Its result time once more , and the news papers are full of proud toppers and their even more proud parents. Pictures of beaming kids surrounded by their proud parents, aunties uncles and muhalla walas. Each picture comes with its own tale of tireless strife and grim determination. ‘I studied long hours’ ‘I missed out on all the movies’ ‘I didn’t see any IPL matches’ ‘I left home at 4 in the morning for coaching classes’.
I went to OPD this morning and while waiting for the first patient, I glanced at the head line ‘Science topper wants to be doctor.’ I smiled. The sisters and working staff inquired why I was smiling, but I just said “nothing.” A few doctor friends asked why I was smiling, and I said ,” the topper wants to be a doctor.” We all smiled, some smirked, some grunted and some out right guffawed. It’s an inside joke.
Its been exactly 10 years since I passed my twelvth standard exam, and I wonder what the ‘topper’ will feel after ten years if she ever does become a doctor.
Most of the toppers start out with noble cause, I will… I want…. , and I wouldn’t want to take that away from them. If the topper had maybe been more worldly aware, had actually seen a few IPL matches, or the latest episode of Satyamev Jayate she would have given caution to her dreams.
The fact is people would spend more on a hair cut than they would for a doctors consultation. Some patients ask why a particular vaccination costs so much when the MRP reads cheaper. It’s not just the injection you pay for, but the knowledge of how and when to give it. For that knowledge someone spent ten years of their youth, a youth which they could have spent watching IPL matches or bollywood movies.
Some patients take the injection vial to the doctors and say ‘Laga do.’ I wonder if they ever went to a beauty parlour and took the facial creams and said ‘laga do.’ They give more respect and credence to the personal hygienist than to the physician. That’s the raw truth.
The ‘cream’ of the passing out class, tends to get ‘sour’.
Be it a longer lunch break taken by doctors, strike by doctors which leave the country coughing and wheezing, or the gross negligence by unethical doctors, we are held accountable. Accountability is important in every field. The bai is accountable for the dishes, the dhobi is accountable for the clothes, the politicians and bankers and policemen all are accountable. But for the mistake of a few don’t blame the game , blame the player. When an engineer drives by in a Mercedes, we say ‘ wow he did well, his company is doing well.’ When a doctor drives by in even a Honda city people raise their eyebrows and their suspicions. How can a noble profession which is supposed to only serve actually make money, if they wanted to make money they should have chosen another field.
Yes that is the crux of it all; at the end of every argument, we are told we should have chosen different.
Every one wants a profession which gives respect, money, name and fame. A topper especially has the privilege to choose from the widest array of professions. Some might say there is no profession which has the best of all worlds. I think different.
I know of a profession which gives you tremendous respect (temples to your name, people hanging on to your words on Sunday afternoons and on quiz shows), you can not only get to see all the IPL you want but you can own a team too. A profession which allows you the recognition amongst peers and public, allows you to donate money and time to good causes, allows you to even do raunchy numbers and then receive national awards and be praised for liberating women. The money , fame, name, and respect is unparalleled. Aamir Khan was right when he says ‘satya meva jayate’ because the truth shall prevail.
I am just waiting for the day when a beaming parent will hold her child close and say
,” My daughter has topped in the board exams and she wants to be a movie star.” J