Wednesday, 18 January 2017


Dr. P.C. Dandiya obtained Ph. D. degree from University of Toronto, after having B. Pharm and M. Pharm degrees from Banaras Hindu University. He started his teaching career at S. M. S. Medical College, Jaipur, where he became a full Professor (and later) Head of the Department of Pharmacology at the age of 35 and trained scores of M.D.’s and 19 Ph. D.’s in Pharmacology. For his researches in Psycho-neuro-pharmacology, he received numerous awards from Medical Council of India and Indian Council of Medical Research and was elected the Fellow of the Indian Academy of Medical Sciences, a rare honour for a non-medical person. He has been the President of Pharmacy Council of India, Indian Pharmacology Society and Indian Pharmaceutical Congress and Pro-Vice Chancellor and even Vice-Chancellor for some time, of Banaras Hindu University. Professor Dandiya has worked in many countries and has been a Visiting Professor at the Universities of London, Houston, Hawaii and Copenhagen. He has also extensively given lectures at a number of Chinese Universities, as a Guest Professor of Nanjing University. His students and associates, spread all over the globe, whom he has immensely endeared, have floated an Endowment Trust, which holds an Oration in his honour every year, besides promoting research activities in Pharmacy & Pharmacology. He has written many books, his Family Medicine Book has sold 5 lakh copies in 10 editions, and amongst them is a beautifully written, highly interesting autobiography, that can be seen at most book shops in the country. Presently, he is a Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology at SMS Medical College, Jaipur, where he has completed 68 years of teaching the Medical Students, and now he is teaching the grand children of those whom he taught more than 50 years back. He is also a WHO consultant on Rational use of Drugs. He is Patron, BHU Alumni Association, Jaipur.

We have observed that Dr. P C Dandiya delivers lectures to Medical students in SMS Medical College, Jaipur & also in other Universities, Institutes and functions. He writes books periodically and gets them published and released in appropriate functions. He travels a lot by air, train & road. He travels abroad twice a year every year, to several countries and delivers lectures in Universities there, besides other normal work. He responds fast, to e mails and also other matters and takes quick & right decisions. All these activities, besides the normal daily routine work, definitely require high degree of physical fitness and mental alertness. The year 2016 having ended and the year 2017 having just started, first of all, we requested Dr. P C Dandiya to sum up what happened in the bygone year in his life. He responded as follows:
              As usual, I made my six weeks summer trip to Florida and during that period, I gave a talk on “Man, Mind and Longevity” at the Medical Faculty of Emory University in Atlanta, on the invitation of Dr. Lucky Jain, Chairman of the Department of Pediatric Medicine. I gave a similar talk to the physicians of Indian origin at Fort Lauderdale.  On the same trip, I made a visit to Washington, DC. 
This year I completed 90 years in this world and my family and friends made it an occasion. Several others came from various parts of the country & abroad, including Rohit and Babli who came from USA. Dr. Vinod Kalaniji, Dr. Manoj Tripathi, Dr. Jawahar Bapna, Dr. S.K. Kulkarni, Dr. Gurudas Khilnani, Nirmal Gurbani and Jassuji made it a great occasion. Dr. G.N. Singh, Drugs Controller General of India gave the 25th PCD Oration and Dr. B. Suresh, the President of Pharmacology Council of India presided.  We had a good two day Halla Gulla. Certainly, I started feeling that I should really pretend to look like an old Foggy.
For many years, I had been thinking of writing a book on the Pharmacologists’ and in the month of March 2016, I, with my two colleagues, Dr. S.K. Kulkarni of Chandigarh and Dr. Gurudas Khilnani from Bhuj, started working on a new book “The Pharmacologists of India: Their Contribution”. This book was finally published by Vallabh Prakashan, Delhi and released on November 18th 2016, at a glittering ceremony held at Delhi Pharmaceutical Science and Research University and it brought about a great satisfaction to me. In this process, I got reconnected to more than forty pharmacologists of India, who have contributed in it.
This year the Indian Pharmaceutical Congress was hosted by Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam and it was a great success. They asked me to give a plenary lecture on “The Evolution of Pharmacology in India: The last 70 years”. It allowed me to recollect my academic life and access the rise, fall and reversal of the discipline of pharmacology.
This year Mahamna Malviya Mission of India celebrated the existence of Banaras Hindu University, which completed 100 years. Since I feel emotionally attached to the University and Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, I felt extraordinarily happy in being an integral part of it.
The SMS Medical College, where I have spent 68 years, celebrated its existence of seven Decades,  in a two day grand celebration, with The Governor of Rajasthan presiding. The word “Distinguished” was added to my emeritus status in the college. This they had not done for any other teacher ever, in 70 years of its existence. Dr. Lucky Jain and Dr. Jagat Narula were also present besides other luminaries.
Dear Girija as usual visited me from Las Vegas & brought lots of cheer to me & my family in Jaipur. My granddaughters, Pia and Sonia continue working at New York and Kichu continues to be with me and doing her cosmetic Jewellery with success. Overall, I feel I had a wonderful 2016, and am now looking forward to the next one, where I might have a greater interaction with friends like you. Dr. M.R. Jain, Mr. Kewal Khanna, Dr. Parmanand Bhargava, Dr. S.K. Sharma and Dr. S.K. Dasgupta continue to invite me for dinners, almost on weekly basis.
            Thereafter, with a view to get a feedback from him on matters connected with health, we arranged an interview and put some searching questions on the topic "Health, Diet and Medicines", to which he has given candid replies and provided information in a creative/purposeful manner for the benefit of everybody. Here go the questions and the answers:

Q  Most of us do have firm belief in the saying Health is Wealth? How do rate the status of your own health at present?
                 Health awareness has increased considerably in the last 15 years but not everyone is doing enough to stay healthy and undo the natural decline due to aging. I am fully fit and healthy enough, in spite of my age.
Q  What are your “Mantras” for maintaining physical fitness of a high order, from the point of view of exercise, yoga and rest etc.?
          I know of no “Mantras” for physical fitness but I must say that physical exercise is very important and yoga which is practised by many, is not enough, unless accompanied by structured, punctilious and meticulous exercise.
Q   How do you keep away from fatigue in your trips abroad twice a year?
          When I travel in India or to abroad I travel in the best possible mode of transport available and my keen desire to see my own people in other countries takes away my fatigue (that really does not occur). On my way back, I am so keen to see my own people here like you, almost instantaneously and it is so enjoyable that the fatigue has no chance to enter me.
Q  What are the factors due to which you are able to maintain good mental alertness?
          Mental alertness is directly related to “positive thinking”. If you think positively about events and about friends and colleagues, alertness comes automatically in you, you don’t have to work for it. Yoga freshens us and increases mental and physical alertness. The company of a friend of the opposite sex or a spouse enhances it.
Q   Kindly narrate briefly, your daily routine at home, right from getting up in the mornings, up to going for sleep in the night.
          I wake up automatically at about 5 am, do yoga for about 45 minutes and then drive myself to my walk of 40 minutes followed by tea, newspapers and telephone with my “choicest people”. I go to work in my office at the SMS Medical College, Jaipur around 10:30 am returning at 1:30 pm. After lunch I sleep for an hour and then go into my study i.e. my workshop where I work until 7 pm and then go for a swim/walk for 40 minutes. I eat my dinner around four times in a week with friends at their or my own residence. Rest of the three days, I spend quietly at home and watch the TV/read classic books of choicest authors and obtain them from the “Crossword” where I am a regular visitor. Some of the classics written by Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Nirad Chaudhuri, Leo Tolstoy, E.M. Foster, Emily Bronte (although she wrote only one book in her life “Wuthering Heights” in 1847), Premchand, I read and read again after a gaps of 20, 30 or even 40 years. Amongst contemporary writers I read Salman Rushdie, William Dalrymple and Gurcharan Das and Shashi Tharoor (a former class fellow of my son, Bikram)
Q   What are the motivating factors due to which you are engaged in multifarious activities all these years and now?
          To begin with my exposure to the Banaras Hindu University where Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya and Sir S. Radhakrishnan, who were guiding our destiny, influenced me immensely and changed me completely. I started aspiring for doing bigger things for the country. Subsequently, my stay at the University of Toronto for three years was responsible for motivating me to excel in the subject I was specializing at that moment. I was lucky that I worked there with Prof. H. Columbine who was very learned and loved his students immensely. My wife, Chandrakanta was also responsible for keeping my targets high.
Q   What is your advice to those above 60 years of age, in health matters?
          It is a very good question you have asked me. Actually, one should start taking care of his/her health sooner than at 60, but even 60 is not too late. At sixty, most people retire from active life which is not right. This is the time to make new projects, new ambitions and work harder and enjoy the fruits of hard work. Greater sociability, financial stability, pleasant environment, a spouse with a positive mind, friends who care for you are important at this stage in life. In case of man, a female company is a must. Most people miss here. At sixty, one must have a project to do and people who work for the benefit of others, and for other causes, do extraordinarily well, health-wise.
Q   How would you like to guide the young students in matters of their health in future?
          Games are a must which help to make mind healthy besides good physique. At this age, you enjoy life much more if you have done hard work during work time. Any enjoyment without hard work is ruinous. Work, work and then enjoy. This enjoyment helps you to grow and grow fast.
Q   It is said that food has a great effect on health of a person. What are your views on this point? Generally, what are the items of food on your dining table, at breakfast, lunch and dinner?
          Interestingly at my age, I look forward to each of my three meals and very much so. For breakfast, I eat at least two seasonal fruits, an egg/germinated moath. For lunch, rice, dal, vegetable, sugared dahi and a fruit. Dinner is generally rich with chapati (wheat, barley, bazra) with Rajasthani dishes followed by a sweet in good quantity i.e. minimum 125 gms (mishri mawa/barfi/halwa) all season wise.
Q   What is your opinion on use of alcoholic beverages?
          In moderate quantities and only off and on, a drink does no harm. It can be positively useful for health, if taken in delightful and enchanting company and in a pleasant environment.
Q   How have you been able to control “anger” in life?
          I don’t remember having shown any anger anytime except when I was very young. I learnt from others that noble people don’t get angry. Those who are often angry loose much in life & gain nothing. One gets angry when one finds faults in others, I don’t find faults in others. Everybody makes mistakes, why not your own people/friends/relatives/students & children.
Q   It is said that mind and body are related. What are your views on this statement?
          Yes, mind and body are related and our mind has a considerable control on our body. Those with the positive mind are healthier and suffer less from diseases. Deepak Chopra of India is an International authority on the subject and people are advised to read his books.
Q   How have you been able to maintain a high level of memory?
          Memory is related to your love for the matter. The people you love, you remember everything about them. The same thing is about places, those you are impressed with, you don’t forget them or about them.
Q   Most of the medicines are said to have side effects. How has been your personal experience and that of other persons known to you, about use of allopathic medicines in times of ill health?
          Actually, there is no medicine which does not have a side effect. Some have more, others have very few. The more potent the medicine, the more side effects it causes. Medicines should always be taken in the right dose at the right time and one has to be very careful about taking them empty stomach/after food. Many people don’t observe these meticulously and suffer from unnecessary harm. Before leaving the place of the doctor/health personnel, one should fully understand the methodology and the precautions to be taken.
Q   What are your views about the Ayurveda system of medicines? Have you made use of such medicines personally and/or recommended to persons known to you? If yes, what has been the general experience?
          India is very rich in herbal medicines, which have been tested and used for centuries. These have been employed for the benefit of human beings for a long time. Ayurvedic medicines are mostly herbal but it does not mean that they are very safe. Some of these are very useful in gastro-intestinal ailments and also in maintaining a balance state of mind. Unfortunately, these may not be so useful in very in-depth diseases, especially those due to microbes. The so-called Ayurvedic tonics advertised so well and recommended by some, are of no use at all. These have only as much effect as a placebo.
Q   Summarizing, what broad message would you like to give to our readers/viewers, about matters of health, diet and medicines?
          Ordinarily if parents take interest in the development of their children, these off springs do well in life. The old proverb “early to bed, early to rise” is very true. Positivity of mind is the biggest single feature which helps one in life.
            There is something I would like to add here that one should develop a habit of giving more and more to others family/friends/students/colleagues. Those whom you give, may not be able to ever return and give you back, but these weaker people do send vibrations to you, not necessary directly, which improve our life and our confidence, to do more and more in life. Most of our people fail to take advantage of this easy attribute of life.

1 comment:

DR M.R JAIN said...

It is wonderful interview and every thing stated is ideally true. Dr Dandiya has an art to have very balanced and write...educate others..very regular in walk and exercise...socialize..has ample of friends...hospitable and above all a strong POSITIVE THINKER.
He is a rare person who has a dignified place for romance in his life which is extremely rare at this age.
Healthy mind and healthy body has strong association and his all efforts are to maintain both extremely very well.
The teaching of Early to Bed and Early to rise can not be imposed on young generation. Very correctly said...A life without enjoyment is a wasted life