As I drive to my work daily I see a huge billboard on the way, which says “Bodies – The Exhibition”. It never caught my attention to know what it was about. Being a person who disliked medical field as a student, overlooking an advert related to medical field was easy, until the day, when my sister-in-law who plans to visit us in couple of days mentioned about it and her enthusiasm to go see it. That aroused some curiosity in me to check out what this body exhibition was all about. So I planned a visit to it in Atlanta where I live.
The “Bodies” exhibit or museum as it is called is located in busy by-lanes of one of the trendy streets of Atlanta, called “Atlantic Station”. A very unusual place for a museum to be set, where hunks roam in lowered pants that mark the new mantra of fashion, and where beautiful girls in their dazzling garbs and alluring beauty tantalize your imagination, lines of nice restaurants on the street whose delicious aroma of food fills your nostrils as you pass by them. The crisscross of narrow lanes gives a feeling of funky town. With some skepticism, and little expectation, I entered the Bodies museum, where a skeleton hanging from top with its wide teeth and hollow eyes, welcomed me. The first stop was the display of bones. It did not impress me much, as a first impression.I wasn’t sure if the pricy entrance fee for the exhibit was really worth it. Mere looking at the parts on display wasn’t appealing so I resorted to reading the descriptions that complemented the parts on display. “Your bones are 3 times stronger than mild steel, but still constitute only 15% of body weight“… that sounded unbelievable!! Is that true? Well, it has to be. If it is written in there it cannot be unauthenticated. That was interesting to know, had never ever thought of it before. Ahead, there was a huge backbone on display; its owner might have been a really big guy. Furthermore, there were leg bones, hip bones, neck bones, ribs, hand bones, wrist, fingers and toes, all kinds of bones that make the body. Starting from the fist bone as I moved ahead I slowly started to see the things in more detail as I read the facts associated with them. How the legs are joined to the hip bone, the hip bone to the back bone, back bone to the neck bone, neck to the skull with such a precision so as to give that fine and smooth movement which we easily ignore in our day-to-day use. Haven’t thought about the body mechanism the way I was imagining it now while looking at the bones in the museum. In perfect harmony, joined with precision with the magic hand of nature that forms the structure on which we rest our self, and that which protects and supports us our entire life. “Babies and infants have 300 bones, while adults 206” that was another interesting fact I discovered.
Next up was information on muscles in the body. In the room that was adjacent to the bone section were bodies, which looked like the Egyptian mummies, preserved for perfection. There were muscles of thighs and hands and body. A huge body, skinned out to display all the muscles, held a basket ball in hand. Should have been a body of a NBA player whose final wish must have been to adore the museum holding his favorite toy, the “basket ball” :). That body had chiseled muscles and a huge structure which looked like a Roman statue.
I passed the section about kidneys and liver and spleen. The kidney “filters around 40 gallons of blood a day”. Stopped over at “Heart”, curious to learn. The heart is the engine of the body which keeps pumping blood day and night to keep us alive, contracting and expanding. Does not stop for a minute. The museum displayed a big heart, might have been from a generous soul. “Why heart beats faster when you are in love”, answer to that however, I could not find there :). Looking at that heart reminded me of those numerous phrases associated with the heart, the symbol of love, “Loose your heart”, “My sweet Heart”, “Give your Heart”, “Heavy Heart”, “Heartfelt”, “Listen to your heart”.. Truly heart is the center of emotion, our feelings… how amazing.
Network of wires and signals, the next section displayed the nervous system of our body. What a fascinating network of communication, unmatched and precise to the core. Is modern science even close to the nature’s genius in building the most sophisticated communication mechanism? No, and probably will never be. We have built the most sophisticated computers, the most evolved fiber optics but still fail to be as precise as nature’s wiring mechanism. “Signals in our body travel to remote parts in the body at the speed of 240 miles / hr”, how amazing. Brain, the master originates the signals and distributes it to the destination and compels it to act. A highly evolved form of robotics. The wiry mesh that spreads each and every corner of our body can stretch up hundreds and thousands of miles.
One other most interesting section was the fetal development, right from the time when the first embryo is formed. It is astounding to see how an 8 week baby has all the bone structure formed with all the fine joints. Difficult to imagine how life as small as a grain, grows and forms to be a human. Life and its mysteries couldn’t be anymore amazing.
Nature’s demonstration of what expertise means can be easily seen by looking at the different body parts and the way they perform. The body parts also tell us that we need to stop complaining about the routine work we do. Had our body parts disliked routine and monotonous job, our existence in the world would cease. “Work is worship”, is a definition that our body parts truly exhibit. Working relentlessly, without complaining and without expecting anything in return. Is it not our moral responsibility to take care of them for their service? If not a whole lot, don’t they deserve to be cared a little? Still, regardless of their selfless work, we abuse them regularly. Smoking, drugging, overloading them, putting all the hurdles that we can, in their work, we then complain that they fail. We are the owners of our misery. Our body parts have great endurance and resilience. They only fail because of our negligence and constant abuse over a very long period. We eat junk, greasy, fatty and crappy food, deposit large fats and blame on the heart for its failure, we smoke like chimneys to burn our lungs and blame the lungs for their failure; we do not exercise to enhance the mineral composition of our bones and blame our bones for not being strong. We take our stomachs for dumpster, eating unwanted stuff, filling toxins in the form of carbonated drinks and then blame our belly for not digesting them.
Visiting “The Bodies exhibition” compelled me to think and look at our bodies with a different perspective. “Our body”, the gift of nature, the greatest, unmatched, uncontested and advanced technology in the universe. You will never look at your body the same way, once you see “The Bodies”.