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True Story - Medical Representative In A Doomed Bus

This true story happened in the year 1985 when there were no smartphones, no computers, and no internet. Today things are different. Both patients, as well as the doctor, can access the internet and find out everything about the disease, everything about the medicine, everything about the medicine manufacturing company, everything about the hospital, everything about the doctor, the nurse, the staff, everything about the various brands of medicines of the same generic compound and what not. Even the medical representative himself is an openbook on the internet which anyone can access. Times have changed so much since the time I worked as a Medical Representative.

Every day, a bus leaves from a small village on the India Pakistan border called Jaitu. A bus infact leaves every three hours from Jaitu village to Bhatinda which is a big city in the state of Punjab in India. If I miss this bus at 3:00 pm, then the next bus is only at 6:00 pm. That day, the driver started the bus at sharp 3:00 pm and my friend was still missing. I did not know if I should go back home alone or get down and wait for my Medical Representative friend to come back from work so that, the two of us could go back together. What I did not know was that this 3:00 pm bus was a doomed bus which I should not board.

The two of us used to work together at least twice a week in some common place. This was possible because we used to make our work schedule to match each other as far as possible after planning it for a few days. My friend medical representative is from a bigger company and the rules for him are different from what my medicine manufacturing company has set for medical representatives like me.

I had been working as a Medical Representative for over 10 months with over 300 Doctors and nearly 150 Chemists in my list, spread over three districts called Bhatinda where I lived as well as Faridkot and Ferozpur which was also a border city, in the state of Punjab in India. I used to visit each of these 300 doctors and 150 chemists very regularly and religiously at least twice every month. This was my first job and I was too sincere and honest because I did not know shortcuts in this job which many of my medical representative friends knew.

We used to take this doomed 3:00 pm bus from Jaitu every time we visited Jaitu village for a reason. There was a group called PMRA which stands for Punjab Medical Representative Association. This association insisted that the medical representatives start working after 9:00 am and finish work by 3:00 pm. No one could force any medical representative to work outside these hours.

If any medicine manufacturing company was to try and make changes to this rule then the PMRA will not let that company to employ any medical representative in the entire Punjab state for three full years. It was a powerful organisation. This is a true story and the PMRA is even more powerful today than it was in mid eighties when I worked as a medical representative in Punjab.

If we work till 3:30 pm at Jaito village, then we can take only the 6:00 pm bus which means I will reach home only past 9:00 pm. I too was happy to stop working at 2:30 pm to board this 3:00 pm bus back home. That day my medical representative friend was also working in Jaito. He had specifically told me to wait for him in the bus. I boarded the bus at 2:40 pm and kept waiting. But my friend did not turn up on time.

The bus engine started at 3:00 pm sharp. I looked out and could not find my friend medical representative coming. So I got down just before the bus started moving. I was cursing my friend in my mind because the next bus is only three hours later at 6:00 pm. But what I did not know at that time was that there was a purpose for which God had delayed my friend medical representative arriving at the doomed bus stand late. God was actually saving my life.

This is a true story. God prevented me from going in that ill-fated doomed bus because I would have got killed by about 4:00 pm that day if the two of us were to travel in that 3:00 pm doomed bus, on that fateful day.

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