Cult of the street Bombay: Bone setters.

Moving on with my Search into quirky businesses  people have in the city where the concept or ‘privacy’ does not exist Another chaotic day, when I came across this.

Mr Imran Shaikh, bone setter who’s moved from Lucknow to  Bombay to fix BONES! No medical certification, he says this is what hes been taught to do right through his childhood from this Grandfather and now continues to take it forward.



I entered this little clinic which is off Elphenstone bridge on Sayani Rd, This is home to him and and his brother,they  live out of day by day fixing peoples bones.


Went around the city spotting these  old inconspicuous healers. Making my way through unseen parts of Bombay to find out South Bombay has a few old old Pari families who have passed this on through there family.

Dr. Noshir. S. Hadvaid was most troubled that I was the first person to walk in that morning and for him to find out that i was there to click pictures of this Clinic. Responses to when i asked him if i could shoot :

” NOO SORRY, out out!!” showing me the way out and not hearing i word of what i had to say. While i was taking my time and not moving and trying really hard to tell him how this is not some sort of a threat to his clinic. he was very clear. ” noo noo sorry noo please.. OUT” He had one ofthe nicest clinic’s i had come across.

I walked out rather disappointing at my skill of convincing. spent more time  around there asking around and moved on to ‘Chira Bazaar’.

Along side the Fire temple in a lane with old buildings, i found a 5 generation family living there. With a huge waiting room packed with patients. 


Its all herbal and home made remedies. Which is then applied on with a FAT paint brush. Not the most pleasant looking or attractive

smelling .consulting and treatment all under Rs 100.  This is what brings me  my fascination with practice, in a city where there is a mix of people from all backgrounds, who believe and have such faith in what they do, and continue to do so even today.


The very proud doctor, who very hesitantly allowed me to potter around his clinic.

                                                                                                Thank you to all the doctors and patients.




5 Replies to “Cult of the street Bombay: Bone setters.”

  1. I love the last photo!

    Near our house too, there is a series of Pehlwaan Bone setters, all in a line, each claiming to be the “original” Pehlwan. It’s fascinating how they’ve survived the onset of “modern medicine”. Must be some serious faith out there!

  2. The pehelwans do survive. Here in North they flourish, for some people only believe in them not the legitimate docs. The argument I heard is: “Ye khayenge bhi to 100-200 ka hi nuksan hoga, bada dactar to lakhon le lega” !! Ironically, its not far from truth. Loved the small essay !

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