While the sight of a colourful kite darting across the sky does well to give the one holding the string a thrill, the horrors that powered or glass coated thread popularly known as ‘manja’ can do to the human throat are suddenly all too real for a 35-year-old Kandivli resident.
Sandip Singh literally had a close shave while riding his bike at Dindoshi on Sunday evening when his throat was horribly cut by manja that was spanning the road. Had it not been for his friend, Datta Pawar, Singh could have bled to death within minutes.
Singh who works as a post office agent had met Pawar at Dindoshi and both of them were on the bike when the incident occurred. “We were returning on the bike at around 4.30 pm when the manja appeared from out of nowhere and my friend’s throat was slashed. The manja had left a deep gaping wound and I rushed him to the hospital in an auto rickshaw,” Pawar said.
Doctors attending to Singh at Sanjivani Hospital, Malad (East), said he was in critical condition when he was brought in. He had a 12-centemetre long gash across his throat, which was life-threatening as his neck muscles and anterior jugular vein were also cut.
“The cut had reached his windpipe. He was wheeled in for an emergency operation within minutes of admission. He lost almost 1.5 litres of blood and required a transfusion of two units while being operated upon. His veins have been sutured and bleeding has stopped. He should be on the path to recovery within a week,” said Dr Suman Rawat, intensivist at Sanjivani Hospital, Malad (East).
A source at the hospital said on condition of anonymity, “Singh’s anterior jugular vein was slit, and the sternocledomastoid muscle was cut through. The slit was 2mm away from the trachea and required 30 sutures. The patient was taken to the operation theatre within five minutes of arriving and the necessary procedures were done.”
Blame the kites
In another incident, an Old Dindoshi resident Sagar Dubey was chasing kites in the middle of the road when he was hit by a biker last afternoon. For close to six hours, after good Samaritans rushed Sagar to Sanjivani Hospital, Malad, he lay writhing in pain in the critical care unit.
“Bitten by the kite-flying bug, he ran far away from the place where I sell fruits and vegetables. The police reunited me with my child after a day-long hunt,” said Kalpana Dubey, a pavement dweller at Dindoshi.
While Sagar sustained an injury to the back of his head, Sumeet Jadhav (15) fractured his right hand after the makeshift tin roof over which he was flying kites along with two friends gave way. Jadhav fell from a height of around 10 feet and landed on his hand. He is recuperating in the general ward of the hospital.
Fewer birds fall victim this year
BSPCA hospital yesterday attended to over 150 cases of birds injured after coming in contact with manja. Lt Col (Retd) (Dr) JC Khanna, secretary BSPCA Hospital said, “Over 60 birds were treated for injuries sustained due to contact with manja. One of our ambulances that were sent to South Mumbai found around 130 injured birds. We treated them on the spot and around 25 birds were brought back to our hospital for treatment. However, the number of injured birds has gone down as compared to previous years.” He added that most injuries seen were to the neck and wings.