63-year-old Pamela is a firm believer. She spends most of her time in the services of the church and with her grandchildren to keep herself occupied. She has stopped following news breaks on TV. A bunch of unopened newspapers, which she has ignored over the years, lies in her store room -- a think layer of dust settling over them.
Just a mention of January 11, 2011, makes her shiver. Her son Rajeev Jolly Wilson, manager at Amici restaurant, was crushed under the wheels of a car being driven by a Jet Airways pilot, Vikas Aggarwal, near Khan Market on that day. Aggarwal’s car had hit Jolly’s car from behind. Jolly stepped out of his car to talk but was run over.
But Pamela is not angry anymore. She does not want revenge. She has left it all to Christ.
“To date I have not gathered the courage to open the papers that reported my son’s death and read what had happened. I have stacked the newspapers for an unknown reason. It has been five years since the incident but even today when I think of that afternoon, I get gooseflesh,” Pamela says, breaking into tears.
Jolly’s son, who was just six at that time, asks about his father. He knows his father is no more but does not know that he was killed. “We do not want the child to go through the trauma we are experiencing,” Pamela says.
“I am not angry with the man who killed my son. We believe in Jesus and the Bible teaches us to forgive. One moment of anger destroys everything, just like it took my son away. Though nothing can fill the void, I don’t seek revenge. I have faith that god will give us justice,” she says, recollecting herself.
“Jolly”, as Rajeev was known due to his jovial and caring nature, was popular in the neighborhood. Once, Pamela recalls, when a neighbour’s house caught fire Jolly jumped inside to help despite having breathing problems.
Tussle between a believer and a mother
“When I got angry, he said humans have come to this world to serve. If anyone fell sick in the neighborhood, he rushed them to the hospital leaving his work behind,” she recalls. Quoting the Bible she says, “Religion says things will just get worse from here. There will be lawlessness, chaos, anger and hatred all over and no value for human lives.”
Though the believer inside Pamela has forgiven the killer, the mother misses her son each moment. Talking of her son, she has several stories to narrate.
“On Christmas, while everyone used to enjoy, I used to be caught up in the kitchen preparing savories. Once he came to me, held my hand and took me out of the kitchen. He said he would get food and sweets and that I would not spend my Christmas in the kitchen cooking for everyone. He said he wanted me to enjoy. No one else, not even my husband, had thought like that. From then on, he used to make all arrangements for Christmas and made sure I enjoyed with the family,” she says.
Jolly always carried the Bible with him, kept his calm and hardly became angry. She said she had taught her children to control anger, and be thankful and forgiving. “I still cannot believe he was killed in a case of road rage. I never let the feeling of anger or resentment grow inside him. Just a few months before his death, he called me. He was crying. I asked him what happened. He told me he was very thankful to me for the way I brought him up. He said he respected me and was grateful for the sacrifices I made in life and the values I gave him. I told him it was my duty. I still do not know why god became so unkind. I miss him each moment, right from the time I wake up in the morning,” she says and weeps.
“To cope with this loss is the most difficult thing. It feels like a mountain has fallen on you and you are caught, neck deep, in the debris, feeling helpless,” says Jolly’s brother Ashish Wilson alias Winky.
Jolly was six years older than Ashish and was his mentor. Being the elder brother, he would always encourage and motivate Ashish. From helping him choose his subjects, to apply for jobs and selecting what clothes to wear, Jolly’s opinion always mattered.
The day Jolly died, Ashish had cleared his interview at the T3 airport and got his appointment letter. To surprise Jolly, Ashish did not call him and instead rode straight to his office. “I could not control my excitement and wanted to show him my appointment letter before breaking the news to anyone else. I was told that Jolly left office early so I went home. When I reached home, I saw lot of people inside. I wondered what happened. I was told about Jolly’s death. I just sat there, shattered,” Ashish says.
“He taught me how to dress up for a formal gathering, the different kinds of handshakes and what they mean. As a kid he taught me to swim and even got me my first pair of skates. He spoilt me by giving me extra pocket money to go out for movies, yet always kept a check to make sure that I am disciplined. Nothing can mend the loss. What we have suffered is beyond repair even if Vikas is given life imprisonment,” he says. “Whatever he taught me, will remain with me all my life,” he says.
Jolly’s wife is a lawyer and stays in Noida with their son. “Thankfully there is no financial difficulty since my sister-in-law earns well, but nothing can fill the gap. With him around, we all used to feel so protected and relaxed. It feels someone has taken away our shed and it has still not sunk in,” Ashish says.
Ashish is now extra cautious while driving his car or riding his bike. Anger, he realises, can devastate a family. “When I am driving and sometimes get hyper, Jolly’s incident immediately flashes in my head. If someone honks from behind, I give passage without a second thought. I know there is no point picking a fight on the road and then regret all our lives. It is better to let go. Kill your ego instead of getting killed yourself “Us ek minute ke gusse ne mere parivar ko tehes nehes kar diya. (that one minute of anger devastated my family),” he says.
Jolly’s wife was not willing to talk about the episode.