What happens if you fall prey to the destiny?
The feeling of helplessness and irritation caused by it is deadly enough to make you go crazy. That was one of those most painful and dreadful day that you would never want to come across to.
We were to travel to our hometown Sultanpur that day, where we have our ancestral home. We had all the arrangements and plans to reach well in time to destination. We set out early in the morning, at 4 am, for the train we were to catch was scheduled to depart at 6:25 am. Though fate has shown its face once in on the way to the station but we did not pay the due importance. My younger brother started to have pain built in his belly but I assured him that it will be fine once we are at station for we should be able to get some medical help there.
He used to get these attacks of pain in the belly due to stone in the kidney and the urethra. That day the pain was milder but what we did not know that this will only grow bigger in coming hours.
We reached station and rushed to medical room, which in fact was a secondary facility in Railway Senior Superintendent’s room, only to find that it was merely a first aid help.
However, to our relief, his pain subsided (Sigh! Thank God!) and we were able to catch the train in time. He slept through entire journey while I stayed awake most of the time. The eight hours’ journey turned into ten, all thanks to the railways, however this was an uneventful span.
We got down at Lucknow Railway Station for further travel through bus.
After treating ourselves with two bottles of Limca we reached for the bus depot.
Charbagh bus depot in Lucknow is as crowded as it can be in a famous place like this. Like most of the large cities the depot had an air filled with familiar smell of juices, paan, petroleum smoke, burnt tyres and urine from open urinals and also from the backside wall of the depot (People never mind obliging these walls with a little salty water from their body!).
These all mixed together with a chaotic environment, created an intolerable atmosphere, but it felt like home! (Yes, we are used to it.)
To much of our amusement the depot was smaller as compared to any other depot of any other city and for this place’s reputation as well. I asked my brother to get the water bottles refilled and went out to find a bus to Sultanpur. I readily found it for there were many and their conductors considered it their birth-right to drag the passenger in them, holding their elbows; pushing passengers in, is just another tradition.
So, we got into one of those in no time. This was the end of the ‘mesmerizing’ smell, thrilling chaos and also of our peaceful time, for soon as the bus started to move out of the city, my brother started to twist again.
The twinkle in his eyes was gone and face turned into a portrait of an agonized man. I wondered if I could read his thoughts. He gave me a faint lopsided smile which reminded me of Monalisa. I could not understand if this was a smile in pain-reassuring me that he’ll be alright or did he really feel a bit relieved that moment.
Throughout the way he kept twisting and turning in so much pain that it shook my soul but he did not give up his occasional smile every time I looked at him!
We were looking for a clinic on the way so I kept tucking out my head to look for the any signage indicating a doctor. We had no luck except a few chemist shops who also denied to inject the medicine we had (I was too unsure if I could do the same myself). I asked driver and conductor to help me in the situation but they could not do anything, obviously, except keeping the bus running at top speed.
Bus took nearly 5:30 hours to reach Sultanpur. As soon as it reached near bus depot we rushed for District Hospital.
Emergency ward was near the entrance and we intruded inside the surgeon’s cabin, tearing apart a huge crowd gathered outside. My brother fell and stretched on the floor that very instant and a compounder had to rush, hold him up and lay him down on a table.
He had to be injected thrice in next half an hour and we waited till he was able to walk; this was another 1 hour before we could take another bus to our home.