He loved to fly like a jjin above the Himalayan splendors on a motorcycle in a cyberpunk India, chaos and technology entwined, extremely exhilarating but it was playing Russian Roulette. Indian traffic has a system all to its self, because there’s so much of it, a billion people rushing to and fro, it’s Topsy-turvy Land, the secret of making it through the morass is to hone your driving skills, cross your fingers and pray to every god known to man.
Everyone mostly makes it but such is the volume of mobile-madness there are innumerable accidents, in one year over eighty-five thousand dead and one hundred and thirty thousand crippled for life, and in the background lurks a vast, multi-layered medical industry waiting to patch up the pieces.
They were flying along like the Thief of Baghdad hanging onto his genie, Himalayan foothills in the background, past the peasants reaping their vast sugar-cane fields, through the klunky one-buffalo villages, zooming alongside a stupendous concrete canal, man-made tributary of the Ganges River, as colossal as the Great Wall of China in its extreme length, as if leading travelers into infinity, the Canal of Life going nowhere. Leo turned to Arthur and shouted above the wind, “It’s like flying, isn’t it?” And Arthur yelled back, “Yeah, so cool!”
The criminal biker had bit the dust also, only he got up, brushed himself off, looked back at the stricken firanghis lying in the dust and knew he’d well and truly fucked them. He did the common Indian trick of "absconding", for few had driver’s licenses, let alone insurance, in the “functioning anarchy” that was India. He jumped on his bike and sped away with his mates while Leo scrambled about trying to find an appropriate vehicle to take a broken Arthur to the nearest hospital.
He then chased down all the necessities outside on the main road where pharmacies and medical equipment suppliers lurked, the hospital providing the barest requirements. Arthur had to constantly reassure the doctor that he had not been abandoned in his jail-cell, that they could continue to treat him with confidence, that all would be paid for. A female Hospital Administrator came and cluck-clucked over the missing mobile, an unheard of event, and got Arthur moved to another grimy room, one with not so much traffic. The attentive female nurses were the sweetest thing about the joint: as always, nurses rule, OK? The efficient, militant doctor promised Arthur he would walk reasonably well again as he’d done a perfect job in screwing the bones together, though he wasn’t sure about the knee-tendon.
Regardless of Leo buying most stuff, ever more bills were presented, they stacked up, and one earnest young man was not leaving without the many thousands of rupees owed for a metal pin screwed into Arthur’s shin to keep it together. He’d come from a great distance with the very special device, it was mighty precious, the latest in medical gadgetry, it would not only save Arthur’s leg, it would save his very life. On and on chattered the surgeon, greed causing his eyes to bulge further. The whole hospital routine was wearing Arthur down and he was dying to leave but the “titanium pin” guy waited solemnly outside Arthur’s grungy room night and day, making easy escape difficult.
The really bad joke was the special titanium pin they’d put on his shin at great expense and hand-wringing turned out to have a golden staph bug attached to it that nearly killed him with an infection a few years later. He had to have another operation to take it out and a three month course in the last anti-biotic in the world available to kill off the nasty infection.