SHE A Serial By Varalotti Rengasamy Episode 15 When Shalini was accused of killing her fiancee and her live-in partner Raj Metha, the only support she had in the world was Dr.Shylender. He was with her all through the period of the gruelling trial. Shylender’s service was selfless. Shalini was eventually freed after two years of fighting. Shalini thought Shylender might propose to her. She liked the mild-mannered Doctor who was slaving for her release. She was ready to accept, if he proposed. To give him the proper opportunity and the right ambience, Shalini hosted a classy dinner just for the two of them at Park Sheraton. She was sure that Shylender was going to propose to her at that time. But unfortunately she was going through such a period in life when whatever she thought would happen for sure did not happen. And what ever she never imagined could happen, did happen. Shalini was mindlessly munching the vegetable springroll when Shylender spoke almost in a whisper. “I am going to <st1lace>Africa</st1lace> next week. I may not come back.” She let the half-finished springroll drop on the floor. “But Shyl, what happened? Any problem? Tell me if I can help you in any way. Shyl, even if I give you what all I have, it will still not be enough for what you have done to me.” “Shal, honestly, it is I who should thank you. My meeting you was the greatest turning point in my life. You were sent to me by God.” “I don’t understand a word of what you say.” “I was utterly selfish in helping you. That was my only salvation. But to understand that I may have to narrate the entire story.” To an astonished Shalini, Shylender started to narrate his life-story. Shyl was born the only son of a famous Doctor-couple in <st1:City><st1lace>Coimbatore</st1lace></st1:City>. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he was also blessed with extraordinary intelligence. He learnt determination and hardwork from his parents. They were turning in fourteen hours of hard, sincere medical work. They were decently rich, but fortunately, not bitten by the snake of avarice. As a boy Shylender excelled in whatever he did. When the results of his Plus Two exams came in he was not only in the top ten ranks in the state, but was also an accomplished squash player, a state-ranked chess player and was a good singer as well. He had the unique distinction of being the only son of a Doctor couple who got the medical seat purely on merit. He finished his basic degree in Medicine winning half a dozen gold medals. It was during his internship did he discover his passion for helping people, for working with people and taking part in their worries. Unlike others who had to feign interest in the rustic, unsophisticated villagers who thronged the Government Hospitals, Shylender was in his element in their midst. With soft words, selfless service and a genuine caring, he soon became the hero of any ward to which he was posted for the time being. While his colleagues opted for specialisation in cardiac surgery, nephrology, plastic surgery and others that offered a chance to mint money faster than the Government Press, Shyl opted for specialisation in general medicine. He did not want to cut open people’s hearts ; he rather wanted to stitch the broken ones with his kind words. He opted to become a “family doctor” – an almost extinct specie in these days of corporatisation of medicine. He braved the derogatory remarks from his colleagues, “Oh, GP..” to sincerely study medicine with a real motive of serving people – which these days is as great a miracle as a cure for AIDS. After post-graduation his colleagues flew to <st1:country-region><st1lace>England</st1lace></st1:country-region> and US for higher studies and further specialisation. Shylender approached a very senior Doctor, one of the very few surviving members of the specie of “family doctors” and offered to assist him in his practice. He also got an appointment in the <st1lace><st1laceName>Government</st1laceName> <st1laceType>Hospital</st1laceType></st1lace>. Now his days were full. He started to work from seven in the morning at the GH. He came home for lunch around 2, rested for an hour before going to the Senior Doctor’s clinic. There he slaved till 10 in the night. He wanted to see as many patients as possible and cure as many illnesses as he could. One advantage of being a GP was that he was consulted mostly on curable, simple diseases. When the Senior Doctor died he bequeathed his practice to Dr.Shylender. Shyl resigned his Government job and opened a clinic for the poor where he worked for almost free in the mornings. He would come to the Senior Doctor’s clinic in the evenings to consult the middle and higher income groups.