I open my eyes for a brief second and shut them. Moments later, I open again and ask for water, without even a sip I slide into unconsciousness again. Some time later, I regain consciousness and again ask for water, I hear some voice seeking permission to give me water and I hear another voice responding. I can’t make any sense of it and I am unconscious again. I open my eyes and realise that somebody is giving me water drop by drop, I am parched to the bones and desperately need water so why are they not giving me water as soon as the thought crosses my mind, I slip away again. When I regain some of my senses, I realise I am resting on my grand mother’s lap, she is sobbing, before I can figure out what’s happening, I pass out again.
I don’t know how much time has gone by, I have no sense of time or place. It’s been couple of minutes or hours, can’t say, I finally regain my full senses and see my mother, uncle and nani, they are all looking at me with hassled, worried expressions. I am confused and wondering, ‘why are they so tensed?’ Anyway I let it pass and enquire about my new dress, it’s white in colour and have floral prints, layered with frills. It’s new and I really love it. It makes me look pretty just like a doll, I pass out again before I hear the reply.
When I wake up again, I am at home, surrounded by crimson roses, they are my favourite flowers, something has happened but I can’t recollect anything. Then I try getting up from the bed and I feel heavy, my right hand is stiff, there is no pain but it feels strange. My hand is plastered from shoulder to elbow down but my wrist is free. I sit down on my bed with the help of my mother and recollect the accident, I was crossing the busy road in front of my house, with a very dear friend to buy candies and chocolates from the shop across the road, after that its all blank. There is no other memory of the morning. I strain to remember but I can’t recollect anything, it seems like all other events of the day has been erased.
Later that day, my mother told me that I had met with a car accident while crossing the road and fainted on the spot. There was not a single cut or a bruise on my body but I was unconscious for 8 long hours. I was rushed to the hospital immediately by the lady doctor who had accidentally hit me on the road. I never blamed her for the accident, it could have been my mistake I was just an 8 year old girl trying to be independent. In the hospital they realised my right hand bone was broken, not fractured but broken into two pieces. The good news was my elbow was intact, the bone had broken just above the elbow and it could be fixed, they did their level best and plastered my hand. Another good news, I didn’t have to go school for few weeks, may be a month. You see, not every accident have a bad ending.
After couple of weeks, we went for the check up. The X -ray revealed that the bone they were trying to join had joined instead of next to each other, on the top of each other, so now they were overlapping. What did that mean for me? My hand would be slightly twisted because of doctor’s negligence or lack of expertise.
My parents got very worried about my twisted hand and took me to the various other experts. Some them suggested to break the bone again and patch it back in the right angle. So my innocent worried parents agreed, after all my entire life was at stake. Dear doctors broke the bone once again and did whatever they were meant to do and plastered it right back. The plaster was different this time, it was covering half of my hand. But I was in for a shocker, I had to sleep in the sitting position as the hand needed to be in a certain angle all the time. I endured it for a month and the time for the X- ray came again, and what did it reveal? My bones were still not the way they were meant to be, they were still overlapping.
My mother got really stressed, all kind of questions started popping in her head, ‘Will I ever be able to use my right hand properly?’, ‘Will it ever regain it’s strength?’, ‘Will I be able to play normally?’, ‘Will it always remain deformed and twisted?’. And most important and crucial of all, ‘Will it be a big hindrance in getting me married?’ Since my over all look was twisted now, I was all of 8 or 9 years old then but my marriage was definitely something to be worried about.
My uncle equally worried, consulted a hospital in Lucknow. Like luck would have it a specialist from America was visiting, so he was consulted. The much renowned doctor suggested a surgery like the previous doctors, he wanted to break the bone again and put it back in it’s right place. All this while I was happily unaware of what was happening: joining, breaking and joining and now again breaking and hoping it will join back like it was meant to be.
We took the Shatabdi to Lucknow. The operation was successfully performed. As the bravery award I got a Barbie doll. I have to tell you and boast about this, back then, the Barbie doll was in vogue, very expensive and a huge rage amongst the kids. So I thought the bargain was not bad. In return of breaking my bones for the third time, I got a Barbie doll. It was a crack of a deal.
We returned to Delhi, I was happy in my world, no school for 4 months, I was staying at my nani’s place so I could be well taken care of as my mother was a working mom. Since I was a child with imagination, all kind of thoughts would creep in my head, ‘What if ants get stuck in the plaster?’, ‘What if maggots or any other creepier insect is making home in the comfort of plaster and my hand?’, my imagination would run wild making impossible come to life in my head. Besides that, I had nothing to complain about. No school, no class work, no homework, life was cool but my parents was in for a surprise. After my third and final surgery, the plaster was removed and voila, my hand was still twisted.
After that they made peace with it. They took it as god’s doing which couldn’t be undone.
My struggle started after the plaster came out, I realised my right hand did not have the strength as it use to have. I couldn’t lift the objects using my right hand, I couldn’t even twist it in certain directions, it used to even hurt specially in winters.
There was nothing I could do to fix it, enough was done already it and it was still not fixed. As humans, we don’t realise how much strength we have internally, our brain is solving problems even when we are not consciously seeking a solution. I started using my left hand more to support my right hand, in the process my left hand grew very strong and with time my right hand gained strength too. Usually, your left hand is weaker than the right because we use it less and since I was using it more than my right hand it grew strong.
Your body works in coordination, trying to strengthen and support each part, somewhat like a good healthy relationship, when one person goes weak the other person steps in to help, to over come the shortcoming and weakness.
Till date my right hand is twisted but I am stronger than most of the people I know as I balance using both the halves of my body while most of the people use their right side more. What was meant to be my weakness, became my strength!
What happened to my white dress? The one with the frills and flowers. Doctor had to tear it to plaster my hand but nobody told me that in the hospital.