Arun was having a tough day yet again. But then it was nothing new. It seemed that life had become a spectrum of difficult times interspersed with very tiny windows of sanity! Just 5 years ago, Arun’s life was idyllic. His wife, Shanti, worked as a teacher in a school. A committed teacher, she loved being around young minds. They shared a respectful, easygoing relationship that most husbands and wives settle into a few years into matrimony. He worked in a bank. And their 10-year-old daughter, Vasundhara, was a bright student in the same school where Shanti taught. Life was happy. Routine was comforting!

Shanti was complaining of back pain since a few days. The pain was becoming extremely nagging so much yet she always put off her doctor visits due to her hectic schedule. Shanti tried yoga and pain killers, but her pain just got worse. Finally, one day, suddenly her back gave way. She just could not get up from bed. Arun rushed her to the nearby hospital where their trusted family doctor practiced. She had a prolapsed disc and needed immediate surgery. While being wheeled into surgery, Shanti was worried about them finishing  and reaching home before Vasu got back from school. Arun squeezed her hand and assured her that the neighbors would take care of her. With a smile on her face despite the pain, Shanti was taken in the OT as Arun waited outside.

An hour later, Shanti was shifted into the general ward while under the effects of anesthesia. She suffered some problems in her recovery from anesthesia and lapsed into a vegetative state. His smiling, energetic Shanti is now a distant memory. The woman sharing his bed has shrunk in size, is riddled by bed sores and gazes at everyone with an empty stare. She hasn’t spoken a word since that fateful day. Arun now singlehandedly runs the house. Vasu has aged beyond her years and stoically handles her studies as well as some household chores while the househelp chips in with Shanti’s chores. Both father and daughter pin their hopes on an elusive day when the mainstay of their lives will miraculously get up and be normal. Arun is fighting a malpractice case against the hospital. Some days, he just wants to quit the misery of this godforsaken life, but the thought of his daughter keeps him going to face yet another horrible day.

How drastically life transforms in a moment!

This is a fictional tale!

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64 Thoughts on “In a moment…

  1. Now – what is this? Some real story of a friend?
    The Fool recently posted…The pre-Hugo Age of Science FictionMy Profile

  2. everytime i start a case, I pray to a dozen Gods in my head that nothing should go wrong to them… touchwood so far I’ve been lucky. But the fear that this may occur is always there for me.

  3. How our lives can change for better or worse in a matter of seconds- a phone call, a fatal fall, an unintentional mistake, an accident. Anything. Life is delicate as Arun discovered.

  4. Wow! Short, yet powerful. Not sure if it was for a writing prompt or inspired by a real life scenario – either ways, beautifully written. Shame about Shanti and Arun though 🙁
    iwrotethose recently posted…Singletons – Meet your “invisible” partnerMy Profile

  5. It might be a fictional tale but many suffer a similar fate . Nice writing Rachna 🙂

  6. Very powerful…sad too and you narrated it so well!! Life can change in a moment true….One must not ignore any signs that the body gives and proper medical treatment is so imp. One thing amiss and your life changes into the unimaginable!

  7. I have read similar cases. And I shudder to think that when even reading is so painful, how the people undergoing endure it
    Bhagyashree recently posted…Had I looked back…..My Profile

  8. I read about a case similar to this in paper and the heart just shudders at the thought that this is a reality of somebody.
    Jas recently posted…To the Rising SonMy Profile

  9. So well written Rachna and the most important thing that I take out from this story is that we women neglect ourselves….we always put our family first……but it shouldn’t be done at the cost of our health…hai na?? Because It only take a moment to change everything…
    Smita recently posted…Time to come out Clean…My Profile

  10. That is how life is… isnt it?.. it can take an unexpected turn at any moment, nobody knows what is in store for us… beautifully written Rachna
    Seeta Bodke recently posted…Rising from the AshesMy Profile

  11. i know that these types of incidents happen. What should we call it? Karma or god’s curse? If this is for a short span, it won’t matter, but permanent damage to their lives is horrible…but they happen.
    Sandhya Kumar recently posted…I Am A Changed Person Now… More Self-confidence…Jai Maataa Di!My Profile

  12. I have heard crazy stories about surgeries on the spine going horribly wrong and people ending up in vegetative or paralyzed states. This story clearly brought that aspect out.
    Jairam Mohan recently posted…KidnappedMy Profile

  13. God – that was a tragedy!
    chsuresh63 recently posted…Success AgainMy Profile

  14. Sad tale. Enjoyed your writing.
    kayemofnmy recently posted…Challenges Teenagers Face – Guest Post at A-MusingMy Profile

  15. Life can become topsy-turvy in a flash of a second. A family friend lost his wife due to anesthesia issues during a regular surgery. Gosh, it was terrible to see him struggle with a few months old daughter. In a flash of a second their small beautiful world came crashing down!
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Old Head On Young ShouldersMy Profile

  16. It happens, Rachna. Not in fiction, in real. Remember the last post I have written about the lady who passed away suddenly…similar to this right? How the schedule messes up…just in a day…just with the beat of a pulse..I always wonder, what if it happens to me? How is the life going to look like?
    latha recently posted…Learned to let it go…My Profile

  17. It’s a story for us but reality for many families out there. That’s why it’s so important to count our blessings and cherish the present. God knows what future has in store for us!

  18. It’s such a touching story…! and true live can change in a moment!

  19. That is the reason they complement life with ‘ups and downs’… Rachna.
    Diwakar Narayan recently posted…My Encounter with ForeignizationMy Profile

  20. The truth of life! Well written
    Pratibha recently posted…The Nature’s Co Beauty Wish Box – Winter SpecialMy Profile

  21. Thank God, it’s fictional. Very well written, this short fiction moved me.

  22. Well written! We can plan all we want, but one never knows what the next hour or minute has in store for us.
    Priya recently posted…Top 10 tips to remove crayon marks off the wallsMy Profile

  23. I lost my mother-in-law to medical negligence a couple of years back. Sometimes, the loss is so spirit shattering, you just cannot pick up cudgels against the establishment that erred.
    Touching post.
    sakshinanda recently posted…To Tarun Tejpal: The Alchemist of Desires?My Profile

    • I lost my mother to side effects of medication that she was taking which destroyed her liver. I don’t know who to blame — the doctors who were so negligent or fate? You are right; it shatters you in a helpless sort of way! Hugs, Sakshi, for you had to go through a truly testing time.
      Rachna recently posted…In a moment…My Profile

  24. Touching story. Made me sad. Thousands of such stories happen at hospitals across our country and the suferers are not just patients but their loved ones too.. And the hospitals, nobdy knows if any punishment is ever doled out to them.
    Jyotsna Bhatia recently posted…THANKS : HaikuMy Profile

    • Yes, these cases of medical negligence can cripple families not only with the loss of loved ones but often in medical bills and mental trauma. The powerful triumph which is the saddest part. Thanks for reading, Jyotsna!
      Rachna recently posted…In a moment…My Profile

  25. I thought it was real till the end. Life’s like that, I don’t know if the most difficult life moments are you suffer or see dear ones suffer for life! But some times its that one second which changes your life forever. Wonderfully penned Rachna
    Nischala recently posted…New to the IT Workforce – Here’s what counts…My Profile

  26. Medicine is one area where I feel people need to be extra-cautious and a many a time luck plays a very vital role. Sad but realistic story. Feel sorry for the many who’ll be going through it day in and day out. My prayers!
    Rekha recently posted…Surprises are Better Than PromisesMy Profile

  27. This might be fiction, but there have been numerous incidents like this which almost alter the course of our life in a single second. Perhaps all this will help us to stop and look around those whom we care for and count our blessings.
    Ashwini C N recently posted…Are we truly Independent?My Profile

  28. Pingback: Spicy Saturday Picks featuring great posts written by Indian bloggers

  29. WHile this story of yours is fiction there are many true life incidents where everything you’ve worked for goes up in seconds right before your eyes. Life is too fleeting to waste.

  30. Rachna,medical negligence can play havoc with one’s life.Your post is a fictional tale,but,in real life it happens too.
    Our neighbour’s daughter….only child….. diagnosed with cancer which she never had.You can imagine the time parents would have gone through for weeks till a second opinion and check up threw up the truth.
    B k chowla recently posted…SECULARISM???My Profile

  31. Team BlogAdda on December 9, 2013 at 11:24 am said:

    This post has been selected for the Spicy Saturday Picks this week. Thank You for an amazing post! Cheers! Keep Blogging 🙂

  32. It is tragedies like these that make us count our blessings. And there are so many Aruns and Shantis out there making us realise this. Crisply narrated Rachna.
    ilakshee recently posted…Political Musings From An Aam KitchenMy Profile

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