You are requested to attend condolence meeting of Dr. Saral Kumar Basu Roy on 30.09.2019 at WBOA office at 1.00pm.
The yearwas 1981.Having got admission to M.S.Orthopaedics, we found that we were not eligible for further House Staffship in a Government Hospital.
Where will we go now?
Prof.Sisir Kumar Samanta, the Head of the Department of Orthopaedics in Medical College, had a solution. He told me and Dilip Sengupta to seek housestaffship in Eastern Railway Orthopaedic Hospital in Howrah with Dr.M.S. Ghosh. After a brief interview we were selected. Dr.Kunal Sengupta joined us also, as did Dr.JagannathBhattacharya,and later Dr.Saroj Kar.We found that Dr.AbhijitSarbadhikari and DrSibajiChoudhiry were already there with Dr.Jyotirmoy Biswas and Dr.Aloy Jyoti Kundu. We were all post graduate students And that was our association between ourselves and with Howrah Haddy,as we termed the Institution then,which still continues today.
The first person we met there was Dr.S.K.Basu Ray. He was in charge of MS4, the premier Orthopaedic ward. A wiry person, with occasionally clasped hands, bespectacled and bright, intelligent eyes, he was the bridge between us and Dr.M.S.Ghosh. Extremely well read,he would find us a good bouncing board and there were vigorous exchanges in the wards, Out Patient Departments ,Operation Theatres and during ward Rounds.We learnt a lot from him.
The Grand rounds were led by CHSDr.Ghosh and consisted of all the above and the dressers, nurses, making it a team of about a dozen persons.
Dr.Basu Ray was a year senior than Dr.Ghosh, but we never knew of it till much later, such were their relationship.Occasionally we were joined by our dear friend, the Medical Officer Dr.Ajoy Mukherjeewho became a Professor of Orthopaedics at National Medical college and SSKM hospitaland died at SSKM hospital a few years back.
The AO principles were making their grand entry and the buzz was of Tension band principles, eccentric screw holes in plates and Compression forces. Kunalda and Ajoyda had a thesis on them.All our preliminary knowledge of AO were tested by Dr.Basu Ray. We would discuss the operations with him, before approaching Dr.Ghosh.
The first Arthroscopy instrument came to Howrah in 1981, and I assisted Dr. Ghosh in the first 50 cases. Though I did not pursue this branch later,I remember a fascinating interaction with Dr.Basu Ray. I was not a big believer in it then, but he and Dr.Ghosh were firmly convinced that that was where the future lay. How right they were.
Remember in those days there were no good monitors and what you saw through the camera with your eyes were all that was available.
When I heard belatedly,that Dr.Basu Ray was no more, all the memories of one of the best periods in my life came flooding back.Those were the days when the stellar practitioners came to Howrah. Dr.Willineger and Dr.Weber, the fathers of AO,came, as did Dr. Mohandas. i remember Dr.L.Prakash in his young days asking us as to what was the taxi fare from Howrah to New Market(!!) andDr Anant Joshi demonstrating Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy etc.And we used to discuss with Dr.BasuRay all the new things we had seen.
Dr.Saral Kumar Basu Ray was born on 22/7/1932 and passed out from Medical College Calcutta in 1956. He did his Post Graduation in Orthopaedics under Dr.B.Mukhopadhyaya in Patna in 1968.
He joined Howrah Orthopaedics in 1970 and retired in 1989. He continued his practice till 2012 ,when he reached 80 years of age.He was suffering for quite some time before he breathed his last on 28/08.19.
With only Dr.M.S.Ghosh surviving from those days, that Golden era of Orthopedics at Howrah is drawing towards an inevitable end. Though the replacements like Chandan, Subroto, Anjan, Aniruddha are holding the flag high.
Dr.SaralBasu Ray leaves behind his wife,Madam Dipa,and his two outstanding sons Santanu who is a well knownOrthopaedic surgeon and Heading the Orthopaedic department at South Eastern Railway Central Hospital at Garden Reach and Subroto who is a Professor in Anatomy at AIIMS Delhi, and their families.
He was associated with us in those memorable days and we will remember that with a lot of pleasure and satisfaction till we are alive. They were the surgeons who in their quiet, unassuming ways spread the message of orthopedic science to the developing young minds and expanded the boundaries of this wonderful profession.
May his soul rest in eternal peace. Our deepest condolences go out to his family in this time of bereavement .
Dr. Indrajit Sardar