Dr. M. A. Ahmad Ali, a wizard of surgery

A boyhood friend remembers the wizard going down the memory lane

By Shafee Ahmed Ko., TwoCircles.net,

Dr. M. A. Ahmad Ali, a renowned gastroenterologist and proctologist of Chennai, has been honoured as Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) by the Tamil Nadu M.G.R. University.

Since I was associated with Dr. Ahmad Ali right from boyhood, I feel it privileged to remember his boyhood days.

Dr. Ahmed Ali and I were class mates right from Mazharul Uloom Elementary School, and Mazharul Uloom High School Ambur of then North Arcot Dist Tamil Nadu. Though he could not enjoy all the luxuries from his family as a boy, a thirst for knowledge was great in him. He had great photographic memory.

It was the Meelad celebration of our School and its date was approaching fast. Our Urdu Munshi made an assignment to few students, to get ready by memorizing ten pages of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) out of twenty pages from an Urdu book, at a given short period of days. On next day, Ahmad Ali came out in the class to recite all the 20 pages to our surprise and Urdu Munshi was so happy and he rewarded him with full of blessings and with a chalk piece. Ahmed Ali was genius in Mathematics but a dull boy in play grounds. He had multiple promotions in the school days.

During the school days he was a voracious reader. I remember he used to tell me that he could read 60 pages in Tamil, 50 pages in English, 40 pages in Urdu and 30 pages in Hindi all per hour. If he took a magazine, I remember he would read every part of it from A to Z.

He passed all the classes including Pre University in Islamia College, Vaniyambadi, in distinction and joined the prestigious Madras Medical College, Chennai.

He was nick named in Pre University class (PUC) as “Scoundralia PUC ka” as he could recite all the botanical and zoological terms from the flick of his memory such as “mimosa pudica”. In this period he was reading a book titled “Man, Microbe and Maladies”.

After a graduation in medical field, he was elevated from lecturer post to professor in surgery and he obtained doctoral honours such as M.S., M.Ch (Medical name, Magister Chirurgiae or the English form of Master of Surgery.) PhDs as gastroenterologist and proctologist and now the Doctoral honour as D.Sc.

He was the only son to his parents. Very obedient son was he that he had obtained a job in Albany Hospital New York, and gave up the idea of joining it just because his mother never wished her son to be far away.

It so happened in one of the surgical patients who underwent surgery with a senior surgeon in Chennai. But the lump detected in the abdominal cavity of the patient stayed as such intact even after three openings. The patient remained in the hospital helpless. As an ultimatum Dr. Ahmed Ali was approached. First Dr. Ahmed Ali took permission from the senior surgeon and conducted surgery in the presence of his senior. The lump was removed within hours. His respect to his senior was remarkable. There are numerous cases so complicated which went so easy in the deft hands of Dr. Ali. Masha Allah, he is so skilled in the surgery, he makes a professional cuts on the human body as if an artist plays with his brush. Such complicated cases are under record as rare cases in professional authorities.

One of his students Dr. Hari Mohan writes as follows, “One never missed an occasion to be in the theatre when he operated as his skills were superb and a delight to watch, cracking jokes he would go about the most complicated ones with practised ease”

Professor Dr. Ahmed Ali remains a devoted Muslim, follows all the principles of Islam in devotion to Allah. His philanthropic approach is appreciable. He has brought laurels to the town of Ambur and many more should be inspired by him.