What lies between the fight and the winMarch 25, 2020
“The North Atlantic stretched in front of me, like a great, swirling, dark abyss waiting to swallow me whole. I stepped into the water. The cold current bit. I looked back to my palatial house and thought of the family inside. I wondered whether I would see them ever again. I turned my gaze back to the ocean. Mysteriously, it had changed. It seems friendlier now. Almost welcoming me into its waiting arms…
…As I stood there in freezing cold water, the North Atlantic lapping at my feet, the burning sensation in my stomach returned with a vengeance. My financial losses seemed mind-numbing. Wild thoughts lashed my feverish mind.
How would I answer to myself about the moral obligation to the people who had trusted me? In all my life I had never worried about what society would say, but my conscience was my keeper. I was answerable to my conscience.
What would I tell my wife, Bhagya? She would be devastated. What would I tell my people back home in India? Had I lost confidence in myself? How could I face my young children? They were too naive to realize what a gamble their father had taken to fulfill his dreams. The reality finally hit me. There was no way back.
I looked ahead at the North Atlantic as it mocked me. I stared right back. I’m coming!
I started wading forward, unmindful of who or what I was leaving behind.
I would not return. I would keep walking into the ocean until it consumed me until it erased my existence from the face of this world….”
This melancholic beginning of the book titled as “Excellence Has No Borders” is certainly startling, and conflicts with the real nature of the author —Dr B S Ajaikumar, a fighter who loves challenges.
But, those, he says, are the realities between the fight and the win.
The book, containing lessons from his life, shows how determination, hard work and self-confidence can go a long way in achieving the unimaginable.
Dr Ajaikumar, who successfully pursued his dream project of making advanced cancer care accessible to the common man in India, portrays the conflicts and compassion in his journey as a committed oncologist, an entrepreneur and a family man.
“My lesson from life is that one should not yield to momentary weaknesses, and a determination to take on the challenges in life could be a big turning point. This is what I have reflected through my journey,” says Dr Ajaikumar in an interview with Future Medicine.
A must-read not only for the medical community and entrepreneurs, but also for the care seeker and the common man, the autobiography of the founder of India’s largest cancer chain HealthCare Global (HCG) also delves into the enigma called cancer and the wide gap that still exists in its treatment in India.
“What I wanted to share with the reader is that excellence should be uniform for everyone, irrespective of [whether they are] rich or poor, especially in the field of medical care. I grew up in a middle-class family in India and got admission to a world-class medical institute —MD Anderson in the US to study and work, back in the seventies. The focus there was on providing excellent care to the patient, irrespective of who you are and what your background is, even in those days. I have proved that it is possible in India too, in spite of many saying that this is a poor country and it is not practical,” Dr Ajaikumar added.