My name is Nithin Devireddy. I am 23 years old currently living in Antigua Barbuda but making a permanent move to Atlanta, GA in mid-July, but I spent the last 4 years of my life studying and learning about the world in Manipal, India. I am currently doing M.D from a joint International University between Kasturba Medical College in India and American University of Antigua medical College in Antigua Barbuda. So if all goes well(fingers crossed) I should be getting into my clinical rotations by the end of this year and on my way to become an Orthopedic surgeon in the coming years.
I had the privilege of getting to know the beautiful Katherine Nolden over the course of 4 years at Westwood High School, Austin Tx. Needless to say I was completely mesmerized by her never-ending drive and spirit to excel at every obstacle that stood in her way. She is empowered with a fire that few people have and many search for. She is one of my closest friends and I am still amazed that she kept in touch with me while I was literally on the other side of the world. One of the saddest days I can remember was saying good bye to her in the WW small gym and know that I wouldn’t see her till half a decade later.
Moving to India when you’ve been completely been submersed in in the “American system” is not only a mental shock but also a physical one. Especially when you leave every one or thing you have known for a campus literally in the middle of a jungle. Going to India was like going through the five stages of grief. As I first got to Manipal, a town where it rains for 6 months and then maintains a 100% humidity and heat for the other 6 months, I was in complete denial and mostly just angry. I spent a year just trying to adjust to the environment and language barriers and not to mention a 180 degree diet.
As the years progressed, we as humans have the most incredible ability to adapt to situations, and I began to accept that if I wanted to reach my dream I would have to grow a pair, get my shit together, and do what I came to do…become a doctor. We had classes 8-5 every day with sometimes even on Saturdays. There were no summers or winters, seasons and break, you had a month and a bit off every year. It was a fast track to becoming a doctor but with every bit of struggle and endurance an American medical student had to go through if not more. But even through this impossible schedule, the key to keeping sane was a combination of friends that became family, 12% beer, and owning a most fantastic motorcycle. The combination of the three would prove to be the savior to all things while lost in the jungle.
They say you don’t realize what you’ve lost till it’s gone. A statement I usually laugh to because our lives are so short I believe that you take things as they come and dwelling on the past only hinders ones movement to the future. But while many end stages of grief with acceptance I left India grieving. Why, because, through the cracks of the daunting task of becoming a doctor in India there were moments of pure bliss and beauty. A secret that I chanced into discovering the day I was set to leave India. That life in itself is extremely simple. The people of India have no gray area. There is right and wrong, there is do or do not, and there is survive or die. My eyes where open to the fact that the world outside of America is truly a jungle. But in that jungle you can find the true meaning of freedom and happiness. That validation and success lie only after you’ve gone through the struggle. Lessons that if I hadn’t learned I believe I would have been more lost leaving India than when I first came.
“The road to one’s destiny is paved in many colors; some take one road some take two. But a luck few ride every road and paint the world in colors never seen before” Don’t lay idle be content to doing only what you can. Break through your shell and become a color that will make the world a more beautiful place.
Nithin & I in the Homecoming Parade