The Best Medicine for a Happy Life

    icon Feb 22, 2022
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This past Valentine’s Day, perhaps you were looking for inspiration in honor of your special someone, aiming to add profound depth to your own sentiments via Cupid’s mighty pen. If you went online and googled “best quotes on love” and followed the link to GoodReads, WiseSayings, or practically any other quote site listed, eventually the name Debasish Mridha would have appeared. 

“The secret of joy is to give love without seeking it.”

Scroll past William Shakespeare, Mahatma Gandhi, and Marilyn Monroe, and there he is again, dispensing more pearls of wisdom. 

“Happiness is the fragrance in the garden of love.”

Click to the next page, breeze past Albert Einstein, Mother Theresa, and Kahlil Gibran, and Mridha’s name eventually pops up beneath another quote.

“Always love your enemies. It will destroy them forever.”

Whatever the angle, the Good Doctor’s perspective is both deep and whimsical; the glasses through which he views the world are tinted with perpetual love and kindness. 

If you missed Valentine’s Day, not to worry: Mridha’s musings on babies can aptly represent Mother’s Day, the changing of the seasons, or life in general (“In the garden of humanity every baby is a fresh new flower who can smile, laugh, giggle, dance, love and sing with Mother Earth”).

Mridha has published five books of poems and verse (three in English and two in his native Bengali language), all while presiding over his neurology practice, Michigan Advanced Neurology Center (MANC), which he launched in 1999. 

In fact, the focus of his next book, to be published in 2022, will be babies, motherhood, and parenting. Following the format of his two most recent publications, “Verses of Happiness” (2017) and “Verses of Peace” (2019), the new book, “Sweet Babies, Sweet Thoughts,” will pair Mridha’s quotable thoughts with illustrations intended to appeal to readers of every age.

Mridha says he believes that his distinct way of expressing his thoughts is an amalgamation of personal life experience and his persistence in thinking deeply about what makes life such a breathtakingly beautiful, poetic experience at its core.

Persistence is a quality that has served Mridha well throughout his life. 

Humble Beginnings

Born in Bangladesh in 1964, Mridha was 6 years old when the Bangladesh War broke out; his family would spend the next three years in a refugee camp, enduring conditions that opened his eyes to the harshness that can exist in the world. 

“I decided back then that if I ever had enough for myself, whatever else I had I would give to those less fortunate,” he recalls.

As Mridha progressed through school, he rose to the top of his class, earning a full academic scholarship to attend Kiev Medical Institute in Ukraine. As a student, he also won the heart of his future wife, Chinu, who had read some of his poetic writings in a school publication. He followed an opportunity to complete his residency and fellowship in neurology in the United States, at Wayne State University. 

Drawn to Michigan’s charm as well as its opportunity, the Mridhas chose Saginaw for the next chapter of their lives. Mridha rose to prominence in his profession; in 2012 he was named Physician of the Year in Michigan. During this time, however, he always remained a student of philosophy and its influential writers and thinkers. Whether historical or contemporary, from Socrates and Descartes to Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer, Mridha absorbed a broad swath of philosophical teachings and incorporated them into his own philosophy.

“I think how I process the world, through my past experiences and worldview, and the way I express my thoughts in English achieves a simplicity that is relatable on many levels,” says Mridha.

In 2010, following a vision that his words could have an impact in the public arena, Mridha ran as the Democratic Candidate for the 32nd District (covering Saginaw and Genesee counties). Although his candidacy was unsuccessful (he lost to Republican Incumbent Dr. Roger Kahn), Mridha garnered more than 41% of the vote, a top showing that year for a freshman candidate for office. He also used the experience to become more comfortable with public speaking.

Building a Legacy

As his practice became more successful, the Mridhas formed Himaloy, Inc., a property management company, and bought their first property, the Ziebart Auto Detailing on Euclid Avenue in Bay City, in 2006. 

“I got some advice very early on that investing in property is much more reliable than the stock market,” he says. 

Later that same year, Mridha purchased a piece of history, the Montague Inn, an ornate Saginaw bed-and-breakfast property built in 1929. While the Inn accepts reservations throughout the year and hosts special events as well, Mridha sees the site as the eventual permanent home for the Mridha Foundation, a nonprofit that the Mridhas formed in 2001. The grounds are decorated with sculptures and monuments etched with some of Mridha’s quotes. 

In 2019, Himaloy purchased a building in Warren that became the Shiv Mandir Temple of Joy, a worship and cultural center for the Hindu community in the area. Dr. Mridha regularly attends and speaks at special events held at the temple. 

Another measure of the legacy Mridha is building is the number of scholarships and awards that he has initiated: American Brain Foundation, American Medical Association Foundation (AMAF), Michigan State Medical Society, Saginaw County Medical Society, Saginaw Community Foundation, Saginaw Valley State University, and Central Michigan University are the most notable. In addition, he has served on the Michigan State Medical Society’s Board of Trustees since 2009.

Still, in spite of all these activities, whenever he has a free moment, Mridha can be found behind his desk, writing a poem or speech to recite at a special occasion or just a simple verse that shines fresh light on a familiar thought.

In 2021, seeking to create a physical extension of his dedication to promoting peace and happiness in the world, he formed the Mridha International Institute of Peace & Happiness. Launched on International Peace Day (September 21), the Institute will launch its free online platform with courses teaching principles related to conflict resolution, inner peace, and community involvement. Inaugural Governing Board members include SVSU President Donald Bachand and Dow Foundation President Jenee Velasquez.

“Our vision is to hold an annual conference with speakers and panelists who hold varied perspectives unified by their commitment to peace, nonviolence, and creating a better world for everyone.”


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