I woke up exactly at 6:00 AM in spite of sleeping very late after wishing my friends a happy new year. I was feeling as fresh and as energetic as a 25 year old even though I will be 40 this year. As much as I wish to remain 25, my body has shown signs of the age catching up.
But this must be a perfect beginning for a new year. When I walked into the living room, my Mom was pleasantly surprised. On a normal day, my wife has to wake me up with persistent nagging. And here I was up and looking fresh at 6:00 AM. For once my Mom had not forgotten the day. She said, “What a great beginning, Happy New year!” I reciprocated with equal warmth and walked towards my daughter’s room. By the way, there was not a single missed call on my mobile !
The bed was immaculately neat in my daughter's room and there was no sign of my 11 year old. Hence I walked to my treadmill and there I see my wife on the treadmill and my daughter doing the abdominal exercise on the abs-crunch. Both of them wished me a really happy new year. My wife told, “It is my New Year resolution to lose 15 kilos this year and I am going to achieve that before the next Christmas holidays” And she added, “It’s your turn on the treadmill. We are finished and are going to take a shower” Wow !
I got onto treadmill and finished 20 minutes of vigorous exercise. After cooling down, I shaved and took my shower. Everything was in perfect shape. As I stepped out of my room, my daughter came with her report card. It was a pleasure to sign a report card that showed A+ in all subjects and all extra-curricular activities.
A usually lazy girl had done exceptionally well in the sports and games too. The Physical Director had added a fond note, ‘Most improved Child in the school’. What a day ! In a total departure from our routine mornings; my daughter was doing everything in time and my wife wasn’t screaming at her or at anyone.
My breakfast as usual was bland curd rice with some vegetables. And I was on my way to the hospital before 7:15 AM. What I saw on the road was beyond my imagination. The road was completely renovated. Not a single pothole. I pinched myself to see if it was a dream !
Feeling great, I was driving really fast and I saw an Auto-rickshaw approaching the main road from the left and I slowed down. The Buses and Auto-rickshaws in Kochi are so notorious for rash, rude and dangerous driving. But again I was floored by the driver halting his vehicle to let me go and he took the turn after me. He was keeping the left lane.
Then I saw a bus behind me and again slowed down to let him go. But even the bus-driver humbled me by keeping to left and not even making an attempt to overtake. No honking. No thumping the sides of the bus to scare my small car.
I could see why there was so much order ! Every road was policed and had sign-boards. Pedestrian crossings were manned. Safety alerts were beautifully erected at every corner. The North Bridge was a sight to behold. The bikes and Auto-rickshaws were taking the side bridge and there was absolute order. Is this too good to be true?
It took me only 7 minutes to reach the hospital. Once there, the slot given to me for parking was vacant. The watchman had made sure nobody parked any two-wheelers there. I lodged my bag in my room and everyone was wishing “Happy New Year” with absolute cheer.
The ICCU was unusually calm, though it was almost full. No ventilator patients and none critical. The night-duty Doctor was pleasant and told me that even though there were some admissions during night, it never was hectic or bad. After keeping my iced tea in the fridge, I went for rounds. Everything was in order. But for me, the most surprising thing was I didn’t lose my temper even when I saw some minor discrepancies.
The Out-Patient department was as usual busy and we had enough appointments to keep myself busy. All the technicians were available on this day and the work was flowing with no hindrance whatsoever. I finished my lunch of 2 bananas at exactly 12:00 Noon and never felt hypoglycemic.
I was able to finish all the appointments and my afternoon rounds by 3:00 PM. After updating my files on the PC, I still had some time for coffee with my Doctor friends. Everyone was happy with a brilliant take off for the year 2010. And the coffee was simply great. I did check the messages and reciprocated New Year wishes to all the well wishers. What a fantastic day on which I never lost my cool or snapped at someone. Are my days of unnecessary tantrums over? I honestly hope so!
I started back at 4:30 PM and again the traffic was in perfect discipline. I reached home in less than 10 minutes. My daughter was back from school. She already had her shower and looking marvelous and fresh. A hug and kiss and she went to her room to study.
Wife accompanied me for the evening round of exercise. After an invigorating shower, I had a cup of tea and some biscuits and walked to my clinic. My in-laws were on their evening walk. Stricken by Alzheimer’s disease, my father-in-law had never looked as alert and cheerful as this for over 4 years now.
My assistant was waiting cheerfully with the Clinic in prim and proper shape. A nice board with ‘Happy New Year’ was kept at the entrance. The OP was busy but I still managed to wind things up by 8:15 PM. My friend Mohan was there to wish me as usual. I had a small chat with him and rushed back home for dinner.
After dinner, we watched TV for some time. My Father was ready with a story as my Daughter went to bed by 9:00 PM. My Mom retired too by 9:30 PM. That left the two of us; me and wife. We had a perfect time together. No usual bickering. No complaining. This was altogether a great beginning for the New Year. There must be some entity called ‘God’. How else can we explain such a dramatic turnaround in the life of a Kochiite? The Non-conformist in me was secretly admiring God! Thank God “All is well!”
And then, my rug was pulled rudely and there stood my wife, “Can’t you sleep early and get up in time at least on the New Year day? It is already 6:45 AM. Aren’t you going to hospital today ? So many people called to wish you. Go check your mobile for all the missed calls”
And then she turned around and shouted at the top of her voice, “Baby, how many times do I have to tell you to get ready. She hasn't even finished her bath. Watching TV last night and now she remembers she hasn't completed her homework. The school bus will be around any time. Irresponsible girl. Like father, like daughter !”
So at last, “All izz well” in the Happy New Year !