10th November 2009.
It was around 9 30pm.
After a good class on International Relations and an enjoyable discussion with Kannan, the "spolied genius", as Himani( his better-half) says, I was breezing past the dark and cold streets of Noida.
And then, something caught the corner of my eye. It was the image of a crowd, some 15 of them, in a circle, and looking down at something, near the UFLEX main gate, opposite Shopprix Mall. I don't know what prompted me, that after almost speeding past that scene, I halted and turned back my bike towards the mob. By the time I reached there and parked my bike, the number of people had soared to almost 30 and there was definite panic in the air. The sight of a bike crushed as a gunny-bag, whose pieces were spread across the width of a road, was a good enough reason for that. And then I looked down, in horror, to see a man lying down in a pool of blood.
The people surrounding that man had recovered his mobile and tried giving calls to the last dialled no, but no one responded from the other side. We called for an ambulance but none came in the next 10 minutes. He was lying on the road, unconcious. In an effort to gauge the damage, I just lifted his chest by pulling his shirt, someone held his head from falling down. My worst fears were coming true. His head was almost crushed in the back side and leaking blood like our municipality pipelines. That man was in serious trouble.
I had to literally bully an autowala to help me take that man to a nearby hospital, Fortis.
I requested two young men to sit in that auto with that man, while I showed him the way to Fortis on my bike. The police had also bursted into the scene by that time, and took that fellow's mobile and wallet and told us to to continue to FORTIS and they will follow suit.
As soon as the Emergency Staff of FORTIS transferred our victim from the auto to the strecther, they told all three of us that this fellow was in extreme critical condition and that the case may get complicated.
I could see the same fear that was gripping me inside, in the eyes and faces of the other two fellows who had bravely brought that man to the hospital. I knew from my experiences in college, things may turn messy. I thanked both of them and told them to leave instantly. I also apologised to the autowala and thanked him for showing courage.
"You have done a good job by bringing him here, but you need to take a decision immediately.
His pulse rate is 20, his pupils have expanded and his eyes are not responding to light.
We would request you to either call his relatives or take him to some other hospital, for we need written permission to carry CT scan and decide on his survival chances. You are an educated person, please decide boss"
As soon as the doc on Emergency duty said this, meri phat gayee.
I was concerned for the man, but also worried about what responsibilities would come on me if I sign on his relatives behalf. Tense, confused, I tried calling my room mates, but the network could not get me through them. I called Kannan, his phone was switched off. I knew I was running out of time. I then called Ananya, desperate to decide what to do. I thought of calling my parents and di, but that would have brought them more anxiety, so I skipped that thought.
And then, I decided, what would have I done if I was still in college?
I would have tried my best to save a life, and I am still the same.
As soon as I arrived at my decision, I walked back into the emergency room, only to be relieved a bit to see his relatives talking to the doc. I gave a huge sigh of relief, for i was still worried about the condition of that man.
After about 15 mins of explaining the whole situation to them, I felt comforted by the fact, that the same UP Police, who had harassed me two days before, was applauding my efforts and speaking for me in front of his relatives.
That man works in Noida Authority, age around 35, and according to his wife, one who drives regularly while high on alcohol. His condition was fading with every passing moment, yet, his relatives, mostly of rural back ground, decided to shift him to another low-cost hospital at that crucial time, when he was struggling to live again. I could not control my anger and bursted at them for not realising the fact that their loved one is critical, severely critical.
I returned from FORTIS at 11pm, full of praises, accolades and thanks from the relatives of that man, staff of FORTIS, and on-lookers who never miss to comment:
"Aaj ke zamane main itna kaun karta hai"
I hope, that man survives, and will pray for him.
I have seen blood in my college-life, and maybe that did not allow me to panic.
His relatives arrived at the right moment.
What if they hadn't?
What if anything went wrong? Would I have been able to defend my stand as a sensible one?
I don't have the answers.