Monday, December 17, 2007
Literally Chhatri in Hindi would mean an umbrella . Well this blog is dedicated to our Anatomy teacher Dr. Chhatriwala , whom we lovingly , as well as out of fear and spite , used to address as just ' Chhatri ' . Last evening we felicitated him in our Grant Medical Alumni Club , Thane . The function was held at Yeoor hills on the beautifully maintained farm house of Dr. Pravin Gupte , a leading Pathologist and past student of our college
I reached the venue at 7.00 pm . A few doctors from the Managing Committee , the host Dr Gupte and the guest Dr Chhatriwala and his wife with their 2 grandchildren were relaxing in the bungalow of Dr. Gupte . I went up to introduce myself and was pleased when he got up to shake hands with me . Being from the 1971 batch , I asked him since when was he in our college Faculty to which he replied ' since 1963 to 1986 ' .
He was a demonstrator and an examiner for us in the Anatomy Dissection Hall and a professor of Surgery for post graduate students later on . His speciality was that of being a strict disciplinarian. He would expect all students to be clean shaven and in well polished shoes . He used to order students out of the hall if not shaven , at times paying 25 paise from his pocket to embarrass the student. Word used to spread like wildfire as soon as he was sighted climbing up the stairs. All used to say ' Chhatri aa raha hai ' or ' Ghengiz Khan is coming ' ---- he used to refer to himself as Ghengiz Khan . At times he used to move around with a toothed forceps , walking around the hall, his eyes inspecting the students faces and if found with a stubble held the skin at the elbow from behind and whisper in the ears ' Go shave and come '. Even with all this , he was respected and loved and as put by some speakers that day ' Sir has not only disciplined us but also taught us to be always presentable '.
I was told that when our committee members visited his house in Colaba to invite him for this felicitation , he was extremely happy and readily agreed to come. Anatomy is a subject which no undergraduate really likes --- it is dry and tedious , with all Latin terminology to mug up and recall----and so I presume that these teachers remain in the background memory of most of us. I was really pleased when I saw the invitation for this function and read that Dr Chhatriwala was to be felicitated . As clinicians we always remember teachers, who were part of our later years in college and dealing with patient oriented subjects .
' Sir , seeing you and interacting with you yesterday , was a very pleasing experience .We saw you after more than three decades . You have become so mild at this age of 75 years , you are totally different from those terror days . We will always remember you and we pray to God to give you a long and healthy life !!! '