As a columnist I have learned that honesty is timeless and self-importance gets you nowhere | Ranjana Srivastava

Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress. When I get fed up with one, I spend the night with the other. Though it is irregular, it is less boring this way, and besides, neither of them loses anything through my infidelity.

Those are Anton Chekhov’s words and in 2013 I felt moved to quote the writer in an email to the Guardian’s then editor-in chief. The newspaper had launched a website in Australia and I was eager to write for the paper that my family had read when we lived in the UK. The team took a chance on me but, when I published my first column on medicine and…

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