Remember the famous Amitabh Bachchan TV ad -- Pappu Pass Ho Gaya? Well, Pune has found a 'Pappu' in Shyam Bedse who became a medical student at 20 and has just become a doctor at 51.
A spell in jail is among the twists and turns in Bedse's 31-year-long journey to an MBBS degree.
It all began in 1976 when Bedse, who belongs to the reserved category, got admission to the prestigious B J Medical College in 1976 on the basis of merit.
"There was no entrance test at that time and the 10+2 system had not become a norm as yet. I had got admission to MBBS on the basis of my first year BSc percentage of 58," Bedse, who is currently doing internship at the government-run Sassoon General Hospital, told PTI.
He said that after completing the first and second year, he had to pull out in the final year because of financial problems.
Following improvement in Bedse's financial condition and his ambition of becoming an MBBS still burning in him, he approached the University of Pune in 1991 to allow him to complete his final year in the medicine.
However, his request was rejected. Bedse again made an attempt to get admission in 1993, but the university rejected his plea this time too.
Undeterred, he continued to work as a registered medical practitioner until some local doctors complained that he had no legitimate medical degree and he had to cool his heels in jail for eight days in 2000.
A local court sentenced him to one-year jail term and fined him Rs 6,000.
However, his appeal against the conviction was upheld by the district and sessions court and Bedse was discharged.
In 2005, he learnt the university has given a one-time chance to people who had left their MBBS studies unfinished.
Bedse cleared some exams in 2005 and 2006 to obtain a provisional certificate in MBBS in January.
"I had done two months of internship in a rural area and would be completing the remaining 10 months in the Sassoon Hospital," a happy-looking Bedse said.