When we met last, I was babbling about my future prospects, the first baby steps of which were to be taken last week and sans hesitation, let me say that it was taken, on a warm note to my relief too. Although, one way or the other, I have been serving the Government for the past few years, as an intern first and as a resident later, this is the first time I feel that I have been imbibed into the otherwise enclosed and privileged terrain, without the constraints of time and bond limiting my stay. Am I happy that I have had a taste of what it feels like to be secured by the promise of a job for life? Yes. But as they say, the fact cannot be denied that I still have miles to go before I sleep and the sheer rawness of the undeniable truth keeps me from relaxing at this juncture. My eyes are set on higher studies, one that will consolidate the professional in me.
The job is in another district, to reach where I have to travel for around 2to 3 hours. The place is calm and serene, as far as I have seen. But you know, a doctor confronts bloodshed and goriness day in and day out. They are mostly the first halt for assaults and medico legal cases, especially the ones serving Government hospitals and there in surface the darkest and depressing facets of the place we serve. One cannot judge a place by what we see in a quick glance. The undercurrents are mostly hidden, like the massive, albeit inconspicuous chunk of the iceberg wallowing beneath the surface of the ocean.
Sadly, there is absolutely no place to stay there, particularly for a few kilometers around the hospital premises and because of that I am forced to adjust my duties in a way that will let me commute for work in a comfortable manner, thanks to the colleagues who understand the wariness of the situation.
As far as the commute is concerned, I get to travel a lot by train. And undoubtedly, I am delighted in that regard as well although I have never much travelled far and long for my job almost on a daily basis before. If you haven’t heard about the speciality of train journeys through Kerala before, the best way to imbibe the raw beauty of Kerala is to travel by train, a fact vouched by any tourist who has travelled the length and breadth of the state. The cold rush of breeze against the hair, the warm motes of sun settling on the inviting skin, the evocative and enticing sights of nature and the thrill of being on the move imbibing the nuances of life, both from within and from around sound insatiable indeed.
Even when the matters were almost settled in my mind and heart, the first ever duty that I took in the hospital gave me reasons to worry. Because of the adjustments, I was to take a straight 19 hour duty, which I thought would be, if not a cake walk, at least doable with the amount of experience that I had in medical colleges where we serve for up to 36 hours once a week. Somehow, here, there was a seamless flow of patients, granting me little time to rest. The variety of cases that arrived left me astonished too. There was never a plateau phase as far as the depth of the cases were concerned.
After the duty, even though I had barely two hours of sleep, I found myself all peppy, happy and satiated. Having had my breakfast, smiling, I took an auto to the railway station and waited there singing a song and clicking photographs of the deserted station, sipping from a cold drink in between. But the vibrant time was not to last long. The train was supposed to come by 10.00 and there was no sign of the train even one hour after that. I was all sweaty and tired, my hair was shaggy and ruffled and I could sense distressing drops of perspiration starting to collect on my skin for the hot weather and my dreary body. On top of that, to make matters worse, the inevitable migraine kicked in mercilessly. Needless to say, I was a bundle of havoc in no time. Before things got out of my hand and made me swoon, the train arrived, trundling in its own pace and I got in and settled without much ado. I came back home and slept 5 hours straight in broad daylight, much to the awe of my parents.
Now that I realised I cannot trust that train, I have changed plans so that the dark episode wouldn’t happen a second time. Nevertheless, I am content that I am working and am hopeful that the initial hiccoughs would part ways, soon and forever. One learns along the way, isn’t it so? However old a person turns, he or she would still have so much to learn from the pages of life. Even though it is too early on the path to state affirmatively, I have a hunch that the following days would be liberating, both with regard to my inner professional and personal space.
The last one week has been so utterly a busy one that I missed my Mid Week Quests, although, it should be stressed that I truly have been on one of the worthiest quests of my life. Seven days of weariness and the whole routine is threatened to be toppled down headfirst onto the ground. But I don’t think there is a reason to worry as long as something good is happening along the way. I can always write when I am settled. I can always catch up on my reading the next free day.
One cannot live forever, relishing the gifts of life. Sometimes we need to strive hard to make those gifts attainable forever; simply that one needs to be sensible enough to realise when to draw the line and take rest to recharge.
Now reading, mostly in train: The Cosmopolitan by Anjum Hassan.
P.S: This post is tagged with ‘Mid Week Quests’, a sub section of this blog where I write on a Wednesday, about random nuggets from my life .