Search This Blog

Monday, May 30, 2016

Creative Spot by Indra Anandasabapathy

Yellow - Exbury Azalea

MY PURPLE (blue) PATCH- this took several years of work & is still a work in progress

Vigelia in bloom

The peony started to bloom

Pink Azalea

Azaleas at the tail end of their blooming cycle
Pink Azalea

FOX GLOVE- source of Digitals.

Iris time - and a rain casualty

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Convocation Address at the University of Ruhuna by Prof. Sanath Lamabadusuriya

It is with much pleasure that I publish these two documents on our very own blog. On Friday the 26th of May, 2016, our colleague Sanath Lamabadusuriya delivered the Convocation Address at the University of Ruhuna.

The two documents referred to are:

1) Introduction by Prof. Lecamwasam, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna.

2) Convocation Address by Prof. Sanath Lamabadusuriya

We are immensely proud of Sanath who was a member of our batch that entered the Colombo Medical Faculty in June 1962.

Introduction by Prof. Lecamwasam, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna.

Convocation Address
Sanath P. Lamabadusuriya MBE
Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics, University of Colombo
Founder Professor of Paediatrics, University of Ruhuna
Visiting Professor of Paediatrics, University of Rajarata

                The Chancellor of the University of Ruhuna, most Venerable Rajakeeya Panditha Pallathara Sumanajothi Nayaka Thero, the 3rd Chancellor and Sanganayaka of the Southern Province, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Gamini  Senanayake,, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Sarath Lekamwasam, members of the University Council, Deans of other Faculties, members of the Senate, members of the academic staff, the Registrar, the Librarian, members of the non-academic staff, students, distinguished invitees and parents, I wish to thank you very humbly for the honour bestowed on me by your university.  It is a great privilege and joy for me to accept this singular honour for a second time. As a result of my initially long association, lasting more than a decade with the University of Ruhuna, I am filled with nostalgia, at this very moment.

                Ruhuna has its own uniqueness.  It has produced a galaxy of stars in the spheres of education, politics, culture, religion and even revolutions!  This inherent uniqueness is in its people and its soil, one nurturing and enriching the other.

                The citadel of higher education in the Southern Province, the University of Ruhuna, as it majestically stands today was established in 1978.  Its idyllic location with its corridors of learning is a fitting monument to its architect, the world renowned, Geoffrey Bawa.  From its small beginnings, the University of Ruhuna has grown exponentially over the last 38 years to be an equal with any other prestigious university on the stage of academia in Sri Lanka. It currently has 8 well established faculties as well as other units. Geoffrey Bawa no doubt dreamt of equally fitting products of eminence in its totality to leave its premises one day.  You should aspire to be one such group in the year 2016. Yet unwittingly haven’t we (I say we as I remain very much a part of the University of Ruhuna, myself) somewhat lagged behind, stagnated or even strayed during the last 7 decades of higher education? I refer to our being stifled within the confines of free higher education. I am certain that the vast majority of you who are present here are like me, the beneficiaries of free education.  It is a golden opportunity for us to pay a humble tribute to its father and mentor Dr. C.W.W. Kannangara, a son of Ruhuna. He was born in Randombe, Ambalangoda in 1884.  As a school boy he attended Wesleyan High School, Ambalangoda and carried away many prizes.  The chief guest at one such prize giving, was the Principal of Richmond College, Galle, a Britisher, who genially commented to CWW Kannangara that he would need a bullock cart to take away the prizes home. He also invited him to sit for a scholarship examination, after which he entered Richmond College and excelled both in studies and sports. When he was in the school hostel he observed that fee levying students were served with food of a better quality. Such inequities of the education system prevalent at that time reflected even in what was served on his plate and to which he was personally exposed to, gave this great person, food for thought. Later after being a teacher for a while, he studied law and entered politics. During his time as Minister of Education he introduced free education in 1945, established many central schools, founded the University of Peradeniya, improved Pirivena education and provided a free mid-day meal in schools. It was a vast stride by any standard; a feat that will remain hard to be beaten.  In providing free education Dr. Kannangara faced much opposition from the media, and even from some members of his own government as well as the combined Sinhala and Tamil elite of Colombo.  At that time the few foreign scholarships that were available, were invariably awarded to the elitist, affluent students from Colombo; or to those who had imbibed the ways and beliefs of the British.  The rural poor did not have access to these. Since gaining independence in 1948, successive governments have supported the free education system which has expanded on an exponential scale and tens of thousands of rural students have gained access to higher education. In the 1950s, another southern politician, Dr. W. Dahanayake who as Minister of Education introduced a bun for the school mid-day meal, after which he was known as “Bunis Mama”!

The University education culminating in a degree is meant to be the icing on the cake on the path to self-sufficiency and emancipation of an individual; the resultant fall out on society is the wider and much larger benefit. An individual student is able to climb the social ladder and reap rewards thereafter. When the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lakshman Kadirgamar’s portrait was unveiled in the University of Oxford, he proudly announced that he was a home baked cake but that education at the University of Oxford was the icing on the cake.

                  Now our beloved country is at cross-roads, after graduating to be classified as a middle income country awaiting an economic boom. The world super powers are interested in us because of our geographical location and our potential in terms of human resource.  Those of my vintage are too old to benefit from it.  You, the young graduates have golden opportunities in this awakening.  Whatever your profession, fluency in English and Information Technology are two vital ingredients.  My sincere message to you is to acquire as much knowledge as possible in these two vital spheres. My next advice to you is to retain your ability to think out of the box and to do so in keeping with new trends; never forgetting our national roots but with an international perspective .
Mr. Steve Jobs of Microsoft fame said “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

                Our universities continue to produce the largest number of graduates in the discipline of Arts. Unfortunately, employment opportunities   are not freely available to them.  In the past, in the Arts faculties, the curriculum was such that a lot of free time was available to them.  The politicians exploited the situation to their advantage and made use of the students to achieve their ends.  To make our graduates more employable, there may have to be changes in the curriculum such as the introduction of vocational training.

                In the field of Arts and Humanities, there are more opportunities for learning of skills and expression of creativity and is far less rigid than the sciences.  The Arts generate discussion.  In this branch of learning various opinions are expressed and one has to learn to agree to disagree.  There is sufficient space for different ideologies and   philosophies to emerge with mutual respect to all discussants. A society that manifests this,consists of truly educated people.

                In my own specialty which is Medicine, the country has produced tens of thousands of doctors. At present we have nine state medical schools and one private medical school. Many have left our shores seeking greener pastures and have being able to hold their own among the best. The other side of the coin is the ‘Brain Drain which came in to focus in the late 1960s. The Peradeniya Medical Faculty was created because our country was short of doctors. Paradoxically, when the very first batch graduated in January of 1967, they were not offered employment by the Ministry of Health after they completed their internship. That was the catalyst for the brain drain. In the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand some of our own   have become dollar millionaires.  However they all have an important regret in their lives.  Although they are well recognised in their place of work, they always lack a sense of belonging; money cannot buy them an   identity or recognition.  Those of us who have stayed behind to serve our motherland have the satisfaction of having a sense of belonging, a sense of fulfillment, and our work being valued by our fellow countrymen. You have been successful. You will realize one day that Fulfillment is different to Success. A recipe that contains both is what I hope you will aim for, and achieve in your lives.
In today’s context I wish to discuss the topic of private University education. Out of 150,000 students who qualify to enter universities, only 27,600 gain admission. Is it correct and appropriate that all students should strive to enter the Universities after the A level examination? What the country is lacking today is skilled labour. The oil boom in the Middle East drew thousands of skilled workers from our shores in search of individual social upliftment. In Sri Lanka too there are ample opportunities for skilled electricians, motor mechanics etc. The state should open more technical colleges to cater to this need. To make our graduates more employable, there may have to be changes in the curricula. Even in the field of Arts, where time is available, vocational training should be introduced.

At this stage I would like to comment on private medical education which is a hot topic at the moment. Although thousands qualify to enter medical faculties only about 1500 gain admission to the state medical faculties. The more affluent  students who fail to gain admission, travel abroad for medical education. They enter medical schools in countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, China, Russia and East European countries. There is one medical school in Bangladesh where the majority of foreign students are from Sri Lanka. Some of these medical schools function as commercial establishments and offer poor quality training. At the end of the course they have to leave the country as they cannot practise their profession in the host country.  Over the last few decades, thousands of Sri Lankan students have travelled abroad to acquire private medical degrees. Some of these students find it extremely difficult to pass the registration examination conducted by the Sri Lanka Medical Council when they return to Sri Lanka.  The quality of medical education is some of these medical schools is so poor, that refresher courses conducted locally, cannot help them to pass the registration examination. The parents spend a lot of money for this wasteful exercise. Sometimes  a  failed investment and sorrow all round.

One of the solutions to this problem is the establishment of good quality private medical schools in Sri Lanka.  The admission criteria should strictly be the same as for state medical schools and scholarships should be made available for the less affluent students.  It will have several inherent advantages.  The Sri Lanka Medical Council should closely monitor the admissions and the standards and it certainly has the capacity to do so. This would  have  several  advantages. It would be less expensive for the parents, the country would save valuable foreign exchange and better quality medical graduates would be produced. With the establishment of private medical schools, more doctors would graduate. We could even attract  foreign students from other countries. Intellectually it is our turn to ‘colonise’ others now!

Sri Lanka has so far successfully established nine state medical schools. Ruhuna (together with Jaffna) were the third and fourth in line of succession. With the establishment of private medical schools, more doctors would be qualifying each year in Sri Lanka.  Although job opportunities in the state sector may not be available to all of them, there are plenty of opportunities for self-employment.  They would replace the quack doctors to whom unsuspecting rural folk fall prey to. More doctors would enable quality health care to be provided to the nation. Since they haven’t drained the coffers of the land for their tertiary education, even if they work abroad they will only be helping the country similar to the way how unskilled labour is doing so at present.
 It is time we ventured into new fields such as medical tourism. We have specialist doctors who could compete with any of the best in the world. So it is up to us to look further, and not merely through the prism of the 1940s and 1950s. As much as we are grateful and proud of our past and the journey we have come along, while safeguarding the rights of the disadvantaged it is up to you, the future leaders, to now take it on further. Your country asks this of you; you are after all the cream of your generation.

I wish to mention a few words about the age of retirement of public servants in Sri Lanka. In the state sector it is 60 years and in the Universities it is 65 years. In a country like Sri Lanka where there is a dearth of professionals and academics, should it not be extended beyond 65 years? Some of us retired at the height of our careers and thereby our services were deprived to the students and patients. In western countries as there is no retirement age, there are academics and other professionals actively involved in teaching and research in their 80s.

                Finally I would like to quote Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, who was a drop out of Harvard University. In his convocation address to the University of Harvard he said “What I remember above all about Harvard was being in the midst of so much energy and intelligence. It could be exhilarating, intimidating sometimes even discouraging but always challenging. It was an amazing privilege and though I left early I was transformed by my years at Harvard by the friendships I made and the ideas I worked on. But  taking a serious look back, I do have one big regret. I left Harvard with no real awareness of the awful inequities in the world, the appalling disparities of health, wealth and opportunity that condemn millions of people to lives of despair. I learned a lot here at Harvard about new ideas in economics and politics. I got great exposure to advances made in sciences. But humanity’s greatest advances are not in discoveries, but in how these advances are applied to reduce inequity. Whether through democracy, strong public education, quality health care or broad economic opportunity, reducing inequity is the highest human achievement”.
Let me conclude by   wishing all of you the very best in your future endeavours. May   you have the strength to be the change that you believe in, if and whenever such situations arise. Be leaders not followers. Find fulfillment rather than success.  May you and all beings be well and happy.

    Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhi Satta’

Thank you. 

Friday, May 27, 2016


By Zita Perera Subasinghe

You gruesome beast, you uninvited guest!
What do you really want of me?
Controlling, sadistic, annoying pest!
Are you supposed to benefit me?

You are a warning, something’s a foot
But you do not know your limit
I have a problem and must get to the root
But it’s not within your remit

Selfish pest needing much attention
Fed with tablets you quieten a bit
Suddenly you’re back with a vengeance
You think I am a dimwit

You claim attention like a spoilt child
I stoke you with an ointment dollop
You pretend to get quiet and mild
Then suddenly ‘Crash, bang, wallop’!

You start again, you spoilt brat
Mild at first slowly increasing
Creeping up like a stealthy rat
Lapping it up but demand unceasing

Pharmo prof said of  you this way
It’s like explaining something familiar
Known to us day to day
In terms of words unfamiliar!

So it means you are an enigma
You are an inexplicable mystery
Even to define you are a dilemma
You have been throughout history

OK Ok you have your slots
But do not try to overdo it
Remember that I call the shots
No! I don’t have to prove it!

Calm down dear, it’s going to be fine
Your tenancy is at an end
There are others waiting in line
Get ready for a new best friend!

Miss you? No not in a million years
The final hour it does seem
No I won’t shed any sad tears
Take me with you? Don’t even dream!
You are sad you have to go?
I cry boo hoo, oh really?
I would like to let you know
You overstayed your welcome clearly

Thursday, May 26, 2016

My Gardening Pedigree ---- You think its a joke?

By Razaque Ahamat

You may wonder what I am on about??. I do have a gardening knack that goes back a very, very long time.

After my parents got married in the late 30's and after my eldest brother came on to the scene, they realised that there was 'a lack of elbow room' in living in Colombo. With my Dad's savings and the dowry that he got, they could hardly have acquired a tenement lodgings in Colombo!! Luckily my Mum got compensation for a property that was given to her as a wedding gift by my Grand parents that was gobbled up for road development!! Along with all these assets put together, they bought about 11/2 acres of land in Wattala and built their homestead there. That was how our family happened to be in Wattala!!.

I came into the scene much later when they had already started our campaign to grow. Already there were several mango, varieties of banana, coconut, jak, del trees laden, for a starter, on the road to self sufficiency!! Later my dad bought a few acres of paddy land ---- and we had our rice too...... country rice at that!! We all had to lend our hands & get them soiled in the process from a very young age. We really enjoyed the romance of this toil to the consternation of our relatives who at first called us "The Villagers".... Gamayas and so on & laughed at us!!! One wonders who had the last laugh??? In addition, we grew a variety of local vegies ---" Gam Elavalu" such as bandakka, wattakka, pathola, mannochchka,  kiri-ala, bathala (what the Antipodes call Kumara!!). We were flushed with all these goodies so much so that our relatives came to visit us dangling their hand (and 'everything else'), but left laden with produce from our land hardly able to carry them and of course forgetting all their slur ...quite unashamedly!!

One more thing was that as we were supplied with watered-down milk by the local milkman, Dad got two cows that provided us with 'real' milk -- and lots of it. We all learned to milk the cows and look after them and their calves. One upshot from this was that yours truly became very adept at "HANDLING UDDERS" !!!!!.

We also had a lot of poultry -- chicken, ducks and turkey and several dogs & cats that gave us warnings and protection from vermin as well as thieves, mainly at Christmas time as thieves were after our turkeys!!

So that was my initiation to gardening and due care and respect for animals. 
So, with all this amount of nutritious food abound, it is little wonder why my good friend, Mahen to this day address me as his "Substantial Friend"???----- I like that as it is true -- just take one look at me!!!!.

Having got into a profession, I began a period of wandering around the country and then world as Bedouins -- "ahukuntayas" -Gypsies  without the caravan!!. In London, when I was under Post-Grad Training & living in the "Hospital ghetto" with hardly any space to move, we were very much starved for open spaces till I moved to Aberdeen, where we acquired a home with a garden and 2 allotments to cap it all. We grew our own and we all enjoyed the fresh vegies again. Our neighbours too benefited from our bonanza!!  Then moving to Dundee we lost our allotments. So we dug up our back garden and built raised beds as we were getting that much older suffering from APR and KR ("Konndehey Rudawa").

In NZ too, during my short stay there, we dug up the back garden & grew our own despite there being plentiful very fresh stuff in the markets at all times.

Age old habits do die hard, but these have helped us to lead a life in the fresh air and get the exercise needed that is important at our age.

I shall post some photos of our handiwork with my 'dirty' & my wife's fair hands or is it the other round???. Shall leave it to you to decide!!

Raised beds prepared for planting. 

Flame tulip in garden.

Magnolias in my front garden. Also Azaelias the black magnolia at crest of the blue flowers.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Return to London after 34 years

By Dr Nihal D Amerasekera  FRCP (UK), FRCR (Lond)

I stepped off the Swissair flight at Heathrow on a warm summers day in June 1974.  I was beginning a new life and a new career in an alien country. Although this seemed a daunting prospect, my youth gave me some protection, courage and confidence. Within 8 gruelling years of that fateful day the National Health Service decided to offer me their top job in Radiology 50 miles north of London. I left the city that gave me refuge and training with a heavy heart. The loss of the proximity to the cinema, theatre, music and the cricket wore heavily on me. But my busy professional career and family responsibilities took precedence.

We moved to a house in a picturesque town surrounded by green fields and a golf course. It was a town specially designed as a Garden City with tree lined streets and beautifully laid out parks and gardens. Being a Quaker town it had no pubs. Time passed swiftly as the blink of an eye. Watching the children grow up was a sublime experience. They left home leaving an empty nest.  We are all now used to this ritual of modern living. After a lifetime of study and work my career came to a close with my retirement. My wife and I were left rattling in a large sprawling house. Living in the countryside had lost its lustre and appeal. We felt a move back to London will revitalise our lives.

Our decision to return to London was made with our eyes wide open. All through the ages from its Roman origins in AD 49 London has had its share of abuse and compliments. In the 15th century Dick Whittington thought its streets were paved with gold. William Blake (18th Century) spoke of a corrupt and corrupting city. William Wordsworth (19th Century ) was most complimentary in his poem “Composed upon Westminster Bridge”. The city is still a mixture of all those observations and remarks, ever ready to surprise us.

I wouldn’t bore you with the perils of buying and selling property in England. The experience was unpleasant, mentally draining and stressful, in a word,  a nightmare. But that is behind us now. We bought a flat in North West London within 10 minutes walk of the Lords Cricket grounds and 5 minutes from the beautifully laid out gardens of Regent’s Park. There are 3 hospitals within 30 minutes travel – The Royal Free, St Mary’s, Paddington and the University College Hospital. This is important as our bodies creak from time to time needing some care and attention.

Lords is the home of cricket and I look forward to the summers. Cricket at its best is the epitome of elegance and grace. My seat at Lords has been reserved for the past 15 years – I’ve got the best seat in the grounds, just under the bowlers arm. As the champagne corks pop all round the grounds I sip my glass to enjoy the spectacle in the middle. The Sri Lankan games give me  the opportunity to meet old chums to reminisce, reconnect  and put the world to right.

I have always loved cars and driving. I purchased the best I could afford to travel in safety and comfort. In London a car is a liability and parking is difficult. Night driving was getting increasingly hazardous. Public transport in the city must be one of the best in the world with the underground, surface trains and a fine bus service which all come free to senior citizens that live in London. I sold both cars and use public transport. It is marvellous not to be looking for parking when I reach a venue. I still do miss the freedom of car travel. Life is a big compromise!!

It is said “if you are tired of London you are tired of life” How very true. There is so much on offer. Since my childhood classical music was my passion. There are so many venues for music lovers all within striking distance. From the theatre and ballet to a multitude of museums and art galleries we are spoilt for choice. They are indeed some of the best in the world.

It was through luck more than judgment I found my nest for life. Living in a flat requires a different mind set. The block is a community although not a close one as we hardly know the neighbours.  Everyone is busy with their own lives. There are house rules some written and other unwritten and also civic and social responsibilities. We must respect others' privacy while sharing the space. Looking through the window at night, I see the geometrically arranged lights from the surrounding blocks.  This creates its own beauty.  Each light represents people with their joys and sorrows which are a part of the rich tapestry of life.

The London I left in 1982 was quintessentially British. It was then slowly moving away from the colour bar that existed before the 1970’s and the horror of those familiar signs “No Blacks and Coloureds”. Now it is truly cosmopolitan. Walking the streets we hear a multitude of languages and I feel more at home. Being part of the European Union and the influx of people from those countries has tipped the balance towards integration. Society has bent over backwards to eliminate discrimination. I remember when I first arrived in the UK, my surname was amusing to many and I was embarrassed when they pronounced it horribly wrong. Some of the Polish, Czech and Hungarian surnames are longer than my own with many more consonants than vowels. My surname is part of my heritage and a crucial connection with my past. Now the locals make a genuine attempt to pronounce it correctly. London certainly is more welcoming than it has ever been.

London like all capital cities is a place for young people. They earn and learn in the big city in a variety of organisations and institutions. There are hordes of tourists who pound the streets shopping and absorbing the history and the atmosphere. The hectic pace can at times be overwhelming for us seniors, but thankfully there are places of refuge in the parks and the arts dotted around the city.

I am pleased to be in London at this stage of my life. This will be my home away from home for the foreseeable future. I am constantly aware of the fragility of life and will do my best to enjoy it to the full. The forces of destiny will decide the rest.

What amazes me most is the turn of fate that has changed our lives since that fateful goodbye in 1967 at the Faculty.

I dedicate this short account of my present life to those of our batch who are unwell and in mental or physical pain. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Where there is sickness, let there be healing;
Where there is doubt, let there be faith;
Where there is despair, let there be hope;
Where there is darkness, let there be light;
Where there is sadness, let there be joy.

This is our own Blog for the batch. It is your privilege and discretion to respond or not. This is our only unifying forum, a reminder of times past.  It floats on cyberspace to reach your homes in any part of the world. Do try to keep in touch. Nothing is forever. Write a comment – short or long. Post a Blog or send us a photo. It is easy if you try.

We thank Lucky Abey for maintaining this Blog. This can be a lonely thankless chore. It is a tough task well done. One needs the wisdom of Solomon and the patience of Jesus Christ to keep the forum clean in a world full of division and discord. We have had our debates and differences which have been resolved amicably as responsible adults. This requires a thick hide and broad shoulders. For all this we must be grateful to Lucky. His warm hospitality is legendary. Through thick and thin he has been my friend for over half a century. Time has not dimmed our friendship. We last met for an Indian cuisine at the Cinnamon Grand in 2012 where we discussed life, friends, family and everything else. I do hope we have the good fortune to meet again.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Indra Anandasabapathy on the Move

Indra and Rani have been globe trotting as usual. Their latest travel destinations were Canada, Cuba and Mexico. As he has already shown with his recent contributions to the blog, Indra is now quite an accomplished photographer. See below:

Buchart Gardens, Victoria, Vancouver island, CANADA. A UNESCO world Heritage Site
 Buchart, Victoria, Vancouver island, Canada

Plaque in Buchart Gardens
             Branff, Canada. View from the hotel

 Lake Louise from the hotel, Canadian Rockies. Hard to beat for location. The hotel is at the top overlooking this beautiful one of a kind spot. The walking trail is on the left.
Here are vintage American cars lined up in the morning near the Capitol building 
The Capitol building is in the background. Looks much like the one in Washington DC.

The passengers in the pink car are Indra and Rani

Vintage American cars in Havana, Cuba

Lareef and Nabila are also in this group photo.

From the Fuster Gallery
PS: Please re-read "Cuba Libre" by Nihal D. Amerasekera posted on 21 June, 2015. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

General Hospital, Ratnapura - House Officers 1968

Sent by Indra Anandasabapathy. Try to identify those in the group. I am making the first guess (see comments).

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Creative Spot by Zita Perera Subasinghe

The Tables are Turned

I am now the patient
(Long ago I was Specialist)
I am helpless in pain
Just a name on a ward list

Nurses whizz past
Like penguins, cuckoos
Doling out pill
And to some, ‘Echo’s

This one looks bad
Call the Sister
Didn’t sleep well the night
May have bed sore or blister

      He is ready for home
      All healed and better
      Give a call home on telephone
      At what time to get her


      Oh what about dear young Mick?
      Why is he not in bed?
      Oh he was far too sick
      So transferred to A&E instead

      Each one has aspirations
      No one wants to die
      This one’s soon to have examinations
      With hope to climb very high

So when we look after the sick
Let’s have a special feeling
John, Jack, Ann or Mick
All have a life of higher planning

Oh the doctor’s entered the Room
He’s to do a ward round
His bright smiles banishes gloom
Home, tomorrow, how does that sound?

We were trained long ago
With MBBS after name
Heal the sick wherever you go
Was the name of the game!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Look North Main City Jaffna Road 2015

From the blog of 1960 Medical batch, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Dr. JKSW writes......
I have visited friends in Jaffna about 7 times within 6 years. Twice in the last 6 months.
The changes are tremendous. One cannot recognise it from that seen  4 years ago!
The train takes 7 hours from Colombo.
This video is life –like; dimensions exact. Traffic well brought out. Excellent 13 minutes.
      However, thankfully, beyond 3 km from the city, it is lovely in all directions without sheer urbanisation.
There is far more there than Nagadeepa alone for the weekend throngs of visitors.
     The Association of orthopaedic surgeons held their 3 day conference/ demonstration of spinal surgeries at the hospital last week. A good time  by all.
I missed it though as I visited the previous week.
From: Blogger []
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2016 7:21 AM
Subject: [1960 Medical batch, Colombo, Sri Lanka.] 
Look North Main City Jaffna Road 2015

Sunday, May 1, 2016

"What will matter" - An E-mail from Cyril Ernest

Dear Lucky,

As I see the obituary notices of our classmates with ever increasing frequency, I was reminded of a poem written by Michael Josephson, which my wife Indranie gave me and my daughter Cheryl who compiled the souvenir  magazine for our cricket reunion in 2013, incorporated it on the last page of the magazine.The name of the poem is - What will matter - and it is rather an appropriate one to be reviewed, It goes like this -

                         What will matter

Ready or not,some day it will all come to an end.
           There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten
            Will pass to someone else

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
            It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges,resentments, frustrations
            and jealousies will finally disappear.

So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and "to do" lists will expire.
             The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won't matter where you came from,
             Or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
              Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So, what will matter?
              How will the value of your days be measured.

What will matter is not what you bought
              but what you built, not what you got but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success
               but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned
                but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity,
                compassion,courage,or sacrifice
that enriched, empowered or encouraged others
                 To emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence
                  But your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew,
                   but how many will feel a lasting loss when you are gone.
What will matter is not your memories
                   but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered,
                   by whom and for what.

I am sure some would have come across this poem at sometime or the other. But I felt that it might be appropriate to review this at this time while we are still able to change our ways if needed. My daughters Cheryl and Melanie are familiar with this poem.

Kind regards,

Cyril Ernest.