The Graduation

The finals perilously close, travel out of station was the last thing on my mind, but I couldn’t miss my fiancée’s graduation ceremony. So I set out on a 3 day trip, two spent on day trains to accomodate my study hours and one to completely switch off for the function.

2008121059110301For a day train, the Ernad Express 16605/16606 AC chair car is ideal. With wider cushioned seats and ample leg space, it embarrasses the Jan Shatabdi train for comfort. For a trip from Kochi to Mangalore, it borders 9 hours of journey and you will be able to just catch a tea as you arrive.



make-my-tripI made my hotel booking from and found The Saffron Boutique hotel, a 3 star enterprise around 500m from the central railway station an ideal place to stay. Plenty of positive reviews from online portals channelized me into choosing this and I have to admit I wasnt disappointed.


IMG_3717Right from the security guard at the door to the receptionist and room service, the behavior of the staff was courteous and receptive. The room was spaceous, comfortable and cozy, letting me sleep like a baby in the night, enjoy some good Indian food in the little time I was occupying the room. I can’t deny the experience was more joyous thanks to watching a resurgent performance of Manchester United against West Brom.


Over the last few years, I have tried several cab services in the town, each time a different one. Celcabs was the first, and to be honest they disappointed. The AC did not work and that sums it up. Savaari was the next in line and that was indeed a luxury trip. Couldn’t find any fault with their services. This time tried Clear Car Rental and it was probably not as comfy as Savaari but had a young and sharp driver at hand who made the road trip smooth.


IMG_1644As I waited to pick my lady from her hostel, I noticed plenty of well dressed, young doctors with tucked in shirts, blazers and branded suits in the campus. The lady doctors were celebrating vibrant sarees, makeups leaving an indelible mark on all onlookers as they prepared to be officially bestowed the title.

IMG_1682 The lunch ensued in the examination hall of K.V.G Medical College. The parents and relatives of the graduates filed in as we waited for the chief guest to arrive and the function begin. In the meantime the graduates received their gowns and were indulging in a photo session. Soon the chief guest arrived and the graduates were paraded in.

The MC s got to act with the introduction of delegates and soon there was addressal of the chief guest.


IMG_1678Men/Women of great honor are usually invited to address at a graduation and while the esteemed professors of the institute went on listing the umpteen publications, international exposure, training and number of conferences Padmashree Dr. C.N.Manjunath has to his name, I was losing track of the list of his achievements the highlight being the Manjunath technique of ‘Balloon Valvuloplasty.


IMG_1691He took over the podium to address the new graduates and went on to speak for almost half an hour and that was one of the most resonating speeches I have ever heard from a professional in the field of medicine. (I have limited exposure by the way!)

I think it is necessary for me to recollect some of the key issues he addressed, more so because it will be something that I would like to look back and read again as my career unfolds. (These are my perceptions of what Dr. Manjunath spoke)


  • Family: He mentioned how he got lost in the sea of work so much so that he was working 7 days a week and that meant literally ZERO hours with family. He realized it a bit late, but better late than never, and since his 40s, he has been keeping a day aside purely for family time.
  • Comparison with peers: Classmates from school who turned to branches other than medicine are probably taking a flight, while you are taking the train; driving a car while you are waiting at the bus stand; using a Samsung Galaxy S4 while you are still on your budget smartphone. Comparison gets you nowhere. Self satisfaction in your job is key and that does not lie in comparison with others.
  • He/she earns more: Comparing your salary with peers in other specialties will keep driving you nuts. You should commit to your work and the money will come. Chasing money will get you nowhere.
  • Dream big: Sky is the limit. Unless you dream high, you will not set out targets to achieve. Strive to live your dream and nature will shape you to get there.
  • Hardwork, determination, goals: To realize your dreams, you need to be committed hundred percent to your work, put in the hours to churn yourself out ever closer to your goals.
  • Cost effective treatment: With the outburst out of technology in the field of medicine, the number of investigations available out there are ridiculously large. Treating the disease is easy, but treating the patient is what matters. The same disease can probably be treated with Rs 20,000 or Rs 2,00,000. The financial status of the patient is very important to ensure the treatment you met out is reaching the patient. Do not offer false hope if you know no treatment can help the patient’s survival. Do not add further financial burden to the supporting family if no positive outcome can be achieved.
  • Compassion: The healing touch of the doctor is becoming obsolete. Doctors enter electronically data as the patient gives history. Never underestimate the power of the emotions. Doctor patient relation runs purely on trust and faith. That makes you stand out from the average doctor. Be a leader.
  • Behavior and culture: Cracking jokes in front of the patient, talking on your mobile phone with the patient at your desk are simply not acceptable. The patient loses the trust in you and all the academic accolades one achieves will be of no use if you do not gain the trust of the patient.
  • Communication skills: It is imperative the patients bystanders are always well informed about the day to day status of the patient. Miscommunications can lead to un necessary scuffles. It is the right of the patient and patient party to be informed of the progression of the disease and the care being provided.
  • Patience: The patient and the bystander might ask the same question again and again. Is he doing ok? Is he improving? Etc. It is your duty to be courteous and respond appropriately.
  • Time management: Probably the most important thing. Prioritizing the right amount of time for doing the right things will make you reach your goals.
  • Detox stress: The average life span of a doctor has fallen by 10 years. Find your own ways to circumvent stress.

In this short interval of time, these are a few things I recollect from the address. I must admit I could relate to most of the things he stated being a member of this fraternity.

 A day away from my study routine, an inspiration from an unexpected source. Thank you sir.

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