Rajeev looked out of the window towards the setting sun and wondered why his life did not end that day. It was painful to live a life of guilt. Five years, five years of guilt to be precise. His life had changed and there was nothing he could do about it. Tears welled in his eyes as he looked out of the window. If only it had not happened, life would have been different.
He was jolted out of his thoughts with the loud arguments between his nephews. He looked at them. The thoughts back in his mind. He was the one who had turned them into orphans. If only the accident had not taken place…
It had been a day to celebrate when she told him that they were expecting their first child. His happiness knew no bounds. A dinner followed by a drive was what they had planned. His sister and her husband also joined them. They had decided to leave the kids at home. It was not very often that they got the chance to spend time on their own.
“One wrong turn and down you go!” Rajeev had always said when they drove down the winding ghat raods. He had been a safe driver, but not that day. The music in the car had been too loud for them to hear the honk of the oncoming truck. By the time he realised it was too late. He swerved the car and it hit against the wall, crumbling it and down went the car.
The next thing he remembered was waking up in the hospital. It had been a head on collision. No one had survived. The doctors had given up hope on him.
“It would be a miracle if he survived”, they had said. But survive he did, to live the life of guilt. The accident had left him paralysed and his survival always haunted him. The guilt was unbearable, but fate had decided that he live in his world of guilt.
He was jolted out of his thoughts by his nephews who were arguing in the corridor. It was their daily routine to play cricket in the long corridor with their friends. He looked at them with tears in his eyes and knew he was the one who had turned them into orphans.
“Uncle here is your dinner,” said Mohit his nephew, wheeling in the food trolley.
Rajeev looked at him and smiled. “No, I shall join you at the dining table tonight. Can you wheel me there”?
Mohit looked surprised. Was he hearing right? Rajeev’s parents looked at each other and offered a silent prayer when they saw him. Five years later, he was coming out of his cocoon.
It was during one of the cricket games his nephews were playing that the thought crossed his mind. He planned and waited for the right moment. It was one of the usual arguments when he intervened, “Why don’t you let me be the umpire, and I know the game well, and of course, you will not argue either,” he said. His nephews were delighted as he joined them every evening to play with them.
“Why don’t I also play with you all? ” he asked a few days later. “One of you could wheel me and we can really have a good time. His nephews readily agreed. It was nice to see their uncle participate in their game. It was during one of the games that it happened.
Mohit ran keeping a pace while manoeuvring the wheel chair and it happened in a matter of seconds. He stopped to catch a breath but his uncle on the wheel chair didn’t. Mohit watched in horror as he saw Rajeev fall down the long winding staircase with the wheelchair following after him. He saw him cringe in pain for a few seconds. When he reached down, Rajeev was dead.
Two years later
Mohit looked out of the window towards the setting sun. Tears in his eyes, he wondered why did it happen. If only he had run slowly, Rajeev would not have fallen down and died. Perhaps he was running too fast. He looked at the covered wheelchair at the corner of the room.
Why did it have to happen to him? Why did he have to live a life of guilt? If only he could have stopped him in time. If only….
He walked out of the room tears in his eyes. The feeling of guilt haunted him.
No one had ever noticed the cleverly cut brake cable of the wheelchair.
This is a work of fiction. This is written for WriteTribe, where we bloggers have come together to blog for a cause that is close to many of our hearts. The international theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2013 is Stigma: a major barrier to suicide prevention.
Please use the hashtag #suicideprevention to tweet/ share on Facebook.
I believe that every life has a purpose. If you and I can save a life, we should.
How sad….passing on the guilt 🙁
Wonderful narrative though…really good!
Say Cheese says
You’ve written a wonderful story. In all honesty, I don’t even know what to say! You narrate really well.
Oh! That was tragic. What was worse is what he did to his nephews. The image of their uncle dying might forever scar the young minds 🙁
Corinne Rodrigues says
I always think forgiving oneself is harder than forgiving others. The spiral of guilt….it can really take you down if you don’t seek help. Very powerful story, Prats. Thank you.
Thank you girls! @Corinne, Bhavya, Aditi and Shilpa
Your comments are truly encouraging
Jyothi Nair says
Shifting of guilt. Guilt is indeed difficult to live with. Very well written. Tragic.
Thank you 🙂
Vaayadi Pennu ;) says
Hi Prats .. struggling to find the right words to express.. narrated well.. but still in a sense of shock!
Kalpana Solsi says
The burden of guilt is too much to bear.
beautiful narration…kept me on the cringe.
Sad ending though!
Vishal bheeroo says
Very well written on what goes inside one’s mind and the guilt feeling. Only if we could understand and not judge. Powerful message passed.