Story – A loop of Grief

This story not only epitomizes love, friendship, and resilience but also about loss, grief, and despair. This global pandemic has caught us in an infinite loop; the number of endless cases adding up each day and with it the increasing number of deaths.

A week ago, my best friend and also a Neurosurgeon, Ram Tripathi was infected by Covid-19
and was admitted to the same hospital. The day when he was admitted, his oxygen levels were
plummeting. And as the days passed, his health worsened and we had to put him on the ventilator. Every day, I personally went to his bed for checkups. For those 2 mins, he would ask about no one but his wife and his baby girl. I can still remember the last words he said to me the day before he died – “Promise me you’ll take care of my wife and Naira (his 5-months old daughter). Meera always wanted to be a baker but… I’ll have to leave her this journey halfway” At that moment all I could do was just hold his hands and assure him that he’ll be fine.

The next day, I was asked to hurry to the hospital, there was an emergency; It was Ram taking his last breaths. We all tried our best to save him but we couldn’t. I couldn’t process all of this and was asked to call his wife and inform her about his death. Somehow, I gathered the courage to dial her number but stood quiet. She was getting anxious with every passing second and lined up questions if Ram’s doing okay and why am I not speaking up. After a min, I said her that we lost him. She screamed and wept; I could hear the baby girl crying in the background too, only if she knew that her dad won’t be back home ever again. Today, lying on
the death bed, all that’s running in my mind is the promises I made to Ram. Also how after I die, my mother would be called and informed that she lost her son to Covid-19 too, how she won’t be able to believe that all her prayers were left unanswered.
But fortunately, I lived and I feel the only reason I’m alive is that I’d to keep the promise, the one that I made to Ram. Till the day I recovered, it was time to scatter Ram’s ashes. In my absence, Meera and Naira stayed at my place with my parents. Meera had already gone into deep despair. I could see her eyes all red as if she cried herself to sleep every night and shed blood tears. She often called me Bhaiya and I took it as my responsibility to make my younger sister achieve all her dreams and also keep my promise to Ram.
Years went and she was among the best bakers in our city yet I haven’t seen her smile in all these years. As if with Ram, her smile went along. Naira was her only ray of hope and only
motivation. She wanted her to live a better life and did every possible thing that Ram would have dreamt for her daughter.

Just like millions of people lost their loved ones to this Covid-19, Meera( Ram’s wife) lost her husband, and Naira (his 5-months old daughter) lost her dad even before she could talk to him. Yet Meera didn’t lose hope and stood strong to take care of her child all by herself. She started her own bakery shop with the help of funds arranged by Mayank initially. Later, she lived her life on her own terms and would never let her daughter’s wish unfulfilled.

Like Meera, when one feels stuck in a loop of grief or despair, just remember,

“हर कठिन समय के बाद

एक खूबसूरत सुबह जरूर होती है।

समय की विशेता यही है

की यह बदलता जरूर है।”