Ajit Balakrishnan: The pain of innovation

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Whenever the talk about innovation bubbles up into a fever, as it is currently doing in India, I abandon my normal route to work from Colaba to Mahim through pretty Marine Drive and take the inner route, through Chinchpokli and Jacob Circle. I do this to catch a glimpse of what is now called Kasturba Hospital and bring myself back to the ground.

The Kasturba Hospital was built in 1892 as The City Fever Hospital. In the late 19th Century, the city then called Bombay was struck by a series of epidemics: malaria, cholera, Spanish influenza, and, most of all, the bubonic plague. Why Bombay? It was then, like today, India's most internationally connected city and ships carrying infected people from Hong Kong brought these diseases, and spread from Bombay city to the rest of western and n