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The Other Side

I've been wanting to do this in a long time -- sit with my friend Nats and talk and talk endlessly, the kind that eases out. Laugh too because one of the things that we enjoy doing is laugh together. But, invariably, we end up talking about the night of 16th November 2005. I am filled with the urge to pen it all down. So as she lays on the bed and recounts her memory of that night, I tell her I am posting it on my blog. She is yelling at me to read out the lines (lest I misinform :)). Wait till the morning, I tell her.

"It was like a cement mixer. The car rolled and rolled with that crushing sound of glasses. I felt something roll over my waist and severing that part from the rest of my body," she begins. Blood was gushing out from her head. A speeding vehicle hit her car, it turned turtle. Just a minute before, she was almost asleep and lying at the back of the car holding little Avi. And an hour before, we had just had dinner together celebrating her homecoming from down under.

Few autowallahs who were around the area in the middle of that night came to her rescue. Her husband and baby were fine. Thank God, she sighs in retrospect! She had borne the entire impact of the hit. Somehow, the rescuers dragged her out , the cops came and she was literally flung into a stretcher. They were doing their job... in the process damaged her spinal cord even more. At the nearest government hospital in the heart of India's capital, the junior doctors reluctantly came out of their tea break. "Show us where all you are hurt," they kept yelling. Her head soaked in blood, she had almost become a quadraplegic within minutes. Unable to lift any of her limbs, she shouts, "check it yourself." "Stop screaming," they yelled back. Talk about trauma care.

An X-Ray was done on the spot. It revealed nothing, of course. Her surgeon uncle who had rushed to the spot immediately bought a neck collar and she was shifted to a private hospital where an MRI scan showed that two discs had pressed her spinal cord and bruised it. That was the cause of her immobility. So, she was taken to the Spinal Injury Centre, where she was operated upon the next day. From the front of her neck, just below the chin, the doctors made an incision and removed the two damaged discs , fixed a titanium piece in its place and screwed it into the bone so the spinal cord can lean back to its normal place.

I remember at the ICU, from her hospital bed, she looked at me and said, "I just blew up all my shopping money here." She hadn't lost her humour. But it was another five more months of ordeal as she struggled to get back some mobility into her life. She had promised to stand and hold a glass of wine on my birthday party, the first of Jan. She did fulfill the promise.

Three years after the accident, Nats says, "the rudest shock one can get in life is the one associated with health." My friend is a bit changed. She is pensive and she is fighting depression. But for the slight physical impairment that the accident left her with, I find her blessed with a happy family. Yet life is not the same, she rues. I say no one's life is perfect. The truth is, I get rediculously depressed, too, and stressed out at times over things I haven't had the strength to pen down. And that's when I need her and she needs me to get to the other side.


Anonymous said…
Well a very touching incident which had brought a change in her life. It teaches us that we should try and fight the bad times(ups and downs)and challenges which comes our way by looking at her as an example.
Snigdha said…
well written. why don't you have word verification on your blog? keeps spam out.

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