|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 467
Inspired by Prof Ashok Panagaria, 'Man in Merc'
Vinay Goyal1, Chanchal Goyal2
1 Department of Neurology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Scientist E, ICMR, New Delhi, India
|Date of Submission||04-Sep-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||04-Sep-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||20-Sep-2021|
Director Neurology, Room No 6, Neurosciences Institute, Medanta The Medicity, Gurugram, Haryana
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Goyal V, Goyal C. Inspired by Prof Ashok Panagaria, 'Man in Merc'. Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2021;24:467
My Saadar Pranam to my mentor.
I am one, among many, who feels inspired by Prof Ashok Panagaria, the first neurologist from Rajasthan. His charisma, knowledge, wisdom, and approach to life would capsize any one immediately.
His saintly life was exemplary. His yogic lifestyle included morning yoga and meditation, afternoon siesta, finishing the day's work by evening, and sparing time for family, friends, admirers, and students.
His thirst for teaching was evident whenever I met him. For IAN Summer School 2012 at AIIMS (brainchild of Prof Panagaria), after many brainstorming sessions, he selected best of the teachers from the entire country. I must mention here that everyone, whomsoever was invited to be guest faculty in summer school, happily spared time to teach and many overstayed just for sharing knowledge as much as they could. During summer school, he asked me to arrange a blackboard (though it was whiteboard with coloured pens), so he could teach in a traditional way and we all enjoyed his class on neurogenic bladder.
He inherited charity from his ancestors. His foundation 'DISHA' was involved in several areas of social work.
His gigantic clinical practice was also a model worth teaching at any management school. He believed in cross-subsidy, benefiting those in need. I also learned that many earned their livelihoods by putting up food stalls outside his clinic. These food stalls would start as early as 4 AM for patients waiting for their turn to visit his clinic for consultation. Once he mentioned that, if the clinic was closed for some reason, then he ensured that the stall owners were provided help by his team.
He always loved to be with his students and admirers. Many times, when I visited Jaipur, I was invited for lunch at Rambagh Palace and these memories will always remain with me. Once I got a call in morning informing that he was visiting Delhi. He offered me to join him for breakfast at the Taj Palace Hotel, again a beautiful moment to cherish forever. List of such treats is endless.
He always asked about the family, guided about their future and was always quite concerned.
He was an Ice cream lover and on many occasions, he would have only ice cream for his dinner.
He was always decked up like a true professor. He would be seen in a coat, Lacoste bold coloured T-shirts and Ray Ban black glasses.
His love for Rajasthan was very evident. He loved all students from Rajasthan, wherever they were on the globe. He was felicitated by Rajasthani students in the USA. He always mentioned that when his students touched his feet, he felt like a true teacher and had a very proud feeling.
Dr. Bhawana Sharma and Dr Surekha, who were his star students need to be mentioned here. They were not only his cherished students but also very close family members.
I cannot finish here without mentioning his avid interest in astrology. He was invited to deliver guest lectures at Astrology conferences and present his research work which also included astrological aspects in prognosis of clinical cases.
I frequently took his advice for guidance in life. His one prediction was that I would leave AIIMS and join private setup in January 2020, which according to his astronomical calculation was right time to do so. His blessings came true.
I received a copy of book written by him 'Man in Merc', thanks to his son Mr Arihant Panagaria. This book is like his biography with lots of real-life incidences, highlighting lessons learned from them to nurture the future.
He had passion for writing on various aspects beyond medicine like philosophy, health system, health education, etc. He always motivated me to develop writing skills in subjects beyond medicine.
His skill of relationship building was another talent. He was quick in making friends and life-long relationships, which helped him in communication with leaders from different walks of life and he used this for welfare of society and developing various health programs at local and national levels.
I can go on and on for pages about his marvellous persona and still I know it will not be enough.
I wish his family good luck.