Monday, June 16, 2008

A Tribute to Dr Y G Benkar

I knew him as a healer during childhood. Always bubbly and sporting a laugh and a chuckle. He sat in the RBI colony dispensary as we grew up. We went to him with the confidence of being cured. He was smiling though he had his own problems (as we later realised as grown-ups). He was picked to play Santa in RBI colony (Mumbai Central) Christmas parties when we were kids and he looked every bit of Santa as he was rotound and pink. Of course that time we didn't know that Benkar doctor (as we called him) was behind the mask.

He healed millions caused he had that magic touch. If nothing else worked, his healing touch did. His dispensary was in Agripada (Mumbai Central). And when his RBI timings were over, he worked from his own dispensary. No matter where he sat, we went to him only as did so many others from our colony and elsewhere. He had a big heart too as he cured many poor people for free and gave concession to many needy. Thats why his dispensary was always crowded and overflowing with people. He didn't recommend operation and surgery and unnecessary tests unless it was required. He was always true to the hippocratus oath. Even after he retired from RBI services, we preferred to go to his clinic when we were ill.

He himself was caring for an invalid wife for many years at home. He had no children of his own. Many of the people he'd cured used to cook and send food to his house. It was their way of thanking him. He stopped practising from his clinic some years back as he was very old. But continued to serve humanity from his house at Grant Road. After shifting to Mira Road, we missed him a lot. Recently we heard of his demise on 8th May, 2008. He was 91 years. He will be remembered and cherished by many for years to come.

May his soul rest in peace.

I delayed this tribute (shraddhanjali) for a month because I didn't want to miss any points about him when writing it.

Monday, June 09, 2008


Shayad fir se who taqdir mil jaye,
Jiwan ka sabse haseen who pal mil jaye,
Chal firse banaye barish mein kagaz ki naav,
Shayad vapas apna bachpan mil jaye.
Happy Monsoon.

Yippee! Monsoon’s here. And as always it come around my birthday. Though there were drizzles on 5th June, the actual rains started pouring in on my birthday, 6th June. And it’s been raining in full swing since then.

It’s so cool now after those hot weeks. This year, the summer was the hottest and created a havoc with diseases. It even saw people getting chicken pox, which is rare to see in these times. But summer’s passé now. The last two days has made the climate very cool. It’s like nature’s naturally air conditioned.

People are already planning rain picnics to beaches and hill stations around Mumbai.

Monsoon’s wonderful. But Mumbai’s dirty roads and bad drainage sometimes irritate you. The railway services, which is the lifeline of Mumbai’s transport system is the first to get disrupted in the rains.

Just two days have caused havoc in many places. And this year very heavy rains like the unforgettable July 26 are predicted. Let’s hope for a wonderful and harmless monsoon.