OKAY, I’m quitting the rambling and rumbling and moving on to another topic. Not too far away though! I caught up with the evergreen homeopath Dr Mukesh Batra at the brand new and far more spacious Crosswords bookshop, located now above Magsons Towers down the Campal promenade, last week. Dr Mukesh Batra is an old friend from my Mumbai-that-was-Bombay years. He also has a home in Goa and retires here for rest and recreation on and off. This time he was here to promote his recently published “Heal with Homeopathy, The Essential Handbook” by Dr Mukesh Batra. It’s a prestigious Bloomsbury publication and if you’re a homeopath student or an upcoming homeopath, you cannot do better than get a copy for yourself, it’s a soft cover publication priced at Rs500.
The new Crossword bookshop is magnificent, chok-a-blok with books, brightly lit, offers ample space to relax and browse a book or two…suddenly, I feel like retiring here at this cool bookshop more and more to quick read a book! My thing with books now is that I just want to read them, write about them and return them…for I can’t take care of books anymore the older I get!
But to stay with Dr Mukesh Batra, take it from me that he brings his immense experience and deep knowledge of homeopathic practice spanning five decades into this valuable handbook. I can’t remember anyone else bringing out a similar handbook. Here the chapters are organized very well and the subjects covered, as he says, are from head to toe.
He tells me that homeopathy is the youngest and fastest growing healthcare system today, growing at a rate of 25% annually. Yes, there are a few controversies but these may be discussed another time! His book describes at length a special aspect of homeopathy – personality types and tell-tale signs of tongues, faces and the like which form an important part of observation for homeopathic diagnosis. He also provides a brief yet fascinating history of homeopathy, clarifies some common myths and collates clinical research on homeopathic practice for most disorders. He says his handbook hopes to spread the benefits of homeopathy as a safe and natural system of medicine and from the looks of it even if you’re not a homeopath but want to believe in it – you will be able to learn much from this handbook.
He is a good raconteur is Dr Mukesh Batra, of life’s ups and downs and all the adventures in between, it’s always a treat to listen to him when he shares…alas, he was also dropping in at Khalil Ahmed’s Broadway Bookshop for his new book’s promotion. The Mumbai Crossword now, he tells me, has changed ownership hands and is so fantastic now, five times the size of this Crossword in Goa! The Mumbai Crossword at Kemp’s Corner is always crowded for an event and they have a great cafeteria which attracts a lot of gen next crowd.
Attempts are on to woo young people back to reading books! Needless to say it’s an uphill task and nowadays bookshops stock a whole lot of other stuff like premium chocolates, a selection of lifestyle bags, fancy stationary and artist’s paraphernalia…all to woo shoppers and perhaps buy a few books too. This holds true for Panaji’s new Crosswords premises too, go and see one of these days.
These days, Dr Mukesh Batra tells me, his aim is to walk 10,000 steps a day and that’s very good for someone pushing 72 years plus, plus. Also he has taken some kind of a diksha to rest on his laurels and is busy travelling a great deal, he has become a global traveller! In short he is into “vanaprastha” phase (as in the Hindu philosopy of four ashrama or stages of life, the last one for which the first was made is called “vanaprashtha” or the hermit stage). After his diksha from Swaminarayan Akshardham he is now also recognised as Swami Anand Sangeetam…all of which means he is busy engaged in a slew of philanthropic events. His new love is to talk to children, including his grandchildren!
To all that all I could say is be blessed Swami Anand Sangeetam! Dr Mukesh Batra you should now write a novel, I urged him, this most celebrated homeopath of the country who has many feathers in his cap of achievements.
Excerpted from Dr Mukesh Batra’s “Heal with Homeopathy – The Essential Handbook”…
HISTORY OF HOMEOPATHY
Homeopathy in India
Homeopathy came to India through the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab who was suffering from paralysis of his vocal cords and had lost his voice. The maharaja was not willing ot take Western medicines and invited an Austrian homeopathic doctor. Dr Johann Martin Honigberger, to treat him. The maharaja wanted to witness the preparation of his medicine. Dr Honigberger agreed and brought with him the tincture of Dulcamara and three empty corked phials. The remedy was prepared in front of the maharaja and a single drop was given to him. To the maharaja’s surprise, his voice returned within three days of the treatment. The maharaja showed his appreciation by presenting two gold bracelets and two Kashmiri shawls to Dr Honigberger and requested him to continue staying in India. This is how homeopathy came to India. Later, the missionaries popularized it through free clinics across the country. By then, homeopathy was here to stay.
Homeopathy was recognised as an official system of medicine in India in 1973. A separate ministry for complementary medicine called AYUISH was formed in 2014. AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy. Homeopathic treatments are now being reimbursed by insurance companies. Homeopathic outpatient departments (OPDs) are run in many private and government hospitals. Amongst these are the Bombay Hospital and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
India now has 300,000 homeopathy doctors with 20,000 new doctors being added every year. Over 100 million patients in the country have benefited from homeopathy and the number is continuously growing.