“He was such a great man “ said a lady & bursted into tears. It was a gloomy day though the sun was shining bright, but I can’t really recall her face as I was already dizzy & my mind was not able to absorb anything more. It was his day, it was 18th October 2012.
Couples of years passed by and I decided to write a small biography on dad (Dr. Anupam Chowdhury). Well writing this is as difficult as explaining an angelic moment, its like describing God…. You can’t really say it all & most of the times, you are lost for words. The people who knew him & whose hearts were touched by him will be able to relate to this & will be taken back to nostalgia & those who haven’t met him will be left to imagine!
Dr. Anupam Chowdhury was born in a village in Kolkata. He was known for his mischiefs among the siblings. Brave, smart, outgoing, active, always singing & laughing are just few words that could describe his childhood nature.
He got admission in the Calcutta Homoeopathic College in the year 1963. However this decision was more from his Father’s side, as he had different plans for life. The college was situated in the city, so he had to move & stay there throughout his college years. Soon he became famous among the teachers for his intelligence & wit & among his peers for his charismatic persona & silvery voice. His learning year used to be filled with competition, fun, mimicry, frolic, tricks & music but he would surmount & come through with flying colors academically.
On completion of his studies, he decided to move to Bombay (Now Mumbai), to pursue what he liked. No medicine was NOT on his mind. Even though he excelled in his medical college, he was adamant & relentless on making his life in something he loved, something that was his passion & that was music & acting.
Soon he reached Mumbai to try his luck & started searching for vocation or some opportunity in the so-called “Film Industry”. The industry did favor him with movies & he started gaining fame. He loved & enjoyed his work, as that was what he ever wanted to do. He was finally living his dreams, but destiny had better plans.
The people working with him realized that he is a doctor & presently asked him about their regular symptoms & medicine. Initially he would just refuse, but later on he recollected what one of his endeared professors had told him during their farewell. He had said “ I know you want to sing, act, follow your dreams, your passion. Good, I wish you all the best for that, but do not ever forget your proficiency in medicine. I say this, not because I have seen you grow in these academic years, not because we taught you the art & skill of Homoeopathy, but because I have seen an extraordinary forte in you. I have taught in this college for years, I have come across so many students, so many rank holders, but something in your is so uncommon that compels me to believe – you can create magic in the field of medicine. Just never let that flair get wasted.
He started giving medicine to the people who were working with him. The response was so good that they waited for him to arrive at the sets & once he would be there, they would just flock around him for medicines. In Homoeopathy the Doctor himself dispenses the medicines & there is not much of prescription given, so he started carrying his medicine box along.
He was addressed as “Doctor Sahab”, now loved & respected for his medicine. Few years passed by & then one day he decided to quit acting. He used to say that this was one of the toughest decisions he ever took in his life. As he was ending his journey in acting which was his dream, his passion & embarking a new voyage in the field of medicine. He had no idea how it would turn out to be. What if destiny does not favor him this time? Was it a wrong decision? Many queries filled the air around him, but he trusted God & himself, he decided to change lives & alleviate pain.
During his incipient days as a doctor, he would pick up his bag & walk into the slums to cure the patients. Rest of the time he would manage in a small area, which would embrace two chairs, a table & a small patient examination bed. This is how his practice started & soon he started his own clinic. He always had an inclination & affection towards the poor & needy. For him, it was not about money, it was about relieving people’s agony, to cure who was suffering.
He has touched so many lives, so many hearts during his practice. His patients became his family. He gained faith, trust, love & lots of respect. So much was the credence that his patients would refuse to get operated if he was not present in the operation room & so much was his amity & devotion towards his patients that his door would be open for them anytime of the day & night.
He was full of fun, laughter & frolic, he would instantly cheer up the dull faces & turn tears into laughter. He was equally loved back by his patients. So transparent & free in his thoughts that even the young kids would never hesitate for asking or telling him about their crush & love. Those candid talks would just not end.
The ambience that he would create would instantly lift up spirits. People would walk in with worries & tragedies but never walked out with a heavy heart. He used to mend hearts & put the broken pieces back together.
His practice amplified & flourished with each passing years, but he still remained the same simple & grounded man. He would love hosting free camps for Diabetes & Blood Pressure check ups. He served the nuns from convent & received homage equally. His life was as simple as the only color he would wear – White. It reflected his purity & chastity.
His patients considered him God, for others he was a friend, companion, solution to all problems, backup during crisis, support, strength, guidance & for few like us – he was life.
Some postulated that by just looking at him their symptoms vanished; some believed he had magical healing powers. Some swore by his knowledge in medicine & some were just amazed & astounded by his work.
Such a dynamic & versatile person but at the same time so simple & easy. What more can we say about him, as we said, its an angelic experience, you cant explain it enough. He taught us how to live life with a smile & its now that we can much relate to his favorite song – “Main Zindagi Ka Sath Nibhata Chala Gaya” .