In September 1930, I was appointed Honorary Surgeon of the J.J. Hospital and teacher at the Grant Medical College at Bombay. There were six units and mine was the sixth. My chief was the late Dr Moolgavkar. On the very first day when I went to take charge, I met Col. Vajifdar who said: "Shanti, you take the wards of Dr Parmar who is on leave. You are an old hand."

I went to the Out-Patients Department and told the Registrar that he would work with me till Dr Parmar returned. At the Ear, Nose and Throat department, there was a reference with the diagnosis of acute mastoid abscess. In those days, the ENT Department had no beds and all surgery had to be done by the general surgeon.

We admitted the patient as an emergency case and sent a message to the operation theatre to get it ready. At 1 p.m. I went to the theatre. Dr Moolgavkar, who was in the second theatre, had come to know that I was to do a fairly major operation and stayed back just in case any help was needed.

I opened the mastoid from the top, entered the cranial cavity and drained out the abscess. Dr Moolgavkar, congratulated me on my technique.