A Pro­fes­sor’s Word

Reader's Digest (India) - - Kindness - N.V. Va­sudeva Sharma, Ben­galuru

In 1982, I was play­ing around with fel­low NCC cadets in Mysore one morn­ing, show­ing off rope-climb­ing tricks, when I heard a crack­ing sound from my left

arm. I knew im­me­di­ately that the bone in my up­per arm, weak from two pre­vi­ous frac­tures, was hit once again. De­spite the in­tense pain, I came down the rope and promptly passed out.

An X-ray con­firmed a frac­ture. The doc­tor said I needed surgery, and asked my fam­ily mem­bers to ar­range for some O pos­i­tive blood. But none of my fam­ily mem­bers present there had that group.

They soon reached out to peo­ple they knew, hop­ing to get the blood. My sis­ter vis­ited a friend but she had just made a dona­tion. The two of them then went to a pub­lic tele­phone to call a reg­u­lar donor who, too, turned out to have do­nated blood re­cently. Up­set, my sis­ter started cry­ing at the tele­phone booth when a man stand­ing by spoke. “Madam, I couldn’t help over­hear­ing you. Please give me the pa­tient’s name and bed num­ber,” he said. “I’m O pos­i­tive. I teach at the engineering col­lege. I’ll try to bring some stu­dents too.”

Pro­fes­sor Kausthub­han was as good as his word. Soon af­ter­wards, he came by with a stu­dent and do­nated blood. “Don’t worry, go ahead with your op­er­a­tion,” he said, vis­it­ing us in the ward. The next day, I un­der­went suc­cess­ful surgery.

Later, I vis­ited his col­lege to thank the pro­fes­sor, but he didn’t think he had done any­thing un­usual. In­spired by his timely help, I started do­nat­ing blood once I came of age and did so as long as my health per­mit­ted.

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