The dream that was KE... Fatima Qamar (1st Year)
Society, our society that is, is driven by certain clichés . Favored profession for one's kids-doctor/ engineer being one such norm and my parents were no exception. Oh and my grandparents too!
Taking a career choice of becoming a doctor was majorly influenced by the people I mentioned above. This was irritating as well as overwhelming.
The very bus I now travel in to KE, passed by once while we had our car parked on the road. Instantly, dad said that Fatima would be in it by next year Insha Allah. Again, we were passing by anarkali when for the first time I set my eyes on that tall white frame of domes. It was pretty I admit(not being dramatic though) despite my not-much-eagerness. But there again mom dad gazed at it wistfully and reminded me thats where they wanted to see me. ah.. expectations! I hate them especially when they are linked to me because the pressure of not being able to fulfill them and causing a disappointment is great.
One of their sons is a doctor and “oo ve KE daa”. Yeah, my grandparents. I never knew the charm of white coat that held for them and the people I will be mentioning later on. My cousin made it to FJ and all my Nana abu did was ask' “KE me nae hua?” thus the pressure was SO on me along with tonnes of wishes, duas and of course, expectations. Every time I went to Nana abu I was interrogated about my progress and papers and blessed with duas. Breaks my heart to mention that shortly before his death, Nana abu lived to see me making it to the institute he revered the most. He cried when he saw me wearing the overall. Post his death I now feel the intensity of his wish and that of my ignorance.
Of course tallying the MCAT answer sheet twice with my sister, calculating the weight age and running downstairs to inform my parents and giving them a tearful hug, calling up all my cousins, did make me realize this was an achievement worth it. Not worth my puny efforts but the priceless duas and expectations.
While at the bus stop I'd run into an argument over the utter showing off with dad when he urged me to wear an overall to bus. Mom later narrated that dad loved seeing me in the overall. Made him fill up with pride every time he saw it. Parents like mine are very emotional I tell you. Back then when dad was a student, the everyday sight of students with and without overalls boarding their respective UET/ KE etc buses filled him with awe.
“Dr. Saab thora side pe ho jaen” is what we hear each morning from the attendant of anatomy dept. brooming his way through the pile of dust and leaves. This expression holds such respect that only one who is receptive enough can feel the worth it holds.
I visited Mayo twice just for the sake of exploration. And again was greeted with stares of awe and respect. Thrice asked about the whereabouts of some departments and I was of no help proclaiming myself to be a student and as new to the place as anyone else.
Our anatomy demonstrator wanted x rays for the anatomy stage so we went to the ward to visit. We stood where the patients were made to stand/ sit since we were the first year. We asked the attendant if we could enter and were made to feel all authoritative when he replied, “ Dr. Saab aap kahen bhi ja skte hen. Apko allowed he jana .“ this is something appreciable and encouraging how we are respected. I don't deny the news about doctor's negligence or those minting money from patients nor do I claim the profession as the “savior of humanity” etc. back at school/ college and in university even (we don't have wards) we are oblivious to what lies ahead after crossing the zero point and walking straight ahead into the buildings that stand in front. Seeing stark poverty face to face, in greater proportion than at roads, bursts the comfortable luxurious facade of life around me. We ,with our puny little problems and heartbreaks over which we listen to chart topping billboard sad emo songs, are a negligent lot. The level of deteriorating condition of people is such that doing even a minor thing relieves them as anything. Africa or India may have the people who are severely suffering, Pakistan is sadly no exception. People here are survivors. The condition surely is pitiable. How they respect us then is something worth it. Not boasting about the greatness of being a doctor but the need, help and relieving people's pain asserted to it.
I admit not being a KE enthusiast or a dreamer but by far I am surely overwhelmed. At the open day at KE, I saw hordes of students enthusiastically raising their hands when asked if they wanted to be doctors. Certainly made me feel I am blessed beyond measures!
For all readers, I'd just like to tell, my batch mates especially, that flunking biochem, going over and over with sub stages every two weeks, sleeping through physio and time and again being pissed off by the pressure and burden, just remember what your dreams were. And that now you're living them! May we all be able to rise up to the standard that “ALTAPETE” holds. Amen. Sum amen.