Sunday, February 28, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I am a Dentist. Or at least I used to be. Five years of Dental School in Bangalore encompassed many instances of mental & physical exhaustion. It was daily parlance to try avoiding the whiplash of the professors' acerbic tongue, as well as to crave the warmth of the patients' gratitude. I guess that's what kept me going in those formative years - the smile of relief of our subjects and the attainment of the elusive title of Doctor. I was to leave to pursue higher Dental studies in the United States in the month of September, 2007. Indian Idol happened and my life as we know it strapped up & went for a roller-coaster ride. Looking over my shoulder, it seems like another lifetime altogether.
Now no more a practicing Dentist, I came across a moment of nostalgia while visiting my college mates in the same country I was supposed to continue my studies in. "Pal bhar ke liye koi humein pyaar kar le, jhoothaa hi sahi", so goes the popular Dev Anand song. And pal bhar ke liye I became the jhootha Dentist in the NYU College of Dentistry., donning the flowing white coat, mouth mask & gloves once again. The dam of restraint crumbled to pieces and memories of dental school came flowing back. And with the memories came the realisation that being a Doctor has always been tough (for obvious reasons). Tougher still, is being subjected to the same things we put patients through when we ourselves become patients - sticking needles, making incisions, stiching them up and the like, promising them that "it won't hurt a bit". Nine out of ten times it really doesn't, thanks to better training & advanced anesthesia. But we all know that battles are often lost in the mind, and pre-emption of pain is something the best anesthesia in the world can't wish away. A simple procedure like administering an injection or something more mentally stressful like suturing of a wound creates a mountain out of an otherwise painless molehill. It's easy for us to say nice things to our patients to placate them & to prepare them for a procedure, but a good Doctor would be one who can gauge both sides of the coin, i.e. understand the plight of the patient & genuinely show the necessary concern but at the same time remember that not every act is possible in a humane manner. For which, I'm forever grateful to my patients who helped me learn and let me help them. Ah, but I'm wavering from the nostalgia sitting like a morning mist over my thoughts :)
As I walked around in the corridors of NYU, I saw apparitions, phantasms. It wasn't my mind playing tricks; rather the sweet, disconnected sterile smell of the hospital triggering a series of suppressed memories - of friends, professors, laughter, patients, mad rushes, joy & despair in a similar, sterile corridor half a world away. I've heard that my hospital has changed; that the faces of the walls & of those I knew are no more the same. But memories are strange bedfellows. They leave you when you're in a crowd, surround you in your solitude & refuse to change one bit. Never had I known that six years of my life as a Doctor could flash by the mind's eyes in so mercurial a manner, and I wouldn't have it any other way...
Thursday, February 11, 2010
This one is for all the people who've read my blog ever since I was forced into starting one. I've often mentioned at various avenues that I'm a person who expresses himself better with the written word rather than speech. But today, I'm wordless - both with the pen & mouth.
My debut movie under Yash Raj Films called BADMAASH COMPANY, with Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Vir Das is hitting the screens on the 7th of May, 2010 and I cannot but feel limitless exhilaration. All those months of hard work, and the first fruits of it are finally beginning to show...
No word can explain the bouncing-off-the-walls phenomenon I'm experiencing right now, so all I'd like to say is - You've supported me unconditionally, right from the days of Indian Idol and I have deep gratitude for that. All I ask is, no matter what the fate of the film, be there with me. Keep me in your prayers, always.
And yes, go watch the movie in the theaters. Make this extraordinary story an extraordinary hit :)