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Mumbai Diary page: Saturday Scene

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

The good doctor, RIP
Fahad Samar, writer and chronicler of things Page 3, wrote this on the recent demise of Dr Gurbaxani who passed away in his sleep on April 21. Writes Fahad about the doc: I have had the privilege of knowing Dr Govind Ram Gurbaxani all my life.

His clinic was situated in Colaba at a building enchantingly called Candy Castle. As a child, my visits to Doc Gurbaxani’s were followed by sweet treats at RTI and so, unlike most kids, I have the fondest memories of being unwell.

He was a gold medallist from Kasturba Medical University in Manipal. In an era when most allopathic doctors scoffed at alternative healing practices, Dr Gurbaxani enrolled for a course at Osaka Medical University and subsequently opened Bombay’s first acupuncture and pain relief clinic.

In 1973, he cured me of mumps using a set of pins and needles when many of my peers had to undergo hospitalisation and surgery. An avid race-goer, the good doctor cut a dashing figure for over three decades frequenting Mahalaxmi racecourse in his trademark bowties and suits.

My wife Simone and I were blessed to spend many evenings on Dr Gurbaxani’s Colaba terrace as this Renaissance man conjured up an array of international cuisine, and urged me to sample a slew of single malts and liqueurs he had picked up on his frequent travels abroad.

Bon vivant, medical pioneer, visionary healer and exceptionally fine human being, Dr Gurbaxani leaves behind a rich, varied legacy and a legion of friends and patients who will miss him dearly. RIP Doc. You were a man amongst men.

A cricketer and a gentleman
Cricket's original Little Master Hanif Mohammad was recuperating in a Karachi hospital of a stroke when our own little master Sunil Gavaskar was appointed interim president of the BCCI-IPL.

A file picture of Sachin Tendulkar felicitating Hanif Mohammad. Pic/AFP
A file picture of Sachin Tendulkar felicitating Hanif Mohammad. Pic/AFP

As soon as 79-year-old Hanif returned home, he requested his biographer and veteran Pakistan journalist Qamar Ahmed to pass on his congratulations to Gavaskar. Qamar, who is a friend of this newspaper, entrusted the job to us. We can’t help hailing the gentleman in Hanif, who is battling cancer.

Despite his pain, he thought about congratulating a cricketer he may not have played international cricket with, but greatly admired. Well played, Sir. Meanwhile, we hear that Gavaskar took time off his BCCI-IPL duties in the UAE and was in the city for 1.5 days to cast his vote. Sunny side up, sir.

Train of profit
Illegal hawkers are a nuisance at the best of times on crowded trains, although it must be admitted that many passengers avail of the convenience, buying vegetables, fruit and household goods en route. Never mind that the produce is not weighed and the prices are take-it-or-leave-it.

Vegetables for sale at Asangaon station. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
Vegetables for sale at Asangaon station. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

At many stations, these hawkers take up space on the overbridges, and after complaints from passengers they are shooed off by the police on duty. At Asangaon station, we noticed that some enterprising vegetable sellers, with their portions of vegetables pre-bagged and priced at a uniform Rs 10, had taken up position on the platform itself, ready to nab customers as they get off the train. And no police in sight, either...

Lucky scribes?
Some journalists just might be lucky charms. On Thursday night, when the cricket teams Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers were battling it out in the IPL, some journos happened to be visiting Shahrukh Khan on the sets of Happy New Year.

King Khan got a half-hour break just in time to watch the last winning over of his team, KKR. Shahrukh was chatting animatedly and suddenly let out a gasp when Chris Lynn from his team got that amazing catch. After that there was complete silence as the last ball was delivered.

And as soon as his team won, SRK had a huge grin on his face. While walking back to the sets, he told us in good humour, “I think you guys should be around whenever KKR is playing!”

Contributed by: Clayton Murzello, Shubha Shetty-Saha, Shrikant Khuperkar, Hemal Ashar, Vidya Heble

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