I began writing this blog as I sat in the heat outside our hospital gate a couple of weeks ago, peacefully protesting the violence against doctors in India.
At the same time, a friend of mine who had copied answers from my supplementary in a board exam and gotten into engineering was roaming the streets of France.
Many of us could have easily chosen to do engineering instead and gone the usual way—gone to the States and earned in dollars—yet we didn't. (I don't mean this condescendingly at all.)
Some incidents make us question whether choosing medicine was a wise decision, but there are also such incidents that make this field so special and satisfying that it is hard to believe we ever asked the question in the first place.
I was on emergency duty when I got a call from the trauma centre informing me that there was an unattended female who had been picked up by 108 services from the roadside and brought there. On my first examination, I was unable to arrive at a diagnosis, but her appearance suggested she had been on the road for a very long time. She was not "frankly psychotic.".
"I can't eat this food," she would say. "Hum Ghar pe achha Garam khana khate hai," she would reply. So, on a couple of occasions, my colleagues and I sent someone from the ward to buy her hot tea, biscuits, and samosas. Seeing her eat it gave us a sense of satisfaction.
One day, I asked her where she lived. She asked me for a pen and paper and, to my surprise, wrote down her address, which said she lived in Delhi. She didn't remember how she had come to Surat or when. She even gave me a phone number, but it was switched off when I tried it.
The next day, I decided to call the Delhi police station nearest to the address she had given me.
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