UNIVERSITIY OF TORONTO (1959-62)

In 1959, a Colombo Plan Fellowship took him to Toronto where he studied at the University of Toronto for 3 years. It was an old university that had been established in 1827 and the Department of Pharmacology was created in 1887 when the Faculty of Medicine came up. It was a famous department in North America. Henderson the Professor was a founder of the subject of "Experimental Pharmacology" and he worked there until 1945. Henderson was responsible for one of the most famous discoveries in Medicine i.e. identification, isolation and purification of Insulin in the sister department of Physiology by Banting and Best who received the Nobel Prize for their work in 1923. Thus he had suddenly landed in a place and surroundings that had become famous all over the world.

Laboratory of Banting and Best at the Department of Physiology
He worked there on Acorus Calamus (Ugragandha) with Professors H. Cullumbine, and, E. Sellers. Later W. Kalow had lots to do with him. Kalow, 12 years older than him became his close friend. He was soon to become the discoverer of a new discipline i.e. “Pharmacogeneties” in Pharmacology and thus become a famous man. In later years Kalow regularly visited him in Libya and India. Some of his co-workers like Dr. J.S. Bapna also became close to him.

The University had excellent faculties, departments, research centres, museums and playgrounds but what was most appealing was the Hart House that was donated by a philanthropist long time back. Here, in this house you could eat your meals, swim, exercise and play all sorts of musical instruments. It was a centre of drama for the city of Toronto. It had great recreational facilities. Alcoholic drinks were not served at that time, but wine and beer is available now. At that time (1956-59) women were not allowed in the building but now it is open to them.

When examinations were conducted the question paper was given to answer but there were no invigilators to supervise and keep an eye on you. It was surprising. While his exposure to the Banaras Hindu University prepared him to become a good and patriotic citizen of India, his stay at the University of Toronto for those three years inflamed his desire to do great not only for his country, but for the whole humanity.