Relative(s) rebellion

My tryst with social norms.


I have grown up in a fairly modern Indian family. Having completed my medical school and specialist training in India, I moved abroad for further fellowship exams. My parents have been very supportive of my journey so far although my mother does worry about her ‘29 years old single daughter’.

My relatives and friends have always been very concerned about me. Well sometimes their concern overflows!

When you show up for a family event;

1. Everyone is surprised that you were able to make it inspite of your busy schedule. (Other people have jobs too, not just doctors!)

2. You are very pleasently questioned as to what have you contributed in this particular family event eg. cooking, decorations, shopping etc etc

3. Why do you have to go back to work the very next day?

4. The advice: being career oriented is fine, what about family life? Date a nice guy and settle down soon and have lots of kids before your biological clock ticks.

5. You can put in a central line, but can you cook as well?

6. The comparisons. When your cousins are married and well settled. Why can’t you do the same?

When you don’t show up;

1. She is always working. She never has time for the family. No respect.

2. She gives her job way too much importance.

3. She has crossed her ‘marriageable’ age.

4. Her parents are not bothered about her.

I do miss out on family events. I am never updated on family front. But I do try my best to be as involved as possible. Medicine is not about money or just a job to me. Its my passion. I am yet to strike the right balance.

They love you when you are gone, yet hate to see you leave…..


Medical school; my bitter chocolate

Dressed smartly in my new white apron, pride in my heart, head full of hopes and dreams I managed to find my first class.

The anatomy dissection lab. Eight cadavers bathing in formaldehyde, groups of students around each and professors hurdled in a corner. I made my way to the assigned table. Eager to meet the people with whom I would be sharing classes for the rest of the year. Now being from the most happening city in my country, I was astonished to meet these people. Don’t get me wrong! I wasn’t the Lindsay Lohan of my school before, yet I felt like one. I mean these people were from all over the country! Small towns, villages, districts etc etc. It was a realization, maybe a good one, India is not just Bombay but a mix of so many different regions and languages.

Anyway moving on, after the initial shock of having to poke knives into a dead body I faced yet another, ragging. As I was walking back to my hostel, a large group of senior boys surrounded me. “You have attitude problem”, “how dare you wear jeans for classes”, “you think you are special because you live in a city?”, “lets show her how to respect seniors”. Guys, I was 18, a nerd, naïve and terrified to the core. All I could do was cry and run towards my building.

I reached my room all upset and terrified. Far from home. In a new place. Well let me explain the irony. When being the only person in the class to make it into medical school, u suddenly expect things to get better. Well they don’t! My friends pursuing a career in other fields went on to study in London, Melbourne and New York. And where did I land? A small village in a rural district, in the interior parts of my state. Amazing right?

Anyway, as I paced in the hostel corridors on my cell phone talking away my sadness I stumbled upon a door. Just like the one in chronicles of Narnia, it opened to something awesome. Well beyond the door were people with whom I would go on to build the most amazing relationships in my life. My friends. (will talk about them in my later posts).

Like Moses, we all received a few commandments.

  1. No jeans to classes. (salwar kurta with shawl that covered all lady parts).
  2. keep your hair tied up at all times.
  3. Greet your seniors every time you pass by them.
  4. No girl-boy interactions.

Well I cannot remember the entire list, but these were some of the rules.

Weird right? Yeah it took me quite a while to adapt to these. Though it lasted just for 2 months.

Well these were just a few highlights from my first month at school.

So I shall continue some more later…………


Love and Medicine

A baby step towards medicine….

Long day shifts and 5 coffees later here I am reminiscing my journey.

Alright so continuing with my story, so as I mentioned I fell in love. And oh yes! unconditionally and irrevocably (movie love, movie dialogues).

I believed I possessed super powers, a switch in my brain which could be turned on and off. On and go! Study time. Off and  time for romance. It was one of the delusions associated with sweet sixteen.

Turns out doesnt really work that way. I wanted to fly but had to be grounded too. I wanted to have it all.

Exam and my boyfriend moving abroad for studies, both events happening on the same day. So a night before those life changing exams, when the pre meds are cramming, I was visiting my boyfriend for the goodbye hugs and kisses. I don’t remember whether I was feeling guilty or sad. (P.s. the same guy would go on in the future to break my soul)

Moving ahead to the aftermath of both events, I was pinning for my boyfriend the results were declared. I was on the waiting list. 30 percent chances of making it as a first year medical student. It was one of the most uncertain time of my life.

At 17 I was a girl, who couldn’t drive, couldn’t swim, had zero social life, no hobbies, not ever travelled outside hometown, sheltered by parents. And all of these sacrifices were to ‘focus’ on medical school and the chances of getting into one were pretty dim.

However, what’s meant to be will be (couldn’t think of a better phrase!)

After 4 months of being a nomad (college wise) I finally got into medical school. I remember that moment clearly, its like a handsome prince on a white horse coming to escort me to medical school. As if I had fulfilled my purpose in life. As if I had finally discovered Amelia Earhart. But the most happiest was my dad.

Little did I know, what I was stepping into!

To be continued……