You may call this 14-year-old fortunate since he came out of a horrifying calamity with just a fractured leg. You may also deem him remarkably unfortunate, as he is now the only surviving member of his family.
MiD DAY found Pranit Pravin Kharat lying on a bed at Ashtavinayak Hospital in Panvel, frightened, crying, and fearful of the fate of his parents. When his relatives told him that his father Pravin Kharat (40), mother Aruna (38) and sister Amisha (18) were now dead, the young boy became numb and vacant.
Pranit was among 14 injured persons from a marriage party admitted to the hospital after a speeding truck hit two stationary mini-buses on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway early Monday. The teenager — nephew of the bridegroom — was unconscious at the time of his admittance. He came to in the morning, but was oblivious of the fate of his family till yesterday afternoon since doctors had advised his relatives not to tell him about the tragedy, as he was not in the mental state to be able to endure the shock. Unfortunately, his kin were left with no option in the end but to apprise him of the situation, as he was the only one who could perform the last rites.
Moments earlier, Pranit had spoken to MiD DAY about his fearful ordeal. “When the bus was being repaired I was sitting quite far from it and was almost sleepy. Suddenly, I heard a loud sound and consequent screaming of people. At the same time, I was hit by something and fell unconscious. I saw this fractured leg when I regained consciousness this morning. I do not know where my parents are. I want to see them,” he said. Pranit studies in Std IX at a govt-aided school in Chinchwad.
Barely 15 minutes after this conversation, the bitter truth had been revealed. Vijay Bahule, the boy’s uncle, told him about the deaths of his family members. “It was very difficult for us to tell Pranit. But we are helpless, as he is the only one left to perform the funeral rites of his parents. Although he is not in a stable mental state and doctors recommended we not tell him, we had to inform him in the end. We are already late for the ceremony,” said a visibly frustrated Vijay.
Vijay then took a dazed Pranit to Pune in an ambulance to perform the funeral service.