Medical Romance is a fictional tale of two doctors, an established Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon Dr Ishan Malhotra and a fresher Gynaecologist Dr Avni Singh. Dr Ishan who otherwise is a calm and silent person, behaves crazily around Avni, and he names this weird feeling to be ‘love’. Dr Avni, on the other hand is a career oriented and highly focused girl who can run away even at the thought of words like – love, marriage and commitment. What happens when they two meet? Will there be sparks of hatred, or fragrance of love? A series of subsequent suspense, medical cases that follow up along, make the story more of a philosophical journey, on understanding the purpose of one’s existence and the meaning of one’s life. How well do you think you know and understand yourself? Through this fictional tale, experience the journey of having a glance ‘inside’ you…
DR ISHAN MALHOTRA
05th July, 1999
I tried to write something in my personal diary, but the pen just won’t move. Today was a special day, indeed it was. I got ditched and cheated by the girl, I loved the most, and hell, I’m just in ninth standard. I felt happy, not because I’m some sociopath, but because I too was normal and I too was able to get ditched and feel miserable just like other guys. The notion of being abnormal washed away and I thought about the first name that I should scribble. Was it my own name? Definitely no! Was it ‘hers’? I don’t know, but one thing I was sure about, that I was so not going to start the first line with ‘Dear Diary!’ It is just so feminine, and I’m not a girl…
*Opens the zip and peeps into his pants*
Definitely. Not. A. Girl!
15 Years Later
It was a bright sunny day with birds chirping and all that scenic beauty which sets the mood right for a reader to read ahead! I was getting ready for the hospital. No, I’m not a patient, but I’m a doctor since last 5 years. Even I don’t believe that I finally made it this far, but yeah, I am a doctor! It has been 15 years since she left me, and 15 years to my breakup, but sometimes I feel that I’m the one who needs immediate medical attention, more than the patients I serve. Whenever I see my empty teenage-diary, I am thrown back into past and I come back crawling, hence wasting an entire day. This hasn’t been happening since the day she left me, but I developed these weird symptoms just recently when I saw another girl in hospital. She’s a young fresher in the Gynaecology Department, and I’m a senior doctor. But I’m single, and that’s more important here!
My each day starts with same old routine. Wake up at 07.00, take a quick bath, brush and pee, everything together in the shower, hence saving time, dress up by 07.30, pour a glass of cold milk and add some cereal, and eat that same boring breakfast every morning. Leave the home by 07.45 in my white Honda City and reach hospital by 08.15, though my day at hospital starts at sharp 08.30, but I keep 15 minutes in my hand in case I have to shave in the morning, or trim my armpits, which is a regular thing these days, because she has joined the hospital! Even the nurses and my juniors are wondering what went wrong with me. Instead of wearing heavy black-framed spectacles, I’ve started wearing contacts. My hairs are no more, messy and dirty, but neat, shampooed and combed. I no more wear baggy trousers and lose shirts, but I have switched my attire to tight fit smart shirts and equally smartly tailored trousers. The dirty old smelly converse shoes have been replaced by leather formal shoes. The girls who used to ignore me thinking of me as a boring, studious nerd, have started paying attention to me nowadays, but the one, whose attention I want is still missing from the list. All in all, I transformed into a human from an ape, and she still hasn’t entered the jungle yet!
‘Have you ever made out?’
A crappy looking junior intern asked me this question as I entered the store room to get my lab coat, and his words hit my ears like acid! What kind of question was that? I abruptly nodded and said ‘yes’, I obviously didn’t want him to think of me as a frustrated virgin doctor!
‘Liar, liar, pants on Fire! Your ugly face is screaming that you’re a frustrated virgin!’
‘What? Who the hell are you? And how the hell do you know…’
‘I know a lot more things, Sir.’
‘What year are you in, kid? You know, I can report your nonsense and get you kicked out from here in no time.’
‘I’m in third year of MBBS, I’m here to assist in some cases, but I wanted to talk to you…’
‘You listen to me first, never, ever, ever in life, talk to any senior doctor like that. You won’t only be fired, but will also be given a bad character certificate if you need to join any other hospital in future. Thank the almighty that I’m not a strict one!’
As I wore my lab-coat and picked up the stethoscope, I turned to look at the child, but instead, I was staring at a closed door.
What the hell just happened? I asked myself, and slapped my face numerous times to gain consciousness. It must be a dream! I thought and walked out of the store room.
The entire day passed by in surgeries and operations, and as the evening approached with the lobby of hospital attaining an orange-yellowish mist, I saw her for the first time in the day. Her wheatish complexion was radiated by dim sunrays and her face lit up like the solitary moon in the night sky. Her lab coat tightly hugged her body, and I envied her ID card immediately which was hanging near her bosom. I wanted to be at that place and tell her how much I crave to hug her, just once. She looked at me with her huge, dreamy eyes and came near me.
‘Good evening, Sir.’ Her soft voice entered my ears like honey drops, and I smiled like a fool. She smiled back, walked away briskly and I kept staring at her while her kitten-heels made the click-clack sound on the floor. I was interrupted by the same junior intern who met me in the store room in the morning.
‘Hey, what are you doing here?’
‘Nothing Sir, you should tell her…’
‘Tell whom? Tell what?’
‘Tell Dr Avni about what you feel about her.’
‘Hell, how do you even know what do I feel about her?’
‘Everybody knows it, Sir. You should tell her…’
The kid vanished right in front of my eyes and I couldn’t even ask his name. Why was he appearing randomly at random occasions and fire even more random questions at me? Ignoring the crap I’ve been dealing with since morning, I walked towards my car. My duty hours were over and I had to head back home to live my lonely, boring life.
My family is in Indore, while I’m here in Mumbai. My mother was strongly against my decision to take up a job this far, but I was obsessed with getting into Mumbai Medicare, the biggest hospital of Mumbai, and this obsession turned into a passion when I joined here as an intern. My contract was of three years, but I extended it to five years purposely, because from Indore, Mumbai looked like heaven and I wanted to explore the life independently, and now when the contract is coming to an end this year, I’m falling for Avni.
I headed towards my car parked in the basement and thanked the gatekeeper for taking care of it. Since 5 years, it has been my habit to thank him for the job he does. I walked towards my car, pressed on the door-open button on my automatic key, the car made a sound and I knew that the locks were open. As I pulled the door knob to open the door, my phone rang. I picked up the call, which was from Dr Vinay Mathur – executive head of the cardiology department. I had to rush back to the hospital, as there was a heart surgery case. This was the third time in this week that I was staying after my duty hours – I thought of writing a complaint letter to the manager and get the brats wired up for screwing with my personal time! I although didn’t have a social life, and well, entire staff knew that, maybe that was the reason why I was being called at any emergency situation, because I walked with this fucking – AVAILABLE tag on my forehead. I was angry, I was pissed and yes, I didn’t want to attend even a single more case after operating four patients in one day.
I walk towards the Emergency Ward where the patient was being readied up for a shift from the ward to the operation theatre. I looked at him, he was a man, barely in his fifties and his young daughter stood by his side. Whenever I work and have a patient on the table, I seldom look around, even if its Emma Watson standing right next to me, but this girl was diverting my attention again and again, her jingling bangles and her soft and fragile looking hands that clutched the man’s hands tightly were a distraction enough for me to look up. I finally tilted my head up gave her a glance. Nothing shocked me more than the similar face that made me a man from an ape. It was none other than – Avni.