Monday, April 28, 2014

"X" for "Xerox machine"

It was getting late in the evening. Bhavana rushed to the library to get xerox copies of her anatomy study material. The book Gray's Anatomy for students costs around 6000/- INR and she cannot afford buying it. Most of the students get the xerox copies and prepare notes from them for exams. Exams are just in a week's time and Bhavana badly needed the material . In evening times people will form long queues in-front of xerox machine. Such is the demand of xerox copies in the college. To her dismay the queue was so long that she realized she won't be able to get copies that day.

Studying M.B.B.S. is no mean feat. Night outs, exams ,then practicals and then classes , exams , night outs. The cycle keeps repeating. That night Bhavana stayed back in the library struggling with anatomy and physiology book as she couldn't get xerox copies. Due to college fest and some other events and responsibilities she missed many classroom sessions and did not get time to prepare well this time and that night she was all worked up and worried as Anatomy and Physiology is her favorite subject. She is always fascinated by the subject and Henry Gray is her role model. Anatomy and Physiology is just not subject but magic to her.

Grabbing her fifth mug of coffee at about 1 A.M. she sat in front of the computer with the text book open and too many papers and markers strewed at her desk. She was sipping coffee and was lost in thoughts when there was the familiar bzzzzz sound of the Xerox machine. The lamp was on and the machine started working all by itself. At first Bhavana felt some one came in to library but when she realized no body was there , she thought it might have got switched on by mistake. "The person who operates it would have been reckless." She thought. By the time she reached there the lid of the xerox machine got opened and a blind flash of light and smoke started getting emitted from it. The first thought which stuck her mind was that it was a short circuit. She panicked and was about to rush to inform some one out side the library, when she heard a voice coming from her behind.

"Hello Bhavana. How are you doing?"

Bhavana: "What ? Who is this ?"

"This is Henry Gray. I saw that you were struggling with the anatomy paper and I came here to help you out. I know you are passionate about the subject."

"What kind of games is my mind playing with me ? What kind of illusion is this ? " Bhavana thought to her self.

For a second she felt like Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. and that she has some chemical imbalance in the brain.

"Don't worry Bhavana. I came here to help you out. I will teach you what all you are trying to read. Like this you can learn everything in short span."

Bhavana : "Really? I mean are you really Mr. Henry Gray?"

"Yes. You can compare it with the picture on the cover page of the text book." Saying so Henry Gray lifted the text book present next to the xerox machine.

Bhavana gasped. She pinched her self hard to make sure that she is not attacked by delirium due to continuous night outs!

Henry: "Why are you wasting time. Take a seat. I will just teach you what all you want to learn today."

Saying so Henry Gray started taking classes for Bhavana. He projected the diagrams and other key points on the near by wall.

Bhavana was in trance. She took the notes sincerely and was surprised when she noticed that she really was learning everything quickly. After that mysterious night it became her routine to go to library every night and take classes from Henry Gray. This was a secret which she didn't reveal to any.

Finally the exam day came. Bhavana was satisfied by her performance. She went to convey thanks to Mr.Henry Gray but she couldn't find him that night. She wondered if there was any means to communicate with him. The results were out and Bhavana topped in Anatomy and Physiology. It has been 15 days and there was no sign of Henry Gray. She was dejected and went to library to return the books she took for exams. She saw Henry Gray's transparent silhouette near the door smiling at her. She rushed to him. They both walked till the play ground.

"Thanks. Mr. Henry. Where were you ? I wanted to thank you."

Henry: "I know. I was helping another student in a different country, so was away. " He replied still smiling.

"Wow that is so cool Mr.Gray. If I want to talk to you next time then what should I do?"

Henry : "You actually can't call me. If it is really urgent I appear on 21st of every month at the same spot near xerox machine in the library and I stay here the whole day. We use xerox machines for transport."

Bhavana nodded and left. On 21st of that month she eagerly waited for Mr.Henry and after waiting for a while, saw that he was busily submerged in the latest issue of a science magazine. So Mr. Henry is also trying to increase his knowledge by reading about the inventions and progress in the field of science :). Bhavana wanted to talk to him about his life and times but she decided she will not disturb him till he finished reading!
Image source : here
Mr.Henry Gray - Eminent English anatomist and Surgeon. Image source : here
This fictional story is  my 24th post for  A to Z challenge 2014


  1. I enjoyed reading this Afshan! :) I will be wary of any photocopyong machines from now on :)

  2. Very interesting Afsan. I liked your take on the prompt !
    Nice meeting you the other day - Asha

  3. what a different take...Mr Henry...eery yet fun this was!

  4. Great read...hahaha that was a terrific idea for choosing a xerox machine-not you,its about Mr.Henry ;)

  5. Hillarious and thought-provoking at the same time :) Very well done.

  6. What a nice story! Bhavana is really a cool cat. In her place, I would have screamed and fainted.

  7. Spooky but interesting take :) This is pure creative writing, loved it.

  8. Ouu that was a bit creepy - but fun to read though. Well told! I just read another Xerox tale - good choice for your x:-) Was fixated on that pic...Ouuu.

  9. If I were in Bhavana's place ,I would have learnt nothing.I would be petrified ! Loved the story !

  10. Oh I loved that!!! What an awesome story with a really great ending! You had me fascinated all the way through. Really cool! I loved the transporting
    concept and the fact that he was busy learning new things was really a great addition! xox jean

  11. That must have been some experience.

  12. Now I will never look at a xerox machine the same way :P :D

  13. Interesting post. The fictional web did bind me as a reader.

  14. Wow! Who knew Xerox machines were time travel portals?! Love it!

  15. So eerie. Nice story. Reminds me of my college days, minus the spooky stuff.


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