By Dr.K.V.Chaubal

Nassar Mohammad was a strong man, heavily built, looked very healthy but had a problem walking. He did not say what he did for a living but was accompanied by two or three of his good friends when I saw him. He suffered from a chronic infection of his femur. Several years of treatment had done him no good. I operated on him-a long, difficult operation. He knew it, for he did require a few pints of blood. A grateful patient, he would fall at my feet and kiss my hand irrespective of time and place. I hate such adulation-and I told him so. I declined his invitation to felicitate me publicly in his mohalla. As a last offer of gratitude, he came to see me and said: "Doctor sahab, please remember I would be at your service any time you need me even if it means doing 'this'--and he moved his thumb nail across his own throat in a most professional way! I haven't seen him since, though.

Time and again the world of screen depicts the life of a doctor or a patient in a way far from reality. But I was witness to a real life change influenced by reel life. I know a patient whose sister was my client. He looked after his crippled sister with all loving care. This man in his mid-thirties suffered from lung cancer. He had just then seen a film wherein Rajesh Khanna acted the role of a similarly affected patient. It was then that this patient in actual life decided to live his life as depicted in the picture and in fact, lived it so, making light of his ailment. Rajesh Khanna visited this patient and gave him the necessary courage. It was indeed a unique experience.


Compilation of professional reminiscences of specialists - edited by M.V.Kamath and Dr.Rekha Karmarkar