Harsimran Kaur ON Nov 14, 2022 IN BOOK REVIEW, IN A BETTER PLACE—A DOCTOR’S JOURNEY BY BORNALI DATTA/FICTION
How disputable our ambitions are?
- A daiquiri of interchangeable vicissitudes and prevalent prejudices.
- Or a corollary to the overindulgences of our mind to play the right note in the inconceivable staccato of life.
Sudha, Jai and Sanjay are surrounded by their own idiosyncratic perceptions defining their ambitions—all donning deciduous doctor’s hat finely tailored keeping in purview that withered leaves will have a catastrophic fall and the new ones will flutter to the call of the winds. Indeed! Aspirations are structural anomalies to suit our sense of survival.
Sudha, a resident in one of the government hospitals in India has her quiver full of arrows; the precision with which she checks on patients, the humility to breathe out the evasive truths that fall as a bludgeoned axe on patients toxic delusions and finally being a dutiful wife to Girish whom she joins in England after her post-graduation.
Jai is an optimistic soothsayer; a doctor having excellent diagnostic ability, he feels the paramount importance of channelizing it in an environment that is more structured and fetches optimum money. He leaves India for UK. As he settles, his bemuses hold no faculty of sense; furthermore a farrago of meticulous working and validations fall on him as a lingering dust whiffed off by the particle ridden cloth.
Sanjay holds a hard ground of the palliative health infrastructure that has dissuaded the impoverished to resort to proper treatment. He is blatant and does not mince words to put across his views on the apocalyptic health foliage perpetuated by the government, intolerant towards the human affection to survive. He wishes to cut the corner stone and as a responsible doctor wants to use his skills to help the destitute and the poverty stricken. Brain-drain according to him is a ‘faux-pass’—a kind of self-exculpating foible.
Sudha, Jai and Sanjay share this inexplicable camaraderie that sees them being invariably together inspite of being miles apart. The book ‘In a Better Place—A Doctor’s Journey’ by debut novelist Bornali Datta places the cursor on the dilemmas and distortions that doctors go through—repressed emotions to ward off any clinical baggage of impaired decisions, a pullulative chicanery to roast the roost with a stiffened skin and the burgeoning perspective of the expatiates on the issue of belonging.
The story weaves different mind-sets together but
- Does Sudha find the perfect blend of personal and professional stability during her tenure in the UK?
- Jai is addictive to make it big and will grind the sugarcane till the last straw is crushed under the manoeuvre of the black charcoaled plates.
- Sanjay grapples to the untimely fear that predisposes him to spin new threads to his ideological web. Will he cross the unprecedented juncture of his life with aplomb or get bridled by the intemperate velocity of the mind?
A doctor’s profession is full of calibrations and validations. The capriciousness that revolves around the doctor-patient relationship is tantamount to a pedestrian crossing the road—any incalculative step screeches the break of one’s irreconcilable feet.
From the excrescence of tumour tremors to the estuary of emphysema and the cariogenic invasion depleting the human body of its spirit, the book brings forth the conditions in which doctors foresee a calamity about to happen but act as immortal guards to turn the tide before its cut off by the tumultuous waves behind.
Sitting in their escritoire, their job seems mundane but is a gallimaufry of irredentist decisions and robust infrastructure to sustain life.
A book about the ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’ of the Doctors…