Its not everyday that you see someone dying and later hear that he is dead.
That was the first line of my diary entry that fateful day, May 3 2005. For most of that evening I would have sold my soul to the devil for a pair of ear plugs.
I was having lunch watching Sienfeld as usual. It was my study hols of 8th sem and that meant I woke up late and spent most of my day on the comp and watching tv. I was having a late lunch that day… probably 3 in the evening.
I was in my own world when my mom came barging into my room. She told me the neighbor was at our door and wanted my help. When I reached the door I was looking at a very different man than who my neighbor normally was. His eyes were red and his voice could not hide the fact that he was about to cry.
He told me his son was sick and wanted my help to take him to the hospital. When I entered the neighbor’s house I knew in the back of my mind I had never been there. There is an hint of discomfort when u go somewhere for the first time… some people can hide it some people cant. I was taken aback by the atmosphere inside the room. There were about 5 women and the weak boy lay on the bed.
He was a few years elder to me but im certain not more than 3 years. I had hardly ever spoken to him in the 3 years I had been living next to his house. All I knew about him was that he went to work at around 8am and came back around 5pm.
The neighborhood shopkeeper was there too. It took me a few seconds to sink in the situation in front of us. This boy lay motionless on the bed. His mouth frothing… and his eyes rolled up. Few of the women were crying and his mother was right there next to him.
The three of us carried the boy. I was told to keep the head held up… he was so weak he could not hold his head up. I remember carrying my nephew (first cousin’s son) for the first time. We take care about the head and the neck… babies you see are weak and we need to support the head and neck properly. Weirdly thats the only analogy I could think off…
As we carried him to the car where my dad was ready to drive him to the hospital. I was told to stay back as the neighbors and my dad went to the doctor…
About 20 min later I received the message from my mom… he was no more. It was an heart attack that caused it. A few minutes later there was an exodus of people around my place. I didn’t mind the people it was the cries that can split your head.
A few minutes later I was in bed my head covered by my pillow to cut any sound from me. I did not go to the funeral or see him again… deep down I knew its not something I wanted to put myself through.
The last line of the entry in my diary that night read:
Things like this change people and I guess I changed with it
Almost a month ago, my neighbor was at my door again. He wanted to meet my father about something. I informed him that dad was not at home and that I would pass on the message. As I was about to close the door, this man who was heading for the gate turned around and said “Thanks for your help that day”. That boy was his only child.
Its moments like that I feel so small that someone could squash me like a bug. Here I had a man who had lost almost everything and he could still offer me something. It was the second time the incident had changed me…