slowly opened my eyes and everything seemed hazy. There was excruciating pain
in my legs and my palms. Everything was blurred and all my friends bent over me
with worried and perplexed expressions.
all seemed to be moving and so was I.
‘Don’t worry dear, you’ll be fine’ said
Anne. She was from my hometown Shillong. She looked tensed I couldn’t
it hit me that I just suffered burns and am being rushed to a hospital! The
first thought was ‘Why me?’!
was a cold winter night in Gorakhpur. I was in the 6th semester of
B.Tech, placements were just round the corner and I wasn’t prepared the least
bit! There is no way in the world I could afford being sick, let alone be stuck
in hospital with severe burns. I had just decided to start preparing for the
damn placements, made a schedule and had even put all the books next to my bed!
I was about to go for the kill just after dinner that fateful night but destiny
had some other plans altogether!
before dinner, my roommate and I decided to go to our friends’ room to blow off
some steam with a round of gossip as we girls always did. We had been roommates
for two years now. There was a small double rod heater in that room and I sat just
next to it. Heaters were as a rule not allowed in hostels. But almost every
room had one as we always needed Maggie and coffee to survive the cold. That
too and also as a habit we always wanted to defy authority; doing something
against “rule” always had a fascinating allure. As it happens on that
particular day I was wearing a long white skirt with woolen slacks on the
inside. I also had woolen socks on.
got chatty little did we know what was to befall? Suddenly I noticed fire in my
‘Oh damn!’ I stood up. No sooner did I
stand that my entire skirt was engulfed in fire. I could see the headlines for
the next day papers ‘Girl burned to death
in hostel fire mishap’. I didn’t know what to do!
looked at my roommate and even she was helpless. I used my hands to douse the
fire but ended up burning them instead. There was no time. I had to do
something about it. I didn’t want to die this way; not now, not ever!
not know from where but I suddenly got an idea and rushed out of the room, fell
on the floor and started rolling from one side to the other. By then everyone
had gathered around me, some shocked, some terrified while some rushed to get
buckets of water; all the while everyone shouting out loud for help. Finally
some of my seniors threw blankets on me and put off the fire. Some poured water
while others tore away the skirt or what was remaining of it. The woolen slacks
and socks were now stuck to my skin. I was burnt severely up to my thighs. ‘That’s it my life is over!’ I said to myself.
Hostel Warden, nincompoop as he was, didn’t come along to the hospital instead
I was taken by my friends and admitted there. In all this commotion and all the
pain, all that I could think of is how unfair God was to throw me into this
shit hole at such an important point of my life!
days passed I grew irritable with no faith in God. I was in pain with no
strength to study for the placements. I couldn’t walk properly; even on a
single step blood would ooze out of my wounds. Though my friends were all very
helpful but gradually all became judgmental about me. I was becoming very ill
tempered. I knew they were all helping me but they could not feel my pain.
There are no words to describe how painful those days were for me. It took an
entire 6 months for the wound to heal and the scars were also a constant
reminder of that horrible night. I felt like a handicapped. I could hear people
talking in whispers ‘Her friends have
saved her life still she is always in a foul mood with no gratitude’. I
wished I could tell them that when in so much pain it sometimes gets the better
of you. But something happened and this tragedy fell into perspective.
I opened my eyes in the hospital one fine day, I saw him standing next to me.
He was smiling away for some reason. He tried hard to be somber but he just
‘I am sorry, but the joke was hilarious. How
are you by the way? Nice way of taking a break from studies huh! ’ he
grinned. He was the so called ‘bad guy’ of our branch, also mischievous and always
up to something. Little did I know then how he would change everything!
‘Ya right why don’t you try it for a change ’I
we got talking. He was cracking one joke after the other, even tried to speak
in Bengali ‘Aami tumake bhalobashi’
he said and again burst out into a cacophony of laughter.
His jokes changed the claustrophobic hospital
room to a breezy hangout. He never showed me false sympathy. He took my mind
off every worry and helped me relax in the most unassuming way. Perhaps because
he was the only person who wasn’t judging me. In him I found a new friend. He
was always in a jolly mood which was so infectious that it gradually caught on
mood improved, I realized that things could have been worse. At least I would
get better in 6 months and start all over again. Slowly I began to see all the
positives and everything started to fall in place. My faith returned and I
looked ahead for good things in life. I got placed in a reputed company, my
wounds began healing more quickly, I was able to walk properly again whereas the doctors had said I would limp for the rest of my life! This
accident also opened my eyes to my true friends. I was able to see each person for what they
years down the line I am still friends with him but now he is my husband too.
If it wasn’t for the burns then he would have never come to the hospital to
visit me. If it wasn’t for that mishap, I wouldn’t have found a friend and
finally a life partner in him. When I look at the scars now, it reminds me of
our first date, our first holiday together, my first placement; it reminds me
of all the good things that happened to me since. So if Shakespeare said ‘Sweet
are the uses of adversity’, he sure knew what he was talking about! Today I am
a stern believer that everything happens for a good reason. Infact I cannot
thank god enough for without the accident I would have missed out on meeting
the love of my life. So trust me every adversity is just because God has
something better planned for us hence Be