A farewell

So there I was, sitting with the hospital director and our tech director on either side, listening to all those good words about me. We have had frequent farewell get together recently because many of our staff were leaving the hospital. I had always wondered when I would be at the receiving end.

It is a sad and nerve wrecking experience. I had this vague kind of restlessness and embarrassment from weeks before I was leaving. I was reluctant to meet people and say farewell to them. I knew I wouldn’t be a good performer at that. Many would have thought why I had left without saying a word. That was easier for me.

I had made some wonderful friends at the hospital, mostly among the nurses. Being a doctor I know there are some unique qualities in the medical fraternity.. Ego is the one thing that leads us. Every doctor probably thinks he is the best. They usually cannot bear the experience of listening to someone talking good about another colleague. So, I was not at all surprised at the reaction of some of my colleagues. Many were prominent by their absence. Because they wouldn’t feel comfortable listening to all those good words. All that stuff spoken during a farewell are not probably meant. No one talks ill of a person when he leaves. That’s all about it.

The nurses who had worked with me were sad that I was leaving. I have some of my best friends among them.

Fifteen years is not a short span in any one’s life. I have been around Khorfakkan that long. I came to this place as a young energetic man and have grown old in age and profession. I have learned more about life than about medicine.

There are people who can never be happy. They always find reasons to be unhappy. There are some who don’t feel happy if good things happen to them in life. They can only be happy if bad things happen to others.

All through my career, I have taken care not to snatch something belonging to others. Still some are unhappy when you get what ever was over due. I have learned not to trust people with personal matters. They always reach where they shouldn’t.

I feel sad about leaving this hospital. I don’t know why I have made this decision after so long. Changes are inevitable in life. I was getting bored with working at the same place for too long. I know it is going to be difficult to start a new job where every one would be looking at you and whatever you do till they get to know you well. I know I am kept under a microscope, like a bacterium.

I would definitely miss my friends at the hospital. I have spent more time with some of them than with my own family. I would miss the cleaning staff who would say good morning to me all along the corridors, Sr. Fathima who made me the best coffee in the world, the ‘professors’ and ‘preachers’ as I called some of them, and all the rest of them with whom I used to laugh and joke. They had made my life easier. They stood by me during difficult times.

I was reminded of what Paulo had written about Manuel*.

“Manuel works for thirty years without stopping. He brings up his children, sets a good example, and devotes all his time to work, never asking: “Does what I am doing have any meaning?’ His one thought is that the busier he is, the more important he will be in the eyes of the world.
“His children grow up and leave home. One day, he receives a watch or a pen as a reward for all those years of devotion. His friends shed a few tears, and then, the moment arrives… “

“One night an angel appears to him in sleep: What have you done with your life? Did you try to live your life according to your dreams?”

It is a difficult question for those who had dreams to live.For me....it is too late to ask all that. I would rather go to sleep than answering that question. But.. .has he written about me? He doesn’t even know me!

Work is a blessing when it helps us to think about what we are doing. But it becomes a curse when its sole use is to stop us thinking about the meaning of life.

So, at the end of fifteen years I walk out of the hospital, not only with a watch, but with a camera, many more gifts and a heart full of memories.

That is how life is and I am consoled by the verse ( Ecc 3)

" To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven..."

* Like the flowing River. Paulo Coelho


  1. Oh Doc. I know it is painful for you to leave your workplace where you have been with many good friends for many long years. As a person who does not belong to the medical field, I often find your blog as the best source to learn more about them..You expressed your emotional attachment with the hospital beautifully. Wishing you all the best..God bless you..

  2. Doc,

    Change is refreshing, at least you wouldnt be bored and that in turn would not affect your performance and interest!

    But yes, 15 years is a long time and you would have made friends for life; leaving them behind is tough.

  3. ..I know DOC it difficult to leave your work place but I guess you can pursue your hobbies and interests which you always wanted ..and change is always good!
    You have been a very writer we would like to read more of your blogs and interesting patients and incidents in your life.
    ..its time to relax and have fun Cheer up!!

  4. It is very hard to move away from the place after working for such a long period.You will always remember this place and it's people fondly .Starting a new job can be exciting and a little scary at the same time.Wishing for you to have a great start.We know you will be doing great work wherever you go .

  5. changes most of the time is supposed to be good.So hope for the best doc,may be it was the right decision.My best wishes for your future doc.Take care.

  6. All the best, Doc, for a new beginning at Fujairah! Departure is always painful, especially from a familiar surroundings, as long as 15 years. Good Luck!

  7. Wherever you go new friends will be made. They will be drawn by your personality and wisdom. I wish you the very best in your new adventure. Blessings...Mary

  8. Well written, Doc, as always. That quote from Coelho's book is very profound. As a doctor, you will always be needed by society. May you find a new beginning.

  9. it must have been painful after 15 yrs of stay there with so many nice ppl around at the work place......but this is what life is all about Sir, we have to keep moving....My best wishes for the upcoming days Sir.


  10. Sir it is hard indeed , when the uk economy was all in doldrums and jobs at my work place were going, I had sleep less nights what if i had to go how will i go , what will i do , where will i go ..

    I know people say moving on is what one has to do all the time .. but its hard .. and not jsut work any phase , I came to uk it was diffuclt and other little things ...

    All the best sir with whatever you have planned to do and Good luck.

  11. hello:-)
    You have described the farewell moment so beautifully that almost very reader of yours could feel what you must have went through..I'm sure you must be a wonderful doctor..and I'm sure that Life wont just stop at this point for you...it surely has many pleasant surprises for you...just wait and watch;-)
    Best of Luck for your upcoming Life.Bless you..

  12. All the best Doc. Change is difficult but that makes life more challenging. Where ever you are May God bless you and support you abundantly.

    Best of Luck

  13. Dr Antony,

    It is difficult to leave the work place if emotionally attached & dedicated people do get emotionally attached.

    But you know better than other..change is the only constant in life.

    What is your plan now?

    Simply Speaking "A" Simple

  14. Wow, you are moving on. As emotional as that experience is, I am sure that you are looking forward to your new innings. Definitely, travel will be a part of it, how about gardening or cooking? I am sure you will have a good time.

  15. Bless you my wise Sir!

    You have indeed learned much of life. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I am enriched by them.

    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral


    > < } } ( ° >

    < ° ) } } > <

  16. Good luck for your new venture:).Bad or good,i always like changes.After spending 15+ yrs in the US,my husband decided to join the Army which was his childhood dream. Now he is somewhere in the North India and me alone with son at home.Sometimes we hate the decision but we also wanted a change from the monotonous life that we had back there. :):)Hope you will be happy in whatver you do next.

  17. Doc.. the farewell must have been real hard for you after 15 long years! nd even the decision taking...

    I read from one comment that you are moving to Fujairah.. is it not a beautiful place? some lucky people are waiting for you :)

    Looking forward to read more from you..All the best.

  18. I'm sure it was a sad day but to think you have made such a difference to so many people must be worth celebrating. I wish you well in all you do next.

  19. @Tomz
    It was not easy at all. But somehow it passed. I usually get emotional when others are given farewell. Now I fully realize the meaninglessness of words spoken at farewells. I have just shifted to a neighboring place. I get my regular calls from friends, nothing more.
    It is time to learn who are your friends
    Sure. There is enough left for a life time to write!
    Yes. Everything from the start.
    Thank you. May your wishes come true.
    How fast the time has passed. I cant believe I spent fifteen years in this place.
    Thanks for the good wishes.
    @T B V
    I found that story interesting too. Simple terms. A watch and few tear drops at the end of a life time of work!
    Yes, I had some very good friends there. I will miss them.
    Yes, like everything else in life, this too will pass.
    Some people make changes very easily. It becomes a habit if you do it frequently. Thanks for the good wishes.
    Welcome to the blog. A time for everything under the sun. That is how I see it.
    You are no longer stranger. Thanks for the wishes.
    I was with the Ministry of health all thee years. It was all the time acute care medicine. I am moving to a private set up. An easier kind of work.
    I love reading cookery books and blogs. Some times I do my culinary experiments too. The only restraint is the time factor.
    Thank you my good friend.

    I think these are not easy choices. I wish people could do what they wanted to do in life. Not every one is that lucky. There is always a price we pay. Nothing comes free, and there is no perfect situation in life.
    @Happy Kitten
    It is just about 25 KMs away from my earlier place. Both are coastal townships. It is a valley between barren mountains and the sea side.

  20. Wish you all the best. Saying goodbye after 15 years is not easy. Hope what awaits you makes you happy and energetic again. Through your blog posts, I know you are a caring doc.

  21. Wishing you all the best to be your best at a new place again!! True farewells are really tough times! Biding farewell to a place after 15 long years must be very much painful!

  22. 15 years of service should really have brought the place close to your heart. Wishing you the best in life Dr. I used to be an NRI out in the gulf for sometime, my father was in government service there for more than 30 years. Now he's retired, and i remember the farewell and warm send offs he received. It was really painful to him. I could just see you in his place now.

    hmmm.. a simple doubt, are you coming to kerala after you leave from there? If yes, welcome!

    Best wishes and Do keep your blog updated even when you shift your turf.

  23. Change is a way of life.. We crave for it but when it comes it is scary isn't it? But I am glad you are carrying with you the sweet memories because separation can often arise out of bitterness. Wishing you all the very best!

  24. In life we go through many changes, some are hard to face and some we accept gladly. I wish you all the luck in the world to find another position that will make you happy, or are you retiring?

  25. your wise compassion continues to lead me upward. thank you for your comments, Doctor / Friend.

    We will love to see more of your musings here at this blog also!

    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral


    > < } } ( ° >

    < ° ) } } > <

  26. yes doctor fifteen years makes the people like a family and emotionally bound sometime,but one thing that i am sure about it that they will miss you as a friend always,

    your words are so touching and brought slight tears in eyes,yes it is hard to answer this question,but you will agree that when we live for our loved ones our almost all dreams moves around them and we start feeling peace in their happiness,

    hope and pray that all will be according to your dreams next doctor,
    god bless.

  27. Ya, I concur. Leaving something familiar behind is a nerve wrecking experience. Hope you find an equally/better place to work again soon :)

  28. First time on this blog .. Just want to say, if you were getting bored in your previous job, you have made the correct decision. And nowadays, facebook does not make you feel far away from your friends..:) .. I am sure, you will get more exciting opportunity.
    You being from the medical profession, I wish you to get more opportunity to work for the poor and needy patients and get their blessing which ultimately matters the most :)

  29. Very well written. New things always occurs in life which helps us to learn as well as to take new challenges in life. Being a Dr.you are always needed by everyone all over the world as you are God for the patients. Wish you all the best.
    You are welcome at my new post-

  30. Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends.

  31. As the saying goes,Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean we'll miss you until we meet again.

  32. It's really a sad situation if you are left behind and the person was not able to remember you any more. However, to cope with it, you need to feel the pain so that you can appreciate the beauty of peace.

  33. I don’t want to wake up and realize what I was dreaming was right in front of my shut eyes. I don’t want to stop saying hellos for fear of saying goodbyes.

  34. This will only vouch that there indeed will be a time to bid goodbye yet wait for hope to come in at another corner.

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