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   I do not have personal experience of other hospitals... (November 7, 1996)

I do not have personal experience of other hospitals, but from what I know I strongly recommend that if you ever have the misfortune of falling seriously ill you go to the Bombay Hospital. Jaslok and Hinduja are fine, but eventually it comes down to whether you put trust and life in the hands of Marwaris or Sindhis. And Breach Candy is not a hospital, it is a nursing home, you send your wives there to be delivered.

The tenth and eleventh floors of Bombay Hospital are its pride and joy, what in a five-star hotel would be its executive floors. And they are five-starrish, except that the chamber-maids are wardboys and the stewards are nurses. That most of the nurses are from Kerala and Manglore, adds to the efficiency of the place. I think nursing is a far nobler profession than going to the nunnery, though Mother Teresa has combined the two extremely well.

I was roomed on the eleventh floor, a sparking granite corridor, polished four times a day, with large windows framing at opposite ends the Victorian domes and cupolas of VT and the magnificent spread of the Marine Drive bay. And from the window in my room, I could see the red-tiled roofs of Dhobi Talao extending into the sky-scrapers of Cumballa Hill and beyond. Visitors kept saying: "Oooh, what a lovely view your have."

The whole place was centrally air-conditioned, with temperature controls in individual rooms, baths attached wont running hot water, a 16-channel TV set, thought no ESPN, two bright watercolours on the walls. There was a pantry at the end of the corridor, where they seemed to be making fresh chapatis through the food came from the main kitchen, vegetarian, naturally, it's a Birla hospital, but quite adequate. The soft Khichris, to which I was restricted for a few days, were among the best I have had through any convalescence, velvet soft and pleasantly aromatic. There was fruit, toast and cereals with breakfast, soups made from mooing twice a day, unlimited tumblers of milk.

Nurses kept popping in and out through the day with drugs and smiles, and four specialist doctors, L.F. Nagori, J.C. Kothai, Sishir Kumar and B.K. Goyal, made daily morale-boosting visits. It is amazing, the very presence of some doctors made you well, some other doctos make you ill.

In a week's stay, I made only one trip from the floor. That was when I was rolled out to the operating theatres located on the first floor of the old wing. At the entrance to the theaters was a small temple, a pujari distributing prasads and blessings. I accepted both. Not that I believe in these things, but why take chances.

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