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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mumbai- An alternate viewpoint.

Astonished by the recent developmental spurt of the city! Just within 5 years the look of the city has completely changed. But look at it from my view point, I'd say the city is feeling sick - and I refer to Mumbai not Mumbaikars.

Towers have sprung where once existed ground floored chalis. The skyline of the city has retracted like the hairline of an aging person. Birds are being replaced with mobile towers and TV antennas. People like me now get to see the sunrise only on a computer wall-paper. When I walk on the road, I feel I am inhaling cement not oxygen. Indeed, that's a beautifull spectacle, isn't it ?

The trees along the roads have been ceremoniously cut down for either road widening, or off late for infra-structure projects like metros and skywalks. And yes also not to forget, the mangrooves which disappear overnight as shanties appear. Also now the obsession of our hon'ble environment minister to build an airport where mangrooves exist. Please realise that concrete doesnot breathe out oxygen, trees do, and humans are not anaerobic, they do require some amount of oxygen for surviving. Of what use is a project if it hinders the life and well being of the citizens.



His renal profile is totally deranged. This also accounts for his symptoms. His kidneys can't efficiently remove all the waste his body is generating and they are piling up and killing him with many diseases.

I do a sonography, his prostrate is enlarged. That also partly explains why, even if his kidneys generate some urine, its is still there in his bladder and breeding infections.

Let us visualise Mumbai as a human. Being a medico that I am, allow me to present it my way.


A man presents with the problems of fastly receding hairline. He also complains of breathlessness and choking. I do a X-ray. CT, MRI, PET Scan and all the other things that are available. Findings are uniform, his lungs have solidified and are collapsing.. 

He also complains of feeling very sluggish. He also says he has been suffering from many diverse infections off late. His BP is raised. So, I do his cardiac and renal work-up. The findings. Almost each and every of his major artery and vein has a thrombus. This is what is causing the sluggish flow and his fatiguability. But even more dangerous than this is the fact that thrombii are known to break and migrate to other areas like brain and lungs, get stuck there and cause instant death.

His renal profile is totally deranged. This also accounts for his symptoms. His kidneys can't efficiently remove all the waste his body is generating and they are piling up and killing him with many diseases.

I do a sonography, his prostrate is enlarged. That also partly explains why, even if his kidneys generate some urine, its is still there in his bladder and breeding infections.

He also recalls of a severe external injury not long ago. His serum studies show presence of auto-antibodies – antibodies produced by the body against its own tissues. This has rendered his immune system so weak that it can not concentrate on external infections, and has made him susceptible to many more infections and is also harming his other systems.


I take a complete detailed history to find the cause. The findings aren't surprising.

In his hay days, he was a macho. He consumed much more than he could have digested and still continues to do so. That's what over-worked his systems. That's what led to the immune reactions. Now, his systems are failing. And he has all sorts of nutritional deficiencies. I advise him to exert self control. But, he says it is beyond his power to control. I tell him to exercise. He neither has the time nor the space. I start him on drugs to control his immune reactions.

So, I decide to intervene surgically. I put stents in every artery and vein I can reach. Create every possible by-pass I can. Put him on a dialysis. Infuse immune cells from outside. For me, he is “the patient”. Every system in failure. And I get to do every procedure I've learnt. And he is a chronic case. Rich and affording. Just wants to get cured. Doesn't bother about costs. My pockets are also happy.

But, this is how he will be affected. Prosthetics are not your body. Stents cant replace arteries. They tend to increase the risk of clots. Plus, they come with a shelf-life. They have to be maintained. They are providing for the current stress but will not be able to cope with future stresses. The dialysis will hamper his life. He'll live, but will it be woth it? Also, its not predictable, whether his immune system will weaken or strenghten and also when the auto antibodies will become resistant to the drugs I'm giving him. And all these continuous procedures will destroy him as an individual. The picture is gross, but as his doctor, very profitable for me.







The enlarged prostrate represents the Mumbai hype. It attracts all sorts of people. And then they get so stuck up here, that even if they want to leave they can't. They are shattered with broken dreams, and are then susceptible as instruments for anti-social elements. The failing kidneys are our pathetic waste disposal systems, which are breeding more infections.



The arteries are our infrastructure systems- not inefficient, but over-worked.

There is still time, I can save Mumbai. Are you with me?