A Time To Break

We all need a break at some point or the other. Work is work. It doesn’t matter if your job is hectic or a relaxed one, a break from the routine rejuvenates both the mind and body and we all crave for it at some point or the other.

Being a doctor is a thankless job. No, I’m not complaining because at some point we’ve all accepted this bitter truth but I have been working 14 to 16 hours per day for the last 6 months and sometimes even more. Work is indeed worship though I never wanted it to be so. There are times when I’m driving back home at 3AM in the morning on quiet roads after a case, envying all those sleeping cozily tucked into their quilts at home and wondering what they were dreaming about at that very moment. That itself convinced me that I needed a break and what better time than the Christmas week. After a lot of planning within the confines of my ever talkative mind, I did end up getting a break, a long break at the exact time that I had planned. It’s like Santa had answered my prayers but I guess I hadn’t been a good enough throughout the year according to him. The break came in the form of a mildly displaced break in one of the bones of my left leg courtesy a freak accident(so freak that I won’t even bother explaining) And since it was the holiday season there were a couple of complementary ligament tears as well. Yes I was going to have a break because one of my bones went kit-kat.


Well first things first, it was incredibly painful blah blah…. After a couple of X-rays & an MRI, I was gifted a cast which extended from my foot to above my knee. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! “You better watch out,you better not pout, you better not cry, I’m telling you why” Santa Claus had well and truly come to town with a vengeance. Christmas party was surely out of the question and so was the new year. The 2 big occasions we wait for the entire year and I would be spending them on the couch.

But then all was not lost. I wanted to sit on that couch and complain but how can you be bitter when your entire family was giving you all the attention and care in the world as if you were the man behind the Swachch Bharath initiative. I figured that since I anyways needed a break, I might as well use my misfortune to do something useful. After all, during your MBBS & PG course you hardly do anything other than study. So what if I couldn’t leave the house. So what if I needed a walker to move around the house? There were still things I could do. If Jaime Lannister could still be positive with that fake hand of his, I could too with this temporary disability of mine.


I began with what I enjoy doing the most…. Reading. Past few years have been all about Bailey, Sabiston, Maingot…..basically everything to do with surgery with a little bit of Hussain Zaidi, Chetan Bhagath and Dan Brown sprinkled in. Though I have been watching the Game Of Thrones on my laptop using pirated downloads(shhhh….)and I’m up to date with the seasons, I haven’t been able to read the books by George R.R Martin as they are so detailed and I just didn’t have the time. Whole of last year I managed to read only the first 2 books of the series…. Yes pathetic I know. I began reading the 3rd book Storm of Swords and now I’m into the 4th book within a month. I would probably have taken another 6 months for the same otherwise. Amidst this I managed to squeeze in an anthology of short stories by Ravinder Singh too since my wife insisted on it and I must say I liked it. If there’s something I like to do other than reading, it’s writing. I started writing my short stories, ideas which have remained dormant since a year and this also let me enter a contest organised by the Times of India which now I am keenly a part of and eagerly trying to win.

But there is a limit to how much one can read and write especially when you have to stay virtually in one place for 6 weeks without moving around much. I like music. Actually is there anyone who doesn’t like music? So saying that you like music is kinda moot. Anyways, my guitar has been gathering dust probably since the time the UPA regime started dying a slow death. I decided to let it see some acchhe dhin and cleaned it, restrung it and actually managed to play some music which didn’t scare the neighbourhood dogs, though it was only one song. Thanks to YouTube and all those nice people who post guitar lessons on them, I might actually learn to play another song at least. I already feel like I’m the next Mark Knoffler.


When my fingers no longer agreed to move on the fretboard due to tiredness, I would switch on my laptop and watch shows. I like movies but only when I watch them in the theatre. What I do like watching at home is TV series (again pirated, because why would anyone want Netflix and bill) Other than FRIENDS and The Big Bang Theory my recent favourite series has been Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Suits, Dexter. So I decided to start wasting my time on a new one THE MENTALIST. Though it comes nowhere in the league of the ones that I mentioned above, it’s a good watch. Almost like our desi CID with a mentalist who somehow is a better detective than all other detectives on the show. And of course the India – Australia series. Spent 5 whole days watching the Indian bowlers leak more runs than a tiled roof during rains. But what joy when our team walloped them for a 3-0 whitewash. Rohit Talent Sharma, you beauty.

But most importantly you get to spend time with your family. Doctors are so busy curing and saving lives that they often forget their own families. I got to spend time with my parents and wife and talk leisurely with them. I even had the joy of watching my 1 year old achieve an important milestone of walking. What’s more, he did it with the help of my walker!

So as you can see, it’s not difficult to turn things around. If you are positive you can make anything work. It’s been 6 weeks now, the cast is off and though I’m yet to gain strength enough to walk I’m getting there slowly. Probably another week or so. Then it’s back to the grind. These 6 weeks were unexpectedly good but I hope next time I don’t break anything just to get a break.


Leave a Reply