Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Charmed Glass of Water - Part 1

It was early January 1998. About five months into my diagnosis of kidney disease. I had lost hope of my kidneys recovering their kidney function by normal means. I had, by then, tried a number of other alternate therapies. Nothing worked, of course.

One afternoon, an anonymous cover arrived by mail. These were the days when email had not yet invaded our lives. This was plain and simple mail. The one that you can touch and feel. The one that arrives once a day and a postman delivers.

It had a newspaper cutting in it. An article was circled with a pen. It had the picture of a man holding a glass of water. We read through the article. It talked about a person, Dr. Gupta who stayed in Mumbai, who had apparently cured many people of kidney disease by giving them a glass of charmed water. He had received a mantra from a sage in a forest which when chanted over a glass of water had the power to cure kidney disease.

Could this be it? I was very frustrated by then with the events that had turned my life completely upside down. Dr. Girish Narayen's promise that my kidneys would jump back to life in a few days was long forgotten. I had even stopped asking him about this.

The next few days saw a flurry of activity and animated discussions at home. My extended family were called in. Everyone thought there was no harm in trying it out. It was water after all. My aunt and her family stayed in Mumbai. I could stay there. I could dialyze in Jaslok Hospital which was close to her house. Dialyze, only till I needed it, that is. The magic water would anyway get the kidneys to start working soon, right?!

We talked to my nephrologist about this.

"Defies science", I remember Dr. Dakshinamurthy reacting after he read the article. "We have no problem if you try it", he added. Obviously he did not believe it would work.

The plan was for my dad to come with me, get started on the "treatment" and then my parents and my other aunts and uncles would all take turns to stay with me in my aunt's house for the four month duration I would need to undergo this therapy.

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