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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