The South Asian and American Women’s Alliance (SAAWA), a Long Island based organization, recently recognized a few ladies at their 2014 annual gala. One of the honorees who drew my attention, in particular, was Dr. Subhadra Nori who was recognized for her “contribution to medicine”.
I felt impelled to speak with her after the formal part of the function was over to know more about her, primarily to satisfy my curiosity as to how a busy physician could train herself in to a motivational speaker and, also because I felt the readers of The Indian Panorama will get to know what made Dr. Subhadra Nori “a successful woman”. Such success stories prove to be very educative and serve as source of inspiration to others.
So, here we go. Dr. Subhadra Nori is a physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Working as the Regional Director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Queens health network composed of Elmhurst and Queens Hospitals in New York, she is responsible for 4o Therapists, 10 attending physicians, 28 rotating residents through Mount Sinai School of medicine and hospital. What better way to understand a persona than to know what ideals are dear to him or her.
What vision does he or she have of the variegated life? So, in order to unravel Dr. Nori’s personality, I asked her a couple of questions which she readily answered. Here they are. The first question I asked her related to the most important institution in the life of a personfamily. Asked about her views on family, she said, “Family is the most important part of your life. You need the support and love of your spouse for achieving anything in career, life and happiness. It’s not how many gifts, jewelry or clothes are given but simple things as taking care of you, making sure you are comfortable, is the most important thing.
Judy Bosworth, North Hempstead Town Supervisor gives away the award to Dr. Subhadra Nori for her “contribution to Medicine”. Also seen in the picture, to the left of Bosworth, is Anila Midha, MD, Founder and President of South Asian American Women’s Alliance.
I am lucky and proud to say I have that 100%. To achieve the pinnacle of happiness you need the children’s acceptance and love. The last comment of hers brought me to the subject of children. I asked her what she thought about the upbringing of children, particularly, in a country which has a lot different set of values than Indians normally subscribe to. Dr. Nori said, “I was just like my mother.
Noris at their daughter’s wedding, with son, daughter in law, daughter, son in law and their parents
I didn’t think twice before providing, nurturing or pushing them when needed, to achieve many different aspects as culture, dance, music etc. However, their education was the primary goal for me”. She recalled how her parents also laid a great emphasis on education. “Our family’s emphasis was on education. without any discrimination between a boy or a girl. My parents were hard working, goal oriented, paying close attention to budget. Yet, they never hesitated when needed on education, for example, my medical college”.
Noris have always had political connections though they are not politically involved. Seen here with Hillary Clinton, then a Senator
Asked about the values she cherished most, she counted on her fingers, family, friendship and religious values. Dr. Subhadra Nori said she was proud of her heritage. “I am proud to say that both my parents came from solid families with many teachers and again, with emphasis on education. My paternal grandparents lived in Burma and spoke Burmese”.
Dr. Subhadra Nori with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (right).
Asked to give her views on religion, Dr. Nori said, “I believe in one Supreme God, and recently started reading on meanings of Vishnu Sahasranamamas, Aditya Hrudayam etc. I have great respect for the speaker of the pravachans Brahmsree SamavedamShanmukha Sharma. I have great faith in our Guruji Sree Vishwayogi Vishvamji. I believe he is always with me”. Asked if it gave her strength, she was emphatic in her affirmation. I thought it was time to bring her down from the high perch of philosophical reflections to other mundane affairs.
Knowing that most people in America are fitness conscious and Dr. Nori herself looked physical extremely fit, I asked her what she thought of health and fitness. “I am a big fan of exercise and use every possible available time to exercise. I have been a regular attendee of the gym for over 15 years. I do 2 days of circuit training with a personal trainer and attend 2 days of aerobics classes at the gym.
Zumba and kick boxing are my favorites. A little swimming in the summer as well. I am also careful with my diet and still read quite a few books and magazines on health and fitness, using audiobooks while doing dishes or commuting or gardening”. Asked to comment on her attitude to work, she said,” I believe in honesty and dedication towards work and ethics. I am a straight shooter and avoid cunning people.
I despise those who try to take advantage of the weak and the system. ” Dr. Subhadra Nori is a recipient of a number of awards and honors. These include the Best Teacher Award by Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore and Jacobi Medical Centers, and award for outstanding contribution to the residency program in PM &R 2003- 2005. And then, the SAAWA 2014 Award for her contribution to Medicine.
Asked what she thinks is the satisfying thing for her to do, she said, if human beings could help each other it would be the best thing to do. And she added she and her husband, the renowned Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Dattatreya Nori find real happiness in serving humanity and divinity. She said, “I was the secretary of Indo American Cancer Association which, in association with the Basavatarakam Foundation in Hyderabad was responsible for building a cancer hospital in Hyderabad. “The hospital is exclusively treating cancer patients from all over India, and is well known for its association with world renowned Sloan Kettering cancer center in New York.
10% to 15% patients get free service. We are very proud to be one of the founding members of this hospital. This hospital now has a nursing school, a wellness center and a chowltry for the needy.” Coming to the other source of happiness, the divine, Mrs. Nori said,” Along with my husband, Dr. Dattatreya Nori, myself and my family is fortunate to have established two Shirdi Sai Baba temples and cultural centers in New York and New Jersey. We conduct not only religious services but also run health camps, dance classes, tabla classes, SAT instructional classes and many others”.
It is a large canvass of life, of which any person could be legitimately proud. Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh born Subhadra, in her own words, is “successfully and happily married to Dr. Dattatreya Nori”. The Noris have two childrena son, Sateesh who is a lawyer and a daughter, Priya who is an infectious diseases physician. To the satisfaction of Noris both are successful in their professions and life. A life lived well in the service of humanity and God: that’s the source of happiness and success for Dr. Subhadra Nori and her illustrious husband Dr. Dattatreya Nori.