KARACHI: When someone dies, people invariably heap praise on him, whether it is deserved or not. But after the death of Dr (Capt) Meher F Hansotia, the fond remembrances of him hardly do him justice. After talking to his friends, family and students, my opinion of my long-time neighbour and family doctor was only strengthened as one of the most helpful people I have ever met.
Dr Hansotia suffered a heart attack three days ago. Post-angioplasty complications led him to his worldly release on Thursday at the Aga Khan Hospital. His funeral was attended by a wide spectrum of people belonging to his own community, the institution where he worked and the medical fraternity. Amid hugs and tears of more than 400 people, his funeral prayers were held and the mourners got their last glimpse before the body was carried to the Tower of Silence.
Alumni of Dow Medical College, 62-year-old Meher Hansotia graduated in 1974 and proceeded to become the Registrar of Dow University of Health Sciences and an associate professor and head of the department of Community Medicine. He was even working on a book on public health issues in Pakistan.
“There is so much to say about him that all words fall short. He was my mentor, my inspiration,” said Dr Narendar Bawani, an MDS trainee in community dentistry. “Even though he was not our assigned teacher, he took classes along with us so he could teach us later on.” Dr Hansotia had been assigned to the dental section for a semester, but the students made a point to study under him for the next two years. Taking classes with the other dental students, he used his experience and knowledge to help students who were not even under the purview of his own department.
A lover of Irish cream coffees, Dr Hansotia is recalled as a doctor who was never too tired to attend to any patient. “When my son was sick, not only did he come to attend to him late in the night, he also went out to get medicines since there was no one at home who could have gone to get them,” said Khairoonnissa, an old patient of his.
“He was not just a teacher, he was one of the greatest people I know of. His knowledge was so vast that he could answer any question off the top of his head,” said Shah Bano Syed, another MDS trainee. “I have even seen other faculty members consult him with their problems. Yet, he was humble. While teaching students, he used to say ‘You teach me and I will teach you’”.
“He was a great man, honest and dedicated. He was the perfect person and the perfect father,” said his younger son Jehangir while talking to The Express Tribune. “Not only did he have a medical skill, he also had a passion for passing it on to others,” added his elder son Jamshid.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2010.
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