By J.V. Lakshmana Rao
Chicago: Sardar Hari Har Singh, a retired additional superintendent of police of Andhra Pradesh, is a medical miracle. With multiple major surgeries because of life-threatening ailments, including cancer, this 63-year-old marathon runner stands as an inspiration not only to all those who suffer serious ailments but also to the senior citizens.
Unless he tells his story, no one would believe that he is a survivor of such serious diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart attack, kidney stone and even cancer.
He looks every inch of him as an epitome of complete health, energy and vitality. And his looks belie his age. With his thick black beard and tightly tucked hair under his well-done turban and standing tall, he looks like a young man of 40 years. He has perfect eyesight and shed his eyeglasses following regular yoga exercise for eyes.
Sardar Hari Har Singh, who hails from Hyderabad, was on a brief visit to Chicago recently. Accompanied by a local friend, he walked into the India Tribune office to share his story of survival and good health.
He says: “The secret of my health is regular jogging for 10 kilometers, 30 minutes of yoga, a few minutes of meditation and prayer, eating healthy food, positive thinking and clean habits. As a police officer with multiple duties of law and order, and traffic control, I was not doing all these things even 10 years ago, until my health started failing.”
He says he was diagnosed diabetic when he was 34 years old, but he managed it more with medicines and less with diet and exercise. But a wakeup call about his failing health came in 2000, when he suffered brain stroke and the right side of his body was completely paralyzed. However, doctors felt that he survived because he was rushed to the hospital at a right moment. If his visit to the hospital were to have been delayed by five minutes he would have gone into to coma permanently, he quotes the doctors, who attended on him.
With timely treatment, therapy and exercise, he regained perfect functioning of his limbs, but in 2003 he suffered a sever stomach pain. The doctors diagnosed that he was suffering from a large ulcer as a result of stomach cancer. Again the doctors had to resort to a major surgery to remove 80 percent of his stomach.
As if his health problems were not over, in 2004 he suffered chest pain. A medical checkup and an angiography showed that he had multiple blocks in all his three coronary arteries. He was advised an urgent bypass surgery. An intricate and delicate heart operation was performed on him with five bypass surgeries. It was after his recovery from the heart surgery he took to daily 10-kilometer-long jogging for 90 minutes.
But, again it was in 2005, he suffered urinary problem, when the doctors found that he had a big stone in his kidney that needed a major surgery immediately. It was during his convalescing he started watching Yoga Guru Baba Ram Dev’s programs on television and realized that he should practice yoga, breathing exercise and meditation.
From then on, Sardar Hari Har Singh has started practicing, yoga, meditation, prayer, jogging and eating healthy food.
In 2007, he retired from his active service as a top police officer, but, he says, his real healthy life began from then on.
Asked about his daily routine, he says he gets up everyday at about 3:30 a.m., walks to the nearest park and jogs at least 10 kilometers. Then he comes home and starts yoga for another 30 minutes or so. He says he practices anuloma and viloma breathing, kapal bhati, meditation, surya namaskar, and prayer.
He says: “Now doctors certified that I am completely healthy. The secrete of my health is that I follow healthy lifestyle. One must practice at least one hour of jogging. If one cannot jog, one must walk at least for one hour. One must cultivate the habit of positive thinking. One must keep one’s body clean and free from toxins. Occasionally one must undergo detoxification treatment as prescribed in Ayurveda.”
Regarding his diet and food habits, he says: “Every morning, I eat five soaked almonds. I drink a glass of warm milk mixed with a spoonful of turmeric powder, a few spoonfuls of wheat grass juice, and a small cup of aloe vera juice. My breakfast includes two pulkas made of whole wheat flour, two boiled eggs without yolks and one apple. My lunch and dinner also contain mostly of vegetarian dishes, with less salt.”
He joined the Andhra Pradesh Police Department as a sub-inspector in 1974, and by sheer dint of hard work and perseverance, he rose in ranks to the stature of additional superintendent of police, and retired on October 31, 2007. He received a medal as the “best traffic inspector from the then Home Minister Madhav Reddy in 1999. He now regularly participates in the annual 10-kilometer marathon run in Hyderabad and he recently clocked one hour 25 minutes.
Sardar Hari Har Singh is married for over 30 years and has a grown up son and a daughter. He lives in Hyderabad with his wife and son, and his daughter, who is married, lives with her husband and baby in Los Angeles.