We can thank an Indian custom
the arranged marriage—for the presence in
America of gastroenterologist Sudha Nahar,
M.D., 45. She was at a medical college in
Udaipur, India, when her family proposed the
match, but her husband-to-be was study-
ing for a Ph.D. in engineering in the United
States. After moving to this country, Dr.
Nahar did a residency at what is now Drexel
University College of Medicine in Philadelphia
and a gastroenterology fellowship at Rob-
ert Wood Johnson Medical School in New
Brunswick. Residents of Warren, she and her
husband have two daughters, Ritu, 20, and
Rupal, 15, both of whom are proficient in a
classical Indian dance called bharatanatyam.
One, this field deals
with many organs—esophagus, liver, pan-
creas, intestines and more—not just one. Two,
it can treat dysentery and parasite infections,
which are common ailments in India. Three, I
used to live in Piscataway, and after commut-
ing to Philly for my residency, the trip to New
Brunswick, where my gastroenterology fel-
lowship was, was an offer I couldn’t pass up.
What’s an arranged marriage like?
It’s not a
forceful thing. It’s more like we trusted our
parents as they knew us best. I was 22 and
my mother was a teacher. A colleague of hers
had been a tenant of my future in-laws. It
turned out that my father and my future father-
in-law had been grade-school classmates!
Tell me about bharatanatyam.
It’s a dance
from southern India that tells a story and con-
veys ancient cultural values. In August, Rupal
did a two-hour solo performance called an
arangetram” before 400 people to earn her
diploma from the Tala Shruti School of Dance
in Fords, as her sister did a few years ago.
What makes your life fun?
I like cooking and
watching Bollywood movies, and I enjoy my
work. As a doctor I’m in the best profession
there is, and in America I’m in the best country.
What else can I ask for?
Sudha Nahar, M.D.
Sudha Nahar, M.D., has
helped daughters Rupal
top) and Ritu learn to
excel in a traditional
as a doctor i ’m in the best profession there is,
and in america I ’m in the best country.
what else can I ask for?”
sudha nahar, m.d.