Saturday, December 17, 2022

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.

1 comment:

G.D. said...

Very true accounts of DrKSH & DrSoori. I too miss them .