Saturday, 5th June 2021, 21:54 IST

"We lost him" This was the last message I sent to my family group at 1:34 am on 13th April 2021, after the doctor couldn't revive my grandfather. The doctor called me near and explained the cause of death, cardiac arrest. My brother was outside the casualty ward. My parents were at home, miserably sick. It felt like my world was being torn apart right in front of my eyes.

We celebrated Papa's birthday ten days ago. My family used to call for celebrations every weekend. Mine was one of the lucky families that were not hit by the pandemic ... yet. Soon after getting the first dose of vaccination, my whole family fell sick for straight 14 days. All of them had a rising fever, day in day out. I was helpless, with absolutely zero clues on how to initiate medical help in this outbreak. We were all afraid to get tested. We were afraid of hospitals.

One hour ago, on the 13th, I was casually talking to my partner about how tough it's getting for me. I slept in the ground storey with Dadu whenever he was sick. Minutes later, he woke up and went to the washroom. I asked if I should accompany him, but he denied. 30 seconds later, I hear a crash. He collapsed.

I couldn't open the door. He had fallen against it. I screamed for help. Everyone came downstairs.

After trying for 3 mins, Papa exchanged a fearful, helpless, and regretful look with me. I could see an ocean of emotions in his eyes while he checked Dadu's heartbeat every other second. We lost him. He was cold. The man of our house turned to just.. a body.

A memory imprinted in my mind forever.. and sadly this won't be the last I witness.