At least 120,000 people die and 1,270,000 are injured in road accidents across India every year. But can mere statistics capture the pain of the victims and their families? A mother whose son went into a coma after being hit by a car tells her story here
Is 13 an unlucky number? 2013 proved it is.
The disaster that shattered my life happened on January 5, 2013.
From then on, my son has been unconscious. Can a mother experience greater misfortune?
A little short of 6 feet. A lean body. Always dressed a bit casually. Playful conversations and smiles. Pranks and laughter. A heart full of love. An intense love for life. Friends across the world. A total optimist. Short tempered. Careless. Forgetful - Put all this together and you get my son. Sooraj, the journalist.
Today, he's just a dark, thin form that occupies a bed.
His head is full of scars and bumps from the surgery - Like he was casually stitched together after being violently taken apart.
There’s a food tube down his nose. His pupils are turning white. His right eye cannot be closed. His mouth is always open. What remains of his teeth are discoloured and rotting.
There’s an unhealed wound on the neck where a tube had once been inserted, a catheter and a bag for his urine. Skin and bones with some life - That is my son today.
I had earlier written about my life. I was born and raised in Thiruvananthapuram. I worked in MG University. I single-handedly brought up my children until they were independent. Though I was struck by cancer twice, I escaped due to the grace of god.
Ever since he was 14, Sooraj was a pillar of support for my daughter and me. If it were not for him, I would not have been able to work and live in an unfamiliar city in peace.
Surya Rashmi, my house in Kottayam, was paradise. I named my children Sooraj and Rashmi, and my house Surya Rashmi, with the hope that lives would be filled with light.
Images courtesy: Devi
Translated from Malayalam by Sarita Ravindranath