All through MBBS and MD, living in the hostel, one rarely had time for eating. The eternal aim was to keep awake, alert and running task to task 24/7. That needed a constant supply of stimulants: namely a tea that could bring you back from hell, and a visit to the pan-shop for You know what (bad habit, never mean to encourage, quit a decade ago).
But who had a steady supply of money? Most of us were dependent on the tiny money orders which vanished in a week, and then we depended upon the kindness of the tea-stall and pan-shop owner.
Mangesh Tea Stall at Jubilee Park, run by Inder, Gajanan and Ravi was our eternal hope and den, like that of thousands of doctors passing out from GMC Aurangabad. They fed us with snacks and tea for weeks/ months, trusting that we will pay back. Most of us did. Yet there were times when harsh and sarcastic comments were necessary to remind us of the payments due.
But the grandness of these souls was that in spite of themselves being so poor, they never ever denied to serve us snacks, tea and smokes, even when we weren’t able to pay for long. The stacked up bills must have been such a burden for them, yet they always said: “You doctors have such a heavy duty.. it’s ok”.
It was so necessary to visit them today after 20 years and say “thank you” for standing by us, supporting us in our pauper times!
The day was made again, when Inder made the same “back from hell tea”, and reminded that there’s a lot of work to finish yet!
He woke me up again! This reminder of how grateful I should be for all that I did not have then but have received now is so powerful!
©️Dr. Rajas Deshpande
Left to Right: Ravi, Myself, Inder, Gajanan, Dr. Shrinivas Gadappa.