I zoomed past the slushy roads cutting through the heavy downpour. I was getting wet, muddy water splashed all over me. My white exterior was turning brown, but it didn’t matter to me. My only concern was to reach the hospital on time, intact, with the patient. The nurse was holding his wrist trying to feel the pulse, the attender was checking the oxygen mask.
The driver and I knew it was a risky and a challenging task for both of us. He was alert and cautious. The siren made the traffic give way for me to pass through the narrow lanes. I reminisced the times when I was on duty at odd hours; midnight 1.30 to a remote corner of the city, 3.30 to a big bungalow, to crossroads where a truck had rammed into a motor cycle causing serious head injury to the rider. I shudder at the memory of the blood; the stains don’t seem to get washed away either from the bedcover or my memory.
Contradictory emotions haunt me. At times I feel a sense of pride that I am trustworthy and am indispensable during crises. People think of 108 and await my arrival anxiously. Whether it is delivery, heart attack or accident, I am called in to take charge. But I also feel sad when I see so much pain, agony and suffering. The trauma that the families and the patient go through seem to pierce through me sending a chill up my spine. I become the Buddha, asking the Almighty the reason for human suffering. I implore -Oh God, let me not fail in my duty. I pray for the safety and well being of not only the patient who is my responsibility till I reach the hospital, but also all those whom I had carried safely to the hospital.
As the rain splashed drenching me, I thought of the tyres and the potholes filled with rainwater. What if…! I chided myself for my negative thoughts. ‘You are duty conscious and sincere in your efforts, no untoward incident will happen’. Keep going. God is with me, I know. I trust him and my instincts, neither has ever let me down.
The sudden jolts and lurching made the patient cry out in pain. I wanted to reach out and comfort him. It was so relatable. I remembered my own plight, those appalling moments, when I was thrown into a puddle or a pothole, how I would screech and whine, complain about the carelessness of the Municipal Corporation for not repairing the roads.
Today I am holding on strongly to my gut feeling that despite the rain ‘all will be well’.
He has passed on the responsibility to me, he has successfully brought the patient on time. Now I shall take charge, let me run gently on the smooth floor, let me not lose my grip, let not my wheels give away. Reached the theatre, patient’s kith running alongside. May god be with you!
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