Government Medical College Chandigarh Old Students Association





January 23rd, 1997 – the day we, the first batch of GMC Chandigarh, finished internship. It was an ordinary day; we went around doing our routine tasks. There were no celebrations or farewells. But the excitement among us was palpable. I finished my day, found Jimmy (Nitin Mittal, class of ’91), and we walked down the stairs, which were being dimly illuminated by light filtering in from the corridors (I think the lifts were being installed in the main hospital complex then, as was the electrical wiring in the stairways). As we walked towards our scooters, I turned around to look at the huge concrete structure being raised. Ironically, the whole building appeared as if it was being torn down – there was ‘sariya’ protruding from every pillar, mud and concrete everywhere, lights could be seen only in the lower three floors of the first and only block as the rest of the hospital was still under construction, the bright red ‘EMERGENCY’ sign had not been installed yet and the whole place was desolate, except for the occasional laborer settling down for the night. Despite the gloomy image in front of me, I felt optimistic. We had come a long way since we had started five and a half years before. We had gone through good times and bad times, we had shuttled from the Prayas building (sector-38) to the Polyclinic (sector-22) to the PGI and General Hospital (sector-16) and finally to where I stood now. In 1991, I had entered the medical college as a carefree adolescent, and now I stood in front of it, a man, and hopefully a doctor. The whole world with its opportunities was in front of me, and momentarily I felt vulnerable, the shelter called GMC had suddenly ceased to exist.

I moved from Chandigarh to New Delhi and then to the USA. The farther I went, the more isolated I became from GMC. I would hang on to every bit of information about GMC I could get through phone conversations, internet chats or the occasional email. I desperately needed a forum for keeping in touch with my co-GMCites. The need for such a medium had been voiced before and I was certain there were others who felt the way I did. Late one night on call, exhausted, I was lying in the call room staring at the roof between answering pages (that is the time my brain goes faster than even ‘Chacha Choudhry’!), when the idea of starting a newsletter struck me. The next day, I had sent an email to every address I had in my contact list and the rest is history.

Hopefully, this is the beginning of a long journey for GMCCOSA. Like our GMC, we will start slow, but grow with time to a formidable organization. It is also time we contribute back to our alma mater; how can we do that? I feel the possibilities are endless; we just have to make a beginning.

The success of GMCCOSA and ‘Connections’ has to be measured in terms of its ready access and circulation. Ideally, I would like every GMCite to receive it; however, realistically speaking, I don’t think that is an achievable goal yet. Being an email/web based newsletter, there may be many alumni who may not have access to it. I would encourage circulation of print outs of this magazine so that our friends who are not net savvy might be able to stay in contact with us. This first issue has a circulation of around 200, and I hope with time it will grow.

Next on the agenda is a website for GMCCOSA. A website, besides other things, would give us enough storage space for posting photographs and for keeping issues of ‘Connections’ online for ready access. Hopefully, it should be up and running by the middle of 2004.

So folks, read on … criticize, encourage, contribute, suggest, and certainly do KEEP IN TOUCH.

Navneet Majhail

(Class of ’91)




Website created and maintained by Navneet Majhail ('91 Batch)