In the Bonesetter’s Waiting Room

Travels through Indian medicine

[A] focused and fascinating journey.


India defies definition, and the story of medicine in India is similarly rich and complex: shaped by unique challenges and opportunities, uniting cutting-edge technological developments with ancient cultural traditions, fuelled by political changes that transformed the lives of millions, and moulded by the energy of forceful individuals.

Here, Aarathi Prasad investigates how Indian medicine came to be the way it is. Her travels take her to bonesetting clinics in Jaipur and Hyderabad and the waiting rooms of Bollywood’s best plastic surgeons, and introduce her to traditional healers as well as the world-beating heart surgeon who is revolutionising treatment of the poor around the globe.

From the asthma treatment ‘cure’ that involves swallowing a live fish, to ground-breaking mental health initiatives in Mumbai’s Dharavi mega-slum and neuroscience happening inside the Mughal walls of old Delhi, ‘In the Bonesetter’s Waiting Room’ tells the story of the Indian people, in sickness and in health, and provides a unique perspective on the most diverse and fascinating country in the world.

Date published
256 pages
Buy the book

About the author

Photograph of Aarathi Prasad

Aarathi Prasad

Aarathi Prasad is a biologist and writer. She has appeared on TV and radio programmes, including BBC Radio 4, Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel. She is the author of ‘Like A Virgin: How Science is Redesigning the Rules of Sex’. She lives in London.