Dr. Syed Abdul Mannan(1916-2009)
Dr. Mannan is the first cousin of my mother. In fact, after my grandmother passed away uncle Mannan’s mother raised my mother and uncle Mannan treated her like his younger sister. Because of the closeness, he had a great impression on me and became a major source of my inspiration.
Dr. Mannan was born in Hyderabad in May 1916. His grandfather Dr. Wali Mohammed, was a surgeon and was the classmate of thr royal physician Arastu Yar Jung. He had a great influence on him to become a physician.
He provided medical services to thousands of patients but his contribution to the society was far beyond the medical services. One has to write an entire book to describe some of the contributions he made as a physician, a scholar, a humanitarian and a philanthropist. It is even harder to enumerate the organizations he chaired. He combined the Islamic Cultural Patterns and Modern, Advanced, Technical and Aesthetic aspects of Medicine.
He completed high school from Daru-Shifa high school and City College (my mother insisted that I needed to attend the same school and college). After finishing medical school in 1937 he proceeded to England for higher degrees but had to return due to the war. He subsequently went to England and finished his post-graduate studies in 1952. He was a military surgeon and later became the personal physician to the Nizam of Hyderabad and his family. He followed his teacher Dr. Bankat Chandra to set an example. He was dean of the faculty of medicine at Osmania University and he was also the member of medical council of India . He also served as an acting vice chancellor of Osmania University for a short period.
The last time I was with Dr. Sahib was in February 2008. During my stay in Hyderabad, I met Dr. Sahib every day and had wonderful time talking about old times and his life experiences. He had a terrific sense of humor and was mentally very alert. His memory was sharp and remembered a lot about Hyderabad and about many prominent Hyderabadis. During his last years of life, he used to see poor patients free at his residence.
About three weeks ago, before he passed away in July 2009, he sent me a book “دے مجھ کو زبان اور”, in which he has written in the preface as the president of “انجمن ترّققی اردو, حیدرآباد”. He instructed me to read the book and follow, in fact I have finished the book within a week and it was a fascinating book. I will keep this and it will remain the last memento of uncle Mannan.
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