My doctor

This is a personal one. And a long one.

Today, my sister finished 6 years of medical school. That’s nearly 50,000 hours. For the more than half a decade, I have called her countless times to find her either in class or in the library or studying way past my bedtime. As the older sibling, she was also assigned the duty of handling her baby brother’s tantrums and rants about how engineering is hard and the world is unfair and how he procrastinated all day. And somehow, she managed to make me feel better about all of it. Truth be told, she didn’t have to be a doctor to fix whatever I was going through.

Textbooks bigger than my arms and chemical terms longer than my full name. Her field has always seemed so daunting, especially since the only medical experience I have comes from House MD. We would often enjoy fun late night Q&A sesh’s where she would ask me complex questions and I’d give the most ridiculous answers you have ever heard. In those moments of laughter, I was happy I could share just a bit of the heavy burden she carries on her back.

We were sent to boarding school at a very young age. We only had one another to cope as we prepared for a life of living away from our parents and eventually, from each other as well. As a cool pre-teen, I never fully appreciated the role she played even then. No one wants someone watching over you and taking care of you at that age. But you need it. And I did. At the end of the day, I needed someone to tell me that it was going to be alright. That we’d see our parents soon. That cuts and injuries healed over eventually. That I was a good person no matter what. More than a decade since we were in boarding school together and she still does all of that. Whenever I need it. Every single time.

As incredible as completing medical school is, it’s still not the most remarkable thing I’ve seen her do. She was the third parent. She was the backbone to my parents as I snored blissfully in the back. I honestly don’t think I’d have made it this far without her.

But enough about her. As a brother there’s only so many nice things you can say about a sibling. She gets nothing but jokes about her face for the next few weeks. But for today, my congratulations to her and the people she graduates with. They go on to become the healers we need so desperately in the coming years. I wish her and all of them the best of times ahead.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

Gandhi

Fly with it

Have you ever loved to do something? I mean beyond a sense of “its good for me” or “it’s a popular practise”. No matter how common or rare it is. Just you. Your passion for it. And stolen moments between work and school when you dedicate time to it. I wonder what it is for you? For me, it is to speak and write.

As broad as that is, I have always loved taking inspiration from the world and writing it down and talking about it. Sadly, like most of you I lead a full life and sometimes I stray away from my passions into days of books and other baggage. But then there are periods like the current situation outside creates when I get time to go back to these interests. And that is when I truly come out of my shell. I find that we’re all not good at many things. Things we fail at miserably perhaps. You could just be terrible at a course but then do incredible workouts at the gym. You could be bad at working out at the gym but then go home and make an incredible covers for songs. I fail at both singing and working out and then I come home and write down what I learn in hopes of learning something from my days.

I learnt from reading some books over and over again that words when moulded and brought together in the right ways can touch hearts, change minds, and move worlds. And that’s what I want to do when I write or speak. I think we all try to add to the world with our passions. And it shows. When a musician puts their heart and soul into the music. When the teacher breaks down a concept to its foundations. When a doctor works a 48 hour shift. How do you do things that most people can’t unless you truly find peace and joy in the act? You don’t.

And now to why I wrote this post. I want to ask something of you. When you find this, fly with it. Don’t stay grounded with your interests. Experiment. Take risks. Look stupid. Give it time. For every post I publish, I add another five to my drafts. Simply because I like writing doesn’t make me good at it. But it does make me want to be better at it. So I try again and again. Because the day I give up on this, I lose a great part of what makes me, me.

So I ask of you. No matter what, stick with it. And fly with it.

What made you smile?

Since my last post, I’ve started typing out so many posts I thought would add to this blog, but sadly none reached an end. I suppose, I didn’t know how to put those ideas or thoughts into words. But with this one, I have no doubts. This one’s personal.

Moments ago, I saw to the end of a book I have started and re-started over the past years, without the end in sight. There are countless distractions and I, sad to say, cannot help but stray from the pages. I start strong. I always have. Swallowing up a few chapters, like they were nothing. But one thing leads to another and the book goes on the shelf, to join the rest of them.

I don’t know what was different today. Maybe the phone was on silent. Or maybe the world outside just decided to stay still until I reached the final lines. But I did it. I turned to that last page. I read those final words. And I shut that book. I looked up to a mirror to find myself, throwing on a smile I hadn’t seen for quite some time. But it was one, I was familiar with. It was the same expression of pure joy that I put on every time I finished a book when I was a kid.

Things change. Times change. Hell, even mountains grow shorter. But, my love for a good book will never diminish, even if I’m too busy to pick up one and remind myself of this fact. As a kid, reading a book was the one thing that came naturally to me. It didn’t feel like a chore or even a healthy habit. It felt like the only stable part of an unstable life. Reading made me forget how bad things were, and while the other children napped, I went on magical adventures. And it made my day. Everyday.

Now, for the climax of this babble. WHAT MADE YOU SMILE?

What did you do that took your mind away? Was it a sport? Was it dance? Was it watching birds? You know what, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that does is when did you last do it? Have you given this activity a part of your precious time in your busy life? Or do you think of it as a happy past that you’ve outgrown?

I have relived mine this fine Saturday evening and I am still smiling. In fact, I think I’m going to start another book before I hit the sack. But you, my friend, have something to do. I don’t know what, but I know you need it in your life. God knows I need it in mine.