It was a dark and stormy night. The rain showed no signs of letting up and I was soaked to the bone. I looked around in despair but my eyes could only spot the flickering shadows that toyed with my imagination. My bike had a flat tyre and I was far away from any sort of human contact. I could push my bike down the dark village road bereft of any lighting except from the headlamp of my bike. Or I could wait for a good Samaritan to give me a lift to the next village. I hadn’t seen anyone in the last half an hour and didn’t fancy my chances. Exhaustion overcame me. I sat down by the road waiting for glimmer of hope.
I had difficulty opening my eyes. Groggily I lifted my head and found myself in a strange house. Bright sunlight was streaming in through the window and I lifted my hand to check the time but I realised that my watch was missing. I was suddenly aware of the excruciating pain that was tearing at me from my insides. I reached down and my fingers ran over unfamiliar stitches. My hands were trembling by now and I tried to get up on my feet but it was no use. My legs seemed to have a mind of their own and they refused to move forward. I collapsed once again onto the floor. Summoning all my strength I crawled towards the window and looked outside. I saw an Amaltass (also known as the Golden Shower) tree resplendent in its golden yellow flowers in the middle of a beautiful garden. My strength deserted me and I slowly fell again as my mind drifted away.
I woke up to a loud honk. I nearly jumped out of my skin and saw an old man in a car parked next to my bike. “You look like you could use some help. You need a lift, beta?” I regained my senses and realised I had dozed off leaning against my bike. I shuddered and jumped into his car as I apologised profusely for getting his seats wet but he laughed it off. Dr. Avinash explained that he once a pretty famous doctor in Bombay but had given up the big city life to become the local doctor in a small town in rural Karnataka. ‘Big fish in a small pond’ he explained.
The more he spoke the more I marveled at the sacrifice he had made to move to a small town but something kept gnawing away at the back of my mind. He looked familiar and I racked my brains while making polite conversation. Suddenly it struck me. Illegal organ transplants. A famous doctor who suddenly disappeared. I tried not to panic as he drove into his large compound. In the dark of the night I could make out an Amaltass tree in full bloom in the middle of a beautiful garden.