Dr Shikha Sharma is known to all who believe in fitness. Primarily, people know her for her network of weight management clinics - Nutri-Health Systems Private Limited. But besides, she’s a lot more…a qualified doctor…a successful entrepreneur….a social reformer….and above all a great health writer too. Here’s Smita Dwivedi in tête-à-tête with Dr Shikha Sharma on a sunny winter afternoon.
Dr Shikha Sharma is a graduate in medicine from Maulana Azad Medical College and has worked in the Department of Cardiology as a Junior Resident in GB Pant Hospital. It was there that the desire to work in preventive medicine evoked. In this regard, she started a health-based organisation, which works on the concept of ‘Nutrigenetics’ which is an amalgamation of ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and knowledge of contemporary medicine. Later Nutri-Health Systems Private Limited was established to create a vision for integrative and holistic wellness. The organisation is working under her guidance towards creating awareness on healthy eating and lifestyle practices. She has been honoured with the Women Achievers Award in 1999, Women Achievers Award from FICCI in 2004, and prestigious Kalpana Chawla Award in 2007. She was also the official nutritionist at Pond’s Femina Miss India Contest 2006.
Having a fulfilling career in health, what prompted her to write a book? “Actually, I never think I am writer. Whatever I write is just an expression of my day-to-day life and experiences. Whatever you find in newspapers or other printed media is just that,” came a quick reply from Dr Shikha. she writes frequently in several national dailies like Hindustan Times, The Times of India, The Indian Express and magazines like India Today, Femina, Cosmopolitan, to name a few. Also associated with several health shows, she has frequently appeared as a guest on different TV Channels including Star TV, CNBC TV 18, NDTV, Zee TV, Sahara TV, Home TV, etc.
“I penned my first book when I was in my twenties. It was because of my two patients, who were publishers. They always used to motivate me to write a book. So finally, I decided to pen it down all my views and thoughts on health. My first book is a handbook on fitness. Later, I wrote another book on health, which is a ready-reckoner for fitness and related issues. Now my views, ideas and perception about the same are mature and clearer. So, after 12 years, I am working on a book again and I want it to be the best,” she added.
So, what is in store for our readers? “Well the book that I always wanted to write is not yet written. I want to write a book on women’s health. It would be a legacy that I want to leave in this world. And I am preparing myself for it.”
Dr Shikh is always occupied with so many other activities that she actually has little luxury to write full time. But still she manages to steal some time for her writing talent. She thinks that she needs minimum one to two years to write a book. “My book on women’s health & fitness would not be like any other health book on females. I am dealing it with a different approach and also giving it a holistic approach. It would cover all aspects of woman – physical, emotional, psychological or social.”
Discussion with authors usually leads to their reading habits, and here what she loves to read; is it health and fitness or some other genre? To which she replied, “I never read for entertainment, I read for my inner awakening and self enlightenment. Any book which I read, I read it with full conviction. I always imbibe good thoughts from it.”
Being an avid reader, she finishes reading a book very fast, sometimes in just 2-3 days. “I love reading…since childhood. My grandparents imbibed this habit in me. And today after so many years, I thank my grandparents for always gifting me books on every possible occasion.”
So, what she actually loves to read, “I love to read Bhagwad Gita a lot. I never read it as a religious book; I rather read it as a practical guide for life. I also read Upnishads and Vedantas. I enjoy Swami Vivekanand’s literature a lot. I love his biography. And I also love to read biographies of most successful people. My favourite ones are Mahatama Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru. I do not like fictions and thrillers,” she replied.
To conclude with a message for our readers, she added, “I just want people to spend more time reading rather than chit-chatting all the time. I feel most of the people waste large portion of their time in unproductive activities. So, read more and talk less.”
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