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February - March 2004


Lucky seventh SMS Medicos - Golden Jubilee Meet

by Krishan Ralleigh

KK Royal Days Hotel & Convention Centre was the befitting venue for the Golden Jubilee meet of the 1953 batch of medical students of the prestigious SMS Medical College in Jaipur. Calling themselves Lucky Seventh SMS Medicos, the group members who joined the college as teenagers and passed out after five long years of hard work, spread out to pastures new in different cities of India, Africa, Europe and the USA, serving humanity and winning laurels for themselves, their alma mater and their country.
They remained in touch with each other through the pivotal organisational work of Dr. M.R. Jain who later became professor and head of the college and is now a medical director of his own hospital in Jaipur called the M.R.J. institute and Jain Eye Hospital.

Nostalgia of course filled the air. In the words of Dr. M.R. Jain "those were really unforgettable years and the ecstasy of that unharnessed youth gives us thrills and fills us with much needed endorphins and a much needed prophylactic does against rapidly approaching Alzheimer's state. "

Witnessing the enthusiastic and emotional get together of these highly professional medicos in the sixth decade of their lives, I wonder whether it was their profession which had moulded their personality or their genes which had inspired them in the path of their life. Though each one was different there was a semblance of uniform attributes in all of them.
At the Golden Jubilee meet, dignity of friendship, mutual respect and the inner urge of helping the other pervaded the ambience. Professional rivalries, petty jealousies and "better than thou" attitudes, so common among the Indian so called educated business and professional classes, whether resident Indian or Non resident Indian was almost invisble.The atmosphere was clinically and spiritually clean.
There were eulogizing speeches, hilarious anecdotes and proverbial back thumping. Two members and their spouses Dr. SP Sharma from the UK and DR ML Bafna from the United States were bestowed "Jewel Of India" award by the group. There can be no greater joy than to be recognised by your own friends and equals. The two "jewels" cheerfully participated in every activity laid out by the organisms. And what a marvelous treat it was!
There were well organised programmes of knowing each other, giving presents, narrating jokes, anecdotes and poetry. There were beautiful Rajasthani dancers who entertained the group, until late in the evening. The spouses were not forgotten either. Each couple was asked to come on to the rostrum and garland each other, reminding them of the vows they had taken three or four decades ago.
The final day afternoon was a pleasant reunion of other members of the family of delegates. The younger generation (sons, daughters, son in laws, daughter in laws and grandchildren) joined the older generation in their pleasant and memorable trip down memory lane.The awards were given out by local dignitaries. Everyone got a new gold wrist watch, courtesy of Dr. SP Sharma and Dr. SS Khurana from Ganganagar distributed RS. 100 notes (fake, of course) like confetti with his message of love and friendship.
Those colleagues who ended their journey of life before their time were not forgotten. A minute's silence was solemnly observed. In his summing up address Mr. MR Jain proclaimed "Let us resolve today to stay in this world, sufficiently hale and hearty to celebrate our next meeting in another three years at a place still more romantic than this lovely resort." They will all surely look forward to their next get together - wherever that may be!

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