IN 1999, Abraham Mamootil retired from his dental career of nearly 50 years, planning to take a rest.
“Rest was not good enough, so I started the creative part,” he said on Tuesday with a smile.
His East Albury home includes some results of the 91-year-old’s efforts - paintings, a world globe made out of coconut shells, a wooden chess table.
But Dr Mamootil’s latest achievement, a book published this month, is available to a wider audience.
Volunteer Mouse tells a fictional tale of creation that includes facts from anthropology, paleontology and astronomy.
In the book’s foreword, former Border Mail journalist Howard Jones describes it as “a delightful, whimsical piece of fantasy writing”.
Dr Mamootil said Volunteer Mouse took him about a year and a half to complete, with another six months to do the drawings.
“I read a lot of books and I realised there is more than the Bible in this world,” he said.
“And then you realise that the skeleton was there a long time before Adam and Eve was created.”
The mouse of the title offers himself to God in an attempt to prevent the destruction of humans, a sacrifice mice still continue today through medical experiments that aim ultimately to save people.
“Somebody asked me, ‘What did God do after creating man?,” Dr Mamootil said.
“I said, ‘He handed it over to man to do the rest of the job’.”
Born in India on October 13, 1925, Dr Mamootil was “one of the worst students at the high school”. But he wanted to become a dentist and so studied at Calcutta Dental College, nearly 5000 kilometres from his home town, despite his father’s wish he remain on the farm.
“In between I had health problems, typhoid, cholera, all those little things but I overcome those things,” he said, matter-of-factly.
Teaching, further study in the US, a Masters degree and private practice followed before Dr Mamootil, his wife Molly and their five children migrated to Australia in May 1975. He practised at Holbrook, Henty and Berrigan before settling in Albury-Wodonga. Border Mail readers may remember many letters to the editor on political and community issues – his thoughts on US presidential nominee Donald Trump appeared in Tuesday’s paper.
Dr Mamootil is also preparing a memoir of his long life.
As Mr Jones noted, “His own experience is proof to newcomers that it is possible to achieve success in a new country while not forgetting one’s roots”.
Volunteer Mouse, published by Notion Press, is available to buy online.