Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Of A Doctor

There are mainly two kinds of doctors: there are those who are mere physicians. And there are those, nobler in the mind, who suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, force heart, and nerve and sinew to produce a thesis, thereby earning the right to be called a doctor. It is to this august company that Vipul is to be admitted today. Yes, he is graduating today, and has already received the letter that allows him to call himself "Dr. Vipul Pare". Naturally, I am super excited, and very happy that the parents will be here for the graduation.
At the same time, this is the end point of a long process, and it is the process itself that has been a learning experience. Having a lot of friends in the academy, I have heard horror stories of people nearing the end of their dissertations - of people becoming 'drama queens', making massive life changes, wearing their frustration and desperation on their sleeve and so on. I can say most truthfully that in Vipul's case this never happened. Yes, he got stressed, and as he got more stressed, he went quieter, more preoccupied with the arguments he was going to make, thinking constantly of the writing process itself, working harder and harder as days went by. He did not complain about the external factors that had affected the writing process adversely over the 3 years, and he never indulged in self-pity when things got more difficult, as they invariably do. The biggest lifestyle changes that he made were an increased dependence on coffee and a greater interest in photography.
It is this grace under pressure that I wish I can emulate 2 years down the line, as my submission deadline draws near. For now, I am just going to rejoice in Vipul's glory, and know that he deserves every moment of this happiness. It is the end of one journey, and the beginning of another.