Tuesday 9 October 2012
I struck up a conversation with a 57 year old man who was also waiting to see Dr Panda. He had just had a bypass a month ago. He turned out to be a doctor, a MD, with his own 40-bed hospital in Amravati. He insisted on telling me his story. He is a non-smoker, a non-drinker. He has set up a practice famous for NOT taking patients for a ride. And just like that, one day, after a bout of uneasiness in his chest, he visited his cardiologist who discovered two massive and complex blockages. His cardiologist told him: I am rushing you to Mumbai, to Asian Heart Institute, and straight to Dr Ramakanta Panda. Of course, Dr Panda saved his life.
He was trying to explain to me his bewilderment that he, “A DOCTOR, A MD WITH MY OWN HOSPITAL, NEVER SMOKED OR DRANK, HOW CAN I HAVE THIS HAPPEN TO ME?” I think he felt cheated in some way. I told him gently, how lucky he was that God had deposited him on Dr Panda’s doorstep to ensure his life was saved.
Of course, it is difficult to hold a man in a conversation when his concept of God’s will and God’s equity is not based on sound doctrine. The man has followed meticulously every moral precept he knows of, and fully expects that the honesty and grace with which he has treated his patients for decades be redounded to him in the stability of his own health. He is right, in his own way. But it did not work out that way and I can sense his quiet outrage.