Published November 2021
- AUTHOR : Kavery Nambisan
- PUBLISHER :Speaking Tiger
- LANGUAGE :ENGLISH
- ISBN :9789354470691
- BINDING TYPEPaperback
ABOUT THE BOOK
The miracles and tragedies of life, the compassion and cruelties of humanity
are nowhere more visible than in the field of medicine. It is these that Kavery
Nambisan—doctor and writer of immense sensitivity—explores in this memoir,
drawing upon her work as a surgeon over four decades in rural and small-town India.
Through her patients’ stories, she depicts the highs and lows of medical practice:
Sudha, in Mokama, Bihar, left immobilized waist-down after being set on fire by her
in-laws, but determined to walk; construction workers in Lonavala, Maharashtra,
who preferred the quick-fix of the ‘drip’, so that they wouldn’t miss their daily wage;
four-year-old Pavana in the Anamallais, mauled by a leopard, who had to be driven
over 40 kilometres of gutted roads to the nearest hospital. And in contrast, the friend
of a Tamil Nadu chief minister who could summon a doctor repeatedly, at will, to
attend to her stubbed toe. Settled in Kodagu, Karnataka, after years of practice in
hospitals, Kavery now works as a GP, and she writes about treating snake bites, skin
diseases, tuberculosis, epileptic seizures and, lately, Covid-19; even as she helps some
of her patients hide their meagre savings from alcoholic husbands.
Throughout, Kavery also examines the evolution of medical practice and the state
of India’s public health; and weaves in episodes from her personal life: learning from
heroes and rogues, coming into her own as a surgeon, and nursing her husband, the
poet Vijay Nambisan, who was claimed by cancer.
Engaging, incisive and deeply felt, A Luxury Called Health shows, as few books have
ever done, ‘the sincerity and the deception, the valour and the cowardice beneath the
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kavery Nambisan was born in Kodagu district, Karnataka. She has worked
predominantly in the rural parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka,
and was a governing council member of the Association of Rural Surgeons of India.
Kavery was married to the poet and writer Vijay Nambisan. She lives and works in