Doctors at Chelakkara , seventy years back
(One of my chelakkara friends posted an image of a news item about the medical treatment problems in my village , Chelakkara. My mind got in to the time machine and flew back to the olden times)
MY mind again flew back to Chelakkara before seventy years. We had moderate treatment facility for most of the small illness in Chelakkara during those times. But if serious illness comes only option was prayer to god . I still remember one mama telling another, “Avanukku iraniyaavaam .Trusoorukku eduthundu POyirukka , Ambada thaan”( He is suffering from Hiranya and has been taken to TRichur .His chances of coming back or slim). I also remember the small pox epidemics that used to sweep the village once in a while causing death of large number of people . WE had two important doctors practising allopathy during those times and a few practising Ayurveda , I do not remember any one practicing homeopathy. Later days , a dentist used come in the evenings and practice in Chelakkara.
Dr,Antoni(Anthoni in our Malayalam drenched voice) was only an LMP .It is not an exaggeration to say that more than 70% people of Chelakkara of those days got cured of their illness due to him. He knew each and every Brahmin, their wives and their children by name. WE were all generally poor and so, that kind doctor used to have credit account for each of the families.He used to give some tablets and a very bitter mixture(containing lot of Epsom salt) for almost all the illnesses. If people were seriously ill , he used to prescribe them medicines, help them purchase it through some bus drivers known to him from Trichur. I remember that if the family did not have money to buy the medicine, he used to buy it and enter it in their loan account. My mother was very ill during those days and we children were sent to him almost daily. He used to receive us with a smiling face , enquire about our welfare, console us , give the needed medicines after entering in the families loan account .(These loans were repaid after we received Paddy after harvest , twice in a year) If there was an emergency he used to rush with great speed to that house in a jiffy. I remember a person drinking Kesrosine oil at night by mistake that the great doctor rushing to his house at midnight. The village during those days were not electrified and as soon as it become 7 PM , all lights used to be put out . In spite of such a tough situation the great doctor used to help us all. Due to our very frequent visits, His wife Meriamma was also friendly with us . In these seventy years , I have not seen a greater , nobler and more efficient doctor than him.
WE had one more doctor called DR.Madhava Menon whose house was adjoining the Brahmin Agrahara. I vaguely remember that he was an M.B.B.S and his charges were slightly more than DR.Anthony .Apart from that it seems he used to get angry on patients , if they do not obey him.Since he was very near Kizhakke Madam of the Gramam , Some people there used to consult him. Even slightly rich people used to prefer him.Since I had never gone to him for treatment I do not know whether he kept loan account.
There also used to be a Sarkar AAsupathri(Government hospital) those days just outside the village In MOhari Kunnu but Brahmins rarely visited the hospital.I understand it has now grown up in to a much bigger hospital.
Vaidyan Krishnan was one among us Brahmins and used to have a very big Ayurvedic shop in Angadi I undersatand his father Narasimha Mama who was also a Vaidyan migrated to Chelakkara from a near by village . Since our home was very near to his huse , we used to go and Consult his father often .In the ayurvedic Pharmacy , some Asavams, Arishtams , lehyam and medicinal oils were stocked. Since they believed in drinking Kashayam(Decoction) during those days Vaidyan Krishnan used to write a detailed note of the fruits, roots, leaves etc required to prepare the Kashayam and used to give us also the materials. Our parents used to prepare the Kashayam and made us drink it, though most of the Kashayams were very bitter and had a aweful aroma
WE also used to have another Ayurvedic doctor in the village . I vaguely remember his name was Madhava Varriar. He was the poor man’s ayurvedic doctor of the village, I remember my father consulting him rather than Vaidyan Krishnan.
There was also an immensely popular vertinary doctor in the village . Since for several miles together there was no other vertinary doctor , he was always very busy. He had a younger brother who was a doctor in Indian military during those days. When I was about 15, he retired and settled down in a nearby village . I do not know his real name but my father used to call him Katti . My father in law Dr.Vaidyanathan it seems practiced for a few days in the village and because people used to call him at odd hours , he discontinued that practice and joined the Tamil Nadu health department .
One of the boys younger to me called Venkidi , belonging to Puthan Madam studied medicine and some how never came to practice in the village .Dr.Krishnan Kutti who belonged to the village(again younger to me) is a famous doctor in Trichur.
Since I have lost touch with my own village , I do not know whether any body else from the village became a doctor.