Saturday, April 7, 2012

Looking back...and saying....thank you

20 years walked through the gates of a college called NRS Medical College...full of bravado, full of swagger...but inwardly, a bit nervous...not sure whether being a medical student was the right thing or not. But hey, the dye was cast! One was here...and then in a blur, the years passed. One finished as a medical student, qualified as a doctor...and made friends and foes along the way. Egos stopped people talking to each other, political affiliations made enemies...but at the end, it was a time worth looking back at.
There was the inevitable "divide" based on one's background...the guys who came from the rural side of this rich country bonded quickly together, while those of us who came from missionary schools failed to understand their beliefs..having never been exposed to folks with such beliefs.

But you know what? Time passed and one got closer, became friends..political divides based on socialist or capitalist beliefs faded and one grew to know the Sumit Chatterjees, the Joydeep Mondals...with as much fun and a sense of humour as the evergreen Suparno Ganguly. And then there was us..a group of boys who took a lot of pride in the friendship we had..Rajiv Singh, Partha Kar, Rakesh Roy, Suparno Ganguly, Kaushik Banerjee...the list was big- and the bond was tight...nicknames flew about..Kochi, Jodu, Bando.....and the camaraderie was infectious!

Then of course, there were the girls..beyond all the teasing etc, there were some good friends..Mandeep, Debashree, Sriparna....romances blossomed, broke down, re-built themselves..wasn't it such a wonderful time...ahh those years of youth!!Amongst them all were some others whose tag line called them seniors...but they were anything but...they were friends...the Saswatas, the Rajarshis....those times spent in the canteen playing cards, chomping on hot 10 am, while the girls diligently attended some crap lecture on something.

And happened...contacts broke down, work took over, family life took over...and suddenly no one had time any more...where would we have been without social media?? Thank god for Facebook...some old contacts came back to the fore...some relations were rebuilt, some egos were too big to cross the divide.

One may start wondering at this point...why this sudden twist of nostalgia? Cue the recent article in the Guardian..mentioning the top 5 things a dying patient said to a palliative care which one of them was.."I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends"...and it got me thinking. I learnt so much in those days in Kolkata- forget the medical side of things, I learnt about politics, learnt about negotiation, learnt how to use charm when needed, aggression when desired...hey wasn't NRS the place where I sharpened my skills? All of what I have done in this country...I owe so much to that place...and more so to all those around me...who helped me, allowed me to be me.

So this blog is dedicated to all those folks in NRS Medical College I spent time with...even to those who are no longer with us...thank you for everything. Time flies- and the arrogance or cockiness of Partha Kar hasn't changed much...the inherent desire and belief that "I will come out a winner" hasn't shifted but that hasn't changed also the personality who would do anything for his friends. To those who have been out of contact, I wish we meet someday, to those who still feel aggrieved, the hand stays extended. It's one life...may as well not leave anything behind which one would regret. It's so difficult to say thank you- and in a token way, hope this blog will serve as one to all those friends who are here and the ones I left behind.

As one batters ones way through the maelstrom of politics, egos of personalities and organisations in this country in an effort to do good for patients, one also realises the benefit of having such close friends from college days...folks with whom one can drop one's guard and bounce ideas of.
That, my dear simply....priceless- and for that...I do thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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