In the last two years, some 80 couples have frequented this narrow lane opposite August Kranti Maidan to meet Dr Jatin P. Shah, an in-vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection specialist. Last year, one of them happened to be Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri, who wished to welcome a new member to their family. This wasn't the first time that a member of the film industry had knocked on the door of Dr Shah's clinic - Mumbai Fertility Clinic and IVF Centre - in hope of getting a child. In 2010, Salman Khan's younger brother Sohail Khan and his wife Seema came and returned home happy with their second child, Yohan. Shah Rukh and Gauri also didn't leave disappointed - their son AbRam was born prematurely on May 27. "I am disappearing," says Dr Shah, handling the sudden moment in spotlight. His phone rings incessantly and his mailbox is filled with messages requesting for interviews. Once the Khans released a statement late on July 9, Shah had to cancel his trip to London to ensure he was there if officials of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation came to his clinic yet again. Everything was going according to plan until there was a need for emergency delivery of baby AbRam, who weighed only 1.5 kg at the time of birth.
The first few weeks at the Breach Candy Hospital, said Shah, were tense. Gauri, an intensely worried mother, stood vigilantly by AbRam's side. Outside, the Khans were facing a backlash after speculation wrongly suggested they had gone for a sex determination test. Many saw the couple's silence as an admission of their guilt. Shah was shocked at the allegations and the smear campaign against the Khans. "People asked me why he didn't announce the birth of his baby back in May," says Dr Shah, who himself maintained anonymity as he was bound by a legal agreement. "But when your baby is struggling for his life in the ICU, are you really going to be in the mood to involve or address the media?" When the BMC came knocking at Shah's clinic, he wasn't "anxious" knowing that the clinic's paperwork was in place. "After the BMC saw the birth certificate, they were satisfied. The gender was known solely because of the premature birth of which people had no clue."