I was working as a junior doctor at the Government Hospital at Chennai, in the Nephrology Unit. My chief was a dynamic person whom we all referred to fondly by his initials, JRR. He was as well-known for his clinical expertise as he was for his charisma. He treated everyone, from the ward boy to the nurses, to the students and the three assistants under him, with equal friendliness.
No doubt he cared for us. But he also played an occasional prank on us.
Once I came early to the ward as I had a little writing work to complete. I was at my desk filling in some forms when I noticed a single rose on my table. It was an Edward Rose, light pink in colour, the kind Indian ladies loved to wear in their hair. I thought it might have fallen off someone’s plait and probably some good soul had placed it on my table to save it from getting crushed under foot.
A few minutes later JRR walked to my table and we wished each other ‘Good Morning.’ He asked me some work related questions and then without going to his table, he watched me at work.
After some time he looked at the flower on my table and said, “Nice Rose.”
Oh, yes,” I replied writing quickly, hoping to complete before JRR started his ward rounds.
He picked up the flower and smelt it and said, “Nice smell.”
“Oh!” I muttered and continued with my writing.
JRR would not move away but stood at my desk, drumming his fingers on it.
He picked up the flower once more and took a whiff saying, “The fragrance of a rose is really divine, no? It brings back so many pleasant memories.”
“I love the scent of roses” he said and went back to his seat.
I finished my writing, put away the pen and leaned back in my chair.
The rose was still on my desk. I picked it and brought it near my nose, meaning to inhale its full fragrance like JRR had done.
What I got instead was a full blast of foul tobacco stench.
It was SNUFF POWDER.
The pollen of the rose had been spiked with the malodorous snuff powder. The odor was so offensive that I gave a loud big sneeze.
I heard a snigger and looked up to see JRR at his desk laughing at the distortions in my face.
He had done it. He had planted that rose on my desk to play a prank on me. He pointed his finger at the calendar on the wall as he mouthed the words, “April Fool”
My eyes fell on the calendar.
It was April 1st.
I had fallen hook line and sinker for his prank, as did the others on whom he tried the same trick that day. He later told me that he had held his breath every time he had pretended to smell the roses.
What a doctor! What a man!
Story By : SBA – Written By : Gulsum Basheer.
You might also like to read : Autographed Trouble.
Photo Credit : http://www.123rf.com