Heartline is not agony uncle/aunt: Dr. Shyam Bhat

By The CoolAge Reporter
From Buzz@Bangalore, Bangalore
Posted Aug 2nd 2012 12:00AM
Dr. Shyam Bhat is a Psychiatrist, Integrative Medicine specialist, and writer who hosts the show, Heartline on Indigo 91.9. He is the founder of the Mind-Body Clinic, Bangalore, and Nirvikalpa: The Center for Human Potential.

College: Bangalore Medical College
Passion: Reading, writing, and working out at the gym

1. How did your days in school and college influence your decision into entering the field you have chosen?
In high school, I began representing the school for debate competitions, not because I was very good, but because nobody else was as interested. To this day, I am not sure why I was so passionate about trying to be a better communicator. In some strange way, the nervousness and the excitement of having to go up and speak to an audience was motivating.
By the time I was finishing college, I thought I wanted to be a journalist or a copywriter in an advertising firm.

But at the same time, by the time I was 17, I had also become interested in learning more about identity and human behaviour, in large part because my childhood had probably left me with some confusion! I was born in New Zealand, grew up in Libya, and first lived in India when I was 13.

I became very curious about identity, and to some extent, about the way people think and behave.

I decided to join Medical College knowing that the only speciality that I wanted to do was Psychiatry. To me, there was nothing more fascinating than people. What makes us tick? I wanted to know.

After I began training in Psychiatry, I felt as if something was missing. Surely, the body was important too? I decided to train in 2 specialities : Internal Medicine (speciality dealing with issues of the body) and Psychiatry.

Finally I could begin to understand my questions as a child, about the mysteries of our lives.

2. Was there any specific teacher/student/friend/individual that inspired you in any way during your college days?
Many teachers inspired me, and a few students and friends as well. I had a teacher in high school – Mr Santiago. He was talented and truly a renaissance man: he taught us Karate, English, and Geography, and each of them brilliantly. He also wrote plays – hilarious parodies of Shakespeare (he called them plays by Shakes P Iyer). He was an environmentalist and deeply interested in spirituality. Most importantly, he saw potential in each and every student. He saw promise in students neglected by other teachers and I saw how belief alone inspired students to excellence.

Many friends inspired me -there was always something to learn from each one of them, in the many different approaches to life.

My father and mother have always been greatly inspiring – they are both doctors. My father has been a role model - I used to watch how hard he worked, his integrity, and his genuine interest in his patient's health was amazing.

My mother has been inspiring too - her determination and persistence, as well as her belief in me have been amazing.

3. Would you like to share one (or a few) of your most memorable experiences during college?
Attending the various inter-collegiate fests. I particularly remember the outstation ones, to MoodI (IIT Bombay) and a fest at REC Suratkal. Several memorable experiences of taking part in JAMs and debates, rock shows - I remember Jethro Tull in Bangalore in particular, and the first time I acted in a professionally produced play.

4. Favourite kind of food during college days? (Café/Canteen/Mess/ Restaurant/Street food)
I loved Andhra biriyani and ate it as often as my pocket money would allow!

5. What was your favourite book during your college days?
Like many college students, I was inspired by the works of Ayn Rand, especially 'Atlas Shrugged'. I also loved 'Catcher in the Rye'.

6. The movie that most appealed to you during your college days?

7. You had a massive Grundig record player in college. What was the most played music during those days?
Mainly rock – Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, AC DC, Judas Priest, and my favourite in those days, Iron Maiden.

8. Psychiatry is a growing sector in medicine today. What changes have you seen this field as compared to 5 or maybe 10 years back?

Coming soon
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