“I don’t want to be shifted to the ICU. I’m scared of being alone,” cried out Omkar Tirodkar when HT met the 26-year-old on Thursday. A victim of the blast on the Virar local at Borivali on July 11, he was another terrified face on the hospital bed, pleading not to be left alone.
On Sunday, Tirodkar was trying to put together his splintered life, to put the horror behind and to look forward to the foreign assignment his company had offered.
As the 6.35 p.m. Virar local resumes service and the metropolis assumes a semblance of normality, the battle has only begun for victims like Tirodkar.
On the first day, Tirodkar was another face of 11/7. He could not move from his bed at Karuna Hospital, could not open his eyes, his hand was heavily bandaged and he kept calling out to his aunt to make sure she was around. On Sunday, he could see again, most of the bandages were taken off and he was back on his feet.
But still nobody around his bed mentions the blast. “We haven't spoken to Omkar about the blast. Nor does he say anything,” said his father Prakash Tirodkar, professor at Bhavan’s College.
Tirodkar's face is scarred by shrapnel wounds. But his family only looks at the bright side — that he survived while 200 others did not. “His vision is fine and he can hear now (his eardrums were temporarily damaged),” said Prakash.
Tirodkar has received Rs 1 lakh as compensation from the state and the Railways. His colleagues said they would pay the hospital bill.
Though Tirodkar will never forget the nightmare on Virar local, he is now dreaming of tomorrow — and the dreams are digital. “I’ll go abroad and set up software for the company’s new ventures,” he says. He is now another face of never-say-die Mumbai.