Landmark Incident In My Career – Lady With A Thorn

It was early winter of 2007. Raining had stopped, afternoon hours were pretty Sunny. I was 27 years. I just had come back to Koppa (where I was doing my MD – 3 years post graduation in Ayurvedic pharmaceutics), after attending a family member’s marriage. I met my younger cousins in the marriage, who, after finishing their software engineering courses, were in high paying jobs.

I heard about their salaries. Around 40,000 – 50,000 Indian Rupees per month. I, being elder to them, was earning Rs 1,500 per month as stipend given by the college. Over that, I was burning my mother’s pension money for fees and studies.

When I returned to Koppa, my head was heavy with comparing thoughts. Obviously depressed and agitated.
The very next day, I got a call from a local doctor. He was going on a trip, so he wanted me to handle his clinic for 2 days. I used to accept these offers because, by that time, I already was a doctor and it was earning me some part time cash.

Dr JV Hebbar

So, I went to his clinic and started treating patients on that day. During leisure, I took a piece of paper and was frantically calculating the amount per hour, my cousins were earning. It was around 315 rupees per hour. I then calculated my earning. -112 rupees (minus 112) per hour. I was so aghast and overwhelmed with negative thoughts!

Then a lady with her son came to the clinic. Son was ill, I prescribed some medicines and while they were leaving, I noticed that she was limping. She was having a big 4 inch thorn in her heel. I offered to get it removed but she was hesitant due to cost involved. I assured I will take only 50 rupees for its removal.

I injected local anaesthesia (yes, we, Ayurvedic doctors in India, legally can do minor surgeries). With a forceps started taking out the thorn.
5 minutes passed, I started sweating. Over this, that money per hour thing was ringing…
“I am a born looser, good for nothing idiot.. etc”.
She said that it is okay, let it be…
That added to my frustration.

I took a scalpel and dug around the root part of the thorn in her feet. It loosened a bit. With all force, for 20 seconds, I held the thorn with scalpel and made last ditch effort to get it out.

On one fine moment, the long thorn came out suddenly. I still can feel that feeling of thorn coming out in my mind. It was like “Chsheeeeeek…..”. A clean, swift exit without very minimal bleeding. I was so relieved to see her smile. I bandaged and sent her off.

Soon after she went, relishing that success, a series of thoughts started flashing in my mind.. “How hard your life may seem now, there is definitely light and success in future, no need to panic, no need to feel negative about your current position, get rid of the doomed feeling and do your daily work and studies with 100 % dedication”.

A landmark incident in my career. Thanks for reading.

30 thoughts on “Landmark Incident In My Career – Lady With A Thorn”

  1. Doctor, it was wonderful to read this. I always think that we can learn so much from normal everyday incidents in life, and also from the regular people we see around us–irrespective of their age, education, or social standing.
    Your narrative has validated my opinion. I am glad that you had those positive thoughts then, because, otherwise we may have missed getting such a good doctor!!!!!
    God bless.

  2. Thank you for writing this very interesting and honest article. I enjoy receiving your expert and valuable advice.

  3. Sir even I am ayurvedic doctor working in Gujarat . They r paying 4000 for 3 hrs per month. I am very much depressed sir

  4. Thanks doctor for sharing your experience. It was quite interesting to read, fanyway you did not loose heart, that is the big thing in ones life.

  5. All the best that why you are sucesful today, all of us go through stages like this and suddenly we change, life teaches us

  6. Wonderful, thank you for sharing!

    I would like to believe that The Almighty sent that lady to the clinic that day so that you could help remove equally serious thorns from the lives of not just a few, but many thousands, for many more decades to come. 🙂

  7. Thank you for sharing openly your experience. And thank you so much for sharing your knowledge in all your writings. Great that you also give the references with translation of the traditional ayurvedic products. Greetings from Germany!

  8. Dear Dr. Hebbar, Your experience reminds about the “Na tu ahm kamaye rajyam na swargam na punarbhavam, kamaye duhkhataptam vyadhinam artinashanam. As a physician, you have gone through this experience. Bravo. Dr. Kolhatkar, Pune

  9. It is good to share your such experience that inspire other are in noble profession earning money is secondary thing but few doctors understand this.

  10. Thanks for sharing this.
    Lot to learn, promises to keep, expectations and demands to be met, miles to walk….

  11. Very nice article, Next time I visit MOOKAMBIKA DEVI TEMPLE, I will definitely meet you sir, Very noble and simple man. May DEVI MOOKAMBIKA DEVI SHOWERS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WITH BLESSINGS AND GIVE YOU A LONG LIFE TO SERVER THE HUMANITY

  12. Thanks for sharing your experience sir!I have worked for Rs3500 and Rs.43000(now for nothing)Both the jobs had its own plus and minus.I can understand what you have gone through.If you didn’t do this Nobel profession we would have missed a Seen God.God will bless you with all the wealth and not just money for the great work you are doing now!Keep doing your great profession!

  13. India is the birthplace of Ayurveda.Doctors are God Incarnates. They stand between a person and his death.In my opinion, if there is a truly noble profession, it is the medical profession. In this age where westernisation has become a part of our culture, and people go in for big hospitals who for no valid reason recommend MRI or scanning along with series of other tests, I have seen that Ayurveda and Homeopathy are comparatively far and far more better.
    I am fan of yours and regularly follow your articles.Well done Sir ! Keep it up and go ahead.
    I wish you all success.


  14. Thank you for this enouragement. Many things in life are seen as worth while but the knowledge of improving and maintaining health is always worth the wait.

  15. Dear sir,
    I too somtimes used to feel so.
    We study too hard and get so less salary.
    Hope in coming years Ayurveda doctors will be paid decently….

  16. It happens doctor, but every thing can not be compared in money terms. Think about teachers. I am a teacher by profession and some times think the way you thought.
    The real thing is to keep working hard in one’s profession.
    Satish Kumar Sharma

  17. Victor Hugo said-This living body is the temple of God,and the Medical man is its priest-that should be the ethics of a Doctor ,which is very very scarce in present Indian scenario.
    however its freshening to read your article-May god bless you and enable you to serve the humanity for a long time.


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