Issue: Spring 2012
Department: My Story
Story: Carina Chatlani
I always knew I would be involved in a career incorporating medicine and science. However, the winding path that led me there presented itself when I was 15. After living in the U.S. for 14 years, my father sent me to a school near London. Just when I finally had gotten used to life in the U.K., news about a hit-and-run accident involving my grandfather in Mumbai sent shockwaves of surprise and chaos. The circumstances surrounding his death, followed by my father’s sudden decision to transfer me mid-semester to a remote boarding school in the Himalayan foothills, was at once life-altering, empowering and enlightening.
From the beginning, my grandfather and I had a bond. He was a very influential man who epitomized elegance and wisdom. However, he could put anybody at ease with a few simple words. He was an Indian diplomat in Rome, Italy at the time I was born, and had my parents name me “Carina” because the Italian name had struck a chord. His responsibilities involved mixing with all kinds of officials, heads of state, and royals including Queen Elizabeth. However, he always found time to go to Los Angeles during the holiday season, and we would travel overseas to see him for several weeks at a time. When I was little, he called me his “vanishing cream,” as I made his troubles disappear. He also often told me, “You are one with a true heart,” which still inspires the work I do in healing and wellness.