Dr. N. C. Kalkur, L.I.M (Madras)
To be a Practicing
Physician in Barkur, one has/had to be a godly man or a man of
charity, because, in the 50s or 60’s obtaining even the cost of
pills from the patients was a challenge indeed, forget about any
fee for medical services such as diagnosis, consultancy,
prescriptions or for home visits. Dr. N.C. Kalkur was one of such
godly men of Barkur. Barkuronline is proud to present this humble
doctor, as POM, who not only saved lives, but touched the lives of
many a Barkurians for better.
Dr. Kalkur was born on 23rd November 1931 in Neelavar.
He completed his primary/secondary education at National High
school, Barkur. Later he completed his medical education at the
College of Integrated Medicine, Kilpaul, Madras, as L.I.M, passing
in May 1956. He completed his House Surgeon requirement at the
Government Wenlock Hospital, Mangalore till July 1957. He was
appointed as Rural Medical Practitioner at Saibarkatte from 9th
Sept. 1957 to Jan. 1964. He was promoted as Medical Officer of
Primary Health Unit and served as Medical officer at various
places like Malpe, Kolalgiri, Barkur, Saiberakatte, Sastan, etc.
From 1978 to 1989 till his retirement he served as Medical Officer
of Primary Health Centre at Barkur. He was a Medical Examiner of
L.I.C of India till attaining 65 years. (until 1996). He served
as the Vice President of Barkur Education Society for 18 years.
He was one of the correspondents at The National P. U. College,
Barkur for 15 years. He married Mrs. P. Anasooya in the year
1958, who is the daughter of Shri Yajnappa, M.T.R, Bangalore.
Their married life brought them three sons. Mr. N. Sathish Kalkur,
B.Sc, A.C.A, Chartered Accountant, Bangalore. Their second son
N. Shrikanth Kalkur, B.E., (Mechanical), is working as a Manager
of cold foods manufacturing unit of M.T.R foods, Bangalore. Third
son is Dr. N. Shashibhooshan Kalkur, B.A.M.S, Medical Practitioner
Dr. Kalkur is retired from service since Nov, 1989 and is doing
Private Practice at a Maternity clinic attached till today.
Barkuronline.com team managed to get hold of one of Dr. Kalkur’s
son (Satish Kalkur), to write about his famous and beloved father,
well known in Barkur and its vicinity. This is what Satish has to
say about his father and family along with some memorable
DR. N. C. KALKUR
When I was asked by Kishore to write about my father, I was bit
excited as well as quite a bit hesitant. Excited because I got
the first ever opportunity to write about him. Hesitant because, I
may not be able to give full justice to the job I have agreed to
I am not having a clear picture of his upbringing, but I am sure
that he went through many hurdles and ordeals before he could
establish himself as a doctor. Born to Late Srinivas Kalkur and
Smt. Sharada, at Neelavara, about 11 Kms away from Barkur, he had
to travel to Barkur and Hangarkatta 15 Kms to pursue his primary
and higher secondary education. His father was a music teacher in
Barkur High School with just hand to mouth existence/income.
Unfortunately his childhood was not a pleasant and memorable one,
as his father lost the job, since the music classes were taken off
from study syllabi.
To pursue higher
studies, he went to Madras, now known as Chennai. There he pursued
Medical Education. I remember him and my mother telling that he
had completed education by taking recourse to “Vaaraanna”, which
means having food one day in a week in each of the houses of seven
Dakshina Kannada District based locally settled families. Probably
all of us owe a lot to those kind-hearted families for what we are
today. I bow to them reverentially.
On being qualified he was appointed as the Medical Officer by
Taluk Administration and he had settled in Saibarakatte, 7 kms.
away from Barkur. Later on he got married but didn’t have a happy
and contended married life because of the measly salary he was
getting. Remember, my grandfather (mother’s father) was very rich
and famous person. It was he who established the famous and
legendary “Mavalli Tiffin Rooms” (MTR), but a firm believer of
earning through hard work, never financially assisted his
son-in-law, unless absolutely called for. One such occasion was
when the couple had to walk the distance of 12 Kms. from Saligrama
to Saibarakatte and my mother was pregnant. It was then my grand
father gave a two wheeler to my father. To supplement his salary
he had started a clinic at Saibarakatte.
He rose to prominence as a practitioner, as he was a committed
doctor for patient’s care, and was never after money. There were
many an occasions, he was not able to collect his charges. Some
people used to dupe him by promising to pay later, which they
never paid. Sometimes he had given up his fees on request by the
patients that they didn’t have enough cash in hand. Sometimes he
was hesitant to ask fees on such occasions when patient died and
came back empty handed. Doctors were called mostly at deathbed
situations anyway, at the last minute. I still remember one
occasion where one affluent Christian lady, migrated from Western
India, came for a regular check-up, asked about consultation fee
for which doctor had asked only “Rs.2/-’’ as his Consulting Fee!
My father and R. U. Sheshagiri Rao were the two earliest of
professionals who set up their practices in Barkur. Even today
they are popularly called as “Kalkur Doctor” and “Sheshagiri
Doctor”. You can imagine a period 35 years back, when only handful
of Public Conveyance Systems were available, my father used to
visit his patients situated in distant places ranging from 6 kms.
to 15 kms. Either traveling by bicycles or ferrying by boat or by
walk or a combination of all these, be it early morning or hot mid
afternoon or dead of the midnight. I still remember my mother
waiting in the hall anxiously hurdling all the three kids,
frequently peeping outside the window, when the doctor had gone on
visit in the night and failing to turn up within the reasonable
time. His single minded devotion to the profession had made him an
absent minded fellow which trait sometimes gave rise to hilarious
moments. Let me elaborate just two such occasions. When he was
serving in Sasthan PHU, on one rainy day, one of our relatives
came to the hospital to invite him for a function, flabbergasted
to see the doctor in a peculiar dress. Doctor was wearing a
raincoat on the top and normal trouser. In his hurry to reach the
hospital in time, doctor had forgotten to wear a shirt! Once my
mother was admitted at KMC Manipal, for some minor operation. I
was to leave for Mangalore to take my CA exams and I would be back
only after 10 days. So, I told doctor that I want to see mother
at the hospital and seek her blessings, for which he readily
agreed. That evening I was dressed up and was waiting for doctor
to start up his Bajaj Chetak Scooter. He kick started it and
zoomed off without even checking whether I was seated in the
pillion! My youngest brother, realizing the situation, started
laughing. Within minutes, he had returned back frowning and
scolding me for not sitting in the pillion. Finally, we had
reached KMC only to discover that my mother was already discharged
by my uncle, which fact was made known to the doctor, however my
father completely forgotten! Doctor was so fond of driving two
wheelers and had driven almost all kinds of two wheelers. Even at
this ripe age of 73, he still drives a two wheeler! Never developed
a liking for 4 wheeler, even though he has one at home. He met
with accidents umpteen numbers of times that it had almost
acquired legendary proportions. Once, when I met with an accident,
my uncle quipped that it’s nothing but a “ hereditary disease”!
Once he was knocked down out of his motorbike by wild bores and
fortunately he was saved by a patient who was coming in a lorry,
picked the doctor up and admitted him to KMC Manipal.
He has three sons, myself -Sathish, younger one Shrikanth and the
youngest one is Shashibhooshan. Now the doctor’s family has 10
members, my wife Sujatha and 10 year old son Sharath, Shrikanth’s
wife Poornima and their 9 year old daughter Kausalya and
Shashibhooshan’s wife Archana and their 2 ½ year old daughter
Shreya making up the remaining team. I have settled down in
Bangalore and am a practicing Chartered Accountant for the past 15
years with Kirlosker Electric Co. Ltd., at Bangalore. Shrikanth is
now serving as General Manager (Admn.) in MTR Foods Ltd.,
Bangalore and Shashibhooshan is doctor and practicing as
Registered Medical Practitioner in Saibarakatte for the past 12
years. All the ladies are very good home-makers.
Doctor has been a thorough gentleman with respect to his
children’s aspirations and he neither interfered nor became an
impediment nor was he overbearing in nature with regard to our
academic pursuits or with regard to any of our extra curricular
activities. In fact he was a silent supporter and encouraged us to
pursue our field of interest. Otherwise do you think, it was
possible for me to learn the famous dance drama folk art of
Coastal Karnataka “Yakshagana” at Kota High School at the time
when it was considered a taboo for upper caste people to
participate in it. In spite of the stiff resistance from my
grandmother, it was the very strong parental support which enabled
me to learn the art. Imagine, if the said support was not
forthcoming, I would not have been able to have a go at it, would
not have been selected as a member of the troop popularly known as
“Saligrama Makkala Mela”, which had been selected by the Govt. of
India to represent India in the Children’s Festival to be held at
San-Jose, California, USA, to mark the ‘International Year of
Children’ in 1978. Thanks to the parental support, I had a
wonderful tour to different parts of USA and London for 32 days!
Now doctor is 73 years old and still going strong. His will power
and control on many aspects of life is still perplexing. He is
still practicing, at least in a leisurely manner. He is leading a
contended life with his highly supportive wife, my dearest mother,
Anasooya who stood behind him through thick and thin.
Let me personally thank Kishore and Barkuronline.com for providing
me an opportunity to write about my dearest Papa, Dr. N. C. Kalkur.
Due to paucity of time, I might have omitted many a facts as well
as some might have slipped my mind unfortunately. This request of
Kishore had come at a time, when we were all busy with my son
Sharath’s “Brahmopadesha Ceremony”. Had it been any other time, a
more detailed account could have been provided. I sincerely
apologize for any shortcomings or deficiencies in this write-up
and any possible omissions or commissions.
I thank everybody once again and wishing everybody all the best.
N. SATHISH KALKUR
12/1, Vanivilas Road, Lalbagh West Gate, BANGALORE, 560 004.
Barkuronline.com team wishes Dr. Kalkur many more years of retired
and relaxed life. May he continue his medical profession, and may
he be blessed for his sacrifices, especially for helping the poor
patients by charging very little or nothing, and for his services
to Barkur. We wish him and his family, health, wealth and