MIDWAY :Being a doctor

Shashi Sigdel

Last week I had to pass through the recent pallid Ratnapark — a misnomer in itself. I have never seen any “Ratna” there until now. I wish I could name it “Hatnapark”: you have to push people to make your way out or you’ll be pushed out. After waiting for an hour for a microbus, I was almost loaded into it by a crowd. And waiting to move on, I ruminated over the state the country is in: those bricks, those tyres and tussles and the new turn politics has now taken. Although, I know less about the politics of this “peace zone,” my superego tells me that I could write tomes of books regarding the political health of our country.

I was inside the microbus by then. Opposite to me was seated a lady with her child, probably an eight-year-old as per the identity card he sported. The mother was enquiring the lad about the day’s proceedings. As do every parents, he was asked what he would like to become in future. The boy shot back instantly, “a doctor!” I bet I knew the answer beforehand. I just pondered — who taught this lad to utter his career; his parents, his seniors or his well-off background?

Even up to the SLC-level, I had no inkling that I’d join the medical sector — not because I was mediocre, but the profession as I then thought, meant a lot of sacrifice and handwork on one’s part. It was not just to be the “cynosure of the society.” During these years, I’ve seen and tested the so-called “creams” but most of the time, their dealings turn out to be sour. When I put off my apron, look at the mirror and feel my exhausted hands, a thought crosses my mind — “Is it this white apron that makes me feel I am a medical student or the invaluable contents in me?

There is an incorrigible thought prevalent in our society that “education supplies intelligence and morality” which I abominate. For me education only supplements them. People may tag me a principled fellow — those principles weren’t made, rather experienced and the people who created this must have known about its importance only in the last quadrant of their lives. Most of them die without realising why we were here in this wonderland.

White aprons when worn are a concomitant sign of peace and love. Peace with yourself and love towards others blossoms only through morals — and if one doesn’t have respect and a sense of dignity for others, better not put on this sacred cloth. If you don’t have morality, it’s always better to cultivate it. Better late than never. And if you deny, in the long run, you will be like Ratnapark — a misnomer in yourself.