8th June: 2 days after Tanvi’s 5th birthday. She & I were crossing a road near our house. I was holding her hand. I looked to the right, saw a bike coming, stepped back & looked to the left. There was an auto approaching. By the time I looked again at the road ahead, Tanvi had left my hand & was running across. In a second, I saw the horrifying scene of her being hit by the auto. She fell down & the back wheels of the vehicle ran over her right foot. The next thing I know, I was carrying her in my arms, hugging & consoling her. She was showing her bloody (literally) foot to me & crying out, “Mummy, my leg.” She was completely shaken & scared. I lifted her, sat in the same auto & went to the nearest clinic. I’ll never forget what she said to me. We both were sobbing uncontrollably & out of nowhere she said, “Don’t cry mummy. I love you mummy. I’ll never leave your hand again. I’m sorry mummy.”
I remember a friend once telling me that a hospital is a depressing place. But the children’s ward is the worst. You feel so sad at what you see there, that it makes you want to kill yourself. I now understand what she meant. The past few days that Tanvi has been suffering, & especially the day the accident happened, seeing her in so much agony, tears streaming down her cheeks continuously, it’s a nightmare. I understand now why some people say, “Mere dushman ko bhi yeh sazaa na miley”. What do you say to a child who looks at you, full of hope & complete helplessness, & cries “mummy, it’s paining a lot”? I’ve felt so helpless.
Seeing her learning to walk again is heart-wrenching. Because every step she takes sends millions of pain shots through her body & she begs me, “Mummy, I can’t, too much pain.” I remember teaching her to walk when she was only an infant. It was such a pleasurable & memorable experience then. Today, it’s very painful for both of us - she can’t walk because of the excruciating pain & I can’t see her writhing like that but I have to.
One second’s haste has caused my child two fortnights of trauma & me & Sathya unending ache. One second was all it took for my daughter, who had just turned 5, to become confined to the bed, listlessly watching T.V. She is not the type of child to sit in one place for more than 10 minutes. She is so naughty that I’ve pleaded with her, “Enough for 1 day Tan please!!” She is always either busy climbing the railings of the building stairs or bouncing up & down the bed or running, walking, sliding, basically up to some mischief every waking hour. To see her now, unmoving, is a nightmare.
But I thank God that it was only a laceration. It’d have been worse, a fracture or something else, god forbid! And thank God because even though she hasn’t been able to walk, her appetite is good, she talks, smiles, laughs & even cracks jokes, like before. They say people turn out to be the exact opposite of what their names mean. Like, girl named Shanta grows up to be very short-tempered. I named her Tanvi because it means ‘a delicate girl’ & I wanted her to be strong. And I’ve realized that she is!