Sri Narasipura Subbaiah Narayana Murthy (the Doctor) lives ofcourse in Narasipura, which falls under the Shimoga district in Karnataka. My research prior the travel showed that all one needs to do is to get to Narasipura or Shimoga and locals know the doctor's place.
Our male cousin in Bangalore who is specially fond of my father agreed to accompany me. We left to Shimoga on a Saturday since the doctor consults only on Sundays and Thursdays. Consultation begins at 7:00am, its on first come first serve basis. I thought 5:00am would make us sufficiently early. But our taxi driver in Shimoga ridiculed the time and took us there around 1:00am. Apparently the documentary that got me there was the reason for the crazy surge in crowd.
Even at this hour we were already the 10th in line. Everyone had come well prepared. Mats, blankets, pillows, and food. My cousin and I showed up with nothing. Both of us don't take well to cold weather and it was rather cold to be out on the road in the hilly Shimoga region in the month of September.
After compelling my cousin to sleep in the car, I settled down next to a friendly family on the road by the Doctor's house. Underneath me was floor mat from the car and to cover myself a flimsy shawl. Token number 9 and my neighbors took pity on me and gave me a blanket. I laid on the road awake for most of the night looking at the stars above and noticing constant influx of people.
Crack of the dawn showed a large crowd of waiting patients. There was a tea stall which also served breakfast and it unsurprisingly operated only on Sundays and Thursdays. After the breakfast we fallen 50 places behind, so much for sleeping on the road.
Stood in the line for over one hour. The consultation lasted for maybe 5-10 minutes. He gave us some local barks. One of which we were to make a paste and give with honey, the other was to be boil in water with pepper and cumin, reduce it to half and drink it.
I came home armed with magical herbs from the hills and sincerely followed the instruction. What I always suspected happened, i.e. no change in my father's condition. Maybe he warded off cold with all the pepper and cumin.
Was it utter stupidity and naiveness on my part to undertake something like this? Maybe. Lying on my back on the road, unable to sleep and looking at the stars, I knew, and I suspect so did my cousin that this wasn't magically going to make my father walk or talk. This was our massage to the universe that we loved and cared for him and have minimal expectations on what it would bring us.