Bed no. 18 has two young children with no father; bed no. 19 came to buy medicines for his father but landed in hospital; bed no. 20 is the only bread-earner but has to have his legs amputated.
Each bed in the wards of Ahmedabad’s two major hospitals has a tragic tale to share, but now they are merely bed numbers. After all, they are too many to be named.
The gruesome serial blasts have left a lot of pain. A day after, hospital corridors reek of blood and phenyl. Patients are rolled in one after the other and doctors have no time to sleep. There is still blood and shattered glass everywhere.
“Why should innocent suffer,” asked an agitated Rakesh Gandhi who lost his friend in the blast. But while some are angry others are helping. Nirija Patel, an 18-year-old who witnessed the blast, said: “I have never seen so much blood. I decided I have to do something to help so reached the hospital at six in the morning.”
The B.Com student has not told her parents that she is volunteering at the hospital because she didn’t want them to stop her. “I left the house before they could get up and have messaged them that I will be alright,” she said.
Hospitals are filled with Samaritans from all over. People did not stay indoors out of fear. By Sunday evening, the city was back to life and shops opened amid security guards with machine guns.
“We shut the shop in the morning to pay respects to those who died. We are not afraid,” said Gurupreeth Bage, whose general store is right opposite the blast site at Shahibaug. “People here bounce back. We already have customers coming to buy their daily supplies.”