When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
- Lao Tzu
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Daughter of an esteemed general surgeon; MALVIKA MEHRA following her acceptance into the residency program. During her time as a resident, MEHRA works alongside her fellow doctors JACKSON DREW, ALIA KNIGHT, ADISH SAINI, RITISHA DEB, VIVAN AKHTAR who each struggle to balance personal lives with the hectic work and training schedules. They are overseen during their internship by Andrea Kepner a senior resident who works for attending Karan Mitra; the head of neurosurgery; Ritvik Sinha; the head of cardio, and Ankur Mitra; the Chief of Surgery and attending general surgeon.
Chapter 1: The First Day Of the First Year Residency
The young interns, i.e. we join MEMORIAL Hospital.
After arriving at the hospital each morning, we argue over who gets the challenge of a certain patient who has arrived that day. A hospital superior assigns cases, often generating tension between us and the superior. Once assigned a case, We diagnose the patient, with the help of our attending physicians, which usually leads us to surgery. We tend to form personal connections with their patients, with a patient often conveying a message to us, which unintentionally relates to our private life.
I find myself at odds with Doctor Andrea due to differences in the method of treatment. I believe in listening to the heart while approaching a treatment, but Doctor Andrea believes in listening to the brain. Due to our differences and my 'listen-to-the-heart approach', I get into trouble.
While we sit on the extra patient cots at end of the floor hallway of the hospital, we discuss how ours just started hours went and now how our whole life is going to be, the moment we started to share and there comes Dr. Andrea with the full-fledged schedule for our routine of continuous running 48 hours.
DOCTOR MALVIKA MEHRA
Again I have to go and see the old man; who just wanted to meet his only daughter and tell her that he was not wrong at his place but her mother was and because of that how she had to suffer in her growing years and how he missed her.
“Completely relatable to my life, just the difference is that till date, I have not seen my father after my fifth birthday.”
I stand by side of the poor old man and Doctor Andrea on Door observing me and well prepared to slam me out.
And as soon as she raises one word, I start mumbling and things start dropping off my hands and I again I am out of the room at the maximum count of five.
Doctor Karan, who is in the CT room checking Mr. Old man’s displayed scans, having a smile that how interesting this surgery is going to turn and displaying how cool he is but tells “the need for immediate surgery and how risky it is going to be” on the other side to him is Doctor Malvika having all mixed feelings of how the situation is going to turn out and due to that she blurts out the care and nervousness and but from no considerate side there comes direct look of Doctor Andrea towards her which leads to hot situation but is cooled by Doctor Karan.
He befriends Doctor Malvika.
Malvika knowing that she is going to be in surgery as per orders of Karan gets very excited and nervous at that point which makes her hurriedly reach to the old man to do his pre-ops but he only says one thing to her that whenever my daughter comes “tell her I am sorry”.
Malvika on listening to that says in a calm way that “you are going to be fine and meet your daughter in a very good state and everything will be nice”
Dr. Karan and Malvika step in the operation theatre and this is the first time Mavika is going to enter an Operation Theatre for her first ever surgery.
Dr. Karan staring continuously at Malvika and she noticing gets awkward.
Dr.Karan gives a blushing smile and enters the Operation Theatre and prepares the team with full of encouragement and Confidence.
There it goes on a spree of 6 hours turning out to be successful by the hands of a sharp and successful surgeon.
Giving a life to the old man and coincidentally when the anesthesia starts dropping off, there sits a beautiful girl with golden brown eyes sitting next to her father.
Doctor Malvika observes the love of father-daughter with a bright smile which makes Doctor Karan feel more good about her.
After a whole week of doing 48 hours of duty at a screech the residents are adjusted to routine and as well in the hospital.
Lots of things have started and ended.
THE LIFT FOR THE START
There are emergencies coming up and everyone is running towards the Emergency room, one is of a suicidal case and other is of a chest pain.
For the suicidal case, a neurosurgeon is required because the part of the head is damaged and for chest pain obviously cardiologist is required and coincidently both were present in that situation competing for Surgeon of the Year Award.
The cardiac arrest was caught in action for the chest pain and therefore immediately was shifted to OR-1 and for the heavy bleeding suicidal case it had to be shifted to OR-4 which was on upper floor because the OR-2 was occupied emergency delivery and OR-3 was under renovation as a short-circuit had happened there, so as soon as Doctor Karan and Malvika boarded the lift; the lift broke down and the electricity was off; Darkness was surrounded and led to suffocation for Malvika. The darkness led to Doctor Malvika’s heavy breathing and suffocation. She was scared of darkness which had already covered her life. Doctor Karan saw scared Malvika and while stopping the bleeding of the patient he said “calm down, you cannot be sensitive you have to work upon, take a deep breath and don’t panic, think that you are in operation theatre and you are performing a surgery” but still there was no change she felt more and more suffocated, the lift was stuck between third and fourth floor after some time of heavy breathing the lift doors were open on the fourth floor Doctor Karan tells the team standing outside to immediately take the patient out of the lift as she is not having much time; but as soon as they try to bring the stretcher up the lift falls down the floor and gets stuck between second and third floor and so whole of the team runs to open the third floor doors of the lift and then the team brings up the stretcher with the patient and helps Doctor Karan come out but as tell Doctor Malvika to lend her hand to them, she is more scared and is not able to lend it, which leads to collapsing of her health and makes her half-conscious.
Doctor Karan rushes to the OT and starts the surgery immediately but before that enquires for Doctor Malvika and he gets the answer of her present status which makes him feel shocked and guilty as well, he even thinks of running out of OT to bring her out but the patient’s health was seriously deteriorating.
Doctor Karan was out of OT and was seen immediately running towards Doctor Malvika’s room, as soon he reached her room he saw her health was in somewhat bad condition, which leads him to stop at the door only. She was uneasy, rolling from one side to other and when she rolled to the door side her eyes slightly opened and she saw Doctor Karan standing there and at an action she immediately started getting up but Doctor Karan made her lie down again without saying a word and made her fall asleep.
He was sitting next to her only, just blank without any thought in mind. Ritisha entered the room and saw Dr. Karan in the room, simply sitting. She asked him whether he wanted anything and he just nodded “no”. Then one by one everyone came to see Malvika like when Adish came when she was getting awake and smiles exchanged between them without even seeing Dr. Karan and Ritisha, after that Vivaan came who asked her condition and calmed her out, after him Alia came and by seeing her; Adish’s smile went big and everyone noticed that. Now it was only Jackson left but till that time Dr. Karan had already left and as he left everyone just asked Malvika one question that whether there is something going on between them, and without any instance, she said “NO”.
It was Malvika’s leave today which was surprisingly granted by Doctor Andrea.
Doctor Karan was just about to enter the resident’s room, he saw Doctor Mitra was in her room asking about her health with Doctor Ritvik Sinha and after seeing them he left the room door immediately without any thought, but it was seen by Doctor Mitra that his son had just come and left after seeing them.
Doctor Malvika was the only daughter of the legendary Doctor Gurpreet Mehra, who heavenly abide a year back.
Doctor Malvika never showed or told anybody who was she, but people knew.
My parents always loved her unconditionally since her coming to Cape-town for her under-graduation and post-graduation, but we never met as I was out in London for my studies my four-year residency.
She had suffered I knew that I just wanted to keep her happy now; my only motive.
Now it was complete time for Doctor Karan and Doctor Malvika; sadly it was again interrupted by an emergency of car accidents which made everyone busy with their teachers and no one was left for Doctor Karan’s help till he responded the pager, and it was time for Doctor Malvika to again be with him, on one side it was her health and on other was her courage, which helped her get up and go for the surgery.
The surgery almost lasted for 10 hours.
This made Doctor Malvika’s health more weak leading her to feel nausea and she puked as soon as they came out of the operation theatre and she was handled by Doctor Karan.
She was taken to her room instead of hospitalizing her because Doctor Karan wanted her in no other hands, other than his own. She was checked and lower blood pressure was the result as she was only on a glass of juice since morning.
After all the scolding’s and a lot of care she was cured by Doctor Karan and as strict instructions she was not allowed to get up from her bed till next morning, Doctor Karan comes and check her health.
It had been 2 days since the doctors went to their homes and for residents especially it had been just hours they spent at home which may not even calculate to a day.
Doctor Karan directly went to Doctor Malvika’s room and saw her, he asked her about her health and she replied that “she was feeling better”
“WHICH WAS A LIE.”
The whole day went with lots of ups and downs and not meeting of two rising rising lovebirds.
3 days later
Doctor Karan came and the first question he asked was “Whether Doctor Malvika has come?” and to that answer he got was ‘she didn’t go home because she was again assigned to another surgery after completing her one which was done with him, in which for the first time ever she had clipped brain aneurysm.
It was a whole day that they had not met each other and this was happening for half of the week.
HOURS AND DAYS PASSED BY.
Doctor Karan left a message for Doctor Malvika at the doctor’s desk to come and meet him as soon as possible.
This message was delivered to Doctor Malvika, she got scared and ran on a spree with body aching of the whole exertion and not being cured from her panic attack to Dr. Karan’s Cabin, where she saw that already somebody was there and some serious discussion was going on.
That made her more scared.
She was being called inside. Her heartbeat increasing.
She was facing Doctor Karan nervously but Doctor Karan was just staring her continuously.
Doctor Karan said something that made Doctor Malvika doubt was “Where were you these days, didn’t even had a blink of yours?”
This took time to get prepared as what to answer; then she said; but by the time she answered she was up with a question that made her eyes stare at him continuously without any nervousness and without a blink and with her heart stopped beating; and for that she murmured that she was in the hospital only, was busy with a course of work.
He again had a brushing smile on his face which made her smile on her lips but lot more happy and anxious from my heart, and she left the room without anything to say.
This time she intentionally didn’t face his whole day.
As I was seeing my first patient of the day; a young lady in her mid-twenties having intestinal obstruction named Aria Ravish Mehra, Which struck me intensely with a rapid heartbeat and I looked around the room there were 3 people( A man with a heavy beard and old as in his 60’s, a lady in her 50’s and a college-going boy and I blurted out Daddy which made the old man look up, this disturbed me and as I walked out of the room sentimentally and tangled in a lot of thinking, Dr. Andrea asked me to treat and observe the patient which I had no clue of except the diagnose, she again repeated the sentences; still I was lost and then I was off the case. This whole situation was being observed by Dr. Karan.
A hand is placed on my shoulders and in my ears, it is been said that “it’s okay”. I wipe my tears and turn around and in process of standing up, I have made to sit on the chairs which are kept at the end of the hallway.
We cross the resident’s rooms across the hallway where we saw something that our eyes couldn’t believe. Dr.Ritvik and Dr. Ritisha so close that even a mosquito cannot pass by between them, which made me feel angry as well as happy for the friend who was there on my side since the day 1, but this made Dr.Karan feel strange and he immediately took me ahead of the corridor and went to the next one.
Dr. Karan was done with his ER check-ups which were assigned to him without any notice and was also done with his lunch which had happened in between the rounds.
He took me out of the Surgeon’s desk and told me to follow him. I was feeling anxious because I didn’t know anything and we were just passing corridor by corridor and there we reach the stairwell and beneath to that was our destination which was Machine room.
A dark place with a minimum of lights with more of machines and less of space.
“FEELING FEARED BUT HOW TO EXPRESS.”
I feel vibrated and having goosebumps all over my body, Doctor Karan has whispered in my ears ‘KARAN’ as I say Dr. Karan for a duration of minutes and I have been kissed on my forehead.
I have been introduced to Karan’s house and everyone is very delighted. Doctor Mitra sits on a comfy chair in their lounge having a smile on his face by seeing us together.
I have been in a shock for a while when I got to know that Doctor Mitra is Karan’s father and the famous interior designer and NGO head Mrs. Amrita Mitra is his mother, I have read a lot about her in many magazines as well as newspapers.
I am very overwhelmed and happy but at the same point, I am missing my parents.
We are on the huge dining table wherein front we have like many dishes, I go crazy after seeing that because our daily food be like cold pizza or cereal or toast, nothing except that.
DAYS OF LIFE
I looked at the angular clamp in my hands and felt happy.
I walked over to the window and reflected on my kafkaesque surroundings.
I had always loved inconsolable longing Capetown with its teeny-tiny, tricky Table mountain.
It was a place that encouraged my tendency to feel Happy.