A couple of days back; I had called upon the ailing Kannada poet Sri Nisar Ahmed at the Sagar Apollo Hospital. THE NITHYOTSAVA KAVI as he is fondly identified by every Kannadiga, is a prominent poet of our times. His contribution to Kannada literature is immense, as he is known to have provided a new impetus to Kannada poetry. Recipient of many awards including the Prestigious Padma, the achievements have never belittled him. People living in South Bangalore would have spotted the great poet walking simply along the busy roads of DVG road all alone for himself.
The sight of him lying on the hospital bed was most agonising for me. While wishing him a speedy recovery, it was just spontaneous for me to enquire with the doctors about the approximate cost of the medical expenses and to tell them that his medical expenses would be borne by the Government. I didn’t have an inkling of awareness that the poet might have needed monetary help from someone to sail through the torment that he was undergoing.
Immediately upon my return, I met the Hon’ble CM, requested for it and yesterday a cheque of 1.80 lakhs drawn out of Chief Minister’s relief fund was sent through my officer to hand it over to him. While it was a sense of satisfaction for me that the work was done as promised and as fast as it could, I didn’t have an idea that my little effort could render me to one of the biggest embarrassments. What I learnt from my Officer who visited him, would be a proof of what I was intending to tell you.
The veteran poet was somehow in dire need of money to meet his medical expenses. While he and his wife were shocked to see the bills that were given to them earlier by the Hospital, his wife is said to have consoled him that something would surely happen that wouldn’t leave them in lurch. It was just accidental that I visited them on that day, and more coincidental that I assured, his medical expenses will be borne by the Government. They too must have rubbed off my assurance like any other persons’.
I learnt the poet is said to be all his tears when he saw the cheque that was given to him. He is said to have told, his faith in the system has got a fresh lease of life by an incident like this.