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                                                       life Line            

He is sitting in his brand new cabin in the new wing, with his face cupped in his hands. There's anxiety written all over his face. The buzz of excitement outside in the grand lobby, which is being given the finishing touches, as the granite is being polished, doesn't seem to permeate into the newly varnished cabin of the chairman and managing trustee of The Ruby Hall Clinic. But this is not the Dr. Grant I know.

To me, the zesty and zealous doctor's second name is Hope, punctuated with a million aspirations to reach for the stars. No less! His life-sketch is the kind, that autobiographies are made of. With nothing but a pocketful of dreams and an all-consuming desire to achieve, the visionary has risen like the proverbial phoenix, and always stretched out to reach for what mere mortals consider impossible. From making night calls on his bicycle, to the homes of those who needed his immediate attention, to starting a mere two-bed clinic in the summer of ‘59, is just the prologue to the vivid chapters of his life, that unfolded with fierce rapidity, as the seasons rolled by.
Fired by ambition, there was no stopping the Professor Emeritius in Medicine and Cardiology, whose dream was to climb every mountain, regardless of the palpitations, pitfalls and regular admonitions from his better half, for piling on too much on his plate. Like she had been doing since the last couple of months; a frazzled Mrs. Grant couldn't quite fathom why, at the ripe age when most men retire from the demanding pressures of the world, Dr. Grant had taken on the mammoth project, which was giving them sleepless nights.
With the expenses spiraling at breakneck speed and the interest rates ballooning, she had been in a frenzy trying to figure out the finances, that had gone haywire. Besides, everything was perfectly fine before he decided to take the giant leap. The hospital boasted of state-of-the-art equipment coupled with accomplished doctors on their registers. One couldn't have possibly asked for more! But then being married to a hopelessly dedicated doctor who is constantly focussing on new horizons, Mrs. Grant has finally come to terms with the fact that her husband cannot quite live without his quota of daily stress and new challenges, that keep multiplying by the hour.Though what one does tend to overlook is that the distinguished doctor who has set his heart on putting Pune on the medical world map, is human too. That occasionally, he does get bogged down with the intricacies of life, especially when the interest rates of building one of the best hospitals in the country, runs into a couple of crores! Right now, lie is looking for a generous sponsor, who will share his vision that is larger than life. Yes, he has, some interesting proposals but there are a list of conditions attached to it.

Dr.Grant But right now, the sprightly man who has almost single handedly given birth to the hospital and gone through the excruciating labour pains watching it grow into a forty-year old prestigious institute, is in a dilemma! He is not quite sure if he is ready to give up his most precious baby for adoption - though only in name - just so that he can cut losses! It's probably for the first time in years that I have heard him sigh aloud, "I am not growing any younger and I don't know who will shoulder the financial burden when I am not there!" It's a disconcerting thought coming from a man who has run the marathon obstacle race of life, without even stopping for a breather! Though, thankfully the next moment,
Dr. Grant bounces back to his usual optimistic self as he hits a positive note with a twinkle in his eyes. "I am sure things will work out. They always have!" he reflects, "Somehow I know that we will receive a generous donation from some unexpected quarters. Things have a way of falling into place.Otherwise, we wouldn't have come this far." It's obviously his ability to hold on to a even a glimmer of hope,that has helped him accomplish mind-boggling feats over the years............. the very latest MRI equipment, the biggest blood bank but also has the largest ICU and CCU units in the country."
What Dr. Grant is particularly proud of, are the four large operation theatres that are totally steel-lined which come along with an anti-static flooring, so that the highest standards of hygiene can be maintained. With no crevices, the chances of germs multiplying or any sort of infection are minimal. A lot of thought has gone into the post-operative section too, which is housed next to the spacious step-down unit.

Just accompanying the doctor on the tour of the aesthetically designed hospital which will be inaugurated in a month's time, is an exhausting yet invigorating experience. Of course, Dr. Grant is more than charged, as he shows us around every nook, cranny and department from the sprawling kitchen, which could give any five-star hotel a run for it's money, to the huge air conditioning units, the advanced renal dialysis center, the Ultra modern CAT labs, the up-to-date paedritic surgery unit, the bio-medical engineering center, the library and a hundred other well compartmentalized departments.
With neatly laid out eighty-eight rooms for the patients, every floor accommodates two luxury rooms that spell a distinctive style of their own. And just when you imagine that the rooms must be priced highly, considering the amenities they offer, you are told that the regular rooms cost a thousand rupees and the luxury room, cost thousand five hundred. What comes literally as a breath of fresh air, is the terrace garden on the third level, where perhaps the visitors can unwind, in the lap of nature. However, it's the well-furnished rooms on the fifth and the sixth floor that offer a bird's eye view of the cityscape. Don't know if it is meant to, but the panoramic view will probably help the patient to even heal faster.As for the earlier structure, where Ruby Hall stood proud for almost four decades, it's going to be converted into a trauma or an emergency unit.
"Since it's the golden hour in any accident or emergency case which is of utmost importance, we are going to devote this entire unit to it. A lot of patients can be saved if attended to in that golden hour," reiterates Dr. Grant who is now in the process of ironing out every minute detail. Right now, he has a million things to attend to. Apart from looking philanthropic sponsor, he is toying with the idea of inviting the Prime Minister to inaugurate the state-of-the-art hospital. meanwhile he is busy sanctioning bills that have to be waved off since a lot of strings are being pulled from every cog in the political wheel. All this, whilst he is setting deadlines by which the doors of the hospital will finally be thrown open, after three years of planning, execution and a lot of heartburn!

How does it feel now that his dream is on the threshold of being finally realized? Expecting him to go into raptures, articulating his feelings, one is a little surprised, when he shrugs saying "a little depressed with so much of financial burden", one almost believes him till he breaks into heart warming smile which finally reaches his eyes and knowing Dr.Grant, one is quite sure that he will be instantly setting new targets and tougher deadlines, even before this one is met with. Like he had once said "the minute I climb one mountain, I’m already waiting to climb the next, that is my passion in life!" Which is perhaps what makes him a patriarch of the medical world in Pune, an eternal sculpture of hope.