My endeavor of expressing words of gratitude for the Late Dr. P. J. Shah who was born in 1936 may perhaps look like to be deficient while piecing this eulogy. I am afraid of failing to justify properly the medical services as a competent Physician rendered by Dr. Shah for the last 45 years to this village of Kanodar and surrounding villages as well as far wide distant areas. He offered his services of initial 15 years to the local Trust Hospital known as Shermohmadkhan Dispensary and the rest as a Private Practitioner.
On January 12, 2009, Dr. Shah died at Mohankheda, near Ujjain (M.P.) when he was on a pilgrimage tour to various Jain temples of India. During his life time, he had never been out of his dispensary for more than a week as he was devoted to his duty and ‘work is worship’ was his motto. Here, we can see the miracle of God in Dr. Shah’s last day of his life that a man who had no time of performing any religious services had died in his worshiping garments in the innermost part of the temple of Adishwarnath while worshiping. He was attacked by misfortunate fatal heart stroke and was no more.
The news of the demise of Dr. Shah spread like lightning throughout the area and within no time thousands of his patients and admirers gathered at his residence-cum-dispensary here at Kanodar. Patan (N.G.) was his land of birth, but Kanodar was the land of his actions. In brief to say, he was a surpassing native of Kanodar and was proud of identifying himself as Kanodari (Resident of Kanodar). His funeral service was held on the next day at Patan and a large number of people from his field of actions here had rushed forward there to attend the service to bid him last farewell with tears in eyes, sobbing and heart-burst crying. The people mourned his death as deeply as though they would have lost a family member or a close friend.
Dr. Shah’s life as a physician was a live example of ethics in the field of medicines as he had acted according to the words of Hippocratic medical oath traditionally taken by doctors at their graduations. He listened to the patients calmly and sometimes told them in humor that they are alive before him and that is why there is the hope that he could do something better for them. A week has passed to his demise and the people truly realize how important figure he was for the village. My readers will pardon me if I quote a notable saying though it is not proper while I am on my tragic narration as “A frog’s length can be measured rightly when it is dead.” In case of Dr. Shah also, it can be said that he was a far great personality on the merit of humanity and now he is valued high when he is no more with us.
He was a committed man to his profession and one of outstanding Clinicians whose pioneering treatments were based on independent thinking and rare wisdom. He had developed some specialty treatment by mixing some injections to make the children free from soil-eating habit. In some diseases like diarrhea and tetanus, he could cure the patients with his result-oriented specialty pattern just as a miracle by proving to be false the survival and fatal ratios as per medical researches.
In his memorial service On 16th of January, countless visitors had been here on the doorstep of his Kanodar home to pay respect and express feelings of gratitude for the services he had offered with no any monetary greed but only for the cause of humanity. He was never hungry of money and that is why a great number of poor patients admired him as their messiah. He had attended the millions of patients during his medical career spread over 50 years and if anybody would have recommended, his name would have got its place in Guinness Book of World Records. Precisely speaking, the words may turn to be lame to praise genuinely his professional talent, round the clock services and humanity approach with the patients and their care-takers.
Nearing to conclude this post of tribute to Dr. P. J. Shah, I would like to quote Dr. Gabriel Smilkstein who liked to be called as Gabe had once said, “One of my colleagues asked if I was lying in the emergency room critically ill, would I prefer a doctor with technical excellence, or one who was compassionate and caring? I replied neither. Why should a patient need to choose? A competent Physician must be both.” This quote was fully applicable to Dr. Shah as he was fully skilled in his profession and also the most compassionate and care taking.
While summing up, let us pray the Almighty God to grant the Late’s soul, with His infinite mercy, a superior place and eternal peace in heaven and may He also fortify the courage of the families of all seven brothers and one sister, his five daughters and two sons, his wife Hemlataben as well as all his patients and well-wishers to bear the great loss that his demise has caused to them.
Hope the Late’s both sons Dr. Himanshu and Dr. Gaurang, qualified with abroad graduations and well trained under him will continue their father’s mission of humanity, serving the sick with same spirit and ethics in the same dispensary here.
Dr. P. J. Shah’s long and distinguished career will be remembered all the times and he will sorely be missed for ever.
With warm regards,
– Valibhai Musa