Ramesh was up on the bed as usual by Six O Clock. He felt uneasy at the nose. His right hand went to the left nostril; he pulled something and a wave of pain went to his brain. Something was flowing from his nose. He wiped it with reverse side of the hand and looked at it. A mental shock pulled him to the mirror. One green leaf had grown out of his right nostril and the one he pulled from left was yet in his hand. His nose was bleeding but not red; it was grass green liquid oozing tepidly. He took a napkin and pressed to soak it. The bleeding stopped. Ramesh went back to the mirror and slowly tried to pull the grassy blade grown out of his right nostril. It was painful. he stopped. For half an hour he sat on the bed, horrified.
When he was somewhat out of shock, he made up mind to visit his doctor friend.
Ramesh was admitted in a private room. No one was allowed to enter except Dr. Vishnu himself. Vishnu could not do any good to Ramesh other than maintaining secrecy about this terrible development. In the next two weeks the situation turned worse.
Green leafs had grown out of mouth and ears of Ramesh and he was in coma. By the end of the third week Dr. Vishnu gave up all hopes. He found Ramesh converting into some kind of tree. His arms and legs were becoming like wood, his feet seemed to be growing roots, anyone coming inside the room was likely to ask, why a tree was kept on the bed! Vishnu made up his mind to project the case with medical council. Only two of his short video clips were proof enough to convince anyone that this tree was a man named Ramesh once upon a time. Vishnu was about to call the senior doctor when the receptionist brought one lady and announced, “Madam Revati wants to see you urgently.”
Revati was a beautiful woman in her late twenties. Vishnu greeted her and asked to take the chair. Before settling into chair the lady asked, “Where is Ramesh?”
Thousand thoughts passed simultaneous through Vishnu’s brain. How did she know the secret? What more she did she know? He had seen her photograph few days back in connection with the recent demise of biological scientist Dr. Pratap. Yes, she was the daughter of the late scientist.
Vishnu was already in big trouble. His sixth sense told him that Revati was sent by god for his help. Without any prelude or hesitation Vishnu invited her in. “Come along,” he advised.
They went to the room where Ramesh, now a tree, was put on bed. Revati looked and the color of her face kept changing from wonder to rage, pity, challenge and confidence. Revati uttered only few words. “We need to plant him now in open ground!”
Revati was a renowned scholar in genetics and the disciple of her late father, Dr. Pratap. She was definitely no less than an authority to deal the issue. After conferring for half an hour, Dr. Vishnu and Revati made plans to plant Ramesh in the reserve gardens at the laboratory of late Dr. Pratap. Revati was now the sole heir to that property. They also decided to involve medical council and groups of biological and genetic scientists.
Revati addressed the congregation of scholars invited to share this case for study and opinion. “Before twenty years my father, Dr. Pratap, had been working on a concept. If a tree grows further from the place of a cut, then can it be possible that human limbs grow after any amputation?” Confused audience looked at each other. She continued. “Some enzymes were developed on this during research. Ramesh, the son of laboratory assistant, had accidentally inhaled the odour for longer duration than threshold limits. The odour was sweet, comforting and more inviting but had very bad side effects. This happened when Dr. Pratap was on his tour to Delhi conference. Ramesh was then eight years old and children were prohibited to enter the laboratory. However Ramesh was let in by his own father and rules were overlooked.”
This sounded like a mystery thriller. Gentle murmur passed through the seated dignitaries.
The matter became serious when Ramesh showed symptoms of dropping the skin at a rate higher than normal and doctors were not able to cure. Dr. Pratap could understand the reason. He prescribed some kind of oral suspension syrup for three days, which cured Ramesh. From that time onwards Ramesh was always under observation.
Dr. Pratap had known that someday or the other, the enzyme may become active at any stage of Ramesh’s life. It happened after the death of Dr. Pratap that Ramesh had this attack when Revati was engaged in mourning and rituals. Dr. Pratap had already explained to Revati how to deal with the situation. But unfortunately she noticed way too late, that Ramesh was missing. When she found him finally in Dr. Vishnu’s clinic, things had proceeded too far.
For survival, the only thing that would help Ramesh was to plant him in the open grounds like a tree!
There was no one who knew of any other solution. Ultimately they planted Ramesh in the gardens of the laboratory. Ramesh now was surviving as a tree.
After a week, another conference of scholars was held at the laboratory and a major problem occurred during it. Revati was all ready to start reversal treatment for Ramesh, converting him back from tree to a man. Heavy objections were registered by many members at the meet. They were of the opinion that this never had happened in the past. So it would be better to study how Ramesh survived as a tree and what was to come next.
The results of debate are awaited………..!
No one knows what is better. To let him survive as a tree or convert him back to a man? If the conversion goes wrong, he’ll die the dilemma between humanity and research. Research, that is enigmatic involving the life of one human.