The Call

My life as a doctor had been pretty satisfying. I thought I was happy. And then, I received that weird phone call on a Sunday afternoon.

I was in my study cleaning up all the junk that had got accumulated over the week. The week had been a very relaxed one. I had only three people visit me. The first two were of no mention but the third one was a very peculiar case.  I very distinctly remember him though I have never seen him around in this part of the town.

He was not sick. In fact he was there because he believed that I was not well and that I needed help from a doctor. I was really annoyed then but now the thought of it amused me. I walked to the other side of the table trying to fathom the reason behind his audacity. It was precisely then that I noticed a strange object lurking behind the cushion of the chair. It was a cell-phone!

It had my name on it though I do not remember having ever seen it before. Even before I could figure anything out, the phone started ringing. Not knowing what else to do, I picked it up.

“Hello there.”

“Who is this?”I enquired
“Well I am also a doctor, you see, albeit a very different kind.”

“What do you want?” I was getting suspicious.

“It is not me. It is you who are not well, doctor”

“What’s all this?” Though I did not want to admit, he seemed to be completely in control of things and I did not quite like that.

“Well you can keep the phone right away or go on. All that I can promise is that if you go on you will not regret it. You are a man of science, doctor. Can you take a leap of faith with me?”

I did not know what to say except that I could not bring myself to keep the phone down.

“I will take your silence as a yes. I have only one question. Is there something you are hiding from yourself, doctor?  It could be anything – a fear that you have never faced, a truth that you have never come to terms with.”


“Be honest, doctor. You should not lie to the person who is treating you. ”

I considered. I reconsidered and after a full two minutes of silence said “Even if I had one, why would I tell you?”

“Well, for the next few minutes, forget that you are on the phone. Just close your eyes and open your heart out. You will do yourself a lot of good if you do as I say.”

I closed my eyes and blurted out. I do not know what made me trust him. Maybe it was his voice. Or maybe I just needed an excuse to speak it out.

“I never wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to travel. I wanted to write about all the places that I would see, all the people that I would be with, all the things that I would do.  I wanted to write a travelogue. But somehow, life just dragged me along. I was told to be afraid of the fact that I might be left behind in the race of life. And so I feared it. I am a doctor as a result of that fear, neither because I love medicine nor because I had always wished to be one.”

“Very well doctor. Do you feel better now?”

“Yeah I do.”

“Tomorrow morning, look for a mail that will give you a list of people who have the same unfulfilled dream as yours.  Feel free to talk to them and if possible try and see if you guys can work something out.”

I did not know what to say. I was too dumbstruck.

“And now, can you do me a small favor, consider this as a fees for the treatment I just met you?”

“What do you want?” I asked him.

“Nothing much” he replied “I just want you to go to a distant place where no one knows you, look for a person who is not happy with what he is doing. Pay him a visit. Tell him that he will get well soon and discreetly drop this cell phone at his place before the next Sunday afternoon.

I will give him a call. Thanks for your time, doctor. Take care.”

Shreetam Subhrankar

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