Monday, August 3, 2015

The Grey Day - Part 3

You can read the First Part HERE and the Second Part HERE

It wasn’t suffocating. The cold was gone completely. But they were still in stark darkness and hope trickled down their tired muddy faces.
“Simi, I am too sleepy. What if I don’t make it? I can’t feel my legs anymore. And I don’t have the strength to stay up anymore. “
Simi looked at Lisa and knew she had almost reached the zenith of despair. “I will keep watch, you sleep for some time. You will need strength for when they pull us out of this hell hole.”
Lisa took Simi’s advice and Simi was more vigilant than ever. It was more like the last burst of energy before the end, at least for her.
After an infinite lapse of time, Simi felt light showers of dust on her. The same as the one she had witnessed after the one minute of nature’s wrath had ceased. But this was different. This one was for hope.
“Lisa, get up. I think the rescuers are here. Please get up.”
Lisa got up to witness the same shower, now accompanied by faint thuds. It was the rescuers for sure. But she was too fatigued and dehydrated. Simi started screaming with all her might for help and the thuds stopped.
“Is there anyone in there?” Someone asked.
“Yes, we are. Two people. My friend is hurt. She can’t move. But she is alive” an elated Simi replied.
After twenty minutes of desperate wait, Simi could finally see daylight but no escape route. The dust shower had increased and Lisa refused to even raise her head anymore. Exhaustion had taken a toll on her, but the surging energy in Simi seemed enough for both of them.

After another ten minutes, Simi could finally see their rescuer’s face. Maybe it was exaggeration, but Simi had never been so pleased to see anyone, ever, let alone a stranger.

They removed the fridge first. Lisa was squirming with pain from the minute the cement boulders were being raised but the minute the huge machine was lifted, she screamed and fainted. The rescue team didn’t waste any time in asking Simi about her condition. A man came down, picked her up and left. There was chaos above, and Simi was lost, waiting, fearing what she didn’t even want to imagine. After sometime another man came to take Simi. He tried to lift her, but she protested. She wanted to know about Lisa.
“Your friend is fine Ma’am. She was pinned down for too long. There was a toxin build up in her blood – it is very common in these cases. Sudden blood flow caused her immense pain and she fainted. The doctors still need to look at her legs. But she is fine, she will be fine.”

Simi wanted to cry, wanted to let go of her fear, wanted to feel safe. All she needed was to cry but was unable to do so. She let her rescuer take her out of the misery-ville.
Simi was in a small camp that had been set where the central garden of her society used to be. She looked at what used to be her building. She looked around and all she saw was death, and wreckage. Her society was gone. Buildings were gone. Some cut in halves, some shortened, and some with no reason for being called buildings at all. She looked at the people in the camp. Seven people were from her building excluding her. She imagined some to be in the hospital where Lisa was being treated. A lady from the medical tent had come to take Simi for checkup, but all Simi wanted was water and sleep. She had not had water for more than twenty hours now, but she went with the lady anyways.
The doctor at the medical counter had a Motorola handset, and throughout her checkup she kept a stern gaze on the cellphone. After the doctor was done with his job, Simi spoke for the first time after being rescued.
“Can I make one call from your handset?”
The doctor smiled and handed her the phone. “Just one call please, for now” he said and went on to check the others dragged in by the lady.
“Aunty, this is Simi. Lisa and I are fine, alive. She wanted to talk to you but the doctors took her away. She wanted to say sorry. She survived, we survived because she wanted to talk to you” Simi said and waited for the sobs to die down at the other end. “Please call Maa and tell her I am fine. I will call her when I get a chance to.”
She ended the call and collapsed where she was standing. Sobs and tears had finally found a way. She was crying because she was happy. Life was finally making sense again. And she remembered the last words her mother had told her before the call had ended, “You are lucky, very lucky.” What she meant was that Simi was lucky that she wasn’t in Dehradun and did not have to wake up early for the Army Parade. But what her mother had said was partly true.
She had survived. She was lucky, very lucky.