Apartment 14 A welcomed me with a wide smile. ‘Keep smiling’ is a tag that he carries with himself. Instagram fame Dr Robin Radhakrishnan, aka Doctor Machan, who works at GG Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, is also a motivational speaker and has changed the lives of many people. He talks about his eight-month-long Instagram journey, shooting videos at three in the night, motivating others, spreading smiles and his 44,000-member Insta fam.
“My first ever video was about ‘demotivating people’. But I don’t call myself a motivational speaker; I talk about what I have experienced in my 29-year-old life – very simple and relatable things, as you can see. Things we fail to notice. When the number of followers increased, people started to direct message me. I get a minimum of 2,000 messages every day, from eighth graders to middle aged men. I found that they feel comfortable to disclose their problems to me. I never knew I could make such a difference. I reply to every text message, hoping that my little effort may help them. On the other hand, I am a very normal person. I can be upset and moody at times. But when it’s about bringing smile on someone’s face, I try my best to be selfless.” But Robin was not always like this. “I was a below-average student. I failed many exams and was a backbencher. My parents, like any other, used to ask me to learn from other students. I was obese and uncomfortable, stopped participating in programmes, and was always
alone. But I believed in the power of dreams. I worked hard, cleared the medical entrance and got admission in Chidambaram Government Medical College. Today, I work in the hospital where I was born,” says Dr Robin.
He expresses concern over those students who consider failure in exams as the end of their lives. “If you take 2,000 students, there will be an artist, sports star, actor, IAS officer and more. Parents should stop comparing kids. Tell them that their life is not a question paper to test their memory. I never scored above 75 marks, but I kept working hard.”
Dr Robin shares a special experience. “During house surgency, my first posting was in labor room. I was assisting a PG student, and still remember the happiness when I held the baby. It spread when I handed him over to relatives. That incident was the inspiration for everything I did later.”
He continues, “On New Year’s Eve, I was hungry and was on night duty. I ordered food from Uber. It was almost 12, and a thought crossed my mind. The Uber driver is also doing his duty. I bought the food and gave it back to him. That’s my first viral video. He hugged me and cried. That was completely unplanned. But what shocked me most was 156 people, mostly girls, followed suit.”
His yet another viral video features a security staff at his hospital. “Sam came to me and said: ‘Sir, I have seen your videos, and found them very inspirational. My mother wants to see me famous one day, but what can I do? I don’t have any talent.” It made me think. The very next day, after finishing my night duty, I waited for him and asked him to make a video. He spoke his mind and even showed his mother’s picture. Twenty-five lakh people saw that video. It was trending on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter for many days.
Sometimes, all people need is someone to listen to them. In hospitals, doctors come, treat patients and go. They often miss what matters the most — a nice talk, a genuine conversation about food or health. When the patients get comfortable with the doctor, half their illness is gone. “Hospitals are places where a lot of tragedies happen. Death and declaring it to the bystanders is tough and the doctor has to be strong,” Dr Robin says.
Dr Robin Radhakrishnan is all set to follow his longtime passion. “I am going to make a movie, which I scripted with my sister. Shooting will begin within two months. It will be a realistic one based on the life of a junior doctor,” he signs off.