elebrity surgeon Dr Mufazzal Lakdawala, famous for operating upon obese politicians, will release a calendar featuring the top 10 women he had treated over the years, on 4 May in Mumbai. Around 200 patients — with their families — are expected to attend the launch party at his clinic, the Centre for Obesity and Digestive Surgery (CODS). Interestingly, politicians who form a bulk of Dr Lakdawala's client list (from BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari, Vinod Tawde to Venkaiah Naidu) have declined to be a part of the show. The ones who have confirmed their presence are Maharashtra Water Conservation Minister Nitin Raut, Minister Anil Deshmukh and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray's wife Sharmila. "Though Sharmila wasn't operated upon, she did consult him. Hence she has agreed to attend the launch," a CODS official said. "With elections going on, politicians did not want to upset their schedules, hence many of them declined to come," said Dr Lakdawala.
He also said that he will be hosting Coffi with Muffi (a takeoff from the hit show Coffee with Karan) where his patients will share their experiences with each other post surgery. "Weight loss surgery is not just about looks but about healthy living. That is why I started Coffi with Muffi so people could be more receptive, and open about being operated upon," he said.
"Till a few years ago in India, parents needed convincing about the benefits of surgery. Now parents themselves have become supportive and understand the pressures of obesity and push their kids to get surgery. They are aware it will not impact their sexual lives or chances of getting pregnant adversely, but rather give them healthier and happier lives without any side effects," he said.
CODS deliberately did not feature men in the calendar. "I believe that obesity affects women more psychologically and socially than it does men. Several young girls compromise on their choice of life partners as they believe that their obesity will be just the reason for not getting the man of their dreams. They shrink into their own cocoons, living with complexes and believing that they are missing out on the best things in life, their friends are judgmental and don't care for them."
58-year-old Abha Suchak, who features in the calendar, said she weighed 112 kg in 2007, and now post surgery, she is 70 kg. "Before I met Dr Muffi, my life was in dire straits. I was on a wheelchair suffering from depression and other diseases due to obesity. I was working but I wouldn't really meet people outside of work. I tried everything to lose weight but in vain. I finally met Dr Muffi out of sheer frustration and his positivity helped me go through with surgery. My depression went away. The medicines have stopped but I haven't changed, instead the world's perspective of me has. Today, my family thinks that I am the best grandmother in the world."