I guess I packed this blue Kotah leheriya for the Ceylon trip thinking blue Indian Ocean. This material is like pure gauze and simply does not crush !!! I wore it the whole day for official meetings at the Novartis HQ here in Colombo and it stayed the way I draped it in the all morning through the whole day . Meetings , shopping at Ko Lanka for handloom Lungis ( my brother Raja who asks for nothing ever actually asked me to get him a couple so that was 1 to 10 on my List and then at Barefoot where I had no money left after I stopped at the Books Section and then at the sea front for some pictures against the Ocean . Like I told Suranajana , we Pacters now don’t hesitate to get our pictures taken .
We just say Hi you’ve heard of the #100sareepact? Please can you take a picture of me in this Saree ?? And hey presto you have volunteers galore . These pictures were taken by , respectively , the kind and courteous hotel bellboys , my taxi driver , the chips stall owner at the beach , a highly amused and appreciative colleague at Novartis and a couple of selfies too …
So I met for the first time some of the dedicated team at Novartis Sri Lanka who help us run the Access Programme through which they supply their drug to hundreds of patients at no cost . ( thousands in the rest of the region and elsewhere ). Amitabh Dube who heads the Region and who I work closely with in Bombay was visiting Colombo too so after a Breakfast meeting with him in the hotel it was their office we headed to in Colombo 14. Apparently their office building is housed in a complex over a hundred years old and it reminded me so much of the Novartis offices in Karachi that I have visited a few years ago.
After our meetings I said that they had no choice but to feature in my Saree Pact story of the day and that’s that. And like all Sri Lankan men who are so gallant and kind they of course obliged !
Selva the Country Head says it all when he says ” I love my work in Oncology and I am so privileged to serve my people .”
And I meet and work with those very patients day in and day out and know what a great service it is.