Unknown Male Bed No: 2 …..

The trauma ward of Sion Hospital is always chock full of patients…..Most of the patients are brought in by cops following railway or vehicular accidents…There are termed “unknown” patients till they are identified by their relatives or friends….The process of admission is standard: A tag is put on the right wrist “Unknown male/female Number:” They are stripped of their clothes by the “ward boys”; a rough inventory is made of the clothes and possessions and bundled into a bed sheet, sealed by reams of “sticking plaster” and labelled and stored away in rusty old “Godrej” steel cupboards….If the patient recovers or his relatives arrive, they are handed over the bundle and made to sign receipt….If the patient unfortunately dies, the bundle is handed over to the cops….Sion Hospital like all government hospitals hates loose ends…

So one rainy day, the cops brought in an “unknown” male who had fallen off a local train….The routine of the hospital swung into place, he was stripped, clothes and possessions inventoried and he passed into the existence of “Unknown Male; Bed: 2; Trauma ward”. Fortunately he was stable and slowly recovered….The next day he regained full consciousness….

The first thing he asked for when he regained consciousness was “Where are my clothes?” The nurse assured him that his clothes were indeed safely stowed away in the safest place possible: the steel “Godrej” cupboard…However, he kept pleading and insisting that he be given his clothes back….Of course it was not possible to return his clothes till he was discharged or died, and so, his pleadings fell on deaf ears. The next day he was discharged and the nurse brought the bed – sheeted bundle to him. He rapidly opened the bundle, rummaged through it and screamed”where is the small pouch? It was in the pocket of my kurta” The nurse nonchalantly produced a small chamois leather pouch and asked him “is this it?” The relief on the man’s face was evident….. He went home in a very happy frame of mind…

The Dean sent for me the next day….”Shirahatti” he said “what has happened in the trauma ward?” “Why Sir?” I asked in trepidation….”One unknown donor has donated 10000 rupees to the trauma ward” He claims that the staff in the trauma ward are honest and saved him from losses of crores of rupees”

It turns out that this man was an Angadia….They are unofficial couriers who commute between Mumbai and Ahmedabad and Surat daily carrying uncut diamonds worth crores of rupees on their persons….The Gujarat Mail that leaves Mumbai Central at night is called the Angadia Mail! They travel in very ordinary fashion, in second class…Their integrity and speed and accuracy of delivery is rivaled only by the six sigma Dabbawallas of Mumbai

The nurse or the ward boy could very well have pocketed a couple of uncut diamonds and no one would have been wiser….Either they did not recognize the contents of the pouch or were honest to the core…I like to believe it was the latter….

Author: drshirahatti

I am a surgeon, specializing in Gastrointestinal Surgery...I have headed the Departments of GI surgery, General Surgery and Medical Education.....I also was the Dean of two large government hospitals in Mumbai.....I like reading about cultures and like to travel....

2 thoughts on “Unknown Male Bed No: 2 …..”

  1. Hats off to the staff at Sion hospital. Incidentally, my Dad spent his last few days here & I do have great respect for this organisation & the staff who relentlessly toil here. Though the Aam Junta always have their own grievances regarding service etc., I beg to differ on this subject


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