Dr Bishambar was a household name in the locality, where we lived in my childhood. Though his full name was Dr Bishambar Lal Blaggan, yet to all us, young and old, he was Dr Bishambar. So high was the popularity of the doctor that his name had become synonymous with the medical profession. Earlier, he had been a Major Doctor in the Indian Army. However, after retirement, he had set up his clinic in our locality. By disposition, he appeared to be an old man. However, it was difficult to guess his age. Many, in the locality, had tried to hazard a guess, about his age, but had failed ultimately.
There were many reasons for the popularity of the doctor. One- he was the only qualified physician in the locality. Second, was his inimitable style of asking for his fees by closing his eyes. The fees, ranged from Rs 2.25p to Rs. 5.25p. per visit in the early seventies. This fees was not only for the consultation but for the medicines also, which the doctor used to give to his patients. The medicines, generally comprised physician’s samples, which the doctor got in abundance from the medical reps, who visited his clinic regularly.
Punctuality, regularity and accuracy were the other qualities, for which, the doctor was known. One could set his watch at 9.00 a.m in the morning and 5.00 p.m in the evening, by standing outside his clinic, as at those times, the doctor opened his clinic. I feel that the doctor had not only studied geometry in his school days but had mastered it too, over the years, as to how to apply it in daily life. In fact, the doctor-owned a white Ambassador Car and his clinic was located in a narrow lane. Only one car could pass through the same. We had not seen anyone negotiating the turn of that lane in the first attempt on his car. However, for Dr Bishambar, it was a cakewalk. We always wondered how the old doctor could negotiate the turn of his car in the first attempt! In fact, the doctor had got insight, at which angle; he should take the turn that he may not have to reverse his car.
Then the doctor had three successive heart strokes and the third and the last one proved fatal. Thus ended the glorious life marked by simplicity, punctuality and regularity.
The idea to write about the doctor struck me the other day when I happened to visit the locality where the doctor had his clinic. Failing to find the lane, where the doctor had his clinic, I enquired a child about the location and prompt got the reply, you want to go to Dr Bishambarwaligali. The doctor had left his mortal coil about forty years back but he still lives in the lanes.