Zest of life


At the completion of three months of my first rotating internship, having recently cleared my medical graduate final exam, I was proudly displaying my new Dr. engraved name tag as I waited to get my log book signed by the head of the Obs & Gyn department. Known for her effervescent and intimidating personality, the fear factor drove us to perform in a way that was best suited for our physical and mental health. After all she was the most feared boss probably across all our clinical departments.

At the end of the out patient clinic that day, she was seated with her colleagues at the consultation area as me and three of my fellow colleagues approached her. She had one liners reserved for each one of us as we awaited for her permission.

She did not look up from the green log book of mine as she signed it. But she had only one message for me; those words still ring in my ears; “If you work like this, you will die one day.” The other doctors in the unit smiled. Till that date, she had not commented on me apart from the usual reprimands as we as interns desperately sought to find our feet.

But I walked away that day, with something much more. I knew I enjoyed what I did. The first acknowledgement when you start your career goes a long way in creating the persona for you to move ahead. At that point of time, I took it as an arrogant sense of acceptance, but then I realized how much it enabled me to stride forward.

So if you have that person with whom you work who goes that extra mile, give him or her the acknowledgement that they deserve, and it will do wonders in the amount of productivity and harmony at work.

It’s like Forrest Gump said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates.’ Your career is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. But everything you get is going to teach you something along the way and make you the person you are today. That’s the exciting part – it’s an adventure in itself. – Nick Carter

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 🙂