'Doc has delivered my two greatest joys Ranbir and Riddhima' says actress Neetu Singh. 'I am most comfortable with him and will not go to any other doctor.'
Thousands of women feel the same way. For Dr R.P. Soonawala is the doctor extraordinaire -- an expert gynaecologist a skilled surgeon and the gentlest of people.
Growing up as the third son of a Parsi doctor in 1930s' Bombay the young RP was more interested in sprinting and tennis than his studies. Between playing pranks on friends and dating the gorgeous Piloo whom he would later marry the young man's life skipped merrily from his Navjot ceremony at seven to early training in medicine. The turning point came when he witnessed the gruesome abortions performed by mercenary doctors in an era when Medically Terminated Pregnancy was illegal in India. Deciding to change that Dr Soonawala set about devising a new Intra-Uterine Contraceptive Device that would empower women to plan their pregnancy. He would receive the Von Graffenberg Medal from the University of Kiel in 1984 and the Padma Shri in 1991 for his extraordinary innovation.
Today at eighty-six Dr Soonawala is as active as ever. He is Chairman Ob-Gyn at Max Healthcare and on the governing board of Ajeenkya D.Y. Patil University. His disarming humility and infectious humour continue to charm his friends and patients. Firmly putting behind him the media's unfair allegations at the time of Smita Patil's untimely death he has gone on to deliver generations of Ambanis and Kapoors as also Varun Gandhi and Laloo Prasad Yadav's grandchildren.
Noted writer Rashmi Uday Singh puts together five years of interviews with the doctor and his family to produce this biography of the man who changed the face of obstetrics and gynaecology in India.