My strongest memory of first day of college was harrowing. I joined college a good 3 months late by then the students were all accustomed with each other, the friendships started, flirtings were rampant, the subjects all familiar, and so are the teachers. I felt like this lost soul in the middle of nowhere. It was all very intimidating and I really did not know what to expect, and everyone seems to be talking about this particular teacher -- Dr.Jain--who is pretty hard-nosed. Soon a tall fatherly figure walked in the class, he wore a crisp white shirt and black trousers, and his eyes twinkled. He was in his late 60s or early 70s, and he looked straight through me saying—Are you bengali?You are good 3-months late?
As I introduced myself, he said—don’t be intimidated by what you see, you will catch up. As if he knew what I was thinking. That was Dr. Jain—the teacher who taught me Anatomy, the most respected in Bhopal Medical College, and truly #madeofgreats.
He has charisma, the kind that you can’t really understand until you are in the presence of it. He showed me how important it is to find your passion. I remember him saying, everything can be taught, except passion.
The entire first-year of college, I saw him step inside the class with a gleaming smile and an enthusiasm of a two-year old. It was hard to believe that he was teaching the same subject to the medical students for more than 30-years. What about boredom, monotony, dreariness?
Passion. He showed us every day how having a little passion can make things so easy and fulfilling.
I remember I once failed in one of his mock viva. As I fumbled holding a Tibia (bone), avoiding making an eye contact with him—he took it from my hand and said—kya hua? Laddo, you didn’t study. Why?
I gave some excuse of being unwell. He said “if you can eat your food, sleep for 8 hours, and write a leave application, you can also study”.
For his students, Independence Day and Republic day will always remind of his speech. I wish he had given few TEDTalks, sadly there was no such things in those days. He was one of the best orators I’ve come across in my life.
He left us last year on 26th January, 2015.
It has been 8-years since I passed college, and I remember each of his anecdotes by-heart. He had that capacity to draw you close, to mesmerize you with his knowledge and humor. I got the news sitting on my overheated office on a chilly winter morning. I wept silent tears.
As tributes poured in honoring his life from students across the globe on Facebook, I read each message but could not write a simple note for him. He clearly made an impression on a great many people, not just me.
I count myself blessed to have known him. He will forever remain my hero and my #madeofgreat.
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