I still remember my first glimpse of the institute. The morning mist sweeping down the valley gave a mystical air to the old palace… It was spring.. The mountain side was blooming.
The campus was magnificent.. Lots and lots of huge trees.. Shady spots to sit besides still pools.. Proud peacocks strutted along perfectly manicured lawns.. Vibrant flower beds.. Dahlias.. Roses.. I fell in love at first sight..
The institute .. A renovated palace was not only a hospital.. But an excellent research center in Psychiatry..
I inhaled the cold crisp mountain air deeply.. I felt exhilarated..! Senior residency in psychiatry !! A subject that mesmerized me!!
And that too under the guidance of Dr Gidwani !!! . One of the topmost psychiatrists in India..!! An icon among the medical fraternity..
I was looking forward to my training with deep pleasure.
But oddly it was not psychiatry that I learned there.. Infact I gave up my dream to be a psychiatrist.. But I was taught a different lesson at the institute.. As to what love could be..
For me love had been a practical arrangement. You loved the person you married or married the person you loved.. I was taught. Yes Sex was a basic need. There would be kids. Your partner cared for your family. A life long commitment.
My marriage had already been fixed. Age, height, education , family, and community..... Especially community, had been given due consideration. I had met him a few times.. A nice sort of person.
But at the Institute I witnessed an extraordinary love. It didn’t fall into any classification that my concept based mind was used to. They didn’t even know that it was love. It just existed and it was precious as life itself.
I know that they will never get married. But then marriage was never contemplated. But what makes me sad is the fact that they will never share that love.
I could have made a difference in their lives… but I was too timid.. And they had to pay the prize..
(To be continued)