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All In The Family!
Published: Volume 19, Issue 5, May, 2011

It was a significant occasion – one partnered by Verve – to both the literary and medical worlds – the launch of a book that many women and men would read with avid interest. But laughter pealed out at frequent intervals from the august Convocation Hall at the University of Mumbai when Dr Firuza Parikh unveiled her work The Complete Guide to Becoming Pregnant. With a moderator like Aamir Khan on stage, it was a given that one should expect the unexpected. He opened the panel discussion with a provocative question, asked with the most straight face, “When will it be possible for a man to get pregnant?”

The venue was filled to its capacity with well-wishers and admirers. Nita and Mukesh Ambani, close friends of the author who has been featured on Verve’s Power List, walked in with Kokilaben Ambani. Nita, in her role as chief guest, fondly spoke of Dr Parikh’s contribution to society. “Motherhood is God’s greatest gift to a woman and makes her family complete,” said the corporate czarina who took time off from the IPL schedule to make it to the event. “It is not just her magical treatment but her exceptional values that make Firuza a wonderful human being. This book is a powerful tool of empowerment for several families and her best is yet to come.”

The gathering – peopled with Bollywood personalities like Anupama and Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Kiran Rao, art masters like Jehangir Sabavala, and the city’s thinking set – enjoyed the repartee that sparkled in the historic hall. Farah Khan evoked many laughs with her confessions of how she coped with expecting triplets and working on Om Shanti Om at the same time.

But at the end it was Dr Parikh who held centrestage, despite the presence of so many luminaries. As many medicos spoke, remembering the first time she held a scalpel for her first C-section, praising her contribution to the medical field and asking a few pertinent questions, the doctor who is also a mother herself, said, “Today, I feel as if I have delivered a baby myself. Every day I pray. I believe in its power. And for me the greatest reward is the smiles I see on my patients’ faces.” When she stepped down from the stage, she was instantly surrounded by smiling faces. The conversations and congratulations continued through the refreshments and cool drinks that were served in the garden outside....

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