Year 11 - With a Little Help From My Friends

by - November 27, 2015

I feel old. No, seriously.
Godyears turns 11 on the 30th of November, 2015. And believe me, it is an insane feeling to realize I have been writing on this blog for over 3650 days. 

The overall blog stats continue to shock me more than anyone else.
Year 05* - 2 blogs, 322 posts, 0072702 page views.
Year 06 - 2 blogs, 361 posts, 100908 page views and 06 published stories.
Year 07 - 3 blogs, 432 posts, 143942 page views and 10 published stories.
Year 08 - 3 blogs, 499 posts, 291886 page views and 19 published stories.
Year 09 - 3 blogs, 601 posts, 573318 page views and 30 published stories.
Year 10 - 3 blogs, 686 posts, 1099368 page views and 36 published stories.

* - statistics at the completion of the particular year

This year of blogging was different though in so many ways.
I had told myself that I would stick to being a personal blog but I found I lost that personal voice somewhere along the way as I got caught up in contests and hashtags. There was so much I wanted to say and convey and yet I found my regular avenue of sending a message - via fictional stories in anthologies - fading with too many unreliable publishing houses coming to the fore and willing to publish anything if you paid them their fee.
Personally, I faced a few setbacks too in matters of the heart which again made me question the principles by which I stood by and whether they were outdated in today's world. 
I decided to leave the safety of a wonderful job and take a risk at a new place  because I felt I had done the best I could over there.

With the best doctor team I had the privilege to work and live beside in addition to
enjoying so many memorable after-work trips, often impromptu.

You have to be pretty blessed to get such a loving farewell speech from your surgeon!


There were health scares too in the family with issues of the heart and sudden emergency operations besides a (luckily) misdiagnosed cancer scare for Snoopy.

Sufficed to say, it was a tumultuous period and I think more than anyone else, I myself felt that I was letting myself down and yearned to voice my opinion once more and make a difference in people's lives like I felt I was doing in the years gone by.

On Going Viral

In the end, it took a video of young men beating up an old man - a doctor under whose care a patient had died - to unleash it all out. In the past, I had literally begged the public to not see doctors as monsters but instead give us a chance. But on that day, sitting in my hospital room, I told doctors why the traditional doctor-patient was dead in India and why they needed to be practical instead of idealistic.

I did not expect the world to change. But it did. And not just for me.
In the months since then, I have often wondered how it actually happened since by default, you never see doctors focusing on the social media aspect of things. But on that second fortnight in May 2015 they did, sharing this post in insane volumes from AIIMS to JIPMER with messages flooding my inbox on the raging debates going on inside operation theaters and IMA halls.

"Why I will never allow my child to become a doctor in India" crossed two lakh views in the blog in less than 10 days and I honestly cannot comment on how many more read it since it was shared on over a dozen websites and journals too, besides making it to NDTV, BBC and Scoopwhoop among others.

My 2015 Blog stats: Gee. I wonder in which month I wrote that post?



If I was stunned by the unwitting publicity (a radiologist actually woke me up at 6 am to inform me that I was on the front page of Deccan Chronicle), what astounded me was the reactions. In the end, more than a 1000 doctors commented across various social media sites besides the general public too. And when the dust had settled down, a friend and I actually sat down and counted the 'nays' and 'ayes' to the post. Over 75% had actually agreed with my controversial stand! That sadly is no victory for me because it only confirms the need for urgent change.


blog viral
Deccan Chronicle, May 20, 2015. 5 days after the article went live.
Click the picture to read the full article

It did not surprise me that no one in charge or with the capacity to make a change within the system responded. What was heartening was that suddenly doctors had found their voices online. One of the factors that had angered me so much was that with so many flaws and failures in the system, no senior before me was ready to bell the cat. Since that month of May 2015, I have seen over two dozen articles by doctors finally standing up and challenging all that is wrong in the system and demanding that steps be taken to fix the rot before it was too late.

They finally realized that one voice could make a difference... and that voice could very well be theirs too, instead of just a chubby, blogger anaesthesiologist.
That is my victory.

The #1000Speak Initiative by Bloggers across the World

Away from the medical field, I found my voice too in the #1000Speak initiative started worldwide by bloggers. The idea was to counter the pain and heartache of the world by focusing on compassion and love. Every month we wrote on various aspects of compassion and it was heartening to do this and make people have hope again. Because in the end, without hope, you really cannot carry on.






My own posts in #1000Speak included:


I failed the #100HappyDays challenge and almost quit social media during some trying times before decided to restart my journey of happiness from Day 1. And as I explained in the blog post, once more my world changed in the 100 days of chasing happiness. I honestly intend to make it a yearly challenge now and I sincerely hope you too will do so.

Fun Blogger Moments of Year 10 

Among the highlights of the last year that blogging brought to me, I would have to specifically point to the following:

1. The Blogger Trip to Goa to test out the new Renault Lodgy (not to mention all the fun we had over there.) P.S. I even made it two of Renault's official videos!


2. Being among the select few to be driving the Land Rover at insane angles in Kerala's first LandRoverExperience.
Purely a coincidence that the vehicle is tilting towards the direction 
I am sitting in and is no reflection on any recent weight gain. I repeat, no reflection at all!
Image: LandRoverIndia

3. Attending WIN'15 - the Blogger Awards Ceremony which was just overflowing with happiness and joy.
'Some people just don't know how to use chopsticks!' 
Look at that girl using a single stick as though
it is a straw! Naturally, I use the more traditional 'hands-free' approach.

4. Meeting friends old and new - as a doctor, that is a lot more tougher to achieve than you can imagine.


5. All those interviews! From BBC to Indian Express, everyone wanted a piece of me... which is not something I can say normally! But I still think my most hard hitting interview was with Docplexus.

6. Adding my mom's homemade recipes to the blog now means that I have to compete not just with Snoopy but also my mother to write something that gets more likes and comments than their posts! Yeesh! Talk about competition at home!

So what was the take away of Year 10?

It is something that I have not really focused on directly but is a common strain in all the highlights I have just spoken about.



The honest truth is that I could not have done any of this by myself. Every happy and eventful moment that made up Year 10 was happy because you - the readers, friends and fellows bloggers - chose to be a part of it and show me my opinion and presence was valued. Whenever I was low or doubted myself, someone always appeared to remind me that I mattered.


And I think that is what keeps us all going through rough moments in life... knowing that we matter to somebody. That somebody is affected positively by our presence in their lives. That motivates us not just to hold on but to strive to be something better.


What would you think if I sang out of tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key
Oh I get by with a little help from my friends.
- Joe Cocker
(You can listen to the mesmerizing full song here)


I know I want to become better. And I am grateful that so many people walk by this blog - have walked by this blog for ten years - and read what I had to say. The old guard from 2005 is all but gone now save a few faces and I feel distinctly old when I see that none of them blog anymore. But I am grateful for their presence when they were there, boosting my morale and ego with their positive comments just as the new young Turks of the blogosphere astound me with their writing skills and inspire me to up my game.
Above all else, I am happy that I can call them all my friends. 

Every year, I would end the anniversary post with a picture of an upcoming event in which I am involved but this time around, I honestly don't know myself what Year 11 of Godyears will bring. But I know I will be around, doing my best to make your day brighter and make you laugh and yes, occasionally even ponder.
And I want to thank you for your friendship, online or off, that made me and this blog evolve into what we are today.

Considering the post is about saying Thank you,
It makes sense to connect this post to Corinne & Vidya Sury's
November Gratitude Circle bloghop – Thanksgiving Special.
Click their links for more gratitude posts.



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42 comments

  1. Congratulations on completing Year 10 as a blogger - sounds like it's been a wild and wonderful ride! Looking forward to seeing how things play out in Year 11. :)

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    1. It has been easily one of the most eventful years of my life. And yes, I too am curious to see how Year 11 pans out.

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  2. What a fabulous year you've had... Chock-full of amazingness. Good for you, and congratulations on making a difference. I'm super happy to have found you via the Gratitude Circle; always lovely to find a fellow dog lover. For the A-to-Z challenge last year I wrote a series about lessons in life from dogs... They're amazing "people", with so much to teach us (if only we care to listen). Glad to see you've also shared that wisdom (and with a much, much larger audience!).
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

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    1. Glad to have met you too :)
      Wow... I need to catch the dog series... it would be amazing!

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  3. Wow! 10 years of blogging is a big milestone. Way to go doc. You're definitely an inspiration. Looking forward to reading more of your meaningful, entertaining and some of the most hilarious posts I've ever come across. Wish you many more accolades in the coming days. Write on!

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    1. Thanks Vinodini :) Glad you found posts you like and more importantly, which made you smile... that truly matters to me. Making people happy at the end of the day.

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  4. Way to go Roshan! Heartfelt congratulations on such an important milestone of your 10-year blogging! Wishing you continued success with your blog and making a difference in peoples' lives by doing so. :) <3

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    1. Thanks Elly... hopefully the journey will continue to be eventful in the days/years to come :)
      And yes, will make a difference in people's lives in some small way.

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  5. Congratulations and it was such an amazing journey for you ! Blogging did change your life dint it? Nice, doc ! By the way age of the blog has nothing to do with our age, right? RIGHT?

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    1. I guess I am one of the few people who can honestly say that blogging turned my life around... it really did!
      And yes, blog age does not reflect upon our real age :D If anything, it shows that we were more mature and intelligent earlier than the rest of the crowd :p

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  6. I am so honored that I know you Roshan! You are such a positive person, spreading the joy through this blog and doing it for the last 10 years!!! You are the man! Congratulations and continue to spread the joy! Love!

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    1. Thanks Aditi... it is not easy but then, as the title of this post rightly admits, I get by with a little help from my friends (more online than offline these days!)

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  7. Firstly, my heartily congratulation for completing such a long way successfully. Really you are tge person we look forward to. :)

    BUT...
    11 years. Really??? What? How?? Who are you!!! James Bond of blogging?? I mean I can't believe.. I am with a surgeon from last 4 years n still going on...and one thing never cease to surprise me that how do you make time for all these..wait..are you insomniac?? But you look so healthy..how do you manage all!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Namrata... technically this is Year 11 :)
      And it is never easy as you can imagine finding time for writing while being in the surgical field. But I guess I make the extra effort and somewhere along the way it has paid off.
      As for healthy, that's a different matter :) I'm built like a hippo!

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  8. What a fabulous post! I kept on reading and smiling. You fulfilled dreams of many in that one year and may you have even more of such lovely times in life Roshan.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Parul :)
      Yes, I definitely could use more love and encouragement as I begin the next year :)

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  9. You inspire me doc! You are witty and mature - both at the same time. Meeting you online as a blogger has been one the luckiest things.
    Becoming famous because of blogging is more interesting than becoming famous by writing a book! So well done and more power to you!

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    Replies
    1. You're literally the only one from the old gang who still blogs as far as I can see :) And that's a nice perspective... being famous cos of blogging rather than for writing a book (which will never happen in this lifetime I guess though then again... impossible is nothing as this blog proved :D )

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  10. Oh! I can finally comment :')

    And 11 years is a long time :D

    Your year was pretty eventful in the blogging front. And I totally understand the "getting caught in contests and hashtag". Even more than that, not having the time to express your thoughts is a very sad thing. Personal blogging is losing its essence. When I meet people and say I am a personal blogger (when they are style-fashion-lifestyle bloggers) I pretty much receive the why-would-people-be-intereste in your life. But that is not we blog for, no?

    I hope that we take up the personal blogging to a different level now. That is my 2016 resolution. :)

    Congratulations Doc :)

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    1. Hahaha... that's something we have talked about previously too, right? I totally agree... somehow for people, being a personal blogger doesn't have the same glamour as food blogger and travel blogger. You and I need to go back to Whatsapp and chalk out a plan for the "RISE OF THE PERSONAL BLOGS" :D

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  11. Oh! I can finally comment :')

    And 11 years is a long time :D

    Your year was pretty eventful in the blogging front. And I totally understand the "getting caught in contests and hashtag". Even more than that, not having the time to express your thoughts is a very sad thing. Personal blogging is losing its essence. When I meet people and say I am a personal blogger (when they are style-fashion-lifestyle bloggers) I pretty much receive the why-would-people-be-intereste in your life. But that is not we blog for, no?

    I hope that we take up the personal blogging to a different level now. That is my 2016 resolution. :)

    Congratulations Doc :)

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  12. Sorry I'm a little late to this fabulous party, Roshan! Congratulations - 11 years is a record of sorts. And the best part of it is the heart and soul you put into making your blogging so memorable! Here's to another wonderful year of blogging and many decades more of writing!

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    1. thanks Corinne... time to indeed see what year 11 brings.

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  13. Congrats Doc! An amazing feat indeed! A true inspiration for all us bloggers out there! Kudos for hanging on and delivering hit after hit posts! Brava :)

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    1. Thanks Kala :)
      Let's see what 2016 has to offer :D

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  14. Ah.. many achievements and wonderful moments you had in the current year. Liked the quote at the end. All the best and keep up the pace and publish more stories in the coming years.. We are here to cheer you :-)

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  15. Anuradha GoyalJuly 03, 2018

    Congratulations on completing a decade of blogging. Happy to meet veteran bloggers in the midst of younger ones ( I only mean by blog age)

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  16. Thanks... and yes, while I would like to still consider myself young, a decade is still a decade no matter how we look at it :D

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  17. Darla M SandsJuly 03, 2018

    Bless you and yours. A decade is impressive! I'm way behind the curve on blogging. :)

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  18. Hey doc, in the midst of travel but just wanted to let you know that finding your blog was one of the best things that happened to me this year. Your point of view and sensibility as a doctor, the struggles....the juggle of it all, couldn't have been explained better. And you also show us how to have fun!!! I love your mom's recipes.just not had the time to blog as much and comment as much as i should have been. hope everything is great at your end. i really enjoyed this post. i will be reading it again leisurely when i get home next month. All the best for the coming year of blogging :)

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  19. Wow, that's amazing Roshan! So fun to read through this post, and see the pics! You have a made a unique style of your own in your blog, and here's to many more decades!! All the best:-)

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  20. Wow, Roshan! That is quite the list of accomplishments, and they are all so very well deserved. Many congratulations on completing a decade in the blogosphere. Wishing you the very best - now and always. :)

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  21. Wow, congrats Roshan. Such memorable moments and journey! To many more 3650 milestones!!

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  22. Congratulations on turning 11 Doc ! Some of your posts never fail to bring back a smile on a bad day, even though I have read them many times before. As always,keep inspiring with your words! I am happy for Snoopy. Wishing you good luck for all your future endeavour!

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  23. Thanks a lot. A decade certainly is a long time... People quote back stuff I wrote and I struggle to remember when I wrote that!! :)

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  24. Thanks CoralCrue.
    Glad you enjoy my take on life and all that its about. And yes, I can see that the food posts get more fans than my posts already :) looks like I will have to start adding food pics in more of my posts now!!!

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  25. Thanks Eli... Hard to imagine another decade of blogging.. Feels like a lifetime ago when I started.. Can't recognise that medical intern who wrote the first post :)

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  26. Thanks Shananya... I honestly used to wonder whether I would win anything when I saw bloggers all around me win stuff.. Guess I got lucky along the way

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  27. Haha... Thanks. I've been racking my brains trying to think of what would be the next milestone. My guess would be 10 lakh views on Godyears alone.

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  28. Thanks for that Shini. Always lovely to know I can make people smile somewhere across the world with a simple post. :)

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  29. Many many congratulations Roshan. I , for one, am privileged to know you and write alongside you in the current blogging era. I have learnt a lot from you and am in awe of the incredible thought and passion you put into every post. May your star continue to rise, forever and ever.

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  30. Thanks Shailaja... I think those words are supposed to be coming from my thought bubble, not yours :) It has been an awesome pleasure getting to know you both on the blog and in real life.

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