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Title – The Reluctant Doctor

Author – Dr Balesh Jindal

Type – Nonfiction / Memoirs

Reading Prompt – #9 – Set in a workplace

I was deeply humbled when Dr Balesh Jindal asked me politely if I could review her book. Well, I do consider myself as a decent reviewer, but I’m nowhere near my friends who do it so well. 

However, I agreed to her request. Without further ado, here’s the review of ‘The Reluctant Doctor: Stilettos to Stethescope.’ The title indicates what the readers can expect from the book, and it doesn’t disappoint. 

Dr Jindal dreamt of a life in London, sashaying around the parties, wearing elegant gowns and stilettos. But destiny had other plans for the woman in her twenties. At her father’s behest, she ended up opening a clinic in Kapashera, a suburb near Delhi. This book details her experiences as a doctor fighting patriarchal norms, blind superstitions, and unscrupulous quacks. 

Dr Jindal is honest enough to admit her privileges and how the sight of unkempt villagers bothered her. But as the book progresses, she undergoes a change of mind. 

The prose is peppered with a few medical terms, but it doesn’t mar the reading experience. Most of us are familiar with these. The author is a keen observer of people. As a result, patients become characters, each facing their demons. The incidents throw a great deal of light on the prevailing era. The readers empathise with the patients, and a sense of deja vu envelops them as the 80s & the 90s era whizz by them.

If I’ve to nitpick, the repetition of the decadence of the culture & attitude in people is monotonous. The chapters ‘Boyfriend Season’ & ‘Boys will be Boys’ deal with the same ailment that afflicted society. The author could have curtailed the change and focused more on the patients. 

While I wonder how the doctor remained silent about the atrocities committed against the rural women, I also laud her for the practical approach. As a doctor, her primary aim was to treat the patients.

The reluctant doctor is honest to the bone. That’ what endeared me to her. Dr Jindal is a hero, and her story needs to reach more audiences. Grab this book to learn about the untiring efforts of a woman in a misogynistic world, upholding the virtues of humanity.

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