Wednesday, August 9, 2006



Dr.Mahesh Vijayaraghavensatyanaryanamurthy works for the Massachusetts State Coroner's office. He is known to his friends and colleagues as "Bug". This probably stems from the fact that he is a forensic entomologist, but more than likely it was because nobody wanted to pronounce "Vijayaraghavensatyanaryanamurthy".

Bug has always felt guilty over the death of his brother, who was killed after being struck by a car. Their parents had left Bug in charge, but his brother got out of the house while Bug was babysitting.

But what if his brother didn't die? What if the paramedics who rushed him to the hospital were able to revive him before they reached the emergency room?

And what if one of those paramedics was of sub-continent descent, and was married to a woman who couldn't have children of her own, yet always wanted so badly to raise a child.

Maybe this paramedic wanted to please his wife so much that he became somewhat unbalanced upon seeing this child that could pass for his own son.

A plan born of desperation might come to that paramedic - to steal Bug's brother so that his wife could raise it as her very own.

First off, he'd have to kill his partner; he couldn't have any witnesses. Then he would have to sneak into the morgue to steal the corpse of a boy of a similar age to Bug's brother. Afterwards, he drives the ambulance out into the woods, planning to claim that he was taking a shortcut, and there he crashes it so that it burns both bodies and makes it look like he was thrown clear of the crash.

Meanwhile, he's contacted his wife to come to the location and he gives the still unconscious boy into her care to take home with her. When he regained consciousness, they would have told him that it was his family who died and that only he survived. And that they would be his new family now.

Reinforcing this information into him over and over and soon Bug's brother would have totally believed it to be true.

Sound implausible? Hey, soap opera writers like James Reilly cut their teeth on plots like that and then come up with stuff even more unbelievable.

It's Toobworld, baby!

The paramedic and his wife have the last name of Shandar, and they name the boy "Siddhartha", after the prince who became the Buddha. And just to make sure that no questions are asked, they suddenly just pack up and move out to a new location where nobody knows them at all. And that's how it would have stood for a few decades.....

But every so often you hear these strange stories about the coincidences that surround twins or siblings who are raised apart from each other. And the same must have happened with Bug and "Sid" Shandar.

Despite the trauma of his early years, Siddhartha grew up well-rounded and very assured of himself and his abilities. He became a physician and found himself drawn to Boston, where he worked at General Hospital which was the more prestigious of the teaching hospitals in the Boston area (St. Eligius being the other, of course).

And so there it stands, two medicos in Beantown who have no idea that they are related to each other as brothers. It seems hard to believe that somebody who knows Bug hasn't yet run into Sid and noticed the striking resemblance between the two men, but Boston's a big town with many hospitals in the area. Still, it's only a matter of time......

This entry was made possible by the fact that Ravi Kapoor played both roles. And it seems almost fated - look at the titles! 'Gideon's Crossing'! 'Crossing Jordan'! It's kismet!


(Many thanks to Jerome Holst and his TV Acres website for the info used in this piece.)

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