(This is the eighth part of a short story which is entirely a work of fiction.)
The next morning Dr. Som got up earlier than usual. He gave a kiss to Vasudha on her forehead as she was till sleeping. “I’m leaving early. Will have breakfast at the hospital.” Vasudha mumbled, “Hmm, what? Why? Emergency?”
“No, will explain later.”
Dr. Som had an extra bounce in his step that morning as he entered the hospital. The security guard and the sweepers were surprised to see him so early. He went to his cabin, left his things there, took his notepad and pen and took the elevator to the terrace. He called the office boy and asked him to pack up some idlis from a nearby restaurant. He ordered a coffee from the office and got to work. For the next hour or so, Dr. Som jotted down his thoughts vigorously.
At the end of an hour, he had the high level plan ready. He went back to his cabin satisfied and full of optimism for the future. He went about his daily routine - rounds, procedures, OP consults.
Over the next week, he made an elaborate plan where he dug one level deeper. He identified problems that might come up. He tried to figure out multiple solutions to each problem. He took copious notes of his entire thought process. He got new ideas as he went along. He discarded some old ones where the newer ones made more sense. He was fully immersed in this process. He worked on the plan whenever he found time.
Dr. Som knew that what he was planning was radical. This was something that he felt would shake the foundations of healthcare in the country and beyond. He realised that there would be many challenges. He was determined to overcome them. In his mind he was confident that what he was doing was the right thing.
The next morning, Dr. Som drove himself to the Swami Madhavanand Vidhya Peeth, a one hour drive from their home. Swami Keshavanand, the Head of the Ashram was revered by the the couple from the time they set their foot into Rajahmundry. They were introduced by a friend of theirs who was closely associated with the Swami. Swami Keshavanand was a very sincere and devout Sadhu who advised the Soms on various matters from a spiritual angle. He guided them from time to time. He would never interfere in the commercial aspects. That was up to the couple to figure out. Swamiji would only give them advise on how to fight their inner battles, the ones within the mind. The Corporate boardroom battles were beyond his understanding, he professed.
Dr. Som had called the Ashram the previous evening and requested a meeting with Swamiji. He got an appointment for 7 am.