Tuesday, July 27

What’s Up, Docs?

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Souvik Adhikari | plastic surgeon

Passion | Acting

Most of Adhikari’s waking hours are spent at the ever-busy SSKM Hospital, coping with the daily patient load. From conducting limb replant surgeries on patients whose hands have been severed, to seeing patients in the OPD and teaching students, he is constantly on his toes. But his schedule has not kept him from pursuing his passion for acting.

In the just-released Bengali movie ‘Din Ratrir Golpo’, a suspense crime thriller, this plastic surgeon transforms into a Nasa agent, his first break in mainstream cinema.

“My role in the movie is not very big. But I am quite excited, as this is my first silver-screen outing. If everything clicks, maybe I’ll act in more films,” says the associate professor of plastic surgery at IPGMER.

An MCh in plastic surgery from IPGMER, his love for acting led him to Prosenjit Choudhury, his junior during his MBBS days at Medical College Kolkata, who is the director of the movie. In the past, Adhikari has been involved in making short films, donning the hats of actor and even script -writer.

“One day, Prosenjit called me up, asking whether I was open to acting in his film. I lapped up the offer. And it was a great experience, totally different from my profession,” he recalls.

Apart from acting, the doctor is also a fitness freak, regularly hitting the gym to unwind.

“It is all about time management,” he says. “And there’s nothing like indulging in things one loves, when not working”.

Prosenjit Choudhury | general surgeon

Passion | Film-making

He describes himself as a “freelance doctor” who has gone all out in order to make films. In order to pursue his first love, Choudhury even gave up the post of assistant professor at Medical College Hospital Kolkata.

“From my childhood, I wanted to make films. But, hailing from a middle-class family in a small town in Burdwan, my parents wanted me to become a doctor,” he says.

He was always good at studies, so when, as a teenager, he declared he wanted to study films, his family thought he had “gone insane”, and called an “emergency meeting”. At the meeting, he was told that he had to sit for the JEE. He cracked the test and bagged a seat at Medical College Kolkata. He subsequently also did a post-graduation in general surgery from IPGMER and worked as a surgeon at the emergency unit for three years.

“I was even selected to be an assistant professor. But I realised that taking up that job would leave me with no time for making movies, so I had to politely decline,” he recalls.

After his directorial debut psychological thriller, ‘Dakbasko’, in 2015, Choudhury’s latest venture is a suspense crime thriller, written and directed by himself.

“I conduct a limited number of surgeries in a private hospital so that I get time to pursue my first love. I will not give up my profession, but balance both,” he says.

Arnab Gupta | oncological surgeon

Passion | music

In a field of medicine where giving bad news to patients happens more often than not, day in and day out, Gupta believes in healing with a dose of his special medicine: music.

He often sings to his patients, especially to the children battling the deadly disease, managing to bring out a smile, even after a draining chemotherapy session. Also, he never hesitates to pick up the microphone whenever there’s a fundraising event.

“Though children battling cancer do not understand the implications of the disease, the chemotherapy and radiation therapy take a toll on their mind and body. Music has a role in the healing process. I am happy to make their battle a little less tough,” Gupta says.

The medical director at Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute, Thakurpukur, can be often seen crooning a peppy Kishore Kumar number or strumming a guitar at various events.

“My love for music is from childhood. It is a great stress-buster, and there’s nothing like singing for patients at my hospital,” he says.

Gupta can switch from belting out peppy Bollywood numbers to soulful Rabindrasangeet with the elan of a pro. From singing to a patient while operating on a lump in her breast to soother her nerves during surgery, to a vocal jugalbandi with a teenager who lost one leg to cancer, while she performed classical dance during a charity event, this doctor surely knows how to put his musical talent to best use.

Parthapratim Gupta | paediatric surgeon

Passion | painting

This paediatric surgeon is as adept at filling up canvases with his artistic vision as he is at wielding a scalpel to conduct the finest of surgeries on a child. A professor of surgery at Institute of Child Health Kolkata, Gupta has been keeping his passion for painting alive despite his profession taking away much of his time. He even exhibits his paintings to raise funds for underprivileged children.

“I would love to hold more exhibitions and contribute to charity. But my profession does not allow me to paint more often than I would have wanted,” says the general surgery gold-medallist.

His affair with painting began when he was in school, where he got an opportunity to be taught by none other than Kamal Kumar Majumdar. But once he got into medical education for his MBBS at NRS Medical College and subsequently his doctoral and post-doctoral studies, and then his job as a paediatric surgeon and a teacher, he was left with little time to splash colour on canvas. Despite this, he has held three exhibitions so far, the proceeds going to charity.

A keen golfer, aesthetics has always been of prime importance to the surgeon who has brought beautiful smiles back on the faces of hundreds of children by conducting correctional cleft-lip surgery. His theme-based paintings have been applauded by the likes of Jogen Chowdhury.

“Last time, it was ‘poetry on canvas’. I am planning a next series on paintings on the unrest around us,” he says.

Pratim Sengupta | nephrologist

Passion | Playing violin

Anyone who calls this doctor would be greeted by a soulful rendition of raga Marwa played on the violin, set as his caller tune. They would be perhaps surprised to know that the violinist playing the tune is the doctor himself. A die-hard classical music lover, playing the tabla nearly robbed him of his hands, making him switch over to the violin, taking lessons from the likes of Sisirkana Dhar Chowdhury. He has even performed in musical events, such as the prestigious annual Dover Lane concert, accompanying his Guruji.

“When I was doing my MBBS, I was diagnosed with writer’s cramp in my right hand. Doctors advised me to stop playing the tabla,” he says. “I was heartbroken, because music is my first love.”

It was at this point that he decided to take up the violin, as the main activity happens in the left hand. He found lots of encouragement from his family, especially his mother, a trained classical singer. Gradually, he fell in love with the instrument.

His engagement at two hospitals — Belle Vue Clinic and ILS Hospital Dum Dum — and his social activities through the Kidney Care Society and organ donation movement, keep him much occupied. But the doctor ensures he spends some time with his violin at the end of a long day.

“Music has the power to alleviate pain and suffering. That is why my dialysis rooms have soothing violin tracks played softly,” Sengupta says.

Despite having achieved a certain level of mastery in the instrument, he has not stopped taking lessons. Currently, he takes online lessons from noted violinist Kala Ramnath. Much in demand by friends and colleagues, Sengupta’s last performance was at the recently held reunion at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital.


Source: Times of India

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