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“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going” – something to this effect was written at the Fitness First gym in Ambience Mall Gurgaon that was my favourite haunt during my few years in Gurgaon. Strangely, with the end of Grey’s Anatomy Season 9 around the corner, this is what I found myself thinking last week. What is the correlation between Fitness First and Grey’s Anatomy I asked myself? Nothing- nothing at all. The only thread in common was the word “habit”. So, if I was to modify the above line and apply it to Grey’s Anatomy, I would say something like – “Novelty and quality is what got me started. Habit is what kept me going”. Not that the quality nose dived so drastically over the seasons but by the end of season 9, it was sheer habit that kept me turning to the telly at 10pm like clockwork. Experts say that it take about 21 days for a new habit to form and become deeply engrained. No wonder then, that after a yearlong telecast, Grey’s became a serious habit, almost an addiction.

If I can trust my memory, it was sometime last August or September that Grey’s Anatomy premiered on Star World. Except for a 2-month gap in March- April, 2013, when it went off the air on Star World and Zee Cafe had not started airing Season 7, 10 pm on weeknights was a time slot that was taken, no matter what. This time, however, I realised that the vacuum I faced at 10pm after the Season 9 finale was qualitatively much different from the one I did in March. In March, it felt as if a part of my daily life had been taken away- an inalienable part without which life seemed empty. Grey’s Anatomy and the trials and tribulations of the doctors and patients of Seattle Grace were as much a part of my life as my own friends. Viewing their life was a respite from the monotony of mine. And I put it all very succinctly in my post at that time (https://madwomanintheatticblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/life-post-greys-anatomy/)

This time however,a part of me was almost glad that it was over simply because the pain, suffering and the never ending tragedy that the lives of these doctors seemed to be all about had become a little too overwhelming for me. Outside a Shakespearean tragedy, Grey’s Anatomy seems one place where Gods are always angry with the mortals. I can very well imagine Richard Webber or Bailey uttering the Bard’s famous lines while reflecting on the fate of their own lot –

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport

Is there a single character in the series who has not seen unwarranted pain and misery? Perhaps not. In fact Season 9 has ended with nothing but a series of mishaps, the only ray of hope being the new born of Grey and Derek. Rest all, is well, brooding dark – more than the storm that was unleashed in all its fury. Richard, having already lost his wife, may well be battling for his own; Owen-Yang are yet again at crossroads; Torres- Arizona, having been through enough already, may not be able to survive Arizona’s betrayal; Karev and Jo may or may not become a couple; April may just break off her engagement realising her feelings for Jackson- there never is a happy ending to any of the seasons is there?

Perhaps this is Shonda Rhimes’ way of keeping her audience on tenterhooks and may be it does work. The fate of these star-crossed doctors has had millions waiting for more with bated breath. Am I too one of those? In a way yes- I am eager to watch Season 10. But wouldn’t it be infinitely more pleasant if the clouds would clear, the sun would shine and the beloved doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital would have a normal life- not a life bereft of pain and misfortune for that is not possible. But a life where tragedy doesn’t reign supreme. Shakespeare may be more renowned for his tragedies but his comedies are no less. In any case, Grey’s world is not a world of Shakespearean tragedy- why try so hard to make it one?