November 01, 2002

by | Journal | 0 comments

I was at the Rashtrapati Bhawan with two great doctors – Dr. Kakarla Subbarao (b. 1925) and Dr. B. Soma Raju (b. 1948). I met them first when I was admitted to the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in an emergency, in January 1986. Dr. Subbarao was Director, NIMS, and Dr. Soma Raju was Chief of Cardiology. A special bond developed from that seemingly awkward moment between the four of us – Dr. Kalam, Dr. Subbarao, Dr. Soma Raju and I – that led to the setting up of the International School in 1991 by Dr. Subbarao, inspired by Dr. Kalam, and the creation of India’s first coronary stent (Kalam-Raju) stent.

In 2002, I wrote ‘A Doctor’s Story of Life & Death’, based on the life and insights of Dr. Subbarao. It was reprinted in 2012 and sought after by serious seekers of answers about human health and mortality. In my book, ‘Guiding Soul’ (published in 2005), when I asked Dr. Kalam, “Is it necessary that we should be inspired by those who lived in the past, or can even people who are alive be our guides?” Dr. Kalam answered, “Difficult. Ego normally comes in between two living people.” When I asked if could he name any living person who inspired him, he instantly replied, “Dr. Verghese Kurien (b. 1921) and Dr. Kakarla Subbarao.”

 When, in 2012, a student asked Dr. Kalam which work of his gave him the most happiness, Dr. Kalam replied that it was the development of the stent. He said that achievements related to one’s business, job or hobby are selfish pursuits. It is the work you do keeping others in mind, that counts in the eyes of God. Dr. Kalam went on to share that once, when travelling by train to Dehradun from Delhi, a person approached him and said with folded hands, “Sir, I am carrying two of your stents in my heart.” He said that no Bharat Ratna, no presidency, no whatever could match the gratitude in the eyes of that man on the train.


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