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Rhapsody 2008 — a Symphony of Different Cultures for Medical Professionals
Special Contribution
By Shobha Shukla
Surgeon Professor (Dr) Rama Kant

A thing of beauty is a joy forever, and yet we have 'no time to watch at beauty's glance, and see how well her feet can dance.'

Well, this is the price we seem to be paying for our economic development. Today's world of cut throat competition and cutting edge technology has lacerated our soul. Any activity of a non competitive nature with no financial gains is looked down upon. In our quest for professional knowledge, we have given up the pursuit of happiness, feels the legendary teacher and Surgeon Professor (Dr) Rama Kant.

The erstwhile King George's Medical College of Lucknow (now Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Medical University - CSMMU), which is more than 100 years old, used to boast of a vibrant cultural ethos along with academic excellence, in the not so distant past. Once upon a time, its Annual Cultural Fest used to be the talk of the town. But something went wrong somewhere along the dreary desert sands of time. Its academic/ moral decline seemed to be linked to the disappearance of aesthetics from its campus life.

So it comes as a breath of fragrant air that some right minded faculty members of this Medical University are trying to rouse the dead Georgian Spirit. "Rhapsody-2008," a three day extravaganza (December 14th to 16th) will go a long way to revive the cultural spirit of the medicos. It is for the first time in the history of this medical university that medicos from other private medical colleges have been invited to participate in events ranging from Utopia to Eurhythmics to Sports to Skits to Symphony to Fantasia to Glitterati (in common parlance this would mean debating, quizzing, singing, dancing, photography, calligraphy, athletics, dramatics, fancy dress etal).

The moving spirit behind this Revival is a dedicated team of medical students and teachers, ably guided by the Head of the department of General Surgery at CSMMU, Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, who also happens to be the President of the Dramatics Society of the college. Prof (Dr) Rama Kant is a class by himself. He is too many things rolled into one - an internationally acclaimed surgeon, author of several highly-acclaimed medical books, a social activist spearheading public health movements, winner of innumerable international/national awards, a trained photographer, and a sensitive poet.

Prof (Dr) Rama Kant's enthusiasm is so infectious that he seems to have succeeded in channelising the energy of the students in a creative manner. This automatically kills their destructive tendencies. He defines Rhapsody as a symphony of different cultures, a harmony in diversity. This is so very true of the fraternity at the Medical University (as also of other professional colleges) which has students coming from far off places with diverse cultural/ social/economic backgrounds. Events like this present them with an opportunity to showcase as well as hone their inherent skills and talents.

Let us hope that Rhapsody-2008 will infuse a sense of identity and pride in the participants as well as well as the audience and infuse in them an appreciation for the finer qualities and beauty of life, which is so essential for peaceful co existence.

Let the fragrance of music, poetry, dance and drama mingle with the unmistakable sanitized hospital smells of ether and medicines. Let there be a flow of positive energy which will banish negativity and make health care more humane.

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Ms. Shobha Shukla has been teaching Physics at India's noted Loreto Convent, and has been writing for The Hindustan Times and Women's Era in the past. She serves as Editor of Citizen News Service (CNS). She can be contacted at






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