This happened 3 weeks ago. This title because, these weeks passed in a blur. And only now I am composed enough to publish this here. Also, this post is published in parts because the trauma of writing all of it in once is simply too much to bear. Still, I wanted to pen it down as a memoir of the worst days of my life. And whenever I hit a rough patch, i want to read these parts and tell myself, “you survived this, you can go through everything else too!”
On 8th June, the brother was travelling from Mumbai for his job in Pune when he met with an accident on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. I got a call at 7.20 in the morning when I was getting ready for work. The person on the other end asked me whether I was a relative of Vinit Gandhi, I murmured a low ‘yes, I am his sister’ and his next sentence was enough to give me a panic attack.
“I am sorry to inform you ma’am, but your brother has met with an accident and is admitted in the hospital. Please come as soon as you can” The next thing I know is handing over the phone to Mr. Husband and changing my nightclothes quickly. He took down the hospital’s correspondence because I was trembling too much to think straight. Worst still, my mom and dad were out of town. I and Mr Husband started our drive to the hospital with a prayer on our otherwise numb brains!
The hospital was at a 2.5 hour drive from our residence and these hours were the most horrific. I kept telling myself that surely The Brother must have suffered a couple of fractures and nothing more. When it comes to tragedies all we think is they always happen to someone else. But I was never more wronged. Halfway through our journey I called the hospital to inquire about his health and whether they are giving him the necessary treatments. To my horror, I could hear him screaming in the background like a madman. The shouts were no less horrific then the ones you hear when someone is howling in pain.
According to the doctors, The Brother had got hit on the head and was not responding correctly. He was not letting them treat him and was constantly being aggressive if someone tried to comfort him or give him medication. I then requested them to let me talk to him once. Initially they refused, but I was persistent and also because they had given up trying to pacify him, the nurse passed on the phone, mouthing, “Here, take this, talk to your mother!” And all The Brother could do was shout in the phone, “Please come soon, these mad people will kill me” The agony and helplessness in his voice broke me down completely and all I wanted to do was to run over to him and hug him tightly! I barely managed to say, “Bhai, please let them treat you, they are doctors and I am reaching as quick as I can”
Beside me, even Mr. Husband heard him shout and was now sweating profusely in the driver’s seat. Yes, so loud he was that the phone earpiece couldn’t keep his voice in check too. He was hardly able to manage a hysterical me, the trauma of being the responsible one in this case and worrying about The Brother’s health. But I must say, he did manage as well as he could. He realized that the accident was not as petty as we were expecting it to be. Apart from us, this may require the expertise of some elders of the family. He urged me to take a break from my sobs and call my elder first cousins since my parents weren’t here. I did exactly that and the knight in shining armors that they are, quickly left for the hospital. A close knitted extended family is a blessing I always knew, but what I experienced in these tiring days only strengthened my belief further.
When we reached the hospital, we got to know that The Brother had been shifted to the ICU. We could hear him screaming from inside the room and crying in pain. I requested to be let in, just once, but the security refused stating the doctor was treating him. Helplessness washed over me like a blanket.
All I could do was wait for one glance. Each passing second I could feel my breath getting stuck in my chest.