Aruna………………

When I read about one Terry Wallis who got out of his semicoma of 19 years after an overwhelming head injury…I pray to God that such rare luck befall Aruna Shanbhag too…………….

Yesterday wasn’t the only time I remembered Aruna Shanbhag again. When I was posted for a short while in Ward 4 of KEM, my co-intern who is a graduate from there told me,


“You know that Aruna Staff?? She is in one of the side rooms here in this ward. She has been in this semi comatose state for almost 2 decades now. The staff (short for staff nurses) of Ward 4 take care of her.”

Me, “Oh..Aruna……oh THAT Aruna staff……..”

Pritee, “Yes, she is almost 50 now…she is very fair…and must have looked pretty in her youth.”


Then on some other occassion I went to the nursing station of the ward looking for the keys to the staff restroom of ward 4. There I saw a cylindrical box with a label made of sticking plaster reading ‘Aruna’s Keys’. That was the other occassion when I remembered her.

Aruna was a staff nurse at KEM hospital Mumbai. During her work there she had came across a sweeper Sohanlal who worked in the animal laboratory. She had found him mistreating the animals and warned him against doing that. (The other version of this story I had heard says that she had warned the fellow since she had found him stealing medicines and BMC supplies from the ward. I really don’t know which is the true version of the story). So this fellow out of venegance strangled her with a dog chain and raped her brutally. The strangulation caused reduction in oxygen supply to her brain and caused what is called ‘hypoxic brain damage’. As a result Aruna is now in her semi comatose state, unable to speak or move. She just responds to stimuli. Apparently she screams and laughs too sometimes.

At the time of this incident Aruna was engaged to be married to one doctor. Needless to say the doctor married some other lady later on. And apparently took no interest in caring for Aruna. I don’t know how much her family is involved in caring for her. But the staff nurses at KEM take care of her….Upholding the oath they take in the name of Florence Nightingale.

Sometimes I wonder what will happen to me should such a state befall me. I know my mother will care for me as long as she can. Will my brother be able to care for me apart from his family callings? My fiance?? Some day out of social/familial pressures and the will to move on with life he will get married to someone……thats what even I would want him to do. But will he still look after me…..for how long? How long will his wife and children allow him to? Aruna has fellow nurses to look after her….but if something like this befalls me during my stint as an intern…..certainly I don’t expect any interns to care for me……..

I use this opportunity to say that should I become a vegetable at any stage of time, please give me my right to die….don’t keep me alive just to make me a burden on the future……

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14 responses to “Aruna………………

  1. I have heard about Aruna a lot throughout my life. I too wish she somehow comes out of that stage. I feel whatever funishment given to the guy, responsible for all her state, is very very less. He has ruined her life. Its just insane.

  2. Her case had created an outrage. Makes one very very sad and angry.

    My question gets answered here. KEM, huh? 4 family members studied there. One of them was a real KEM star. Two others continue to work there.

  3. @ Dadoji…
    really?wow! they still there? u a doc too?

  4. please can i have latest update re. Aruna? i heard that her fiance had cared for her till he was presurrized to get married to someone else.

    is she still there? has she come back to normal life?

  5. I truely belive that yesterday on 24 june 2010 we have seen the govt has not taken any step for Aruna Shanbag.

    We call this is a democratic country,but still our govt is as old as it was in 1973…
    Please help aruna to leave this world as we cant see a human body strugling with life life a vegetable.

    From,
    Nikhil.C.Mondkar

  6. i really want aruna to live her life…but is it possible?i pray to god everyday for her..for her recovery..but i’m not sure she’ll be fine or not…i want to know the doctor whom she loved and they were engaged…where is he now?after getting married to another lady didhe ever meet aruna in KEM?i’ve no hard feelings for that doctor..as far as i know he was very much with aruna in her such condition…but once he should meet her now.this is so much painful to see her struggling like this..better help her to leave this world…i’m feeling very bad to say this but for her sake i’m telling like such things.god forgive me

  7. pls keep updating abt her condition. let god do some good to her in this stage atleast.

  8. i pray to god that let some miracle happen in her life and that she comes back to life and things happen as she wants to fight agaisnt the injustice done to her .god bless her

  9. Hey, its really really painful to hear such things that a beautiful girl who was just 20 had suffered from this pain in our India where we prase a girl as goddess. I really pray to god, please give Aruna a new life & enjoy!!! forget about giving punishment to that Sohanlala Wardboy. God will give hima punishment not here then in hell but he will be punished thats for sure.. I belive in Allah more then anything & I knw he will do justice with Aruna.. May god bless her with the best on earth & make a alive again with new life…

  10. Where is that bledy sohanlal? God shud have punished him very badly. How the Indian LAW punished him only for 7yrs and left him out? He shud get very very painful death than Aruna. Atleast now Govt say okay for euthanasia.

  11. Everyone, who says that “let her die”. Can you all tell me for sure, that she will not come out of that stage. I do know, that everyone’s answer will definitely be “NO”. So, how you all say, “lets, end her life”.

    Let her live. If you all can do a small help for Aruna, pray to whomsoever you people believe or if you do not believe anyone, jus wish for her a better life very soon.

    Regarding, the culprit Sohanlal.., he should have imprisoned till the time Aruna get backs to a normal life. Then, I hope the culprit would have understood the pain. I don’t think the judgement against culprit is not at all correct.

  12. she has been in this condition for more than 37 years. it is only right that she should be given mercy killing. no one can fathom the intensity of physical torture that she is going through. how long should she remain in this world to be the object of discussion/debates?

  13. This shows the judicial sytem of our country has failed its people. The court aquits the culprit and leaves the victim to be tortured in the state of helplessness.
    The supreme court has failed in its function of investigating and holding the honour of ordinary citizen.
    Are ordinary people safe in this country? how can we trust our judiciary? Very sad state of affairs.
    How would the judge react if his own daughter was in Aruna’s place?

  14. please let aruna leave and i pray to god that she comes out of the present stage very soon and fight for the injustice done to her.

    Secondly it is very wrong on her family to live her when she needed them the most.

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