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True Story - The Medical Representative Who Cheated Death

This is a true story. I had already got a call letter for a permanent job and I was going to leave this medical representative job in a couple of weeks. And that is when this true story of death was about to happen in less than hour from the time I got down from the bus waiting for my friend who is also a medical representative working in the same village.

I got down from the 3:00 pm bus just before the bus started moving from Jaito village bus stand, cursing my friend who was a Sikh by religion. I cursed him in my mind again and again, for not coming to the bus stand in time. The two of us will now have to take a train which leaves at about 4:30 pm. Five minutes later my friend medical representative arrived at the bus stand, sitting in the rear seat of a cycle rickshaw, whipping the rickshaw driver with sweet abuses in pure Punjabi Language which is the official language of Punjab state in India.

I cursed him and almost hit him for coming late to the bus stand. He did not say anything but appologise to me. We had no choice except to take the 4:30 pm train back home because the next bus is only at 6:00 pm. The two of us walked to the railway station which was about a kilometer from the bus stand talking about missing the bus and reaching home late by at least two hours. That day I reached home two hours late when it was already dark.

As I went to sleep that night, I had no idea that I had come home after cheating death from Jaitu village. Neither did my friend medical representative. But he would not have been killed because he was a Sikh by religion. Those days there was heavy civil unrest and lot of people were killed in the name of religion and politics etc. I woke up the next morning very early because I was supposed to go to another border town called Muktsar that day and I had to catch the 7:00 am bus to make it to Muktsar by 9:00 am to start work.

As I was leaving home early morning for Muktsar town as per my work plan, our neighbourhood lady was telling my mother about a newspaper headline. I heard the lady say in Punjabi Laguage, "Dekho kya zamana aagaya hai behenji, Jaito Bhatinda bus mein do mone thhey. Din ke sadhey teen baje, bus rok ke kuchh logon ne talwar se donon kaa, sar kalam kar diya. The word "Mona" in Punjabi language means, a person with short hair and "Sar kalam kar diya" means beheaded. "Talwar" in Punjabi language means sword.

What she was telling my mother was that, “See sister, what has our society become. In the Jaito to Bhatinda 3:00 pm bus there were two short hair people or those who were not from Sikh religion, both were beheaded in broad daylight at about 3:45 pm”. My mother not understanding what mona, kalam etc meant, started asking her what do these words mean?

As I walked to the bus stand about two kilometres away, holding my Medical Representative's leather bag, full of brochures, pamphlets and sample medicines, I wondered, what would have the today's news headlines said, had my friend reached the bus stand the previous day on time before 3:00 pm? Would I, a poor medical representative traveling in that doomed bus have still cheated death? Would they have spared me from being beheaded because I am a medical representative or because I am very young? Had I boarded that bus at Jaitu village bus stand then it would have been a different true story because it was highly unlikely that I would have cheated death that day in that doomed bus.

 Instead of two short hair people the newspapers would have read "Three Mona's beheaded in the Jaitu Bhatinda bus in broad day light?" Being a Sikh, my friend would have survived in that Jaito to Bhatinda bus massacre. But I would not have cheated death. God purposely delayed the arrival of my Sikh friend and medical representative, to make me get down from that death bus, I believe. This is a True Story that actually happened exactly as it is written here.

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