I am Dr. George Jacob, a surgeon by profession. I work as a ‘surgeon’ in Lakeshore hospital, Cochin, a coastal city in Kerala, an orange rind-shaped state in the southern tip of India. I graduated as a general surgeon from Medical College, Kottayam, also in Kerala, the same college in which I did my MBBS course. While doing my MBBS course, Cupid had the better of me. I fell in love with my class mate, Mallie, who later went on to become an anesthetist. Immediately after our internship, we became man and wife (as is the usual turn of events whenever medical students fall in love and decide to get married; they are married off in a jiffy before they know what’s happening) . Two girls were born to us, also in a jiffy, though five years apart. The older Anju (officially Elizabeth)is an engineer. She did her B.Tech in Electronics and Communication. She now pursues M.Tech in the same specialty. Aleena our younger daughter is in college pursuing B.Com in Finance and Taxation. We live in Cochin and we have with us, my mother (Elizabeth) for company. That’s my family.
After qualifying as a surgeon, I set my surgical career rolling as junior surgeon in the department of Surgical Gastroenterology headed by Dr. H. Ramesh, one of India’s finest surgeons who operate on patients with gastrointestinal diseases. I loved that specialty. A naive surgeon could not have asked for more at that time. Under the professional and uncompromising guidance of Dr. Ramesh, I grew from a surgical toddler into one with reasonable ability. I had begun to enjoy myself as a gastrointestinal surgeon. I was 39 when a bolt struck me out of the blue. A major stroke felled me, paralyzing my left side. I felt the scalpel which had become an integral part of my being slip off my hands, as it were. The stroke wreaked havoc with my career as a surgeon. That explains why I placed the word surgeon within inverted commas in the second sentence of this self introduction. Even though I was considerably disabled by the stroke, the hospital authorities were magnanimous and gracious enough to repose their faith and confidence in me, rehabilitating me professionally, in the process. They employed me as an intensivist to tend to patients who have been operated. I currently work in the Surgical ICU looking after patients who have been operated. Having lost my ability to express myself as a surgeon, I explored other avenues to express myself. Having survived the ravages of the stroke, I needed to communicate with the world around me.
That’s when I took to writing. I submitted a letter to the national daily, Indian Express addressing the menace that the private buses plying on Cochin’s roads posed to the city’s citizens who dared to use the roads along with the buses, aptly called ‘red killers’.
This letter which was published had my chin up, and opened the world of letters to me. I entered that unfamiliar world with a computer keyboard in hand which had replaced the scalpel. More contributions to the Indian Express followed in the form of viewpoints, opinions, Citizen Journalism and letters to the editor with regularity to enthuse me as a writer. As my experience in the world of letters improved, I went on to publish a book titled ‘Kaleidoscope of a stroke Survivor’,
To diversify my passion to communicate with people around me through writing, I’ve plunged into the world of blogging, with the help of Dr. Shwetha, my ENT surgical colleague, a diehard blogger herself. She insisted a good blogger always introduces himself/herself! So here I am.