THAT BLACK DECEMBER 2001!!
Ex. Hon. Physician, Jaslok Hospital and Bombay Hospital, Mumbai, Ex. Hon. Prof.
of Medicine, Grant Medical College and JJ Hospital, Mumbai 400 008.
13th December 2001 was the day (and 11th
September) when the terrorists shook two major democracies in the world. But
I am writing this article to draw the attention of private practising physicians
about the black December which we practitioners faced and which we would never
like to be repeated.
Normally, winter is ushered in December and the practice slackens. But in December
2001, slackness was unprecedented. There were multiple reasons:-
1. The Ramadan month fell in winter season.
2. Diwali festival preceded and Christmas festival followed this period of Ramadan.
3. The whole world was already shaken up by the two political events which took
place on 11th Sept. and 13th December, 2001 and there was generalised depression
The fact is that not only the Muslim patients but even the Hindu patients did
not come. Similarly, the patients from the neighbouring states just did not
show up. This is the mass psychology of the crowd. Therefore, the real reason
Immediately, after Eid and Christmas celebrations, the crowds which started
attending the clinic were unbelievable. My very low morale and "volume"
of speech which had gone down, suddenly reverted to "full" and I am
once again more busy. But this time, with still more consideration for patients
who want to be seen without appointments or who have come from out side Bombay
or are serious or want to be accommodated. If a doctor in my position can be
shaken up what will be the position of an average physician who witnesses such
Will this ever occur again? It is possible that next year with Ramadan falling
in winter, the same scenario might be witnessed. But this remains to be seen
because the actual cause of "slack season" is still unknown to the