[Skip to Navigation]
Views 9,222
Citations 0
A Piece of My Mind
June 4, 2019

Going Home

Author Affiliations
  • 1Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2019;321(21):2075-2076. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.6924

What I enjoy most about international flights is the minute just before landing. On flights from the United States to India, the final minute features daughters who trade tank tops for saris, apply sindoor (the vermilion mark of marriage) to the parting of their hair, and trace kajol around jetlagged eyes. Businesspeople shut laptops bloated with tasks, where all will be forgotten during jampacked weeks with family. Tourists make frenzied circles in guidebooks, unprepared for the colorful chaos awaiting them. As the plane makes its touchdown, the cabin fills with the smell of damp soil after the rain. Every summer, I breathe it in hungrily. “I’m here. I’m home.”

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words
    3 Comments for this article
    Thank You
    Raj Lal, MD, MS, MBA, MPA, CPE | Thoracic Surgeon ( Emeritus), Oak Brook IL
    This is an excellent piece, touching and poignant. Even in the current environment of healthcare delivery we should use empathy and compassion and provide personal care as much as possible. I thank the author.

    A Very Touching Story
    Atul Laddu, MD, PhD | Atul Laddu, MD, PhD
    This is a very touching story of Dadu, described in a very nice manner by Dr. Maitra. Several of us have left our very dear parents in our Motherland, and are working far away in countries, helping patients and the community. All of us have a common problem: while working for patients and helping communities, are we forgetting our dear parents or relatives in our home country? Who is going to take care of them when they need us the most? Just visiting our loved ones at their last minute is nice, but is it enough? I am writing about a real problem, but do not think anyone has any solution for this. By putting my thoughts in writing I invite all of us who are far away from our Motherland to propose a good solution.
    My Hope
    Michael Cane, MD, FACOG | Family Healthcare Associates, Arlington, Tx
    My hope is to live and die with dignity and love, as did your Dadu. This was a beautiful and well-written story. Please keep writing! The non-medical world needs to hear your voice.