Injury & Hospital

rs02Havaldar Ghosalkar was so badly injured that he could not move an inch from where he was lying.  Yet forgetting all his pain, he was shouting with joy, “Sir, We have won!  We have won hundred percent!”

I asked PSI Bhangale to move the injured Ghosalkar and Uttam Govari to the hospital.  Calling him close to me, I quietly told him that I was also injured.  Hearing this, everybody gathered round me.  They were stunned to see my Shirt soaked in blood.  Ghosalkar shouted, “Sir, I wouldn’t care if I had died, but you should not have been injured.”  Here was a man of 45, with the responsibility of a family of five children, prepared to die for me! This was the great tradition of the sons of the soils of the Sahyadri Mountains!  Men born in its wombs have always been ready to die for their comrades!

Ghosalkar’s leg had been shredded to pieces and his arms were out of comission. The wrestler in him however maintained his morale.  “Don’t worry Ghosalkar.  We have all done very well and you will soon be alright!”  I said, slapping his back.  Ghosalkar seemed to gain bundles of energy with my sincere appreciation.

By now, the section at Bamanwadi under jamadar Borade reached the place.  I instructed the party to keep back some jawans to guard the two dead bodies & rushed the injured to kalyan Hospital.  The government jeep was a kilometer and half from us.  After going a kilometer, I just could not walk.  I look at my right calf.  The Bullet had taken away a large chunk of my leg.  I found it difficult to cross the stream in our path.  Shantaram Patil picked me up and carried me on his shoulders to the jeep.

We reached Kalyan Hospital in the jeep.  All my wounds were bleeding.  The doctors at Kalyan stitched the wounds, but the wounds were such that they the stitched didn’t fit well.  I was sent to Mumbai in an ambulance with Shantaram Patil & Constable Mahale accompanying me. Since I hadn’t eaten for a long time and had bleed a lot, I began to faint. However, whenever I closed my eyes, Constable Mahale used to shout “Sir, Sir and wake up!”  Perhaps feared the worst on seeing my eyes close! Both of them would try to keep me awake by engaging me in some conversation or the other.

We had put an end to the dacoits.  Our campaign was successful, and despite his numerous injuries, Ghosalkar had still been talking when I saw him last.  These two factors maintained my morale.  Other wise along with the bullets in my thigh and calf, the bullet that had punctured my chest would have taken its toll.

I was admitted to the fourth floor of Mumbai’s G. T. Hospital and was lying on bed number one.  After some time Havaldar Ghosalkar and Constable Uutam Govari were admitted to the same general ward.  I was happy to see Ghosalkar conscious.

All I could think was the gun fight, injuries and the injured.  While I was half-awake, I suddenly heard loud crying.  I tried to get up but some of my relatives sitting next to me forced to me to keep lying.  A patient on the bed next to me had breathed his last and his relations had burst into crying.  I felt even more depressed.

Late at night, the doctors removed two bullets embedded in my intestines.  The wounds on the thigh & calf were stitched.  Three bullets that were stuck to my thigh bone could not be removed.  Doctors said that they would come up in a few years on their own and could then be removed with surgery.  Those bullets are still embedded in my thigh to this day.

I decided to stay in the general ward till the end to ensure that Ghosalkar and Govari were treated in front of my eyes.