January 14, 2006

Inspiration for the day

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Dr.A.K.Sabhapathi, Krishna Hospital, Chittur Road, Kochi

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On one side of this paddy field is M.G.Road, the arterial road of Kochi; on the other, the busy Chittoor Road; below it is the 4-storied Krishna Hospital and the farmer is Dr.A.K.Sabhapathi, Chief Medical Officer of the Hospital.  The doctor, who lives in the penthouse on top of the hospital, has a 14000-square feet farm on the terrace in which paddy occupies a place of prominence.

Surgeon Sabhapathi inherited from his advocate-father the habit of doing puja early in the morning.  And he started the terrace-garden with the primary purpose of securing flowers for the ritual.  Slowly the garden expanded to include vegetables of different varieties, and even heavy weights like plantains, mangoes and cashew trees.

A 1˝-feet high wall built adjacent to the parapet forms the enclosure for the filled up garden.  For paddy, a tarpaulin sheet forms the base, on which clay is spread.  His farmhouse is a self-contained unit and the organic waste from cultivation is converted into compost in the terrace itself and used as manure together with ash and cowdung powder.

The doctor doesn’t waste old wash basins and flush tanks of the hospital.  These find new use as flower pots on the terrace-garden.  The tubes from glucose bottles end up as lines for bittergourd and peas.  Column-shaped old porcelain insulators, auctioned off by TELK, Angamaly, find use as legs for the ‘pandal’ that supports these climbers.

Apart from agriculture, another interest of the doctor is kathakali.  For the 15th year in succession, this year too he would be performing as Kuchela at Guruvayoor on Kuchela Day.  Since his 2 doctor-sons help him in matters medicinal, he finds time to devote to his other interests.

If Kuchela had taken beaten-rice to the Lord, Dr.Sabhapathi is perhaps offering growing rice, watered ritual-like twice a day, to Him.

Courtesy: Nimy George (text), Leen Thobias (photo), Karshakashree, October, 2005
Contributed by: Administrator 


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