I always wanted to be a dentist…I was accepted to dental school in the spring of 1972.
—Mark Spitz, Swimming hero at Munich Olympics
Mark Spitz may have scorched the swimming pool at the Munich Olympics with seven gold medals, but he probably missed out on being a dentist. Dentists may occasionally forget, but their patients, celebrity or otherwise, always remember. Would you forget the time you had a root-canal treatment? Or a gaping cavity fixed? Or a tooth re-implant done?
Meet Dr A S Marwah, intellectual nonagenarian and a towering figure in the Indian American community in Los Angeles, who became a dentist first, and then many things after. Indeed, it would require a magnum opus to chronicle his life’s journey. Abridging his story is a bit like a layman who tries to become a dentist in a week’s time. He’s worn so many hats, we’d require an entire cabinet to store them. He’s a beacon for the Indian community in Los Angeles, an absolute guiding light for many. He’s been in the USA for over well over 66 years, and there is little that he does not know or hasn’t seen about the evolution of the Indian American community. As a dentist, his patients have included a galaxy of celebrities, and he’s rubbed shoulders with the Who’s Who of USA all the time. Even today, at age 90, there is more than just a spring in his step. There is more to accomplish, and miles to go, a la Fauja Singh of Ilford, England, who ran his first marathon at 88, and continued doing so till 101, before “retiring”.