It was a long day, her team was working against the deadlines. Joyce had to complete her work and review her team’s work, and be ready for tomorrow’s morning status call. It was Thursday evening and she did not want things pending the next day. She dint want to work on Saturday like the previous week. She already felt guilty for not spending time with her 3 year old son. She was tired. She had to go home and cook dinner. With thoughts rushing like a flood in her mind, she realized it was late to rush from B5 to the bus bay. She would miss the 5.20 PM bus. With the sigh she waited for the 6.20 PM Shuttle- anything to get her home fast.
THUD. A huge noise. She had managed to get the last seat in the 6.20 bus. Joyce tried to find out from a guy nearby, what that noise was. The bus had stopped near Guduvanchery stop, where few girls had got down. A bike – must have been a drunkard hit the girl and fell down at a distance. Joyce got up and tried to see what happened. The girl was knocked off her sense and was bleeding badly in her face, knees.
No one else from the bus got down. The bus driver was panicking. He was scared that the girl was dead. Joyce didn’t know what to do. The sight of blood froze her. She looked around for any guys to help. No one came forward. A guy who had parked his car, near the bus stop, came to help. Joyce and another girl Vanathi ( who happened to be the hostel mate of the victim) jumped into the car. Another girl Viji from the bus got into the front seat at the last minute. She started making calls to the HR, Transport, and the security desk. She was from Delhi and infact had called Delhi Ambulance to get the Chennai Ambulance number, before the stranger offered his car for help. Things happened so quick. They rushed to the SRM hospital nearby.
Priya gained conscience, but didn’t know where, or what happened. The girls tried to keep talking and fight the fear away. The emergency room showed no emergency. All cries for the first aid- fell on deaf ears of a guy at the reception trying to register the name in a computer. How can they be so slow at a time like this? The Hospital was like an ocean, so big, with counters empty and alternate counter had to be looked. In the alternate counter it took more than 15 minutes to register the patient name. Finally after 45 mins, Priya was given some first aid. In fact, it took another one and half an hour to get her to take scan for her brain, and facial scan. Thank God it was all normal. She did hear the guy in the next bed, was the drunk 35+ year old who had hit her in the bike!
Joyce called up Priya’s dad, and tried to keep her voice from panicking and got their sister’s phone number- who was in Chennai. She called them up, tried to get them to the hospital soon. The car driver who had helped them, was around till 8.30 PM. It was getting late, Joyce waited for the cousin sister to arrive. Priya’s hostel mates 6 of them arrived. The HR, Security arrived at 8 PM and took over. Joyce sighed a big relief and rushed with her Delhi friend to catch the bus home.
The events had rocked Joyce, even though she had put on a brave face, and took the right decision at the crucial time. Looking back, she could see God’s guidance in the form of her getting the 6.20 bus, the car driver, the hostel mate, the Delhi friend, and everyone. She took the day off on Friday, to get her mind off the blood, accident and the hospital stench. She still did follow up call to check on the Priya’s health and her new found friends. It was sad that Priya’s dad did not file a police complaint. Priya had lot of injury on her face, knees and hands. She had holes visible in her fingers. It might take a long time for her to recover, and even long time for the scar to heal from her heart.
So, what wrong did the girl do? She got down from the bus, which stopped in the bus stop. This could be any of us? How many of us would be able to help like Joyce, Viji & Vanathi did? Take the decision – overcoming fear? Why were there no men, ready to help? Why didn’t they even get down from the office bus? The bus eventually stopped till police and ambulance came – and all were made to take another office bus. But at that crucial first 10 mins- why did everyone freeze and not make any decision except the three girls?
What if there was no car driver who helped? No Joyce, her hostel mate Vanathi, or the delhi girl Viji? Everyone has families, commitments. Fears, questions, not sure of what to do. It was Joyce’s first trip to SRM hospital. For the Delhi friend Viji- it was her 3rd time in an emergency situation like this. How did they do that extra mile? And the trio- were perfect strangers.
Do I have it in me? Will I respond with the reflex action, or turn away and look unnoticed seated comfortably in the bus. Even if I want to help, do I know what to do? How to respond?
True story- All characters are real and work out of Mcity Chennai DC :)
-Originally written in Infybubble - 17 Nov 2014