Sunday, February 17, 2013

Days of Healing

On 4 Feb I was again in Kolkata for training of the Project Coordinators and Block Supervisors of the polio eradication program. On 5th Feb evening, once the training was over, I left for Bolpur via Bardhamman. At Bardhamman station, while waiting for the local train to arrive as I was scheduled to leave at 8.10 pm, at about 7.50 pm, a train carrying coal was to cross through the same platform. The train came in with a loud thud and lot of fire above one of the containers as it was brushing against the overhead electric cables. People started running for cover as the fire and the blasts were growing big. While a few of us were trying to shout to the driver about the danger, he was still pulling the train on to the platform. Soon, everyone had to run for shelter, as we jumped on to the empty tracks to rush towards an empty platform far off. At that time someone unintentionally pushed me from behind and I fell on the tracks! As I got up immediately I saw that I was bleeding profusely from my head with more scratches on my left knee and pain in my right palm. Few fellow passengers gathered and asked me to go for first aid at the train station itself. They said that I have a very "dangerous" cut, which I was not able to see anyway. All that I know was that my hand kerchief is already soaked in blood, and now I was trying to  cover with my shawl, but it was still bleeding heavily and the shawl was of little help.

I walked out of the station, knowing that it may not be safe for me to be in the station with lot of unknown people and severe head injury. So, I took a rickshaw, went to Asansol Burdwan Seva Kendra (ABSK), an NGO run by the diocese of Asansol, which is situated about 5 minutes ride from the station. The Director of the institution, Fr. Dolphy is a friend of mine. Soon I was taken care of and by 8.45 I was in the operation theater of a nursing home, and was given 14 stitches (3 on the nose, 2 above the right eye and nine on the forehead). I rested that night in ABSK and returned to Bolpur on 6th morning. I must thank Fr. Dolphy and few of his staff who took care of me at the crucial hours, Shubhra for being the gem as I recovered over the days with swollen eyes and severe pain and for all the love she gave, and whole lot of friends and family members who visited me, called me to check on my health, prayed for me and for being a wonderful support. Eleven days have rolled by. I am just getting fit and fine. Hope to begin to be more and more functional in the coming days. Thank you friends!