Hundreds from around the world flock to Rahat Open Surgery - an open-air clinic - inches from the Jama Masjid Mosque in Old Delhi.
In the shadow of a mosque their feet and hands are sliced by razor blades. The goal- give the bad blood an escape route and encourage the body to reoxygenate.
Mr. Gyas - who has practiced the tradition of blood-letting in India for nearly three decades- consoles his patients as their darkened blood drips onto the stained concrete. As he places his palms out in perfect jazz-hands form, he explains that he is communicating the grace of God.
After they are sliced by punctuated razor blade jabs, the patients then engage in leg lunges and hand curls as red clouds swirls across their bare skin. A water wallah paces the grounds showering the wounds with lukewarm water.
Some come to rid themselves of muscle tension or head ache. For many more plagued by chronic pain or cancer this ancient method has become their last resort. With all their hearts, the patients say in symphony they have finally found an antidote to years of suffering.
The treatment is generally a 15 day procedure. That's a lot of blood loss under the blazing Delhi sun. Wonder if the light-headed lot is discouraged from operating heavy machinery?
I don't want to dis on New Jersey, but the one American there who was eagerly participating was from Edison.
Then again, I shouldn't dis on the whole procedure, even if the impact is purely psychological. The detailed procedure and die hard commitment on the part of the "doctor" and patients are captivating.
I will explore the details of treatment and the controversy over what some call an archaic practice in an upcoming television feature. Warning: not for the weak stomached...