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Home > News & Events > The Hindu: Laughter is the best medicine, they say - 3/09/06

The Hindu: Laughter is the best medicine, they say - 3/09/06

Tamil Nadu - Chennai

R. Sujatha

The Madras Medical College batch of 1966 meets annually to recall the good times they had in college

CHENNAI: Some doctors take the maxim "laughter is the best medicine" literally.

The Madras Medical College's batch of 1966 meets annually to recall the antics of its members when they studied in the college.

"We started [the meeting] in the early 1990s after we lost a friend of ours," recalls M. Sukumaran, a pulmonologist at Downtown Hospital in New York. "Those in England meet more often than those settled in the U.S. because in the States people are scattered."

"[Since] 1997 we have been meeting in small batches. That year we met in New York and were part of the India parade led by Amitabh Bachchan," recollects Ravi Santosham, a pulmonologist in Chennai.

"Most of us who passed out from that batch left the country. [Now] we meet in exotic places." Two years ago they went on a cruise on the Nile in Egypt.

The class of 120 had nearly 50 women students. The fortnight-long reunion at Canadian Rockies followed by a cruise from Vancouver in Canada to Anchorage in Alaska a few weeks ago had only one woman student. The spouses, however, form an integral part of the meeting.

"We played a DVD of Vivek's jokes. I didn't know there was such a DVD," remembers Dr. Ravi.

"The only reason it all started was to bring out the fun times we had laughing. Nobody gets under anybody's skin," says Dr. Sukumaran, who is already planning the next excursion to be held in New England in the autumn of 2008.

"It is a cool thing for college students. Most of it is about laughter that keeps us going. It has lasted 40 years," the doctor says.
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