This book is dedicated to you, ‘my teacher’!

As luck would have it, I was sitting down trying to put final touches to this Taj Mahal of a book and I suddenly thought of all the teachers, in different forms, who have shaped me to even be remotely be capable of putting a book like this together. A name cropped up in my head, Anne Gibbons. 

I immediately texted (sms) her right there and then to say hello. Her response shocked me.

Hi Rajat,

I am not so well these days. The cancer (breast) has finally got the better of me and has finally won. I only have a short time, weeks perhaps. I am having hospice care now and just live one day at a time. It’s not how I thought things would be so make sure you enjoy every day. 

Big hugs to you, my ‘student’.

X Anne

I am hoping that you get to see this book Anne. You will live on through this book, forever. 

This one is for you. The one who held my unconfident unsure hand and taught me all about ‘the touch’. The one who taught me how to ‘feel’ and ‘treat the patient’ not with my hands alone but with my heart too. An art lost in today’s instant gratification healthcare industry where patient is just a number.

I get too emotionally involved with my patients and want to get them out of their pains. At times it drains me, a lot, specially when their pain doesn’t improve. A couple of years back I complained to my father that I am not able to disconnect from my patients. He told me not to change and stay the same as that’s what makes me unique. 

I don't know if I am unique or insignificant in this cosmos. Thanks a million miles Anne for helping me discover my own self. This one is for you.

The above text was sent on 30th May 2016. Anne passed away at 5:20 am GMT, on Monday, 27th June. Anne requested that people attending her funeral wear bright clothes or something pink, in lieu of flowers.

Guess Mahatma Gandhi was spot on when he said, "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."

Nothing matters! :(