As I lay unmoved, insensitive to physical emotions, there is a mourning in silence. The world around me seemed to have been shattered like scrap metal being crushed in a junk yard, only difference being that the crushed metal is put to reuse with new innovative methods of recycling whereas I was of no use except for a lifeless body having been stored in a container full of formaldehyde preserved and taken care so as to be worshipped by my compassionate relatives and the emotional and physchological attachment which is associated with the coming of years.
It was the summer of ’82 when I was born in a middle class family, very honorably named Suhani by my beloved parents Sukanya and Aniket Patil. By the time I was 3 years old already I was a hard nut to crack with being called as an arrogant and stubborn child by my grandparents. Then, I considered them as foe who wouldn’t let me pursue the things which I wanted to do, constantly advising and in a sort of molding me about the good, bad and the ugly.
Growing up in the streets of Dharwad was like another normal day at a government office without much of hassles, worries of being late or may be registering yourself into the attendance log. Life in dharwad is a sort of bed of roses especially for the young education enforced, physco-analytical teenage generation and the conservative, orthodox, self-realized retired generation. It is a heaven for both these extremities with lush green streets scattered all around the city with sufficient carriageway width all throughout the length and breadth of the city. Every morning it is a visible sight of elderly people coming out into the streets for their daily psychological and physical strengthing. Along by children going to attend regular tutorial classes for more of fun rather than the objective of acquiring knowledge.
With these comforts and the constant love of parents made me to change my attitude and behavior with changing times. I being the only child to my parents got the most out of situation and usually was never made to plead or cry for the materialistic toys I wanted or desired to play with. I never was a spoilt child and didn’t take any things for granted. Even though I was supplied with all my needs, I wanted to become a self-empowered, independent woman with all the luxuries that I always dreamt of.
Having secured a good ranking in the Common Entrance Test (CET) during standard 12, I had multiple options of getting into the stream of medicine or engineering whichever I desired. But as the mindset of most of the other students, statistically speaking more than 85% of the students do not have an idea of what they are going to opt for or maybe what they intend to pursue further.
Everyone is living a life of F and B i.e. Foods and Beverages, even though tasty their life is short. I made up my mind to become a doctor with the intention of pursuing MBBS from a renowned college in nearby Hubli city known as the Karnataka Institute of medical Sciences (KIMS). Only the top 100 ranks in CET get to attend interview in KIMS. I was pretty confident of getting through as my rank was 48 in medical. Parallely I had a engineering ranking of 72 with options of getting a seat in my desired branch and college in most of the top notch colleges in Karnataka.
With so many options, opinions and expectations, the decision to pursue a career of my choice was entrusted into my own hands and was never pressurized to commit myself. I knew that there was some way out to the destination I planned to reach. But having to choose a path which best leads to the destination and in the shortest of time was a mystery because of two reasons. Two being that the road was less travelled by any other associate of mine and one; that I myself never knew that there would be so many routes to my desired destination. I was totally in prejudice and somehow took control of mind and decided to go ahead with MBBS. This was probably backed by the famous saying, there is light at the end of the tunnel. But then I thought that, wouldn’t I have photophobia by the time I came out of the tunnel!!
The D-day arrived when I had to attend the counseling session for medical at malleswaram in Bangalore. I along with dad reached Bangalore couple of days earlier and were put up at my aunt’s place in vijaynagara. On the the day of counseling, we reached early at the venue and was eager with a bit of anxiety creeping in with each click of second. Just before my turn, I pleaded to dad that I am not ready yet with MBBS and would like to back out of the counseling. Dad being a supportive father, gracefully accepted my thought and we returned home the following day.
At this point in time I realized the fragile and irregular thought process. It was like a bandwidth of varying sinusoidal waveform with changing frequencies every hour. Making one feel like an charged electron which jumps to higher state for a short period and then returns back to its normal state except that the energy which is emitted during this process in my case was one of a negative charge affecting the near and dear ones. Somehow I wouldn’t change even after constant backing by my inner soul. Never got to learn or rather implement solutions to the problems I faced and kept on swirling in the twister produced by none other than myself.
Later on, after a month having decided to go ahead with engineering prospects, I returned to Bangalore well aware of my Achilles heels. The sea of opportunities that I had encompassed by the prospective of being a self reliable and independent urban woman made me think of opting for a seat in a well renowned college in Bangalore. I was a bit disturbed about whether to choose Electronics & Communication (E&C) or Computer Science (CS) which happened to be the vogue among potential candidates. As I wait my turn at the counseling session there is a gradual yet determined thought of pursuing graduation at hometown itself. It was a thought spurred by the ambivalent traditions and cultures which I was accustomed to all these years with the ambiance of home and the love of parents very hard to let go away. Especially knowing that in a few years down the line I will have to get married and let go away my emotional adhesive with home and hometown. All these fears and thoughts diligently made me to opt for a E&C seat in the nearby B.V.Bhoomraddi College of Engineering & Technology located only 26 Km from home. I never was a strategist and took decisions based on my instinct. It was a blow to my sentiments as I once again proved my varying thought process right, thereby aggregating my Achill’s heel.
The following years during my tenure as a graduate student were a mixed bag of fruits. But overall I was a student less outflanked by any other classmate which led to an contended Suhani at the end of graduation. I passed out at a time when the Indian IT services sector was at its peak and there was large scale recruitment at our college. Nearly 700 students out of a total 1200 students were recruited in IT services and its related work profiles. I don’t know it is a matter of pride or that I was just a scapegoat, I was the first to be placed in my college for the total batch of 1200 students during the year ’04. I was given an opportunity to be associated with one of the top three IT service provider then and now. With the mad rush of people just like ants over a corpus of dead fly, the increase in demand for graduates with a degree of some kind of programming over a with a degree of some kind of programming over a imaginary paper was like a boom to the Indian companies. Being the first of the lot to experience a magnitude of such an phenomena, I was given the opportunity to work on site immediately after 6 months of joining.
India was experiencing a revolution of sorts, with the advent of computers in almost all the sectors of the business community combined with the demand for its increased use in households made it a preferred destination of investment for many large capital and medium capital companies. There were major expansion and diversification of companies into the IT enabled services especially the Business Processing & Outsourcing (BPO) industry. However we graduates are white collar employees working as technical solutions provider in IT solution based service providing companies. The international markets observantly captured the dreams of the average middle class Indians by providing them salary packages far more than that paid by any Indian company. This being a part of the plan to entrust their presence in the Indian markets. However the salary paid by these international companies was just a mere 35% of the salary which they shell out per employee per annum of their origin. Thus Indian employees gave them a prospective of better financial conditions with improved profits.
Believe this, the life when we are still students and than employees are like two lines which are in geometrical terms known as perpendicular lines. There is a complete change in direction of our life style and attitude towards things which formerly wouldn’t have mattered much. I began to lead a more lavishing life with more expenses than savings.
The onsite training was programmed to be conducted in Seattle in the U.S. The first thing I remembered when I heard about my on site training was of the movie ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, the romantic flick.
In the following year, visiting U.S. was a pleasant experience with dreams fulfilled of exploring the western hemisphere. It was a new learning process for me as getting accustomed to the living standards and style was a bit excruciating. Soon I was drowning in a river of melancholy with loneliness taking a toll on my physiological soundness. I was beginning to swirl in a hurricane of thoughts having to miss the people and diversity of Indian. Finally the curtains were drawn after a insomnia ridden three months in Seattle. Although a lot of my relatives lived in U.S., I never visited anyone on the pretext of meeting them some other time.
I returned to Bangalore and straight away planned my trip to Dharwad to catch up with mom and dad. Due to unavailability of tickets by rail and bus facilities, I hired a private taxi. Due to the jetlag, I decided to call it a day and peacefully take rest. I was supposed to leave the next morning after having breakfast at my aunt’s place in Vijayanagara.
Finally after explaining in detail about all my experience in U.S., I left aunt’s place a bit behind schedule. But that is compromisable since even I was having a feeling of being a lonely soul. By the time we crossed Nelamangala and reached the outskirts of Bangalore it was already half past noon.
As we drove past the lush green fields and the authentic rural India, I was already asleep with thoughts, of visiting home after a long time. The sheer joy of having to meet up with parents and to give them a tight hug for having to miss them during calm and turbulent times is a sense which is less expressed than experienced. I had a strange feeling that I was returning back home after a war, a war which had no ethics, disciplines and humanity. It was beginning to get dark and we were still a good 120 Km away. We took a short break near Haveri for a sip of coffee and then resumed our travel.
I don’t know when I fell asleep, again only to find that I would never wake up for a long period. My mind, my soul was alive but there were no physical sensations. I remembered someone yelling at fellow persons to take it easy, to remove the body in one piece, I reckoned gas welding machines were used to remove the mangled remains of the driver from the vehicle we were travelling in; just before reaching hubli our vehicle while trying to overtake another vehicle was caught off guard by a bus coming in the opposite direction and boom, there were just remains of the vehicle lying all around in a radius of 50m from the epicenter of the disaster.
I had been moved from one hospital to another almost 3 times in a fortnight with no conclusive results about the magnitude of the suffering or loss to my body.
Now as I lay in bed almost a year and half past from the horrific day of my life, I still am a motionless, propped puppet in the hands of god with just memories surrounding my world of 6 feet X 2 feet waterbed at the ICU. Doctors have diagnosed this phenomenon in layman term as ‘coma’ which is naturally for eternity except for some special cases.
All I can imagine now, that I have all the time in this world to think of, I silently weep at the things which I could have changed, the things which I could have done, all the things which were supposed to be ‘me’. But I was caught up in this unending cycle of life where time waits for none. The busy mechanical life that everyone is leading to fulfill their thirst for materialistic ideologies, socialistic philosophies and the male/ female jingoistic attitude. Now is the time to reform yourself, reform now to be reformed from the shackles of lies, deceit, hatred and the constant non-existence of the self.