Chauburji There were in times gone by, two men who had forsaken the country of their birth to administer to the sick and weary in Lahore. Drs. Selzer and Diek were Germans who practiced their skills from a clinic in close proximity of what is now China Chowk. I, a young lad then, first saw Selzer as he came out of his car on our front steps immaculately dressed, sporting a French beard on a face that became both stern and benign as the situation demanded. The good doctor was actually a skilled surgeon, but also became a physician when the need to do so arose. He was expensive and therefore only those that could afford him flocked to his door, notwithstanding the fact that some of his clients did so just to be able say that they were Selzers patients. Dr. Diek had taken upon himself to administer to humanity in general, especially the middle and poor classes and his uncanny diagnostic ability made him very popular. His part of the clinic was always overflowing with patients, not only because of his professional expertise, but also due to the fact that unlike his colleague, he charged a fee for only the first consultation or visit. All others that followed were gratis. He also ran a dispensary that gave out free medicine to those that couldnt afford them. It was perhaps this difference in attitude that ultimately forced the two friends apart and set up their respective practices elsewhere. One could hear Dr. Khan Bahadur Yar Muhammad Khan from some distance as he carried a stentorian set of vocal chords. This great physician was almost a legend in the Lahore of yore. Practicing from his old residence on the corner, where Hall Road intersects McLeod Road, he specialised in prescribing mixtures that had almost magical healing effects on patients. It was often said that only the chemists at the famous Fazal Dins establishment on the Mall could fill his prescriptions. We were privileged to have known him, not only as a doctor, but as a trusted family friend. Dr. Amiruddin was an icon in the realm of surgery and many of his patients reverently said that his scalpel carried miraculous properties. Tall and thinly built, this great surgeon was a focal figure in Lahores Mayo Hospital. Dr. Ramzan Ali was an eye specialist par excellence. He initially operated from a clinic in the vicinity of the King Edward Medical College Sports Complex and later shifted to Temple Road. I am told that a full-fledged eye hospital bearing his name now provides eye care to the people from the same spot. If my memory hasnt failed me, the gentleman was always referred to as Hakim Hussain Mian by my paternal grandmother, whose side of the family had patronised him since much before Independence. Hakim Sahib lived in a spacious house in Model Town and was a character out of a vintage picture album. One always found his bearded tall figure clad in a choori dar pyjama and kurta sitting cross legged on a floor cushion behind a low wooden desk with his 'Turkish cap by his side. His prescriptions included a wide range of Khameeras and Maajoons that were delicious to taste and we were constantly on the look out to sample them legitimately or surreptitiously. Mr. Allah Ditta was not a doctor, but everyone called him one. His bearded turbaned figure dressed in shalwar kameez and western style coat, would pedal up our drive on a ladies bicycle that sported a front carrier containing a small leather case. As we watched, he would open the case and extract a spirit lamp, a tripod and two rectangular metal containers - one containing spirit swabs and the other a glass hypodermic syringe and needles of different sizes. The lamp would be lit under the tripod and syringe and needles boiled in their container till sterilised. He would then fill the hypodermic with whatever was prescribed and administer the injection with a loud Bismillah. It was amazing that one did not feel any pain under 'Dr Allah Dittas tender touch. And lest I omit a line about the old Pehalwan in the akhara outside Bhatti Gate, who was reputed to heal broken bones. Whether this was true or not, but Baba Ahmed Din our old domestic help adamantly maintained that he had seen people with fractures walk away after one visit to the miracle worker - darogh bar gurden-e-ravi (may the burden of the fib be on the neck of the narrator). The writer is a freelance columnist.