We had internal exams in a week, tons to read, so I forced a late nighter followed by some precious sleep, followed by… BANG, BANG, BANG!!! “OPEN THE DOOR!!!” BANG BANG BANG BANG….
“KRISHNA WAS KILLED LATE LAST NIGHT!”
His face was smashed. The shape of the pole he had crashed into had made its neat oblique complement on his face. The left side of his face….. well there was no left side left, just the skin on his forehead that had escaped the scrape, pulped flesh, clotted blood and crushed bone. The right side of his face was worse, Though the right side was absolutely untouched from the accident it will remain permanently etched in my memory. It was horrible. That paralysed expression of excruciating pain will haunt me for many years. Eyes so tightly shut that even hours after dying they have not relaxed, his teeth were clenched and tense. All his facial muscles were contracted to the maximum. Even the big hole in his skull behind his left ear hasn’t traumatized me as much as the permanency of the pain on his face.
Afooah tells me that it seems like only yesterday when she had first met Krishna, and he had told her that he was from the Bahamas and life was so good there, he was just waiting for these five years to run away so that he could get back there and practice with his father, in his hospital.
Mistakes can seem so harmless when we are unaware, till things start going wrong, till it becomes uncompensable.
Krishna , the first class-representative (C.R) of his batch was my immediate senior and was the son of the most sought-after Indian Orthopedic Surgeon in the Bahamas. On a late Saturday night, he and his friends decided to go out for a joy ride after a strenuous week of work on his new bike. Krishna’s father who had come down to Davangere two weeks back, had bought him a new bike. A Dark Blue Bajaj Pulsar 220, The most powerful of the Pulsar series. Dr. Murthy would never buy his son anything less than the best. Little did he know that two weeks later his son would, in his quest to put his ultimate bike to the ultimate test on Davangere’s roads, crash into a pole sticking its neck out into the road at 124 kmph. The boy was thrown off the bike and into the air to land on his face, on the left side, the same side that had taken the full insult of the blow with the electric pole to scrape on the road for several metres before coming to his mortal halt. All this happened in a flash, Krishna had only a few seconds to experience the horror and pain, and before he knew it, it was all over. The bike meanwhile continued to ride itself, riderless, like it was being driven by a Spirit of Death.
The next day, A large crowd had congregated outside City Central Hospital at 11.30 am - Half the Medical fraternity… Minutes later a well-dressed woman and a young girl appear from an auto. The woman walks towards the hospital, then slows down, then stops. She looks around unassumingly for a minute.
“Where is my son?” (silence) “Why are so many people standing here??” (silence) “Where is my son??”
Her face morphs into anxiety… Then, suddenly she goes hysterical
“WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY SON!!!!!! WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO HIM??? WHERE IS HE??”
5-6 Doctors approach her. One of them says something to her.
“(blood-curdling scream) NOOOO! NOOOO!! YOU ARE LYING!!!!! YOU ARE ALL LYING TO ME!!!!”
His sister is speechless. A silent tear rolls down her cheek. She looks like a part of her has died. The doctor then tries to pacify his mother and calm her down. But in vain.
“(earth-splitting scream) STOP LYING TO ME!!! BRING ME MY SON!!!!! BRING MY SON!!!!!!! BRING MY SON TO ME NOW!!!!”
His mother's mind cannot digest her son's death. She cannot accept the truth. She will not. Her mind doesn't want her to. It knows she wont be able to survive it.
“(tears gushing down her cheeks)LIARS!!! MY SON!! HE WAS THE ONE WHO CALLED ME HERE TODAY MORNING ON THE TELEPHONE…HE SPOKE TO ME…. HE WAS THE ONE WHO ASKED ME TO C-C-C-O-M-E H-H-E-R-E. HE WAS THE ONE....IT WAS HIM (breaks down uncontrollably)”.
For a moment it seems like her legs cant bear the burden of the situation anymore, she sits down on the hospital floor, then faints, collapses.
I was riding back home from Padma Condiments when I saw Moose, I waved to him. What surprised me was, he didn’t wave back like he usually does, I rode next to him to meet him. His face was pale and his eyes were red and glassy. I had never seen Moose in this state, he is one of the most rugged men I have met and nothing usually bothers him or shakes him, But when he said what he said, I was so shocked that I stalled my bike.
Vishaka, Krishna’s close friend is kept in the dark for most part of the morning following the crash. But later on, one of her book-smart but not so mature batch-mates informs her- and these are the words in her sms “Hey Vsaka, hrd Krshna died in a bike crsh… Rly sry ok?”. She first doesn’t believe it because… well because that’s the amount of credibility that the informant has, but when she asks her roommate and receives a reply of silence, she gets her doubts. She asks her roommate to tell her everything, fast, after being threatened with murder her roomie ultimately spills the beans to her.
Vishaka went nuts…She really did. She ran crying from the girls hostel barefooted to City Central, to find everybody crying. Everyone was crying….His Mom, His sister, His father (who was still in India), Nurses, Doctors, Friends, Batch-mates, Ambulance driver, even strangers cried after seeing the body. Vishaka stopped talking. Her family was called and her brother came to pick her up and take her home, to Bangalore, he had his engineering sem exam the next day.
Vishaka, a brilliant student, a talented dancer and orator… She was the other first class-representative of Afooah’s batch. She and Krishna were bold politicians, No one could stand in the way of their killer attitude. Vishaka hung herself,
Vishaka’s Parents were in Chennai. Their flight was delayed by half an hour, they arrived fifteen minutes after she killed herself. She wrote a 45 page suicide booklet to explain her decision, with individual sections dedicted to each of the important people in her life. Her brother came home from his exam to find his sister hanging from the fan. Hanging, eyes and mouth wide open, in a final desparate but failed attempt to breathe one last time.
There is much praise and sympathy for Vishaka’s martyrdom in Davangere, A true love story. She had died for a true cause, she had died for love. But, During the fourth minute of asphyxia, Vishaka realised that she had made the biggest mistake of her life, and there wasn't anything she could do about it.
Afooah is shattered. Minutes before killing herself Vishaka had called her to wish her a happy birthday.
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