Healers and dealers

Healers and dealers

Jesus was a healer — ‘Eesa Masih’. He could heal people by the mere touch of his hand. He did not charge any fees for doing so. Since then, healing has become an expensive business as healers have to undergo six years of learning how to heal and have to have expensive gadgets like stethoscopes, thermometers, X-Ray machines and much else. There are huge differences in the fees they demand.

I know of two doctor brothers. One is a heart surgeon; he earns upwards of Rs 1 lakh every day. His brother is a physician. He refuses to take any fees and even goes long distances to treat sick friends without accepting a rupee. However, the majority of doctors not only charge high fees but also pass on their patients to their friends in the profession for further tests in expectation of getting patients in return. It has become mafia of doctors: the Hippocratic oath be dammed.

I recently come across a family which has three generation of doctors who combine paid for advice with free healing so that they can make their living as well as serve the poor. They are Bengalis settled in Delhi. Dr Samir Nundy is attached to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, his wife Mita set up a society to help spastic children. Their son Surajit Nundy was schooled in Sardar Patel Vidyalaya in the capital. After finishing his school he went to the United States to become a doctor. He started with Manhattanville college for pre-medical studies, sociology and computer science.

Then to Duke University and got a PhD in neurobiology. He went to Washington University School of Medicine, Harvard School of Public Health and set up his own practice in Boston. Two years ago he returned to Delhi, married the beautiful Mandakini, daughter of Manju and Suman Dubey. They have two little girls.

Surajit is a strapping 6 feet 3 inches tall, handsome young Hindi-speaking Bengali. He did not return home to make money but to combine comfortable living with serving the poor. First he explored prospects of doing so with Dr Binayak Sen’s colleagues in Chattisgarh. Then returned to Delhi and through his father’s contact met Reeta Devi Varma of the Ila Trust to see what she was doing.

The first day, she took him in her mobile clinic to Jama Masjid area, where doctors and nurses treated hundreds of men, women and children free of charge as well as gave free medicines. The next day she took him to the Red Light district of G B Road. Dr Nundy offered his services to the Ila Trust. He has been doing the rounds of Delhi’s slums everyday and treat about a thousand people. One day Reeta brought him over to meet me. He was reluctant to talk about himself. I ferreted out bits and pieces of information of his past and future plans. It is evident he has to earn to provide for his wife and children as well as have the satisfaction of serving the needy. He must not be forced to return to the US, but made full use of by our government.

Monsoon express

There are a few features that our railways share in common with the monsoons. Most of our trains depart on time but very few reach their destinations as printed in railway time-tables, no matter what fancy names they are given: Rajdhani, Shatabadi, Deccan Queen, Queen of the Himalayas — or whatever. When I was able to travel by rail, I used to board the Shatabadi to Chandigarh from New Delhi at least four times a year to go to Kasauli. It used to pull out on the dot and gather speed soon after it cleared the suburbs of Delhi. However, I can’t recall it ever arriving in Chandigarh on time: a delay of 15 minutes to half an hour was normal.
Other trains are often late by an hour or two.

It is much the same with the summer monsoon. It is expected to hit our western coast by the last week of May or the first week of June. This year it broke over the Malabar coast on May 31. Then it moved northwards, gave a drenching to Mumbai a week later. Its progress further inland was preceded by dust storms and an occasional shower. Our weather forecasters assured us our first gift of rains on the June 24. On the day promised, by the afternoon, the sky was overcast; in the evening there was a dust storm followed by a light shower. We waited a week when the proper monsoon was scheduled to break over the city. Though more cloudy days came and went, there was no rain: as usual the summer monsoon, like our trains, always was late in arriving.

Why do monsoons, both summer and winter mean so much to us Indians? For one, despite our network of canals thousands of tubewells and water-harvesting devices, we remain heavily dependant on good monsoons to feed ourselves. The summer monsoon is the time of national rejoicing: flying kites, girls singing, dancing and seeing peacocks spread out their tails and raise their cries to rain-sodden black clouds.

Yoga miracle

My friend’s son Golu used to bite his nails. I advised him to send Golu to Baba Ram Dev, who will teach him some yoga. After two months I asked my friend: “How is Golu now?” My friend said, “Now Golu can bite his toe nails also.”

(Contributed by J P Singh Kaka, Bhopal)

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