‘Karm karo, phal ki mat socho’. Here’s a short but true story that kind of crystallised this idea for me.

I feed a few strays every day, including a cat, a cat named Monty (for those who watched Stuart Little in their childhood, Monty is very much like Monty from the cartoon).

Monty, a friendly and cautious cat, lived with some poor but loving folks. He would never venture far from his territory until one day, when he decided to go to a park which is home to 11 dogs. And to his horrible luck, he got caught in a fight with four of them. Though he escaped the battle alive, he suffered a couple of really deep bite wounds.

Hearing the battle sounds and the painful cries, I rushed to the scene where his human family was present too. They told me that Monty got bitten and had run away somewhere.

For an entire day he was nowhere to be found. Then, out of nowhere, he came limping back to his human family. Not having much time and resources, they asked me to take care of it. I bravely took the onus of getting the cat whatever treatment and medical care it needed.

I was nervous and the wounds, serious.

After five days of regular visits to the vets, applying and reapplying medicines, giving warm massages for hours and trying to get him to eat something, he died. I was devastated. I adored Monty and I did everything I could to save him; still, it wasn’t enough.

My dad, who is a doctor and an entrepreneur, saw my sorrow and said something that restored my sense of well-being almost immediately.

He said that if every doctor started blaming themselves for every patient he/she couldn’t save, he/she wouldn’t be able to do their job for more than a week. “You gave your 100% and that’s all that matters. If you want to continue to help, you can’t be attached to the outcome,”he said.

Dad: Did you do your best?

Me: Yes, I said.

Dad: Then be proud of yourself.