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Hearts & Brains

A man of five `C's, Raghava Sarma's dedication to work touches everyone's heart, while the brainy Vijaya balances profession with family responsibilities, says RAMESH SUSARLA


MUTUAL ADMIRATION for their professional talents and personal accomplishments brought the doctor couple Polavarapu Raghava Sarma and Pamidimukkala Vijaya together to serve society with a unique dedication acknowledged by people from far and wide.

A chat session over a seven-course dinner in the spacious dining hall of their house attached to hospital complex was a refreshing experience. Breaking from the tradition to avoid inconvenience for emergency patients, the doctor couple chose to play hosts.

The couple, pure vegetarians by choice, makes it a point to be with their children, Anurag and Naren and share the feelings of their elders at the table making the night most relaxed and lively for all. The planning for the weekend begins with the first bite of a dosa or poori with Naren suggesting a visit to a theatre to watch the latest blockbuster. Even before Naren completes narration of a song that incorporates his favourite break dance, Dr. Sarma has to rush to attend to an emergency.

A rare blend

Compassionate, Cardiologist, Cricket, Caroms and Chess are the hallmarks of Dr. Raghava Sarma that make him one of the rare personalities in medical fraternity. Graduating from JIPMER, Pondicherry, Raghava Sarma's sporting career continued till recently when he played in the Institutional League Cricket at Guntur. As a bowler, he represented the university, Andhra Pradesh in caroms in 1976 at Mumbai and played at the junior nationals in Chess.

A frugal eater, raw banana curry is his favourite in a traditional south Indian meal. Vijaya hails from Guntur and does not experiment with dishes in the kitchen but ensures proper diet for the entire family. Batchmates at PGI Chandigarh, Vijaya was attracted to Dr. Sarma's procedural perfection in biopsies. Their decision to join in the wedlock was strongly opposed by their families from different castes.

Their house on the top floor of their Laitha Super Specialities Hospital is the venue for annual family reunion. Dr. Raghava believes in continuing the tradition started by his parents.

Topper all the way

A gold medallist from Guntur Medical College, Vijaya bagged second rank in her batch at the PGI Chandigarh in her Doctorate in Medicine (neurology), while Dr. Sarma topped the batch in DM (cardiology). Brought up by her aunt and uncle, who were educationists, she inherited their habit of book reading in the leisure. Ian Rand is her favourite author. She longs to be at the Vijayawada Book Festival but the call of the profession does not allow her such a luxury.

A family outing once a year is compulsory with the couple trying to coincide it with the annual meeting of the Cardiology Society of India. A couple of days at the meeting venue dovetailed by another week of sightseeing balances professional and family needs, feels Vijaya.

The Lalitha Hospital is one of the few in these parts of the State to take up pediatric heart surgeries and treatment on behalf of the State Government. Sarma believes in serving the needy first and got the habit of putting in hard work from his PGI days.

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