We have always called him 'Subbanna' as far as my memory takes back to his days of Devaparthiva Road. Around the late 1960s, Subbanna had joined MBBS and used to live in a small out-house next to writer [Smt.] "Vani"s. He used to join the group of boys of the road in various games, occasionally. I remember the days when the portion of the premises of his house was dug up for basement for a new house and we used to hide in those trenches during the game of "I spy you". After the house was constructed there, their family had to vacate. So they went to another house in the neighbourhood.
Later, he passed MBBS. Dr.S.V. Subramanya, our beloved Subbanna, made a humble beginning by opening a clinic in a very small room close to Krishna Bakery on the opposite side of the Chamaraja Double Road, in D.Subbaiah Road. I remember visiting his clinic for informal chats, on my return home from college, as there were hardly any patients. As time went by and his patience perserved, patients began to arrive. Not that sickness increased, but because they had felt that a reliable doctor was available for service. And service he did, much to relieve the agonies of hundreds of ailing people. In a couple of years or so, that small rented room became 'too small'. So he moved over to another place, just opposite to this. Here he established himself into what he was and what he became. People had noticed his "kai guNa" and all the qualities that a genuine doctor had to possess. A genuine human being, most importantly. His great popularity was because of these, and another most conspicuous one. Guess what? It was his lack of greed for money! And a great dislike for 'swindling'. There are a few of this ilk even now, but as hard to find as a pin in a haystack.
Having good rapport and a long aquaintance, I used to tease him to walk briskly when we used to cross over during our separate walks and he used to give a serious smile! Patients would be still entering his clinic at even 10 p.m. in spite of his telling them to come early. Many times, he said it was up to 11 p.m. May be that such a tight work load took its toll I don't know. And he was in such a plight where he could not send back the patients either. He told this to me once during one of my visits as patient, which I was to him for a number of years. In fact, our family called on our Subbanna often at his home and he never frowned. And he never turned down a request to visit home to see the patient either. Before his emergence, it was to "Liver House" - a house of doctors - where we turned to for health matters [There were Drs. K.Rama Sastry, Eswer and Shivaram in the Liver House - that becomes another story].
He had reasonably recovered from a serious illnesss a couple of years back, but we are all saddened by his untimely death on November 25, 2007. One of my friends visiting recently, it appears that Subbanna mentioned jokingly from his hospital bed, "I was inquiring your health earlier and now you are inquiring mine!"
Hundreds of his patients have now to find another doctor. Find they would, easily as there are so many, but they would not be too lucky to find one as good and as humane as he was. His death will be a great loss to all of them, not to speak of his family. He was a true Family Physician in every sense. I modified the Physician's Prayer to make it suit today's situation but Subbanna deserved only to pray the original. Because he was genuine!!
My tribubes to Subbanna. May his soul rest in peace.
[An American $1 Bill he gave me 25 years back - at his Gita Road residence - to encourage my interest in the hobby of numismatics will be cherished for long.]