Thursday, February 12, 2009

Truimph Over Tragedy

My phone rang and when I picked it up, I heard a happy voice at the other end. It was Samir, my friend Raj’s younger brother who was a fresher and was looking for a job. Raj who is in the UK, called me a few days back and requested me to help his younger brother find a job. Samir, therefore used to call me regularly to check if I could help him. But that day was a different day as he had found himself a decent job in a leading pharmaceutical company in Mumbai. The salary offered was good and the company was located in Andheri (a suburb in Mumbai) which wasn’t too far from where Samir lived, which excited him as he didn’t have to travel much to office.

Samir used to ride his bike to work, much to the dislike of his parents because they felt it was unsafe for young people. His argument was that, it helped him save a lot of time. I distinctly remember that day he wanted to meet me and thank me for trying to help him find a job. I told him that he doesn’t have to thank me for doing that, but he was adamant. So, we decided to meet at lunch. We kept discussing his work when we met, soon after which he left.
While I was busy working my mobile rang again, it was Samir. It was just 15 minutes back he had left. I heard him crying on the phone and was begging for help. He met with an accident at a place near my office and was lying on the road. I rushed to the spot immediately only to find a few blood stains and his shattered motor cycle lying on one side of the road. I was told by a few onlookers, that the boy who met with an accident has been taken to the Aditya hospital by some people, that Samir had rammed into a truck and that the accident was serious. I rushed to the Aditya hospital to find out that the doctors were planning to operate him immediately. After finishing the admission formalities, I rang up Samir’s parents who were shocked to hear the news. By the time they reached the hospital, Samir was out of danger. He was lying in the Intensive Care Unit with bandages all over. The doctors informed his parents that there was a major crack in the bone of his left leg and it would take a lot of time to heal. At the same time, he would require adequate care which would only help him recover faster. His parents were inconsolable. As Raj wasn’t here, I told them that they would get all the possible help from me.

A month passed, but Samir still wasn’t able to walk properly. His parents were really worried for their son. Raj too had to come here. Samir just wanted to get up and start walking but just cannot do that, maybe he was trying too early. He kept complaining that his legs weren’t able bear the weight of his body. Even the doctors were worried at this outcome of their treatment. Samir’s parents were really losing their patience and therefore they consulted Dr. Anil Mehta who is one of the leading doctors in Mumbai. Post their meeting; Samir was shifted to Dr. Mehta’s hospital. After some days, Dr. Mehta confirmed that Samir would never be able to walk properly again. The left leg wasn’t responding to any of his treatments. The right leg may heal with proper medication, though it may take some time. It was hard to console Samir’s parents, specially his mother who kept crying day and night. Samir too was devastated and was more worried about his career which had just begun. A few days later he was discharged from the hospital. Slowly Samir started walking with the help of crutches as the other leg improved after treatment. But he seemed a shadow of the effervescent person I knew.

I was out of Mumbai for almost 2 months for some urgent official work and did not get a chance to speak to Samir at all. The moment my flight landed, I immediately called him up to know how he was. His mother informed me that Samir had found himself a job and was away to work. He didn’t want to sit idle at home and was eager to take up the opportunity he came across. I met him later that evening and he informed me that he found himself a job with one of the leading business outsourcing companies in Mumbai and was very happy. In the induction training programme, he was told that his performance was a major criterion and he would be treated equally as his colleagues despite the fact that he was disabled. I was happy for Samir because it seemed he was desperate to make up for what he had lost after the accident. He wanted to work hard just like other friends of his and earn both name and fame.

Soon a year passed. Every time I met him, I found that his effervescence which was lost was coming back. He was promoted as a Senior Advisor in the same company; soon he was a Team leader and now is a Team Manager. It was his second coming, his resurrection. A lot has been written about the call centre industry but most of it is negative. Perhaps none of those media men focussed on the positives of this industry. One of those positives is these companies are giving a chance to the people like Samir who have lost themselves to time for some or the other reason. It is the nothing-is-impossible attitude of such people who defy everything and take the life along the way they want to go.

Samir also found himself a life partner, Sunidhi. She is a subordinate to Samir, is a smart, intelligent and good looking female. On the day when they of their marriage I asked Samir how it feels and he said “I have dreams and nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams.” It seemed he never wanted to let his past affect his present and the future. It was truly a triumph over tragedy.

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