Sculpt a perfect figure
Dr. Narendra Pandya talks of his job, which involves giving his patients a new look.
MAKEOVER MAN: Dr. Pandya. Photo: S. JAMES
"IF I write a book just on my top 100 patients, it will be a bestseller," his confidence is astounding. But the oath of secrecy restrains him. Because all his patients are "celebrity clients" whose bodies and faces he has "remade".
But the father of plastic surgery in India, Dr. Narendra Pandya clams up if questioned about his VVIP patients. He treats them in the darkness of nights, under different names. But who they are is common knowledge in an appearance-obsessed and fitness-driven industry! "My clients recognise me only within the confines of my office room," he chuckles, with a tinge of frustration.
Dr. Pandya treated Bollywood actor-cum-director Sanjay Khan who sustained burn injuries while filming "Tipu Sultan" some years ago. The actor showed his gratitude by appointing Dr. Pandya as Head, Cosmetic Surgery Department in his health resort in Bangalore, the Golden Palms Spa.
Public acknowledgement otherwise eludes Dr. Pandya, who divides his time between Bangalore, Delhi (Escorts Heart Institute) and Mumbai (Breach Candy, Lilavati, Jaslok). Recently, actresses Hema Malini and Jaya Prada graced a function to launch his book on "Botox", the latest rage in makeover industry. "Cosmetology is a money spinner and even unqualified people are jumping into the fray for the easy moolah which this lunch-time procedure fetches," he worries.
Born in Gujarat, brought up in Tanzania, he studied medicine and worked in some top institutions in India, U.K. and the U.S. Dr. Pandya is only one of the two civil surgeons bestowed with the Honorary Surgeon Commodore rank by thenPresident K.R. Narayananan. He is also among the Diplomates of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Pandya has lost count of surgeries he has performed. Yet he is struck by the rapid rise in this "self-demolition for a makeover assertion". "Men and women, rich and middle-class, all want to overhaul themselves," he says. Every patient's personal satisfaction remains "his greatest challenge". "Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery restores what Nature or fate damages accidentally, so patients return happy at the slightest recovery. But a cosmetic surgeon has to surpass what God originally created," he quips.
Ultimate beauty weapon
Also called the Columbus of Cosmetic Surgery because he took to nose jobs rhinoplasty when nobody thought of it three decades ago, Dr.Pandya attributes the current facelift and body contouring craze to "three A's" Affluence; Availability; Affordability.
His chosen field is one where a surgeon never sells an operation to a patient. "Given the variations in expectations, you let the patient buy it from you," he says with no qualms. And the business of nipping and tucking, sucking and suturing, injecting and implanting is undoubtedly brisk and big today. With his knives, scalpels and needles, Dr.Pandya gives a tuck here and a poke there to scrape out puffy bags under the eyes, chisel out higher cheek bones and define better jawlines, knock-off the hump on the nose-bridge or the blobby tip, tuck in tummies, puff up lips, smoothen laugh lines and wrinkles. The ultimate beauty weapon is there. Yet, everybody likes to use it secretly.
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