As my long cherished dream of becoming a doctor began taking shape a sense of disillusionment began to dawn upon me. Long sad faces one after the other of patients, relatives and doctors alike. Oh my god!!! My heart went agape during one of the sessions of clinical case presentation. He was an old man in his late 70’s and a suspected case of prostatic cancer, during the course of presentation the professor stood up to crosscheck the students finding and did a per-rectal examination.
He found the classical “textbook description” finding on examination and wanted to share it with his pupils. In their excitement and fear of missing out the feel of an enlarged prostate, the students rushed to do the per-rectal examination one after the other unrelentingly. I kept taking a step backwards every time someone examined him even as my batch mates and seniors jostled to reach in front. The old man kept whimpering in agony and humiliation as he lay exposed to the crowd of students and I kept getting shocked at the insensitivity.
It was incidents like these, not one but many, that brought more clarity to my father’s words “Pay attention to yourself first, you may become anything in life but if you haven’t paid attention to yourself you would be a failed human being with a miserable life experience”. Yes he had been very right all along I understood then, only more clearly because I had aspired to become a doctor to be like him (like my father, who is also a doctor) and here I was at one of the finest medical colleges of the country and there was not one individual/doctor I could aspire to become like.
That today’s educational system comes with a severe handicap of being just a skill set provider that erodes so much of our time, energy, wealth and youth became starkly obvious.
Sensitivity, values, inner wellbeing, emotional hygiene, resilience, joy, peace etc the stuff that makes being a human being delectable were never a part of any curriculum but by now I was determined to find it out for myself. Continuing to firefight the mundane obscurities of everyday life just to exist seemed meaningless I reached a point of no return; either I had to find a better way to live or stop this misery of living all together.
Cosmos conceded graciously and help arrived soon enough, first in the form of writings of Swami Vivekanand and then “The Autobiography of a Yogi” by Sri Paramhansa Yogananda. I began experimenting with the truths and ideas shared by these great masters and the alchemy of transformation followed.
I could arrive at a place of inner peace, joy and stability soon enough and the desire to share my findings began to bubble from within. I was very young then, just 19 years of age, and assumed that most of the adults would have figured it out for themselves it's new and exciting for me alone and even if they hadn’t why someone would bother to take life advice from a youngster like me.
I was terribly mistaken and had to learn this the hard way, as time progressed I started taking my inner beatitude for granted; forgetting the ideas and practices that had bestowed it upon me in the first place.
As I completed my post graduation and senior residency the inner transformation I had achieved roughly 10 years ago was almost gone and I was now joining in the society’s rat race for existence or work. Though I was blessed with an accelerated and fast track carrier of success, name and fame I continued to feel the insensitivity and insipidness of life around me. In moments of severe distress I tried reading the books, going back to the same teachings but nothing would help or work.
Then 8 years ago I sat on my study table to write again, not knowing what because I had not written in years, since I left college. Words became sentences, sentences paragraphs and paragraphs became meaningful posts on my blog (www.selfintegrity.blogspot.com) and even though a very few people could engage with the blog the process of writing continued to heal me.
4 years later an inspiration overtook me, the idea of presenting the time-tested truths of inner well-being in a contemporary, interesting and relatable manner to the masses. A story!!! was the obvious way forward and “The Possibility” is the culmination of those 4 years of writing, re-writing, re-imagining and creation. The journey to its completion has deeply satisfied me and I am sure that the book would provide entertainment, guidance, wisdom, fulfilment and revelation about the depth of our existence to all its readers. I wish them happy reading and a fulfilling life ahead.