When coronavirus first hit India in 2020, most people were locked up in their homes and spending time pursuing their hobbies - reading books, watching web-series, experimenting in the kitchen. But, Disha Mangal made the best use of her time.
Going by her love for words, Mangal, a medical student by education and an author by passion, was determined to write down her experiences of the pandemic. And, so she did and published it in the form of a book, The Doctor’s Daughter. As evident from the title, both her parents are doctors and have been working at dedicated COVID-19 hospitals.
Mangal narrates the experiences of belonging to a family of doctors. While doing so she gives a glimpse into the lives of medical professionals and their near ones during the health crisis. She talks about the risks and fears of being exposed to the virus, stories of people infected with the virus at hospitals and the times they do not have the resources to fight the war.
Recalling her encounter, Mangal talks about how her life metamorphosed.
“Everything became slow. It felt like even the clocks were ticking gradually but loudly. The nature around transformed and I realised that silence can be heard too. Owing to the lockdown, I spent most of my time studying and sometimes, it became frustrating,” she says.
Source of inspiration
Both of Mangal’s parents, who have been working at dedicated COVID-19 hospitals are her biggest sources of motivation and support. This is reflected in her book too.
“This book is a compilation of how the pandemic affected us all. It is the story of the undying human spirit. The main motto of the piece of work was to provide the readers with an insight into the way people led their lives during the health crisis,” Mangal quips.
Initially, Mangal did not have the intention to write a book. She simply grabbed a pen and paper and started writing down her thoughts in March 2020. However, much later the idea of publishing the work struck her.
“As a young adult, I was just putting together a journal filled with facts about COVID-19 as well as the struggles people were dealing with during the harrowing phase, especially the frontline workers. Subsequent to that, I decided to exhibit my work to the world”, says Mangal.
While India is still in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic, health authorities have already been warning the citizens of a possible third wave.
Being a daughter to doctors’ and a medical student, Mangal has a small piece of advice.
“Many European countries have been through multiple waves of COVID-19. Even the thought of a third wave in India is giving people chills down their spines. I want to request each and everyone to follow all the COVID-19 protocols like maintaining social distance, wearing masks and getting the vaccination jabs as soon as possible,” she notes.
Going by the experiences of her parents, the aspiring doctor also laments the death of people during the health crisis which is not only traumatic for the person’s family, but also for the doctors who witness it.
Mangal is of the view that patience and hope are the only paths that can enable the community to reach the end of the tunnel.
“Being patient may not solve everything, but it gives a sense of faith to humans, maybe as much as they need oxygen,” she emphasises.
Edited by Roshni Shroff
Some resources and links to help you learn more about Disha Mangal and her works -