This blog is about new entrants to the Colombo Medical Faculty of the University of Ceylon (as it was then known) in June 1962. Please address all communications to: firstname.lastname@example.org.You may bookmark this page for easier access later.
Header image: Courtesy Prof. Rohan Jayasekara, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo (2011 - 2014).
If I have spelt your name wrong, I know you
will forgive a senior citizen.
I hope the atrocious winter weather of snow
and storms in Dundee, Scotland didn’t dampen your spirit.
You live in one of the most picturesque parts in the UK near the Highlands and
Islands much closer to the Arctic ice caps than anyone else in our batch. With
your affable manner and charm I am not surprised you have made friends in your
neighbourhood who would offer you a whisky and company. After all, you are in the land of the amber nectar.
It seems so long ago we were fellow daily
travellers from Hunupitiya to Maradana by train with ‘Claude’ Bernard. We never
had the privilege to give our seat to a pretty girl as we never had a seat
ourselves in all the 5 years.
We three studied together in a class room
at St Anthony's, Wattala. As I have mentioned in this Blog before, you were there
with us for the chat, sandwiches and Lanka Lime. When it came to reading, you
quickly disappeared into the night saying you had an important appointment. I
was the only non-old boy at your old boys lunch at St Anthony's. The three of us
had an undignified exit from the event as we were carried like corpses to lie
in the lawn outside until we sobered up.I had to weave a complicated story for my parents to explain my unsteady
gait and disheveled look.
Being a Malay household, we enjoyed
enormously your mum’s cooking. Although you never fasted during Ramazan you
celebrated the end of the fast – Eid-Ul-Fitr with a huge feast with friends and
family. The irony of it all amused us no end. Whenever I have watalappan, I am
reminded of those wonderful Malay feasts of long ago.
I recall the many Block Nights and Colours
Nights when we enjoyed the evening with Claude Bernadr’s in-laws providing the
food and drinks. We loved the good life, friendships and the camaraderie
enormously. Those years as bohemian medical students are priceless memories.
Time passed swiftly and relentlessly. It all ended with the Final year trip
about which much has been written. I
wasn’t sober enough to recall any of it.We bade our farewells in 1967 and our paths never crossed until we met
again in the United Kingdom in the mid 1970’s.
Life was hectic in the UK caring for our
families and carving up a career. Studying and examinations were an enormous
challenge with a young family at home.We overcame the odds and you became a haematologist and I proceeded to a
life in radiology. Our paths crossed again when we met at the London reunion of
our batch in the 1990’s.You looked more
rounded with your Scottish Kilt and it was a great privilege to meet Farina.
After that brief encounter we parted never to meet again in person. I last
contacted you when you were on a Locum tenens in Auckland, New Zealand,
ebullient and full of life as ever.
I am sorry to hear of your health issues
but hope the pump, the electrics and the plumbing are functioning better now. I
admire your light hearted attitude to the many adversities you have faced
recently. You are indeed an inspiration to us. I hope the National Health
Service will provide the comfort and the care you richly deserve. Keep writing
Razaque as we love to hear about your perils and pleasures. Meanwhile, mind your
fingers and don’t let them stray !!