The vile hiatus

I was walking to the bus stop. A father with his daughter was waiting there. As the bus came, we both climbed in. I was traveling in the public transport after a long while and this time it was because I was going to pick up my car after service.


Happy to be on a bumpy ride with the rashness typical of private buses, as I was heading towards my destination, the father and the daughter was getting up to get out. I had not noticed the folder in the girl’s hand before. As she was about to get out, I saw the form through the transparent folder – a hall ticket with her photo attested. Then I realized it was the day of the All India undergraduate entrance exam for medicine.

From the ticket, I looked at her face. She looked distraught, tired, chin down, eyes tired and sleepy, her steps labored. A long day indeed, one familiar to many of us. It brought me back to the times when people like me were doing the very same thing. The turmoil that ensues. I think competing with the system and the rat race burns us out more than actually the subject.

The story is likely to be similar in all other professions but each time we reach a cross road, we have to decide.



I was in a great mood yesterday and wanted to find some time to scribble here, but somehow it seemed harder and harder to slot into the limited 24 hours. Will need to quickly come to terms with the post graduate life and the compromises that come with it.

As I write, I have completed 48 hours in my new department, a designation that will be my identity for the rest of my life. The transition has been smoother than I expected. Getting a newly constructed hostel room, plus a cheerful bunch of colleagues to work with, it already seems like am on the brink of a really exciting journey.

Day 1

Inaugural function with introduction to the system by all eminent leaders of the institution was followed by basic outline of the Hospital premises, a bit on infection control and some of the Do’s and Don’ts here. The headache of any postgraduate branch is the Thesis work that accompanies it and we are privileged to have got an intro from an established Bio stats Prof (retd. AIIMS) on how to make our lives a bit easier.

Day 2

There is always a fear, a fear of how things will pan out, when we set out on something new. As all 6 of us freshmen eagerly waited for the HOD to arrive in the morning, I was taken aback by the informal nature of the HOD’s rapport! He spoke at length of what he expects us to do, the potential he sees in us and how we should utilize the resources available to us. The one hour of his time he spent sharing his views and experiences were not only motivational|inspiring, but also instilled a sense of pride that a few of us are fortunate to be given this opportunity to work with Men of such a brilliant track record.

Day 3 here i come!

A passionate colossal quest, exploring new realms, time to make DREAMS COME TRUE!

The Next Chapter

Light showers, lovely breeze, twilight as the sun sets in. As I breathe in the fresh air, the mood is set to reflect. 24 hours ago, the news came in. 2 years had passed by. The journey was tough, depressing, disappointing and marred with failures; something I was unaccustomed to.

I was not the average kid. Being born left handed, the added burden of ‘left handed people are “smart” ‘ has persisted all throughout my last 25 years [here to stay!]. The ability to toy with arithmetic was in the lineage and no surprise Math turned out to be my favorite subject. Being ‘good at studies’ meant taking Science and Math in XI and XII; which is effectively the license to write both Medical and Engineering Entrance exams.

My III std. answer to my Class Teacher’s query: “What would you like to become Varun?” was “Pilot”. The irony though was I am shit scared of heights and could never sit through take off and landing without squeezing the hell out of the arm rests and calling all the Hindu Gods I could name!

Things changed as I hit XI and XII. Probably all the hoo haa of being in the top 10 in school plus the lack of any particular ambition in life lead to the usual thought process “There is no reason to not like either Medicine or Engg; Let’s write both and take whichever that happens!

My incidental admission to Manipal for Medicine was a boon in many ways. The place did a lot to let me develop as a person and the profession is tailor made for anyone who is glad to help someone out. The addition of “Dr.” in front of the name was a moment of great honor and pride. But the realization that this was just the beginning of a journey of a lifetime tends to hit you hard.

Immediately after graduation, the next short term target is Post Graduation. In the case of girls, of course, marriage tends to come more often than not in the way or ahead of it.

I have hardly ever failed in any exam of significance. But success was something that was agonizingly difficult to taste when it came to qualifying for post graduation entrance exams. The equation is simple -> Just too many people competing for a handful of seats.. aka the terrible rat race rerun in difficulty mode!

The last 12 months have been terrible, to say the least. I did not celebrate when I turned 25; there was no reason to for a year that went totally unregistered. But here I am now, a week away from restoring order to life, eager to move on, eager to brush away all the failures and disappointments. It’s time to smell success, cherish the moment a thankful patient smiles and do my part.

P.S: All my friends whom I have not contacted for a while, my heartfelt apologies. At times, it just felt right to shut myself out 🙂