Integrity without knowledge is weak & useless; knowledge without integrity is dreadful & dangerous.
Trying to write a befitting tribute to a personality who has trained generations of doctors and treated multitudes of patients is indeed of formidable task. My difficulty is compounded, for I attempt to write about three towering pillars on whose shoulder rested the teaching and practice of Internal Medicine as we have seen, In this part of our world. I am handicapped by the sense of awe they inspired and the respect and love they commanded while with us, and continue to do so even after they have departed. Hence this caveat before the endeavour.
Dr. M. V. Chari
A dapper, unassuming personality but endowed with a razor sharp intellect, a prodigious memory and a natural gift for teaching. Dr. Chari mesmerized both his students and his patients alike in the few decades he reigned in Mangalore. Hailing from Chennai, educated first at Rangoon and then in the U. K. Dr. Chari was one of the distinguished Fellows of the Royal College, London. He was the Head of the Department of Medicine and later on the Principal of Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, It is an accepted fact that he had eclipsed every other Doctor at Mangalore till his departure to Chennai in the early Seventies. I am fortunate of having been taught and trained by him during my M.B.B.S Studies.
Dr. Chari was a multifaceted genius who excelled not only in his profession but other divergent fields as well. An incident comes to my mind which proved this quality of his. My Father late Mr. C.P Varghese, was Dr. Chari’s Chartered Accountant, who in turn was our family doctor. On School holiday, I was, as a young boy target practicing with my air rifle in front of our house. Dr. Chari happened to walk in then to meet my father. He took the gun from my hands and within seconds hit the bulls eye that had evaded me for long. That afternoon, I had learned a memorable lesson in life. That was to hold the gun tightly, aim accurately, and shoot quickly.
From teaching to target Shooting, from brilliant bedside diagnoses to eloquent orations, from adept administrative skills to applauding Tamil film heroes, Chari Sir, had it all and excelled in every one of them.
Dr. K. P. Ganesan
Punctual to the fraction of second perfectionist to a fault and a gentleman too his fingertips, was Dr. K. P Ganesan, Head of the Department of Medicine and later Principal of KMC, Mangalore. Hailing from Palghat in Kerala. Dr. KPG, as he is fondly remembered, was one of the earliest MD’s from Bombay University. Immaculately dressed in White, a pleasant smile on his face, quick to disapprove but quicker to forgive and forget, were the characteristics of this great man. His greatest passion was his students and his greatest mission was his teaching. He had often expressed his desired to spend his days at Mangalore, since his entire ‘Family of Students’ were here with him. His Methodical approach to the problems of a patient, the logicaldeductions of a diagnosis and above all his impeccable bedside manners have inspired generations of medical students. He was always very receptive to another’s viewpoint. Even before admonishing a student or a junior. If imitation is the best form of flattery. Then Dr. KPG is the most flattered person. He was also active in the Rotary Movement and had served as Governor and also the International Director. Indeed Dr. KPG has inspired not only by his teaching but by setting a role model for young medical aspirants to follow. An endearing example of practicing before preaching and setting principles before personalities.
Dr. M. Keshava Pai
An Uncut and unpolished diamond. Not for him the reflected glory. Just like the fire which glows in the heart of every precious gem, Dr. Keshava Pai exuded wisdom, experience and above all, well concealed love for all. A colossus who strode the arena of Medicine, Dr. Keshava Pai left an indelible mark on everyone with whom he interacted. He was loved by many, hated by quite a few, but admired by one and all.
Dr. M K Pai was from Manjeshwar,a small town near Mangalore .Soon after his graduation he left for the U. K. Where he was awarded the Membership in the Royal College of Physicians. He was a qualified authority on tropical diseases. I have been nurtured by him both as an undergraduate and then as a post-graduate at the Kasturba Medical College. A non conformist, he encouraged his student to abandon the beaten path and explore the unknown and the uncharted. Once as a first year PG student, I remember having to tackle a complex psychiatric problem. The only drug available for the condition at the Government. Wenlock Hospital was contraindicated for the patient. When I presented this problem, Prof. Keshava Pai thought for moment and said to me, “give her a good shout, she should be alright.” I did so and the patient bounced back to sanity. Love and forgiveness are divine qualities. I know the Dr. Keshav Pai had them abundantly, because I was a recipient of both these. To him, who was a great human being – my humble salutations.
Three extraordinary men, have left behind priceless legacy of dedication to the profession, compassion to their patients and love for their students. Like the great Biblical personality of Father Abraham, they have been blessed by god, so that in turn, they may be blessing to others. The greatest tribute we can offer, will be for us, to appropriate, and then perpectuate this blessing, and pass it on to those who follow the footsteps along the difficult and narrow path of righteousness in personality, profession and thence, on to posterity.
Dr. V. V. Mody
As written by Dr. V. T. Dsouza
The intials V. V. M expanded as Very Very Methodical describe the lifestyle of Dr. V. V. Mody. A physician par excellence he used to devote most of his time to the two W s i.e. work and of course his beloved wife. This is clearly borne out by the fact that he used to spend most of his time either in the hospital or in the home. Dr. Mody was born in Ahmedabad on the 28th August 1923 in a large family of nine children with 4 elder sisters and one younger brother followed by 3 more younger sisters, thus placed midway in a highly balanced situation.
He completed his early education in Ahmedabad and joined the Grant Medical College passing out his M.B.B.S in the first attempt in 1946. He worked under Dr. C. S. Patil and Dr. Dhaca, Dr. Minochar Mody and Dr. M. L. Mistry. In addition to the usual terms of house - surgeonship which he did both in medicine and surgery, Dr. Mody worked as a clinical assistant in radiology at J. J. Hospital and B. Y. L. Nair Hospital.
He got his F.C.P.S in 1948 with cardiology as a special subject and he got his M. D. the very next year and both at first attempts. His thesis for M. D. was on “Full diet in Enteric Fever“ - Don’t starve the fevers but feed them well except in complications.
Soon after M. D. Dr. Mody worked as registrar at Vadilal Sarabhai Hospital in his home town of Ahmedabad from 1949 - 1952. From 1952 - 1955 Dr. Mody was the C. M. O. and Chief Physician in the Municipal General Hospital at Mahuva - Saurashtra.
With this vast experience and all round training Dr. Mody joined Fr. Muller’s Hospital fully deserving the exalted post of chief Physician. He joined Fr. Muller Institution in the year 1955 on November 1st which later became the Rajyotsava Day and also All Saints Day for Catholics.
Dr. Mody introduced Cardiology in the year 1956 and in addition to this department he also started looking after the Tuberculosis Sanatorium. In the year 1971 Dr. Mody took a trip abroad during which time he was primarily engaged in a training programme in Cardiology under Dr. Goodwin of Hammersmith Hospital.
A fine organizer and a public speaker, Dr. Mody took interest in the Lions Club of Mangalore of which he was the Charter Member eventually becoming its president in the year 1966 - 67, its Zone chairman in 1967 - 68. While he was an office - bearer of this club the United States Ambassador to India Mr. Chester - Bowls came to Mangalore to inaugurate the Lions Artificial Limb Centre which was then temporarily housed in Fr. Muller’s Hospital. The popular Seva Mandir Hall owes its existence partly to Dr. V. V. Mody as he was instrumental along with Dr. M. C. Shastry in acquiring the plot over which it stands.
Dr. Mody was President of the Gujarathi Mahajan Association for a period of 5 years and also president of the Indian Medical Association, South Kanara Branch in the year 1980 - 81 and all its members were feted to a sumptuous dinner at Fr. Muller’s Hospital in honour of the Centenary of the institutions.