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Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Doctors Are Divine

I hold doctors in deep reverence and see them as divine. The opinion I formed from my early years and hold on to till date, has its basis in the fact that our family has been specially fortunate to have always found doctors who deserved to be worshiped for their great proficiency and godly personality, especially these two, whom I wish to pay my belated tribute on Doctor's Day:

Dr. Ghoshal, Jorbagh, New Delhi.

Early fifties, we were still new to New Delhi, trying to settle here after having left Lahore in the aftermath of Partition. I was in my final year of college graduation when I got seriously sick. Since the final exams were not far away, my father wanted to consult the best possible doctor he could afford then, having started from a scratch in the new city. A family friend, who knew the place well, suggested he would try to get Dr. Ghoshal, his family doctor, who was a doctor of exceptional merit, yet affordable. The spirit with which he attended me was amazing. And the way he treated my typhoid that lead to my recovery in record time was simply superb. Since then Dr. Ghoshal remained our family doctor whose very visit was enough to give us confidence that any kind of ailment would be cured in no time. But ever since he saved my father's leg, which was severely infected, avoiding amputation that any other doctor would have found unavoidable, Dr. Ghoshal is always seen by the family as an angel doctor.

Dr. K. S. Arora, Alwar (Rajasthan)

During construction of the house in Alwar, where I had my last job in India, my wife suffered some allergies and infection from dust and cement that took us to Dr. Arora's clinic in the neighborhood for consultation. Dr. Arora, who had taken retirement from his very prestigious position of head of the general hospital to do his own private practice, was definitely the busiest doctor in Alwar. There was always a crowd of patients at his clinic waiting for their turn. After waiting for a while when our turn came, it did not take us long to realize that the long wait was worth it. Dr. Arora, we found from our very first meeting, was not only the most capable doctor in Alwar, but also a very pleasant and humane person, who would forego his fees from several patients who seemed to him to be poor. We made instant rapport with him to the extent that he told us whenever we wanted his help, we need not wait at his clinic but just call him and he would visit us at home for no extra fees. This is the best that the busiest doctor in the town could do for anyone. His treatment proved very affective and we did not have to call him for quite a while, till there was a reason that was not even remotely related to his medical profession.

Alwar, the city we had adopted to spend the rest of our life after retirement, we soon found was too sleepy to have any life. We started to seriously consider selling the house and buying one in or near Delhi. We thought of Dr. Arora, who had casually mentioned his plans to enlarge his clinic by buying a bigger place in the vicinity. We called him to inform about our intentions to sell our house to which he responded that he had recently bought the plot adjoining his house but ready to help us find a buyer, and came to see our house. Dr. Arora was impressed by the house, but not by our answer when he asked us why we wanted to sell it.

“If lack of company is the only reason to sell your house, then don't sell it. I will send you company.” The doctor seemed genuinely helpful when he said this. Very next day the doctor's friend came, he too a doctor, accompanied by another friend, a businessman. For the first time since coming to Alwar, we enjoyed real good company and conversation, and were motivated to change our mind to move to Delhi. Thanks to Dr. Arora, we continued to live happily thereafter in Alwar in the company of his friends and their families. Of course, Dr. Arora also became our best friend, besides providing the most professional medical help whenever we needed. Indeed, another angel doctor!


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