Aruna was looking at the ward boy angrily.
“Why did you steal the food”, she scolded. Her pretty face turned red in anger. “I will report you to the Hospital authority”, she threatened.
The boy was gazing at Aruna, silently.
Aruna shivered. There was something in his look that sent shivers down her spine.
It was November 27, 1973, just like any other night at the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. But the night was a bit special to Aruna. Tonight she brought a beautiful rose pink sari with her. She was eagerly waiting to finish her shift. She couldn’t wait to wear the sari and meet her fiancé, a junior doctor at the same hospital.
Aruna was waiting.
It was 8:30 pm. Finally the shift was over. Aruna ran towards the basement of the hospital to change her uniform. Her mind was filled with joy and the idea of a wedding, a home and a family. The pink sari was in her hand.
Perhaps only the God knew that the ward boy, Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki, had been waiting in the basement.
It was 7:45 am, the next morning. 11 hours later Aruna was discovered with blood splattered around her. She was strangled with a metal chain that cut supply of oxygen to her brain. She was left to die, left with severe brain damage; but she was still alive, unbelievably.
Aruna’s fiancé, Dr. Sundeep Sardesai, got married to a new girl.
He had waited 4 years with a hope that Aruna would recover one day and they could get married. But that hadn’t happened.
Aruna lay alone in her hospital bed in a vegetative state, brain dead, unable to speak & recognize anyone.
Dr. Sundeep got busy with his ordinary life.
After just 7 years in prison, the ward boy, Sohanlal, walked free.
He changed his name and started working in a Delhi hospital. He was not even charged for raping her. He was convicted of robbery and attempted murder. The concealment was perhaps to avoid negative impact on her impending marriage at that time.
While a brain dead Aruna remained confined to a dark hospital room, Sohanlal moved on with his new life.
On 18 May 2015 Aruna died after 42 years in coma.
Finally, she is free.
“Sometimes I wonder: Will God ever forgive us for what we've done to each other? Then I look around and I realize…God left this place a long time ago.”