Pueblo doctor shares his love of Pueblo in practice, poetry
Every February 14 since 1985, Dr. Rakesh “Rocky” Khosla and his wife, Madeleine, compose sweet words for each other and have them published in the “Love Lines” section of The Pueblo Chieftain.
As each of their four children came into the world, they were included in the journal’s tributes.
“It was a lot of fun making up the lovelines,” Rocky Khosla told the Chieftain.
“They were cheesy at times and by no means great literature, but it was great fun.”
“Love Lines” won’t be in print this year, but the Khoslas’ devotion to each other — and their corny poetry — left a lasting impression on former Chieftain employee Cathy Ames-Farmer.
“It’s so heartwarming and cute,” said Ames-Farmer, who helped post “Love Lines” for nearly 10 years in the ’80s and ’90s.
“Fate Takes a Strange Turn”
The backstory of how Khosla’s love affair with Pueblo began is far less cute or romantic than her Valentine’s Day poems, she noted.
Born in India, Khosla studied medicine at Baylor University in Texas in the early 1980s, and was on his way to Grand Junction for a rotation of medical students when his car broke down in the House of Heroes.
During the days when the car had to be repaired, he camped and fished at Pueblo Lake.
There he met some sympathetic fishermen, one of whom suggested he apply for a residency at St. Mary Corwin Medical Center and stop by for an interview as he had some spare time.
“After the interview, we went to Gus’ Place and I had a schooner and a Dutch lunch,” Khosla recalled. “There was such a cool vibe with the steelworkers there, and I think I just fell in love with Pueblo on the spot.
“Fate sometimes takes a strange turn,” he said.
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Prior to his unexpected stay in Pueblo, Khosla had imagined one day practicing medicine in California, where he had studied as an undergraduate, or in Washington.
But when it came time to list the top three hospitals he wanted to do a residency in, Khosla made Pueblo his top pick. St. Mary Corwin had it high on their wish list as well, and that sealed the deal.
Pueblo Hospital was the perfect match for Khosla to launch his career. It was also the place – thanks to matchmaking colleagues – where he met his wife, Madeline, who worked as a labor and delivery nurse.
“So, lo and behold, we met, we became good friends and here we are, 35 years later, married with four children,” said Khosla, who is now a family physician at Pueblo Sports and Family Medicine.
Farmer, who became a patient of Khosla, said he was not only a good doctor and a nerdy poet, but also a hero who helped rescue a woman who was stuck in a vehicle during a flash flood on the I-25 in 2010.
“I still see footage of that rescue on The Weather Channel,” Farmer said. “She was an angel – she couldn’t escape from her vehicle and couldn’t swim.”
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The Khoslas said they hoped The Chieftain’s Valentine’s Day feature would be revived and their Valentine’s Day poetry would be published again.
For now, a pink plastic box contains all of their poems from previous years, including these inspiring lyric lines:
“To take care of a child
Caring for a relative
We are the meat
In an aberrant sandwich.”
Chieftain reporter Tracy Harmon can be reached by email at [email protected] or via Twitter at twitter.com/tracywumps. Editor Karin Zeitvogel contributed to this report and can be reached at [email protected]