April 11, 2023
“I so wanted to become a doctor, Eddie uncle. You know I was fascinated with Dr. Shetty, so much that I had decided when I was in high school, that I would become a Orthopedicain, just like him” I said after I had chugged down the last drop of beer. I was in a pensive mood that evening, second guessing my education and its repercussions.
Eddie uncle’s response did not lighten my spirits. “Hmmmm.” he said.
“You know, I would have done your knee replacement for free, if I had become a doctor,” My whining continued.
“Oh! Stop it….,” Eddie uncle, I guess could not take it any longer.
I was startled at his response. I had invited the old man to listen to my whining, while there he was, not only not listening, but from the looks of his face, was about to give me a lecture on life.
While I struggled to close my gaping mouth, he said “then why did not you become one?”
“ahhh, ahhh….,” I stammered. I actually did not have an answer.
Eddie uncle glanced at the waiter and swirled his index fingure- the secret code between him and the waiter- for a repeat.
The avalanche of wisdom was about to be dumped on me.
“You know why you did not become a doctor?” he asked.
Was I supposed to reply? I knew him long enough to know that he would continue without waiting for my reply.
“Because, you would have been a pathetic doctor.”
He continued “During your studies, were you a good student?”
I was quiet.
“You are now supposed to reply, you moron,” he barked and then sipped his whiskey, while I was wondering if I had done the right thing inviting him to Kinara for my whining session. I needed a vent for my crisis and I thought Eddie uncle would be a good one. I was wrong.
“I guess I was. I got first class and also got placed in a top MNC.” I reminisced those good old days with my friends and colleagues.
“I remember how you studied. You studied only for marks selecting topics that fetched passing marks. I dread what would have happened if you had joined a medical college.” He was spot on.
I simply nodded.
“Imagine yourself operating on my knee, as you said. Suddenly in the middle of the surgery, if there comes a situation, say a tiny bone that never fetched you enough marks. Would you say “Oh shoot, I should have studied this also” or simply say “Out of syllabus” and sew me up without bothering about my well –being.”
I was quiet again. The old man was right. I would have been a pathetic doctor.
“Eddie uncle. Perhaps I would have studied differently in a medical college.” I made up a reason.
“Ah the reason again. You know you said you are fascinated with Dr. Shetty. You haven’t seen his dedication, his punctuality and his humanity. You have seen only his fame. You have not seen the sleepless nights and the effort he put in becoming what he is. You are belittling his hard work, commitment and sacrifices by doing so. He must have probably woken up at 4:30 am every morning to prepare for his exams, or spent his weekends studying a little more than what is taught in the syllabus, so that he could become a really good doctor.”
He continued, “The grass is always greener on the other side my boy. You are good where you are. Count your blessings, instead of counting someone else’s.”
He swirled his fingures again and the waiter obliged. I too swirled my fingures, forgetting my crisis. I could see a bright green light flashing in my mind.
A naughty smile wound up on my lips. Mind is so malleable. A while ago, I was whining and now I was happy!
“I can imagine myself operating on your knee uncle. There is no doubt in my mind that I would have missed the class when they taught about the knee. And in the middle of the surgery, I would be googling to find out more about it. Haha.” I smiled.
“Ah! There you are. And if you google, you would definitely diagnose me with knee cancer!” Eddie uncle downed his drink in a jiffy.
“Is there anything called knee cancer?” I asked.
“Well, if you had become a doctor, there would be,” Eddie uncle laughed, before he swirled his fingure again.
I tried to stop him, but then what the heck! He had just lifted a great burden off me.
“Ah! All is well uncle. All is well. We should meet every month.”
My mind had dramatically taken a U turn from the highway of complaining towards the freeway of hope and purpose.