When she is not busy with her professional duties as a gastroenterologist at Care Hospital, Manisha Bangar keeps herself active on various other fronts. From organising a 5K-run for awareness on Hepatitis, to delivering talks on gender issues, promoting communal harmony and reciting shayari on television, the doctor straddles quite a versatile sphere.

“Striking a balance between the different worlds of medical profession, poetry and social initiatives is not really easy but I enjoy my varied roles as they are all dear to my heart,” Dr. Manisha tells T. LALITH SINGH in an engaging tête-à-tête

Q. What do you like more — medical practice or literary pursuits?

A. I like being a doctor as the profession is meant to help mankind. At the same time, literature is not just a world of escape as some might deem it to be. It is a key element in the progress of mankind. Poetry is not only about pining over unrequited love or exploring the realms of dreams and desires, but it also challenges the values in vogue, dares to swim against the tide and inspires a sense of rebellion.

Q. What appeals to you about Urdu?

A. Urdu is a beautiful language. Connected with different eras and many human endeavours and despite the trials and tribulations associated with it, Urdu comes across with a sense of jubilation.

Q. What spurred you into the world of literature and social issues?

A. After early education at Nagpur, I travelled around Chandigarh and Delhi till my super-specialisation in Gastroenterology. I later worked in different cities. Exposure to different milieu and cultures spurred me into taking a more inquisitive look at the way things are.

Different cities and different cultures perceive women differently, I realised. Some are supportive, some suppressive. But in most, I observed that a woman is put on the back foot, made to feel defensive, with no space allowed to express herself.

Q. What are the initiatives you are associated with?

A. Apart from medical practice and occasional appearances on the small screen to read out couplets, I am presently engaged with talks on issues such as gender and leadership at different city colleges. Recently, I joined hands with voluntary groups on events meant to promote communal amity.

More In: Hyderabad