Dr Dube, a young surgeon of 32 years was experiencing giddiness, unsteadiness and headache for nearly a month and a half. He was also experiencing double vision and had great difficulty in performing surgery. He vomitted early in the morning almost every day for two weeks. The history was progressive and he was getting worse by the day. As no neurological help was available in Patna then, he came to the J.J. Group of Hospitals in Bombay and consulted Dr Ginde, the Head of the Department of Neurosurgery.

Dr Dube was born and brought up in a humble home. His father served as a post master in a small town called Damoh in Madhya Pradesh. His father had spared no efforts in educating his son who had been a good student with an excellent academic record. He spent all his life's savings in giving him a proper medical education and seeing to it that his son did his post-graduation in general surgery. Dr Dube then got into government service and became medical officer of a small peripheral hospital. The father felt happy that the son had been settled well in life and pinned all his hopes on Dr Dube's bright future. He felt that all his efforts had borne fruit and that now, in his old age, he could relax, having fulfilled the dream of making his son a surgeon. By then Dr Dube had married a quiet young lady who had studied upto the seventh standard. They had a son aged 3 years and a daughter who was 15 months old.

Dr Dube was admitted to the J.J. Group of of Hospitals for further investigations like haemogram, urine examination, X-rays of the chest and skull, and ECG. No abnormality was noticed. A ventriculogram was performed where, to our dismay, we found that he had an intrinsic tumour of the brainstem that could not be operated upon. These tumours of the hindbrain grow where the vital centres for breathing and circulation lie and any effort to extirpate these infiltrating tumours could end either in death or severe morbidity. This was explained to Dr Dube's father who broke down totally and was shattered. His life's dream had ended in stark tragedy. The possibility of Dr Dube having a long and successful career, a happy family life etc. became remote. The father foresaw a further life of trials and tribulations as he would have to support a relatively uneducated daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. Dr Dube was given a course of cobalt therapy at the Tata Memorial Hospital. He did show some improvement following radiotherapy and was sent home after it was over. He joined duty after returning to Damoh and continued to work for four more months when the symptoms recurred. His condition rapidly deteriorated and he died within a month of the recurrence of the tumour. It was a great loss to the family as the task of supporting the family fell on Dr Dube's father. Dube Senior himself retired four months after his son's death and had to live on his pension. This further compounded his problem as he had hardly any financial reserves to fall back on.

I had been deeply moved by the plight of Dr Dube's father. Dr Dube's wife was a simple village girl incapable of earning a living. I, therefore, volunteered to help out the family. I sent a small sum to cover the educational expenses of the children. It was promptly acknowledged and this was the beginning of a long exchange of letters keeping me informed about the progress of the children as they grew up. I had the feeling of being a proxy father and felt proud of my association with the Dubes. Never once did the elder Dube ask for anything more than what was being sent to cover the educational expenses of the children.

One fine morning, I received the wonderful news from Mr Dube that the young boy had successfully passed the S.S.C. examination and was being admitted to a science college. He had secured a first class. The next year, the granddaughter got through her S.S.C. as well and procured admission to an Arts College. Four years later, came the final letter in which Mr Dube proudly informed me about the graduation of his grandson. He had his B.Sc degree with chemistry as his principal subject and secured a second class. The grand daughter was also doing well and hoped to graduate the next year. Mr Dube expressed his profound gratitude for the financial help he had received for almost 16 to 17 years and stated that the same may be discontinued as he expected the grandson to get a job and help him run the house. For me and my wife this was a matter of great joy.