Saturday, December 17, 2022


Profligate spending

Despite all the hype which we see ad nauseum in our electronic media and in our movies which mostly reflect the lives of upper class, we as a people remain what can be called poor. May be, we are better off than we were a decade or two back but we cannot say we have come out of poverty and large sections of our population remain poor.

In contrast, we have a section, though small, who are immensely wealthy. And this section of society with few exceptions, like to show off their wealth. And recent phenomenon of destination weddings is one such example. The host plans and excecutes these expensive weddings in destinations located in other countries or expensive hotels and or resorts located away from home in our own country [ for example in Goa], Spain, Italy, Thailand appear to be the favorite foreign destinations. Guests are flown, and that too hundreds of them in specially hired airplanes to these places and they are wined and dined in addition to the expensive stays. This illness is not confined to film stars and rich sportspersons but has spread to others too, and recently I heard a not so wealthy person did this for forms sake!

Weddings down south used to be one day affairs, occasionally spilling over to the next day in most middle income weddings. Its no longer so. Three day weddings are the new normal and display of wealth in some form or the other whether one has the resources or not is the order of the day. It does not bode well that the young participants take this kind of spending on their stride and even seem to encourage their parents.

This seven star culture as I call it, for want of a better term, is detrimental to social progress as those deprived section of the society, trying to emulate these rich, may be encouraged to take to crime, extorsion, robbery as other ways of acquiring wealth is denied to this section of society. I am afraid it is already happening and we are witnessing a steep rise in violent crime in recent times.

The solution is for the rich to temper their spending and try and live a low key life. There are so many useful ways of spending their money.

Three friends depart

Last year saw three of my good friends leave this world, hopefully for better pastures.

Matianda Ganapathi Nanjappa was the first to go. He lived opposite to me and we were of the same age added to the friendship. He returned to India and Bangalore after a 20-year stint in the UK, some 40 years ago, and our friendship which began then, continued till his death. Initially as a patient and then as a neighbor and later as a golfing buddy, the friendship blossomed. As Kodavas go, he was a tall handsome man with a vey fetching smile and I am witness to many women giving him a second look. Easy going, straight forward, often reticent when it came to criticize another person, he naturally made lots of friends and it is no surprise some exploited this quality of his not that he minded it much. Though his end came after a fall and broken hip and a week of suffering, he was becoming mentally and physically slow and we would find it tough to keep a meaningful conversation going in the past year or so. Dementia in his case was not too bad and his wife was a great support in his last days. Almost every day something or the other happens which reminds me of this friend and I miss him


Dr Kota Subbanna Hande was the next to go. Dr Hande hailed from where too are my roots and this may have to some extent contributed to our friendship. More importantly though, his contribution to the growth of the family physician’s association which he served two terms as president and his being a regular member of the doctor’s club probably contributed much more. His stint as a family doctor in rural Yellapur and later briefly in Sri Lanka helped him to become a true family doctor. His practice in western Bangalore, in Magadi road area was large and covered across all strata of society. His case presentations were varied and always interesting and he had a unique style which often was tinged with subtle humor. Ethical to the core, compassionate, available to patients at all hours, he was an asset to the community. His death was untimely as he had many years of active life ahead of him. But then cancer is no respecter of age. His last days were full of unavoidable suffering and death came as a relief.


Dr U Suryanarayana, popularly known as Soori was a real-life character. His life was like that of a proverbial cat which had many lives. When he was a house surgeon, he was found unconscious after a motorcycle accident and remained so for several days before making uneventful recovery. Many a time I have wondered if his care a damn attitude was due to this accident and some form of brain shake. Another time he was involved in another accident on a highway and survived mainly because of efficient ICU service at St John’s hospital. Another time he escaped a heart attack and timely recanalization and stenting saved his life. A severe diabetic, he never believed in dieting and couldn’t resist another helping of ice-cream. Never very serious about the profession, he held many a small job and did not care much about updating. I felt his regular attendance at our doctor’s club meeting is more out of friendship and the high tea that followed rather than to any pretense at learning. He too suffered severe septicemia following a wound infection and passed away due to multi organ failure. His son told me that he remained cheerful till the last day of his death.

Monday, December 12, 2022