body. The knowledge is supreme for all the glands and other associated parts of the body too.

The other day someone said, ‘I feel a pain near my kidney’. Now, an Indian would simply say, ‘I have a back pain.’

Further, many of us use the terms Arthritis and Spondalytis inter-changeably without knowing the difference. In fact, most Bengalis say that they have Spondalytis without even going through a medical check-up to verify whether they really have that disease or not.

People here are certainly obsessed to know about their body but nobody is conclusive about their health condition unless they go to a doctor. Doctors don’t prescribe anti-biotic medicine unless it is extremely essential and apparently doctors are very straightforward in telling their patients what are the possible outcomes of a certain symptom. Quite scary, actually, if you think of it! However, it perhaps minimises chances of patients saying, ‘you gave me false hope!’

Therefore, Mr. Mandar Bose cannot confidently declare here that his friend Mr. Burman has succumbed to Thrombosis as he did in the famous Satyajit Ray film ‘Sonar Kella’. He would have to justify his statement, I am afraid.

In New Zealand, I have come across people, who know nothing about European Renaissance or North Korean politics or Gaza for example, but I am yet to come across a person who does not know about his /her body much. Along with having considerable knowledge about fixing household items, plumbing, banking, gardening etc, knowledge of human body is certainly an addition.

Sometimes their ‘calorie talk’ can be irritating but their knowledge about self deserves appreciation too. I think I should have studied Biology with seriousness in school rather than fooling around in my class. Now I know why my father bought the medical encyclopaedia after returning from US. He must have felt terrible that even though he was a son of a doctor he knew so little about his body.



  1. You are right, people else where in the world do seem to be more aware of the their anatomy 🙂 Such an awareness is good, it would do Indians a world of good to be that way 🙂

  2. This is so true. Someone or some group can really take this up and start some awareness campaign. In India, some doctors still do R&D on their patients.

    Even if they are not sure, they do not hesitate to try out new drugs. One reason may be that there is absolutely no check from administration/ law on this. Second, patients are not aware.

    I strongly feel that it is also the doctors’ duty to make their patients aware of the exact illness.

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