Bones on the Bus
Handing over the Baton
Don’t get freaked out reading the title, because it means, well… exactly what it means- Human bones on a public bus. OK, before you start getting cold feet let me assure you, that this is no horror story that am spinning off from my imagination but am narrating an interesting incident that happened to my husband during his medical college days.
It all started with my daughter proudly declaring that she has started learning about the human skeleton and showing us a drawing that she done in class of a how humans would look in case we had no bones!
Anyway, seeing this, my husband, a doctor, had his thoughts flying off in a tangent towards his younger days. He taken the very first step towards his medical career and was in his first year at the prestigious Medical College at New Delhi. He was wallowing and getting engulfed in medical books, assignments, lectures and of course bones, I mean learning about each and every bone that support the beautiful human species.
One of his seniors, who felt he was very promising material, invited him to his hostel room and conveyed that he was vacating his room and he wanted to hand over the complete set of bones of a human body. For my husband it was a very pleasant surprise because it was not only rare to get the set in its entirety but also that it was being handed over for free. The only obstacle was how to actually take the bones home (My husband being day scholar did not have hostel room there). He started feeling a little apprehensive on this but his senior clearly advised him, that he will know the true worth of having this later. I guess all those in the medical profession would know what a treasure this would be, during days when they are trying to master the subject.
As his senior was vacating the room, neither was there an option to collect it later nor any big covers to take them. His senior being pragmatic, and with due kindness handed over a big bed spread to wrap it all up!!
You can now really imagine the scenario! The 206 odd set of human bones tied up in a bedspread and my husband standing with it in the corridor. Raised eyebrows and weird looks all passed his way. When he felt that human movement had come down to certain acceptable limits, he ventured out and took a public bus!!!
Hey Ram!! Oh My God!!
When my husband was about to the board the bus, the conductor inquired as why he was carrying such a big bundle and my husband murmured something about taking things from the hostel. The conductor probably being used to witnessing more uncanny incidents, just waved him inside the bus and got back to his endless whistling. My husband sat down near an aged couple. The bus being crowded, he placed the bone bundle on his lap, instead of placing it down. The bus would have a probably hit some speed breakers or road bumps and from the bundle a leg bone peeked out. The old lady seated next to him, seemingly caught a glimpse of this ‘innocently’ protruding bone and slowly moved her hand to touch it, and at that instant, for her the world tilted on its axis! She realized what it was and shouted for the entire national capital to hear “Hey RAM!!! (OH MY GOD!)”
She hurriedly whispered into her husband’s ear. My dear husband, entering the medical profession at an age where they think, they will save the entire human race from all medical calamities, thought the lady was sick and he immediately got up asking if they needed help. While getting up, he placed the bone bundle on the seat! My God! This elementary act, basic humanitarian gesture and urge to use his first year limited medical knowledge to use – all backfired ( I can’t stop laughing as I write this ).
The lady’s husband stood up and shook his finger at my husband and shouted “You first sit down and take your bundle. I know what you have inside. Are you trying to run away, leaving this behind?” By this time few more people joined and the old man clearly started explaining to them that my husband was having a bundle of bones and that there was something terribly wrong because he was trying to leave it behind and run. The conductor joined and among the jabber of voices, the only message that my husband understood was that he was to take the bundle and get down (and face some more adventures like this?) It only then dawned on him as to how they had understood the scenario and he was in quandary and loss of words!
To the Rescue
You call it luck, co-incidence, blessing, good karma etc. whatever words the thesaurus can throw up because it so happened that there was another doctor on the very same bus! Deducing the reason behind this ruckus, this Good Samaritan came forward. He asked my husband who he was and learnt that he was a first year medical student. He then addressed the others and said ‘I am a very experienced doctor and if I had not taken the trouble to learn about all these bones, I would not be able to treat even one of you today. Like how the alphabet is the very basic for any language, these bones are the ABCs of the medical field. This boy is from a very reputed collage, which is not easy to enter and he is carrying these bones bundled in a bed sheet without any ego, for the sole reason that he has to learn it and you people are not even allowing him to speak and explain himself”.
Of course, this was followed by silence and then some murmurs. People started getting back to their seats and my husband sincerely thanked his rescuer. He then chose to sit at a place where there will be the least ‘bone’ disturbance to others.
After this narration the first question I asked him was “What happened when you reached home? How did your mom and sister react?”….he laughed and said that story is for another day!!!
So, my dear reader, that story too will be penned down. After all, we do need a good laugh now and then, don’t we?
© 2020 Sujatha