Of Gods and Demi-Gods

Right from my child-hood, when I was asked the stereotypical question that all uncles and aunties demand from a child with-no-interest-in-the-response-whatsoever,

Nee perusa aagi Enna aaga pora?.

My immediate response had always been, “Doctor". Those white coats, the looming figures, those cool instruments always have intrigued me. There was one of my thathas I remember visiting often when I was a kid. He would ask the same question every freaking time. I had the same answer everytime and he would always give the same approving nod. As a child, I loved the monotonous well-revised conversation, but when it seeped into my adolescence, I lost my cool. I asked him back, “Why thatha, why. You know what my answer is going to be. Then why do you ask the same question. Don’t you have anything else to begin the conversation with?”. He gave a knowing smile an replied softly, “This is my only way to check how determined you are to follow your childhood dream. When I ask the same question again after 5 years, you should say, “I’m pursuing medicine”. I loved him that moment more than I ever did. But, to those who are reading this and do not know me in person, am sorry to burst your bubble. No, I’m not a doctor and nor is that thatha alive now.

Now and then, I’ve always wondered and regretted if I had made a mistake by not trying hard. I was close, but I couldn’t score what was expected of me to become one. However, only recently I realised that it could never have been my true calling. Not until two days after my brother had passed away from a terminal disease. You might probably think that technically I should have regretted all the more that if I had been a doctor, I would have saved him. That thought did occur to me many times in his final stages. That I was helpless. That there was nothing I could do to save my only awesome handsome lovely brother. I don’t deny it. But then, I thought hard about the doctors. Those Demi-Gods who kept giving him hope until the last minute by saying. “You are awesome. You are a champion. You are fighting it”, while knowing deep inside that they were all blatant lies. How hard it would be, to look into those hopeful ptosis-laden- eyes and lie. How hard it would be to digest the fact that this very young boy who is hopelessly cheerful now wouldn’t be there to see the light tomorrow and still face him. I , for one could never have done it, even if it weren’t my brother. And I continue to worship those who are portrayed as Demi-Gods, tirelessly working on a cure and would always hope they do find one someday, while definitely knowing that I can and would never be them.

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