| Mr B. Rama Rao
former Sr PA to Director,
You boy! the foreigner, whom I later
came to know as Dr HT Mahler, told me, You have made a mistake.
You have wrongly spelt the word pulmonary.
I wanted to be annoyed but couldnt, because
the face was amiable. I was not interested in the job but was persuaded
to consider it by our family friend, Dr Iyengar, the State BCG Officer.
I replied: It is a new word for me. I am
not well versed in medical words. Why couldnt you ask
for a dictionary?
Dictionary! In India we dont ask for
a dictionary in an interview.
Both the officers had a hearty laugh. Then one
of them told me: Okay, from tomorrow you are hired!
His voice now was so earnest, I couldnt utter
any other word other than nodding my head. I was unaware of who
was hiring me, whether WHO or GOI and on what salary.
Though I did not understand many things they did,
I knew they were available for consultations and were possessed
with the idea of building up some concrete programme for our country.
On every important issue, they would consult others and finally
Dr PV Benjamin.
Today, after serving the Institute for 34 years,
I consider that I was privileged to be hired on that day, by those
two WHO officers. Where else could I have seen giants like Mahler,
ORourke, Raj Narain, Nagpaul, working at such close quarters?
Their very functioning would enthuse the staff. It is in such functioning
the institutes glory lies.