seen many ups and downs in my life – huge financial losses, penury… Looking back I realize the reason I could take all these problems in my stride was because I was fit and healthy and that made me feel strong enough to confront anything that fate threw in my path. It was when my health suffered a setback that my mental and physical endurance was truly tested.
I’ve always been an early riser. Back in 2005 my routine was to wake up at 5 AM, get an hourlong walk between 5.30 and 6.30, then a lively session of aerobics at the National Burns Centre in Airoli, return home at 7.30 for breakfast and then leave for my factory where we assembled and supplied engineering products. In the evening I headed for the Airoli Sports Club where I played an hour of badminton, chilled out with friends and returned home at 9. So all in all I was reasonably fit for a 53-year-old guy weighing 79 kg for my 5’5½” frame. On 28th July 2005, I went to the club as usual for my game of badminton. For reasons I cannot fathom, the court was wet in patches. I wasn’t aware of this phenomenon until I went skidding while trying to receive the shuttlecock. It didn’t seem anything major – all I experienced was a twinge as my daughter Vandana helped me up from the floor. But 2 days later my back felt so sore that I took a break from my usual activities – walk, aerobics, badminton. I wasn’t even able to raise my arm to serve, forget about smashing a shuttle cock. I was shocked by the suddenness and severity with which the pain hit my lower back and disabled