I was in class 9 and on summer vacations. My parents had left me behind to stay with Aunty to attend a marriage in Punjab. It was very hot and I use to commute back and forth between our house and my aunt’s using a bicycle. Within the 3 days of my parents leaving, I had fallen sick. I was diagnosed for Typhoid but was being treated with homoeopathy medicines for 10 days.
My fear of visiting a hospital complemented the feeling of my Aunt and her family as well. A wet cloth on my forehead was constantly placed to keep the fever in check. I was helped urinate in a bucket close to bed since I was getting weaker with everyday passing. They took all pains but did not lose hope that I will recover without being admitted to hospital. All of this was not being disclosed to my parents and how could that be done since there were no mobile phones those days. The landline phone was also not at my Aunt’s place.
On May 21 1991 around early afternoon, I rose to hear slogans from group of Congress supporters in an open truck. My cousins told me that Mr Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. My cousins wished this was not done by a Sikh as in 1984 with Ms Indira Gandhi. Despite my illness, the focus had shifted to news on television. This was a distraction that kept me at relatively higher levels of energy.
But I had to be admitted to hospital on May 23 when my condition further deteriorated. I was looked after at hospital by relatives known only to my parents. They were best known to me as visitors for my grand parents and they did have tea before leaving. On the 3rd night at the hospital my father visited me rushing straight from railway station.
I was in tears but tried hard to put up a mature and bold face before him. Post my discharge from hospital a long recovery process started at home with I slowly gaining the strength and stamina. I was looked after as a toddler.
But then within two months I gifted a two-wheeler moped to commute to school with my father taking special permission from Vice Principal at Gulmohar High School.
Those were also days in my life…