So THIS was a crying fest!!! In case you don’t remember how to be ‘human’ again, lost touch with emotions, cant remember the last time you cried, feel like you have rather turned into a stone – take this one in the prescription.
Everyone, sooner or later in their lifetime, questions profundity of their own existence. They question if the life they are leading has any meaning to it and if they have used their time in pursuing meaningful endeavours. They question if it will amount to something of worth after they are gone and whether there was some other way they could have done it. For someone who has suffered from existential crisis, such questions can be even more integral to their thought process.
The author answers to such tough questions in his memoir.
As a neurologist, a son, a husband and a colleague, who also harbours love for literature and dreams to be a writer one day, he is always thinking about life and strives to live a balanced and meaningful one. He is habituated with seeing death around him, but still always try to establish a deep connection with his terminal patients. He believes that a doctor’s words can act in a healing way, not just for the patient but also for the immediate family, when all remedies have failed and the path ahead is bleak. Because a death must not mean the death of all. Others have to continue living, which can often be directed and guided towards by the doctor in-charge.
As life turns out, the author finds that the roles have suddenly reversed as he contracts lung cancer himself. The doctor has now become the patient too. The saviour himself now needs saving. All his wordly ambitions suddenly vanish in front of him. He would never be able to achieve them. He thinks about the time left ahead.
He ruminates about his relationships, duty, ambitions and about the fibre of life. He accounts everything in his memoir.
He is able to draw an image about the doctor-patient relationship. The gap in it and the bond that holds it. He is also able to portray, in an indistinctive way, why some doctors become rigid and unemotional in their job. Through this unique relationship, he answered to the often saddening questions we all ask ourselves.
The epilogue, written by Abraham Verghese, needs a special mention. An epilogue like it has never been written before. It is compelling and readies you for the intensely moving journey about to begin.
This title a mandatory for all the doctors out there. I am sure they will be able to relate to the professional context better than the others, irrespective of their medical specialisation.
However this is not just for the doctors, it is a must read for all, for it is everyone who question their existence and want their life to mean something.