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“Bapaji and Me, A Memoir of India and Beyond” by Sadhna Bhatia, M.D.

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Bapaji and Me by Sadhna Bhatia, M.D.

Bapaji and Me by Sadhna Bhatia, MD

A note from Green Gables Book Reviews-A memoir is a book that someone openly shares about their life, the good, the bad, the scary, the pretty, the joys, and the hard times. It isn’t easy to review a memoir as a book reviewer because it is someone’s life story. It is more personal than fiction, with more heart, because it is entirely based on the person’s real life.

But, as a book reviewer, here is what I will say- In reading Bapaji and Me, I found many instances of kindness and grace, strength, caring, compassion, and perseverance demonstrated by Dr. Sadhna Bhatia.

As a doctor, she was professional and compassionate, even facing up to male doctors who thought they knew more, simply because they were male. Dr. Sadhna Bhatia took the extra steps necessary to attain a high professional level and many achievements within her profession because of her determination, hard work, and the strength she gained from Bapaji.

As a daughter/daughter-in-law, she was respectful, kind, caring, and did everything she could for her family, even living so far away. And as a wife and mom, she was loving, respectful, and kind, and it was evident that Mohit was always on her and Raj’s minds, and they always wanted the best for him.

About the book, Bapaji and Me by Sadhna Bhatia, M.D.

Bapaji and Me by Sadhna Bhatia, MD, is a well-written memoir that begins with her life as a young girl living in India and receiving encouragement from her forward-thinking grandfather, Bapaji. The reader gets a fascinating look at life in India and the customs that traditional families follow.

Even though Bapaji passed away just before Dr. Sadhna Bhatia finished high school, his influences have stayed with her throughout her life. He instilled in her that having the strength of willpower could help her win even during life’s most difficult circumstances. He also helped her believe in herself, and with his encouragement, she realized she could be a doctor, even as a female. It was in the ’50s, so being female and studying to be a doctor was not customary.

In Bapaji and Me, the author gives a deep look into her life. The book spans from Dr. Sadhna Bhatia’s birth to her doctor’s retirement in 2013. She is authentic with her words and shares things that many might only share with close family or friends, giving the reader a deep, honest look at her interesting life.

When Dr. Sadhna Bhatia was still in college, she was introduced to Raj, they became engaged, and their two families arranged their wedding. It was fascinating to read about a traditional wedding and marriage. There are so many traditions and so many people involved! After their marriage and honeymoon, she found that her new family was very demanding and, at times, demeaning and rude toward her. She knew that she needed to draw on the strength she learned from Bapaji to get her through these times.

The opportunity came to go to the United States as a medical professional. While working at the hospital, Dr. Sadhna Bhatia, M.D. had to learn about living in the US, and she also encountered difficulties being a doctor while being both female and from another country. At times, these difficulties seem unfair, but she always handled them with dignity.

While in the US, they frequently traveled back to India to visit family. They were disheartened to learn of extreme issues in the family being caused by a close family member, eventually to the point of likely abuse in the home.

Dr. Bhatia also shares with the reader many joyful times in her life: like visits with family, neighbors, and work friends, traveling, the joy she found in cooking, the joy of being parents to Mohit, and the awe of watching their son with their family pet, Shayru, and their son become an adult.

Many readers will identify with the portions of this book that talk about health issues with aging parents, the constant worry for their health, and in the author’s case, being so far away while still worrying about family dynamics and problems in the home in India.

I hope you will read Bapaji and Me. It is a book that will take you deep inside another culture, where you can learn things you may not otherwise understand. I feel as though I know Dr. Sadhna Bhatia after reading her book!


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