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Vol. XXIX No. 21 , February 16-29, 2020

Our Readers Write

Double bore

The 1964 test match ­between India and England covered in the last issue is one which I had the misfortune to attend on all the five days. We had a group of cricket crazy friends who used to attend all the matches every day.

After purchasing our tickets for the D stand, a lot of planning went into fixing the menu for lunch, tea and drink intervals and into who will bring each item.

Of course, we had the pleasure of watching Bapu Nadkarni’s bowling exploits but we had to endure the most boring partnership between Barrington and Bolus. Their names gave us the opportunity to rename them as BORINGTON and BORUS.

G.V. Raman
Executive Chairman
Shriram Group

More on Cricket

It was memorable cricket at the Corporation Stadium and I shared this article with my friend who gave another piece of information which may also stand as a record for Madras and Cricket.

During this match, most of the English Players had stomach upset and they were not able to field all the eleven on the ground during their bowling session.

There was a request from the English side to spare some of the reserve Indian players to take up fielding and this was conceded by the Indian team, a rare gesture, and at the venue where appreciation never dies for such acts. One of the fielders was Kirpal Singh and he was instrumental in catch out an Indian batsman.

Just recalling school days when the batting side also were fielding.

P. K. Arumugam
A101, Cedar Prince Greenwoods Apts
66 Vanagaram Rd, thipet, Ambathur
Chennai 600 058

The following comment was left on the Facebook page of Madras Musings regarding the sports piece we carried on Nadkarni’s world record in Madras.

I watched this Test at the Corporation Stadium in the then Madras. The sheer boredom was at times ­broken by Barrington ­stopping play midway to catch hold of a free-floating kite that landed in the ground. Those were days when kite flying was a big sport and “deals” between two or more kite flyers often resulted in one or more kites getting cut by the “manja” thread. ­Another boredom breaker was the hilarious spectacle of groundstaff chasing dogs that invaded the play area.

T(Tubectomy). V(Vasectomy). Antony

This has reference to the article on T.V. Antony by ­Ambrose. T.V. Antony, was an unusual IAS officer. I had the privilege of working with him during my Round Table days in late 70’s. As a Special Officer of Chennai Corporation, he was organising scores of Family Planning camps in North Madras. My Table (Madras West Round Table No. 10) had adopted Family Planning as a Project and I was assigned by my club to co-ordinate with Antony and offer any help he wanted.

I remember he would cycle down to my house in Sastri Nagar during his morning constitutionals every other day and instruct me about the FP camp that I must attend that day. His personal touch in whatever he took up, was amazing.

His story about the three dosas and his two sons to emphasise the importance of small family narrated in his accented Tamil became quite popular among his target audience. He would tell them “Once, during breakfast time, when my 4 year old younger son demanded a younger brother, I decided to test him. I told him that while he and his elder brother were getting three dosas each now, when a younger brother came into the family, the six dosas would have to be shared by three kids. When I asked him what would he prefer – three dosas or two dosas and a younger ­brother – pat came the reply that he would prefer three dosas.”

He richly deserved the Padma ­Bhushan Award that he received in 2004 for his untiring efforts in promoting Family Planning.

Until a few months ago, I would bump into him at the Gandhi Nagar Club, where he would come for a swimming session and visit the Club library where I am a regular. It was always a pleasure interacting with him even in his twilight years. When I would remind him about his reputation as ‘T(Tubectomy). V(Vasectomy). Antony’ in his hey days he would laugh it off. Antony will be always an ‘Unforgettable character’ in my life. May his soul rest in peace!

R.V. Rajan

More on women doctors

I read with interest the article on Pioneering Women ­Doctors who ­established a name for themselves in Tamil Nadu, particularly in Chennai hospitals.

May I add here that an important name that has got missed out is of Dr. A.B. Marikar M.D., who was the Superintendent of Gosha Hospital (presently Kasturba Hospital for Women) at Chepauk; and was also the Director of Medical Education in Tamil Nadu during 1965-70?

She hailed from a progressive Muslim family of Kerala – the Marikars – who believed in educating their womenfolk. In fact, she was the first Muslim woman to become a doctor with an M.D. Degree. The Marikar family was and is a prominent name in Kerala with Marikar Motors selling cars, Marikar Travels with buses in Central Kerala and Marikar Dept. Store in Munnar (Kerala). Dr. Marikar was the eldest of a family of 3 brothers and 3 sisters, and she moved from Vizag to Chennai to pursue MD at MMC. One sister was an advocate and another an educationist.

Dr. Marikar was a strict disciplinarian and it is said that Mr. Kamaraj, the then CM used to stay away from recommending names to her for transfers, for, she would not take any. In my own case, as I knew her through one of my relative, I approached her to recommend me for a medical seat (she was DME then). She politely told me “You have good marks, if you are destined to become a doctor, you will get a seat – no recommendation please.” Such was her honesty and discipline. Gosha Hospital would shudder when she walked in on her inspection rounds. She resided in Montieth Road and was Secy. of Indian Red Cross, T.N. Chapter till her death. Old timers will agree that she was an ‘Unsung Heroine’ among the famous Women Doctors of Chennai.

M. Fazal
No. 11, Mosque Street
Hastinapuram, Chennai 600 064

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