Warm wishes my buddy and my roommate, how are you? Thank you for acknowledging of my memoirs of moon landing. Up to this moment I still see your face vividly when we all jumped with joy on that day. Welcome to these pages my friend, here comes more of our recollections, correct me if my memory is fading
Scooters & Mosquitoes:
Our lonely hostel buildings were built over the uninhabited dry land and predictably mosquitoes swamped our rooms especially during night hours, you could even notice their belly ballooned with our bright red blood. It was next to impossible to sleep without a net, now add to the bicycle, everyone had to have a mosquito net as well. My roommate Pillai had spent all his reading, until his Final MBBS, lying down within his mosquito net castle armed with a small fan, a reading light along with his books. I made fun of his habit but his reply always was “why spent energy sitting when you can read lying?”
We played volley ball in the middle court and ping ponged in the reading room. I followed Vietnam War, Viet congs, Naxalites and Nap bombs in the papers in the same reading room all thru my hostel years. Every one instantly morphed into movie play back singers as soon as they stepped under the shower; TM Sunderajan, AM Raja and Seerkali Govindarajan all come alive at very high decibels. Lambretta, Bajaj and prestigious Vespa scooters were parked side by side next to our tiny bicycles at the hostel front lobby and you could even notice a license plate with fancy number “007”, a James Bond logo. Those rich boys used our mess boys to wash their vanity vehicles nevertheless paid them well as well, I guess.
Beatles and the Bus
Initially a private contractor ran our cafeteria but in later years we organized our own mess in the hostel donating 100 rupees each as our down payment, when an average movie ticket was only 2 rupees then. In Sundays we enjoyed briyani along with a cigarette and beta at the end, some of us even swapped our hostel lunch with the vegetarian Tiffin box of day-scholar classmates, thus few non-smokers attempted inhaling smoke for the first time and few vegetarian friends tasted ” chicken or mutton”, of course without their parent’s knowledge, all at our men’s hostel.
We conducted even strikes, around 100 of us traveled to Madras, demanded our then female health minister a college bus with TVMC logo, initially we failed to persuade her but finally sent our college bus years later. We routinely danced at the hostel front, promoted “Family Planning” thru a play called Triangle, a logo of Niriodh condom, at the hospital grounds…boy what a hit it was? The whole nursing staff booed and laughed when we entered the hospital following day thus we became instant celebrities for one day. We celebrated arts and sports days at the hostel; we used college elections to get connected with our fellow girl students.
Among us were fans of MGR supported DMK and Shivagi supported Congress; Jayalalitha was cute and slim, unlike now ... Latha and Laximi were just blossoming out. “Chemmeen”, a Malayalam picture bagged the prestigious presidential award, Raj Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna were ever popular in the north and Beatles were breaking records everywhere in the West.
It is nice to hear from Dr Kulam. I also belong to first batch.durig our 1st year at TVMC(2nd yr MBBS)my room mate was Dr.Kulam,along with Subramania Pillai. Most students did not have radio.No TV in the country, of course. Luckily our room mate Dr.Pillai had a transistor.We listened to his radio when Armstrong landed in ihe moon. V.P.Nagarajan,florida,US.TEL.352-596 7815
During early years of our live in the men's hostel the water we were drinking from the tap was of a hard variety, with too much mineral contents I guess. Within few months of our moving into the hostel almost every one of us went through what we call an "acute urinary irritation", a severe pain during micturition.
Soon we all learned, of course by trial and error, the best way to relive the symptom is to drink more of the same hard water which caused our symptoms. But when we drank more until we can not consume any more, it diuressed the heck out of our water balance and soon we will be relieved of our symptoms with in few hours.
From the beginning of June 1966 current girl’s residence was ours (boy’s) until the 2nd year when we were relocated to the current men’s west-hostel, the east one was yet to be built. My father bought me a bicycle, so did most the boys, since the Anatomy Block drifted further away for a routine walking from the men’s hostel.
The year was 1969, I think it was around noon during a bright summer, TVMC has just re-opened. I and bunch of my friends were sitting in the parapet wall of the connecting walkway, west of the main stairs between northern and southern wings on the 1st floor, listening to a transistor radio. We were keen on listening to the very first “moon landing” – a live radio broadcast by Mr. Tamil Vanan of Ceylon, what is known now as Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. The astronaut was Neil Armstrong of USA, the landing brought us thrill, excitement and we screamed, whistled, jumped up and down like monkeys and of course we were all puffing Scissors.
It was cool to smoke then, not any more, especially in the Western Countries. I have quit smoking in the very early 80s, have stayed off since then.
Dr.Abdulkader Kulam, an alumnus from the first batch of our college writes in
Dear Dr. Bruno:
I have done my best @ home scanning these precious photos.
Please let your readers know that these photos are “40+ years old” and withstood the ravage of time. In fact 1965 photo looks better than the 1967.
We started our First MBBS in St. Xavier’s College thus we missed girls in our 1965 photo, they studied in Sara Tucker College. From 1966 onwards we became co-educated at our current location and appeared together ever since.
Please acknowledge my name in your web pages under these photos because my living classmates and faculties may wonder who in the world preserved all these photos. They will certainly travel through their memory lanes if they come across your pages.
My name was K.M. Abdulkader, wears a bow tie 3rd from left, second row from top in 1965 photo. I am at 6th from the left, second row from the top in 1967 photo.
I will leave some history in your web pages what was our days like then once you publish these photos. I may send these two attachments separately in case of any difficulty.
A message from an alumnus of the First Batch of our College
They called me "KULAM" then, year was 1965. Mr.Bakthavachalam of Congress Party was our Chief Minister, soon taken over by Mr.C.N. Annadurai of DMK.
I am Abdulkader Kulam, I belong to the first bactch of TVMC medical students, started our Ist MBBS in St.Xaviers College, Palayamkottai. It was Madras State then, we graduated under the University of Madras.
I am close to 60 years now, practicing in USA as an Anesthesiologist since I moved here to Chicago in 1976, just 4 years after my house surgency and stayed here ever since.
I passed my ECFMG in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in in 1975
In my treasure is a group photo of our very First MBBS 1965-1966 of Tirunelveli Medical College. I would love to publish it in your web pages of TVMC Alumni. Right now the picture is in pristine condition but I am afraid eventually nature will deteriorate it if I don't do something. I will try my best to upload the picture from here once if I can digitalize it.
If it fails I would like one of our Nellai Medico friends to come forward to takeover the charge. I will send it to you as long as you promise me to return it to me.
That was really a surprise for me A doctors' day gift from the first batch......