“There was another instance when I went undercover as a volunteer in a clinical trial. We met a lot of families whose main source of income was participating in clinical studies. Safety guidelines and controls are not as strict in India, so it’s easier for pharmaceutical companies to do trials there. It doesn’t cost them much either. Volunteers who are paid as little as $20 or $50 end up losing their lives, and the government doesn’t do anything to protect them. The company just shrugs it off and says, ‘We told them the risks, they signed the waiver, that’s it.’ People are so desperate for money that they'll do almost anything.
“My parents back in India don’t know exactly what I do. They know I travel a lot and work on news stories, but I don’t ever tell them the details. There’s no point in worrying them. Why would I tell them, ‘I got kidnapped by a mob yesterday’? Or why would I tell them about being right in the middle of the 2008 Mombai terrorist attacks at the Taj Hotel? I don’t bring up those kinds of things with my mom and dad.
“Before I was married (three and a half years ago), I didn’t really worry about my personal safety. I didn’t even think about it. But now that I’m married, I think, ‘Wait a second---what if something happens to me?’ I don’t know if I’ve gotten more fearful or more responsible, but with marriage, things change. I try to avoid the more dangerous stories now. It’s always there though. Some part of me misses the action. I’ll do a story like that if it comes to me, but I’m not actively seeking it out anymore. I don’t know what I’ll say the next time that kind of opportunity comes along, but I know I’ll think twice before I take it. I have someone besides myself to think about now.”
Video: Anthony Bourdain & Uday Sripathi at India-Pakistan Border