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Q&A with Dr. Nirmala Murthy: Helping the little ones

January 2, 2013

Pediatrician Dr. Nirmala Murthy was born in South India. Her father was a Chief Engineer in the highway department. She did her medical studies in Madras Medical College in Chennai, one of the premier and oldest medical schools in India.

“I am very fortunate to have parents who encouraged my passion for medicine and supported me” she said. “In the 1960s education of women was not a priority in India, the role of women was to stay home and take care of the family.”

Murthy has three brothers who are also professionals living in the USA, one physician and two engineers. She has been married for 36 wonderful years to Dr. Krishna Murthy, a psychiatrist. They have two children well settled in life.

“I left India in January of 1979 to Montego Bay, Jamaica and worked at the Cornwall Regional Center till 1983,” Murthy said. “Then I did my residency in pediatrics in New York. In 1986 I came to Apple Valley and started my private practice in pediatrics.”

She considers herself to be fortunate to be able to do the work she loves, helping children when they are sick and in pain.

“To be a part of their lives when they are growing up is rewarding,” she said. “Some of the children I took care of when they were little bring their babies to me now!”

Q: What brings you joy?
A: My family, my work bring me joy. Seeing the innocent babies who trust me unconditionally, being able to help them gives me joy. Helping the parents whose children I take care in my practice brings me joy. To witness my own children being happy and successful in their lives gives me joy.

I teach the Art of Living Course, sharing techniques on how to become stress free and happy, seeing the transformation of the lives of course participants brings me great joy.

Q: Any hobbies?
A: I love to listen to Classical Indian Music. I studied it for a few years. I love to read spiritual books and Hindu scriptures. As I said earlier, I am also very much involved in the Art of Living Foundation. I teach Art of Living courses that reduce stress, improve health and well-being. I also teach meditation.

Q: What are the top three issues facing the United States today and what’s your take on them?
A: Of course the economy comes first. I am not an economist, but I can see that if both ruling parties cooperate with each other it can be fixed.

Education is the second issue. Unless we fix the system, future generations will suffer. Parents should inculcate in their children the importance of education and play an important role in guiding them.

Human values is the third issue. We need to teach our children at a young age the human values of truthfulness, compassion, sharing, caring for others, enthusiasm, respect for elders, harmony in diversity etc. so that they will be strong morally.

Q: What’s on your “bucket list?”
A: I do not have a list. One thing I wish to do is to help children in poor countries with their education and health.

Q: If you could ask God any question, what would you ask?
A: How can you ask God any question? He is that force, energy, consciousness, who knows what is best for this universe at any particular time. Accepting what is happening right now is the only way we can be happy and at peace. Even if God answers our question we may not understand!!!

Q: Who are three people you admire and why?
A: First and foremost I admire my mother; she is 80 years old. She has so much enthusiasm and energy to learn new things, visit new places. Two months ago she traveled to Himalayas in a pilgrimage about 14,000 feet above sea level!!

I admire Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living Foundation. He has brought peace and joy to the lives of millions of people all over the world with the knowledge, and meditation courses. His love, energy and enthusiasm have no boundaries.

I admire all those volunteers who do selfless service all over the world; wherever it is needed. Each one of them is an inspiration to me.

Q: Tell us about your sense of humor. Who makes you laugh?
A: I have a good sense of humor. Simple shows like “I Love Lucy” make me laugh.

Q: What are the key ideas that form your values and outlook?
A: I have written about the human values earlier: Honesty, forgiveness, compassion, caring, sharing, contentment, love and acceptance are the values that we need to cultivate in us because ultimately these are the ones that will bring us peace and joy in our lives.

Q: Tell us about your faith.
A: I am a Hindu by birth, but I am more into spirituality. I honor all religions because the core values of all faiths are the same.

Q: What are the top three issues facing the local community, and what’s your take on them?
A: I have discussed the three issues facing the nation that goes for the local community also economy: We need to create more jobs. Education: Decrease the dropout rate, technology oriented electives, teach the children moral values; get our youth involved in activities to build community spirit. We need to make our community drug and alcohol free.

In recent years, we have a large population on welfare and assistance. We need to provide vocational training and education to them so that they can live comfortably and with dignity.

Q: Have you ever had a close brush with death?
A: No. But I know that one thing — that we cannot escape death!

Q: What could the America of yesterday teach the America of tomorrow?
A: The America of yesterday had community spirit, selflessness, sharing and caring for others.

Living a simple uncomplicated, happy life, and respecting others, was the way of living. We need to learn from that and change our behavior before it becomes a disaster.

We are letting technology take over our lives. We hardly spend any time with our families and friends, as we are into computers , smart phones, texting, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. God knows what else is coming! Let us get out, take our children to the parks, get together with our friends, go to the churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and places of worship regularly.

Q: When you contemplate the meaning of your life, what do you conclude?
A: The meaning of my life is to find out who am I? The Self, the Spirit. It is a spiritual journey I am in now, in that process I know I can help many.

Q: Aside from the obvious, when you count your blessings, what are you grateful for?
A: I am grateful for every moment, and every breath, then our blessings become countless, is it not! Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my views with you.

Who would you like to see profiled in an upcoming Q&A? Drop us a line at News@AppleValley-Review.com.

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