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Feels like home

July 4 - July 10, 2024
Gulf Weekly Feels like home
Gulf Weekly Feels like home
Gulf Weekly Feels like home
Gulf Weekly Feels like home
Gulf Weekly Feels like home

Gulf Weekly  Melissa Nazareth
By Melissa Nazareth

AN Indian medical professional, who is completing 30 years on the island this month talks about his unexpected journey in the land of ‘friendly’ people and ‘unending opportunities’, and a reveals a lesser-known hobby.

Dr Nagesh Babu landed in Bahrain International Airport back in 1994. After working in Saudi Arabia for one and half year, he decided to return to his hometown Hyderabad but around the time, was approached for a three-month locum (a person who temporarily fulfils the duties of another) job opportunity at American Mission Hospital (AMH) and decided to come to Bahrain. Destiny had other plans and three months extended into three decades.

“Time has passed by so quickly. I still feel like I landed here some years back,” Dr Nagesh told GulfWeekly. “I remember the first day. Just a few hours after I landed, I got a call from the emergency department. I attended to the case and decided to admit the sick patient. The management were impressed with the way I handled the situation even before officially joining. I was offered a permanent job,” he added.

Before coming to Saudi Arabia, Dr Nagesh worked in his hometown Hyderabad. He committed 15 years of service at AMH before moving to Al Kindi Hospital where he presently works as an internal medicine specialist, since 2009. Throughout his professional journey, he has built strong relationships with his patients that, over time, transcended the doctor-patient paradigm.

“Pursuing a medical career in Bahrain gave me the opportunity to know many families. They treat me more like a friend than a doctor. I’ve treated three generations of patients in some families, which is only because of their trust in me and affection toward me,” the 64-year-old noted, highlighting that his ‘extended family’ is instrumental to his decision to stay in Bahrain for so many years. 

“I wish to thank Dr P. Richardson (former AMH doctor for more than 20 years) who introduced me to American Mission Hospital and all the staff for their support during my stay with them. I also wish to extend my sincere thanks to Dr Ebtisam Al Dallal, the chief executive of Al Kindi Hospital and the staff for their continued support in my career,” he added.

Even on the personal front, Dr Nagesh highlights that ‘Bahrain has given them a happy and peaceful life’. He feels the kingdom offered a ‘safe’ place where he and his wife Dr Jayashri Gadangi, who currently works as a family physician at AMH and has been with the institution for more than 20 years, could raise their two children.

“We moved to Bahrain when  our daughter Shruti was four years old and she did her schooling here, as did our son Abhishek, who was born here. Bahrain has provided plenty of opportunities for our children. My son used to play tennis regularly and even won the Under-10 tournament hosted by Bahrain Tennis Club, Juffair some 10 years ago. But most importantly, Bahrain has a safe atmosphere for children,” he added.

Dr Nagesh’s son and daughter attended The Asian School and laid the foundation of their successful careers in Bahrain. Abhishek is currently pursuing a Rheumatology fellowship at Yale Medical School in the US, and his daughter leads the North America safety and quality programme team at Amazon in Seattle.

The Riffa resident is all praises for the transformation that the kingdom has exhibited in the last 30 years, from infrastructural growth to tourism. However, he often misses the yesteryear small pleasures that one doesn’t see too often today.

“There are so many commendable positive developments in Bahrain. However, sometimes, I do miss my walks around Bab Al Bahrain and at the corniches while my children had fun cycling,” he said nostalgically.

When Dr Nagesh isn’t treating patients, he is most probably boarding a plane to embark on a new travel adventure. The wanderlust has visited 46 destinations so far, including Bhutan, Lisbon, Cambodia, Rome, Arizona, London, Barcelona, Sri Lanka, Seattle, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Prague, Helsinki, Oslo, Copenhagen, and, most recently, Scandinavia.

“My goal was to finish 50 countries before I hit 60 but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, things slowed down,” he added.

Of all the places he has visited, Dr Nagesh finds Bhutan the most memorable mainly because of its people and how they interact with each other including with tourists - a testament to his ‘people personality’.

“I have four more places left and hope to hit my goal soon,” he said.

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