By Sakshi Katiyar:
I am the daughter of a hit-and-run victim. My father was on a motorbike on a highway in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh when someone hit his bike from the wrong side of the road. He was a marketing professional and was on his way to meet a client. When my father was hit, he fell off the bike in a way that the bike ended up on top of him, causing a deep gash on his leg. As my father lay injured on the road, whoever had hit him fled the scene immediately.
He was found unconscious on the road by some students of a nearby college who had the humanity to call the last dialled number on his phone. The highway where the accident took place was in a rural area, so no immediate medical aid could be sent to him. We acted as fast as we could, and in the best possible way. My uncle, who was closest to him, got in an ambulance to reach him with aid. But by the time the ambulance picked my father and reached a hospital, 3 hours had already passed.
Today my father is dead. The gash in his leg cut a major vein and by the time he reached the hospital, he had lost too much blood. His heart rate would not go back to normal and his body did not respond to blood transfusions. He didn’t make it through the night.
Three days after the autopsy and the cremation, we received all his belongings. Among other things was his lunch box that was untouched, and his wallet that was drenched in blood. I still keep one of the blood-drenched currency notes with me.
It’s been four years since I lost my loving father. It’s been four years that I’ve constantly dreamed of him at night. For four years, most of the days, I have woken up thinking my father is going to walk into my room with a cup of tea any minute. It’s been for four years that my mother has been a widow. For four years she has avoided happy get-togethers. For four years I have not seen her put proper make-up. For four years she has been closely examining the size of her black bindi making sure it’s not too big for a “widow’s” forehead.
We had it rough, but we helped each other overcome this painful phase. My mother learned to be my father and I taught myself to be her husband. And let me tell you. It has not been easy.
Because no matter how much you try, the society (even your own close relatives) will make you realise every day that you are father/husband-less. That you are without a head-of-the-family.
The police failed us and we never got to know who hit my father. What is even more devastating than my father’s death? Not knowing who caused it. Closure- that’s all we pray for.
The recent outpour over the celebrity hit-and-run case only makes me cringe. Did stardom really buy Salman Khan a ticket out of humanity? Perhaps, doomsday is now. Where Being Human is a mere t-shirt print.