Strange but True

(Reference a letter to Lancet i , 35, 1875) Unusual method of Conception


“A real son of a gun”

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On the 12th May 1863, a bullet fired in the American civil war by the confiderates is said to have hit and carried away the left testis of of one of Grant’s soldiers.

The same bullet went on to penetrate the left side of a young woman who was ministering to the wounds of the injured soldiers.

Two hundred and seventy eight days later, while she, firmly insisting on her virginity, gave birth to an 8 lb (3.6 kg) boy. (a son of a gun!)

On close inspection before the delivery the hymen was intact.

Three weeks later , Dr L G Capers of Vicksberg, was called to see the boy because of a swelling of his scrotum.

He operated and removed a smased and battered ‘minieball’. He concluded that this was the same bullet that had hit the testis of the ‘father’ , thus carrying sperm to the mother and fertilizing her ovum. He approached the soldier and related the story, later introducing him to his son’s mother.

The beauty of the story is the two formed an attachment to each other and married, later producing three more siblings to ‘the son of a gun’ by conventional means.

This is not a yarn from me though I am a retired Obstetrician But quoting Records and Curiosities in Obstetrics and Gynaecology by Fergusson, Taylor and Watson, Publised by Bailliere Tindall, 35 Red Lion Square, London WC 1 R 4 SG


Good or Bad one does, may Come Back

Good or bad

What we do to others,

Sooner or later

We get the same back


There once was a farmer

Who sold butter to a baker

The baker felt his butter

Was gradually getting smaller
So one day he decided to weigh the butter

Suspecting there was foul play

When he realised he was short chained

To village head, the farmer was reported


The farmer was asked to explain the short fall

He said, sire, I am not educated but a simple man

I have a scale to weigh, but do not know to use weights

But I am sure, I have not done any wrong, to be a culprit


Long before I started to make butter

I have been buying bread from the farmer

Since daily he sells me a pound of bread

I used that loaf to weigh a pound butter


So the village head to test this tale

Asked the baker to produce the loaf of bread

Though bread weighed less than a pound

The weights of butter and bread were the same


“The Danger of Anger” – Ariya

He abused me, he beat me
He robbed me he defeated me
In whom who harbours such thoughts,
Hatred will flourish and not cease
(The Buddha)

Darkness cannot be dispelled
By darkness but by brightness
Hatred not be overcome by hatred
But by loving kindness

Nocturnal creatures do not see things in day light
The diurnals mostly do become blind in the night
Human beings driven to heights of hatred
Both day and night become senseless and blind

Whom or what do we battle with, when we are angry
It is with ourselves we fight and become our own enemy
Similar to greed, it degrades our mind to make it bawdy
Fuelled by emotion, shamelessly then behaves like a rowdy

The one who is angry thinks he has won respect
Instilling fear is not victory but a fool’s conduct
Everyone who loses temper has much more to lose
None wins by rudeness of speech or loudness of voice

Face will be ugly despite well-groomed and dressed
Will lie in pain, even on a comfortable soft couch
His thought process would be tangled and confused
Causes much self-harm, not recognising bad from good

Actions and words would be impolite and reckless
Will destroy his reputation, harms himself and others
Well-meaning friends and relatives will avoid him like the plague
Will be demoted to the alcoholics and the bad companions’ league

Good is restrain in deeds,
Good is restrain in speech,
Good is restrain in thoughts,
The one who practices restrain
Would be freed of anger and sorrow

‘Ariya thoughts’173

My Real Home is my Mind


Here lies my beautiful home
My right to be here and to be on my own
No one can doubt, query or challenge
But why do I hoard calling everything mine?

The six windows in my home
Continually active, incessantly inform
Of outside world, comings and goings
Why the desire to hoard everything as of my own

What I call, ‘Eyes’ are windows to outside
‘Ears’ bring me noise but I hoard every little sound
‘Nose’ and ‘Tongue’ smell and taste freshness or foul
Touch I feel softness of a flower or sharpness of a thorn
Should not let senses fool, as none of this is for real

Butterflies do come through
Just to check that I’m not yet through
Bees work hard, rain or shine
To store honey for their kind to dine
How cruel it is, that I take all those as mine

Flowers in rainbow colours
Smile day after day just to cheer me
On the tree tops, branches and twigs
From the centre all round to the sea
In everything I see, hear, smell, taste and touch
How dare I have
Put as their owner, my name
Am I the lord of all What my senses grasp?

O solitude your immense charm
Better than angelic songs; not a dream
I am the lord of the fowl and brute
I start and end the day with sound of my own

The beasts that roam over the plain
I know are searching for me in vein
They are unacquainted and are mean
But I am smarter, I am a human being

Society friendship and Love
Divinely bestowed upon man
Willingly I left all that mess
Just being myself, in my bliss

Have no sorrow, depression can assuage
By knowing that birds here sing only for me
The droplets of rain make a pretty rainbow
Silently I watch as it is meant for me!

The sallies of youth cannot bother me
I am well healed, desolation no more
My friends do not know how serene it is
To be in the wilderness, the master of flora and fauna

Now I know why sages chose solitude
The place where demons have no grasp
Beautiful flowers, birds and bees
Twinkle your eyes, serenade ears

Soft winds roam around me
Convey to friends desolate
Their land I shall visit no more
The solitude is where I belong

There is mercy in every place
There is suffering if you want to make
Living in solitude in my space
Realised, mind hates crazy race

Every worry and lamentation
Has none to do with rest of the world
They are all imposters, not our own
Solitude taught me, one good lesson

One who interprets love is me
One who plunges into hate is me
All my life crazed as beauty
Is only a fickle of imagination by me

When I make my mind to make my home beautiful
It becomes the most beautiful place for my mind
Just like I remove the dirt to make it pretty
So should I do with my mind

Why do I have this crave
To own everything I see,
Smell, touch and hear
For them to be there, none I’ve done
Why do I have to be the owner of everything

Is it not this desire of mine
To own and control of things surround
Firstly myself and then the world around
Which when I fail do suffer in pain,
So, is my suffering a making of my own?

‘ A RECALL’ To all my mates of the greatest batch of medicos



Memories are the glistening golden threads
To keep patchwork of friendship, together
When we met after a lapse of fifty long year
All agreed that we had kept it for far too long

By that time some mates had already chosen
For celestial comforts and domicile in heaven
None would call anyone of us ‘a spring chicken’
Time and tide would not wait for a septuagenarian!

On the twenty fourth October in 2014
Hugging each other being very keen
Announced in an unified loud voice
We have kept away for far too long!!!

Every year from now onwards
To keep intact the fond memories
Before we lose our last neurones
Must relive beautiful friendships

Surely mates, while us were deliberating
Fifteen valuable months have already gone
For a less elaborate than the golden union
Time is now ripe to get the tracking shoes on

Thanks to Sam, batch 64 has its own website
To discuss pros and cons of a venue and date
When you receive this blog every single mate
Hope will respond, before it becomes too late

Tribute to Dr Nisal T. Kurukulasuriya (BUNTY) – An icon in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Dr Nisal T. Kurukulasuriya


I was bewildered and dumbfounded to see the obituary notice on the internet of my venerable friend and acclaimed Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Nisal T. Kurukulasuriya (Bunty) on the early morning of the 13th January 2016. According to the obituary, Bunty had passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren on the 21st December 2015 and had been cremated on the following day according to his wishes. To relieve my anguish, I sent an email immediately to his beloved wife Dayaneetha, conveying my shock and profound sorrow to which she replied almost immediately.

“Dear Sunil, Thank you so much for your message. The children and I are devastated. I lost the love of my life and a wonderful husband and my best friend. He was a great father and grandfather. We miss him so much. Sunil he was only 69. We had a very happy 45 years together. Bunty was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. We spent over 2 months in USA with our children and grandchildren and had a great time. We even celebrated his 69th birthday on 01 June 2015 in Boston. He has done so much for so many people, he did not suffer and that was the gift to him from the Gods above. He passed away peacefully with all the family around. Sunil, I looked up your e mail as I wanted to let you know because you were a sincere friend to him.” 

My association with the now renowned Bunty commenced in the early 1960’s, over 56 years ago, having grown up in the same neighbourhood in Mount Lavinia and been of similar age. Until the time of his untimely demise we remained close friends. We were both instilled with the noble Buddhist precepts from an early age at the Daham Pasela of Mallikaramaya Temple under the tutelage of the Venerable Weligama Gnaratna Anunayake Thera.

He was a proud product of the prestigious Royal College where he had an illustrious academic career coupled with a passion for cricket, having represented the College Cricket X1 in 1964 with distinction and awarded Colours. He was an all-rounder, a left arm “chinaman” exponent and a left hand batsman who pulverized the Trinity College attack in Asgiriya prior to the traditional Royal -Thomian encounter, scoring a record swashbuckling double century. He was a gifted cricketer who had an equal flair for any other sport like swimming, tennis, badminton and table tennis. Playing cricket for Royal College first X1 did not deter his academic career as he was one of the best students at Royal. Having excelled in the GCE A/L in the Bio stream, he entered Medical College on his first attempt.

Bunty was the son of Charles and Alice Kurukulasuriya. He was the youngest in a family of five children. His father was an Assistant Superintendent of Mails at the Postal Department. In 1971, he married Dayaneetha, the younger daughter of former Chief Justice G.P.A.Silva and Mrs. Soma Silva.

In his inimitable approach, he breezed through the Medical College and was recognised as one of the best students in his batch. A few years after completing Medical College, he proceeded to the UK. He worked in several hospitals in England and Scotland; these include the Warrington Infirmary, Royal Infirmary Stirling, St.Mary’s Hospital, London and Hammersmith Hospital, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Upon returning to Sri Lanka, Bunty worked as a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the De Soysa maternity hospital and the General hospital in Colombo. Bunty was also a Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Colombo for approximately 10 years. Under the guidance of titans in his field like Dr A.M. Mendis, Prof. D. A. Ranasinghe, Prof.T.Visvanathan, Prof D.E Gunatilleke and Prof.S.H.P Nanayakkara, Bunty further honed his surgical and clinical prowess. From this enviable platform, he worked tirelessly and eventually rose to become an eminent and popular Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in his own right.

Apart from his work with patients in the wards, there was a terrific demand for him in the private sector. He cared for patients in his private practice largely at St.Micheal’s and McCarthy. He treated all his patients equally irrespective of their status, creed or religion. The attention and time each patient received during his ward rounds depended exclusively on the severity of the illness or how puzzling the clinical dilemma was. He had a remarkable aptitude of just looking at a patient and making a spot on diagnosis.

Bunty refused consultation fees from friends for his services and used to tell us not to waste time outside his consultation room, just show our face by peeing in, so that he could call us in. Similarly, he did so many operations sans his fees to his many of his friends. I myself had this experience in 1994 when he performed a hysterectomy on my wife and did not charge me although I was covered by an insurance scheme. We are indebted to him.

Perhaps of greater significance than all his professional achievements was his unwavering devotation and dedication to his wife, children and grandchildren. He cultivated a unique and enduring bond with his sons and their families overseas, visiting them often. His doting daughter continued to live with him after marriage and named her son Nisal as a fitting tribute to her father whom she considered a mentor and living inspiration.

Moreover, a unique quality in Bunty from his formative years to the time of his passing was his low profile simplicity, very unassuming mannerism, his commitment and compassion and the immense love for humanity. He never accepted invitations to be Chief Guest or as attesting witnesses for weddings. My own experience of inviting him to act as attesting witness to my daughter’s marriage is testimony to this. He did participate and told me that he prefers to maintain a low profile at these functions. All these unique character traits were abundantly demonstrated during his unblemished career for well over four decades.

Bunty retired from medical practice in 2010 to enjoy even more time his family. He continued to read widely across many disciples including the Dhamma where his knowledge was extensive.

His family members, friends and patients will always remember with love and profound gratitude his deep commitment to his chosen calling, unparalled skill and above all his generous and compassionate nature. All those who hear about his untimely passing would no doubt be grieved as there would never be another individual in the calibre of Bunty.

“The flower blossoms and fades. The sun rises and descends,. But the memories, dignified and gracious deeds and accomplishments of Bunty would linger on, never to die away.”

Bunty’s passing has left his ever loving wife Dayaneetha, sons Nuwan and Channa daughter Shalini and their spouses Ayesha, Erandi and Nikita and the grand children devastated. It would my fervent hope that his journey walking through sansara would be short until he attains the supreme bliss of Nirvanna.

Sunil Thenabadu, ,

Bahrs Scrub,Queensland ,Brisbane

e mail

16th January 2016.

Mr and Mrs of RU 64


We saw glamour at the RU, saw drama and fabulous dances of all kinds
We heard melodious songs, heard scientific speeches, laugher and jokes
We saw beautiful people in extravagant dresses in eye catching designs
We listened to talks of our glorious past, friendly chats and even gossips

We saw flamboyant gentlemen, in their flashy and most eye catching outfits
We saw butterflies, saw Angels, among the smart guys a few shining Knights
Mahilal and Mahila, at the RU golden, looked like the most matching couple
One is a healer, the other an artist, both were charming and extremely polite
Nearly of the same height, seeing on the dance floor was a sheer delight
Both very pleasant beautifully attired charming and equally glamorous
So my choice of the most matching couple of the RU, beating the rest of us
To offer the accolade to Mahila and Mahilal as the batch RU 64, Mr & Mrs.


Men’s Common Room

Men’s Common Room of a Bygone Era

Lakshman Abeygunawardena

 When I entered the Colombo Medical Faculty in June 1962, the “Freshers” as the new entrants were called, were debarred from entering the Men’s Common Room (on their own) during the first two weeks when they were subjected to the traditional rag. It had been so in previous years and was yet another tradition maintained by all medical students in years that followed. However, it is to be noted that most of the ragging took place in the Common Room itself! All alumni of the Colombo Medical School are familiar with the place where many unforgettable events that I am about to describe took place. But for the benefit of anyone who has already forgotten where it was, the Men’s Common Room occupied part of the ground floor of the Main Administration Building abutting Kynsey Road. Main access however was through the quadrangle near the Koch Clock Tower which served as a parking lot for the students’ vehicles. It was also accessible through the canteen which was right next to it.

The Common Room provided many facilities to the male students who spent almost all their free time in the relaxed atmosphere it provided. The unofficial custodian of the Common Room was “Marker” (so called because he had originally been recruited to mark scores at the billiards table), whose real name Ranasinghe was known only to a few. In a previous issue of the CoMSAA newsletter, I had written more about this character who was known to generations of medical students. The Common Room was well furnished with a large number of wooden arm chairs, some cane chairs and small tables. The “miniature” billiards table which occupied one corner was replaced with a full-sized “Tournament Model” during our time as students. An ancient radiogram with a few 78 rpm records and the Marker’s personal cupboard were on that side. Marker’s cupboard which had a number of drawers was kept under lock and key at all times by Marker himself, with his heavy bunch of keys safely tucked in at his waist. The Common Room provided facilities for a number of other indoor games such as table tennis, carom, bridge, draughts and chess. In one corner was a telephone booth, next to which were the day’s newspapers that were fixed on the familiar wooden structure against the wall. “Marker”, trudged daily from the Maradana Railway Station. Come sun or rain, he CoMSAA Newsletter, Vol 4: Issue 3 Page4 used to be at the Common Room sharp at 7.30 in the morning, each day. One of his first duties was to place securely, the day’s newspapers on that wooden structure.

Picture 1 – common room and billiards table Hanging on the walls of the Common Room were photographs of past Medical Students Union (MSU) Committees. I wonder what happened to the old photographs (picture 2) including the one that accompanies this article! They were not there when I visited the place some time ago. Picture 2 – Medical students’ union committee – 1965 – 1966 Coming to the important events that took place within the four walls of the Men’s Common Room, pride of place has to be given to the annual MSU elections and the grand finale where the results used to be announced. It was at this event that prizes were awarded to winners of the indoor games tournaments that had been conducted in the preceding weeks.

MSU election night was looked forward to by many as it was about the only occasion when alcoholic beverages were officially permitted to be served in any building of the Colombo Medical Faculty. As a member of the MSU Committee in 1966, I remember accompanying a few colleagues to a pub on Chatham Street in Fort (either Globe Hotel or White House Inn) one afternoon, to purchase a couple of barrels of draft beer in preparation for the great CoMSAA Newsletter, Vol 4: Issue 3 Page5 event that evening. We took time tasting “samples” of draft beer which were provided to us free of charge by the management. All MSU meetings (which often turned out to be controversial and stormy), were held there.

I very well remember the late Consultant Thoracic Surgeon Mr. A.T.S. Paul, who was then President of the GMOA, addressing the students as a guest speaker at a specially convened meeting during a GMOA strike. Among other such great occasions was witnessing Sri Lanka’s World Snooker champion M.J.M. Lafir playing an exhibition game of billiards and some fantastic trick shots on our own table right there in the Common Room. Even during the prolonged period when I was domiciled abroad, I never failed to visit the Colombo Medical Faculty during my annual visits to Sri Lanka. I always spent a few minutes seated in a chair in the Men’s Common Room, nostalgically recalling my student days. The place has undergone many changes (see Picture 1). My saddest visit to the Men’s Common Room undoubtedly was in 1988, when perhaps for the first time in its history, the Men’s Common Room was the place where the body of the late medical student Thirimavithana was placed for public veneration when it was brought to the Colombo Medical Faculty. Padmasiri Thirimavithana who was a prominent student activist, was brutally killed during the failed insurrection which took place during that unfortunate period in the late eighties.

Reprinted with permission from the author

(Sorry, the pictures in the article could not be reproduced due to formatting issues. If any one can provide me some pictures, either old or current,  in Jpeg  format I will insert them in the article, Sam Samarasinghe)

Ariya’s Thoughts for the New Year

Life throws back at you, what you give

It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Whether it is a thought, action or behaviour

Life has a habit of returning it to the doer

If one treats people well, whenever they can

Pleasantly, goodness will boomerang

Sooner or later, absolutely from nowhere

Treat people with respect and compassion

If there is a chance on your way up

Because you are likely to meet them again

Probably when you are sliding down

Many years ago two American bright boys,

Studied at Stanford University

Once their funds got desperately low

Making it impossible to continue studies

A bright idea came to these two anxious lads

They had heard of a great Polish Pianist,

‘Ignacy Paderewski’ who became the target

Plan was to engage him on a public recital

Make enough profit to continue their courses


Approached the manager of the musician

He was an uncompromising tough man

Though boys explained to him their plan

Price was high wouldn’t budge from two grand

Boys knew their chance was dwindling

Disappointed yet not much they could do

A spark of luck, as they were leaving

Met the hallowed pianist returning

Mr Paderewski, inquired why they looked so sad

Listening to their plight the pianist gladly agreed

To do the recital free of charge to give lads a chance

The recital was a success, rest is history, two boys

Completed their courses receiving highest grades

The years rolled by, came and went the first World War

Mr Paderewski has now become Poland’s prime minister

Aftermath of the War, many Polish people were starving

Only one who could help was in Paris, Mr Herbert Hoover

The officer in charge of the US Foods and Relief Bureau

Hoover responded immediately saving Polish people millions

After citizens were fed Mr Paderewski returned to Paris

And thanked Mr Hoover, for the relief sent saving many lives

That’s alright Sir, you’ve helped me to complete my studies

Thirty years was a long time and Mr Hoover looked different

When the story was told Polish prime minister was jubilant

Not only because the timely help his people received by an act

Of kindness which has now returned to him as a boomerang


New Year Resolution- By Deepthie

“Be Grateful for Every Sunrise, Lose it if you don’t use it”

So, Live 2016 like you did 2015, so, you will get to see Sunrise on January 1st, 2017.


“Happy New Year to All !!”


Photos taken4th January on self timer, by placing the camera on big boulders called Glacial Erratics, outside temperature minus 15 degrees C, during my daily constitutional walk in the woods, in rural Ontario, Canada.


IMG_0352 - Copy-cc            Deepthie





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