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Manjula

He has ungrudgingly supported me in all my work. It is not just emotional and psychological support. Whenever I take on any challenging medical project, he contributes to its growth. Years ago, when I embarked on a work that involved tuberculosis patients we would burn the midnight oil together preparing detailed reports. Such work often meant he was too tired to attend to his own, which was a challenging business-related one. I am part of the Kidney Help Trust, an incredible initiative by nephrologist M.K. Mani to help people with renal disorders and those likely to get them. About five years ago, the Trust faced a challenge for want of an overseer. Without any hesitation, he volunteered his services. At that time, the Trust was covering a population of 25,000 and now, another 25,000 people have been added. As a doctor, I eschew the practice of prescribing too many medicines. I stick to what is necessary and avoid an injection if I can. He is with me, believing a doctor should never stray from the ethics of the profession. There has never been pressure from his side for me to take up the highest paid job. Because of the nature of our professions, both of us used to tour a lot. In such a scenario, it is easy for both partners to think they can manage alone. We used to have roaring fights. More than a fifty times, I have thought of leaving him. I would picture a life without Ravi and that is enough for me to dismiss the idea.

Ravi

Diplomacy and tact are not found in her dictionary. She can criticise someone to his face. And she does not pull her punches. When she is harsh with me, I take it. But I object when she administers the same ‘medicine’ to relatives and friends. “Being too straightforward means we’ll be left with few people who’ll want to be close to us,” I tell her. But she sets honesty above everything else. Ironically, it is this honesty and a thirst for knowledge I admire the most in her. I am grateful for the manner in which she manages work and home. When not touring, she is chef at home. Our marriage is not fight-proof. But one of our neighbours thought we had a surfeit of marital bliss. He told me, “You are an example to other couples. Neither of you raises your voice.” His assumption did not surprise me, because he is hard of hearing.

AS TOLD TO PRINCE FREDERICK

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