Sunday, November 23, 2008

City Classic - Sablok Clinic, Daryaganj

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City Classic - Sablok Clinic, Daryaganj

The Capital's legendary sex clinic promises a 'cure' for homosexuality.

[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Other than gonorrhea, syphilis, impotency, night discharge, the city's legendary gupt-rog clinic discreetly claims to cure gay men of their homosexuality.

Sablok Clinic, in its own words, is one of the "oldest and most authentic sex clinic." Established by Mr Hakim Hari Singh Sablok in 1928 at Lahore, it shifted to Delhi after the Indian partition.

Since then by advertising itself with pictures of happy-looking straight couples, Sablok clinic has grown to be a part of Delhi's landscape.

One afternoon I met sexologist Dr Vinod Sablok (FRSH, UK), the late founder's son, in his slickly designed first floor clinic at Daryaganj and introduced myself as a gay man tormented by man-to-man orientation. I said that my approaching wedding is making me nervous since I like having sex with men, not women.

Dr Sablok immediately asked me to unzip.

After examining my you-know-what with a magnifying lens, the venerable doctor assured me of full recovery. I was told that at the end of a month-long treatment, costing Rs 5,500, I would start desiring women, not men.

It happens only in India? Not really.

Not in India alone is homosexuality perceived as an illness curable through medicines and therapy sessions. It was only 34 years ago that the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. Pentagon continued with that classification as late as 2006 when it moved the 'illness' to a list of conditions ranging from bed-wetting to fear of flying.

Delhi's Dr Sablok shares the distinguished rank of those crazed medical practitioners worldwide who have been tirelessly attempting to cure the homosexuals of homosexuality.

In the 1920s, medical researchers in Germany implanted testicles from corpses into the bodies of gay men. Electric shocks and hallucinogenic drugs were other popular treatments. In contrast, Dr Sablok's remedy is pretty painless—one-month expensive medication and every gay in town could strut his stuff for a girl.

"It's all bogus," says Mr Rahul Singh, gay rights activist who works with the Naz Foundation at Kailash Colony. "People want to cash on to the insecurity of gays who are socially uncomfortable with their identity", he says.

I also talked to Mr Ashok Row Kavi, UNAIDS Consultant and perhaps India's most famous gay rights activist. "There is a whole branch of psychiatry in India that still believes that homosexuality is curable through 'aversion therapy'," he says. "Gay men are given electric shocks after showing them pictures of naked males and subsequently given chocolates/mithai after being shown photos of naked women."

This whole 'therapy' is driven by market sources where parents bring in their single male children to the 'mental health specialist', say a couple of months before marriage, when the son complains that he is not sexually aroused by women.

Mr Kavi noted that one has to be careful with quacks as so many are homosexual themselves. "One such man eloped with the handsome patient he was supposed to cure," he says.

Whether Mr Sablok himself is homosexual is something I cannot claim with confidence. His face remained expressionless when I took out my you-know-what.

Where Near Golcha Cinema, Daryaganj Ph 23278787 Website sablokclinic.com

Straight & Sablok-ed

City Classic - Sablok Clinic, Daryaganj

11 comments:

Putra Bertam Malaysia. said...

Very interesting topic to be discuss.Seen you had been there, so what a the result. Any different and what are your opinion regarding the clinic? Are they doing for cure or for money.

Anonymous said...

hahahahha! homosexuality is not an illness. those who want to define it as such, are the ones that need a clinic to "STRAIGTHEN" their pathetic beliefs. No one would choose to be gay, for it is always about proving one's worth and respect -- but feelings are not made of black and white colours. Being gay is difficult but why on earth would anyone want to go to Sablok Clinic. They are bunch of opportunists cashing out on the sensitivity of homosexual lifestyle. Be who you are and F--K the rest who have issues. What makes them superior?

applepiecrust said...

Wow, grow up, India, grow up.
Well, not just India that needs to grow up I guess.

Gora Firanghi said...

I see on his site Dr Sabloc also cures masturbation. Let the good doctor but read Mark Twain's fond similitudes on this subject from the latter's "On the Science of Onanism." Twain delivered his heavy-handed thoughts in Paris in 1879 to the Stomach Club, a society of American writers and artists. I quote the following for the edification of any of your readers seeking a cure for this malady:

"Homer, in the second book of the Iliad says with fine enthusiasm, 'Give me masturbation or give me death.' Caesar, in his Commentaries, says, 'To the lonely it is company; to the forsaken it is a friend; to the aged and to the impotent it is a benefactor. They that are penniless are yet rich, in that they still have this majestic diversion.'

"Robinson Crusoe says, 'I cannot describe what I owe to this gentle art.' Queen Elizabeth said, 'It is the bulwark of virginity.' Cetewayo, the Zulu hero, remarked, 'A jerk in the hand is worth two in the bush.' The immortal Franklin has said, 'Masturbation is the best policy.'"

For those "Ruined by Reading" I append this bibliographical note. "The Science of Onanism" was originally published as a pamphlet in an edition of only 50 copies. But thanks to the Internet, it is now readily available online. Therefore, the prurient reader only teased by Twain's similitudes on "this gentle art" and "majestic diversion" can find satiety in the consummate text of this little masterpiece by going to this site: http://kaganof.com/kagablog/2007/11/02/some-thoughts-on-the-science-of-onanism-by-mark-twain/

Anonymous said...

You didn't really go there and then lay it before him for a looksee.?

Aloorat said...

Very interesting, Mayank, but not surprising for India.

The oft heard excuse in India is that people "choose" to be gay, as in fashionable, or, "different", as in being adventurous. Why would anyone voluntarily "choose" a lifestyle and face the homophobia that is rampant in Indian society is beyond me. Wait till "I can't Think Straight" comes to India in January and the right-wing nuts come out of the woodwork!.

Sablok is one more quack in a long line of "doctors" who offer the panacea that desperate parents seek so badly. So, what is he offering - some kind of pills to "cure" homosexuality, just by looking at your thingy? - give me a break.

To be fair, India has come a long way when it comes to acceptance of gender-equality. The Anti-Gay laws are at least being debated in the courts (as a first step to finally rescinding them), and people like Kao are bringing the fight to the forefront. There was also, for the first time, a Pride March in Delhi this past summer - a start.

The most homo-phobic nation, by the way, is Jamaica, where the killing of gays is universally accepted.

Keep up the good work, Mayank, your blog is my fave!.

Anonymous said...

mayank,
badmash-
that's where you've been,
when i have been trying to call you.

it all makes sense now.

s
x

Anonymous said...

You just confirmed my suspicions.

Anonymous said...

would the doctor also "cure" lesbians too? how could he look at the "plum" and decide whether its curable?! hahahah. Too funny. I guess anything to make the bucks! Homosexulaity has been in existence since Time. wonder, then, how come the witch doctors could not "cure" such a THANG! LOL

Anonymous said...

you didn't use your actual name, did you?

dreamer said...

so..did it help?? do you like women now??