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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rudra Rasaratnam FRCS

He did a few lectures for us in the early sixties when he was Resident Surgeon GHC. I met and spoke to him at Mrs. Padma Uragoda’s (wife of Dr. Chris Uragoda) funeral last year. Mr. Rasaratnam (as he wanted to be called) and Chris worked together in the Surgical Professorial Unit under Professor Milroy Paul (Rudra’s uncle) in the early sixties when Rudra had just returned from the UK. Rudra used to speak with a heavy English accent and I was surprised that he still had it when I spoke to him last year. Chris and Rudra were close friends and shared a common interest in wildlife.

RASARATNAM - RUDRA (Retired Consultnat Cardiothoracic Surgeon) - Son of late Mr & Mrs V. Rasaratnam,​ beloved brother of Drupathy,​ late Sundari,​ Solochana and late Anandan,​ passed away peacefully on 7th August at his residence. Remains lie at A.F. Raymond Funeral Parlour,​ Borella on Wednesday,​ 9th August from 9.00 a.m. to be followed by a cremation at the General Cemetery,​ Kanatte at 4.30 p.m.097659

18 comments:

  1. Our gratitude to Mr Rudra Rasaratnam, our condolences to his family, and a word of appreciation of another of our teachers. They all had a hand in shaping us as doctors. And now, one by one, we see them and also our own batch members leaving this world which we all inhabited. After this, only memories remain and that's as long as we are breathing, conscious and thinking. That's life and as doctors there is a limit to what we can do. Zita

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  2. Of the "regular" full-time teachers, only Prof. Carlo Fonseka and Prof. Priyani Soysa are still living. However, as Zita has mentioned, Mr. Rasaratnam was one of those who taught us, but not full-time. Among those who fall into that category and are still living are: Prof. Varagunam, Dr. KS de Silva (RP at that time), Dr Raja Bandaranayake (now Prof.), Dr. Shanthi Gunawardene (now Prof, Dr. Neville Fernando TH), Dr. P.A Wirasinghe (Ophthalmologist) et al. (I may have missed a few).

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    1. Hi Lucky,
      I have never heard about the obituaries of Prof Koch,Wass,Lester Jayawardene,Dr Baptist,Bull Seneviratna,Prof Navaratna and some other contemporary Academics who taught us from 1962-1967.
      Can a historian line our own ND enlighten me as to what happened to those mentioned.

      Sumathi

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  3. I do recall the name but not the face. Anyhow he was a teacher and our gratitude goes to a great cardio thoracic surgeon.

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  4. I remember him very well. He retained what we called a "posh English accent" as I think he was mostly educated in England and insisted on being called "Mr" as in the UK, rather than "Dr" being a surgeon. His sinhalese was also a stuggle and I am not sure whether he actually said it but the story goes that he explained to an anxious patient on whom he was going to perform a thyroidectomy next morning "heta udey, bella kapala gediya ahak karanawa". He had quite a strong personality.

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  5. Thank you Lucky for letting us know.The passing away of someone you knew even briefly is sad.I got to know him quite well in the Accident Service during the 1971 insurgency .He was RS and I was an SHO.He was friendly and chatty during the rare quiet free periods.I quite enjoyed his Oxford accent. We had an English teacher at STC, who had just returned from Oxford;he was gentle and soft spoken ,but the accent was definitely Oxonian.He was fond of me as I wrote good essays which he read aloud in the class.Bora will vouch
    for this.
    My friend,P.Ranji.Wickremanayake,whom you will remember asVP OPD
    and and one of our teacher tells an interesting story about RR.In the Matale courts the magistrate had called out for Dr R.He had drawn himself to his full height and said'Mr R ".
    We got along quite well,maybe because I was a good listener;but he was a good conversationalist too.The other consultant I remember is Dr Jayawickrema ,the orthopaedic surgeon whom I knew from Galle intern days.
    They were all good to the junior staff. This certainly helped as the work was arduous and not always pleasant.

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    1. Glad to see you are back in comment mode Kumar!

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  6. My deepest sympathies with his family.I had the opportunity of meeting him at the emergency day admissions ward.We as senior students had to observe and assist the management of patients admitted.One patient thank RR for attending and relieving his pain.Patient been a Buddhist wished RR NIrvana,the meaning RR never understood and I had to translate for him.HIsreply was that he never be!never in NIrvana.I also had the privilege of meeting him during my year in Ratnapura General hospital.He was relief(locum) Surgeon.I was not in his surgical team,but I heard him telling his Houseman the importance of fluid balance following major surgery.
    He followed his other uncle.Mr.ATS Paul,thoracic Surgeon in the GHC,by taking the title Mr in place of Dr.He was a a fully pledged British.I wondered whether he was able to converse in his mother tongue,Tamilç.

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    1. Thanks for your observations Sumathi. I am not 100% sure but a Tamil colleague told me that RR was not at all comfortable with speaking Tamil also!

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  7. Yes I do remember him mainly for the manner he spoke. He was as gentle as they come. What ever his religeon was, I am sure his soul will REST in PEACE in ELYSIUM

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  8. I first met Rudra(Rudi) when I was working with Dr.PR Anthonis as an intern HO. Rudi was an resident surgeon at that time . When I was doing my PhD at GOS in London, my supervisor was Prof John Harries. John and Rudi had been together at King's College Medical School when they were medical students. John related to me details of exciting trips they had made to the continent. When I returned to Colombo after my PG training when I met Rudi and told him that John was my supervisor, he could not believe that John was a Professor of Paediatric Gastroenterology at GOS! Rudi was a great cricket fan and we used to have many discussions regarding the topic.
    May he rest in peace.
    Sanath

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    1. Your comment L about Prof R reminds about a Senior Registrar who taught us at Central Middlesex hospital;Roy Pounder was his name I think; he subsequently became a professor of gastroenterology and was well known for his work on H2 receptor antagonists.
      He said he failed the MRCP the first time because he was unable to to draw the JVP wave form.
      Everybody liked him because of his good nature and humility.

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  9. Razaque and Farina
    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY -
    WISH YOU MANY MORE YEARS OF WONDERFUL WEDDED BLISS !

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  10. I never keep records of birthdays and anniversaries. So, I owe everyone around, an apology. Anyway, Happy Anniversary dear Raz and Farina! I have vague memories of meeting Farina just once when you both visited us at our Kirillapone home some decades ago, probably in the early eighties.

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  11. Happy Anniversary Razaque and Farina.Best wishes from Kanthi and me for many,many more years of wedded bliss.Thank you Rohini for reminding us.Males are notorious for forgetting important family dates.;but, I'm sure Razaque didn't.In our family it's Kanthi who reminds me of all the anniversaries.!!!
    Kumar

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  12. A very happy wedding anniversary Razaque and Farina. May you be blessed with many more years of married bliss.

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  13. Razaque and Farina, I will join my friends in wishing you a very happy anniversary and many more in the years ahead.
    Kumar, you seem to have overcome the obstacles related to posting comments, and you are not even 'Anonymous' any more! Glad to see you back.
    I'm sorry to read that Rudra R has passed away. Somehow, I don't think our paths ever crossed during my days in Medical College, but over the years I have heard many stories about him, including some about his more recent jungle trips, because I happen to know people who accompanied him on those trips. He seemed to have been quite a character! May he rest in peace.

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