His day at work starts at 7.30 a.m., and finishes at 6 p.m., but every day is different. For Dr Balamurali Krishna Ambati, who made it to The Guinness Book of World Records in 1995, by being the youngest doctor to receive an American licence to practise medicine at 17, the world is colourful; often through the lens of a Panasonic point-and-shoot camera that is tucked somewhere in his pocket. Ambati, now professor of ophthalmology and director of corneal research at Moran Eye Centre, University of Utah, says that photography is his second love.
His first love, medicine, made him famous at a very young age. So, did he miss all the fun in his teens? ''Not really. I was a nerd and spent a lot of time studying. Still, I used to do a lot of fun things during my teenage. I would play basketball and ping pong and watch movies,'' says Ambati, 35.
Six is a special number for Ambati. He started school when he was six and finished in six years, as he got double promotion six times. He majored in his favourite subject—biology—and graduated at age 13.
Ambati says that he de-stresses by enjoying a swim every summer day, and by jogging in winter. Reading is a passion and he's reading Yann Martel's Life of Pi these days. Ask this film buff about his favourite film and pat comes the reply, “Mani Ratnam's Nayakan.” A die-hard Mani Ratnam fan, Ambati has a complete collection of the director's works from which he picks and chooses to replay and rewind.
“My brother, who is also an ophthalmologist, and I dream of setting up an eye hospital in India, through our family foundation called the AVASC Foundation, based in the US,” he says.