The doctors who use their ‘second pen’ with elan

Punathil Kunjabdulla and Khadeeja Mumthas may be the most well-known among wordsmiths in Kerala who equally excelled in medical practice, their chosen vocation. But, there are quite a few others too on the list.

The Kozhikode branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) is now forming a collective of doctors passionate about writing and literature. Titled ‘Second Pen’, they meet on the third Saturday every month to discuss the books penned by medical professionals.

“Doctors use their first pen to write medical prescriptions, and the second one to pursue their passion for literature. Thus the name,” said M. Muraleedharan, IMA State vice-president and one of the organisers.

Tryst with literature

There are many doctors in Kerala, who have numerous fiction and non-fiction books to their credit. Among them is P.K. Sukumaran from Thrissur, who has published around 60 books, Dr. Muraleedharan said. “Not many are aware of these facts. Actually when we started this collective, even we didn’t imagine that it would evoke such a positive response from our community,” he pointed out.

It turned out that there are doctors like Suneesh Krishnan and Sreerekha Panikker who had won prizes in the annual short story competition that used to be conducted by the Mathrubhumi weekly for their Vishu edition.

Sankar Mahadevan, IMA Kozhikode branch secretary, said that the idea of the collective to discuss literature was coined in December during their 90th anniversary celebrations.

WhatsApp group

A WhatsApp group was later created, which now has around 100 members from across the State. Dr. Muraleedharan said that they include K. Sugathan, author of a well-known book on Buddhism and the caste system, B. Ekbal, public health expert and a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Kerala, and K.A. Kumar.

The IMA has set up a lending library on the premises of its branch office. The collective now plans to bring out a trimonthly in Malayalam containing literary works of doctors. An English edition too is in the pipeline, Dr. Muraleedharan added.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2022 8:43:33 am |