JAIPUR: The suddenness of losing one’s parents in a matter of days is a tragedy multiplied a hundred times over. Ask Poorvi (26) and Riya (24), who saw their Covid-stricken parents lurch into lifelessness. One final clasp of Riya’s hand by her mother as tight as it could have been and it was all over on April 29. She stood still for many, many moments. Then, she moved, all alone, to cremate her because Poorvi, her elder sister, was with their father, fighting a losing battle.
Till about a month back, the Kota family had everything a middle-class family aspires. Shyam and Mahima Maheshwari ran a hostel for students, Poorvi, an IT engineer, had a job in Noida and Riya had finished her Mass Comm. Things changed on April 24 when Riya called up to say that their mother had been hospitalised. Poorvi says their mother caught the infection from their father who was suffering from high fever after he got vaccinated.
For about a week, the couple was under treatment of a doctor, a relative, at their home. But their conditions worsened and they were admitted to the new Medical College Hospital, Kota. While their father Shyam tested positive, their mother’s report was negative initially though her chest CT Scan revealed that she had pneumonia. Poorvi says a week before he was admitted to the hospital, he had got vaccinated.Before that he had no illness nor did he suffer from any symptoms. “We don’t know if it was the vaccine that got him into trouble or whether he already had the infection when he got himself vaccinated,” says Poorvi.
It was their mother’s condition that turned grave in the ICU. She collapsed on April 29. But the sisters had to hide it from their father who was battling Covid in a different ward. “I was in the ICU with my mom while Didi was taking care of our father. My mother held my hand tightly just before she passed away. I did her cremation alone as we did not want Papa to be left alone,” recalls Riya. Soon, their father’s condition began to deteriorate. Though the sisters tried desperately, they simply could not get an ICU bed for him. Poorvi believes had their father got an ICU bed, he might have recovered.
On May 9, he died. The sisters jointly arranged their father’s cremation. “We just don’t know how to cope with this situation. We have lost words to explain our feelings,” says a sobbing Poorvi. Riya, a Mass Comm graduate, had already lost her job in the wake of the Corona-induced slowdown, while Poorvi works in Noida. They don’t have enough money to pay the rent of their house as the earnings of their parents had declined sharply during the pandemic.