Monday, January 12, 2015

Preparations for the final part of the exam: Into the last week

My sitting for the final part of the MRCPCH exam is confirmed and I would emerge from the exam venue exactly a week from now, either victorious for having conquered the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health's Membership exam, or a bit sad at not succeeding this time. In either case, the journey so far has been memorable. I still remember writing about my ambition to do this exam 3 years ago in this very diary. It was one of my stated aims when I chose to leave my home country and work in Saudi Arabia. I feel a sense of accomplishment, because I have cleared the first two parts of the exam and will appear, on the 18th of this month, for the CLINICAL part (the final one), from GCS Hospital, Ahmedabad. To fulfill that purpose, I flew from Mumbai to Ahmedabad today morning, and am writing this post from a newly opened, reasonably priced and clean hotel just across the road from the exam venue. This hotel is called Lalji Hotel. Owned by a father-son duo of Vaishnavi Gujaratis, this is a 12-room two-storeyed hotel on Naroda Road. 

The person I have interacted with is Mr. Jignesh Sharma, the son, who has completed his hotel-management from UK and has started this modest hotel with his own funds on a 200 sq. m. plot owned by his father. A chef at heart, he personally supervises the hotel's ground floor restaurant menu. While they serve thalis for lunch, the dinner menu is a la carte, as he told me during the chat I had with him. He is an extremely affable chap and has gone out of the way to help me feel at home in his hotel. The room is small, but clean and has all the necessities I need to be able to study. The only thing lacking was a study table, but we improvised one using two small side tables, each 18 inches high, stacked, one atop the other. A chair was missing, but he readily provided me with one. The Wi fi he had wasn't up to the mark, and he arranged for a new router, which he affixed within a few hours of my arrival, so as to facilitate my stay. I had upma for breakfast, and a limited thali for lunch. The upma was very tasty. The Punjabi thali was tasty as well, but if I had to critique it, I might say that the vegetable portions were inadequate. There was paneer sabzi and potatoes, with three tandoori rotis (they serve it with butter by default, but I asked to be served them without the latter). There was a small helping of pulao rice with dal fry, but no sweet dish to complete the meal. I would rate the thali a 6/10.

So, now it is just past five p.m. I am awaiting my friend Dr. Paresh Shah, who was working in Saudi Arabia until last year, and whom I had called to help me fix a hotel in Ahmedabad before coming here. However, he was unable to find something really suitable, but it is rather kind of him to call me and would be coming to the hotel to meet me any moment now (this is feeling like a live blog now!) The friend who DID arrange this booking at Lalji is my class-mate and work-mate Dr. Nimish Shah, whom I had also called from Saudi about 2 weeks before landing up here in Ahmedabad. He got the number of Lalji from Just Dial. And he remained in touch with me on Whatsapp and finalised the booking without any trouble to me. Thanks to both of these fine doctors who went out of the way to help me.

That's all for now. Will update you all, dear readers, of life in Ahmedabad, and about the exams from time to time. Signing off now. Thanks for reading.

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