It was perfect evening of the most perfect day. No hassles about college lectures and project deadlines and researches and interims bla bla bla. All of it was pushed in the background today.
It was only him and her.
And their own personal V-Day.
“I don’t want to celebrate our Valentine’s Day with rest of the world. Lets have it today instead of tomorrow. That way we’ll always remember it.”
It was indeed a great idea. And now it was time to head back to the hostel but not before their special event ritual….a Pastry treat at her fav bakery shop!
“Are you sure we have time for this? Its already 5 minutes to 7. We need to be back by 7:30.” She worriedly enquired while longingly looking at the bakery.
“We’ll gobble it down and then we’ll sprint our way back. Cmon, that way you’ll burn off the extra cals too” He teased her while pulling her towards the shop.
It was crowded as usual what with it being fav spot for tourists and locals alike. They managed to get a table and she talked about how she is going to be neck deep in guilt tomorrow morning while gorging on a piece of sinfully delicious midnight mud cake. He was trying to focus on what she was saying but the twinkle in her eyes and her happy smile kept distracting.
It couldn’t have been a better day…This is heaven.
I am in hell. Surely nothing else could feel so hot and burning. And its dark in here.
He tried to peep more in the darkness to finally realize that his eyes were closed. He tried opening them but it seemed as if they were glued together. Every single hair on him was painful and burning.
He could hear chaos around him. People coming and going. There was an air of tragedy and fear and death and demise around him. It scared him more.
Where am I? And how did I reach here?
He tried remembering it but even thinking seemed to hurt. All he could recall was her laughing face and then…..nothing. It seemed as if his mind was shutting down.
He lost consciousness thinking about this.
It was 2 days later he opened his eyes.
He was in a hospital. His parents were next to him and so was his best buddy. They all looked worn out as if they hadn’t slept a wink in days. He looked around but didn’t see anyone else. Where is she?
His mother was crying. It seemed as if she had been at it for quite some time.
He tried speakin but all came out was a weak croak.
“No dont try to talk. We are waiting for doctor to come. Let him check you.” His friend suggested.
Doctor examined him with an expressionless face and took his parents outside to talk to them.
“W-wh-aat ha-hap-p-ped?” These 2 words only drained him out.
His friend looked at the door willing for his parents to come back. He did not want to be one to answer this question.
As it turned out, he didn’t need to.
He saw a news paper lying nearby folded to the front page news.
It all came back to him like his worst nightmare.
The blast. The fire. The screams. The blood.
“They are saying it was a terror attack. Doctors say you have around 75% burns. You both were right there in the bakery that time…a part of the roof fell on your legs trapping you in. ” He registered his friend’s words but they seemed to be coming from far off.
“My legs. They are hurting real bad.” His friend grimaced. And suddenly it dawned on him with sharp clarity.
“They had no choice. They had to save your life. That was the priority. Docs say you have 75% burns! Legs could have got infected. They HAD TO cut them. But you do have hope…you may live.”
“What happened to her?”
“She also lost a leg. But her condition is far worse. 90% burns. Her organs are all scorched. They are not at all sure about her.”
When pain crosses a threshold, you cannot feel it anymore. He did not feel his burns and pain. What he felt was deep inside him.
His perfect day of love was ruined by an act of violence.
Red of love was transformed to Red of blood.
He was scarred for life. And so were many others. Will their lives be same ever again?
This story is part fiction but unfortunately rooted in the terrible tragedy that took place on 13th Feb in Pune. The boy in question is a friend of someone I know. He lost his legs and is fighting for his life right now.
Please pray for him and all others who gt caught in this act of hatred and violence. What purpose could such merciless killing serve for anyone!?!