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Vivek runs to Mumbai and Ash’s doctor

July 17: Not to worry. Vivek Oberoi is in safe hands — of the doctor who took such fine care of Aishwarya Rai’s small toe three months ago.

On a murky Calcutta morning, monsoon clouds spread across the sky, Vivek was whisked away to the airport to board a 7.15 flight to Mumbai.

Plans to be treated in Calcutta, where he broke his left leg in an accident during the shooting of a Mani Ratnam film yesterday, were abandoned last night itself.

By 10.30 am, Vivek was in Mumbai’s Hinduja hospital, where he underwent an operation some five hours later. Orthopaedic surgeon Sanjay Agarwala, who performed the surgery, said he had fixed the fracture with nails and screws in an “interlocking system”.

Vivek, it is feared, will be out of action for at least three months. But “we expect him to stand up in a couple of days with crutches and walk more and more with support”, Agarwala said.

Movie fans will expect support to arrive from London in the lovely shape of Aishwarya, who is there now in connection with a Gurinder Chadha film in which she will play the lead role.

In April, Vivek had spent a sleepless night at her bedside in the same hospital where she was admitted, also after a shooting accident.

Back in Calcutta, the young man she has been romantically linked to emerged from the hospital on a stretcher wearing a drab, white hospital gown, with his left leg encased from toe to knee in plaster.

Piloted by police who cut a lane through the press of mediapersons, he departs, but not before pleading with the crowd and the cameras to let him leave.

“I am in a lot of pain. Please, I am requesting the media people to just get back and let them lift me on to the ambulance.”

Father Suresh Oberoi made no bones about why he had not wasted any time in flying Vivek down. “I brought him over from Calcutta so fast as I did not want him to suffer more.”

He did add, though, that it was easier to bring Vivek to Mumbai than “taking 50 people there”.

“We brought him straight to the hospital from the airport. He is in a lot of pain. Still, he’s laughing and joking.

“He has taken this very bravely and his mother is also rather strong. In fact, after the accident he told me that there was nothing much to worry about. He’s a brave boy.”

The shift in location was finalised late on Wednesday, when Agarwala called Calcutta to organise Vivek’s discharge.

“Since he had treated a celebrity like Aishwarya a few months ago and knew the Oberoi family, we thought there was every reason for them to take Vivek home,” said Subroto Dasgupta, the surgeon under whom Vivek was admitted at the Calcutta Medical Research Institute.

After midnight, doctors plastered Vivek’s shin under general anaesthesia.

Around the corner, director Mani Ratnam, who had been recuperating at the BM Birla Heart Research Centre after fainting on location following Vivek’s accident, was released around 7 pm today.

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