By, Dr.Suranjana Basak,
MGMMC Navi Mumbai
Where do I go if I want to read what Braunwald said? Which book should I use to excel in clinical skills? What are my options post-MBBS? Whom should I ask? What if all that I gather is not exactly authentic?
One night when these questions were haunting my mind, I sat with my Mac just Googling all the questions and trying to gather relevant answers. After an overdose of search results for 3 hours, I did what most college goers these days do-Call up another crazy friend of yours and blabber about all the time you just wasted. But no, this wasn’t a waste of time. I can definitely say that now.
So while I was talking (cribbing) to this friend of mine, he added to it. Turns out he was least bothered because he knew he wouldn’t find any answers to this. Ha! The point is, someone was thinking about similar issues. A mutual friend of ours joined the conversation and she actually thought, “Without guidance, medicine is a bizarre course to survive”. History has taught me one thing more than any other- the ones who think differently, try to change things or start something new, have always been called ‘troublemakers’.
They then came together as the founders of “something literary”.
So from the vague idea of creating “Something Literary”, to discussing the potential and the possible legal work, and other hard work that had to be put in, we planted the seeds of the first student driven All India magazine for the medical society. If you ever happened to Google this, you’d come across many journals, college magazines, newsletters, blogs but not exactly a medical magazine that focuses on both formal and semi formal content, and that is what we wanted to work on- something that didn’t already exist. We wanted to make that difference to every medical student aka potential doctors and contribute towards the betterment of the masses on the whole.
We wanted to do what our motto says the best, “Words can what Medicine can’t”.
Then, from shortlisting different names like Sync and Parchment, came into existence
“Lexicon”, which literally means concordance or a branch of knowledge. The “we” that I’ve been talking about for so long is the only thing that brought us all this far. It refers to the other troublemakers and the co-founders of Lexicon- Sakhi Shah and Abhijeet Sharma. Sakhi Shah, a medical student from Mumbai, an enthusiast, behind the camera person, and foodie, is the Director of Finance while Abhijeet Sharma, a medical student from Manipal, the man in suit, the hire-r and the fire-r, is the Executive Director of Lexicon.
Like every loving father who pampers his daughters much and cares for their dreams more than their own, mine was no different. While discussing the idea of creating this medical magazine, my father patronized Lexicon and made the very fierce task of registering a magazine a cake walk. Lexicon is thus, an initiative of SRB Educational Trust yet an entirely independent entity.
Soon after the proposal was passed by the board of directors and trustees at SRB Educational Trust, the troublemakers started doing what they were best at! We opened applications within a close circuit to build a core team that would work towards the big picture. Luckily, people like Spandita Ghosh, Raviteja Innamuri, Haymanti Saha, Caren Otadoh (our friend from Nairobi), Nikita Agarwal, Zenia Poladia and Geeta Sundar walk in the virtual world of Lexicon.
Hours of phone calls, conference calls, Skype meetings, emails, drafts and more drafts later, did we finally come up with ‘The Codex’-our book of bylaws and regulations aka the ultimate reference at Lexicon. So while the team was busy gearing up for the first edition ‘TheCancerous Valentine’, the administrative heads were hunting for the man who’d define us best on the web. After 3 months of the pursuit, we found our gem –Kaustubh Barde, an engineering student from Mumbai. That moment onwards, our excitement knew no bounds. Starting from engaging in random conversations to building an editorial of our own, it was another feeling altogether.
With each passing day, as the team continued to add words to their thoughts and codes to our vision, we found our identity in a logo by a fresh fine arts graduate, Trupti Pendharkar.
All the missing parts of the puzzle were coming together and our dream was being woven into reality. When we finally launched our first edition, we were awestruck. I didn’t think that we would manage to pull together a team despite all geographic limitations and tight schedules at our respective med schools. But we did. And that meant something.
We won our first achievement award from the Parivartan Foundation, which acknowledged our dream and efforts. The next big thing to happen was when our correspondent Nikhil Tambe interviewed Dr. Diane Levine for our second edition. With every passing edition, our quality of work improved, we reached newer people, interviewed big personalities and lastly, made an impact. Though our readership was very limited when we began, it grew substantially over a period of time and it still is. The diverse cultures of our friends from other countries like Rika Rijal(Nepal) and Caren Otadoh have never been an impedance to keep pace and help us constantly raise our standards. I believe that they’re what make us different. Every team has a couple of wise heads that sit and watch and then act when inexperience falls short. Introducing the wise heads of Lexicon who joined over a period of time – Rohin Manipur, Ruchira Dhoke, Sunrito Bhattacharya and Aakash Doshi. They’re the “extended troublemakers” since they’ve done it before and are still doing it! The newest additions to the team of troublemakers are Swati Shriyan, Trusha Taneja, Utkarsh Mishra and Sumant Arora. Being relatively new, they’re actually the ones making quite a mark. Thanks to the new mischiefs they keep integrating to their articles.
It’s been a year since Lexicon started and time really does fly. Among all the ups and downs that we’ve all seen in these months, I must share what I’ve learnt-
“Times come and go. They have and they will. You only truly need to believe in yourself and be true towards your ambitions. Rest all will fall into place sooner or later.”
When Rohin asked me to write this piece, I found it rather odd to write about the inception since we’ve anyway done that for our brochures etc. But when he said he wanted the personal touch to it, it took me some time to assimilate the seconds of hesitancy, the minutes of thoughts, the hours of typing, the days of editing, the months of publicizing and the year full of expectations and enthusiasm and pen it down.
I hope I’m not making it sound like a speech but, I truly thank my team at Lexicon for being there and delivering their wonderful best every time.