Remembering Bhaijaan — The Victim of Delayed Diagnosis

Last year, amid COVID-19 fret, many people lost their lives due to delayed diagnosis. Among them was my uncle.

AT a time when Kashmir is apparently bracing itself for the possible third viral wave, the scars of the first and second wave are yet to heal for those who lost their loved ones in pandemic.

What terrified this feeling was the widespread fear of COVID-19 that disrupted the ideal way of mourning in Kashmir and thus made the curt farewells even more traumatic experiences in the valley.

The pain of separation becomes further distressing when one realizes how the brutal bug ended up taking lives by denying them the timely treatment. One such Covid casualty was my beloved Bhaijaan, Manzoor Ahmad Wani.

Bhaijaan was a hale and hearty person before he was rendered a pale and haggard bedridden patient awaiting his end. His wit was his weapon and he used it to the hilt to spread smiles and bring laughter in the lives of people around him.

Even during pandemic when the indoor life became a disquieting routine, he was trying hard to boost the morale of his family and friends. But while making others laugh, he never knew that he would be soon craving for some light moments in his life.

Bhaijaan was suffering from intestinal ailment which was not diagnosed well on time, as no tests could be done due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the health centres had become the Covid-designated facilities and due to the fear of coronavirus, doctors were reluctant to see patients for several months. In the face of this, the family was unaware of his disease.

Finally, when the disease was diagnosed by October 2020, it had done a lot of damage already.

After that the man forgot to spread smiles and withered like a flower in the fall of his life.

On November 15, 2020, Bhaijaan, a resident of Shalimar Srinagar, left for the heavenly abode. He’s survived by his widow Aasima Manzoor, son Hamza, daughters Khatija and Kulsoom. He was 57.

Bhaijaan was a businessman by profession and would always be remembered for his social works and easygoing nature.

While one can measure time, but cannot measure loss, his family is marking his absence by upholding his memory.

And that remembrance is a powerful thing which makes the human connection with the fallen even stronger.

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Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat

Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat is an Acumen Fellow and Chairman Jammu & Kashmir RTI Movement. Feedback [email protected]

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