Dr Ketan Khurjekar found a place in everybody’s hearts with his simple and charming ways, making him simply unforgettable, said Marathi actor and director Subodh Bhave. Bhave and Dr Khurjekar had studied together in N M V High school in Pune.
Dr Khurjekar was killed in an accident on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on Sunday night. On Tuesday, several close relatives, friends, doctors, students, patients, well-wishers and acquaintances bid a tearful farewell to the chief spine surgeon of Sancheti hospital. His last rites were performed at Vaikunth crematorium.
Going down memory lane, Bhave recalled how Dr Khurjekar would attend the premiere shows of all his movies. “He loved all our performances and was always encouraging me… when my book Ghei Chand was released, he purchased several copies and distributed them,” said the actor as he consoled Dr Khurjekar’s family members.
Despite going their separate ways, Bhave and Dr Khurjekar stayed in touch on WhatsApp. “He was a lovely soul and anybody could call him at any time. He was so full of life that I don’t think he knew what stress was. In fact, when we were stressed out, we used to call Ketan,” said Bhave. “We wanted to give him a surprise… a day before his birthday, all of us posted videos and I don’t know why, but in my post, I told Ketan that he has done a lot for his friends and patients and it was time he took care of himself,” said the actor, wondering why he had a feeling of foreboding.
Another close friend was consulting spine surgeon at Sancheti hospital Dr Shailesh Hadgaonkar, who called Dr Khurjekar a confidant. “He had this pleasing personality and invariably, one felt like talking to him. He went out of his way to help others,” said Dr Hadgaonkar.
The sentiment was echoed by another close friend, Dr Kaustubh Radkar. “He was such a simple and loving man, always available to meet, mentor and guide. This is a personal loss for me,” Radkar said.
Dr Nitin Deshpande, president of the Maharashtra Orthopaedic Association, said a fitting tribute to Dr Khurjekar’s memory would be if his students carried on the excellent work he was performing in the field of spine surgery.