September 14, 1984, was a black day in my life, the day I slipped into a coma during a routine knee surgery which turned awry due to medical negligence at the Apollo Hospitals, Chennai. It was only later that I learnt that I had suffered bradycardia, cyanosis, muscular atrophy, ataxia, hypoxia, cerebral ischemia, pulmonary oedema resulting in cerebral anoxia and brain damage due to a failure of oxygen supply to the brain. In a cruel twist of fate, the tragedy happened just 20 days after I got the prestigious Arjuna award. I didn’t know what to do next as many of my family members felt that taking action against a leading hospital would put me in danger of being isolated by the medical fraternity. All my efforts to convince the hospital to set right their wrong failed. I consulted my friend and lawyer who felt legal action was the only remedy, if at all. There were no consumer courts at the time and a civil suit of this nature would involve enormous court fees. Therefore, I had to bring down my claim on damages.