A few days ago I got a call from my sister-in-law, Sheila, that there was a healer from Goa and I could consult him if I wanted. He was in town but only till 1230. Consultations are free and you only donate to his NGO if you wished. It was already half past ten and I had a few more things to do that day but I decided to do it, feeling a bit adventurous, and seeing the call as a signal and so on and so forth. So Shobha and Monica and I, carried our respective bags of health woes and headed to the swanky Hotel Lemon Tree in Madhapur.
Now this Lemon Tree hotel is right opposite the TCS building as one heads left from the Hitech city and is an intriguing hotel as it is two hotels in one - Lemon Tree for the 4 star deluxe crowd and Red Fox for the budget crowd. But they are part of the same building, same premises. Never saw any like that.
Anyway we headed to the mezzanine floor after many security checks and saw Patrick who was in conversation with Avantika, who we were to meet and who was handling his visitors. Procedure is pretty simple - write your name and mobile number down in a simple register and go and see Patrick in the room. There was no one else there. Now there was no room really as we were in the restaurant where the lovely Avantika sat and an outdoor area with plants etc partitioned by glass (like an greenhouse or a smoking area) where Patrick stood, a chair in front of him.
I knew his name was Patrick but I was surprised when Avantika told me that his full name was Dr. Patrick San Francisco. Now that was the first time I heard a name like that. Tall, slender, hair that grew past his shoulders, wearing a casual white t shirt and jeans, unshaven, kindly and intense eyes, Patrick San Francisco is not your regular healer. You could meet him on Baga beach (where he has his clinic in Goa by the way, next to a Nani's and Rani's shack as per net reports) and would have thought he was a musician, a writer, a philosopher, a yogi or just a regular guy walking the beach. But his eyes are different as are the gentle movements of his body. Peaceful, a gentle smile in the eye.
Patrick is a doctor who studied medicine. But somewhere along the line he realised that he had the healing power and started his healing clinics. On the net there are several articles on him in Midday, Times and some blogs that describe how his clinic always has about 100s where he treats the poor and rich alike (same procedure, write name in register and see him) for free. People swear by his healing and say that it works. What Patrick does is "remove negative energy and direct positive energy to the parts that ail" as per the Midday article which I think is fairly accurate.
Having tried all sorts of things in the past, I personally believe that energy healing does work, just as allopathy does, and believe that everything has its place. If there is an emergency run to the allopath who can sort you out and put you out of pain in a few minutes. If there are symptoms, and things that need support, energy, alternative medicine, they could all help. All healing is good and in the right hands it does work wonders.
I watched him through the glass pane as he did his energy healing with Monica, a few minutes is all it took. I went in next. A gentle namaste and he asked me to sit in the chair opposite him. I told him my history and my health woes. We spoke of Goa, of food, of health and then he directed his energy. A couple of minutes. He reassured me that all is well and that he will take care. I normally don't have too many questions - he knows what he is doing - and pushed off. Belief is important and I am a big believer. Another gentle namaste, and I exited to chat with the dapper and handsome Aruni Ray, GM of Lemon Tree and the husband of Avantika. He explained the concept behind the two hotels being in the same place. Avantika has been seeing Patrick for two years and hence the connection as Lemon Tree gave him the space currently for his visits. We donated some, picked up a couple of CDs and headed home. Healed.
Back home I looked up the enigmatic and peaceful Patrick San Francisco on the net and found some stuff on him. All positive stuff. As I saw the 'Samarpan' website I was amazed at the work he has done with his NGO.
The work 'Samarpan' does spans education, food, health, water supply, orphanges, old age homes, disaster management, rural development, urban development. There is one project where they build low cost houses with 1 litre PET botles filled with sand used as bottle bricks. Check out the video on you tune at the following link.
It is an interesting view.
But as I see the amount of work involved, the number of people who step out to help be it education, tree plantation, food distribution or whatever, you wonder at the power of what one person and a vision, a thought, a purpose can do. And there is so much to do. Patrick is hardly visible on the website, (he is happier merely doing it seems and not talking about it and having his pictures all over) save a few quotes here and there, and the smallest picture of anyone I have ever seen. He does not talk of his NGO nor donations when you meet him, only about you and your problems, a small box outside the consultation room and we either donate or not.
I have met many healers, medicine men, yogis, mystics. What amazes me is their capacity to do so much good to the general public in their own way. If it is by giving hope and comfort, so be it. That is more than what people need anyway. There are those who charge nothing and those who do not. But the amount of work that goes in behind what we see as conventional development work is truly wonderful. Forget the healing part, even if one were to take the work 'Samarpan' is doing, it is amazing. I wish Patrick and his band of followers well and may join in some project when the time comes myself - plant trees, talk to school children, spend time with the aged.
My interaction with Patrick was for less than five minutes. Maybe when I meet him next I will talk more and know and understand more about him and his mission. But for now it is interesting to cross my path with a man like Dr. Patrick San Francisco, the Goan healer. And yes, my reports today confirm all is well within limits. My regular doctor would be pleased with these reports. I am.