The Matchmaking Doctor

62 year old Dr Anil Kumar Jhingan, seeing me perspiring freely as I worked, graciously apologises that the AC unit is not working due to a power cut. I ask him not to worry and he welcomes another patient into his consulting room in New Delhi as I continue to set up. Dr Jhingan is a diabetes specialist who fell into matchmaking for his patients when he saw the difficulties they faced getting married and also afterwards during their married life.  In India many myths surround diabetes the most critical being the belief that a diabetic cannot produce a child and even if they do the disease will be inherited by any children. Its also erroneously believed that a diabetic will not live long and cannot have a normal life.

These attitudes can make the experience of marriage miserable for diabetics in India. Even though the disease is found equally in both sexes, socio-economic dependency means women suffer more and It is sadly common for wives to be rejected by their husbands once they discover they are diabetic.

So the good doctor has been implored by patients or parents of patients to match either themselves or their diabetic children with similarly afflicted patients to make unions between equals. After running the service on paper from a drawer of his desk he launched a website in 2008 that now has 750 members and receives 50 to 60 hits a day.

Method: a horribly dark room to shoot in so best to overpower the ambient light. One SB 800 into brolly, high camera left ; another behind him to right with a quarter Honl grid fitted to provide texture and depth,  zoomed to 105mm; one SB900 as commander on the hot shoe. For the wide shots the dome diffuser was on the brolly SB800, on the close-up portraits it was removed and zoomed to 105mm to give a harder, more focussed light. All TTL via the Nikon Creative Lighting System.

Thanks to my marvellous photographer friend Simon Jacobs who played lighting assistant for the day and to Suryatapa Bhattcharya Foreign Correspondent for The National, see her full article on Dr Jhingan here

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